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Muzzleloader season opened 2 days ago. Ready to go I loaded my muzzleloader today ,hunted this morning. Im going back out tomarrow evening. Im wondering how long before I have to shoot the gun or pull the breech plug & put new powder in it? Jay
 

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That is an impossible question to answer, due to variables in lots of areas.

The weather, humidity, can be a few conditions that can ruin a charge. The biggest problem people have with the powder is condensation. If you loaded your ML this AM and went out into the cold weather, then brought your rifle back inside where it is warm, I would push out the charge and reload.

If you loaded your ML this AM then hunted in the cold, then put it in a safe place that is not heated, you should be fine.

I always leave mine loaded between hunts, but locked in a cabinet in the unheated garage. It also has a rubber plug in the muzzle and another one over the nipple on #11 guns, or into the BP on my .25 ACP ignition.

I have only had one charge go bad on me, my first year with a muzzleloader, by bringing it into the warm house at night, then back out into the cold for a few days in a row. It went off but was quite the hang-fire, lesson learned.

Keep both ends plugged and leave it secured in the cold, and it should last for the whole season as long as it don't get wet.

Just remember to have a safe place to lock it up, especially if you have small children around. Put a "LOADED" tag on it with load information and date. Safety First! Always.
 

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I would just leave my M-L loaded & stored in an unheated location for the duration of the hunt unless you shoot it or it is in the rain or heavier snow. After a week or so most likely you will shoot it or the hunt will be over. If I shoot it I will clean it that evening, unloading(usually shooting it off) if necessary.

I just got back from a M-L hunt with my Knight. The bag was one large doe with my homecast 240 grn saboted bullet.
 

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My muzzle loaders are often left loaded for a month or more. They are brought into the house after a hunt. They have always gone bang when i want them to. When it is raining the bore is protected by tape over the muzzle.
 

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alsaqr said:
My muzzle loaders are often left loaded for a month or more. They are brought into the house after a hunt. They have always gone bang when i want them to. When it is raining the bore is protected by tape over the muzzle.
That may work where you are from, but in the Michigan December muzzleloader season it is not likely. The temps range anywhere from 0 to 30 degrees (sometimes colder) this time of year, and if you bring your rifle into a warm house you will get some serious condensation, both inside and outside the barrel. It may be less of a concern with 209 guns, but with #11 ignition I wouldn't.
 

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Mines in my safe in the unheated shop.
 

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I loaded mine on Nov. 20 and finally got a shot on the 8th of Dec. Its been in the house and in the truck and it still went bang.
 

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I left my TC Hawken loaded for seven weeks of hunting season, and when the moment arrived, it went bang and the deer died. I always brought the gun into the house after a hunt. Probably hunted with it seven times in those seven weeks.
This was in Georgia, hunting in temps from 25 degrees to 40 degrees. Not as cold as up north, but it is very humid in Georgia.
I just remove the cap and let the hammer down. I don't see how much air is going to go past that hammer.
I plug the bore with a 12 inch long white strip of cloth before I bring the rifle into the house. I shove 9 inches of cloth down the bore, and the 3 inches that are left sticking out are a warning flag for me to remove the plug before hunting. I am sure I would have had a condensation problem inside the bore had I not used that plug.
I like to model myself after the pioneers. How would they have handled this question? They carried their rifles with them all day, every day. Their rifles were always loaded. Did the pioneers discharge their rifles every night? I doubt it, powder was too scarce and expensive.
We get dismayed thinking of missing a deer. Imagine how dismayed the pioneer would have been if hisr flintlock misfired at a Shawnee charging at him twenty feet away, with a tomahawk raised over his head!

I have left my Savage muzzleloader loaded for 12 months, and when I pulled the trigger it fired fine.
 

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Yeah Michigan in December can range from 05 to 40 degrees Im keeping outside & reload it every 4 or 5 days.
 

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I reloaded mine today because we went from a 40 degree high to a 75. Needless to say the powder was wet.
 

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Sometimes I think we forget that our grandfathers kept loaded muzzle stuffers for long periods of time!!!
 

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"Sometimes I think we forget that our grandfathers kept loaded muzzle stuffers for long periods of time!!!"

Yes, they did. In about 1971 a friend of mine was given a Civil War Remington revolver and a lot of other Civil War stuff by an old lady he had helped for years. All the cylinders were loaded, capped and closed with dried axle grease. We put a new cap on one cylinder and the gun went bang just like it was supposed to.
 

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alsaqr said:
"Sometimes I think we forget that our grandfathers kept loaded muzzle stuffers for long periods of time!!!"

Yes, they did. In about 1971 a friend of mine was given a Civil War Remington revolver and a lot of other Civil War stuff by an old lady he had helped for years. All the cylinders were loaded, capped and closed with dried axle grease. We put a new cap on one cylinder and the gun went bang just like it was supposed to.
;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)
 

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keep it out in the cold the night before I hunt with it. Load it in the morning and it doesn't come back into heat until season is done or shoot.
 

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I had my Knight rolling block and Omega Z5 loaded for 2 weeks with AP powder, saw no shootable bucks. Both shot just fine at end of season..............
 

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alsaqr said:
"Sometimes I think we forget that our grandfathers kept loaded muzzle stuffers for long periods of time!!!"

Yes, they did. In about 1971 a friend of mine was given a Civil War Remington revolver and a lot of other Civil War stuff by an old lady he had helped for years. All the cylinders were loaded, capped and closed with dried axle grease. We put a new cap on one cylinder and the gun went bang just like it was supposed to.
That's right, those guys kept them loaded at hand for when they needed them in an emergency, or a quick shot at some food. These were real men in life or death situations, and they trusted their guns to be left loaded.
 

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our season is 2 weeks and once i didn't have to reload until the last day , son left his loaded all year and it worked fine ( yes we had a heart to heart talk ) and i read an article where a guy inhereted his great grand fathers war chest from the civil war which had a colt in it loaded and a couple of the chambers fired the others were sent to a powder company for a study . if kept dry can't see a problem but a bit of moisture and all bets are off . I have hunted with one for over 20 years and never had a misfire , but have had a few hang fires .
 
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