Author Topic: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime  (Read 1684 times)

Offline Ats5331

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Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« on: January 17, 2022, 05:04:35 PM »
Hi all,

Went hunting in the snow today…you guessed it, even with a cover, my prime got wet.

It looks pretty soaked to me. I’m thinking that my main charge got wet as well.

How should I safely remove the main charge and ball? Or should I try to shoot it out first?

Thanks!

Offline Austin

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2022, 05:25:39 PM »
Pick er deep and shoot. If that fails go to plan B
Eat Beef

Offline Jim Evans

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2022, 05:35:50 PM »
Don't prime till you get ready to shoot on days like this in PA.
You could try to shoot it out or use a ball puller or compressed air.
US NAVY 1963-1985

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 06:17:25 PM »
Give it time to dry, get in there deep with the vent pick and work some fresh powder into the hole. Prime and fire. Might not go off with the vigor it usually does, but powder that has been wet then dried will still burn.

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2022, 06:18:12 PM »
I forgot to ask, of you put a pick in now, is the powder crunchy?

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2022, 06:35:01 PM »
Hi all,

Went hunting in the snow today…you guessed it, even with a cover, my prime got wet.

It looks pretty soaked to me. I’m thinking that my main charge got wet as well.

How should I safely remove the main charge and ball? Or should I try to shoot it out first?

Thanks!
You need a better cover. I also make sure the rifle is clean of anything that might cause a problem especially any powder fouling. Its poison. I generally wipe the bore with denatured alcohol  to remove the oil before loading. Making sure the alcohol evaporates. I also use a full length leather cover treated with snow seal. Nothing else is reliable. Also if possible let the rifle assume the outside temp. If the gun is cold snow won’t melt on it..  And after its fired be REALLY careful since the fouling will get wet if the humidity is high. Of if any fouled part touches the snow.

Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant”. James Madison

Offline StevenV

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2022, 01:55:28 AM »
Just got back in from hunting today, Southeast Pa. Today is the last day for the majority of the state. We hunted most every day and no issues with wet prime. That is even during the warm wet first week.  We use a leather cover when necessary. Prime gets changed at least 6-7 times a day . We always pull the ball at the end of the days hunt. The way I look at it , it is not worth saving charge. I am not saying it is wrong to save charge from day to day we just don't do it. We hunt hard and to pull up and miss due to "old "  charge not worth it. We have seen over 260 deer in the Pa Flintlock season, hunting most days with just two people, myself and daughter or myself and son.


We hunt our farm and a local game lands. Probably 70 % game lands and 30 % farm. Attached is one of the deer the good lord has blessed us with this year. My daughter got this , this morning.

To answer your question Ats5331 pull the ball.           StevenV

Offline Ats5331

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2022, 02:33:01 AM »
I tried firing it a few times, just flashes in the pan.

I am going to pull the ball and patch.

Then remove the barrel and breech plug, and use a compressor to blow the powder out.

In the previous comments, I had a few people suggest this.

Hopefully it works!

Offline snapper

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2022, 03:01:55 AM »
IMO you are going to an extreme to remove the plug.

If you pull the plug, no need for an air compressor.  Simply push everything on out with a range rod.

Fleener
My taste are simple:  I am easily satisfied with the best.  Winston Churchill

Offline StevenV

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2022, 03:32:24 AM »
do not pull the plug it is not necessary. Pull the ball and use the ball pulling jag to loosen powder, turn barrel upside down and hit it with a small wooden handle like that from an hatchet or small hammer. You might have to do this 3 or 4 times and your powder will come out the barrel. Then put barrel in bucket of water for cleaning. In the case you don't get it all out it will clean out when you clean the barrel in the water. Wet patch before going down the barrel to clean.    Steve

Offline RVAH-7

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2022, 05:23:11 AM »
Mr. Phariss; So I'm not the only guy to carry my rifle like that. I made mine out of canvas completely treated with beeswax and it does the trick in deep snow just like yours. A little noisy to drag out to shoot but my rifle is dry and it sparks fine. Once this season, the snow turned to rain but not wanting to bring into a warm pickup, it rode in back and puddles of water on the OUTSIDE, but just fine internally.
Thanks for posting the photo.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2022, 06:25:13 PM »
Mr. Phariss; So I'm not the only guy to carry my rifle like that. I made mine out of canvas completely treated with beeswax and it does the trick in deep snow just like yours. A little noisy to drag out to shoot but my rifle is dry and it sparks fine. Once this season, the snow turned to rain but not wanting to bring into a warm pickup, it rode in back and puddles of water on the OUTSIDE, but just fine internally.
Thanks for posting the photo.

Tight weave wool will work too.
Pg 128 of “Moravian Gunmaking of The American Revolution” there is a full length leather cover with  the Dickert Rifle. That this survived is surely the result of the rifle being taken to England… I never could figure out how  a cows knee was supposed to actually work if the weather was wet or warm enough to melt snow..
Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant”. James Madison

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2022, 10:10:45 PM »
I made my cows knee out of brain tan elk, large in size, and slathered over with bees wax/bear oil. Then seal around pan with a bead of bear oil/bees wax of peanut butter consistency. I try to hold and carry with muzzle down if its real wet.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2022, 10:58:13 PM »
I've never hunted in the wet with a flinter, only a cap gun.  The rifle is carried with the lock held in the arm pit of the coat - worked for me.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline walks with gun

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2022, 11:29:15 PM »
   It may sound mean but a person should really learn this before venturing forth.  Use your ball puller and pull the load, never hurts to run a oiled patch down the bore before doing so.

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2022, 12:08:10 AM »
Now unless I am elk hunting in Eastern Oregon I don't have to deal with much snow but here is the "cow's knee" I carry when the conditions require one. It has been treated to multiple coats of Neatsfoot oil and stays dry on the inside under all conditions
As to the question of pulling the breech plug; I wouldn't. If you pull the ball give the barrel a "proper" cleaning using a breech scrapper, bronze or nylon brush after several barrel full pouring's of warm or tepid water. Then multiple cleaning patches starting with wet then go to dry until clean. Finish with a good oiling and you should be fine. Before loading next time run a cleaning patch soaked in Isopropyl alcohol down the barrel followed by a dry patch. This will remove any oil residue left from the cleaning. Give it a few minutes before loading for the alcohol to totally evaporate. Pick the vent hole well or if you are inclined as I am blow down the barrel to confirm the vent is open.

« Last Edit: January 19, 2022, 12:11:12 AM by MuskratMike »
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline alacran

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2022, 04:25:34 PM »
I started this routine with my guns before going on a hunt. Place gun upside down at least 24 hours before loading. If temperatures are cold, below freezing, I take it out into my shop before loading. I don't heat my shop overnight. Run dry patches down bore till no oil residue is apparent. Lastly, I blast co2 though the touch hole with my discharger.
I then load the gun in my shop. I leave the gun in the truck loaded until hunt is over. If the hunt involves camping, I load gun at camp all other procedures are done before I leave the house.
Has worked so far.
Of course, I have a cow's knee I use if the conditions warrant it. If there is heavy snow on the trees but it isn't snowing, conditions warrant it.
A man's rights rest in three boxes: the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box.  Frederick Douglass

Offline Daryl

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2022, 10:51:15 PM »
When on the muzzleloading moose hunt, temps were often -30F to -40F.  Our rifles were always left leaning against a spruce tree overnight, with a strip of electrician's tape over the muzzle to prevent snow from getting in there. The guns were usually left with cap and hammer down on the cap, so the bores continued to be sealed - or with a piece of leather between cap and hammer cup.
There was no one hunting with flinters back then, except for the last year, my bro. Brrrrrrrr.  It was -40 for 3 or 4 days, before a Chinook blew through and raised the temps close to freezing- warmed right up - almost balmy.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Ats5331

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2022, 02:39:11 AM »
Thanks all. A former teacher of mine texted me and gave me sound advice. The ball is out safe and sound!

Wonder who that teacher could be? ??? ;D

Offline utseabee

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2022, 02:35:55 AM »
When on the muzzleloading moose hunt, temps were often -30F to -40F.  Our rifles were always left leaning against a spruce tree overnight, with a strip of electrician's tape over the muzzle to prevent snow from getting in there. The guns were usually left with cap and hammer down on the cap, so the bores continued to be sealed - or with a piece of leather between cap and hammer cup.
There was no one hunting with flinters back then, except for the last year, my bro. Brrrrrrrr.  It was -40 for 3 or 4 days, before a Chinook blew through and raised the temps close to freezing- warmed right up - almost balmy.

If I am hunting the next day, I don't unload my flintlock. I just leave it in the truck or the outhouse over night.
The difficult we do at once, the impossible takes a little longer.

Offline PAFlinter

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2022, 05:30:48 AM »
I keep mine, if loaded in the barn.  It's not insulated so the gun will change temp gradually with whatever the ambien temp is.  I cover the muzzle the whole time with a piece of plastic baggie secured with a small rubber band.  I wrap the lock with buck skin and change prime OFTEN!

It will go bang even in the rain.  I do like that cows knee tho, I'll look for one of those.


Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2022, 04:40:44 AM »
I have found a camoflaged canvas case that comes past the wrist works pretty well.  I painted it with Thompson's Water Seal and you could probably drink out of it.  Daryl, curious what type of gloves you wear at 40 below.  I use wool fingerless with mittens but not at 40 below?

Offline Daryl

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2022, 06:09:54 AM »
I used wool Jeff,w/thinsulate in finger less mittens with a flip-over end that covered the fingers. I also used a pair of thick snowmobile mittens with long cuffs, but the right one was too hard to get off quickly to take a shot. That's when I changed to the wool ones with flip-over ends. Much easier and my hand didn't freeze to the stock. In those circumstances, only the first shot
was a patched round ball. All the rest were ctgs. that could be loaded without taking the end cup off the mittens.
I don't do that STUFF any more. Thinking back on those days, I really can't imagine it but, well, that's what we had to do, so we did it.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2022, 07:17:21 AM by Daryl »
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2022, 02:06:49 AM »
I used wool Jeff,w/thinsulate in finger less mittens with a flip-over end that covered the fingers. I also used a pair of thick snowmobile mittens with long cuffs, but the right one was too hard to get off quickly to take a shot. That's when I changed to the wool ones with flip-over ends. Much easier and my hand didn't freeze to the stock. In those circumstances, only the first shot
was a patched round ball. All the rest were ctgs. that could be loaded without taking the end cup off the mittens.
I don't do that STUFF any more. Thinking back on those days, I really can't imagine it but, well, that's what we had to do, so we did it.
There are a couple of us here who are still doing that, Daryl.  Minus 30 C this morning, and I was actually thinking about some rabbit hunting  :)

Offline Daryl

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Re: Hunting in Snow….Wet Prime
« Reply #24 on: January 25, 2022, 03:04:53 AM »
Good stuff, Bob, Taylor and I are not able to do that any more. However, perhaps this March will be a good snowshoe bunny hunting where we used to go
bunny hunting as a club, down in the Shelly Area. Snowshoe hunting snowshoe bunnies. Walking on about 6 to 8 feet of snow. Just the tops of the willows
showing through the snow, however that bush is actually a tree. I fell down through one, once. Had a heck of a time getting out.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V