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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was walking to my hunting spot today and had my Knight muzzle loader (209 primer in-line) slung on my shoulder. I stopped to rest a bit and the rifle began to slip. The gun hit the ground barrel first AND WENT OFF! I immediately check the safety and it was on. The bolt was backward and had not moved foward at all. The gun fired with saftey on and without the assistance of the bolt striking it. The 209 primer was blown from the inside out, it was not crushed as it is when the striking bolt hits it. Somehow contact with the ground detonated the gun. I had fired the gun a few days prior, but only once, and I did not clean it afterward. Immediately after the misfire I checked the trigger and it was jammed... probably because the gun had fired without the trigger bieng used. I brought it home, cleaned it, and it seems to work fine. Can dropping these rifles from say... 6-8 inches, barrel first, onto the ground cause them to misfire? Has any one ever heard of this happening? I cleaned the gun and now all appears normal. I wonder if the barrel hitting the ground forced air into the barrel... but why would that spark the gun and cause it to fire?:cool::cool:
 

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Welcome to the forum. Rules are to join in, have fun, and play nicely with the rest of us kids.

I'm not clear. You say the bolt was open? Nothing was against the back of the primer? Or do you mean the bolt was closed, but the striker remained cocked? In the latter case, I would say the inertia of the bolt at the sudden stop caused it to bounce off the primer, which apparently produced enough crush to set it off. But if you're saying it fired with the bolt open and the back of the primer exposed to the air, then I am astonished and have no explanation other than to say it's probably a fluke, but try not to drop your gun like that again, just in case.
 

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It sounds like the bolt was closed and the safety was on. Dropping the gun on it's muzzle caused the bolt to crush the primer as unclenick said. You can test the theory by putting a 209 primer on without any powder in the barrel and close the bolt and set the safety to on and then drop the barrel end of the rifle on a hardwood board and see it it fires the primer. If it does you have your answer.
 

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I'm a little confused too but the way I'm reading it is that the bolt was "open" in the rearward position. When the muzzle hit the ground, the bolt could have slammed forward causing the primer to fire, the blow-back would force the bolt back to the rear position. Curious if when the bolt hit the primer, the firing pin was slammed forward from the inertia as with the common slam-fires in guns with floating firing pins and/or weak/broken firing pin return springs.

Would appreciate some more clarity on this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bolt was back and locked before/after also

The bolt was back and locked, the safety was on, before AND AFTER the gun hit the ground and fired. The primer cap was completely gone blown outward from the interior of the barrel. No remnent of it, no crushed pieces, nothing GONE! Nothing struck the primer cap from the outside. The only thing I can think is that the rush of air (as the barrel hit the ground) somehow detonated the two triple seven charges. What if the barrel hit a rock and created the slightest spark... could that spark ignite residual powder in the barrel from a shot taken days previous and thus travel the length of the barrel to light the charges causing the rifle to fire. I've bee doing this for 30 years and I am baffled. What the he11 made this gun go off?
 

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now saftys are made to work right but fail.. it sounds to me like a muzzle loader is not for me.. if im walking rough country i have shell in the chamber but safety on.. ive fell in some ungodly positions on rough terrain ..
the safety never failed yet in 62 yrs..so im thinking i ll leave the muzzle loaders to my son in law an others as its a little late for me to learn a whole new type gun..for me anyway there out. i know any safety can fail though..slim
 

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The bolt was back and locked,
Now I'm confused. Most "bolts" are only "locked" if they're forward and closed. I don't know how your Knight works but... are you saying the bolt was open and back (towards the buttplate)? So you could see the primer? Does your rifle have a way to "lock" the bolt in the open / to the rear position?



The primer cap was completely gone blown outward from the interior of the barrel. No remnent of it, no crushed pieces, nothing GONE!

A muzzle loading rifle works on the venturi principal- most of the force blows out the bigger hole. If the bolt on your rifle was "back" / "open" then there was nothing to hold the primer in. If the main charge (pellets in your case) went off, then most of the force would blow the bullet out of the barrel but some of the same force would blow the primer out and away.



Nothing struck the primer cap from the outside. The only thing I can think is that the rush of air (as the barrel hit the ground) somehow detonated the two triple seven charges.
I can't imagine how rushing air, or impact for that matter, would cause black powder substitute "pellets" to ignite. I've seen "pellets" in blister packs thrown around by ham-handed Walmart Stockers and no pellets, or stockers, blew up.

I'm curious about the bolt being "back and locked" with "nothing touching the primer". I don't know how your Knight ML rifle works but... Let's say the bolt was, indeed, back and "locked" somehow. Perhaps this "locking" of the bolt to it's reward position isn't really a lock? (Again, I don't know how your rifle works). If this rear "locking" of the bolt is actually just a catch to hold the bolt open while a primer is loaded, then it may have slammed forward when your rifle hit the ground, muzzle first, impacting the primer which blew the charge...but since the inertia driven bolt was not closed-and-locked it was likewise blown backwards with the now long lost primer?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have a knight Wolverine.. circa 2003 ..now referred to as a Knight Bighorn. The bolt was back and cocked the 209 primer exposed. When I dropped the rifle I thought the bolt had slammed foward and triggered the charge. It did not! After the discharge the bolt was still cocked back, the saftey which is on the right side of the gun WAS STILL ON.. yet the gun upon impacting the ground had fired. After impact the trigger could not be moved the bolt was still back and cocked and the safety was STILL ON. I had to disassemble the gun to get the trigger working again. Guys this misfire was triggered with the saftey on and the bolt pulled back toward the gun butt AND LOCKED. I dropped it from a height of about 6-8 inches. as the gun came down I moved my foot out of the way (lucky me) the tip of the barrel hit the ground and the gun went off. I am baffled!
 

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I do not have a Knight rifle, but I have been reading this thread with some interest, and I have done some searching.
As far as I can determine, the Kight rifle fires from an open bolt. That it, when the trigger is pulled the bolt moves forward and fires the cap, or in your case, the 209 primer. If that is not correct, please let me know.
Saying that, an open bolt system can be dangerous as it relies on a heavy mass of metal moving forward, which could strain any retention devices built into the rifle (I am not disparaging Knight rifles, these are general statements on an open bolt system). Does the bolt come back after firing, or does it stay closed?
I suspect that the bolt dropped when you dropped the rifle, overriding the secondary safety and then bounced back/pushed back when the 209 fired. That could explain the jammed trigger. Was the secondary safety still on? As I understand it, the trigger safety only locks the trigger, not the bolt. So the trigger safety could still be one and the rifle fired.
The most unlikely scenario is that the 209 fired from its own weight and inertia.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Secondary safety

The Knight Wolverine I have... now similiar to the Knight Bighorn has a secondary safety. Attached to the bolt is an in line arm of sorts that can be turned clockwise thereby decreasing the length the bolt that moves foward. If screwed all the way foward even if the the gun is fired the bolt will stop short of the hitting the primer. However if the plunger/arm (whatever) is screwed counter clockwise, all the way toward the butt of the gun, and to it's maximum extent, when the first safety is released and the gun is fired the bolt will move all the way foward and strike the primer thereby detonationg the charge and firing the weapon. This is a great feature if for whatever reason you accidently trip the first safety (a lever/slide type on the right side of the weapon) even accidently pulled the trigger the secondary safety would not allow the bolt/striker to extend far enough foward to strike the primer charge. But in this case both safes were on. I've heard it said the the bolt did move foward and detonated the charge and then the force of the charge pushed it back to it's original cocked and locked position. I don't think there would be enough energy to do that. But if there was why wouldn't it do that each time the weapon was intentionally fired? No, once that bolt is foward it stays foward.. I fired this guns dozen of times and virtually every time there is a remnent of the 209 primer left. This time it was completely gone as though the detonation came from inside the barrel. And again, immediatly after the accidental detonation all the safes were in place and the trigger was jammed. I believe the trigger was jammed because the detonation with both safes on forced it to jam because it was in safe mode at the time of detonation. If there was residual powder in the barrel from previous shooting .. one shot one week earlier... would a spark created by the barrel hitting the ground travel up the barrel via the residual powder and ignite the two 777 pellots causing the gun to fire... I mean is that possible? Barrel hits rock.. rock creates spark.. spark travels length of barrel to pellot charges and ignites pellots causing the gun to discharge... What do you think?
 

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If there was residual powder in the barrel from previous shooting .. one shot one week earlier... would a spark created by the barrel hitting the ground travel up the barrel via the residual powder and ignite the two 777 pellots causing the gun to fire... I mean is that possible? Barrel hits rock.. rock creates spark.. spark travels length of barrel to pellot charges and ignites pellots causing the gun to discharge... What do you think?
I don't see how a spark could travel up almost 2 feet of barrel, past a presumably tightly fitting bullet to get to the powder charge... Assuming it did, it takes quite a spark to ignite BP substitute pellets, that's why your rifle uses a 209 primer- because they spit out a heck lot of lot of flame compared to a #11 percussion cap thereby ensuring positive ignition with BP substitutes.

Now, I'm just speculating but... the priming compound of regular pistol / rifle primers is supposedly very, very easy to ignite, I imagine a 209 primer is similar. Normally primers are fairly safe because, I think, the priming compound is sort of glued together (otherwise it's a fine dust). If you accidentally, but gently, decap a live primer you're probably safe, but you'll crush the primer anvil against the priming compound and probably leave a trail of the fine priming compound- somewhere- that's the dangerous part (I've heard). Supposedly it doesn't take much to ignite the dust. I've accidentally decaped a few live primers in my day but I've never tried to ignite the stuff, so I can't be sure... I'm just repeating what I've heard.

Having said all that... Unless you were smoking a cigarette and some of the "cherry" fell off and landed on the primer which heated the priming compound (I believe you said the primer was exposed), or unless some other "thing" smacked the primer while your rifle was free-falling towards earth and if, indeed, the bolt was back, and did not travel forward somehow- I guess, it's possible that your 209 primer could have ruptured somehow during loading and maybe some of the priming compound's dust got ignited, perhaps, by the primer itself under it's own weight- I don't know.

...Honestly, these ideas seems a bit far fetched but it's all I can come up with. I don't believe the pellets could have ignited from any sort of impact or from some errand spark at the opposite end of the barrel while being shielded by a bullet. The ignition had to come from the primer, somehow. Primers are, after all, and by design, percussion sensitive.

If I had had this happen to me, I'd call Knight post-hast and get their take on things, describing everything you have here.

Good luck!
 

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Being that the trigger was "jammed" that immediately implies some type of serious malfunction with the trigger and/or hammer assembly. Regardless of it functioning now, that clearly, for whatever reason, fired out of battery and need to be completely inspected for flaws and/or resultant damage. I would strongly suggest returning it to the mfg requesting they inspect/repair it as necessary.

I just can't buy the primer malfunction or spark down the bore theories, while either one is technically possible, they are extremely improbabe.
 

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I've thought up another improbable scenario: The gun loaded with a slug in a Silglide or other sabot that is easy to push into the barrel. The gun hits the ground and the bullet and sabot, aided by inertia of the powder charge, are pushed down the tube, drawing a vacuum that pulls the primer forward up against the nipple. The problem? I don't see how the air itself would generate enough force through that small opening to set a primer off. Nowhere near enough.

Another is that the jolt from striking the stone sent a compression wave up the barrel so it snapped against the primer. That might have the needed velocity and energy to set the primer off, but, again, awfully improbable.

I think Mark is right that the jammed trigger seems like a big clue. If you open the gun up and put all the safeties on and set the powder charge off by outside means, like electrical ignition, would you expect the recoil to jam the trigger up? I can't say for sure, since it wasn't intended to undergo recoil in the cocked position, but I really wouldn't expect it. Not impossible, but not normal sounding. Most likely is that something failed in there in the blink of an eye. Very, very odd business.

Have you spoken with Knight? Is this the first time they've heard of such a thing? Can they explain the jammed trigger?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Calling Knight

I'm calling Knight today to get thier perspective... assuming I can get a human on the phone. A buddy tells me the company is in financial trouble... hope I can still get parts if needed.
 

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I'm calling Knight today to get thier perspective... assuming I can get a human on the phone. A buddy tells me the company is in financial trouble... hope I can still get parts if needed.

Many rumors are floating around so it's hard to know what, if any, are true or BS but the majority seem to agree that Knight is done when their current inventory is gone, apparently production has completely ceased many months ago. Some rumors state they're only staying open as required for the duration of a recall(s).

I build traditional and traditional style ML's & accouterments and don't deal with in-lines beyond assisting my customers who already own them. What I can tell you is that rumors are everywhere and after getting burned by a company that insisted they were not going bankrupt ... turned out the rumors were right and the company was lying it's butt off ...

Nonetheless, I still think the best thing you can do is send it back to Knight no matter what they tell you on the phone. I'd also request a written inspection/repair report on it too.
 

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m/l miss fire

hello all i won a knight wolverne 50 cal. i have the converson to 209 primers in the rifle. bought the rifle in the mid seveties when they came out. have shot it many many times. never had this to happen to the rifle. the rifle does have two safties. one is any bolt type of rifle has the other is the back end of the bolt is threaded with a nut is threaded on this rolled up to the front of the bolt ( towards the muzzel end of the rifle) this stops the bolt from stricking the primer. screw it the other way to the back of the bolt and it will strick the primer and discharge the loadin the chamber. i have fell down, slid down, dropped the thing from hip hight to the out of tree stands and never has the rifle discharged with the saftys in the correct position. knowing what i know of the knight having it for this many years i think some thing hit the primer and it was not the bolt impossable if the nut is screwed to the front of the bolt. there could have been a forgine object that struck the primer and the rifle discharged and also note that the bolt will not travel back to cocked position after firing .
 

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Let's throw another speculation into this equation. Is it possible that when the rifle hit the ground muzzle first that the striker/bolt jumped the safety and fired the rifle, also upon hitting the rock or ground the barrel was partially obstructed and you had enough blow back to drive the striker/bolt back over the safety's, jamming the trigger and blowing the primer out of the gun. It all happened pretty fast by the sounds of things so this is just another idea.
 

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I don't know what kind of ground the barrel fell into, but I suppose it is possible a fire piston effect could have happened, heating the air inside the barrel and causing the discharge. Just another wild Idea.
 
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