Unreliable ignition Traditions Hawken Percussion

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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.

Add this into your cleaning regimen, and it will solve your problem: Go and buy or order some of those cva/traditions pipe cleaners. Remove your nipple, Cut off an inch and a half piece, Wet one with whatever solvent you use, hot water is excellent if that's what you use! Bend the piece of pipe cleaner into a curl and feed it down DEEP into the spark channel, and scrub back and forth REALLY GOOD. Cut another one and bend it again if the first one gets all bent up and stops feeding.

This is really the only part missing from your good cleaning regimen. Its just that running water through the spark channel isnt enough on its own. The spark channel needs a good scrub followe by your rinse of Hot water or solvent. Blasting it through with a good jet is an excellent way to rinse it, but does nothing to scrub away the crud. You need a brushlike object for that.

After cleaning and oiling, before putting away your rifle, use one more pipe cleaner, this time dry, and swab your spark channel to make sure there's no remaining oil, water, or solvent in there. The gun will definitely go off the next time its loaded.

Now, you may need to spend an hour or two cutting and bending pipe cleaners to get caught up on all this gunk buildup in there, but from there on out it gets easier. Couple of passes each time you clean the gun in the future. And i dont expect any problems. I have never owned a rifle i couldn't get to go off. And I've had some real beaters in my day.

Just remember, crud catches sparks.

Hope this helps,
 
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Gents, the breech plug on those rifles has a chamber the drum screws into. Then there is a restricted passage to the bore where the chamber sits. The recess collects fouling and ignition becomes intermittent. I JUST cleaned out one of these for a customer. Don't try and pull the plug. Just the drum, and clean out the back end of the barrel. IMHO. Phil
 
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Thats probably what is necessary if the crud buildup is too thick to clean it with pipe cleaners. If its a rifle that you can remove the drum on, i honestly wouldn't fiddle around with pipe cleaners too much. The cleaning gets much simpler if you can take it apart.
 

Frontier's

Buckskins & Black Powder
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Load your pistol. Remove the nipple and see if you have powder in there. If not, you got something blocked up.
 

Riverbravo

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Alright I hit the range today. I had so so performance. I got off three shots no problem other than SEVERE fouling. Had to swab with a dry patch each time and even had bust out the wire brush. I have never had to before. I don't know if goex changed their recipe. Like I said I swapped the old goex can of 2f (so old it's made of metal) for a brand spanking new can of goex 3f.

Tapping the side of the rife after pouring the powder initially seemed to address the reliability issue. I was also popping caps after swabbing to blow the crud out of the channel.

Things went south at the 5th shot. I stupidly forgot to tap the rifle after pouring and loaded the ball. The gun began misfiring and I had remove the musket nipple. I stupidly misplaced my musket nipple wrench and had to use a leatherman to remove it. I replaced it with the modified #11 Traditions nipple after pouring powder in the channel. The #11 caps fit this nipple poorly as well leading to more misfires that I am going to blame squarely on the nipple.

I think I made some progress but the problem isn't solved completely. I am going to switch to an aftermarket nipple.

I searched for Hot Shot and Flamethrower nipples but couldn't find them. If someone knows where I can locate some that would be awesome. What I did find were a brand called Spitfire. They advertise similar benefits to the Hot Shot and Flamethrower nipples, but I have never heard of them. Are they any good? I wanted to ask before I bought them.

Thanks for the continuing help!
 
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With my main shooter, i have shot upwards of 30-40 balls at a time. I do tap like you said, but only when i think about it. It seems to me like accuracy and ease of loading is dependent on running a wet patch and a dry patch every three to 5 shots. I invert my barrel down towards the ground with the wet patch, and keep it inverted until i do the dry, and when pulling on both, i do so rapidly to suck air through the nipple into the bore to clear the spark channel just in case any liquid was forced upwards into the spark channel on the push stroke. The inverted muzzle at all times does the rest.

I can go as many as 12 shots without losing ignition reliability, but the balls get so damn hard to ram, that i can't go further. I will tell you need a breech scraper at that point, because the balls start seating an eighth inch higher due to the formation of a crud ring at the breech. But the ignition is still reliable.

In general, barrel fouling has no effect on ignition. It really just effects accuracy.

However, fouling in the spark channel does effect ignition, and that pretty much happens just from snapping caps. I have said this before and it is contrary to the advice given to beginning muzzleloading enthusiasts: I NEVER snap a cap unless I've got a load in front of it. I know guys like to clear oil and solvent by snapping a couple, but that just leads to fouling in my spark channel and that I don't want. I work damn hard keeping up with the fouling in my spark channel, and im not going to introduce any fouling, especially if unnecessary, and it is unnecessary with the this kind of method.

Basically, I just don't snap caps, because I already know my spark channel is clear of oil, since i ran a dry pipe cleaner in it after cleaning the last time. I know no oil has ran down the bore because i only used a light enough coat to protect the bore, and nothing more. I know there's no solvent from my previous swab because of my swabbing method i mentioned above, and it sucking air; and I know that the cap has a tight seal because I pressed it down HARD, with the muzzle pointed in a safe direction, using the flat tip of my ball starter, which is made from a dowel rod and handle. But, However, if I start out with a dirty spark channel, or dirty it up by snapping caps i don't need, then all of that turns to crap immediately.

It's how i do it, and i honestly can't remember the last time I had a misfire, except when i tried pyrodex. I basically know at this point that my gun is going to go off whenever I pull the trigger. I think with a little fine tuning, you will be fine. I used to have a bit of trouble when i started out as a teenager with a cva...but learned over time that the essence of reliability is in good gun hygeine and cleaning practices. You should feel like a dentist when using all of your ramrod tools and applying solvents for your rifle. You literally clean and care for every orifice to maintain a gun you can rely upon.
 
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