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The Muzzleloader: “An Old School” Feel

Aim Small, Miss Small

    For me, there is something special about loading an individual component, taking careful aim, squeezing the trigger and waiting for the smoke to clear.

    I’m talking about using a smoke pole or a muzzleloader.

    Even though we are not living in the 1800s, they are fun to use and a very useful tool.  For years I have used my front loader as my gun of choice for deer hunting.  Although you have only one shot, it makes you take your time and not force any shot.  You have to make it count.

Muzzleloader
The Smoke Pole

Traditional Black Powder vs. Substitutes

    Components for black powder consists of powder, bullet and primer.  I’m not a full traditionalist when it comes to this.  I use an inline rifle that utilizes a 209 primer, black powder substitute and a sabot bullet.

    Black powder substitutes are cleaner burning and less corrosive than your 2F or 3F powder.  Which in turn, you get more shots in between cleanings.

    I have over the years tried many powders which each has their qualities and downfalls.  But I have remained with Blackhorn 209.  There really is nothing I can say negative about it.

A Lesson Learned

    You treat it like regular powder but it acts almost like smokeless powder that is used in metalic cartridges.  Burns hotter, cleaner and I am able to shoot practically all day without a single swab of the barrel.  The only setback is your rifle needs a completely sealed primer pocket, like in the Thompson centers, and you must use regular 209 shotgun primers.  Before knowing this, I tried a company’s “muzzleloader” primer thinking it was designed for it.  In the end losing a nice 10 point buck due to a failure.  Come to find out, the primer I used wasn’t as hot as shotgun primers and failed to ignite the charge.  Lesson learned and do not want anyone else to experience that dreaded memory of the click and watching the buck run away.  Since that day I only use Winchester 209s and have had zero malfunctions.

Until next time, safe hunting.

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