October 31,2006

The biggest problem muzzleloader hunter's encounter is misfires. As much as you would like to blame the rifle, the fault usually lies in the hands of the hunter by not clearing the ignition passage of the rifle, or the wrong types of caps and powder.
Check the muzzleloader to make sure it is not loaded. First pop a few percussion caps prior to loading, look and listen to make sure all is clear. Point the gun towards loose dirt, blades of grass, powdery snow or a mud puddle. Put a cap on the nipple and hold the muzzle a few inches from the surface. Watch carefully for movement and listen to the report. You want to see movement on the ground and hear a crsip clear report. Keep repeating until both are achieved.
Another way to clear the passage is to give it a blast of CO2 from a discharger.
Another cause of misfires could be the powder and caps. The problem with Pyrodex and CCI #11 caps is Pyrodex has a higher combustion point than black powder and regular CCI #11 caps don't have enough fire to consistentely ignite it, especially on cold wet days. The correction would be to use only black powder or switch caps. You could use CCI Magnum #11 Caps: they are much hotter. Better yet would be to switch to RWS Percussion Caps, they are the hottest. The next thing to do is change nipples. MSM Spitfire Nipples have an extra boost in thier performance over factory-installed nipples. If the rifle you own has 1/4 x 28 threads, Thompson Center has a Hot Shot Nipple that will fit.
The last thing to try is to convert your rifle to use a Musket Cap instead of the #11 cap, or change it to use 209 Shot Shell Primers. NOTE: 209 is not leagal in all states.
These are the most common causes of misfires. If after all the changes have been made and misfires continue to be a problem, its time for a new gun. Check out our line of Muzzleloader Rifles.
Shoot straight and be safe.
John and Dawn Maciosek


October Country Muzzleloading, INC.
P.O. Box 969 | Hayden, ID 83835
208.762.4903 | fax: 208.772.9230 | order: 800.735.6348
N.R.A., LifeN.M.L.R.A.