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How long do you leave your ML loaded?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Redlg155, Sep 28, 2003.

  1. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    I saw this question on a different forum and thought I would ask it here.

    Just how long do you leave your ML loaded?

    If I'm hunting the weeked I'll unload it after the hunt. Usually 3 days max and I'll fire it. I've had freinds keep theirs loaded the entire season. Still I know that many folks unload after each days hunt. I remember hunting BP at Ft Sill and having the woods sound like a mini battle from all the folks firing out the charge at sunset.

    So just how long do you trust it to go "bang!" everytime?

    Good Shooting
  2. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Well ..... I HATE cleaning BP weapons and so ...... almost to same extent, hate keeping them loaded up.

    I would from choice ''pull'' the bullet and empty out the charge ... and clean up ...... that in preference to firing off only to have the whole deal of a clean up.

    If only the damn propellant was not so corrosive!!:p
  3. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Well-Known Member

    777 seems to hold some promise in this department. I plan on going on a Sambar deer/Hog hunt this November so there is a very good chance I'll at least get a hog. That leaves me with having to clean in the field since you have to boat to the island and I'll be camping there for four days.

    It's supposed to clean up with just water. It better...I just paid 35 bucks for a box of 100 pellets.

    Good Shooting
  4. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

    If the barrel is clean (that is, cleaned after shooting) and the gun is loaded then and stored in dry condition that is stable, why you can keep it indefinitely. Black powder doesn't decay. Not a good idea though for obvious reasons of safety.
  5. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Emphasis there tho gary on the ''dry'' ......... what always bothers me is that the saltpeter is hygroscopic .. and if humid or generally damp then strikes me as difficult to know for sure what's going on the breech!

    Guess has to be decided according to conditions. I remember way back when I shot long range cap and ball revo .... having two or three FTF's in each of two cylinders on a very damp drizzly day ...... they were loaded that morning before going to actual range and then kept as dry as possible but .... still had probs!
  6. scotjute

    scotjute Well-Known Member

    I've gone up to 3 days. No problems firing with black powder, both in revolver and rifle. I would think tight nipple fit is most important, for if the powder gets damp at nipple, then the load would be very difficult to ignite.
    Protection of the gun from falling moisture thru some sort of rifle sheath or flap-over holster would also be helpful.
  7. Redhawk1

    Redhawk1 Well-Known Member

    That's what makes my Encore and Knight so good. I just pull the breach plug and drop out the pellets and push the bullet through. :)
  8. kentucky bucky

    kentucky bucky Well-Known Member

    I've hunted for days with percussion guns in dry weather with no problems flintlock guns are a bit more persnickity, but I'm sure in both cases the threat of a flash in the pan are not nearly as great as my little old paranoid self perceives. It depends on weather conditions, and treatment by the carrier. I'm sure the old timers knew how to make their guns more dependable than us, seeing as how their lives depended on it on a daily basis. A friend of mine nearly got his head blown off by an "unloaded" hawken type rifle that had been laying in a closet for years. Some dumba** that he was with decided to "blow the cobwebs out" with a cap and sent a .50 cal RB into the wall about 2 feet from his head. :what:
  9. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    I was always paranoid about this. In fact I am paranoid about a lot of aspects of blackpowder hunting.
    After I clean my MLs I put a good coat of bore butter in them to prevent rust. Since I clean using boiling water, this usually results in the bore butter melting and will close off the flash hole. So, before loading for a hunt I always load about 25 grains of powder and fire caps until the powder ignites to make sure everything is a go. At this point I am 99% certain that my rifle will fire. So, once I load, I leave it loaded for the rest of the season. I have left it loaded for I believe about 10 days once and it fired fine on the 10th day. I have left it loaded for a week several times.
    As far as I know this didn't cause any problems. I also don't bring the rifle in the house during the hunt; I don't want to go from cold to warm and from warm to cold and possibly get condensation in the bore. When deer hunting in Ohio, I leave the rifle in my dad's unheated garage. When I was elk hunting in Colorado I left the rifle in my truck.
    By the way, I use regular Goex blackpowder. I was kind of worried about my bullet lube soaking into the powder, but I figured if I kept the rifle cold, this wouldn't be as much of an issue.
    I always wondered: back in the day when the muzzleloader was the state of the art, I wonder how long they left their guns loaded. I assume that a significant number of people left them loaded for self defense etc. I also assume that many people didn't want to waste precious powder by firing it every day.
  10. zahc

    zahc Well-Known Member

    I use goex blackpowder and bore butter with a patched round ball. I leave it loaded for days at a time, and cleaning is just a non-issue.

    My cleaning routine is such that I dread shooting centerfire rifles because of the cleaning. I only clean my muzzleloader once a year. Black powder+bore butter=easy. The way it is supposed to be done, the only way it works like it should.
  11. clint1911a1

    clint1911a1 Well-Known Member

    I used to be a Civil War reenactor, carried an 1861 Springfield through rain, sleet, snow, heat, cold, thunderstorm, etc. Never once had the first misfire.
    Could have something to do with the big, burly musket sized caps giving hotter ignition than #11's.
  12. clint1911a1

    clint1911a1 Well-Known Member

    Kentucky Bucky

    What about that?...a fellow Eastern Kentuckian.:cool:

    No place like the land of Boone.

    Blackpowder season coming up, huh friend.
  13. G. Glock

    G. Glock Well-Known Member

    I think you've got something there with the big musket cap. After being a Hawken person for twenty years ( still like them), I switched to a nice Enfield .58 caliber. EAsier to load, clean, shoot, everything. I love it. Fewer problems of any kind.

    If I hunted, this would be the rifle I climb into the tree stand with.
  14. clint1911a1

    clint1911a1 Well-Known Member

    I can relate

    I have to agree G Glock. I also have a Hawken which just recently I converted to Musket nipple. Experiencing much fewer problems though still nowhere near as reliable as my old '61 Springfield. I also like the Enfield just as well. Matter of fact, the Enfields seem to balance better as I've had the pleasure in handling and firing several belonging to my comrades-in-arms. I also have to agree with you on the big .58 cal. muskets in general.
    There's just something about them that makes them more dependable, solid, reliable, utility rifles, not to mention the rich history.;)

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