Triple 7 ignition problems

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Hi everybody,
Fairly new to muzzleloading. This will be my first year chasing elk with my Traditions Hawken Woodsman. Love this gun, but I'm having issues getting my hunting load down. Quick history, bought the thing, changed out to a musket nipple (since musket caps were the only thing I could get my hands on at the time) and started off shooting PRBs over Triple 7 FFG. Seems like it did fine the first few times at the range, but then I started having ignition problems where the cap would go off but the charge wouldn't. I would have to unscrew the nipple and put some powder in the drum, and then it would set the charge off fine. I switched to Pyrodex FFFG just because I thought a finer powder would help. Worked fine, and I began trying to get my No Excuses 460s to group. Tried 60, 70, and 80 grains. 70 grouped best, but it was still like a 3.5 inch group at 50 yards. Used my powder scale to try and tighten that up, didn't really help. Decided to try the T7 FFG and it grouped beautifully at 70 grains, but began misfiring again. I'm kind of lost on what my next step should be. Is it possible I just have a bad batch of T7? Do I start investigating my flash channel somehow? Anyone experience anything like this?
 

Eddie Southgate

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I have used T7 but have had no issues . I would avoid Pyrodex as it rusts worse than anything else you can use. Do you use a scraper to remove any fouling from the breech plug face when you clean ? I think that helps some with the ignition problems . Not all flash channels are as open as they should be . Might need to pull your nipple and clean the channel thoroughly every time you clean the barrel . I have one TC that needs that to function 100% .

Have you tried some 2F black ? I much prefer it to any of the subs in all my guns except one small bore that really likes the T7 . I bought a bunch of Pyrodex on sale @ $5 per pound but I just have it as a reserve incase the others become unavailable in the future.
 
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You did not mention what your loading, shooting, and cleaning regime is, it may be something in one of those that are giving you trouble, never had a problem with 7 in my cap guns, rifle or revolvers,
 

Frontier's

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Change out the nipple. #11 spitfire or the knight red hot.

A musket cap nipple would also be a big improvement.
 
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You did not mention what your loading, shooting, and cleaning regime is, it may be something in one of those that are giving you trouble, never had a problem with 7 in my cap guns, rifle or revolvers,
Loading regime: 70 grains T7. Tap barrel to work powder down to breech. 460 No Excuses pushed down barrel and seated in powder. A few extra taps with the rod to make sure it's seated. Musket cap on nipple. Bang.

Shooting regime: open sights. I do have marksman skills, know how to breathe and steady. Good groups when the T7 fires.

Cleaning regime: HOT water in bucket. Remove nipple. Remove barrel (hooked breach) plunge with wet patch all the way up and down the barrel several times, special attention to breech area. When no more powder is coming out of the drum, pour out hot water, refill bucket with hot water, repeat steps above making sure I have clear water. Pour water out of barrel. A few dry patches down the barrel until they come out dry. Blow compressed air through open nipple hole in drum for 30 secs, blow air down muzzle and out open nipple hole for 30 seconds. Then again from nipple hole out muzzle. Once I feel confident it is bone dry, I use give the inside of the barrel a coating with Hoppes 9. Nipple is washed separately in hot water, put a nipple pick through the hole to make sure there are no obstructions. Air dry with compressed air. Let sit for a while to dry completely. Replace nipple. Store with muzzle pointing down.
 

ord sgt

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Before you load any powder, take time to snap caps on an empty barrel. One cap with the barrel pointed down range, then another cap with the barrel pointed toward the ground. This will clear any possible obstructions from the flash channel. This is a standard with any percussion type firearm. I snap caps first with all of my caplock rifles. I use black powder only. Tried Pyrodex once. But went 100% black.
 

necchi

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I used T72F almost exclusively for many years along with my son and his Traditions St Louis Hawken (almost the same gun you have) with Knight Redhot nipples and RWS caps.
Those flash channels can be finicky, they have to be clean and dry, they can foul easily and quickly if there is any remaining storage oils.
I always use a denatured alcohol flush and dry before shooting.
Musket caps aren't "hotter", they just have more volume and with that more garbage/fouling. I never saw them as an improvement but I understand the current shortages.
An Elk hunt is pretty serious,, When I'd load the guns for our local bear and deer hunts I'd always remove the nipple and do as your doing with a mis-fire only right away. Load the powder, slap the rifle near the breech to settle the charge, load the projectile,, then,, remove the nipple and trickle a little T7 in the drum under the nipple making sure the channel was full and replace the clean/dry nipple.
The extra trickled powder didn't change the groupings at all.

If I where you, I'd practice load development at the range doing just that. It'll take a little more time for each load, but you'll get ignition. just be sure the nipple is clear (look for light through the hole) each time when shooting multiple rounds.
Sure it sounds like a PITA, but it all has to do with what your working with.
I would NOT use the Pyrodex.

p.s. When you changed to the musket nipple,, did you adjust the hammer cup for a full on strike?
 
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I used T72F almost exclusively for many years along with my son and his Traditions St Louis Hawken (almost the same gun you have) with Knight Redhot nipples and RWS caps.
Those flash channels can be finicky, they have to be clean and dry, they can foul easily and quickly if there is any remaining storage oils.
I always use a denatured alcohol flush and dry before shooting.
Musket caps aren't "hotter", they just have more volume and with that more garbage/fouling. I never saw them as an improvement but I understand the current shortages.
An Elk hunt is pretty serious,, When I'd load the guns for our local bear and deer hunts I'd always remove the nipple and do as your doing with a mis-fire only right away. Load the powder, slap the rifle near the breech to settle the charge, load the projectile,, then,, remove the nipple and trickle a little T7 in the drum under the nipple making sure the channel was full and replace the clean/dry nipple.
The extra trickled powder didn't change the groupings at all.

If I where you, I'd practice load development at the range doing just that. It'll take a little more time for each load, but you'll get ignition. just be sure the nipple is clear (look for light through the hole) each time when shooting multiple rounds.
Sure it sounds like a PITA, but it all has to do with what your working with.
I would NOT use the Pyrodex.

p.s. When you changed to the musket nipple,, did you adjust the hammer cup for a full on strike?
Thank you, that is extremely helpful. My only concern with that scenario is in the elk woods, if I have to pull the nipple for a follow up shot, that's a pretty big inconvenience at that point. But this makes sense and I'm glad to hear the flash channels are finicky and it's not just my own unique problem. As far as the musket nipple goes I didn't adjust the hammer cup at all. The cup does cover the nipple when it's fired, but how would I tell if that's adjusted correctly?
 
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Before you load any powder, take time to snap caps on an empty barrel. One cap with the barrel pointed down range, then another cap with the barrel pointed toward the ground. This will clear any possible obstructions from the flash channel. This is a standard with any percussion type firearm. I snap caps first with all of my caplock rifles. I use black powder only. Tried Pyrodex once. But went 100% black.
Thank you, I will try this.
 

RanchRoper

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I shoot lots of T7 2fg....

I lube with Ballistol after cleaning. When I get to the range or before I shoot I always run a couple of dry patches down the barrel to get anything out even though I store my rifle standing muzzle down. Then fire off 1 or 2 caps. After that I have had no issues with T7 or black powder. Nipple & #11 or #10 caps work fine for me. Maybe the Hoppes oil is the issue?
ps...I personally found Pyrodex dirtier to clean.
 

Okie Hog

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After loading powder lean the rifle lock down and smack the stock with the palm. This allows powder to enter the bolster.
 

LME

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Hi everybody,
Fairly new to muzzleloading. This will be my first year chasing elk with my Traditions Hawken Woodsman. Love this gun, but I'm having issues getting my hunting load down. Quick history, bought the thing, changed out to a musket nipple (since musket caps were the only thing I could get my hands on at the time) and started off shooting PRBs over Triple 7 FFG. Seems like it did fine the first few times at the range, but then I started having ignition problems where the cap would go off but the charge wouldn't. I would have to unscrew the nipple and put some powder in the drum, and then it would set the charge off fine. I switched to Pyrodex FFFG just because I thought a finer powder would help. Worked fine, and I began trying to get my No Excuses 460s to group. Tried 60, 70, and 80 grains. 70 grouped best, but it was still like a 3.5 inch group at 50 yards. Used my powder scale to try and tighten that up, didn't really help. Decided to try the T7 FFG and it grouped beautifully at 70 grains, but began misfiring again. I'm kind of lost on what my next step should be. Is it possible I just have a bad batch of T7? Do I start investigating my flash channel somehow? Anyone experience anything like this?
If you had a 3.5" group at 50 yards you are more accurate than 80% of the ML shooter I have met? That is if you are using iron sights.
 

Nameless Hunter

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Not entirely sure what you're suggesting? A wet patch between each shot?
What size jag are you using? If it's a tight fit with a cleaning patch, then you may be pushing crud down to the bottom of the barrel (instead of pulling it out). Get enough crud down there and it will affect fire getting to the powder (had the same problem happen to me). A number of people will use a smaller jag so it slides down easier (less likely to grab and push crud down to the bottom). When you pull out the ramrod, the patch should bunch up around the jag and pull the crud out of the barrel, instead of packing it down. Your mileage may vary...
 

deermanok

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During my own cleaning routine, I use Qtips and pipe cleaners to clean the drum and flash channel really good.
You'd be surprised how much crud is still in there even after the hot water treatment.
One of the last things I do is spray a little WD40 or alcohol down the barrel to get rid of any remaining water.
I also recheck the gun a day or so later to see if any flash rust has appeared.
I recently tried Triple 7 in my sidelock. It fired but there was a delay on the 3 or 4 shots I tried.
No delay or misfire with real black powder.
 

LME

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Shrank to 1.5" with T7
I use to shoot tournaments .22 target rifles. I used a Anshutz 1710 with a 24 power scope. The diameter of the spread on some shooters on a bad day was 1/2 " the targets were at 50 yards.If they used iron sights I would lay odds that their spread would be bigger than yours. You should be well satisfied with your accuracy!
 
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