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I just discovered that my flintlock is still loaded from last year. I am ging to pull the ball and clean it out. Is there anything extra I should do?
 

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Scrubbing the bore with some of that extra fine steel wool (I forget the number) might be a good place to start if its rusty.
 

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If it was loaded in a clean barrel for hunting, just go to the range and shoot it out. Clean as you normally would. Stay away from putting steel wool or anything abrasive down the bore.
 

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Frizzle, your flintlock is now totally worthless! I'll PM you my address, I'll pay shipping, and then bury the rifle after saying a few appropriate words.
 

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Frizzle said:
I just discovered that my flintlock is still loaded from last year. I am ging to pull the ball and clean it out. Is there anything extra I should do?
Have you attempted to pull the ball yet?
 

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Lucky Orange Hat said:
i would just shoot it. the charge wont be bad if it was stored in a dry place.
The charge will draw moisture via the touch hole. The patch lube contains moisture also. Sitting idle for a year creates a high probability that the breach area is ruined.

Don't ever pull a ball without first soaking the charge.
 

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My son left his loaded after last year's hunt and I shot it for him last month. It fired with no problem and there was no damage done. No rust, cleaned as normal after the shot. All is well.

I did tell him however not to ever leave it like that again.
 

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The charge will draw moisture via the touch hole. The patch lube contains moisture also. Sitting idle for a year creates a high probability that the breach area is ruined.

+1
 

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If the year-old charge was a fresh load down a clean barrel, then I would agree, moisture could have been drawn through the touchhole or the lubed patch, resulting in a possible mess in the breech area. This would require some serious time with 0000 steel wool, because pitting may well have occurred in those bottom few inches, but the barrel will still function. The remaining pits will make future cleaning a troublesome time for you because the jag and cleaning patch will want to grab in the area on every trip down to the breech area.

If the year-old charge is a load pushed down a previously shot and uncleaned barrel, the problem is much more severe. That old black powder residue and accumulated moisture has worked some evil magic from the muzzle to the breech!


If that is the case, don't send the gun to me to bury, just remove the barrel, and bury it yourself.
 

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Good thing you discovered that before you had two loads down the pipe, and then fired the rifle. I have mine with a charge in it right now flef over from ML a week or so ago and every evening I tell myself to pull the load - but I haven't yet.
 

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jimsdad said:
Good thing you discovered that before you had two loads down the pipe, and then fired the rifle. I have mine with a charge in it right now flef over from ML a week or so ago and every evening I tell myself to pull the load - but I haven't yet.
I take a deerskin leather bag, line it with a plastic shopping bag and drape it over the muzzle end. Then blow out the charge with CO2. The bag will leave the muzzle end at a pretty good clip. Inside I retrieve most of the powder, the patch and ball.

Using a plastic bag alone, especially with large calibers, the blown load will pass through and nothing of the load is recovered.
 

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I have done this and have several buddies that have all made this mistake in the past and all of us have been able to just shoot them with no problems at all.
 

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I'm amazed at how many people don't check their barrels for "color" periodically....not to mention bringing them into the home with a loaded breach and forgeting them for a year.
 
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