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18. January must be totally uninteresting, because nothing major seems to have happened on this date.
31 December 1775

Battle of Québec
The Battle of Quebec was fought between American Continental Army forces and the British defenders of Quebec City early in the American Revolutionary War. The battle was the first major defeat of the war for the Americans, and it came with heavy losses. General Richard Montgomery was killed, Benedict Arnold was wounded, and Daniel Morgan and more than 400 men were taken prisoner. The city's garrison, a motley assortment of regular troops and militia led by Quebec's provincial governor, General Guy Carleton, suffered a small number of casualties.

In the battle and the following siege, French-speaking Canadians were active on both sides of the conflict. The American forces received supplies and logistical support from local residents, and the city's defenders included locally raised militia. When the Americans retreated, they were accompanied by a number of their supporters; those who remained behind were subjected to a variety of punishments after the British re-established control over the province.


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    The Longrifle Project

  • The Longrifle Project

    This article describes the making of a genuine American Southern longrifle. It was made for me by Master Steven Bookout of Toad Hall Rifleshop in 2001 with no modern tools or electricity. The rifle is made the same way as rifles were made 200 years ago.

Sharpening Dull Flints

Category: Muzzle-loading
Published: 18 September 2008 by Øyvind Flatnes.
Views: 15096
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Sharpening a flint.

The illustration shows
how to sharpen a flint.

Flints that have become dull and doesn’t produce sparks does not have to be thrown away. Here is a simple way to sharpen a dull flint. There are several methods of sharpening flints. You really don't have to use any special tools, but the first method I will describe requires that you modify a steel nail: Cut off the tip, and file a notch in the end of the nail, about 1 cm in length across half the nail. The tool is now ready. To sharpen a flint, place the nail against the edge of the flint in about a 30 degree angle (see the picture). The notch should be 90 degrees. Lightly tap the nail's head with a small hammer or similar. A small flake of the flint falls off and the 'wound' where the piece fell off will be sharp. Repeat this operation along the entire edge of the flint and it will be restored to normal again. Make sure that you use safety glasses because the flying pieces of flints are razor sharp.

Find out more!
You can learn more on how to make the most of your flintlock in the brand new book From Musket to Metallic Cartridge: A Practical History of Black Powder Firearms.

A more simple method is to use a small brass hammer or the spine of a knife to sharpen the flint. This is my preferred method for sharpening flints. Tap the knife spine lightly on the top of the flint edge when the flint is secured in the jaws of the cock. Flakes will fall off and sharpen the flint.

Flints cannot be sharpened forever, and you eventually will have to replace it, but sharpening it by using the methods described above increases the service life of your flints.