How long will a load last??

Chad44

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Apr 29, 2012
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Castle rock, co
While hunting how long will you guys go until you fire your load and start fresh? Or will it last a while? I just worry about the moister getting in and hearing the ear shattering "click" on the bull of a lifetime. What steps do you all take to keep your loaded gun dry? Tape over the muzzle? What about the cap hole? Also, I assume going from a warm tent to outside would cause condensation to build? Just several questions on this. Sorry.
Thanks
 

BuckSnort

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Mar 5, 2012
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Central CA
I lest mine loaded for 4 days on a CO muzz hunt in the high country.. It hit exactly where I was aiming on a buck... I did a small test here at home.. I loaded it up and left it loaded for 2 weeks (don't do this with corrosive powder)... Then shot a 5" target with it at 80 yards ...No worries for me

I guess I should mention that my muzz is a TC Omega and Triple 7 powder...
 
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bearguide

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i left one of mine with black powder for 6 months. it shot with no hesitation
 

robby denning

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Good advice above. Good to have you back on here bearguide! I heard about all the 10 foot bears that came out of your camp!

Depends on conditions. If I'm hunting rain/snow, I shoot every day. If dry weather, a few days. By then I'm usually bored and want to shoot it anyway. Also depends on the firestarter you're using. 209 and rifle primers will give you more time than a #11.

Less time is better to me.
 

dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
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So what do you do if the powder gets wet or doesn't fire? Is there an easy way to cleanout the powder? Sorry for the dumb questions but one of these days i'm going to bite the bullet and take this up. Almost did it earlier this year but decided to hold off.
 

robby denning

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Dotman, you can often just keep recapping the gun and get it to fire. If not, then you take out the nipple and add a few grains of powder, reinstall nipple, and it will usually fire. If it won't, then you can use compressed CO2 to get it out. In the case of some of the newer guns, there is a breechplug which you just screw out and the powder will just fall out, then you can push the bullet out backwards.

I'm not a dyed-in-the wool muzz hunter, but I have hunted several seasons in bad weather and never had to do more than recap. This is one advantage of the sealed breech guns, like a T/C Encore IF your state allows them. Even harder to get the charge wet.

Always cover muzzle in inclement weather, too.
 

dotman

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What do you use to cover the barrel, thin piece of tape or something you can shoot thru without issue or something you remove?
 

bnsafe

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Feb 24, 2012
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another stupid question then, what about hunting all day then putting the gun in the car overnight. will the change in temp cause the gun to sweat on the inside to and make it not fire. we are tent camping for ten days but i was gonna leave my gear in the car each night so i wouldnt forget anything in the mornings.
 
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
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Yakima, WA
I shoot a T/C Black Diamond. In WA you must have the nipple/cap exposed to weather and shoot #11 caps.
I use electrical tape over the muzzle.
We often hunt out of Kifaru tipi with a stove in late season and if using the smokepoles, I cover the gun with a Kifaru quarter bag, then lean against or hang in a tree outside to avoid the extreme temperature shifts and moisture changes.
 

Chesapeake

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Apr 15, 2012
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I empty and reload at the end of every day that involved any rain, dew soaked brush, ect..... I generaly pull the bullet with a puller rather than shoot it. Makes the cleaning part easier.

I hunt too long and too hard to get into position and then have a missfire or hang fire because I was lazy about loading a fresh load.

But........ I've rarely had a missfire after a days hunt, and rarely had a missfire during a hunt. I hunt SW Washington (wet side) so my conditions are a bit different than most. If hunting some place thats dry I'd probably do things different.
 
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bearguide

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we had a miss fire last night on my sons muzzleloader moose after leaving the load in for 5 days
 

robby denning

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After I got home from my Colorado hunt, I was busy and didn't get my gun fired from 9/14 until 10/2, so 19 days. Fired first try. Of course it was in the house all that time.
 

Mike7

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Feb 28, 2012
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I've only been using a muzzleloader for the past several years, but have done backcountry hunts in the rain and slowly learned what things seem to help me from questioning oldtimers and also trial and error. I think the most important factors that have helped me be able to fire a WA legal muzzleloader in rainy conditions after even two weeks with #11 caps and with the same load in place are: #1 Never take the rifle in and out of a warm vehicle, tent, or house and then back into the cold (this can seem to foul things immediately for me), #2 find a good barrel end cover which won't come off in wet brush, and #3 fire a cap through the empty barrel after cleaning and before loading.

What I have found works best for me if traveling by vehicle daily is to just throw the gun in a cartop carrier iniside of a hard case and leave it there until taking it out to hunt again. For the end of the barrel the thing that has worked the best that I have tried is using the end of one of those party balloons that animals can be made out of. Those balloons are very tough and will stretch very tightly over the barrel end, sticking to the barrel and sealing out all moisture. Of course though, 2 wks of rain exposure without cleaning the gun may cause some significant rust. I am always interested to see what other people's thoughts are on all of this, because I'm sure there are many things that I probably need to learn or could do better with respect to these damn muzzleloaders.
 

Mike7

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Thanks Robby. I'm hoping that there won't be any new surprises this year leading me to learn more hard lessons as happened a lot early on.

With seemingly having the ability to get the darn things to fire consistently now in any weather if I just follow my own rules, I am changing one thing this year based upon some of the comments I've seen. I was going to try going from 300 grain Powerbelts to 385 or 425 gr Hornady Great Plains Bullets for better terminal performance. Is this a good/necessary change in order to have appropriate lethality between 50 and 125 yds? Do you think that I'm on the right track?
 

Sawfish

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Peoples Republik of Kalifornia
What do you use to cover the barrel, thin piece of tape or something you can shoot thru without issue or something you remove?

A few years back I found some military surplus muzzle covers for the M-16. They were made to fit over the flash hider, so they easily fit most barrels. I think I got those from Sportsman's Guide, but I have not seen any lately. They looked like a very small condom, but worked very well.
 

bowinhand

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Feb 26, 2012
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Colorado
This year I had her loaded from Sept 13 (early muzzy doe tag) to Nov 6 (3rd rifle buck tag) 55days total. In-line with electrical tape over the muzzle.
 
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