Kicker charges


February 3, 2003, 05:03 PM
Does anyone use kicker charges in their rifles or muskets? A 10gr FFFg kicker under a Pyrodex main charge for instance? If so, any noticeable change to ignition time?
While shooting up a half can of pyrodex over the weekend, I ran out and went to my backup Remington flask of FFFg. I'd forgotten how easy it is to ignite "real" blackpowder compared to Pyrodex! Using #11's I get terrible hangfires after about 15 unswabbed shots with Pyrodex, but switching to a finer granulation, and to real BP cuts the hangfires to nil.

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February 4, 2003, 09:58 AM
Yeah, when shooting a flintlock I use a 9mm shell worth of 3F underneath the main charge of Pyrodex. It goes off almost every time that way. BP is much easier to ignite than Pyrodex. In caplocks I didn't think there was much problem. I used a .54 Hawken caplock and it went off with boring reliability with No. 11 caps. That's what got me into flint - the challenge!

In the caplock did you unscrew your cleanout in the drum and pump hot water thru the bbl when cleaning? I did that every time and the gun stayed reliable and you should see the black residue that comes out into the bucket! :uhoh:

February 4, 2003, 12:57 PM
It's an older T/C Grey Hawk (built like the New Englander series), so there is no cleanout screw, and no way to remove any portion of the breech or the drum. I can do that on my dad's Traditions, but not on my Grey Hawk. When I clean, I toss the breech in a bucket or tub, and pump hot soapy water using a tight patch. It cleans out quite well. A jet of residue squirts out through the nipple. I never use a full water cleaning at the range, as the design of the breech makes it very hard to get every last bit of water out unless I let it sit for hours. At the range, I simply dry brush the barrel. Occassionally I'll use a damp patch.
I can only get about 4 rounds through with blackpowder before the barrel is too tight to seat minies, and about 10+rds before Pyrodex starts causing hangfires. No swabbing, dry or wet for those figures. Blackpowder has never gotten to the misfire stage, and I doubt it really every does. It's very easy to get Pyrodex to hangfire in my rifle, even on dry days.

February 4, 2003, 01:32 PM
I unscrewed the nipple and the cleanout, stuck the breech into a bucket of hot soapy water and used the ramrod with brass jag and patch to pump water almost out the muzzle. There is a lot of charcoal looking stuff that comes out of the bbl. Then, I take the bbl and stick it in the oven (maybe 300F) for a few minutes. If the bbl is already hot from the water it will dry itself in a couple minutes anyway if you put it in the corner muzzle down. Then you run a patch with CLP down the bore to preserve it and it's clean as brand new.

February 4, 2003, 01:35 PM
Poodleshooter, I also meant to say that I kept an aluminum shotgun rod with me at the range with a 12 gauge brush on it. Every few shots, run the brush down the bore (this was .54). Tip the bbl down and you'll get about a teaspoon :eek: of residue from the blackpowder or pyrodex. No wonder the bores get tight after only a few shots! :eek:

February 5, 2003, 10:43 AM
I haven't fired it yet, but I have a Lyman Trade Rifle in .50 Flintlock. Hogdgon's recommended a small charge of 4Fg (5 grains) under the main Pyrodex RS charge, and also use 4Fg in the frizzen [flash pan]

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