.32 Traditions Debacle

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

Rob in NC

32 Cal.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
First post and a bit long winded perhaps. I've read the rules and afterward seeing no discussion on muzzle loaders outside traditional ones, I'm curious if I'll be eaten alive here by those far more serious than I, but here goes...

Lifelong shooter but not long into muzzle loading. Got one modern muzzle loader that I've shot a little bit and got a small percussion pistol of unknown origin that I've tinkered with, but the allure of a .32 muzzle loader always had me so when I saw them on clearance online, I picked one up.

After a few days of fitting the parts, disassembly, bluing, finishing stock, etc.. I put it back together and was rewarded with a stunning looking little gun. The next day, fired off a primer to test and dirty it a bit and then I loaded 20gr of Pyrodex P and just used a cleaning square as a patch and loaded a hand cast .310 ball. Had my target out at 25 yards and POP!... No boom. Waited a bit, fired another cap. Pop. And another... Pop. Having never fired a .32 before, I wondered if perhaps it actually did go off and I just didnt know. So I waited a bit then used a brass brush to see if I could catch a little of the patch in the barrel to tell me. Hurriedly screwed the brush on and rammed it down the barrel and twisted and pulled out the rod with no brush.

Put the rod back in and tried to thread it, only to find that I had used the wrong brush and the threads were too small to properly be secured on the rod. So I now have a powder charge (I think, pretty sure) a ball and a brush stuck in my barrel. I used an old carbon arrow shaft and hoped the threads on the insert was the same as the brush and tried that. No luck. Same threads.

At this point, I poured some penetrating oil in the barrel to try to kill the powder at least if there was any in there.

So after a bit of pondering, I whipped up a little JB weld and put it inside the threads on the arrow shaft and pushed it down in and waited.

It's here that I started perusing for info online and eventually came to this site and registered... had I not been so impatient, I would have had my answer a bit sooner.

So the next morning I go out and pull the shaft out... and yep. You guessed it. I pulled out the insert from the arrow shaft. So now I have a charge, ball, brush, and a jb welded arrow insert all in my barrel. So what to do but whip up another batch of JB Weld and put it on the inside of the arrow shaft and push it back in.

After that cured in the evening, I finally got the brush out!

It was getting dark so I hit Google again in search of answers and saw where some folks had used an air compressor.

Next day, I used a small section of icemaker tubing that fit just about perfect over the nipple on the gun and pushed it on the other end of a blower attachment for the compressor... 90psi and nothing. 110psi and out came the ball and charge!!

So now that's clear, but why didnt it fire?

In trying to clean out the nipple area, I found no route to the barrel. Upon closer inspection I saw where that the hole was not drilled proper and machining bits were pushed over the hole. I carefully picked them away and filed at the edged with a needle file. After a good cleaning, I could blow in the nipple (chuckle) and was clear going out the barrel. But it was dark again.

So today I get home and I double checked everything and loaded a charge... set up my target out at 25 yards and was happy to hear a boom! First shot was a touch low. After having heard of some needing to file down the front sight, I purposefully used a very fine bead. Wiped down the barrel and tried another shot. ...wipe and another. My quick 3 shot group wasnt great. Wasnt even good, in fact, but could near fit in the bottom of a coke can. Hard to tell with a group that large if I'll need to tap over my rear sight at this point. I figure with a little practice and some experimenting with patches (I have some .018 lubed wonder ticking on order to start with) that I should be able to shrink that to an acceptable level.

All in all, after the humorous (looking back) issues I had getting it going, I'm pretty happy with the gun. Not sure what advice I may need at this time, but posting mainly to draw chatter, allow yall to laugh at my expense on my obvious noob mistakes and perhaps help out anyone else who may be searching for info on .32 muzzle loaders.
 
Joined
Jan 31, 2009
Messages
10,143
Reaction score
3,290
Please clean and clean until all the pyrodex residue is long gone.
Once I didn't, but only once.
And still I mourn the loss.

Congrads on the .32 shooter.
May you have many fun filled days!
:applause:
 

Rob in NC

32 Cal.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Thank you, sir. Might you elaborate? I thought I had researched the Pyrodex P as being of choice for small caliber muzzle loaders and pistols.

Not being argumentative, of course, and I do see that most here use FFF but curious as to why the comment.

I have only shot it a handful of times, but I'll shoot, then two dry patches... shoot again.. and then when I finished, I used bore cleaner for a few patches, then a couple of dry patches and finally a patch with a little oil.

Am I going in the right direction with my newly started routine with this rifle?
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Messages
5,277
Reaction score
1,327
Location
Mascoutah, IL
Sounds like it. It's a good habit to get in to check it the day after you clean and ever so often to make sure you aren't in for some nasty rust surprises later on.
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
8,031
Reaction score
2,302
Location
Northern AZ
NEVER push a dry patch into a dirty barrel. The most usually stay there.

Use search and read up on cleaning methods.

heres my method: Use warm tap water with a drop or two of dish soap. I cut the top off a 2 litre pop bottle and use the bottom. Remove nipple (and clean out screw on side, some say never I say every time). Stick the nipple end in the water and pour a cup of water down the barrel. Grab a cleaning patch and use your jag to pump up and down all the ay down and all the way up . Change patches and repeat. Refill with clean water and repeat. Yer patch should be clean and white now. I blow down the barrel, some dont. Now dry patches in your clean barrel till DRY. WD-40 on a dry patch up and down a few times. Dry patch. Now oil on a clean patch up and down a few times and yer done with the barrel. I have the nipple and clean out screw soaking while doing the barrel. Now use a brush (old tooth brush works) and clean the threads etc well. DRY BOTH and oil. Q-tips will clean the nipple area. Pipe cleaner for the breach area. DRY DRY DRY. Touch or gorilla grease, anti seize, ore butter or what have you and re assemble. Next day dry patch down the barrel, if clean and white yer done. Rust? Repeat but repeat DRY DRY DRY DRY DRY several times then light oil.

If ya stick a brush again get some brass tubing just a tad smaller than bore and push down over the bristles and remove (95% here say dont use a brush)

Welcome and enjoy!
 

Rob in NC

32 Cal.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the tips on cleaning, sir. Will ensure that I dont bring out the muzzle loaders until I have plenty of time for cleaning afterwards..haha.
I think based off what I've read elsewhere and what I've been told here, there are several methods, but the key to all is keep clean and keep dry. Noted and stored away in memory.
I did read about the brass tubing trick after I'd already gotten it out... but thinking I'll just forego the brass brushes anyway. Never did like using them.
 

Jimbo47

40 Cal.
Joined
Oct 20, 2006
Messages
194
Reaction score
6
Once you get a system down it's a breeze to clean your rifle, but you have to be make time for it, just as you make time to shoot it.
Once I put the rifle away I then have a nice fuzzy feeling.
 

rodwha

58 Cal.
Joined
Oct 2, 2011
Messages
2,997
Reaction score
401
Location
Lakeway, TX
Pyrodex is more corrosive than BP. But if you clean it well and don’t allow it to sit it’s not an ordeal (I found out the hard way).

I don’t care for the fouling Pyrodex leaves in my revolvers but I didn’t care so much with my muzzleloader. It’s not my thing but it works just fine.

As an aside if you wanna her find you cannot clean your gun soon after shooting you can saturate the fouling with oil to keep it from corroding. I like Ballistol.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2015
Messages
4,272
Reaction score
2,242
When I fire a primer on my percussion rifles or pistols, I hold the barrel muzzle an inch or two in front of some grass or leaves and watch to see that they move. Often it will even shred it a little. That lets me know the nipple and channel to the barrel are clear. Seldom have I had a problem with the first charge going off in over 40 years of shooting these things if I've done that first.

I also use oil very sparingly on the patch when I lube the barrel after cleaning. Many here also store their guns muzzle down to keep any extra oil from accumulating in the bottom of the barrel or in the patent breech if the gun has one.
 

Rob in NC

32 Cal.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Thanks all for the advice and tips. I should have checked functionality proper beforehand, but of course was all excited to take that first shot.

The rough machining on the inside where the nipple goes turned out to be the initial culprit and that's squared up. I use an o ring pic along with a proper nipple pick now to make sure all is cleared.

Was hit up by a member here who is close by so will be nice to have someone close by who is more knowledgeable as well.

Looking forward to the testing phase to see what load, patch, etc will give me the best accuracy out of it.
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
9,772
Reaction score
8,730
Location
St. Louis, MO
When you are shooting a muzzleloading rifle, the best propellant is black powder?. For your 32 that would be 3fg. Now that I got that out of the way, lets get down to being helpful.

Black powder can be very difficult to find locally so a black powder substitute can be used. Pyrodex was developed a volume substitute for black powder. You will need a volume measure when loading with Pyrodex or any other substitute such as Triple Seven. These as not as dense as black powder and a grain weight measure of Pyrodex will be about 10% more powerful than black powder.

Next take your files and drift pins and put them aside. Don't even think about using them until you have a powder, lubricant,patch and ball load that is grouping. You new rifle needs smoothing of the lands. And you need to get familiar with your rifle. It can take about 200 shots to get your barrel grouping and ready for sight adjustment.

While substitute black powders don't leave the fouling associated with black powder, what is left in the bore is very corrosive. After shooting, your rifle must be cleaned of all fouling and oiled. Before shooting again, wipe the bore with an alcohol dampened patch to remove the oil.

Welcome to the very enjoyable pass time of shooting traditional muzzle loading rifles.
 

Rob in NC

32 Cal.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Thank you, sir.

Advice well taken and I've given the same to shooters of platforms other than black powder. I think often we all tend to think that experience will translate over and some parts of it does, others does not.

I did get in some proper patches today, .018 pillow ticking, lubed and I shot a group with the .32. 5 shots at 25 yards and aside from a called flyer, I'm happy with the group. It's a touch low, but I've used a very fine bead and I think that I'm good on windage for now. Would have been 4 dead squirrels anyway... 5 if one was facing left..haha.

Having a ball so far and as you implied, I'm not inclined to mess with adjustments just yet until I've gotten squared up with the feel of the gun and allow it to break in proper.

I'm still torn on the pyrodex v blackpowder issue. At present, aside from a very small amount of BP, the pyrodex P is all I have and as it's doing well for me, I'm inclined to use it. As I understand, the benefits are that it 'may' foul less, but the residuals are more corrosive and so I must be careful with cleaning. I can handle that for now.

All said, I'm enjoying my little .32 and have a 'play date' set with a like minded person close to me that will get to go shoot with this weekend weather permitting so looking forward to that.

Again, thanks all for the advice.
 

Tinker2

54 Cal.
Joined
Jun 14, 2005
Messages
1,943
Reaction score
11
Welcome to the forum.

And thanks for the good story :pop:




William Alexander
 

Blackfingers

40 Cal.
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
380
Reaction score
11
Location
North Tonawanda, NY
Hi Rob, just a few words of encouragement, I too have a Crockett Rifle, it's a hoot but requires a little TLC as opposed to larger bore guns. First, go with fffg Black powder, personally, I hate Pyrodex and all substitutes. Second, keep a few cleaning patches in your cheek as you would with snuff, they come in handy in the woods, keeps one from fumbling in the bag for one. Third, a slotted patch holder is KEY to swiping the bore while in the woods, go with .30 or smaller caliber, remember, you're only "clearing the deck" not cleaning the bore, do that at home after tending to the squirrels you caught. Match your tools to the rammer, sounds silly but all should be either 8x32 or 10x32. I learned that the hard way LOL! Have fun, it's what it's all about!!! BF :hatsoff:
 

Rob in NC

32 Cal.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Be nice if I could find blackpowder around here...haha.... i've got the pyrodex p for now and so will use that up till I find some bp.
as for the wads in the mouth, if I do that, where do I put my chew? haha

Made an order today for some proper tools for the .32 that should make things a bit more enjoyable. Figure I have all summer to tinker and get used to it before tagging a rat with it.
Was shooting it today with a new buddy (on this forum, too!) and we were doing well with it but as the day went on, accuracy started to suffer a bit. Thinking it needed a good clean and so I did that this evening.
We both noted that the blackpowder he was using (tried some in my gun as well) was FAR cleaner than the pyrodex I had. I thought the pyrodex was supposed to burn cleaner, but noooo.... patches came out looking pure black.
Been fun and even moreso with shooting with a buddy who has a .32 as well
 
Joined
Apr 21, 2012
Messages
5,277
Reaction score
1,327
Location
Mascoutah, IL
Sounds like a good shooter. Gotta just find that one thing that is affecting the flier. I have a Deerhunter too. Mine isn't a great shooter either but not bad. I've never taken the time with it to see what works best.
 

Rob in NC

32 Cal.
Joined
Apr 30, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Thank you, sir... checked em out... may have to bite that bullet. I see 5lb is min order from what I can tell. That'll do me literally a lifetime, I'd reckon.
 
Top