Hunting reminders....

Andy54Hawken

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I know its only the tail end of June....
But I can't wait till hunting season starts.
With that in mind here are some reminders / tips for muzzle loading hunters.
( Keep in mind , these are aimed at traditional muzzle loaders...)

Use a patch lube other than spit...
Your rifle will be loaded for a while and spit which works great for shooting on the line can promote rust if left in the bore...
Or so the old wisdom goes....
To be honest , I haven't tried to experiment with this....
I use a spit patch when on the line at a shooting match...and either bear grease or deer tallow when hunting....why take a chance with a rusty bore...?
I have not noticed a difference of point of impact with my rifles when I do this....your results may vary....

Speaking of that...
Summer is here....take your rifle and shooting pouch with when you scout out areas....
See what works for carrying , loading and shooting under field conditions...Hunting is vastly different then when shooting on the line or off a bench.
Also some folks use a "range load" for target shooting , which is lighter than their hunting charge...
Its a good idea to shoot your hunting charge to see if you need a different point of aim.

BTW...I do not recommend two or more different charges...I do all my shooting with my hunting charge.
Easier to remember and I get lots of practice with my rifle and "hunting load" during rifle shooting matches and our rendezvous...

If you go from one area to another via a truck or car....and you leave your rifle loaded ( un-capped or un-primed )....
Before you re-cap or re-prime....be sure to run your ramrod down your bore , to see if your load shifted forward.
Also if you leave your rifle loaded....its a good idea to mark it so you remember....
I like to thread a red piece of cloth between the ramrod and the stock / barrel near the muzzle...works as a great visual reminder.

Some folks like a "cows knee" which is a leather or waxed canvas / linen lock cover for wet weather....
I do not...but if you cradle your rifle across your arm...you can cover your lock with your hand.

If the terrain gets treacherous its a excellent idea to un-cap or un-prime ....maybe even leave your frizzen open...
( Some folks have a "flint stall" ...this is a leather covering for the frizzen to prevent it from sparking )

If your rifle is equipped with double set triggers....it may be a good idea to disengage that feature , while hunting in cold weather...
Cold fingers or a gloved hand may not give the same sensitive trigger finger , you have during warm weather shooting.

Be sure to take some tools with you when out hunting...
A vent pick , nipple wrench , patch puller , ball puller , extra caps or flints....are handy to have in case something goes amiss...

Also it can be helpful to put a little bit of powder under the nipple if the weather is wet....

Several companies offer a no drill / slip on sling system...If you want a sling but you do not want to permanently alter your rifle.

To all of you who go hunting this season with a muzzle loader ....I wish you a safe and good hunting season.
Andy
 
Nothing like hunting and shooting to shake off the Covid Blues.

Some folks like a "cows knee" which is a leather or waxed canvas / linen lock cover for wet weather....
I do not...but if you cradle your rifle across your arm...you can cover your lock with your hand.
If you find an inexpensive leather woman's hand bag at St. Vinnies, etc., the leather is treated for waterproof and also very thin hide. Works great to cover your frizzen in the rain.
 

turq

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One hunting ‘problem’ I’ve had is a party of 8 who believed it was necessary to “unload” at camp every night.
I was hunting at/around my camp and their camp was <1mile away.(they also fell and cut a 18” Lodge pole pine the night before season opening 100 yrds from fresh tracks the day before)

SO do you need to clear your load daily to keep it viable?
 
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Andy54Hawken

Andy54Hawken

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One hunting ‘problem’ I’ve had is a party of 8 who believed it was necessary to “unload” at camp every night.
I was hunting at/around my camp and their camp was <1mile away.(they also fell and cut a 18” Lodge pole pine the night before season opening 100 yrds from fresh tracks the day before)

SO do you need to clear your load daily to keep it viable?
No you do need to clear your daily load , as a broad general rule.
Many period account have hunters keeping their rifles loaded for days...
Keep your rifle dry...don't let water down the bore....and for most hunting you will be alright.
I do this if I am at hunting camp

Now...
if it rained all day and you got water down your bore...
Or it the humidity was high that day...
You may want to "clear your load " by shooting at a mark...
Or you can pull your load....
This can be tricky with how many folks load today.
In the past folks loaded with a "looser patch and ball " combination ( I do load this way )...
Not with the tight patch and ball many shooters use today or with conical bullets
( used in the 1800's but not common for hunting ) ....not to forget to mention the sabot type bullets and the like with modern muzzle loading....
A tight patch and ball combination makes the following operation a bit of a PITA.

To pull your load from a traditional muzzle loader....
Un - Prime or un - cap...
Take you ball puller and screw it into you ram rod or cleaning rod....
A little water or oil down the barrel will be helpful...
Drop the rod down the bore...screw the ball puller in the round ball....
Think good , pure , positive thoughts....
And pull the rod out of the bore...
With luck you will remove the ball....
More than likely you have to try this several times....
When the ball is removed...dump the powder...and clean and dry the bore.

Or
You can get a CO2 ball discharger to remove your load...
Un - cap or un - prime...
Point your rifle in a safe direction...
Attach the ball discharger...then using the ball discharger...you will "shoot" the load out...
Andy
 
No you do need to clear your daily load , as a broad general rule.
Many period account have hunters keeping their rifles loaded for days...
Keep your rifle dry...don't let water down the bore....and for most hunting you will be alright.
I do this if I am at hunting camp

Now...
if it rained all day and you got water down your bore...
Or it the humidity was high that day...
You may want to "clear your load " by shooting at a mark...
Or you can pull your load....
This can be tricky with how many folks load today.
In the past folks loaded with a "looser patch and ball " combination ( I do load this way )...
Not with the tight patch and ball many shooters use today or with conical bullets ( used in the 1800's but not common for hunting ) ....not to forget to mention the sabot type bullets and the like with modern muzzle loading....
A tight patch and ball combination makes the following operation a bit of a PITA.

To pull your load from a traditional muzzle loader....
Un - Prime or un - cap...
Take you ball puller and screw it into you ram rod or cleaning rod....
A little water or oil down the barrel will be helpful...
Drop the rod down the bore...screw the ball puller in the round ball....
Think good , pure , positive thoughts....
And pull the rod out of the bore...
With luck you will remove the ball....
More than likely you have to try this several times....
When the ball is removed...dump the powder...and clean and dry the bore.

Or
You can get a CO2 ball discharger to remove your load...
Un - cap or un - prime...
Point your rifle in a safe direction...
Attach the ball discharger...then using the ball discharger...you will "shoot" the load out...
Andy
Thanks for the informative posts! Always good to hear from a professional... That said I won't be hunting with my plains rifles this year but may use the sweet Pedersoli double 12 for some jack and bird shooting. Some day I may find a flint fowler I can afford!
 
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Andy54Hawken

Andy54Hawken

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And get your new boots out there NOW! Don't wait until the season starts to get your blisters.
So very true..

Now sometimes I will wear my moccasins when hunting....
As someone once said :
"Moccasins are only a decent way of going barefoot"...:eek: :D

Traditional moccasins , even those with rawhide soles , or a thick piece of leather for a sole , like buffalo...
Are leather socks for your feet...take several pairs with you as well as taking along many socks ( wool ) to change into.
Andy
 
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Andy54Hawken

Andy54Hawken

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Thanks for the informative posts! Always good to hear from a professional... That said I won't be hunting with my plains rifles this year but may use the sweet Pedersoli double 12 for some jack and bird shooting. Some day I may find a flint fowler I can afford!
Thank you for the kind words....:D

A Pedersoli double and small game or bird hunting...is a excellent time for sure...

Flint fowlers can be found ..and yeah a good one will be pricey.....
A Northwest Gun , while not as fancy or as expensive , as a general rule , will have a charm of its own...and the birds and rabbits won't care if they are hunted with a NW Gun or Fowler...:D

At the risk of getting some flak....
I would suggest taking a look at some of the Indian made Trade Guns or Fowlers....
These are hand made in India....they look like the actual guns they are copying.
I have shot several guns of this type and have not seen any issues with them.

These guns run around the $550 - $700 mark...depending on where you buy and if you buy one already vented.
Venting the gun , requires a drill press , and a understanding of where the touch hole should be placed , in relation to the pan.

Yes I know that there are plenty of horror stories around these guns...about bursting or "blowing up".
Most of the stories , that I have read , the issue is user error.
With mistakes often cited in the loading or shooting , I would say that almost any gun would have done the same.
Andy
 

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