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groovy mike's picture
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Leave it loaded?

My hunting partner leaves his ML loaded (pyrodex pellets) from one season to the next.

Seems to me that this would invite corrosion, but he says he has never had a problem with it.

Do you guys know anyone else that does this?

Any opinions or recommendations?

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The question is why would you

The question is why would you want to leave it loaded and chance a miss fire on the buck of a lifetime?  I also suppose that he doesn't bother cleaning his other rifles just because he hasn't shot them?  Also if it is a side lock how does he know that it isn't causing any problems?  Does he have a fiber bore sight that he can place down the bore and inspect where the powder has been sitting? 

As for me I'll take a shot at a tree for a target just to make sure that it is sighted in and get rid of that load.  Not to mention a sighting in session the next season just to make sure everything is ok. 

groovy mike's picture
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my thoughts exactly

Those are exactly the thought sthat I had too but he is an experienced hunter with a lot of game to his credit so I thought maybe I was off base on this one....  Thanks for the input and confirmation!

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My father and I used to fire

My father and I used to fire it at the end of every season.  I actually used to get paranoid, thinking some DFG officer would be nearby thinking we were shooting deer after dark.... lol

groovy mike's picture
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me too

I've had exactly the same thought too!

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Not a Good Idea

 I don't believe leaving a charge in a ML is a good idea for at least two reasons:

 1) The chemicals in any propellant are apt to react to the moisture that is in the air and cause some sort of pitting (at least) where it contacts the barrel. It is also right again st the flash hole, whether it's a breech plug (inline) or the flash hole of a sidelock. It doesn't take very much to plug that hole and result in a misfire. Pyrodex has a history of being quite bad in this respect. So possible damage or a misfire caused by corrosion is the first reason.

 2) I suppose if a person always follows this practice, then he is pretty well assured that his rifle is always loaded. But if he sometimes does it, but not always, then he has to remember from one season to the next if it's loaded or not. Yes, he can put his ramrod down there and check his mark on it to verify this, but there is the possibility of placing a double load in the gun. This is not good. Shock!

If I were you, I would encourage my friend to remove the load at the end of each season and give his gun  good cleaning. a. It can be shot out, as has already been mentioned. b. The bullet can be pulled with a bullet puller on the end of the ramrod. Then the powder/pellets are dumped out. c. It can be removed through the breech on an inline, as I do. Just unscrew the breechplug, dump the charge out the back, then push the bullet through from the muzzle with the rod.

 I think your friend will be happier with the condition of his rifle, and also safer.

 

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right

I think that you are exactly right Jerry.  Thanks.

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leaving a charge in a ML

jaybe wrote:

 I don't believe leaving a charge in a ML is a good idea for at least two reasons:

 1) The chemicals in any propellant are apt to react to the moisture that is in the air and cause some sort of pitting (at least) where it contacts the barrel. It is also right again st the flash hole, whether it's a breech plug (inline) or the flash hole of a sidelock. It doesn't take very much to plug that hole and result in a misfire. Pyrodex has a history of being quite bad in this respect. So possible damage or a misfire caused by corrosion is the first reason.

 2) I suppose if a person always follows this practice, then he is pretty well assured that his rifle is always loaded. But if he sometimes does it, but not always, then he has to remember from one season to the next if it's loaded or not. Yes, he can put his ramrod down there and check his mark on it to verify this, but there is the possibility of placing a double load in the gun. This is not good. Shock!

If I were you, I would encourage my friend to remove the load at the end of each season and give his gun  good cleaning. a. It can be shot out, as has already been mentioned. b. The bullet can be pulled with a bullet puller on the end of the ramrod. Then the powder/pellets are dumped out. c. It can be removed through the breech on an inline, as I do. Just unscrew the breechplug, dump the charge out the back, then push the bullet through from the muzzle with the rod.

 I think your friend will be happier with the condition of his rifle, and also safer.

 

I think Jaybe hit the nail square on the head on this one.

"Hygroscopy is the ability of a substance to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment through either absorption or adsorption with the adsorbing or absorbing material becoming physically 'changed.'"

The salts (potassium chloride) in black powder and plack powder substitutes are these hygroscopic chemicals.  They will draw water from the air which will cause rust and pitting in your barrel, and it will weaken the propellant in your BP rifle.

My black powder rifles and pistols are too valuable to me to not clean and oil them after every day that I shoot them, let alone letting them sit loaded for a year.

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LOADED MUZZLELOADER

I'll admit to having forgotten and actually doing that from the end of one season, until just before the start of the next. My answer was to remove the breechplug, the powder and then push the bullet out the breech end, before cleaning prior to the new season.

From results I've seen subsequent, no harm, no foul. Is it a good practice, I'd say nope. But depending on the type ML I'd prefer to unload, rather than fire a charge that was in there that long. I'd call that a very strong prospect for a hang fire, perhaps the most dangerous condition that can occur when firing a ML.

Mine looked pretty grubby at the breech end, but I think most get that way after shooting a bit.

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