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Old February 21, 2009, 02:17 AM   #1
adam0bomb
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freak muzzleloader loading accident

on November 29th 2008 i had a severe muzzleloader accident.i was sighting in my knight wolverine with a new 209 primer conversion kit.i was using pryrodex pellets with regular 50 cal lead balls.on my third reload i did the normal loadup with at least 5 min waiting time between shots(walking 60 yards too the target too see shot placements).....i loaded 2 50 gram blackpowder pellets..then patch with bore butter after putting the ball in with the starter i then used my rod to push the ball down to the charge area.as soon as i reach the powder the gun imediatly fired,sending part of the rod and the ball through my right hand horizontaly and clipping my left middle finger and flying past my face leaving powder burn on my neck and chin.i now have very minimal use of my dominate right hand and severely damaged left middle finger after going to the hospital i learned from the police and gathered friends and 2 witnesses that were there,that the gun was on safty both action and lever and that the breach was still open.was the cause of this the new 209 kit and possibly not engineered well enough for this gun?or possibly a freak accident?i have used muzzle loading guns and this particular gun since i was at least 10 years old.
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Old February 21, 2009, 06:21 AM   #2
sourdough44
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Very sorry to hear about the mishap. Of course a fresh primer was not in the gun while loading? It sounds like a hot ember may of been present but it was a long time & if the pellets were loaded 1st they should of went off sooner. With reguard to a hot ember, I wonder if it's more likely with a chunk of a powder pellet over loose? I think about this & try to wait a little before reloading. Last Fall though I did take 2 anterless deer in the last 10min of shooting time with a speed load in the middle.

Anyhow, that is pretty unusual. I've shot M-L's for a long time & never had one go off while loading.
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Old February 21, 2009, 07:48 AM   #3
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Glad you are alive Adam O!
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Old February 21, 2009, 09:56 AM   #4
James R. Burke
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Seems like a long time for a hot amber to be in there. Two friends of mine were getting done hunting they were putting there guns in the cases when one went off hitting the other hunter. The gun was not capped. They figure some sort of static set it off. The one that got hit sued the gun maker, and won.
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Old February 21, 2009, 12:00 PM   #5
adam0bomb
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yes thank you i am very blessed to be alive.i can still feel that rush of the bullet whipping past my head.my two friends were standing right next to me when it happened so thank god they were not in the way.it could have been so much worse so many different ways.anyone who has loaded a muzzleloader knows you some times put yer whole body or torso right over the barrel!please think about what body parts you have in the way of that barrel!lol one friend insists on loading his gun by pushing the ramrod against a tree.having that muzzleloader go off like it did while loading it the same way since i had it new was just a bummer.i loved that gun and have shot countless deer with it including my very first when i was 10.some people ive talked to suggest the ember was some how trapped in the threads of the breach.

i have also considered suing the maker of the 209 conversion kit...what if this is a poorly engineered product?i have shot this gun since new with the previous no11 caps for years.the night before the accident i totally disassembled the gun and throughly cleaned it then installed the new 209 kit.next day after just 2 shots it did this.did i do something wrong?should i have swabbed between shots..yes i should have.but whoops i forgot.my friend sits there with his muzzleloader and loads it while smoke is still rolling out the barrel.ya hes dumb but he does this all the time.

Last edited by adam0bomb; February 21, 2009 at 12:19 PM.
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Old February 21, 2009, 01:10 PM   #6
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adam0bomb
I too am sorry for your accident and I understand that a simular accident happened in easter Illinois. I am a Hunter Safety Instructor and assist at the M/L station. We always review safety rules particular to M/L's. During our class time I like to mention actual accidents like yours. Please do not feel offended if I mention yours. Years ago, at Freindship, there was a simular accident and it was caused by an ember from loose B/P. In the Illinoise accident, I understand that the fella had a fresh primer installed before he loaded his main charge. I'm still trying to find out more about this accident.

I would like more details on your accident and will PM you. I am not finding any problem with your shot string, loading sequence and safety procedures. We teach a whole bunch of kids and some adults and we have a great day. Natrually I would like to eliminate anything that might hurt them. Personally, your accident really hits home and troubles me.

We also conduct Spring Workshops in our districts and review the previous hunting season's accidents. As long as I can recal,, we have never had a M/L incident and perhaps we might take this for granted. Again, I am sorry for your accident and wish you well.


Be Safe !!!
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Old February 21, 2009, 03:34 PM   #7
Don H
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adam0bomb,

Why do you think the conversion kit may have caused to accident?
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Old February 21, 2009, 04:35 PM   #8
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Adam, I always wanted a CVA Pennsylvania Long Rifle. I never got it because of two things. One, I promised the wife I would never have black powder in the house or garage, and two, I really never was comfortable with the idea of loading a BP rifle. I am rather prone to static charge, and I'm afraid I'd have to be barefoot most of the time to feel a little safer. If I ever got that rifle, I'm afraid it would remain a wall-hanger. I know it wasn't your intent, but thanks for reinforcing my decision not to participate in BP. I'm certainly happy you weren't injured far more than you were and I hope you continue to improve. Good luck, man.
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Old February 21, 2009, 05:37 PM   #9
john1911
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Quote:
have also considered suing the maker of the 209 conversion kit...
Why? You screwed up. Man up and admit it and quit looking to blame someone else.

Your post are very difficult to read.
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Old February 21, 2009, 06:39 PM   #10
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I was taught a couple of generations (or more) ago to blow down the barrel of the gun before pouring powder. Sparks can linger a long time. a little extra air will burn them out pretty quickly.

If the patch leaves a thread or such in the bore, that can smolder for minutes.

Addressing the static electricity question, I offer this link:

http://www.ctmuzzleloaders.com/ctml_...ks/sparks.html

Pops
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Old February 21, 2009, 06:55 PM   #11
adam0bomb
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Quote:
have also considered suing the maker of the 209 conversion kit...
Why? You screwed up. Man up and admit it and quit looking to blame someone else.

Your post are very difficult to read.

-and how did i "screw up"?
seems like there are plenty of people on here that can read my post.you dont have to comment if you cant even read or understand my post.
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Old February 21, 2009, 09:57 PM   #12
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adamObomb,glad to see you posting here.

What you went through is one of the reasons I never got into blackpowder shooting.

You could get the use back in your right hand but it could take a year or two for the nerves to grow back right.

I went through that when a van hit me as I was riding a ten speed bike.

Sounds to me like you waited and did what you had to do but wow-what a warning to all of us here to be ready for the worst even when doing things we've done hundreds of times.
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Old February 21, 2009, 10:44 PM   #13
Gbro
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Adam,
I to am a firearms safety instructor and an avid muzzle loader hunter.
My condolences to you on this incident. I will pray for a huge recovery for you.
I know what you mean by others loading while barrel is still smoking. I confess that I to have done that. I have always believed the powder would flash immediately if a hot ember was still present. Your experience/accident is an eye opener to all of us.
I use B/P only but have experimented with powder pellets. There is a remarkable difference in burn rate for uncompressed B/P substitutes.
How this would relate to your accident, I don't know but everything has to be looked at.
If your recollection, and that of the others confirms your time element at anywhere near what you posted, there is just no way to establish a reasonable waiting period between loadings.
I am with armerandsafe in the static charge, however everything is not always equal in this kind of situation.
I do firmly believe this accident has an explainable cause and with the right minds at work you will get an answer. That being said, the only reasonable way would be in a legal action. Money talks!

Thank you for sharing your accident with us.

Greg
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Old February 21, 2009, 10:47 PM   #14
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Quote:
What you went through is one of the reasons I never got into blackpowder shooting.
I got out of it for these reasons:
  • The risk of what happened to the OP
  • The difficulty of unloading without firing if need be
  • The fact that the gun being loaded is not patently obvious
  • The explosiveness of the powder


All that is personal. If you want to engage in this proceed, but be aware of the risks.

A couple of my favorite guns of all time: a hand built Hawken percussion replica and a flintlock rifle built in Williamsburg, VA in 1980 that I did not fire. Beautiful, with terrific balance. I couldn't afford either one.

In general, though, I prefer to stay away from guns that have to be fed through the muzzle with black powder.
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Old February 21, 2009, 11:38 PM   #15
troy_mclure
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Quote:
The explosiveness of the powder
smokeless powder burns tons faster than black.

i converted to 209 on my wolverine this spring, ive shot 94 shots thru it so far. i use pellets and sabots, not loose powder.

the main reason i converted was to use triple 7, and a more reliable ignition.

ive reloaded within seconds of previous shots. no probs.

it could be a bit of your patch was left burning.
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Old February 22, 2009, 12:28 AM   #16
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Troy.. why don't you take and pour a little pile of black powder on the ground and also a little pile of the fastest burning smokeless and light them at the same time.. the black poder is gonna go up in a hurry and the smokeless will burn for alot longer than the BP will. Black powder is the fastest burning powder that i am aware of.
Hammer out
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Old February 22, 2009, 12:00 PM   #17
Pahoo
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Quote:
I was taught a couple of generations (or more) ago to blow down the barrel of the gun before pouring powder. Sparks can linger a long time. a little extra air will burn them out pretty quickly.
I use to do this during my Buckskinner days and no longer do it, as it simply not safe. I know there are folks out there that still do it, for various reasons. This is what I call "Personal Technique" and we all follow our own ways. A prefered way is to put you hammer or striker in the cocked of half cacked position and place your ramrod down the barral and pump it up and down three or four time. This will extinguish any embers and allow you to observe the smoke coming out of the vent of your nipple. It's called muzzle-loading not muzzle-blowing.


Always Be Safe !!!
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Old February 22, 2009, 12:49 PM   #18
45guy
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I have been a muzzle loader for 40 years and never had this happen. I use only black powder, never pyrodex or others. Pyrodex can be quirky and there have been a number of strange accidents with it.

Swabing the bore with a slightly damp patch and one or two pases between shots should do it. Do not have a cap on nipple and have hammer on 1/2 cock ( or bolt open ) so air will vent and blow out any embers.

Also place a t-spoon of Downy in a quart spray bottle, fill with water and very lightly spritz everything ( including your clothing ), this will stop static all day.

Last edited by 45guy; February 22, 2009 at 01:24 PM.
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Old February 22, 2009, 02:51 PM   #19
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Quote:
Troy.. why don't you take and pour a little pile of black powder on the ground and also a little pile of the fastest burning smokeless and light them at the same time.. the black poder is gonna go up in a hurry and the smokeless will burn for alot longer than the BP will. Black powder is the fastest burning powder that i am aware of.Hammer out
In the open air you are correct, inside the barrel of your gun and it is the slowest and lowest pressure powder you can find.

I want to comment on this from my previous post,
Quote:
I am with armerandsafe in the static charge
The tests with static electrisity was for Black Powder. I do not know of any tests with B/P substatutes.
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Old February 22, 2009, 08:37 PM   #20
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Ok I don't see it mentioned but was the .209 struck? I'm guessing that would be hard to find out.

Either way I can't see the primer conversion being the problem. Seems like you had some fouling of grease or other matter in the breach and it was enough to touch off the powder.

I remember my hunter safety class had a how to load a muzzle loader, the instructor had some sort of grip that was supposed to keep your hand away from the muzzle a bit. Also said never to but your hand over the ramrod, of course trying to get the bullet to seat that last little bit can be a bear.
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Old February 23, 2009, 12:11 AM   #21
adam0bomb
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no 209primer was not struck.
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Old February 23, 2009, 01:15 AM   #22
bcarver
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question

sorry about your injuries, Hope it rehabs well.
Question: was a fresh primer on the weapon?
If you put the primer on first it could have been your fault.
but only if primer went off

I blow air down the barrel and it is safe as long as the gun is not loaded.
Shoot, cock gun, remove primer/cap, blow.
It does look dangerous but unless you load it and forget you did it would not be dangerous.
How could that be unsafe.
The extra air helps burn the embers. patches make this problem worse as threads might lodge in bore and smolder.
The ember theory seems most likely.
as you were pushing the ball down the barrel it may have pushed an ember down to the charge
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Old February 23, 2009, 07:29 AM   #23
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Adam0bomb,
thank goodness you are alive. As to your injuries, physical therapy works wonders. Thank you for sharing your story as a reminder for all to be careful with not only firearms, but all instruments. I, too, fire black powder, and realize the dangers inherent to the craft. It is stories like yours that remind me to always do things by the numbers. This is another reason to make sure the firing piece is always pointed in a safe direction. In that you were loading your firearm, it was necessary to involve your appendages in the line of fire, yet you were careful to have your head (which is still attached to your body) and your friends out of the line of fire. You were being safe under the circumstances (reloading). You did right. Ignore those that judge you unfairly. Life will judge (teach) them on this sooner than they think./// Less than two months back a friend and I were firing his Stag AR-15 (a really beautiful rifle). Having passed the rifle to me, he went to the bench to load a new magazine. I kept the rifle pointing downrange as is my natural inclination. Thinking the ammunition expended, I pulled the trigger to confirm that the chamber was empty. Much to my surprise, the rifle discharged, BUT in a safe direction. AND that is why we always do things by the numbers, so when there is a mishap, it is not fatal. Good luck to you, Adam0bomb.

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Old February 23, 2009, 02:48 PM   #24
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sorry to hear, really sucks that it happened.

they can be dangerous, but if exercising caution they can be fine and fun to shoot. if there was not a primer in/on the nipple or an ember still burning in the breach. the chances of it going off are very slim. i've shot load after load and never had anything even close to that. never had the powder light after pouring it down the muzzle. i wait maybe 10 seconds between shots.

not really sure how it would not have happened to those who shot them centuries ago. afterall "a good man can fire three aimed shots in a minute". i fired 5 once. i'm not trying that again.
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Old March 12, 2009, 07:48 PM   #25
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Same thing happened to me with a knight wolverine muzzle loader using 209 primers. I shot the gun, put the safeties on, and pried off the used primer. I reloaded after a couple minutes and when I rammed the ball home the gun went off. I am lucky to be alive and the doctors were able to fix my hand, wrist and arm which were foolishly in the line of fire.
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