Unload or leave loaded ??
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Old 09-24-2009, 04:47 AM   #1
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Default Unload or leave loaded ??

I just got me a new Thompson Encore barrel. Ok...I load it up go hunting and never see a Deer or shoot it, Now what ?? I know to remove the 209 Primer, but what about the bullet and powder charge still left in the barrel. I have had guys tell me to just leave it in there and it will be OK for your next hunt. I really don't like the idea of leaving the gun loaded and riding around with it to and from my hunting land....which is almost 30 miles away. I have seen the CO2 things to discharge your blackpowder rifle. I guess I need to know if I need to get one or what I need to do..???

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Old 09-24-2009, 05:00 AM   #2
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I hunt with a flintlock and 9 out of ten times at the end of a days hunt I will fire it into a safe backstop (like a dirt embankment) to unload. I will then run a damp patch or two down the bore to remove most of the fouling, followed by a patch coated in a little bore butter to prevent rust.

Sometimes if I'm hunting the next morning, and its not too damp out I will place a toothpick in the flash hole to seal the chamber against collecting moisture and store it like that. the next mornings hunt I pull the toothpick, prime the pan and go hunting.

I think you would be fine pulling the primer from your inline and storing like that for short periods if you dont feel like unloading, but I'd probably find a plug for the nipple to prevent the charge from absorbing moisture from the air.

hope this helps

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Old 09-24-2009, 01:37 PM   #3
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I've left mine with pyrodex and projectile in the barrel for long periods with no trouble at all. I'm in Ohio and by law it is considered unloaded with the primer removed. Again, I've had no touble with leaving the barrel loaded.

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Old 09-24-2009, 03:11 PM   #4
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I don't use an inline but sometimes I leave my sidelock loaded for weeks at a time. As long as moisture doesn't get to it it will be fine. If it bothers you unload it.

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Old 09-25-2009, 12:57 AM   #5
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I load my sidelock at the beginning of the hunting season and it stays loaded until the end of the season, or until I see a deer. At the end of each day the rifle stays either in my unheated cabin overnight, or in the garage, to prevent condensation from forming. I would not leave it loaded for a whole season since black powder is hygroscopic and will attract moisture, thus causing rust to form in the barrel. Besides, before loading the rifle at the beginning of the season, I always fire 3 caps to dry out any residual oil left in the nipple/bolster, and this residue needs to be cleaned out even if the powder charge and bullet are pulled without firing at the end of the season.

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Old 09-25-2009, 01:28 AM   #6
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I would not leave it loaded for a whole season since black powder is hygroscopic and will attract moisture, thus causing rust to form in the barrel.

Unfired powder isn't hydroscopic, fired powder residue is. My father in law had a CVA Hawken. He didn't use it for several years before he died. After he died I took it out and it was still loaded. No rust and first cap fired it off. I load mine and if I don't get a shot I bring it home and bring it inside. Course our winters aren't as bad as some so maybe that makes a difference
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Old 09-25-2009, 02:03 AM   #7
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Unburned black powder is HYGROSCOPIC. Hygroscopy is the ability of a substance to take in moisture from the environment either through absorption or adsorption. The salt peter and charcoal in black powder are both HYGROSCOPIC. The fact that a black powder gun can be left loaded for years and still fire is simply a function of the seal formed by the patched round ball or lubed conical bullet, and the percission cap or hammer over the nipple. I have had BP guns fire after being loaded for a long time also, but if I'm going to depend on my gun for hunting or defense I sure as hell am not going to be relying on a powder charge that has been in the barrel for weeks on end. I once had an ignition failure with a deer in my sights because I mistakenly brought the rifle in my house the night before a Thangsgiving Day hunt. The temperature differential of my house (70deg.) and the outside morning air (45 deg) caused enough condensation to prevent the powder charge from igniting. I even drip wax over the caps to prevent moisture from entering through the nipple . I had to unscrew the nipple, pick some damp powder out, and dribble a small amount of fresh,dry, powder in, to get the gun to fire.

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Old 09-25-2009, 06:29 AM   #8
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^^^^Thats why I plug the touch hole:thumbsup:

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Old 09-26-2009, 01:08 AM   #9
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One of my CVA inline guns was loaded in early June of this year. Last Wednesday I took it to the range to check the zero. Primed the gun and fired at the 100 meter target. Bullet went into the 3" bullseye. The next shot from a dirty barrel went into the same hole.

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Old 09-26-2009, 02:22 AM   #10
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Inlines which use 209 shotshell primers are far more likely to ignite an old charge of powder than a sidelocked #11 percussion capped rifle....a 209 primer will even ignite damp powder...and many inlines have stainless barrels which won't rust or corrode as quickly. Regardless of the type of rifle, I personally would never leave one loaded for more than the length of the hunting season, other than pure laziness, I can't see a logical reason to do so.

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