Ignition in a Muzzleloader

Considering that Black Powder ignites easily and burns almost instantaneously, it would not seem that ignition could create problems for the muz-zleloading enthusiast. Yet, it was in the age of Black Powder that such terms as misfire, hangfire and flash in the pan found their origins. The problem, of course, is that the muzzleloader requires a great deal more care in its cleaning and handling than does a modern cartridge firearm (see section on "Cleaning Your Muzzleloading Firearm.")

The propellant Black Powder charge may not ignite if the nipple port is blocked by fouling, if the charge is dampened by oil or water or if the powder and/or caps have been allowed to deteriorate by improper storage (exposure to extreme temperature changes and/or dampness). Maintain the high quality of your Thompson/Center muzzleloader by meticulous cleaning. Make certain that the chamber, nipple port, pan and flashhole are free from oil, water or powder fouling. An appropriate nipple pick is a handy tool for cleaning nipple ports and flashholes. Thompson/Center cap lock rifles, shotguns and pistols use a No.11 percussion cap or in some instances, a musket cap or #209 shotgun primer and it is important that the caps or primers fit properly on their respective nipples. Use only high quality caps or primers and make certain that the cap is pushed securely onto the nipple, or the primer securely into the adapter.

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