Traditions DeerHunter Breech plug removal ? How?

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Jun 19, 2013
North Carolina, USA
Today I acquired a used Traditions DeerHunter R 50cal Percussion rifle. Twenty years ago the owner fired it a few times and put it away without cleaning the bore. As a result, there is significant rust spotting throughout the bore. I was going to unscrew the breech plug and clean the bore with a bronze brush but I cannot get the breech plug to budge. Currently, the barrel is clamped in a vise, pointing down and I am letting some penetrating oil soak, hopefully, into the breech plug threads. I also dropped some penetrating oil into the bore in an attempt to penetrate the breech plug's threads from that direction.

However, I have never removed one of these breech plugs and I want to be sure that it is actually designed to removable and which direction I turn a wrench to remove it - clockwise or counter-clockwise.

I notice that all of the Traditions documentation shows the barrel delivered with the breech plug already installed and no mention of its removal.

Any help appreciated.


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The drum will have to come out first, but they don't want you doing it.
I would put a "witness mark" some where out of sight so as you can get it back exactly right.
Always thought if man put it together it will come apart but never easily!
the drum or touch hole, is cross threaded through the breech plug. many traditions and cva guns were ruined by trying to remove breech plugs. even if you remove the drum and get the breech plug out, they are next to impossible to put back together right. Personally, i have done a lot of black powder gunsmithing, and i would not pull one unless i was going to write the barrel off as total junk
Plus you are more than likely to seriously mar the plug or bbl in the process.

Might I suggest you simplify your problem and cast an in bore lead lap and use that to freshen that bore. Quite simple, use an old bronze brush, plugged in front with a piece of rag and inserted into the bore to the threaded portion. Pour molten lead into that bore and when it hardens pull it PARTLY out and score the sides of that lap to hold a good compound. Done it with valve grinding compound with good results, but some of the non embedding stuff from Brownells is likely a better call.

Do it even halfway right and you'll note a massive improvement to that bbl........and save yourself a lotta hassle....
Everyone, thanks for the tips. I'll leave the breech plug and drum alone and try to tackle it all through the muzzle.

Before I try lapping I'll see what a brush and rust solvent will do. I also found some good tips at the link below. The electrolysis method sounds interesting.

Externally, the Rifle looks sharp so if all else fails I'll still have a nice wall hanger.
UPDATE: Using a bronze bristle brush I cleaned the heck out of the bore - rusty brown color is what sprayed out with each extraction/repeat. Cleaning and then drying with dry patches followed. The bore looked better but still had lost of raised rust spots spread liberally through the bore. Next I carefully ran numerous patches dampened with OSPHO. I left that overnight to dry. Today I ran a dry bronze brush through the bore, many times, to remove the gray powder left by the OSPHO.

The bore is considerably better but has a lot of pitting. At this point I am willing to shoot it.

Using the endoscope I think that some rust spots remain, especially near the bottom, so I'm considering another OSPHO run - or maybe I'll just shoot it out.

I've attached a picture of the bore near the breech as well as an overview of the rifle. Externally, it is very nice.


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Many muzzle loading riles shoot just fine with a pitted bore. Clean it good as you can and go and shoot it. If accuracy is not to your liking and you have a bunch of "blown" or tattered patches, try a "half measure" of cream of wheat cereal under the patched round ball. Not only will this clean the last of the rust from the bore but seal any leaks that might squeak by in the pitted areas of the bore. I have a .50 Pyro-Cr@p pitted bore, Traditions Hawkens that will shoot clover-leafs at 50 yards with 70 grains of Goex FFg and 40 grains of COW with whole sections showing no rifling whatever. Without the COW, it can hardly hit the backstop. No need to give up on a perfectly fine gun just because the bore is a bit rough.
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