Unreliable ignition Traditions Hawken Percussion

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Riverbravo

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Picked up my Traditions .54 Hawken several months ago used but in good condition. I used the number 11 nipple it came with until it wore out. With this nipple I had good reliability.

When it came time to switch I got a Traditions musket nipple with the correct thread. Reliability went to crap. One time I put 5 caps on with no ignition. In order to get ignition I had to remove the nipple put a bit of powder in the fire channel and replace the nipple. After that it fired on the first cap. After that I removed the musket nipple and replaced it with the old number 11 to conclude the session. Seating the cap was a pain but I was getting ignition on the first cap.

I decided maybe the gun just liked number 11's so I got a new Traditions number 11 nipple with matching thread. The problem returned though I was able to get ignition without removal of the nipple a few times. The other problem with this nipple is the caps fit the nipple loosely and had to be bent slightly to stay on. I was using a brand new tin of CCI magnums. Not sure why this is but these problems combined made for a lousy session.

How can I fix this problem? The Hawken is one of the older models I believe. It has the channel clean out screw. I believe they did away with that. Could it be that the nipples I have were made for a newer model? I am at a loss. Any help would be appreciated. If possible I would rather use musket caps. Also I tried different powders and it did not seem to help. I tried triple 7 fff and black powder ff.
 
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I have a Traditions Deerhunter. Had a similar issue. Are you smacking the rifle a few times after adding powder but before the bullet to make sure you are getting powder into the channel under the nipple? That solved my problem.
 

deermanok

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Sounds more like there's some fouling crud in the fire channel.
What is your cleaning routine?
I have 2 Traditions deerhunter rifles and never had any problems with misfires.
 

GoodRabbitPilgrim

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I'd put money on crud in the flash channel or oil that hasn't been cleaned out after storage. The only misfire I've ever had was when I didn't clean oil from the flash channel/breach.
 
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I’d agree with the other posters about a clogged up flash channel. Take the nipple out and use a wire, dental pick, pipe cleaner or whatever you can get in there. Woller it around and then flush the barrel and clean it really well. Use a 32 cal jag or brush and clean the patent breach really well too. Dry it and go shoot it. I’ve had a half dozen traditions and CVAs. If it’s misfiring like you’re describing something is gunked up. You don’t need the musket caps for reliable ignition. I’m hoping you’re using real Blackpowder and not a sub. That’s a whole different subject.
 
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I have found that on traditions and the older CVA's (Both made by the same Spanish company), that you have no problems if you stop the ramrod about an inch from the breech when swabbing. Running the ramrod al of the way down tends to push fouling into the breech chamber. Also I agree that the length of threads on the nipple may be part of the problem.
 
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I would recommend one of the after market flame intensifying nipples, such as a Hot Shot, Red Hot or Spitfire nipple. These nipples will direct more flame to the powder charge than the factory standard nipples. They will often fit the caps better than the factory caps.
 

dragnetbill

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Picked up my Traditions .54 Hawken several months ago used but in good condition. I used the number 11 nipple it came with until it wore out. With this nipple I had good reliability.

When it came time to switch I got a Traditions musket nipple with the correct thread. Reliability went to crap. One time I put 5 caps on with no ignition. In order to get ignition I had to remove the nipple put a bit of powder in the fire channel and replace the nipple. After that it fired on the first cap. After that I removed the musket nipple and replaced it with the old number 11 to conclude the session. Seating the cap was a pain but I was getting ignition on the first cap.

I decided maybe the gun just liked number 11's so I got a new Traditions number 11 nipple with matching thread. The problem returned though I was able to get ignition without removal of the nipple a few times. The other problem with this nipple is the caps fit the nipple loosely and had to be bent slightly to stay on. I was using a brand new tin of CCI magnums. Not sure why this is but these problems combined made for a lousy session.

How can I fix this problem? The Hawken is one of the older models I believe. It has the channel clean out screw. I believe they did away with that. Could it be that the nipples I have were made for a newer model? I am at a loss. Any help would be appreciated. If possible I would rather use musket caps. Also I tried different powders and it did not seem to help. I tried triple 7 fff and black powder ff.
If I understand what you are saying correctly, the rifle fires/fired first time everytime with the nipple that came on it when you got it; and, that it stopped firing first time everytime when you put a new nipple on it.
You mention a "clean out" screw; can you easily remove that screw? If so you could inspect to see how far into the firing channel the different nipples extend when screwed in. Do the newer nipples extend further into the firing channel causing their own partial blockage of the channel?
If the "clean out screw" will not come out compare the various nipples to see if the "original" nipple might have a slightly shorter threaded section and thus doesn't extend as far into the channel.
 
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@dragnetbill has a valid observation on the length of the threaded journal of the nipple. That is well worth looking into. I do think that check may prove inconclusive as the replacement nipple was a Traditions branded musket nipple. Ah ha! What brand of musket caps is @Riverbravo using? We have read numerous accounts of the CCI 4 winged musket caps being notoriously unreliable in the best of circumstances and only recommended for firing of blanks.

Riverbravo, I would try to find some RWS or Scheutzen musket caps or some #11 CCI caps either magnum or regular.
 

Red Owl

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The fastest way to determine if fouling is plugging the channel is to, before reloading and after swabbing- snap a cap with the muzzle pointed at sand or a blade of grass to see if the blast from the cap moves sand/grass- then load. If the problem stops- you are somehow plugging the channel.
 

rafterob

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You also don't mention if you are using real black powder or a black powder substitute. The substitutes can be hard to ignite in the Traditions breech set ups. Usually the use of Magnum caps solves that issue (which is what you have). I too think the musket nipple may be too long for that rifle. Get some other nipples from a different supplier. I recommend Track of the Wolfe, but there are many others. Traditions nipples are stainless steel and a little brittle. They have a reputation of cracking. You need M6 threads. Proper cleaning and then proper prep prior to firing should assure good ignition. Assuming you have cleaned the gun well and lightly oiled the bore, before firing you should run a dry patch down the bore, using both sides of the patch. Then load a cap and fire it down at the grass where you can see it exiting the bore. Two caps is even better. That clears the flash channel, you are now ready to load and fire.
If you are swabbing the barrel between shots or after a number of shots, do not "pump" the patched damp jag in the bore. Push the patched jag down the bore to bottom out, let it sit a few seconds and then pull it out of the bore. Flip the patch over and repeat. Follow with a dry patch.
I have a Traditions Hawken and learned all those lessons early on. I have not had any ignition problems ever since (14+ years).
 
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It’s been said and said but sounds like it needs a thorough cleaning. Blaxkmpowder or even substitutes can be tough to clean. I always go back after the initial clean after shooting and clean again. I’d take it apart as far as you are comfortable with and if that is just removing the nipple ok. Get some crud blaster or even just a good spray that has a nozzle and direct that into the channel beyond the nipple. I’d first see what happen I’d you use a pick to see what is in there.
Then stick it is hot hot soapy water and using. Tight patch suck the water in and push it out with the right patch on the ramrod. You’ll soon see how dirty it might be. But a deep thorough cleaning sounds like to be in order
 

Muddly

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What nipples are you using? I ask because my TC Hawken, unfired when she came to me, was a misfiring FIEND with Tresco nipples. After 30 shots, it eased up and after 50 was no more. The Trescos have a very narrow aperture and I believe this was the issue.
Now, I use nipples broken in on my " other" rifle in my Hawken, with superb results.
 

Gooddaytoya!

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Picked up my Traditions .54 Hawken several months ago used but in good condition. I used the number 11 nipple it came with until it wore out. With this nipple I had good reliability.

When it came time to switch I got a Traditions musket nipple with the correct thread. Reliability went to crap. One time I put 5 caps on with no ignition. In order to get ignition I had to remove the nipple put a bit of powder in the fire channel and replace the nipple. After that it fired on the first cap. After that I removed the musket nipple and replaced it with the old number 11 to conclude the session. Seating the cap was a pain but I was getting ignition on the first cap.

I decided maybe the gun just liked number 11's so I got a new Traditions number 11 nipple with matching thread. The problem returned though I was able to get ignition without removal of the nipple a few times. The other problem with this nipple is the caps fit the nipple loosely and had to be bent slightly to stay on. I was using a brand new tin of CCI magnums. Not sure why this is but these problems combined made for a lousy session.

How can I fix this problem? The Hawken is one of the older models I believe. It has the channel clean out screw. I believe they did away with that. Could it be that the nipples I have were made for a newer model? I am at a loss. Any help would be appreciated. If possible I would rather use musket caps. Also I tried different powders and it did not seem to help. I tried triple 7 fff and black powder ff.
A problem I ran into with my rifle was that the nipple threads protruded into the nipple barrel, which prevented The flash from getting out of the nipple reliably. So I just shortened the threads on the nipple, and it worked after that.
 
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Picked up my Traditions .54 Hawken several months ago used but in good condition. I used the number 11 nipple it came with until it wore out. With this nipple I had good reliability.

When it came time to switch I got a Traditions musket nipple with the correct thread. Reliability went to crap. One time I put 5 caps on with no ignition. In order to get ignition I had to remove the nipple put a bit of powder in the fire channel and replace the nipple. After that it fired on the first cap. After that I removed the musket nipple and replaced it with the old number 11 to conclude the session. Seating the cap was a pain but I was getting ignition on the first cap.

I decided maybe the gun just liked number 11's so I got a new Traditions number 11 nipple with matching thread. The problem returned though I was able to get ignition without removal of the nipple a few times. The other problem with this nipple is the caps fit the nipple loosely and had to be bent slightly to stay on. I was using a brand new tin of CCI magnums. Not sure why this is but these problems combined made for a lousy session.

How can I fix this problem? The Hawken is one of the older models I believe. It has the channel clean out screw. I believe they did away with that. Could it be that the nipples I have were made for a newer model? I am at a loss. Any help would be appreciated. If possible I would rather use musket caps. Also I tried different powders and it did not seem to help. I tried triple 7 fff and black powder ff.
Riverbravo, what caps were you using on your musket nipples? Then you went back to a Traditions brand nipple. Previously you had used the nipple that came with your used Traditions Hawken. I am assuming that you had cleaned your rifle many times after you first started using it and you had no reliability problems. Its time for a different #11 nipple,
 

Nuthatch

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I agree with others here. I have a traditions Woodsman .50 from 2007 with the clean out screw. I have very reliable ignition, great accuracy and easy cleaning on that rifle. But I MUST snap a cap before loading. It is very unforgiving in that regard. My other is a TC and I can go a few shots without even a slight delay, let alone a hang fire or misfire. But that Traditions rifle will misfire on the first shot if I fail to snap a cap before loading.
 
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