Be careful with unknown hardware.

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New member to this forum and really getting great information and unvarnished opinions !

I wanted to pass the following on since it caught me by surprise.

Recently I purchased a used 50 cal barrel from an unknown source online. It arrived and I started to fit it to my stalk and decided to give it a good cleaning. Pouring boiled water down the barrel revealed a blockage since no water was coming out the nipple. Took my ball puller and pulled out a maxi ball and a big clump of powder (probably 70 grains). Looks to have been in the barrel for years. Moral of the story, be careful out there!
 
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The presence of a long-forgotten load in a muzzleloading firearm is not that uncommon. It is a common admonition to check an unknown muzzleloader for the presence of some bore obstruction such as a previous load, wasp nests, old hiding place for something that can be rolled up and stuck in the barrel.

@Bob K, thanks for the reminder.
 
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New member to this forum and really getting great information and unvarnished opinions !

I wanted to pass the following on since it caught me by surprise.

Recently I purchased a used 50 cal barrel from an unknown source online. It arrived and I started to fit it to my stalk and decided to give it a good cleaning. Pouring boiled water down the barrel revealed a blockage since no water was coming out the nipple. Took my ball puller and pulled out a maxi ball and a big clump of powder (probably 70 grains). Looks to have been in the barrel for years. Moral of the story, be careful out there!
Not uncommon. Thanks for sharing.
Walk
 
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My buddy purchased several at a gun shop and they were loaded on the rack.
Yup … bought a flintlock w/ not 1, not 2, but 3 charges down the barrel! The agate flint was still in the lock. I presume the loads were Pyrodex that wouldn’t ignite …
so they loaded it AGAIN :doh: !
 

waarp8nt

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The obstruction doesn't have to be a load. I had T/C Renegade that was obstructed with a piece of cleaning patch. The used barrel came from a reputable online seller. The height of the ramrod let me know it wasn’t loaded, however it gave me no clue to a rag being in the patent breech plug. I loaded the rifle and took it to the woods with me. Decided to shoot the rifle on the way back to the house, but it didn't go off. Put on a new cap, but that didn't help either, pulled the nipple and trickled in some powder, reinstalled the nipple and a cap yet it still didn't fire. Once home, I pulled the ball and dumped the powder. Tried to blow air through the barrel, but no luck. I used the ball puller to remove a section of cleaning cloth left behind from the previous owner.
 

bubba.50

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I've bought two that were loaded, one at a local gun show the other off gunbroker. And a while back I bought I think it was 15 or 17 horns as a lot off of gunbroker. I've got a baby powder can half full from the 3f powder that was in one of them.
 

Notchy Bob

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I bought an old Springfield earlier this year. The seller reported the bore was "so full of crud we could only get a rod in about eight inches." It turned out the bore was stuffed with rags of some sort, some kind of frilly stuff like your grandma's table doily, or a city girl's underwear. Anyway, I got it all out of there with a strong rod and a gunworm, but it was a chore. I did find the gun was not loaded. Maybe the rags were put in there to keep somebody's kids from loading it. No telling.

Notchy Bob
 
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I recently bought a repro 1803 that came with a free .530 rb, 70 grains of ffg and they were even kind enough to include a lubed linen patch.

ochit.JPG
 
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