View Full Version : Everyone says in won't happen to me...

November 15, 2009, 09:39 PM
Well, at the risk of being flamed, (and I'm sure I will), I am going to tell my story of a close call on the range yesterday. Let me start by saying that I have been shooting a long time, and shoot at least 10,000 rounds a year. I am very familiar with guns, and am very comfortable shooting. By no means am I saying I am an expert, but I am not a rookie by any stretch either.
I got off work at 3pm yesterday and went to the range to sight in my TC Omega .50 that I had just put a new scope on. It gets dark at about 5pm, and I am about 20 min. from the range. I knew I didn't have much time before the sun went down, so I was in a bit of a hurry. FIRST MISTAKE! NEVER GET IN A HURRY!!! I got my target set up down range and had started shooting paper to get sighted in. I had noticed that the brass rod adapter that screws in to my push rod was not very tight on the rod, and kept coming loose. I just kept tightening it, and shooting. I had shot about 5 loads through my muzzleloader when I dropped my powder in, pushed the bullet all the way down the muzzle, got a sight picture, and dropped the hammer. I was only shooting 100 grains of Pyrodex, so I knew the recoil it was producing. When I fired the shot, it felt like someone hit me in the shoulder with a hammer! I stopped, opened the breach, and tried to get my wits back about me. I knew something had gone wrong... I instantly thought, I wasn't paying attention and I threw a double charge in the damn gun. The more I thought about it, I figured out that I could not have done that. I then took the breach plug out of the gun and checked the barrel. Everything looked good... "What the hell happened?". I went to check the target, and realized that nothing even hit the paper. I was close to done sighting in, so I knew that something had happened for sure to not even hit the target. I figured, well, I will run a bore butter patch through the barrel a couple times and see if anything doesn't look right. That is when I figured out exactly what happened. I picked up the ram rod, got ready to put a patch on the brass piece on the end, and there it was... The damn brass piece had come unscrewed somehow in the coarse of loading the bullet and stayed in the barrel. That would explain the recoil increase! This was not one of the small ones either, it was about 5" long and about 3/8" in diameter, and I chucked it 100 yards down range right in front of a bullet. This scared the crap out of me, so I figured I would share my story in the hopes that everyone who doesn't already will always check the rod twice to make sure that everything except the bullet that goes into the barrel comes back out. Please take it easy on the flaming, I have learned a very inportant lesson in muzzleloader safety!

November 15, 2009, 11:03 PM
Glad yer OK, hope yer gun is too.

November 15, 2009, 11:13 PM
didnt happen to me...but... couple of weeks ago a guy came to our range with his blackpowder 50 cal... after four or five shots he forgot to remove his ramrod from the barrel before shooting the load... both rod and ball went flying down range.... no one was hurt.... shook me up a bit for the aft tho.

November 16, 2009, 05:36 AM
I sure hope that doesn't happen again. Thus ends my flaming!

November 16, 2009, 06:06 AM
Glad that you are OK. Also, glad that you don't have to buy a new rifle. Can't tell for sure, of course, but it sounds like the jag came off right at the charge; if it was somewhere else in the barrel, it would have been a bore obstruction and maybe bulged your barrel...or worse.

November 16, 2009, 08:42 AM
Why would someone flame you for that?

I pulled a dumber stunt than that one.
I had [note past tense] a beautiful Civil War Zouave replica.

I was at the range, a guy came up and was admiring my rifle, we got to talking while I loaded.
I aimed and pulled the trigger, the gun went POOOFF!
I saw the .570 round ball leave the barrel, it went 20 feet and dropped to the hard red clay. I could see the bullet setting there, 20 feet away.

I realized, I had used the short starter, but forgotten the ramrod!
You had too much ramrod, I didn't use enough!

It was not perceptible, but the barrel bulged out to where the bullet would not grip the rifling.
The six inches at the bore was intact, but the rest of the barrel was bulged.
Ruined rifle, I am lucky it didn't just explode.

DO NOT get distracted while loading.

November 16, 2009, 11:20 AM
Good to hear you did not get hurt. I am a Hunter Safety Instructor and teach M/L's. I routinely use stories like yours during our classes and I thank you for your post. I never use names and instead, focus on the incident. I am to understand that you did not lose a ramrod tip or rob but instead a loading jag that you had on the end or the rod. ??
The biggest problem I ever created, was a "Dry-Ball". The worst we ever had at this station, was a stuck ramrod. Good luck and try to put it out of you mind.

Be Safe !!!

November 16, 2009, 12:55 PM
That's an interesting lesson for everyone.
The tight round being loaded is turning with the rifling which must have been turning the jag counter clockwise due to the friction of simply being in contact with it.
So there's a chance that it will happen to others if they don't realize that the jag is possibly being unscrewed a little during each loading.
The jag needs to be screwed on tightly enough so that it won't turn with the round. Applying some medium strength blue Loctite Threadlock would provide a minimal amount of hold to the threads, and there's also higher strength red Threadlock. But using that may require heat to remove. Blue Threadlock is often used on scope mount screws but still may not hold the jag tight enough. It would need to be tested to see if it would hold.
Another idea would be to use a range rod with a rotating handle. Then the whole rod should turn instead of just the attachments. For instance the Hoppe's Black Powder cleaning kit has an aluminum cleaning rod with a rotating handle that's designed for a Hoppe's ball seating attachment.

November 16, 2009, 02:09 PM
The tight round being loaded is turning with the rifling which must have been turning the jag counter clockwise due to the friction of simply being in contact with it.
Yes, and I usually see or feel this happening and draws my attention to the jag. I mark my range-rod and see my mark start to rise on the rod or the rod will start to feel loose and rattle a bit.
Another idea would be to use a range rod with a rotating handle.
They also make a rotating loading jag that travels with the movement of the projectile. Keeps from marring the tip.

Be Safe !!!

November 16, 2009, 05:44 PM
Catfish, we`ve all made mistake`s. Sharing them is how we learn;). Glad your ok.

November 16, 2009, 06:20 PM
Pahoo, you are correct. The loading jag came off, not the tip of the ram rod. Please do share my story with muzzle loader shooters to prevent this from happening again. You guys are right! I never thought about it, that must be what happened. It came unscrewed from the rifling. I will be investing in a handle that spins. Thanks again to all who have posted on this.

November 16, 2009, 08:00 PM
Hold up a bit!! Rather than getting a Range-Rod that has a rotating handle, get one of those swivel jags. I know that TC makes a brass one as well as a plastic one. I say this because I use my range-rod to pull round balls and conicals and need a locked handle. I'll bet that now that you are aware of what can happen, you will catch it before it does.

Be Safe !!!

November 16, 2009, 08:26 PM
Yes I will! Thanks so much to all!