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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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has anyone had this problem

i was just sitting around and figured i would see if anyone has ever had this happen. about 8 years ago i bought a traditions percussion to hunt with in maryland. I was hunting one day and eased over to a cliff that was about 40 feet high and a huge 8 point stood up 30yds away. put the sights on him and poof, the cap went off and nothing else. i put caps on 3 more times and it did the same thing. deer was out of sight and never seen again. at this point i was very mad and put another cap on and shot at a stump that was behind me and...booom, it went off. the next day i was in a stand and had three differnet bucks come right up to me and the gun did the same thing. the cap went off 3 times but nothing else. when i went back home the next day, i did some experimenting and came to figure out that if the gun was pointing anything lees than a 45 degree angle it wouldnt go off. i know everything was properly seated, i always triple check to make sure for safety concerns. my question is...has anyone ever have a gun with the same problem?
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 09:31 AM
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Re: has anyone had this problem

Don't take offense but, was it clean? Perhaps the spark wasn't getting thru to the powder charge. How many shots did you put thru it at the range before you hunted with it; no problems then?

You say this happened 8years ago? No problems since?

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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 10:33 AM Thread Starter
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Re: has anyone had this problem

no offense taken. yes, it was clean. i aalways ensure my gun is clean and ready to go. i also always shoot it before i leave to make sure all solvents are dried out of it and then dry brush it. i just dont understand why it wont go off when pointing somewhat down. lol. havent used it since then. just sits in my gun safe.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 10:51 AM
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Re: has anyone had this problem

Seems I remember someone with the same problem over on another forum. Thinking the solution was to drill a very small hole in the drum directly below the nipple. I seem to recall they had a name for what it was called....similar to a fuel line vapor lock--airlock or something??
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 10:57 AM Thread Starter
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Re: has anyone had this problem

Thanks for the advice guys. will try some researchin on it.

PM recieved. thanks again
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 11:37 AM
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Re: has anyone had this problem

Might take a paperclip and push the point thru the hole in the nipple.Sometimes moisture sticks in there blocking the spark.Could also be a worn nipple(short).Were you using reg blackpowder or a sub?

Was your projectile the whole way down against the powder charge?Sounds like if you were pointing downhill your powder could have slid away from the breech area where it needs to get that spark.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 12:55 PM
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Re: has anyone had this problem

"The gun failed to fire when shooting at a deer, but went off fine when aiming at a stump". You are not cursed, per se. You have simply experienced one of the fundamental laws of muzzleloader shooting. The second being:
"The closer you are to the deer, exponentially increases the likelyhood that the gun will not fire". Having hunted with a flintlock for over 30 years, I have a lot of experience with both of these "fundamental truths".
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 01:19 PM
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Re: has anyone had this problem

this can be solved by removing the nipple after loading and checking if there is a good supply of powder in the drum. You need to turn the rifle over on its side and smack the opposite side of the lock to help the powder shift under the nipple.

i also like to use the stainless steel "Spitfire" Hollow base nipple that cabelas sells.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 01:52 PM
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Re: has anyone had this problem

I have a set of welders "tip" cleaners that I carry, I use them for everything from making sure the touch hole on my flinters is clean to making sure the nipple is clear on my percussions.

Before I load my percussions I snap a cap with the muzzle pointed at a leaf on the ground or a blade of grass, if they move when the cap is snapped I feel the nipple, drum etc is clear and ready to load. It also drys everything up.

As FG just posted they make "hot" nipples that work a lot better, I keep extra's in my shooters box, usually give more away than I need my self. LOL

As for misfires, some folks will tell you that you should never have a problem if you follow the proper steps, but the Red Gods will remind you now and then that you are hunting with a muzzle loader

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-27-2009, 04:15 PM
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Re: has anyone had this problem

As young timer indicatess, you have run up against one of the Fundamental metaphysical rules of muzzleloading.

Yes some old timers resorted to "venting" their percussion guns. It is to drill a very small hole into the drum below the nipple. (I have an old original perc gun that was "vented". I have never found such a drastic step necessary. First of all, are you using loose powder? When you pour in the powder, do you give the gun a few raps on the side with your palm so that the powder settles into the drum? I don't buy the "vapor lock theory" There is some problem with the flame of the cap getting to the powder. flash channels to small, restricted by dirt or grease, powder not getting into the drum beneath the nipple etc. Now, all that being asked, have you ever replaced the screw that goes into the end of the drum? If you put in a screw that is too long, it can block (either totally or partially) the flame coming from the nipple into the drum. Do you fire two or three caps before loading to burn oil and grease from the flash channel to be sure the gun is ready for loading. Are you using Pyrodex, which takes a higher temp to ignite? Or pellets, With pellets, the flash has to go down through the nipple, make a 90 degree turn in the drum and then travel into the barrel. In some of the older CVA gunns, made in the same factory as some tradition guns. The drum actually went all the way through to the other side of the barrel and only had a small opening for the flash to go from the drum to ignite the powder charge, and the flash had to make a second 90 degree turn to ignite pellets. In those cases the drum actually goes back to a slightly larger hole drilled in from the face of the breech plug.
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