Originally Posted by doublelunger
thanks guys! sometimes the pan powder ignites without firing, other times it doesn't.ive got a lot to learn, but im loving learning it!!
Assuming you are using BP, and you remembered to put powder in before the ball (
it happens to all of us).
.......if pan powder ignites and the main charge doesn't, the touch hole being blocked is usually the problem. Can either be by a buildup at the entry of the touch hole, or fouling from the inside blocking it. Solution, pick the hole.
......if the pan powder doesn't ignite, it could be fouling or a foreign matter on either the flint or the frizzen. Solution wipe dry with a clean cloth. You may even try using alcohol. If either the flint is worn, or it is loose in the jaw, they too will result with sparking issues. Solution is to replace, or retighten.
Low humidity. You will notice a lot of "white" around the hole and barrel when humidity is low. Under this condition, "caking" is very common. Greasy buildup comes with high humidity. Pan fouling turns into a tar like consistency. You'll have to wipe the frizzen and flint down almost after each shot.
One point on wiping between shots. It can push fouling into the flash hole from the inside.
Adding to the frustration mix, some patch lubes will create very hard fouling in cold weather. Bore Butter is notorious for it. If using such a lube, wiping between shots is necessary because you want to make sure you can seat the next ball going down onto the powder.
In some circles, wiping between each shot is deemed sissy. As I said earlier, the NMLRA recommends it. That is due to Murphy showing up once in a while and some shooters have ended up smelling like a singed cat, and looking like Al Jolson. So for goodness sakes, if you don't wipe between shots, keep that in mind as to where the muzzle is pointed. Ol' Mr Murphy is always looking for an opportunity in this muzzle loading game. We want to keep the sport safe. Safe overrules sissy.