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Is that muzzle loader loaded?
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How can I tell if a muzzle loader is loaded?
 
Posts: 980 | Registered: 16 July 2008Reply With Quote
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use your ramrod. Run it along the outside of the barrel to where the approximate end of it would be from the inside.
Mark it at the muzzle with a pencil, tape, your thumb or something else.

Put it in the barrel and see where it sits.

It your mark is past the muzzle by an inch or more it's a good bet it's loaded.

Sometimes looking down the barrel with a light will show the bullet.
 
Posts: 315 | Registered: 24 June 2008Reply With Quote
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If I am not going to use mine for awhile (like all winter, spring, and summer) and leave it loaded, I put a tag on the trigger guard indicating it's loaded and what the load is.
 
Posts: 192 | Location: maine, usa | Registered: 07 March 2013Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by groundtender:
If I am not going to use mine for awhile (like all winter, spring, and summer) and leave it loaded, I put a tag on the trigger guard indicating it's loaded and what the load is.


Black powder is hygroscopic. why would you leave a rust causing compound in there long term ?

Grizz


Indeed, no human being has yet lived under conditions which, considering the prevailing climates of the past, can be regarded as normal. John E Pfeiffer, The Emergence of Man

Those who can't skin, can hold a leg. Abraham Lincoln

Only one war at a time. Abe Again.
 
Posts: 4211 | Location: Alta. Canada | Registered: 06 November 2002Reply With Quote
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I know that pyrodex and 777 suck in moisture. Didn't know that real black powder did, never had a rust prob for the many years I used it (Goex) though. I've been using Blackhorn 209 since it was introduced and no prob with that. Always kept hammer resting on a piece of inner tube to keep moisture out that way. Figured the projectile would seal out moisture from that end. I guess where I live very near the ocean I'd orherwise get corrosion. Never had trouble with the bp rusting through the can either. Thank you for your input Grizz.
 
Posts: 192 | Location: maine, usa | Registered: 07 March 2013Reply With Quote
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Why would anyone leave a gun loaded?


Golf is for people that don't know how to Hunt and Fish.
The Al-Bino Vest

http://www.huntfishnw.com
 
Posts: 2193 | Location: East Wenatchee | Registered: 18 August 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Slider:
Why would anyone leave a gun loaded?
. Huh? What good is an unloaded gun? Suggested reading: "Hell, I Was There" by Elmer Keith
 
Posts: 192 | Location: maine, usa | Registered: 07 March 2013Reply With Quote
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I guess? I didn't know he used a Muzzle Loader.


Golf is for people that don't know how to Hunt and Fish.
The Al-Bino Vest

http://www.huntfishnw.com
 
Posts: 2193 | Location: East Wenatchee | Registered: 18 August 2008Reply With Quote
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quote:

Black powder is hygroscopic. why would you leave a rust causing compound in there long term ?

Grizz


This is not true. BP is not hygroscopic. Having participated in controlled tests, I can say that without the slightest hesitation.

In this state a muzzleloader is LEGALLY unloaded when there is no cap on the nipple or flashpowder in the pan, regardless of what is in the barrel.


When there is lead in the air, there is hope in my heart -- MWH ~1996
 
Posts: 2238 | Location: Where I've bought resident tags:MN, WI, IL, MI, KS, GA, AZ, IA | Registered: 30 January 2002Reply With Quote
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Rod Bounce, a cleaning rod will bounce when dropped into an EMPTY barrel.

A loaded barrel will dampen the rod impact no bounce
 
Posts: 132 | Location: Sourland Mt. , NJ | Registered: 14 May 2008Reply With Quote
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My Ram rod is marked for a loaded barrel.
 
Posts: 16038 | Location: wis | Registered: 21 April 2001Reply With Quote
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Oh man, talk about STUPID!!

Just a few years ago at a BP match in Pa. I think it was. A M/L failed to fire and with his teenaged son standing right beside him The guy looked down the barrel and it blew his head mostly off.

Never look down the muzzle end of a gun unless the action is open. M/L's that's kinda hard to do. So don't do it at all!

About 20 years ago one of my buddies friend went to an estate auction. There was M/L double barreled shotgun no one bid on as it was fairly ragged looking with one hammer broken off.

The friend asked the owners son after the show "how much would you take for that gun?" "oh, no one wanted it, guess maybe a couple bucks". He snapped it up.

We didn't have a ramrod handy in the tin shop. Used a welding rod to gauge the depth. Sure enough the tube with the broken hammer was loaded. Hard packed for years.

One of the guys took it home, welded a long rod to a drill bit and drilled the charge out. Then the gunsmith worked it over til it came back a fine looking gun. It's never been loaded or fired since.

George


"Gun Control is NOT about Guns'
"It's about Control!!"
Join the NRA today!"

LM: NRA, DAV, RMEF

George L. Dwight
 
Posts: 4743 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With Quote
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What dumb conversation..I won't even leave my ML loaded over night in Idaho where it,s snow and damp..If you do your asking for a misfire,

Ive seen it happen way too many times..We all shoot them empty at camp in the evening or use a screw gizzie to unload them..And we pop primer a couple of times before loading and taking off the next morning in the snow and cold..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 36463 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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They make Co2 "unloaders" press down over nipple and it "fires" the load out into the safe direction you pointed it... Great for clearing that patch and ball you did not put powder behind by the way...
If you can't blow air through the nipple, out the muzzle, with a rubber tipped air nozzle, there is some obstruction in the barrel, likely a load.


"The liberty enjoyed by the people of these states of worshiping Almighty God agreeably to their conscience, is not only among the choicest of their blessings, but also of their rights."
~George Washington - 1789
 
Posts: 1864 | Location: Where God breathes life into the Amber Waves of Grain and owns the cattle on a thousand hills. | Registered: 20 August 2002Reply With Quote
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Oh yea, like Jim Bridger unloaded his at night
 
Posts: 192 | Location: maine, usa | Registered: 07 March 2013Reply With Quote
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I know that the Blackhorn209 is not hygroscopic. I have left is for days in the humid Florida swamps with no issue as well as leaving it in the rifle loaded for an entire year between firings. No misfires whatsoever. With Blackhorn209, you only need to thoroughly clean the rifle once a year, or every 10 firings, whichever comes first.

It acts nothing like real black powder.


Larry

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading" -- Thomas Jefferson
 
Posts: 3924 | Location: Kansas USA | Registered: 04 February 2002Reply With Quote
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No, Blackthorn or whatever is definitely not blackpowder. The real thing is hard to beat - why try? Blackpowder is something that is easily understood and used. It doesn't take much effort at all. Unfortunately, most shooters are instantly discouraged from using it by generally misinformed internet forums.

Anyway this is one description of what happens to BP in humid conditions. Nothing.
http://www.public.iastate.edu/...B_files/Page1175.htm


When there is lead in the air, there is hope in my heart -- MWH ~1996
 
Posts: 2238 | Location: Where I've bought resident tags:MN, WI, IL, MI, KS, GA, AZ, IA | Registered: 30 January 2002Reply With Quote
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Brent, I did not get that anyone was disparaging black powder. Certainly not me. What happens to your rifle if you shoot it a few times and don't clean it until next fall? Nothing if you use Blackhorn209. That is all I was pointing out. And if you leave the next shot in there for 6 months, it still goes bang just fine.


Larry

"Peace is that brief glorious moment in history, when everybody stands around reloading" -- Thomas Jefferson
 
Posts: 3924 | Location: Kansas USA | Registered: 04 February 2002Reply With Quote
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I don't live in Idaho and I don't leave my gun outside at night. Mine is in a dry-heat gun room but I've left mine loaded for years . Last hunting season, guilt took over after 2 years in storage, so to soothe my soul, I figured I'd touch off a load before the season. BOOM!

I've restored old OLD guns and found some to be still charged. I was young and very dumb back in those days (70's) and while working on a friend'g grandfather's caplock, I couldn't free the nipple up with penetrating fluid. I decided to heat it with a torch. There wasn't a damned thing wrong with that 1860 black powder. I did have to crawl out of the shop because I couldn't see a thing with all that smoke. I learned that you either bounce the ramrod or you measure the barrel length from muzzle to touch hole to insure a gun is empty.


RETIRED Taxidermist
 
Posts: 827 | Location: Magnolia Delaware | Registered: 02 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Seeing the name of this thread made me laugh as I purchased another muzzleloader on Thursday...

Bought a T/C Encore ProHunter 209x50 used for a good price...I could tell that the barrel was still dirty from the last time it was ever shot but the store didn't want me to pull the breech plug to inspect closer into it. I just used that as a bargaining tool and said maybe it is all rusty and the barrel may be worthless.

Pulled the breech plug and could not see through the barrel. Interesting. I looked past the plug threads from the action side and saw what looked like a ton of white grease. Maybe the previous owner went wild with the breech plug grease before he installed the plug?

I ran the ramrod completely through to try and knock whatever was in there loose and found 2 plain white paper towels, an o-ring from something and a 7.62x39 loaded cartridge inserted into the barrel backwards and packed into the paper towels.

Ran 20 patches of Windex/Bore cleaner through the barrel and deep cleaned the breech plug and the gun looks like new again. First time I had ever seen any of that stuff in a barrel.
 
Posts: 2885 | Location: West Texas | Registered: 16 December 2006Reply With Quote
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I would report that to the cops and the store. Someone was deliberately trying to at least hurt someone.


When there is lead in the air, there is hope in my heart -- MWH ~1996
 
Posts: 2238 | Location: Where I've bought resident tags:MN, WI, IL, MI, KS, GA, AZ, IA | Registered: 30 January 2002Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by groundtender:
Oh yea, like Jim Bridger unloaded his at night


Lol! You do have a point. I’ll wager the old timers wasted very little.
 
Posts: 3050 | Registered: 27 November 2014Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by packrattusnongratus:
Is Groundtender really that uneducated as to leave a gun loaded all that time? I don't care if it has no prime. That's a good way to abuse a gun or get someone hurt. Are you a TROLL? Packy


Why?

I've left mine loaded for several months during hunting season obviously without any priming. Now mind you it was a traditional side lock using a patched round ball which seals the bore from moisture very well just run a lightly oiled patch above the load to protect the bore from rust. Never had a problem getting it fire even with almost continuous rain/snow during hunting season here in the PNW. I have no idea how it would work with a modern muzzleloader with plastic sabots and those modern powders, many of which are sugar based and have the potential to rust your bore just sitting in there unlike blackpowder.

People leave cartridge rifles loaded all the time for extended periods and and don't think it's unsafe. Why would a muzzleloader be any different? Besides I seriously doubt way back when folks unloaded each day. In fact it's not uncommon to find very old rifles that still have a load in them and as mentioned above they often will still light.


_____________________________
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
- Winston Churchill

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2202 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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The only guns I keep loaded most of the time are two self defense pistols I keep handy.

For my ML, I always remove the breech plug and remove everything prior to putting it in the truck for the drive home.

Even old Rick, of Pawn Stars knows to run a rod down the barrel of any ML brought into his store in order to see if it is loaded.



BH63


Hunting buff is better than sex!
 
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by groundtender:
quote:
Originally posted by Slider:
Why would anyone leave a gun loaded?
. Huh? What good is an unloaded gun? Suggested reading: "Hell, I Was There" by Elmer Keith


I don’t care Elmer said, leaving a rifle loaded for months at home is very dangerous.


www.accuratereloading.com
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Posts: 52231 | Location: Dubai, UAE | Registered: 08 January 1998Reply With Quote
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I make a mark on the ramrod. With a load in the rifle I run the ramrod down to the ball and lay my pocket knife on the face of the muzzle with the edge against the ramrod. I turn the ramrod against the knife edge to make a slight line around the rod. It's a visual cue as well as one I can feel in low light that tells me there's a charge in the gun.

I leave my 62 caliber caplock loaded for the entirety of moose season. I live outside the city limits but in a weapons restricted area. Shotguns or muzzleloaders only. Mine is loaded with a round ball and a very healthy charge of 2F black powder.

Now I have to tell on myself. I forgot about it for a couple years. My wife's back surgery and a couple other significant life events caused me to completely forget about the 62 sitting in the corner loaded but no cap on the nipple. We had no small children around and the two college kids who were staying with us were both very gun savvy and wouldn't touch anything without permission.

Not remembering if the gun was loaded or not, I ran the ramrod down and it indicated it was. My next trip to the range I took it and a few caps, expecting it either wouldn't fire or there would be hang fire. It fired instantly on the first cap. I have a polished aluminum plug for checking muzzleloader barrels. It's finished to a mirror like surface. Shining a light on it after dropping it down the barrel, I couldn't see any indication of rust or corrosion from keeping it loaded with black powder all that time.


"...I advise the gun. While this gives a moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprize, and independance to the mind. Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be the constant companion of your walks." Thomas Jefferson
 
Posts: 989 | Location: Wasilla, AK | Registered: 22 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Mark the rod! Period, no doubt. It has been done like this (thankfully not by me), load the ML at a range, get distracted, re reload, now a double charge. Your barrel may or may not survive such a mistake.

If your rod is marked, there is never a doubt as to whether it is loaded, double loaded or empty.
 
Posts: 275 | Location: UP of MICH (for the good times) East Central Wisconsin (by mistake) | Registered: 05 March 2007Reply With Quote
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Well maybe Jim Bridger didn't but the story goes that Wild Bill would empty his revolvers every morning out of the hotel window with his admonishment that a man with a damp charge is a dead man. I'll bet he disturbed a lot of folks early in the morning; but hey, who's gonna complain?


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 12881 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by NormanConquest:
Well maybe Jim Bridger didn't but the story goes that Wild Bill would empty his revolvers every morning out of the hotel window with his admonishment that a man with a damp charge is a dead man. I'll bet he disturbed a lot of folks early in the morning; but hey, who's gonna complain?


Jack McCall perhaps?


When there is lead in the air, there is hope in my heart -- MWH ~1996
 
Posts: 2238 | Location: Where I've bought resident tags:MN, WI, IL, MI, KS, GA, AZ, IA | Registered: 30 January 2002Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Saeed:
quote:
Originally posted by groundtender:
quote:
Originally posted by Slider:
Why would anyone leave a gun loaded?
. Huh? What good is an unloaded gun? Suggested reading: "Hell, I Was There" by Elmer Keith


I don’t care Elmer said, leaving a rifle loaded for months at home is very dangerous.


Now where's that damn "like" button?

Leaving a muzzleloaded loaded for an extended time brings words to mind that I cannot say here. But hey, the world is round and it takes all kinds.

Remember, half the people you meet are below average!
Zeke
 
Posts: 1376 | Registered: 27 October 2011Reply With Quote
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