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#1 Spirithawk

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:52 PM

Hey guys, I'm still kickin'. :) I actualy got to get out and muzzleloader hunt a bit with my son. Got a question for ya's. My son walked up on a huge Buck friday morning. Biggest rack he said he's ever seen when hunting. The Buck was sound asleep on a sunny hillside. It was very cold and windy. Anyways, the Buck didn't have a clue my son was there at about 30 yards. Jason leveled his CVA Optima Elite .50, using a  tree to steady himself, pulled the trigger and heard the primer go off and then a loud PSSSSSSTTTTTTT followed by the Powerbelt just cearing the muzzle by a few yards! He said you could see burning powder glowing that was stuck to the green plastic boot of the powerbelt as  it flew the short distance. The rifle was  freshly loaded with two 50 grain pellets of 777. Both the pellets and primer were first out of brand new packages. I can think of no possible reasonable reason that load should have been, nor could have gotten fouled.The rifle had been cleaned and oiled with a very light coat of oil down the bore followed by a dry patch. No way it could have been oil fouled. Only thing I can think is there was something wrong with the pellets right out of the box. However we've fire 3 more loads with no problem. In over 30 years of shooting muzzleloaders I've never had that happen. Any ideas guys?

 

 

Now as to the hunting we struck out. Deer just weren't moving. However I did find this cool 8pt skull with the rack still attatched. I talked to Jason on the radio and when he asked  if I'd seen any deer I told him yeah I got a nice 8pt. He promtly said "Uh Uh I didn't hear you shoot!" I told him yes I did  and I'm standing here looking at it. He knew I was back at the house and wanted to know just how I'd got it there since I was alone. Told him I carried it. Then he told me he knew I was full of it! Soooooo, I bet him a six pack of Michelobe that I 1) had a nice 8pt and 2) carried it back by myself! He took the bet! When he got  back I proptly handed him my 8pt! He said the bet didn't count because I didn't shoot it at which point I promptly reminded him that I never said I did! I only said I got a nice 8pt, carried it back and there young man is your proof!

 

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Edited by Spirithawk, 24 December 2012 - 03:54 PM.


#2 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 08:11 PM

Norm about the only two possibilities are: 1 powder was somehow fouled or 2 the powder was no good.  Did Jason fire a primer before he loaded the rifle.  Possibly enough oil worked into the breech plug especially if it was stored muzzle up.  I seem to recall that on another site someone had the same problem and with the same powder. 


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#3 Spirithawk

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 08:34 PM

I don't think he did but that's just it Paul, I truly don't believe there was enough oil in the barrel to remotely foul the pellets. I'm very careful about that and run a dry patch through to absorb any excess oil after first running a very lightly oiled patch with the breechplug still out.  It was as if the powder burned but very slowly. There was just the normal residue left in the breech and no unburned powder. I wonder if maybe somehow the Powerbelt's plastic base didn't seal good and leaked pressure? Only thing I can think of that would make the powder burn but not explode unless as I said it was bad pellets to begin with. Make any sense?


Edited by Spirithawk, 24 December 2012 - 08:38 PM.


#4 cayugad

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 10:24 PM

Sometimes if you DO NOT CLEAR  the breech plug think of it this way...

 

the rifle was cleaned and put away with care.  It leaned in the gun rack for a number of days, nice and clean and lightly oiled.  And what does oil do when placed on a slope or angle?  It runs down hill.  And where does it gather?  At the lowest spot or pocket.  Which in the case of the Optima would be in the breech plug.  So even though the rifle was loaded.. there might have been a pocket or pool of oil in the breech plug.  So when the primer was fired.. of course a 209 has a lot of fire to it.  But if that primer sprayed out the gathered oil in the breech plug, on the back of the first pellet in line..  what you get is a smoker.  A partical burn if you will.  Enough to send out a flaming pellet, but not much more.  And they make a sickening PFFFT.

 

This is why before I load any inline rifle.  I swab the bore of the rifle with alcohol patches.  This pulls any oil out of the barrel.  Then a dry patch.  This dries out the alcohol.  Then I push a dry patch to the bottom of the breech and pop a 209 primer.  This is done to catch any thing like oil, grime, dust, etc.. that might have accumulated in the breech plug.  Also the patch you blow the first primer into will often be blown apart with a very black burning.. this is the oils and stuff that accumulated.  After that breech plug clearing primer, I then leave the ramrod out, place another primer in the rifle, point the muzzle at something that will move on the floor, a leaf, or snow on a table, anything that a slight breese can move..  and pop a second primer.  Watch the item that should move.  If it flies off easy.. then the breech plug is not only cleared but carbon coated.  Now is the time I would load the pellets and projectile.  Because I know the barrel is clean and dry, and the breech plug is clear and fire passes through it with ease.  That means fast and sure igntion.

 

The other thing is, perhaps some moisture made its way into the barrel, drifted down and hit the charge.  Last is the pellets.  I DO NOT LIKE TRIPLE SEVEN PELLETS.  There, I said it.  The loose powder is fine.  But of all the pellets, brand new out of the box that gave me misfires and hang fires..   they were Triple Seven pellets.

 

That is a heck of a rack you found.  I think I would clean that up and hang that on the wall.  I would have loved to see a buck like that come through the woods on me.  Nice find.  And you're right..  he does owe you the beer.  Merry Christmas guys.  And good luck with your hunting.


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#5 Spirithawk

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Posted 24 December 2012 - 11:58 PM

Cayugad, thanks. :) I was tickled with the find. As to the rifle, it was cleaned just the night before because it had been fired. It was then stored laying flat in it's case.  I know the breechplug was clear because when at home, as we were before going hunting, I always check with a light before loading and you could easily see light through it. You can bet we'll go through the  extra steps to make sure from now on though. Thanks for the advice. I'm still suspecting the pellets as the rifle was treated the same as always and this was a first and because I did notice when firing my Encore, loaded from the same box of pellets, that though it went off ok it didn't sound as loud as normal nor did it have any recoil at all which did not seem right. We'll have to fire more from that box of pellets to rule them out. What pellets would you recomend. We went to 777 because it seemed to burn cleaner than Pyrodex.

 

 Merry Christmas everyone!


Edited by Spirithawk, 25 December 2012 - 12:00 AM.


#6 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 07:04 AM

Norm I use an oil wet patch, not saturated but wet, down the barrel for storage and leave the barrel that way.  Nearly all the time I store the rifle barrel down with a cloth or patch under it.  I also use alcohol to clean the oil out followed by 2 dry patches before loading the rifle.  My inline breech plug is a bit different as I use musket caps for ignition.  The reason I use alcohol is it seems to cut the oil well and is in itself flammable so if a trace is left it should not affect the ignition.  Being as I do not use 209 primers I also do not use any of the pelletized powders and since my favorite muzzleloader(s) are flintlocks I use only real bp in all my front loading rifles.  Yes it leaves a mess but if at all possible I swab with alcohol and two dry patches between each shot whether on the range or in the field.  Since my breech plug just has about a 1/4 inch hole all the say through to the nipple I just may begin to use Cayugads procedure of firing a cap with a patch and ramrod in the barrel to clean that channel.  Because I use powder, that 1/4 inch channel is filled with powder and I cannot clean that channel out without removing the breech plug.   In your case I certainly would suspect those pellets as the culprit.


Edited by PA RIDGE RUNNER, 25 December 2012 - 07:06 AM.

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#7 cayugad

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Posted 25 December 2012 - 07:40 PM

When I shoot pellets..  I shoot Pyrodex pellets.  While they foul more so then other powders, the fouling is soft.  And I swab between shots so that comes right out.  On their ignition end, they are coated with black powder and they are the easiest of all pellets to ignite.  Also of all the pellets they are the least effected by moisture.  For instance, the American Pioneer and Jim Shockey Gold Sticks..  forget them.  Did you know, you're supposed to crush them sticks before you put the projecitle on them?  What is the advantage of the sticks then?

 

Pyrodex pellets of all the pellets gives me the best accuracy, and the best shot to shot consistency.  One of the best groups I ever shot was with two Pyrodex RS pellets and a Barnes 250 grain MZ Expander.  I still have that target because I am sure I will never shoot three shots into the same hole again in my life.

 

Triple Seven pellets also give my rifles a terrible crud ring.  But after that last box of them and their PFFST!  and snap pops..  they are off my Christmas list.  But then your experience might vary.


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