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Need a little help
Hunting and discussion with Muzzle Loaders, Archery and other Primitive weapons

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Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 38
Location: Medina, Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 9:17 am    Post subject: Need a little help Reply with quote

Guys & Gals,
Having a problem with a Hawken 50 cal Muzzle loader. Just a Beautiful weapon, BUT. Having a problem with ignition, uses Musketcaps too!
Cleaned the bore twice w/ #9 and let the gun sit for a week, Loaded 85gr 777 Hodgson and a 295 gr Sabot. Capped the gun 3 times yesterday, No Smoke......Have changed nipples to a T/C type Musket cap, Still no repetative firing. Anybody got an Idea? I have spoken to T/C and they really don't know what to do. Will talk to them again today 10/5
Sure would like to know if soaking the barrel in something would help,If so What product would you use? Really would like to make this "Smokepole" work, I cannot "Cap" a big Buck.
Any help would be appreciated.

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Super Member
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Joined: Jun 12, 2005
Posts: 11395
Location: Ava, Missouri

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Need a little help Reply with quote

First...Make sure that the flash hole is clear of any and all debris (poke a piece of wire through it with the nipple out) making sure that the nipple is open too. Next...If the flash hole is open all the way to the bore. Make sure that the bore is clear by blowing down the muzzle. FIRST MAKE SURE THAT THE GUN IS EMPTY OF BALL AND POWDER!!! You should hear the air escaping from the flash hole. Next set a cap and fire it normally. Now make sure that the powder will burn by putting some of it on the bare ground and igniting it. Don't know how fast Hodgdon 777 burns, but if it is like Black Powder it burns fast enough to burn you if you use a match. Make a small fuse by putting the powder on a piece of news paper and igniting the edge of the paper and standing well back.

If all this works then the problem lies with your method of loading it. Make sure the bore is clean and DRY of all oil. Pour a measured amount of powder down the barrel. Mount your ball and patch or sabot and ram it home and tamp it to insure the powder and ball are seated against the breech block. It is important that you know how deep your ram rod should go with a known amount of powder and ball. If you need photos of this measurment let me know and I will submit them.

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Joined: Jan 26, 2005
Posts: 2965
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Need a little help Reply with quote

Welcome to the HuntingNut Torasperry I'm moving this thread to the primitive weapons section. Good Advice Bushy.


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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
Posts: 608
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 4:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Need a little help Reply with quote

With an empty gun you should be able to fire a cap with the muzzle about two inches from a blade of grass or a leaf, the leaf or grass should move from the ignition of the cap if everything is open like it should be. Always fire at least 3 caps before loading the first charge on a clean gun to burn the residual oil out of nipple and ignition passage. For best ignition in a percussion sidelock you should load propellant, then before loading projectile tilt gun to the side with the lock facing down and rap the side of gun opposite lock with the side of your hand. This will ensure that some propellant will enter underneath the nipple for faster more reliable ignition. Then seat your projectile. A vented nipple will also help with better ignition.
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Joined: Nov 18, 2005
Posts: 1216
Location: Iowa

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2007 6:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Need a little help Reply with quote

You can also cap the nipple, drop the ramrod down the barrel and fire the cap and watch it move the ramrod maybe one inch, if all is clear. Recommended that the rifle is lying flat so you can see that the ramrod moves. Smile

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