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Hypothetical situation, the thought just occurred to me today while hunting.

Let's say that one had a muzzleloader and the barrel got plugged with mud or snow from a fall. Would it be safe to use the ramrod to shove the snow/mud onto the projectile and then fire it out?
I know that for true safety, it should probably be dug out with the ball puller, but I don't like leaning in front of a loaded gun, capped or not. My standard way to pull a ball is to remove the nipple, soak the powder with water/soda/coffee, whatever is on hand and then pull the ball. After doing this, I bring it home for cleaning - a squip load in a BP usually spells the end of my day at the range.
My initial thought is that the snow or mud would be an extra couple grains on top of the ball or whatever is loaded, and shouldn't generate unsafe pressures. My second thought is that I should ask before I actually try this someday.

The "cleaning out shot" would be fired almost immediately to prevent the snow from melting and wetting the powder.

Any thoughts on this? Besides taping the muzzle to prevent the situation in the first place (shit happens sometimes and the tape could fall off).
 

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tuna said:
Any thoughts on this? Besides taping the muzzle to prevent the situation in the first place (shit happens sometimes and the tape could fall off).
Mabye take a few of the slightly thicker brands of condoms with you? Even better, how about a small fabric sack that has those pull strings to tighten it?

Sorry that Im not much help on the actual issue, Ive only shot a Frontstuffer about 5 times.
 

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Dude - I love guns, but I've got WAAAAAAAAAY better uses for my condoms.

Just joking.
 

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LOL I've learned that sometimes you are just f*cked. Gotta learn to accept it. I'd bite the bullet and unload/clean if I were you.......even though I seriously doubt if anything bad would happen if you used your method.

The thing that stumps me is how this has happened to you enough times that you are considering taping your muzzle! :nyah: Murphy must hate you.

The only time it ever happened to me was while I was carrying my grandad's 22-250. He had an old leather army sling on it that just happened to snap while I was walking up a little hill. Somehow it hit the back of my boot and must have flipped........when I turned around it was was sticking straight up, muzzle down, in the mud. Even though the sling was about 50 years old and dry rotted to hell he still made me buy him a new sling.

Just as a side note, our reenactment unit has a 6lb cannon. When it misfires we are required by park regs to pour a quart of water into the touch hole, wait 30 minutes...........repeat THREE TIMES. Then pull the round and completely clean the barrel. Needless to say, everyone moans when we have a misfire.

Just had a thought.......maybe you could invest in one of those CO2 BP unloading devices? I've always wanted one myself but I'm not sure if they make them for flintlocks.
 

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friend, we ain't fieldin' a #[6] pounder!,,,therefore,,,hold yer' strongest arm around a SOLID TREE! and 'kiss the fucker off',,,THEREFORE CLEARING THE 'soft/UN-FROZEN' obstruction! :headbang:

damn!, do you fella's need training/disipline,,,or just a swift ASS-WHIPPIN'! :rolleyes: :duck:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Flinter - I always try to tape my muzzle just in case, besides Murphy hates EVERYBODY. This actually hasn't happened to me too much, and only with shotguns which was easy enough to clear in the field. I was just running a "what if" scenario in my head.
I have had to pull the ball a couple times, once at the range when I coulnd't get the charge to go off, and once at home when I forgot to unload it after the season. Like I said, I hate to stick my face in front of a loaded weapon (because Murphy hates me), so I wouldn't want to try to pull the ball in the field. I was just wondering if anyone thought it would be dangerous to fire with a chunk of snow / mud on top of the ball. Hopefully I'll never get to try it.
 

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I think it would depend on how much muck is in the barrel. If you may be worried about this, get some mechanical fingers. you should be able to shove this through such an obstruction and then open it up by depressing the handle and the fingers should open up enough to pull out most of the muck. It is flexible too so you don't have to have your hand in front except for shoving it through the muck.
If you end up sticking it in the mud so that it would stand up,.... the CO2 unloader is the best idea.
Of course,... there are the over-the-hill balloons, normally black you can use over the muzzle...
Good forethought.
 

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I was just kidding with ya Tuna. Believe me, if there's a way to screw something up I've done it.

It's never bothered me to pull a load from a muzzleloader. As long as I know it's unprimed/uncapped I never give it a second thought.

The real problem with pulling a round in the field is that you can't grab the rod with your fingers securely enough to yank that sucker out. They sit in there fairly tight.

As much as I claim to know on here, I just had this problem Monday. I had shot at a doe (and missed) when in my excitement I accidently ran a "dry ball". I was was patched/primed.......the only thing I forgot was my main powder charge.

I guess it was the excitement of it all, I thought for sure I could beat her to the bottom of the hollow and catch her coming back around. Either way, I hunted the next hour and a half with what was effectively an unloaded gun. Once I realized what I'd done I broke out the bullet puller and could not get the ball to move at all. Ended up going home and using a vise to pull it out.

I'm not too proud to admit my own mistakes, and the one I made was an amateur one.
 

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I watched mythbusters the other day, and on purpose they shoved a shotgun into the dirt and then fired it. Yes it screwed up the barrle, but the barrle on s BP rifle is a hell of a lot thicker. So I'd say let'er rip tater chip.
 

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One of the gunrags did a destruction test with a modern Octagon-bareled Muzzleloader barrel, it took something on the order of a triple powder charge or more, and, iirc 4 projectiles, (2 on top of the powder, and the other t 4 inches each repectively from the first) before they could get the barrel to rupture. One other option maybe if you arent comfortable with that is one of the newfangled CO2 unloaders that uses a 12-gram cartridge through the nipple/touchhole to push the load free.
 

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I been shootin snout loaders a long time, I have stuck it in the mudd, snow, etc.
I always carry a canteen, I just take a stick and wiggle it around in there, pour water down the hole and dump it out a couple times, swab it once and shoot.
 

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Like several above, the CO2 unloader is the cat's meow. I use one on my cap & ball type, but not sure if they work on flintlocks or not.

They're real handy too at the end of the day to unload, (instead of firing off a round spooking the deer).

Basketcase
 
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