Unreliable ignition Traditions Hawken Percussion

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Riverbravo

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I would open up the channel in the nipple. This has worked for me when ignition was a problem. Also, make sure the channel into the barrel is clear. I have used a No. 50 drill. You may want to try a little smaller one first and see how that works.

BI

I don't think I have a number 50 but I have a very small one that came with a dremel kit for some reason. With all the nipple purchases I have some spares. I will give this a try on one of them.
 

Riverbravo

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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.
I have always done it after I put the ball in. This could very well be the problem. It makes more sense to do it without as it's not all compressed. I will definitely give this a shot when I hit the range next week.
 

Riverbravo

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I got a lot of responses with advice I appreciate it. I will try to address all the questions I saw in this one post.

In regards to powder I have tried both black powder and Triple 7 and had unreliable ignition with the new nipples.

To clarify I have purchased New Traditions nipples in both number 11 and musket cap. These New Traditions nipples have both given me problems. Both types are m6. I did not have the failed ignition with the old number 11 nipple that came with the gun.

As far as cleaning goes I use dry patches every one to two shots. At the end of the session I use wet patches with solvent. I don't use dry patches to get the solvent I let it stay in the barrel for the ride home. Once home I stick the barrel in hot water off the stove. I swap the barrel letting the water blast out of the fire Channel. After the crud stops coming out I pull the barrel out and start running dry patches and dry the exterior of the barrel. If it's going to be stored for longer than a day I will run a patch lightly coated in bore butter followed by a dry patch to remove the excess. I start range sessions with a dry patch to clear out the bore butter. This method has always been effective until I had to replace the nipples.

As far as the clean-out screw is concerned it is rested into the rest of the barrel and cannot come out. I am not able to use it to clean the fire channel or check the thread depth.

As far as the brand of caps I have tried the musket caps are CCI 4 wing and the number 4 caps are CCI Magnum. Both containers of caps are brand new purchased from the store within the past 6 months.

I think that addresses all the questions I saw. Hopefully that will help someone help me come up with a solution. I appreciate all the help.
 
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Never had this issue with real BP. Use real BP and try finer grade like 3F- which also
will work in rifles. Over the years, the Spanish guns have undergone alterations.
If you are hunting, where ignition makes or breaks the hunt, pre-charge with 5-8 grs
of 4F and top off with real BP 2f or 3f. Many great tips here. Apply them until you
get consistent ignition. Worse thing is to sight in a monster Buck and get a click--
while he tears-off out of range.
 

Riverbravo

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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.

I could potentially do this. Did you just use a grinder to make this happen or was there more to the process?
 

Gooddaytoya!

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I could potentially do this. Did you just use a grinder to make this happen or was there more to the process?
Because the grinder created quote flash quote, at the end of the threads, I used a needle file to very carefully shape the threads at the end of the nipple. Then I very carefully screwed the nipple in making sure to not cause a cross thread. Once it screwed in the first time, all was well after that. One more thing, be sure to grind the end of the nipple threads at a perfect right angle to the axis of the nipple, or else you will have a hard time starting it in, if that makes sense.
 
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Lets back up. If i told you right now, to give that gun a thorough cleaning and oiling, how would you do it?

I would lay cash on the table and say here lies your problem. That gun should not be having ignition problems. And that nipple wouldn't wear out in several months...or ever, unless you're dryfiring it to the point that it's mushroomed, and no shame, i have done it with some pretty sweet rifles in the living room; but you can clean nipple right up in a couple hours in front of the tv, the only reason i don't do it anymore is because i rarely have 2 hours in front of the tv. And then some of my guns you will wear out the lock parts and i wouldn't know where to get replacements for them.

But seriously though, I have never owned a muzzleloader that wouldn't go off reliably; and i have owned some pretty poor shape muzzleloaders. Are you seating your caps with a dowel? I really suspect it's the cleaning man. A gun like that should be going off every time even with a #10 nipple. How are you cleaning it?
 

SDSmlf

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I would open up the channel in the nipple. This has worked for me when ignition was a problem. Also, make sure the channel into the barrel is clear. I have used a No. 50 drill. You may want to try a little smaller one first and see how that works.

BI
Bad advice in my opinion if the recommendation is to open the orifice in the nipple to .070”, the diameter of a No. 50 drill. Most manufactures have .028” to .030” diameter orifices in their nipples when new. Although they are still serviceable at .035” diameter, that is when I toss mine. Accuracy starts to wander and with heavier charges that I use with conicals, I start to see hammers at half or full cock after the shot.

You have a challenge to overcome, but I doubt you have come into a run of percussion and musket cap nipples with an ‘undersized’ orifice.
 

Big Iron

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Bad advice in my opinion if the recommendation is to open the orifice in the nipple to .070”, the diameter of a No. 50 drill. Most manufactures have .028” to .030” diameter orifices in their nipples when new. Although they are still serviceable at .035” diameter, that is when I toss mine. Accuracy starts to wander and with heavier charges that I use with conicals, I start to see hammers at half or full cock after the shot.

You have a challenge to overcome, but I doubt you have come into a run of percussion and musket cap nipples with an ‘undersized’ orifice.

I am using the nipple opened to .70 in a Uberti Hawken with 70 grains of 2f and a 175 gr. RB. No problems, works great and took care of the ignition problems. Your mileage my vary!

BI
 
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I suspect the Bore Butter is liquifying from the barrel heat and pooling in the breach, then hardening. Try using a small amount of oil on your patch instead. Balistol works well, too.
 

Idaho Ron

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Bad advice in my opinion if the recommendation is to open the orifice in the nipple to .070”, the diameter of a No. 50 drill. Most manufactures have .028” to .030” diameter orifices in their nipples when new. Although they are still serviceable at .035” diameter, that is when I toss mine. Accuracy starts to wander and with heavier charges that I use with conicals, I start to see hammers at half or full cock after the shot.

You have a challenge to overcome, but I doubt you have come into a run of percussion and musket cap nipples with an ‘undersized’ orifice.

I have posted about the sizes before. You are very close to my findings.
TC hot shot nipples new are .034 hot shot nipples from TOTW are .026
Platinum lined nipples from Buffalo Arms are .028
I have found that pyrodex P really likes .034 but .0385 is shot out. Thats not much of a window.
 

rafterob

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I believe the posters comments all point to just a too long nipple treaded shaft. Many replies have given good advice to address that issue, including buying different nipples. I have recently run into the same issue with a pistol. When I took the clean out screw out to dribble in some powder, i saw the channel was totally blocked under the nipple, which was nearly bottomed out in the drum. This too was a new replacement nipple. I had recently tapped this one up to M7 because the original M6 threads were awful from the start. I don't file my nipples flat to shorten them. I make a witness mark to indicate the flash channel direction and use a round file to file a concave groove in the nipple. That way it preserves some of the thread to engage the full depth of the female threads.
 

Riverbravo

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Never had this issue with real BP. Use real BP and try finer grade like 3F- which also
will work in rifles. Over the years, the Spanish guns have undergone alterations.
If you are hunting, where ignition makes or breaks the hunt, pre-charge with 5-8 grs
of 4F and top off with real BP 2f or 3f. Many great tips here. Apply them until you
get consistent ignition. Worse thing is to sight in a monster Buck and get a click--
while he tears-off out of range.
Are you saying put powder in the nipple before I put the cap on?
 

Riverbravo

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Lets back up. If i told you right now, to give that gun a thorough cleaning and oiling, how would you do it?

I would lay cash on the table and say here lies your problem. That gun should not be having ignition problems. And that nipple wouldn't wear out in several months...or ever, unless you're dryfiring it to the point that it's mushroomed, and no shame, i have done it with some pretty sweet rifles in the living room; but you can clean nipple right up in a couple hours in front of the tv, the only reason i don't do it anymore is because i rarely have 2 hours in front of the tv. And then some of my guns you will wear out the lock parts and i wouldn't know where to get replacements for them.

But seriously though, I have never owned a muzzleloader that wouldn't go off reliably; and i have owned some pretty poor shape muzzleloaders. Are you seating your caps with a dowel? I really suspect it's the cleaning man. A gun like that should be going off every time even with a #10 nipple. How are you cleaning it?

As far as cleaning goes I use dry patches every one to two shots. At the end of the session I use wet patches with solvent. I don't use dry patches to get the solvent I let it stay in the barrel for the ride home. Once home I stick the barrel in hot water off the stove. I swab the barrel letting the water blast out of the fire Channel. After the crud stops coming out I pull the barrel out and start running dry patches and dry the exterior of the barrel. If it's going to be stored for longer than a day I will run a patch lightly coated in bore butter followed by a dry patch to remove the excess. I start range sessions with a dry patch to clear out the bore butter. This method has always been effective until I had to replace the nipples.
 
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What @William Lincoln said was to pour a kicker charge of 4f powder in the muzzle then the rest of the charge. With most brands of real black powder, the precharge shouldn't be necessary.

The nipple chargers have been promoted as a precharging device. Mostly as a last resort to fire.
 

Riverbravo

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What @William Lincoln said was to pour a kicker charge of 4f powder in the muzzle then the rest of the charge. With most brands of real black powder, the precharge shouldn't be necessary.

The nipple chargers have been promoted as a precharging device. Mostly as a last resort to fire.
Thank you for the clarification. That sounds like a great idea and I would gladly try it. However, I have never seen a can of 4f black powder ever. For starters I only know of two places in my state got are licensed to sell black powder. These are 2 hours away there may be others but they would be even further. When I do go to these places all they ever have are 2f and 3F. Occasionally they have cannon powder. The only brand either of them carry is goex. I don't know if they are the only black powder maker left in existence or if this store just doesn't have a great selection. People have called Florida and muzzleloading Wasteland in regards to finding supplies. I guess it's not as popular as it is in other states. If I ever do get my hands on some 4f I will give this a try. I wonder if I could grind a little bit of my 3f into 4f. It would probably be a risky endeavor.
 

Riverbravo

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So I followed the advice of several folks here. I cleaned the fire channel as best I could. Had trouble finding something to use to clean but when I shine a light where the nipple would sit the light passes down the fire channel and illuminates the bottom of the barrel.

I have a different but unknown brand of musket nipple I found I am going to start with at the range tomorrow.

If that fails I have modified the Traditions #11 nipple by expanding the (orifice as someone else called it) at the bottom of the nipple with a #50 drill bit. It now looks like the bottom of some of the other aftermarket nipples. If that fails it will be a short session.

I am going to be sure to tap the rifle after I pour the powder but before loading the ball.

I was using Goex 2f but it is old powder. I am going to switch to a brand new can of Goex 3f.

I will report back tomorrow thanks for all the advice and insight.
 

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