View Full Version : Leaving muzzel loader loaded ?

TX Hunter
January 23, 2012, 11:40 AM
I loaned my Traditions Persuit out a few weeks ago. The person i lent it to loaded it with two Pyrodex pelets and a bullet. He has not fired it. My question is, will it hurt the rifle to leave it loaded this long ?

January 23, 2012, 11:59 AM
If it's been fired, you need to clean it. The longer you wait, the worst it will get. Pull, blow or shoot; whatever it takes. If it were mine, I could not afford to leave it in this condition. ... ;)
If it has not been fired, you should be okay till the end of "this" season. Just make sure it's un-capped. .... ;)

Be Safe !!!

January 23, 2012, 12:12 PM
+1 Pahoo, If I've hunted the season through with a CLEAN rifle and NO rain, it goes in the safe after a quick wipedown for next season. Took a nice 8-point this fall with a year-long load.

TX Hunter
January 23, 2012, 12:19 PM
Thanks , i was starting to worry a bit about my rifle. Gettin of a mind to stop being so helpfull and let folks furnish their own tools, and guns. But my hearts too soft. KRP Congratulations on the good Deer.

January 23, 2012, 12:30 PM
But my hearts too soft.
Mark him well but don't let you heart get hard. The problem is not on what you did but how he has returned your favor. I could tell you many horror stories about lending guns, to friends. .... :eek:

One question that I would have; is whether or not he has actually shot your M/L. I'd make sure and go from there. No one likes surprises; good or bad.;)

Be Safe !!!

January 23, 2012, 12:34 PM
Guys, just wanted to make a statement about safety. be sure you have witness marks on your ramrod. A full hunting load ON TOP of a full hunting load will probably not end well. :mad:

TX Hunter
January 23, 2012, 12:39 PM
He has not fired it, but the seasons over and he has not returned it either, he said he wants to fire it but hasnt yet. season has been over for a week. It just bugs me the rifle being left like this. Thank you for the advice.

January 23, 2012, 04:58 PM
my back up flint lock rifle was loaded for over two months in a hard case in my suv in temps fron 13-47 degrees and fired on the the first try. eastbank.

January 23, 2012, 06:09 PM
I'm not judging one way or the otheer if a person should leave their ML loaded - that really isn't the question by the OP. I am going to relate a little story that I witnessed myself.

While standing on the firing line at the Nationals at Friendship a number of years ago, about three spots down from me was a kid (I guess in his twenties which to me, is a kid). The range officer gave the word to snap caps and as I had my muzzle pointed down and was snapping a cap, there was a extremely loud explosion where the kid was standing. It seems that he had loaded his rifle during the previous deer season and put it away that way. After the range officer got done chewing him a second one and the rest of us got done swearing at him - he meekly said "I guess I forgot to unload it when I got done deer hunting".

Draw your own safety conclusions but for those of you that do keep 'em loaded, I hope you tag them as such. In my own mind, what happened on the firing line was not an "accident" - it was "negligence" and fortunately, the kid's gun was pointed down. We all "forget" things -it only takes a few seconds to tag it so whoever (it might not be you) has access to that gun will know that it is loaded.

Just my 2 cents for safety . . . . :)

TX Hunter
January 23, 2012, 08:04 PM
Thanks Bed Bug Billy,

I was concerned wether or not my rifle was loaded, because I want it un loaded and cleaned.
The Muzzle Loader Season is over, so this weekend Im gonna go get my rifle back. I worked for the dollars it took to buy it, gave it up so a guy out of work could hunt with it, the right thing to do, would have been to bring it back after season.
On a side note, I really like that rifle, its a good shooter.:)

January 23, 2012, 08:11 PM
Gettin of a mind to stop being so helpfull and let folks furnish their own tools, and guns. But my hearts too soft. KRP Congratulations on the good Deer.

i hear that. im too nice and loan stuff out all the time. ive got a brand new utility trailer that i have loaned out twice. the first time it came back and the hitch wouldnt latch all the way, this last weekend it came home with a bent up fender

TX Hunter
January 23, 2012, 08:56 PM
Im protecting my friends Identity, but the same fellow that borrowed my Muzzle Loader, borrowed my Lowboy Trailer, and ripped the cord off the trailer brake.
Glad you reminded me about trailers. Dang it.:mad:

January 24, 2012, 11:59 PM
Loaned a set of tire chains to friends. The chains got lost on the mountain where they went to ski. ??? But they felt badly about that and bought us a new set. Good friends!

January 25, 2012, 04:02 AM
I hear ya about having a big heart. That is why I have "loaner guns" and mostly loan them to family members. They are both great shooting guns but if they get messed up I won't really fret over it. I just believe if someone wants to hunt I will do everything I can to make sure they get to experience it, because someone once did it for me. But its good to hear your Traditions shoots well I hope my new Buck Stalker shoots good, will find out soon

TX Hunter
January 25, 2012, 12:27 PM
Your right Deer Slayer. It is the right thing to help someone when they need it. Especially when you are friends and share a common intrest good luck with your muzzle loader, i hope its a good shooter too.

January 25, 2012, 07:00 PM
I never leave any of my MLs/Cap and Ball firearms loaded, I have heard enough horror stories (w/o documentation) of course of BP firearms discharging after years of inattention. Also checking to determine if a ML is loaded is too much of a hassle IMHO, better to establish an SOP of leaving them empty.

January 25, 2012, 07:31 PM
Just my 2 cents, I never put a loaded gun in my safe. Never. Just a safety precaution on my part.
Myself, I would not store a BP rifle loaded. My brother kept his Hawken loaded more than half way thru the season and when he finally got to pull the trigger on a nice buck it just went SNAP and of course the buck took off. He got back to camp and the third cap set the charge off. This was a loose 90gn Pyrodex load.
Why take the chance?

January 25, 2012, 08:17 PM
In a number of states, M/L's are considered "legally" un-loaded if there is no cap or primer component in place. You can legally transport it in your automobile, again un-capped/primed. If you consider it loaded with just powder and projectile, so be it. You are the one that has to make the final call with your M/L. This allows for folks to load at the beginning of the season and legally keep it that way till you it's used or at the end of the season. .... ;)

Be Safe !!!

January 26, 2012, 01:49 AM
I was concerned wether or not my rifle was loaded, because I want it un loaded and cleaned.

I wouldn't trust the person who borrowed the gun to also clean it to the same standards as the owner.
Since he doesn't own one he probably doesn't know how to clean it or have the proper cleaning accessories to clean it properly.
Does he have a cleaning jag or a breech plug wrench?
If it were my gun then I would take him to the range to let him try it out and then clean the gun myself.
And if he did clean it on his own then I would probably clean it again after he returns it. :)

January 31, 2012, 09:48 AM
I got from folks real cheap cuase they did leave them loaded and then didnt know what to do later when it wouldnt fire!
The first one took me by surprise, I didnt know it was loaded and loaded it! 3 caps later, it still didnt fire, so I took it to the gun shop, told the guy my predicament, and he took off the nipple, poured in a litle powder, took it out side and touched it off!
side note here, I did try the ball extractor,it pulled right off the ram rod! They are junk! MHO!
Its just easyer to pull off the nipple and pour in a pinch of powder and shoot it. I leave mine loaded for the season, and discharge it after season! Then I can clean it and know its ready for next season!
Just sayin!

January 31, 2012, 10:33 AM
Its just easyer to pull off the nipple and pour in a pinch of powder and shoot it.
Yep. Especially if the guy who owned it before loaded it with smokeless powder. Really, please don't do that unless you KNOW beyond any doubt what's in there.

January 31, 2012, 12:47 PM
As an experiment a few years ago, I left a fully capped C&B revolver loaded with real black powder for a bit over four years. The Crisco over the balls had dried up and shrunk, so I smeared new grease over the chamber mouths, stepped outside, and touched it off. No ignition problems and no corrosion.

PA Hunter37
January 31, 2012, 12:58 PM
keeping it loaded without a cap should be pretty safe, but did you ever see a picture of what the pellets will look like if they get wet?
I hope your friend is keeping it in a nice dry place.

February 1, 2012, 12:48 PM
If it hasn't been fired, then the powder will sit there nicely for years or even decades.

If it has been fired, especially Pyrodex, it will absorb moisture out of the air and you'll get corrosion within days.


February 1, 2012, 01:00 PM
This 1849 Colt has been loaded for a LONG time - my grandfather plowed it up in a field here around 1941, and it still has five of its six chambers loaded with one completely intact cap on one nipple, and remains on a couple others.


There's a scratched inscription on the butt that reads: C Smith April 29 1861


I've actually found some letters from a C Smith in museum archives and the signature is a spot on match to the scribing on the gun butt. There is almost -0- doubt that they are the same C Smith. It appears he was some sort of stage station agent in present day southwest Montana in the 1860's, as the letters are written from, or refer to, three station locations in that area in 1865. The hammer, trigger, and ram are still free, but the cylinder is rusted solid on the base pin, and springs have rusted away, except for the latch spring for the ram, which still functions, go figure.

February 1, 2012, 01:05 PM
This 1849 Colt has been loaded for a LONG time - my grandfather plowed it up in a field here around 1941, and it still has five of its six chambers loaded with one completely intact cap on one nipple, and remains on a couple others.

Why couldn't I plow up something neat like that? All I ever get is boxes of arrowheads, spear points, and broken pottery.

TX Hunter
February 3, 2012, 10:38 AM
That Revolver looks amaizing for being burried and plowed up so long ago.
thats a cool find. I guess the Wood Grips rotted off, but the metal looks good.
Im getting My Muzzle Loader back today, my friend shot it yesterday, and called me and asked me how to clean it. He said he wants to clean it and bring it back to me this weekend. Im going to put a Leupold Grand Slam Scope on it, and a nice sling. I really like this Muzzle Loader, its comfortable to carry, ballanced well, and shoots very nicely. When I put my Scope, and Sling on it it will be awesome. The only thing I dont like is that the Ram Rod, is a little short, It has an attachment that you can screw on the ram rod to make it more comfortable to load, but I would like some kind of pivoting device on the end that you could use as a handle. Thanks for all the advice guys, I found a good deal on a Muzzle Loader near me, and let him know about it, Next season, I am planning to hunt with this one, even during the regular rifle season.:D

February 3, 2012, 10:48 AM
Cabelas has this folding T-handle on sale in the bargain cave this week. I been eyeing it myself, for my short rod on my Genesis.


TX Hunter
February 3, 2012, 11:17 AM
Thanks Beagle

February 3, 2012, 11:26 AM
Cabelas has this folding T-handle
I have one of these on my in-line hunter and it comes in handy, for loading as well as cleaning and resolving problems. I have a separate T-Handle for my SideLock Hunters. ..... ;)

Be Safe !!!

TX Hunter
February 3, 2012, 11:47 AM
I just ordered the T Handle, thanks for the help.