How often do you unload?

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bigbadben

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Hi all,

I've hunted with an in-line for a while, but am switching over to a 54-cal percussion which I hope to use for all my muzzleloader hunting from here on out.

I'm wondering how often you unload your guns during the hunting season? With an in-line with a 209 primer I never really worried about it. I figured that big shotgun primer would have enough oomph to touch off the powder, so I would often go 4-5 days hunting without unloading and recharging the gun.

Would you do that with a traditional? I'll be shooting probably 2f Goex powder with #11 percussion caps. Is it important to unload at the end of each day and then start fresh the next? Things can get pretty damp up here in the north where I do much of my hunting.

Thanks,

Ben
 

oletymepreacher

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With proper care, daily unloading is not necessary. I like to unload my rifle into the side of a deer, elk or whatever I am hunting. With a percussion rifle, covering the muzzle with tape keeps out the moisture. Removing the cap at the end of the day when in camp, and a piece of tape over the nipple, hammer down will finish the job.

With the flinter, tape over the muzzle, and sealing the pan with beeswax will keep your rifle shooting.
 

paulvallandigham

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Try to avoid condensation of any moisture that is in the barrel ( Under the tape) by leaving the gun out of heated buildings over night. I think if you put a piece of plastic wrap over the barrel BEFORE you seat the Patch and Round ball, cutting the plastic off at the muzzle after the PRB is seated in the muzzle with your short starter, the plastic will protect the powder charge from amy migration of moisture from the front of the barrel. I also recommend running a greased cleaning patch down the barrel after the PRB is seated, as this will protect the bore from rusting during the hunt. YOu can also seal the percussion Nipple, by putting a piece of plastic over the nipple before seating the cap on it.

As for flintlocks, I think soaking a cleaning patch in alcohol, and putting half of it in the pan( sans priming powder) and let the other half fold up at a 90 degree angle to cover the vent hole, and lie against the side of the barrel when the frizzen is closed, will allow the evaporating alcohol to draw any moisture from the powder. This method does require you to prime just before you shoot, but in rainy weather, it seems to work the best at keeping the powder charge dry.

If its just cold and damp, try to seal the barrel/frizzen junction with a bead of grease, or wax, after putting the priming powder in the pan. Then tuck the lock under a poncho or in your armpit, to keep it dry.

Expect condensation under the flint, as well as on the top. Dry both surfaces before cocking the hammer back for your shot. I had a misfire on a wild boar because I didn't even consider that moisture would condense on the bottom of my flint.
 

BrownBear

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I do it every evening. It's just not a big deal with a CO2 discharger.

We wait all year long for deer season, then maybe wait decades for a shot at a real trophy. Why take a chance? Saving two minutes and 50 cents a day is penny wise and pound foolish in my book.
 

laufer

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every night and load again w/ new powder every morning. no chances w/ bad powder or cap or flint taken on my part since i had one bad experience when it went pufffff and did not ignite the main charge.
 

Robert Egler

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I leave my flintlock charged, but dump the prime at the end of the day, if I'll be hunting the next day. Maximum 3 days hunting, then I'll discharge the load at the end of the day. As long as I use new prime each morning (not an issue for you using percussion) I've never had a problem. Yet, anyway :wink:
 

Vaino

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On a few Colorado MLer elk hunts in Sept. we hunted in 6-7 days of rain out of a 9 day season and the rain varied from a drizzle to downpours and we put in 12 hour days. Usually around the 5th day we went back to camp around noon and emptied the load of our caplocks and never had one misfire in spite of all the rain. Of course, if a shot is fired before then, the gun is cleaned that night and a fresh load put in. Tape on the muzzle is a good idea, especially in a downpour and a snug fitting cap ensures reliable ignition.....Fred
 

roundball

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After every hunt...only takes minutes...I either pull the load or blow it out with compressed air...wipe the bore, let the Flintlock warm up and dry out inside the warm house, then load fresh the next morning, etc
 

longcruise

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Leave mine loaded from start to finish or shot at game. Have never misfired.

Once loaded the first week of September and killed an antelope with that same load first week of October.

Once intentionally left the rifle loaded for four months and it went of without a hitch and delivered the shot to poa.
 

laufer

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till last year i did the same, never have had a problem w/ gpr, always fired, but after the last year's misssssfire- no mas.
 

FV Rago

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Okay, here is why I unload.

Packed up into the Chattahooche Nat'l forest one cold Dec. morning. Hunted, then we made camp. Did not want to unload, so I just pulled the nipple and put a piece of leather over it and dropped the hammer.

It got real cold, so I pulled the rifle, next to me like back in bootcamp.

Next day, put a new cap on and went hunting.

Sitting there, had a spike and a doe playing games in and out of a thicket. He would come out, I pull the hammer back, he would jump back in.

After a few times, I switched it up. He is in the thickets, I pulled the hammer back, he jumped out, perfect shot. Cllllllllliiiiiiick!

Cap went off.

Deer run away.

I start pulling the nipple and putting some powder in, halfway through, look to my right, about 6' away, an 8 point buck is standing there, just watching me. He's looking at me, I look at him, he turns AND WALKS AWAY! Not even a respectful bound, a sache walk away.

When it's cold, when I camp out, I pull the ball and a quick swab.


By the way, the gun was a 50 cal. GPR that never before, and has never since, misfired.
 

trent

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its good to be safe. i feel if u shoot your gun to often to unload your also taking a chance of loosing accuracy, so you need to clean it and that can be a hazard as well, if you dont get all the moister out. so what i do is leave it loaded and leave it outside covered up all season, bringing it in and out can cause moister build up. but i also will take the nipple off and put a little triple f to make sure it will fire. i do that every time i go out, ive never had a missfire doing that.ps all i shoot is caps.flints might be different.
 

kevthebassman

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With my percussion gun, I just left it in the garage so it wouldn't condense.... went boom after 4 days of that. Now that I'm hunting with a flinter and own a CO2 discharger, I imagine I'll blow my charge out at the end of each day just for my own satisfaction.
 
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I use a felt over-powder then PRB and use just a little wax on the nipple. also run greaed patch in-out after loading. unless it gets really wet (downpour) I leave it loaded. when rain is bad I shoot the load out (never had misfire) dry patch till fairly clean and re-load.
 

longcruise

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It got real cold, so I pulled the rifle, next to me like back in bootcamp.
Maybe that contributed to the problem? And, maybe not.

The only time I've had problems with misfires in any of my cap guns had to do with moisture or oil, etc., in the chamber area when loading the original charge. That has never happened on a hunt since I go through a thourough drying sequence with alcohol and dry patches at least four hours before loading it to be sure the alcohol is evaporated completely. I use denatured alcohol because it has no water content.
 

laufer

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i've carried my gpr through rain and snow, cap on, rain cap over it (shortened 9mm case), never failed to boom until last year when i needed it the most. now i practice cleaning every night, no matter how tired i am.
 

Little Wattsy

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For those of you that do NOT unload every day, have you had ANY rust issues associated with BP and blued steel?
 

paulvallandigham

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Only when I foolishly use a spit patch for my round ball one day, and didn't shoot it out until about 10 yours later. I had a rust ring right where the ball seated. Spit is a great patch lube on the range, where you will be firing the gun long before the spit can evaporate. Its isn't so good a patch lube when you are hunting all day. I have switched to using non-petroleum oils and grease, excepting that I am now testing Ballistol in my rifle.
 

longcruise

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The corrosive nature of BP does not manifest itself until it has been burned or if is wet.
 

PreglerD

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In Germany reloading of a firearm, also ML, after before leaving the hunting area is a must by law. So no choice for me to avoid a conflict with the law. I deload by shooting, we say mexican deloading!

Regards

Kirrmeister
 
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