Missouri Long Trek Flints or probably more commonly called in the muzzleloading world as Rich Pierce Flints has been my favorite source for flint. The flint which is really Burlington chert is collected by Rich Pierce who then hand knaps it “using only simple tools that an early hunter might have.” The flint color varies from white to gray which Rich says is due to his “[exploring] new sources for raw material.” In my own personal experience with his flint I have found it to be typically a white color, but it is the spark that counts not the color when it comes to gunflint, so I do not really care what it looks like.
The flint I have found seems to spark similar to English flint, but there is no comparison to machined agate flint which typically sparks poorly and does not knap well for re-sharpening. In contrast both English and Missouri flint do well at re-knapping which allows for more sparks per flint. To me it seems like English flint chips less easily compared to Missouri Flint. So, I think English flint might possibly have a longer life (at least in my gun), but English flint also costs considerably more.
The cost of Rich’s flint I think is very fair. My gun seems to eat 5/8″ x 3/4″ flints the best so for $10 + $1.50 shipping I can have one dozen gunflints. This dozen when I have ordered from him has been slightly over a dozen. He seems to throw in a few usable, but not perfect flints sort of like a baker’s dozen. Anyways assuming an exact dozen flints I would pay $11.50 for 12 which comes out to about $0.96 per flint. In contrast English flint from Track Of The Wolf would cost $19.80 for a dozen plus $5.35 shipping bringing the total to $25.15; costing about $2.10 per flint. This means that even if English flints lasted twice as long as Missouri flints I would still be ahead buying Missouri flints. However, I do not think the difference in flint life is that great; while I have only used a few English flints I think Missouri flints are not far behind English flints.
Rich Pierce’s shipping also seems quite fair. He charges $1.50 for 1 dozen, $2.00 for 2 dozen, and $3.00 for 3 dozen. He also offers the use of flat rate shipping boxes for those who would like to order his some of his shards of flint in bulk. What really stands out about Rich is his return/inspection policy. When you order flint from him, he encourages you to test one of the flints in your gun then send him his money. If you are not happy with them, he says to just send them back at your expense.
When I contacted Rich for permission to post his information he asked me to say that he is currently about 3 weeks behind in orders, but hopes to make progress soon. Frozen ground has been making it hard for collecting flint and business travel has used his spare time.
Rich Pierce can be contacted at:
504 West Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130
Below is the text of the January-March 2010 price sheet for Missouri Long Trek Flint. The full PDF version is available here: Missouri Long Trek Flints Info January 2012
Missouri Long Trek Flints are hand-knapped in Missouri from white to gray “Burlington” chert that I gather myself. I make them using only simple tools that an early hunter might have. I don’t heat treat flint to make it easier to work or reproduce the European style of making gunflints. As a result of my collection methods and the way I make them, the color, gloss, and shape of the gunflints vary a bit within a single batch and during the year, as I explore new sources for raw material. They are not as pretty as English or French or cut flints, but are hard to beat in “sparks per dollar”. I hope you will find them, as I like to say, “rough, tough, and sparky”. Standard sizes are 1/8” longer than wide. Though not “flat-topped”, they will not be overly “humpy”. If I ship them, you can trust I’d use them.
Shipping It costs me $1.50 to pack and ship 1 dozen flints by USPS, first class, but only $2.00 to ship 2 dozen, $3.00 to ship 3 dozen, etc. Shipping to Canada is done by air mail and sometimes takes almost 2 weeks. Shards, being heavy, cost more to ship. The Flat Rate Priority Mail Box of shards for strike-a-light, which contains at least 50 assorted irregular flint shards, is a great value. Share these with friends or teach scouts or other kids how to make fire with flint and steel. They have sharp edges but may be thick. With the large Flat Rate box, the customer is getting more than 50 shards for $14.65, since the shipping costs me $10.45. If you order gun flints at the same time this saves shipping costs, because it is all included in the flat rate.
Availability Lately, orders are coming very often, so please limit your order to 2-3 dozen of any one size, so other customers can be accommodated. If you do not know the size of flint you need, check with the manufacturer of the lock or gun, or measure a flint that works well. Flints should not be wider
than the frizzen at its widest point, and should be of a length that allows secure half-cock position, and flips the frizzen open readily. I have another few pages on how to know what size flints to use, and how to get the best results with your flints.
Ordering Please email me (email@example.com) your name, address, and quantities of flints desired, sizes, etc. I then ship the flints to you with an invoice. You inspect and even try for sparkiness in your gun or with your firesteel. You don’t need to go to the range to do this. Just dry fire an unloaded gun in a darkened room. If satisfied, you send me cash, a money order or a check as payment, made out to “Rich Pierce”. Please do not pre-pay, as I prefer to not have your money, while you don’t have the flints. If the flints I send are not suitable, you may send them back to me at your expense. That is no problem whatsoever.
Other items I occasionally build rifles and smoothbores in Colonial styles, focusing primarily on the period from 1750-1790. I may have something in stock in the $1800-$2400 price range, so ask if you have interest. I also make powder horns for the same time period to order, and sometimes have one or two in progress or in stock. I favor large horns engraved with simple period designs.