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Old October 25, 2006, 05:46 PM   #1
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Knight Power Stem

I don't own or shoot a Knight Disc Rifle but I came across this new style breech plug design for one on and thought that it sounded innovative, so I'm bringing it to your attention.
This breech plug is called the Knight Power Stem. It's designed to ignite the loaded powder at the top of the charge 1st before traveling down to the base of the charge rather than the other way around as most conventional breech plug designs do.
I couldn't relocate the initial article that I read that stated how much extra velocity is attained from the use of this breech plug, but it's also supposed to help promote better accuracy and burn the powder more cleanly.
Also, it's designed to be used with loose powder only and requires at least 70 grains of powder loaded into the barrel to have the primer flame reach the top of the powder charge and ignite it properly.

One gunsmithing expert stated that this is an old innovation that was even tried out in cartridges some 50 years ago. It's interesting how old ideas have a way of resurfacing, especially if they have any merit.

Last edited by arcticap; October 25, 2006 at 11:11 PM.
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Old October 27, 2006, 09:05 AM   #2
Wild Bill Bucks
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Since you can't use pellets with it, I wouldn't try it. I don't see how ignighting powder from one end or the other is going to make any REAL significant change in velocity or accuracy.

My Thompson encore shoots clover leafs at 100 yards now, so I don't think any accuracy difference would be noticed, and even if it adds a few feet per second, it won't mean much for trajectory in a muzzleloader.

I would venture to say, this is probably another gimmick, that gets re-introduced every so often, to get the newbies money. Those of us who have been ML shooting for a long time, have seen these kinds of things over and over through the years. I think it is just another one of those money maker ideas.

Just my 2 cents, and that's about what it's worth.
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Old October 28, 2006, 01:02 AM   #3
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If the Knight Power Stem requires 70 grains of powder to burn and a 150 grain load is possible, then I guess the powder charge is igniting more from the middle of the charge to the ends than from then from the top to the bottom. So the entire powder charge may be burning more instantaneously.

I noticed this on the Knight website:

KNIGHT RIFLES CONTINUING EXCELLENCE National Muzzleloading Manufacturers' Championship
Friendship, Indiana
1st PLACE: 6 of the last 7 years
1st PLACE: 3 of the last 4 years
Also this:

Knight .52 Models

Real Stopping Power

If you are serious about big game hunting, the .52 Caliber is the firearm for you. The .52 utilizes a forward ignition principle to create more stopping power than a .54 caliber can deliver - even at extended ranges.

The secret of the .52's incredible power is the PowerStem Breech Plug which ignites the loose powder column further forward in the barrel to increase velocity by 11 percent. At 200 yards, the .52 calibers have 2 inches less drop and deliver twice the downrange energy. All current model .52 caliber rifles are shipped with 2 breech plugs, a PowerStem is installed in the rifle and a conventional breech plug is in the box. If you choose to shoot pelletized powder, you must first install the conventional breech plug. Testing at Knight Rifles has shown that 150 grains of Triple 7 ffg loose powder yields higher velocities than 150 grains of pelletized powder.

Despite the increased velocity, recoil with the .52 is not a problem. Uniform acceleration for smoother recoil, in conjunction with the Xcoil ReCoil Pad, reduces overall recoil by up to 50 percent.

Here's another article about primers and how they can affect performance, so maybe a breech plug design can too?

"So...How Hot Is The No. 209 Primer You Use For Ignition...

And Does It Affect The Accuracy Of Your Rifle And Load?"


Of course, I don't know if the Knight power stem provides any real benefit or not. But at least they're trying to advance muzzle loading technolgy and performance and giving people a choice of breech plug designs to use with the same rifle.
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