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So today i noticed when i load my rifle, powder flies out the touch hole...and eventually continues to leak out a bit as i hunt....never noticed before but havent loaded on snow in a long time...it obviously doesnt effect much...it shoots accurately....

But i dont really like it...if it seeped out enough my flash may never touch the main charge...

Wondering if there is a way to prevent it??? 2fg may stay in better? But that air between the projectile and charge has to go somewhere....out the touch hole is where it goes....maybe i just never noticed before....

Today after i noticed i loaded again with the frizzen down and flint out...filled the pan....not a huge amount...

Maybe i am worrying over nothing? Ive read of guys using their vent pick or a feather in the touch hole to purposely make a void for the flash to go in through...
 

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Black powder use is always more messy than using a cartridge. During a day's hunt in winter, it was a practice to check the powder in the pan and in the touch hole. I would pour out the old and put in some new powder if the old got moist and clumpy.
The safety pin was always fastened to a loop in my pants and was used often to check the pan powder and the touch hole.
If it was totally easy, wouldn't have taken up flintlock hunting. And of course I shot more than ten shots at the firing range in preseason practice in getting use to it.
 

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When you are loading do you firmly seat the charge? If you are putting enough pressure on the ramrod during the loading process this should "pack" the granules to an extent that they do not dribble out the touch hole. Another thing, what type of touchole liner are you using? When I load I try to have a process in which I ram the main charge home with a single motion without tamping after. I am one of them people who uses a feather stem inserted into the touch hole in hopes of having a small void in the powder at the breach face. If you do this do not use a tooth pick or anything wood as it will easily break. I used to use a steel pick and then thought that perhaps a small spark would be created in the loading process. Being a safety nut, and one who uses their hands on a frequent basis, I stopped using the steel pick.
 

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Good question. I used to use fffg in the barrel years ago. Then I switched to a different touch hole liner because the slot on the original one got boogered up. The new liner has a much larger diameter hole (screws in with Allen wrench. I noticed that I rarely have misfires anymore, but I did notice a lot of powder leaking out of the touch hole. So I switched to ffg powder and this has helped, although I can't get my carbine to shoot as accurately with ffg as I could with fffg.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanx guys....i have the allen key touch hole liner...

Like i said, she goes off and is accurate....maybe yesterday i didnt seat my first charge well enough the day before and that is why it was seeping out a bit...i pulled it yesterday and reloaded just to be confident....i noticed that charge packed tight through the touch hole...glad i pulled it..i killed a buck moments later! Not sure if it would have effected things or not..confidence and lock speed is huge...i pull charges and dump pans all the time...i dont wonder IF my gun will go off....i know it will....

Just never noticed how much powder blew out the touch hole...and never had it seep out...my.guess is i didnt seat it hard enough or it just worked loose after a day and a half..
 

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Jimsdad,

With how much pressure can you safely pack the charge? I remember reading in one of Sam Fadala's "Blackpowder Handbooks" that enough compression alone could set off the powder charge.
 

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There is only so much that can be done, as long as a removable touch hole liner is used. Touch hole liners with screw driver slots move the grains of powder back in from the barrel flat. An allen wrench touch hole liner removes the grains even further away from the pan.

A touch hole should be small enough that powder grains do not sift through, but large enough that when loaded, a few grains of powder are seen hanging at the opening. The closer those grains are to the surface of the barrel flat, the faster and more sure the ignition will be.

A properly set up pan and touch hole should take about 28 thousandths of a second to ignite and go off. If the extra distance between the pan and the powder inside the touch hole creates a delay, it may be imperceptable to humans. But each delay adds to the amount of flinch or movement off target between trigger pull and actual discharge. You may not be able to tell the difference, especially when shooting off the bench at the range, but in the woods, shooting offhand, it could mean a delay that leads to a miss. In addition, deer do hear the click of the hammer, the longer the delay between the hammer fall, through ignition and to the bullet arriving down range at the deer, gives time for the deer's short reaction time to jump.

We try as hard as we can to shorten our ignition time to make sure we can hit the mark and some shooters add to their delay by using 3f in the pan or using an allen wrench touch hole liner.
 

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Re compression of the charge. When I seat the ball, I can actually feel the powder crunch beneath the PRB. It isn't enough to ignite the powder.
 

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Shucks, I don't recall ever having read where Sam wrote that. But if you read in one of his books, then I guess he wrote it. I can't think of any occassion in which compression alone in a ML firearm would cause BP to explode. But, I am not an explosive expert so maybe there is. To my mind, there needs to be a spark or fire to ignite the charge. As an aside, I have a buddy who read somewhere that an alternate way to seat a charge in a smooth bore was to bump the stock on the ground with the muzzle up. He did that a couple times with his Charleville and the whole toe section of the rifle butt splintered off. Not too cool.
 
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