New muzzleloader break in?

Discussion in 'Guns - Blackpowder' started by jlingle, Oct 26, 2007.

  1. jlingle

    jlingle New Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    State:
    Altus, Okl
    I bought a new t/c muzzleloader the other day. It's an Omega. With all my new centerfire rifles, I know I have broken the barrels in on the range the first time I took them out. Shoot one round, clean like crazy until the gun was perfect, shoot again & clean, etc. etc. Does anyone know of any methods to break in a muzzleloader barrel or to season one? I have heard it said that muzzleloader barrels need to be seasoned, just like a cast iron skillet. Heck if I know. If anybody has any tips for me, it would be most appreciated.
     
  2. BLKCLOUD

    BLKCLOUD New Member

    Messages:
    378
    State:
    Pulaski Tn
    Out of the 4-5 that I have owned in the past 20 years I have never done anything other than load and shoot them..
    I have never really broken in a barrel on any gun that I know of.. I just load and shoot..I have a Colt 22lr semi auto that has had 4-5 thousand rounds shot through it and I have never even run a brush down the barrel..It still shoots with very good accuracy..I figure one of these days I'll have some lead build up and have to clean it but until it starts going haywire i'm not going to bother it..if it aint broke dont fix it.. on center fire rifles you usually need a fouling shot anyway.
     

  3. fishnfwl

    fishnfwl New Member

    Messages:
    3,334
    State:
    South Cent
    Well other than just shoot some different bullet weights and grains, to see what I wanted to load for what hunt, I have never done anything myself to the 50. I shoot, thats not saying there isn't?
     
  4. brinley45cal

    brinley45cal Active Member

    Messages:
    2,606
    State:
    kentucky
    Well with any muzzleloader you really dont have to clean it out after every shot.when sighting it in after every third shot run a dry cleaning patch down it a few times to get some of that junk out if not you accuracy will fall off and you wont get it sighted in.then when you get home you can clean it all out.the first cold barrel shot is the most important one because your barrel is going to be cold when you shoot at the deer or whatever.it will season itself the more you shoot it.
     
  5. Howie Ketchdem

    Howie Ketchdem New Member

    Brinly 45 said it, he is right, in my experience the more you shoot it the more accurate it gets we had to put 600-800 rounds through my dads before it shot a good group, sounds crazy but its true when new at 100 yds it was good to get a 6" group 5 years later it will do that at 250yds shot a deer last year with it at 205yds. so just shoot the hell out of it before the season and try all kinds of different bullets (brands and weights) same with powder (brands and weights.) and you have to clean a muzzle loader after you done shooting it black powder is highly corrosive will ruin a gun barrel if left dirty.
     
  6. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

    Messages:
    2,288
    State:
    Indiana, J
    Jarrod, ya bought a TC, so use the TC products the gun was designed for.
    It's made for sabot "Shockwave" bullets, No. 13 cleaner solvent, and TC's Bore Butter. They have different weight bullets, but I chose the 250gr., and they also have a super glide sabot now, with just two petals, that is easy ta load. It should have come with a t-handle, a cleaning loading jag, and a breech plug wrench. A 7/16 deep well socket works well too. The jag tip is inleted for the shockwave bullets, so it doesn't deform as ya load it. It has a QLA muzzle, so you don't need a "starter" rod. Just starts with yer fingers as the muzzle crown is recessed bout an inch down the bore. I've had good results with pyrodex pellets. What ya need to buy is as follows,

    TC No. 13 cleaning solvent. (I like the pre-soaked patches in a jar).
    TC Bore Butter (also available ready in the jar, or in a tube).
    Round dry patches for 50 cal.
    A bullet puller jag, for removing bullet/sabots or stuck patches.
    Powder, (If ya go with loose, ya need a measure & flask.)
    Bullets (Like I said the gun was designed around the Shockwave.)
    Primers
    Quick loaders, for in the field.
    Pouch, small one, for the "possibles", in the field.
    Breech brush
    Super Lube, for the plug.

    You can probly get a starter kit from TC with most of it. For goodness sake don't forget the bullet pulling jag, it will save ya some time in the field if ya get excited an miss sequence. Otherwise ya got ta pull the breech plug, & though it ain't that hard, it's a hassle if yer cold & wet.

    Always drop the rod/jag down the bore before you load to hear that metal on metal sound. Especially if you are taking it out of storage, or have loaned it to anyone. This is one of those "Duh" things, but do it anyway.

    When shooting start by running a wet patch down the bore, then a dry one. If it's yer first start, fire off a primer to clear any moisture or lube from the plug. Now yer ready to load. Drop yer charge, then start yer bullet/sabot by finger tip, then push it on down on top of the charge. If yer using pellets; don't push so hard ya crush em, just touch, you can feel it. Take the time now to take a piece of tape and place it on the rod flush with the muzzle. This is your marker, lets you know ya are not loading a charge over a charge which is the worse case for the shooter & bystanders. Pull the rod, prime the gun, shoot the bulleye, smile, and repeat.
    One wet patch, one dry, loading sequence & fire.....When yer done, run 3 wet dry series or more till it comes out clean, then use the bore butter patch to lube and condition the barrel till ya use it again. Pull the breech plug and do the cleaning/lube process after ya sight in, and before you store it. Least twice a year.

    The Bore butter conditions the barrel, and shooting sabots & pyrodex there is much less fowling; an really the wet patch, dry patch is the secret to good groups. Hope ya find this helpful. Good hunting/shooting.
     
  7. jlingle

    jlingle New Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    State:
    Altus, Okl
    Thanks Gary. That's a ton of darn good info. right there. I've been shooting muzzleloaders for about 10 years, and just decided to get a good one this year, and to try to treat it right from the very beginning. All the other muzzleloaders I've ever owned have been bought used. I always wondered how well they were taken care of before I got 'em. This time, if something goes wrong with the bore of the rifle, I'm to blame.

    Okay, I've started doing some shooting. Here's my results:

    At 100 yards, hornady 300gr. xtp sabots will group about 2.5" when using 100 grains of 777 pellets, not too shabby.

    I bought some 240 gr. hornady xtp sabots today and the first 2 shots touched each other. The 3rd shot was about 1.5 inches high. Niiice. I was happy, but decided to try one more bullet just in case.

    I grabbed a box of 250 gr. t/c shockwave bullets. Bingo. My first 2 shots were basically in the same hole, and the third was a hang-fire.... tick-boom. Still landed 1" away. Just to make sure it was't a fluke I cleaned and did it again, it'll shoot 3 shockwaves into 1 1/4" all day. WOW. I only have 1 centerfire that'll do that.

    Here's my sequence when shooting. To start off, I run a wet patch & a dry patch then pop a primer. Fire, then run a seasoned patch, a wet patch, and a dry patch. Shoot, repeat. Clean hard after every 5 or 6 shots. I always end the shooting session with a bore seasoning patch. It's shooting lights out.
     
  8. catfishcentral

    catfishcentral New Member

    Messages:
    1,497
    State:
    OK
    Sounds like your ready to do some damage tomorrow morning.....good luck I'll be out there doing the same.:big_smile:
     
  9. jlingle

    jlingle New Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    State:
    Altus, Okl
    Good luck Chris. I hate to be going out on opening day with a full moon, but I'll take what I can get.
     
  10. bootshowl

    bootshowl New Member

    Messages:
    2,288
    State:
    Indiana, J
    Good luck. Only thing I'd add for ya, is the bore butter is really for after cleaning. It was probly the reason ya had a hang fire once...and the reason ta pop a primer fore ya start. It's thick an will foul the flash hole especially if ya chase it with a wet patch....hydrolic pressure forces it down into the hole.
    Also be sure an carry some No. 13 liquid in yer bag, lest ya hang a dry patch by forgetting to use a wet one first.....just a small amount dripped down the rod of the stuck patch ta make it wet....an out she comes. I carry a small "eye drop" bottle full, for just in case. It's easy ta get excited sometimes, LOL.
    :big_smile:
     
  11. jlingle

    jlingle New Member

    Messages:
    1,036
    State:
    Altus, Okl
    Eyedropper.... good idea. I carry the whole darn kitchen sink when muzzleloader hunting. I have one of those "anything's possibles" bags.:smile2: Actually the enormous fannypack that I use for catfishing on the river, is now completely full of bp accessories & hunting gear. I'm going hunting in the morning & the only thing I don't have packed is toilet paper.... yet. Aw, I don't expect to see a whole bunch in the morning anyway. Tomorrow evening is when I expect things to get good. We'll have to see.

    The seasoning patches I'm using are the T7 t/c patches. They're supposed to help season the barrel & help in ease of loading. My last rifle was an absolute bear to load. You had to be a hulkster to force a sabot down the barrel sometimes, even after cleaning. It was absurd. I called t/c & they told me that it shouldn't be that way, when I asked 'em about putting some bore butter down the bore first, I could hear the collective gasp on the other end... but.... bore butter will harm your accuracy they said. Yeah, and needing 200 lbs of force to cram a sabot down the barrel won't? Anyway, that's my reasoning behind using the seasoning patches so much... that & it was suggested on an accurizing website.

    Thanks for all the good info, everybody!
     
  12. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel New Member

    Messages:
    353
    State:
    NC
    You know this whole debate is why I went to a smokeless muzzleloader.

    1. Modern muzzleloaders are made of alloy steel not forged steel with high cast iron content. You can not "season" a modern steel barrel with bore butter no matter what T/C tells you.

    2. Clean your inline muzzleloader bore with a good brush and regular barrel solvent BEFORE you use it the first time and after. If you are using plastic sabots watch for plastic residue buildup that may require acetone to remove. remove the breech plug and clean your breech plug and the vent channel the primer fire goes thru. Find out what size that hole is supposed to be and watch for erosion of the vent. oversize vents mean poor accuracy.

    3. Oil your barrel for storage to prevent rust. Check into Ballistol it works great and does not contribute to hard fouling. Remove all traces of oil before shooting. Alcohol works real good for that. Oil + 777 or pyrodex or BP fouling = TAR. Shoot from a CLEAN barrel. Pop a cap before loading to insure a clear vent.

    4. On the range do swab between shots. A spit patch will work. First a spit patch then a dry one.

    5. Once you find your load fire your test groups by loading clean, cold barrel, fire. Then clean everything and wait for the barrel to cool, load and fire. Repeat, aiming at the same point each time. You see what your muzzleloader will do from a cold clean barrel is what it will do in the woods when mister buck comes by.

    If you scrub out your modern steel barrel with hot water and soap and then coat with bore butter you WILL get a rusty patch when you come back to the barrel later. Bore butter is sheep tallow and paraffin wax plus wintergreen scent. Sheep tallow is animal fat. As such it contains salt. Salt rusts metal. Paraffin is oil by product made from petroleum.
    Purists will tell you; Don't put oil in you barrel it will make fouling when you fire. Well, one of the primary ingredients of Bore butter is oil. Bore butter is based on a formula used by the military back when they used BP firearms. It was used as a patch and bullet lube because it kept the fouling softer and easier to clean out of the barrels. However if you checked the old manuals they still scubbed out the barrels squeaky clean and oiled them for storage.

    Not just my opinion do some reading.
     
  13. Katmandeux

    Katmandeux New Member

    Messages:
    1,618
    State:
    Checotah, Oklahoma
    I always remove the nipple or breech plug from my muzzleloaders for off season storage. They can, and do, seize up.:sad2: