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Cold Morning, Muzzleloader & Misfires

KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
edited February 2017 in General Discussion
Hunting muzzleloader season in So. IL. a few weeks ago on a nice 17 degree morning. Saw a few deer but there were too far away. Saw a coyote too far away as well. As I was watching him thru my scope (& mentally trying to calculate drop) I see another coyote at about 80 yards. Quickly shift gun, aim & pull trigger. Primer gives a little 'phhsst' sound & that is it - no powder ignition, no recoil, just 'phhsst'. As I fumble around for another primer, coyote trots around (not too upset) & is probably around 120 yards when I line up the next shot. Unfortunately, same result - 'phhsst'. As I'm trying to get another primer ready, coyote leaves - not sure where he went. About 15 minutes later (same or different) coyote comes from another direction and offers a 70 yard shot. Aim, pull trigger & get 'phst-bang'. Was surprised when coyote dropped as I was not ready for a slow ignition & figured my follow thru wasn't long enough. He gave me plenty of time to reload & I was ready for him when he got back up - dead coyote. The second shot that finished off the coyote was normal, instant ignition, no delay.

At the time I just figured I was getting light primer strikes due to slow firing pin travel because of gummy lube. No I didn't keep any of the primers that didn't fire - too busy trying to kill coyote.

Primers are CCI 209 out of a new box I bought a few weeks ago. I had used several out of this box prior to the hunt. Gun is a Savage Muzzleloader that I've had for 10 years with never any issues - no misfires, no bad primers, nothing. Pull the trigger, instant bang every time, except that morning. Gun spent the night before in my truck in unheated garage, temp probably in the mid 30s, maybe 40 degrees.

Have never had a misfire with a 209 primer, so I don't know much about misfires. I guess I always figured that if you hit the primer fast & hard enough that if any of the power inside ignites, all the powder will ignite & everything goes as it should. But on those first couple of primers that went `phhsst', there must have been some powder in the primer ignite or else there'd have been no noise - any centerfire ammo duds I've ever had made no noise. I do feel like the temperature had something to do with this, but I'm sure I've fired this gun in these temps before with no issues.

So what was the problem here? Primers, gun or other? Has anybody out there ever had misfires like this? I do plan to get the firing pin out & clean it & the channel it travels in. I would like to not have this issue ever again, so I'm sure I need to do something different. Just not sure what other than cleaning firing pin.

Comments

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    bpostbpost Member Posts: 32,664 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Too many variable to hazard a guess. The flame channel might have been dirty/plugged up with out your seeing it. Did you fire a couple of primers to dry the chamber before loading?
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    mmppresmmppres Member Posts: 3,070 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Not sure about inline I am a flint striker here in PA state. But the deep cold is same all over. On my centre fire rifles I take firing pin out degrease an use a dry lube like graphite. Never had problem after that. Even with my flint rifles I dry lube lock an clean frizzen with alcohol pad.
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    buddybbuddyb Member Posts: 5,270 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Found out many years ago if you load your muzzleloader,except for the cap,put it in the warm truck,take it out in the cold get in the stand and put the cap on,when you want it to fire the dampness of the hot/cold condensation very may well prevent it from going off.Now I always snap a few caps to dry everything out and load it.I use a side lock so after I load it,I take the nipple out and dribble a little powder in the nipple hole and put the nipple back in.I cant remember a misfire since I started loading that way.
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    danielgagedanielgage Member Posts: 10,478 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    wow never have had that to happen

    I thought the shotgun primers made enough fire to always work

    wish I knew what to tell you

    thanks for sharing though
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    fishkiller41fishkiller41 Member Posts: 50,608
    edited November -1
    Just the nature of the beast.
    It's what makes a smoke pole the fun it is...[:D]
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    Aztngundoc22Aztngundoc22 Member Posts: 2,314 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    KX500 :

    Where you located @ ???

    I grew up in 'Energy' in So. Ill. ...........

    Just Curious !!!

    Thanks !!!
    The more people I meet : The more I like my Dog :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


    I Grew Old Too Fast (And Smart Too damn Slow !!!) !!! :o :?
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    roswellnativeroswellnative Member Posts: 10,141 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    are you using pyrodex pellet type powder? I found that if i put just a few grains of black powder in the nipple before the primer goes on I get better ignition because the primer sends flame to light the pellet.

    also make sure that you are putting the pellet in proper there will be a darker end and that is the end to but up to the primer
    Although always described as a cowboy, Roswellnative generally acts as a righter of wrongs or bodyguard of some sort, where he excels thanks to his resourcefulness and incredible gun prowesses.
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    eastbankeastbank Member Posts: 4,215
    edited November -1
    after dealing with crud ring from the non black powders and hard loading sabots, i went to hollow base mini,s and regular black powder in my inline and the problems went away. mr myopic.
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    KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes, I thought that 209 primers were as close to fail proof as you could get. All of the care & upkeep of a muzzleloader always applies, unless of course primer doesn't ignite.

    As soon as Illinois made smokeless powder legal, bought the Savage & said goodbye to the blackpowder substitutes. Never a fan of the pellets anyway.

    Aztngundoc22 - I live near Chester & was hunting near Pinckneyville. Been thru Energy many times but pretty sure I never stopped.
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    Aztngundoc22Aztngundoc22 Member Posts: 2,314 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    OK :

    We used to 'rabbit hunt' up in that area !!!! way back in the 70's & 80's ,,, kind of miss those days ......

    Ever been to Hicks ( gun shop ) in Pinkneyville ???????

    Was a regular hang-out of mine ......

    Thanks !!!
    The more people I meet : The more I like my Dog :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


    I Grew Old Too Fast (And Smart Too damn Slow !!!) !!! :o :?
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    KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Yes, my 1st gun (as well as several others)came from Hicks - a great gun shop.
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    toad67toad67 Member Posts: 13,019 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Sounds like it's not related to the powder to me, it sounds like there are issues with the primers. If you were getting a solid strike then the primers would pop like they should.
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    76k2076k20 Member Posts: 643 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Congrats on the coyote!
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    OakieOakie Member Posts: 40,519 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You fired several shots with nothing happening and then the gun fired. This tells me that if it fired perfect on the 3rd or 4th primer, like it should have, it is not the pin, it is the primers. BP rifles can be finicky sometimes, but the primers should always go bang. You might have gotten a bad pack of primers. I shoot the 209 primers and never a problem. My brother in law gave me a pack of 97-209 Remington primers, and they work great also. They are about 30 years old and never a failure. I think they were for shotgun. I totally believe that your problem is the primers, and not the firing pin or channel. Oakie
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    discusdaddiscusdad Member Posts: 11,421 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    mine too. dealt with Dale, then Kevin for many years...from nashville i wasquote:Originally posted by KX500
    Yes, my 1st gun (as well as several others)came from Hicks - a great gun shop.
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    westernMDhunterwesternMDhunter Member Posts: 2,938 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Have you ever cleaned the carbon out of the breech plug flash channel using a 5/32 drill bit?
    Have you ever replaced the ventliner?
    Are you using MMP or Harvester Sabots? Are they tight all the way down the barrel to the powder charge or get loose down the barrel?
    Which powder are you using?

    My best guess is a carbon build up not allowing enough flame through to ignite or ventliner.
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    Okie743Okie743 Member Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Some things I consider and do to care for artillery when hunting in very cold weather.

    You say phsst instead of a pop.

    Using cci209's and smokeless powder.

    A phsst instead of a immediate pop is the primer itself.

    When using smoke poles and center fires in very cold weather I really keep a heads up about reducing the possibility of condensate forming and more so with smoke poles when cold weather hunting. By taking care of them I mean I keep a heads up on my primers same as I do the gun, scope and powder going from warm to cold and vice versa and condensate forming.
    I leave the gun in a locked toolbox in the back of the truck so as stays at the same temp as the outside until I get to the hunting grounds, not hauled inside a heated vec.
    I do not carry the whole 100 package of primers around, the ones I'm not using are in a sealed zip lock bag and the ones I'm going to use are in a small zip lock bag stored with the gun and my reload powder also in the truck toolbox.
    My one pound powder canister is also stored in a sealed zip lock bag and never gets taken from cold to hot and vice versa. I do not need one pound of powder and package of 100 primers with me when hunting or in my backpack.
    At the end of BP season all my unused primers and powder that I was carrying around during season is stored in separate sealed containers labeled FOR PRACTICE USE ONLY when practicing or sighting in black powder guns and not used for the next years hunting season in the field.
    I always use Winchester triple 7 209 primers, just because they always work for me.

    Condensate is a killer of all ignition things especially with smoke poles.

    I also keep a heads up about condensate even with centerfire rifles. I seen a very accurate 243 centerfire rifle's accuracy go bad all at once and I'm almost certain that all at once erratic accuracy was caused by ice forming from condensate inside the barrel and the barrels accuracy was permanently ruined when the gun was fired with ice from condensate inside the barrel.

    Before the next smoke pole hunt I would get new powder and primers and label your existing for practice use only and keep a heads up taking care of the new stuff.

    Murpy's law will strike you again and you will also have doubts about, will it fire when the ole big one steps out if you are still using the same combination of smoke pole stuff. (and then sure nuff it won't fire, it will just fizzle, but it will fire later after the big one slowly walks off, waving his big antlers and snorting at you. (how do I know this)
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    GrasshopperGrasshopper Member Posts: 16,785 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by discusdad
    mine too. dealt with Dale, then Kevin for many years...from nashville i wasquote:Originally posted by KX500
    Yes, my 1st gun (as well as several others)came from Hicks - a great gun shop.



    Small world. I am going there today[:)]- Kevin is grooming his boy Hayden to take over.

    My wife could tell you a story about misfires on black powder rifles. After waiting for hours in freezing rain and snow she had a shot at a trophy 14 point and the same thing happened. Only thing I could say is maybe her cover wasn't good enough and got wet.[B)][8]
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    KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks for all the replies.

    Yes, fortunately I didn't have to watch a big buck walking away as a result of this issue.

    Okie743 - Our procedures for dealing with cold temps & guns are pretty much the same. Although I'd have to admit that of all those 'exposed' primers & powder charges that I set aside as 'practice', I've yet to have any of them fail or behave differently.

    I have even tried to get failures by taking muzzleloader from warm house to cold outside & cool house to warm outside - shoot gun & it acts totally normal. I'd have to say I feel like smokeless powder is not real sensitive to these swings in temp. Of course I still wouldn't chance it & all the gear is in the truck the night before a hunt, really cold or not.

    But back to the primers - Like you, I've always used the same brand because they'd always worked. I suppose there is always some degree of moisture trapped inside the primer. Maybe if this moisture freezes, all the powder can't ignite & you get 'phhsst' instead of 'bang'. Who knows, just a thought.

    I guess I need to buy another brand of primers, put a few of each in the freezer do a little experiment.........
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    hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 14,201 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    just be sure to pop one or two before loading to blow out any obstructions oil/water that may have collected in the bottom of the barrell against the breech plug.
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    Aztngundoc22Aztngundoc22 Member Posts: 2,314 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    OK :

    Yes : Many fond memories about dealing with 'Hicks' , the old man org. owner was my first wifes kin .......

    Thanks !!!
    The more people I meet : The more I like my Dog :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


    I Grew Old Too Fast (And Smart Too damn Slow !!!) !!! :o :?
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    Aztngundoc22Aztngundoc22 Member Posts: 2,314 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    KX500 :

    Ever eat @ the Maid-Rite in Chester ???

    My Uncle that always took me rabbit hunting always ate lunch there !!!

    Thanks !!!
    The more people I meet : The more I like my Dog :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:


    I Grew Old Too Fast (And Smart Too damn Slow !!!) !!! :o :?
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    KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I don't recall a Maid-rite in Chester - I wonder when it closed? But I've only been here since 2005 & didn't get to Chester too much prior to that.
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    bambihunterbambihunter Member Posts: 10,695 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by buddyb
    Found out many years ago if you load your muzzleloader,except for the cap,put it in the warm truck,take it out in the cold get in the stand and put the cap on,when you want it to fire the dampness of the hot/cold condensation very may well prevent it from going off.Now I always snap a few caps to dry everything out and load it.I use a side lock so after I load it,I take the nipple out and dribble a little powder in the nipple hole and put the nipple back in.I cant remember a misfire since I started loading that way.


    I have a similar procedure. Before season, I dry swab out my bore. Then, I swirl some powder down the barrel and fire (cap only). Then, I run another dry patch down to get any unburne powder since they weren't compressed sometimes the powder near the muzzle doesn't burn. I then load up my hunting load, put a cap on, and then a nipple/cap cover and store it in my vehicle. That way its temp stays the same as outside. When I used to take it in and out of the house I would have condensation issues but none since. I started this procedure on my CVA side-lock but when it got shot out after taking over 50 deer with it, I bought a Remington 700 MLS and use the same procedure with it even though I actually shoot pellets for hunting. I just pour pistol black powder loose down the barrel as I described.
    Fanatic collector of the 10mm auto.
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    Okie743Okie743 Member Posts: 2,607 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by KX500
    Thanks for all the replies.

    Yes, fortunately I didn't have to watch a big buck walking away as a result of this issue.

    Okie743 - Our procedures for dealing with cold temps & guns are pretty much the same. Although I'd have to admit that of all those 'exposed' primers & powder charges that I set aside as 'practice', I've yet to have any of them fail or behave differently.

    I have even tried to get failures by taking muzzleloader from warm house to cold outside & cool house to warm outside - shoot gun & it acts totally normal. I'd have to say I feel like smokeless powder is not real sensitive to these swings in temp. Of course I still wouldn't chance it & all the gear is in the truck the night before a hunt, really cold or not.

    But back to the primers - Like you, I've always used the same brand because they'd always worked. I suppose there is always some degree of moisture trapped inside the primer. Maybe if this moisture freezes, all the powder can't ignite & you get 'phhsst' instead of 'bang'. Who knows, just a thought.

    I guess I need to buy another brand of primers, put a few of each in the freezer do a little experiment.........



    When doing your experiment try to cover all the bases, put up a picture of a monsterous Big Buck (a one of a kind Buck, possible world record)) and take careful aim at the target while you are freezing your A hole off in a tree and also shaking due to Buck Fever and if it fires and you hit the target you might be ready to go.

    Several years ago I was having trouble with misfires, the #11 caps would pop but about 1 out of 5 would not fire until the 3rd or 4th cap. (figured out later it was the Goex FF powder weak) Seen the monster coming one cold frosty morning morning, sure as heck, I told the gun (a T/C Hawken) if you don't fire you are not going to the house and you will stay in the woods in pieces and I meant what I said. It fired and dropped him in his tracks, iron sights at 60 yards.
    I still hunt with the same old 50 caliber T/C Hawken, converted to 209's with the mag spark primer system, Green Mountain LRH barrel, Triple 7 powder, scope, and it's my favorite BP gun. (was bought new in 1979) I have in-lines and a New Remington Ultimate, but the Old T/C Hawken stays right with them in accuracy and reliability and I have never had a misfire since going to 209's and Winchester triple 7 primers and triple 7 loose powder.
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    KX500KX500 Member Posts: 733 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    UPDATE - Conducted the 'experiement', trying to recreate incident. Got 2 more brands of primers, left a few & gun in the garage overnight. Then put primers in freezer (around 15 degrees) for a couple hours next morning & gun outside (around 22 degrees).

    Started with the suspect CCI primers & of course all fired normally as did the Remingtons & Federals.

    So no real conclusion here as to why the CCIs failed me that morning.

    I guess all I can do is go to one of the other brands & hope for the best.

    On the positive side, I'm sure I have about a decades worth of 209 primers now!
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    jerrywh818jerrywh818 Member Posts: 2,573 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Get rid of that junk and buy a real muzzle loader. I have killed deer with a flintlock at near 0?F in the snow. It never misfired. Use real black powder.
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    jerrywh818jerrywh818 Member Posts: 2,573 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    One of the deer I killed with the flintlock was 135 yards through the heart.
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