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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am wondering why my percussion didn't go off on a recent deer hunting trip(it's a traditional, not in-line). I had cleaned the weapon well, but I hadn't shot a few caps. I am wondering if that is the reason. Also, I loaded the weapon inside, and it was about 25 degrees out. Could that cause condensation and make the powder wet ?

At the end of the night, legal shooting was over, and I thought I'd take aim at a stump and see how well I shot. It didn't go off after three caps. I was in a hurry and left and used one of those CO2 cartidges tools to eject the bullet at home.

I am also wondering if people have had luck with outting a few grains of finer powder (FFF) in the nipple. I haven't tried this yet.

I need to get all of this down because I am elk hunting with the weapon next year.

Thanks,

Erik in Minnesota
 

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Erik - the reason most likely is you did not clear the drum/bolster of oil or what ever. The drum/bolster is where the nipple screws into. Before you shoot next time, swab the bore with alcohol to get the oil out of it. Then push a dry patch to the bottom of the breech and pop a cap. Pull that patch and look for a burn mark. What you are doing is blowing the crud out of the drum. When you finally see a burn mark on that patch, pop one more for good luck. I've had rifles that took four caps, so do not settle for anything less then a solid burn mark on that dry patch. After you see that you know the drum is clear, the barrel is dry, so you can feel confident in loading and knowing the rifle will shoot.

Also when hunting it does not hurt to pull that nipple and put a few grains of powder down there. It will help make sure that you have a good solid ignition. And to protect the nipple, cap, rifle, and yourself... when walking around in bad weather where you do not expect a fast shot, take the cap of a tire valve stem. Garages that sell tires have hundreds of old ones around. Open the hammer and that valve stem will fit right over the cap and nipple and you can lower the hammer on to it to hold it in place. I have a small fishing line tied to mine and then to the trigger, so as I cock the hammer, I flick the tire valve stem off. This will keep that area dry for you in bad weather.

On the end of the muzzle in bad weather, you can cover it with a condom, tape, barrel covers, finger cots, even cling wrap to keep snow and rain out of that end of the barrel.

The last thing that might have caused your rifle not to fire is when hunting the load was contaminated or the powder was bad. I suspect you forgot to clean the bolster and it stopped the spark from the cap to reach the main charge.
 

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Good advice from Cayugad. Also, if possible leave you rifle in a case in your vehicle at night. It won't suffer from the temperature change that you mentioned. Following Cayugad's instructions, with both nipple and muzzle sealed when not capped for firing, you should be able to leave your rifle charged all the time if you use a non-moisture attracting powder like real black powder. Triple Seven and others will attract moisture. Blackhorn 209 won't attract moisture either, but it's not for use in guns that use caps or flints as ignition sources. Correct me please if I'm wrong.
 

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Although there may be many explanations, #1 on the list by a long shot is failing to clear the nipple and flame channel. The tiniest drop of oil or grain of fouling and it can be no-go. You simply must do it, every time.
 

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One thing I NEVER do is coat my rifle bore with petrolium based oil. Others do and insist it must be done. I have, in my thirty some-odd years of ML shooting have ever had a rust problem after cleaning.

The first thing I do when preping my rifle before loading is run about two dry patches down the bore and then fire two caps. I then preceed with loading powder and ball. After that, I remove the nipple and using a charger that some use to prime a flintlock pan with, place some 3Fg into the drum and replace the nipple.

But, there are caps and then there are caps. The only two reliable caps I have used are RWS (German waterproofed caps) sometimes named Dynamite Nobel, and CCI Magnum caps.
 

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But, there are caps and then there are caps. The only two reliable caps I have used are RWS (German waterproofed caps) sometimes named Dynamite Nobel, and CCI Magnum caps.
That is some good advise on the caps. If you see CCI standard caps... run away fast. They just don't work. The other one I have had some good luck with recently (but in the past were terrible) are the Remington 40% hotter #11 caps. They seem to work good. Dynamite Noble 1075 are just hard to beat for a good cap.
 

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I've sparked a side lock since '76' and had a few no gos. Just used 4f I stored in a buck lure flip spout bottle. Removed the nipple and sprayed a squrit and bumped the lock with my hand to settle the charge and clear the threds for nipple replacement, did'nt want powder in the threds. just cap and fire, might hang alittle but you don't have to by co2.
I used a piece of leather on the nipple for moisture, the stem cap sounds great never thought of it. When I lived in wisconsin we did alot of blk pdr hunting cause it allowed us to go in shotgun areas. and 3f dupont was the chosen brand. and the caps were the german caps no cci.
 

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I huntede for three days in the snow and bitter cold a few years back with my T/C Hawken, and I never ever load it now without clearing the flame channel, I use a piece of newspaper or regular paper and pop a cap with the muzzle close to the paper, if it doesn't move the paper vigorously, I pop another and then load, I also will not take it inside if loaded and I've been hunting outside(short breaks, lunch, etc) but at the end of the day, it gets shot, cleaned, and reloaded the next morning. If I missed the buck of a lifetime due to a click I'd be an unhappy camper!
 

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If you see CCI standard caps... run away fast. They just don't work.
Thats news to me. I've been using CCI #11 standard caps for more than 20 years, and have never had a single problem. I do though, fire off at least 3 caps before loading in the morning to dry out any oils or moisture. I have had mine loaded 4 days and it still fired. I do put vaseline over the cap to keep moisture out, but thats it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks cayugad and others. I knew about firing some caps, but not the bit about putting a patch down and firing a cap to see if the flame channel is clear.

Erik in Minnesota
 

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I bought a carton (ten tins) of CCI standard caps by mistake. I was sure I ordered the magnum but the store assured me it was the standard I ordered. I still think they made a shipping mistake. Out of those ten tins of caps, I have never in my life had so many misfires, failure to ignite, failures to even go off, in my life. I shoot almost every day weather permitting. I finally went and ordered a second carton of RWS Dynamite Noble 1075 caps just so I could have something that worked.

I am glad you never had problems with the CCI Standard. You can shoot all of them you want. All I use them for now is setting up the rifle to shoot. I will not hunt or even target shoot with them. Three brands of caps I buy... RWS Dynamite Noble, CCI Magnums, or Remington 40% hotter
 

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[he first thing I do when preping my rifle before loading is run about two dry patches down the bore and then fire two caps. I then preceed with loading powder and ball.]

Amen. When a load is rammed down a lubed bore, especially with a thin/loose lubricant, some lube can't be helped from being pushed into either the patent breech or the nipple channel/snail.

.
 

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Did you turn the rifle onto its side and give it a hard solid smacks on the opposite side of the lock? You need to help powder shift under the nipple. I forgot to do it one today and got a hang fire. The powder you are shooting, the nipple and what caps you are shooting can cause that. I always change my nipples out to the stainless steel Hollowbase Spitfire nipple that cabelas sells. Excellent nipple. CCI #11 mags are also excellent.
 

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Best advise I ever used is from Sam Fadala. He said to put a wrap of "Saran Wrap" around the stock over the capped nipple. It sticks to itself, seals out the moisture and doesn't prevent the cap from going off. After a full day in cold snowy weather it'll still fire. By the way, he also said to fire off at least 10(?) caps before loading for a hunt to be sure of dry flash hole. Caps are cheap so not a bad idea.
 

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i disagree with firing caps. The fouling it leaves, attracts moisture. The one thing i DO check after its loaded, is pull the nipple and check for powder inside of the drum. If theres powder in there, its dry and it wont attract moisture.
 

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I have shot the RWS before, but they are extremely dirty. I don't know if maybe cayugad just got a bad batch, but I have shot more, over the years, than the case you bought and never had a single misfire. I also have a cousin who builds muzzloaders, and shoots in competition and uses the same CCI standard #11's. Between the two of us, there have been quite a few thousand caps fired without a single issue. Like I said, you may have got a bad batch.
 
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