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Muzzleloader, how long can you reasonably leave it charged?

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As the title asks, how long can I leave my inline muzzleloader charged for? Assuming I wanted to leave it charged for the entire season I never have an opportunity is that okay? I would obviously touch it off and clean it at the end of the season.

Seems to be some mixed opinions on this based on the powder you're using. I'm using blackhorn 209.
 

whacko

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As the title asks, how long can I leave my inline muzzleloader charged for? Assuming I wanted to leave it charged for the entire season I never have an opportunity is that okay? I would obviously touch it off and clean it at the end of the season.

Seems to be some mixed opinions on this based on the powder you're using. I'm using blackhorn 209.
For me it's one hunt. I open the breach plug and push out the unused powder and start with a fresh charge every trip. Why?

Two seasons ago I witnessed a travesty of epic proportions. A gorgeous 8 pointer walked within 30 yards of my friend and when he pulled the trigger..... "kapick"....no boomashoot! He put a new 209 on it and tried again...."kapick"....no go. Buck heard it that time and bolted.

That charge had been in the gun for 2 days of hunting. We pushed it out the breach to check it and it was all mush from moisture (was using 777 pellets). It had not been raining or snowing either. We assume it was condensation from the gun going from the cold to warm (outside to inside). I pushed my charge out the breach to check it and SAME THING....pellets were mushy. We had been hunting together for the last 2 days.

I don't take any chances after seeing that (and I'll assume you won't either after reading this).......I use a fresh charge every trip!
 
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smokey-seven

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You won't go too far wrong with a recharge each day. Also where possible, don't bring a MZloader inside when it's cold. Leave in the same temp to prevent sweating. Also that will slow down on ice up.
 

whacko

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So can you reload the same saboted bullet? Seems after loading once the sabot would have already taken to the rifling.
I don't reload anything. New powder primer and projo every time out. Yes the projos and sabos get dinged up so I just use a new one every trip.

As far as primers.....I keep a zip lock bag full in my pocket. I move around alot in our deer drives and have to un prime and re prime multiple times a day. I bet I drop more on the ground and lose them than actually put in the breach! Bring a bunch!!!!
 
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45collector

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I will unload and put fresh bullets/ pellets in my ML if the weather/ temps have changed drastically after I've loaded up for the season. Or if I had it out in the field on a particularly wet day (although on wet days I'd rather be duck hunting than ML deer hunting). New Years eve every year I unload and completely disassemble the ML, clean it, run boiling water down the breech/bore, and oil it down inside and out with CLP. I've had rust problems from not cleaning it diligently enough in the past.
At the end of shotgun every year, I'll clean any residual oil out of the ML, run dry patches down the bore 'til they come clean, and assemble it besides the breech/bolt/spring/cap. I'll then store it in the truck for several days before I go out and run more dry patches down the bore again (in case any sweating has happened between my basement and the truck) and then assemble, always using anti-seize on the breech plug threads.
The difference this year is, I finally put a scope on it. It's fully assembled right now with the scope already on so within the next few weeks I'll be sighting it in, and then a good clean one more time before 12/10.
Good luck out there! Last season was actually the first time I ever even fired at a deer with my ML. F*cking missed, which is also the first time I ever missed a deer I was firing at. :/
 

Mark from MA

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As the title asks, how long can I leave my inline muzzleloader charged for? Assuming I wanted to leave it charged for the entire season I never have an opportunity is that okay? I would obviously touch it off and clean it at the end of the season.

Seems to be some mixed opinions on this based on the powder you're using. I'm using blackhorn 209.

I put the gun away with a natural bore butter in the bore, store bore end down, and I pull the breech plug, make sure its completely dry, blow air thru it and do not use oils of any kind. Its stainless, but I store it inside so the flash hole stays perfect. I then check it with compressed air again before I load for the season. I swab out the bore with a few patches and put in the breech plug. In general the bore butter will not interfere with firing, where oils may creep into your powder or pellet or flash hole.

I usually load once a season, then keep it out in the cold garage to stop from major condensation changes/sweating. With the pellets I use I need to clean every third discharge or sooner so I don't want to shoot off and clean every time, even though with the breakopen/ no tools screw in breech plug, its pretty easy and quick.

I think if there was a drastic weather change, or rain hunt, i would pull the breech plug and push out the old stuff and put in new stuff.

I use these blue MZ pellets from Alliant and I have not witnessed any decomposition or mushiness when pushing them back out at the end of the season. But they are definatlely not "clean" I need to swab the bore every third charge.

I want to try Blackhorn, but got a 50% sale on the Blue MZ and have a bunch of them, and have very good accuracy with Powerbelt Platinums.
 
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MP-In-The-Wind

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For my Hawken, I'd use Pyrodex and round lead balls....and if no deer, shoot it at the range AFTER season is over. I save the #11 primers for post-season shoot-out.....and I've ALWAYS had it fire first time...even if it's rained/poured on me during the ML season!

I've since moved onto a T/C Bonecollector (in-line)... I keep it loaded for the season....and again, it's rained/poured/snowed on me and fired right away with the saved 209 primer.

BTW: I use a fresh primer each outing...but save them for re-use at the range. ML is brought inside the house and hung over the wood stove after each use...and wiped down with silicone gun rag after each outing.

YMMV
 

Arto

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Black Powder is corrosive after it's fired.... Pyrodex is corrosive (a salt) in it's unfired condition
 

BigTimber

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For me it's one hunt. I open the breach plug and push out the unused powder and start with a fresh charge every trip. Why?

Two seasons ago I witnessed a travesty of epic proportions. A gorgeous 8 pointer walked within 30 yards of my friend and when he pulled the trigger..... "kapick"....no boomashoot! He put a new 209 on it and tried again...."kapick"....no go. Buck heard it that time and bolted.

That charge had been in the gun for 2 days of hunting. We pushed it out the breach to check it and it was all mush from moisture (was using 777 pellets). It had not been raining or snowing either. We assume it was condensation from the gun going from the cold to warm (outside to inside). I pushed my charge out the breach to check it and SAME THING....pellets were mushy. We had been hunting together for the last 2 days.

I don't take any chances after seeing that (and I'll assume you won't either after reading this).......I use a fresh charge every trip!
This.
 

BaldAssCat

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I'll admit it, one year I left a charge in a flintlock from hunting season until July. I took it out for a fresh coat of bore butter and dropped the range rod down the barrel and it stopped short of where the bottom should be. It was a pretty rainy year but I put a little in the pan and it fired first try.

Normally I'll leave the ones with a closed breach loaded until the end of the season and send what's in it into the sand bank at the end of the last day. The inline is unloaded each day I use it since it's so easy to do.
 
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I keep mine loaded it always has fired.

As you've read avoiding condensation is a must.

The gun gets cold keep it cold.

BTW best of luck out there.
 
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