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muzzleloader dilemma

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by AveragEd, Oct 7, 2009.

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  1. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I need some help from someone with experience getting screwed up and mistreated guns operational again. Fortunately, I've never had to deal with this condition with any of my guns.

    My son bought a stainless steel T/C Encore with a 50-cal inline muzzleloader barrel and a .375 H&H barrel, both with Leupold scopes, from a friend of his. One look into the muzzle of the muzzleloader barrel told me it wasn't cleaned after the last use, so I brought the gun along to work today to clean it up and get it ready to shoot this weekend.

    What I found was that the gun apparently did not fire the last time because the breech plug's flash hole was blocked and - surprise - there was still powder in the chamber. After an hour or so with a Phillips screwdriver bit and a Leupold scope base screw bit, I started getting lead chunks out. I'm wondering how to proceed from here.

    Pushing on it with the ramrod does nothing. I thought of using a drill or just continuing what I've been doing. I'm also half-tempted to put one Pyrodex or Triple-Se7en pellet in it and try shooting it out but thought I'd ask some experts first.

    Thanks in advance for any help!

    Ed
     
  2. Carol Lister

    Carol Lister TS Member

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    If I understand you correctly, you're trying to remove a stuck ball/bullet? I'd use a ball puller screwed to the end of the ram rod. They come in several screw styles and in caliber increments so the puller is centered in the bore:

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    Carol Lister
     
  3. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    There is a device for unloading which uses a CO2 cartridge if you do not want to fire the gun.

    there is also a tip for the ramrod with a screw end that will screw into a bullet so it can be pulled out the front.

    It is also possible that once you get a good nipple in that the gun will fire. However at this time sice you have removed a quantity of powder and there is a void in the chamber I would not advise this.

    Worst case would be to unscrew the breech plug from the barrel.

    HM
     
  4. kenf

    kenf Active Member

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    Ed,

    You can always save a few bucks and put compressed air behind the ball to get it down the barrel. If the bore is really gooned up, you might try a combo of water base bore cleaner to first clean the lands to get a smoother pathway and then soak it with Kroil to try and get it to move.

    Worst case scenario, you could try some agressive copper remover (assuming it is a jacketed bullet) to work on the copper to get it out.

    Ed, what is planned for the 375 barrel? Any brass/dies that isn't wanted?

    Ken
     
  5. Rum River

    Rum River TS Member

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    I've used the CO2 method more than once for the 4-H team I used to coach.

    Reinstall the breech plug and apply compressed air, either by means of one of the CO2 dischargers specifically made for muzzleloaders, or by any air chuck with which you can get a reasonable seal.

    I've used the screw-type bullets pullers, and they will work too. It's just that it can result in a massive, frustrating tug of war if that bullet has been in there for a long time.

    Good Luck, Dan
     
  6. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    If I understand you, the gun was loaded with powder and bullet. You got the breech plug out and scraped the powder out now the bullet remains stuck in the barrel.

    I would lube the bore ahead of the bullet and fill the chamber with loose pyrodex or black , reinstall the breech plug, prime and shoot the mess out.
     
  7. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I'm likin' Wolfram's idea the best!

    As far as I know, Ken, Jason wants to keep the .375 barrel but I have no idea what he would ever use it for. It came with perhaps 30 reloaded shells in once-fired brass but no dies. Personally, if it was my gun, I'd sell the .375 barrel.

    Ed
     
  8. Steve NJ

    Steve NJ Member

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    Ed, If you have a long piece of brass I would put it down the barrel and tap it out. Perhaps putting some Rem oil to soak first. I have one of these in blue and like it a lot. Shoots Powerbelts really good.

    Steve
     
  9. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Thinking more about this Ed,

    Make sure you don't have more than one bullet stuck in the barrel before you try blasting it out. Do that by running the ram rod down the bore until it stops, mark the stop point with your thumb on the rod next to the muzzle then pull the rod out and lay it next to the barrel to locate where the top of the stuck bullet is. You should find the top of the bullet about 1 1/2" or 2" from the breech face if it is more like 4" you may have a double charge.

    If you try and shoot out a double charge you will probably ruin the barrel with a nasty bulge. The T/C Encore is a very strong gun so I doubt you will have a blow up with any black powder event but it would be best if you can save the barrel (hopefully it is worth saving)
     
  10. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    Ed..if you have the entire breech plug out ..you ought to be able to use a wooden dowel to tap the bullet out
     
  11. Savage99Stan

    Savage99Stan Active Member

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    Is the breech plug out? If so, drive the ball out the muzzle. If not, go with the drill and bullet puller, but only if the bore is full of water/oil..don't do this with a dry bore. Don't try to "shoot" it out, but if you insist on doing so, be sure to drive the ball back onto the powder before igniting...a ball with an airspace between it and the powder is just like an obstruction in the bore.

    On the other hand, see a gunsmith.
     
  12. Rods Custom Stocks

    Rods Custom Stocks Member

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    Do not try shooting it out.
    If the breech plug is out put a dowell in the muzzle and tap with a hammer or tap it on the ground and the bullet will come out. By driving it backwards you only have to go a couple of inches, if you drive it forward you will have to go thru about 26" of rifling. After it is out use scotchbrite to clean up the nasty stuff then polish it out and it will shoot like a new one again.

    Rod
     
  13. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to everyone for the great advice. Not bad for a "trapshooting site!"

    Yes, the breech plug is out and I've twisted a Leupold scope base windage screw bit on the powder to cut through it, which seemed to be really hardened in place. I'm now getting harder grey chunky stuff - lead, I'm assuming. I tried inserting a piece of aluminum dowel against the bullet from the breech and tapping on it with a light mallet but it didn't move. I decided against drilling for two reasons - sparks igniting the 1/8"-thick coating of powder remaining on the chamber's walls and after I have a hole through the bullet, I might not be able to get the rest of it out.

    I think I might try a piece of hardwood dowel inserted in the muzzle and try driving the bullet out through the breech with a heavier mallet. I'll put an empty 12-gauge shell over the end of the dowel so it doesn't break from the mallet's impacts as quickly.

    The idea of shooting it out sounds too easy - too good to be true, so to speak. But after the bullet is out, I do plan to light off a few primers to burn any remaining powder out of it.

    Do my proposed methods make sense?

    I suggested to Jason last night that he return the rifle and get his money back. He told me that wasn't an option - the seller has already used the money to pay bills. The good news is that he bought it "right," I think.

    Ed
     
  14. CalvinMD

    CalvinMD Well-Known Member

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    Let us know how it turns out Ed
     
  15. tom-n8ies

    tom-n8ies Member

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    I would not try to shoot out a stuck bullet that has been in there for who knows how long.

    I would soak it with penetrating oil (Kroil) for a day or two and dirve it out. if that does not work use a heat gun to warm things up.

    Do you know what kind of bullet it is? Lead or jacketed?

    Sabot? Power belt? If it is the later it will be in direct contact with the lands and coroded in place.

    If a sabot a heat gun should soften things up enough to get it out.

    If you have any doubt in your gunsmithing abillity take it to a professional.

    At least call the factory before trying to shoot it out.


    tom
     
  16. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    I assume it to be a lead bullet as I encountered no plastic or gilding metal.

    Ed
     
  17. tom-n8ies

    tom-n8ies Member

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    Soak the breech end in a can of kerosene or deisel for a couple days then try to drive it out, don't be affraid to hit it.

    Failing that and if it is 100% lead the heat gun will be your friend. Heat it slowly, don't be in a big hurry.


    tom
     
  18. short shucker

    short shucker TS Member

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    Ed,

    If you're still working on that barrel, soak it in warm soapy water for a bit to clean out the rest of the powder. Scub what powder out you can and coat the inside of the barrel with dishwashing deterget in both ends. Then slowly tap the bullet, with your dowel rod, in each direction until it gives way.

    Warm soapy water is the best way to clean a muzzleloader barrel that I've found.

    ss
     
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