Western Muzzleloader Hunt Preparation

Kyle Ritter

Newbie
Joined
Feb 26, 2022
Messages
6
I have my first Idaho muzzleloader hunt coming up in September.

I had a few questions on preparation for those who have experience:
1. I'm planning to load the powder and bullet the morning of the hunt. Is it ok to leave it in for the barrel for multiple days or is best to reload daily to make sure the powder is fresh?
2. What tools do you pack in your backpack during the hunt? I was planning to bring extra caps and quick shots. I have a knight ultra-lite. I'm leaning towards not bringing the breech plug wrench because it's heavy, but could be handy in case of any malfunctions.

Any help is much appreciated!

Regards,
Kyle
 

ElDiablito

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
133
I load my rifle at home before the opener (powder and bullet but no primer) and leave it loaded through the fall. Depends on which powder you’re using though. I’m generally using BH209. I tape the muzzle to keep moisture out.

I’m usually miles away from the truck for days at a time, so I always bring 10+ reloads, extra 209s/caps in a waterproof container, patches, brush, t-handle, breech plug wrench, Leatherman type tool, duct tape and a patch/bullet puller jag.
 

0815

Junior Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
41
Location
IN
The key is to keep the temperature around your gun "consistent". Don't load it indoors where it is warm and take it out into the cold. Condensation will happen on the cooling down rifle. Make sure the barrel is dry prior to loading. Make sure the firing channel is clear. Don't use a primer to test that. Powder residue is hydroscopic. A CO2 discharger comes in handy to test that. Generally, after cleaning and oiling, store it muzzle down. That prevents oil from gravitating into the firing channel. Do not use WD40 to oil the barrel of your gun. Especially if you don't shoot it often. WD40 will gum up and may close your firing channel.
Leave the gun loaded. You want a tight fitting bullet. This seal is essentially airtight, especially with shallow button rifling. To unload, remove primer. Can put a small piece of rubber over the primer nipple opening.
 
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Kyle Ritter

Newbie
Joined
Feb 26, 2022
Messages
6
Thanks 0815. I hadn't thought about the condensation risk of loading inside especially in the winter when the indoor/outdoor temperature difference is higher.
 

eldeuce

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 31, 2020
Messages
164
Location
Northern CO
Thanks 0815. I hadn't thought about the condensation risk of loading inside especially in the winter when the indoor/outdoor temperature difference is higher.
I second condensation avoidance.
In fact, so long as it's not wet or raining, I usually leave the loaded (without a cap of course) outside overnight, somewhere safe. Rifle is then sure temperature each morning. Avoids condensation in the dry, high country of the American West

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sabotloader

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Nov 30, 2012
Messages
1,233
Location
Northern Idaho
I just put this post up on a different ML site.

Also remember the things I say are what works for me over many years of doing this ML thing. So what I say often goes against a lot of what other people say and do. And that is alright - do what works for you.

It applies to both T7 and BH that I use.


Darn, GM I leave mine loaded with T7 and a not so good sealing lead conical all season. The only time I might unload it is if I have a concern about moisture is the bore through my own fault. In late November and the month of December I hunt in all kinds of weather conditions - mostly wet and very cold conditions.

I do take care in protecting the breech and bore from moisture. Since I have to use cap ignition, I choose to use a #11 style cap fitted to a #11 nipple that the cap will seal on. And of course, protect the muzzle from moisture with a muzzle mitt of some type.

Water_Proof_MSM_Spitfire.jpg


Muzzle_Mitt.jpg


The rifle is usually loaded the whole time. If it is shot it is reloaded and the whole process is repeated.

So the rest of these things most would say are incorrect, but they work for me. After the days hunt the rifle and I come back to a very cold pickup. The cap is peeled off the nipple post and most often the muzzle boot is removed. The rifle is placed in the front seat and the bolt is open. The rifle warms slowly as does the cab. The cab never really gets real warm as I am in winter hunting clothing. If I stop at another hunting spot the process of water proofing starts again. When I go from the cool warm cab to the freezing outside temp, I do not experience any condensation on the rifle or the lens of the scope IF I am hunting during regular rifle season. At the end of the day, back in the truck for the ride home. Once at home the rifle comes in the house and stands vertically in the work area bolt open muzzle clear. Remember the rifle warmed slowly on the ride home so bring it into the warmer house has no real ill-effects.

The next day the whole process gets repeated over and over through the months.

The one thing I will never do is bring a freezing cold rifle into the warm house or atmosphere. If you wear glasses you will understand why!
 

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