© 2011 Albert A Rasch and
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles™
$g&m f9bd 45kd q!?5.
Don't Leave That Powder In Your Rifle
With hunting season in full swing in many parts of the United States, it is a good time to remind everyone about Black Powder safety.
Many years ago I was at my neighborhood gun shop. Knowing my interest in all things firearms related, the proprietor showed me a percussion rifle that was brought in to him.
I gasped when he laid it on the counter. The breechplug's tang was bent, the threaded part of the breech plug aiming straight up. The barrel, what was left of it, was banana peeled forward, with large chunks missing. I asked where the lock was as it was missing, and was told that it had been blown completely off. The trigger guard was still attached, albeit loosely, but the trigger was gone. The wood around the breech was splintered and the top edges scorched.
I immediately surmised that smokless powder was the culprit. Smokless powder develops upwards of 50000 pound per square inch, whereas black powder and its modern equivalents like Goex, Pyrodex, and 777 rarely exceed 20000 PSI.
My gunsmith friend quickly corrected me. The problem was black powder that had been left in the chamber for an extended period of time!
Closer examination of the charge area of the breech revealed extensive pitting, so much so that it actually looked like it would have been an egg shaped cavity before it let loose.
The owner of the percussion rifle said that it had been left loaded throughout the muzzleloader season, and when hunting season was over, he attempted to discharge it. The first two caps did not fire the weapon, but upon touching off the third one, the rifle blew up between his hands! He was fortunate, said the gunsmith, to only suffer some powder burns, and a shallow gash across the top of his hand.
The long and the short of it is,
Do Not Leave
Your Muzzleloader Charged!
Your Muzzleloader Charged!
Pull the ball at the end of the day, and dispose of the powder safely.
If you buy a used blackpowder firearm, make sure you carefully inspect the chamber area for pitting and possible enlargement. You never know how the owner may have conducted his loading affairs!
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles: Fall Protection Harness Safety
Albert A Rasch
Member: Shindand Tent Club
Member: Hunting Sportsmen of the United States HSUS (Let 'em sue me.)
The Hunt Continues...
Though he spends most of his time writing and keeping the world safe for democracy, Albert was actually a student of biology. Really. But after a stint as a lab tech performing repetitious and mind-numbing processes that a trained Capuchin monkey could do better, he never returned to the field. Rather he became a bartender. As he once said, "Hell, I was feeding mice all sorts of concoctions. At the club I did the same thing; except I got paid a lot better, and the rats where bigger." He has followed the science of QDM for many years, and fancies himself an aficionado. If you have any questions, or just want to get more information, reach him via TheRaschOutdoorChronicles(at)MSN(dot)com.