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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, new to this forum. My lovely wife recently gave me Christmas presents early, including an NEF Sidekick, a 25 acp breech plug, some Hornady XTP sabots, 100 pieces of Magtech brass, and various other goodies. :D Never shot a muzzleloader in my life, and have a couple of basic green newbie questions if anyone is willing to help:

1. What kind of jag do you all use to run your cleaning patches through your barrels? Best I can tell, slotted tip jags don't seem to be available for muzzleloaders.

2. The 25 acp breech plug has instructions that say to force-fit the brass by closing the action on a new case, but it seems to me that is unnecessary wear and tear on the frame and pin. I've done a couple of cases that way, and I really have to smack the barrel closed to get the crush fit. Do you all trim your brass to fit your Sidekicks? I believe I will, just to save the frame some knocking around.

3. This Magtech brass is pretty rough in the flash hole and primer pocket, in addition to variations in case length. I'm deburring my flash holes and uniforming primer pockets, as if this were a smokeless rifle. I dunno if there is any point to these two steps with a muzzeloader or not, but old habits die hard. Has anyone noticed a difference in their groups if they work over their 25 acp brass?

4. I'm a certified Kroil junkie. Its the best stuff I've ever used for cleaning fouling in my smokeless barrels. I'll probably try it in my Sidekick, unless anyone knows a reason not to clean a muzzleloader with it. Anyone else out there tried cleaning with Kroil, or know of a reason not to use it?

Thanks!

http://www.prbullet.com/nef.htm
 

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No Kriol to clean!!! Soap and hot water....<><....:)
 

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When I first tried to force-fit my brass in my Huntsman I bent the stock bolt.
If you have a case trimmer, that is the way to go I trimmed my cases to with in .001 of the length that I needed. Then force-fit the brass in the breach plug. As for the deburring the brass it can't heart any thing.
 

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The conversion to .25ACP was a positive one. Not sure if you are aware that there is an aftermarket ramrod for the rifle that is much stronger than the stock one, has the correct threads (which the stock one does not), has a relieved end which will work better with pointed bullets, and is two inches longer when extended. Contact Hubbards Outdoor Products (205) 665-0444. I think the price was $35 delivered. It is a great rod made from solid marine brass and aluminum. Everyone that has bought one feels the same as me that it is well worth the money.
 

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MSP said:
No Kriol to clean!!! Soap and hot water....<><....:)

From the Precision Rifle Website,
The THREE Minute Clean

There are probably as many different ways of cleaning your muzzleloader as there are different muzzleloaders. We have nine different guns in the shop and an additional six to eight barrels. In a typical "test" shooting session, it is not uncommon for us to foul four or five of them. As necessity is the mother of invention, we had to come up with a quick, no-mess way of cleaning our guns. As many of these guns have received dozens of hours of custom 'smithing to enhance accuracy, the clean had to be thorough so their performance could be counted on day in and day out.

We start by squirting some of our "Blackpowder Cleaner #1" in the barrel and in the nipple hole. Next we squirt a cleaning patch and swab the barrel. Throw the patch away and repeat with next patch. Within four or five patches, the patch should come out almost as clean as it was before you used it. Next run two dry patches up and down the barrel, flipping each one over for double the use. Your gun is now clean. If you quit here, you will have a rusty, worthless barrel in a very short time.

The final step is to select a rust protective lubricant to squirt down the barrel and down the nipple hole. Our preference is Ballistol but WD40 also works fine. I squirt it down the nipple hole and then down the barrel. I squirt a clean patch and run it up and down the barrel several times. You will notice the Ballistol mist being sprayed out the nipple hole as you do this. I generally take the lubricated patch off the jag and use it to coat the outside of my entire gun. This not only protects the metal but it also protects and restores the wood of the stock. Check out the Ballistol if you are unfamiliar with this product. It is great addition to your gun care products. My three minutes are up and I have several more guns to clean.

I do welcome your comments on the subject and will be happy to add them to this question.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you to all responders. I'm gonna go shoot this thing tomorrow, still don't have a clue how I'm supposed to do spit-patches between shots since the jag is blunt and won't hold onto a patch but I guess I'll figure out something. Can't wait to see how it shoots!
 

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auk1124,

Get yourself a range rod for loading/cleaning/spit-patching. The jag is a series of rings that hold the patch in place. You will be disappointed with the factory jag, it is a cruel joke, and the worst part is that NEF must not have any plans to make it better. Make sure you use a good anti-seize grease or teflon tape on your breech plug threads to aid in removal.

Take your breach plug tool to the range with you, immediately after your last shot while the breach is still warm, crack the breach plug and you will never have one seize up on you. If you are using the .25 ACP plug you will want a 7-16" socket with extension.

Jag tip.


This is the range rod I have, it is excellent. Just make sure you get one for a .50 caliber.
http://www.cabelas.com/prod-1/0020970213944a.shtml
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks to everyone for their help. This past weekend I finally made it to the range for a few minutes with my new Sidekick and a Sightron SI 3-9x40 scope screwed on it. Sighting in the scope gave me my first two shots (75 grains of 777 FFg and 300 grain XTP mags, 25 acp plug and Remington small rifle match primers) almost through the same hole at 25 yards.

I expected more recoil but the Sidekick is a ***** cat, at least with 75 grain loads. That's all I tried but didn't have very much time to play. I wish they made a 32 caliber barrel for it too. Can't wait to get more trigger time with this rifle.
 

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buffermop,

MSP Ret would be able to answer that for you.

Here is what it says in their "summary" for hunting deer. As I read it, definitely not legal for the primitive season, but might possibly be legal during the shotgun season. I would suggest you call the Mass DNR and ask them. Another senseless law IMO.

12. HUNTING IMPLEMENTS:

(a) during the paraplegic season, a hunter may use a shotgun not larger than 10 gauge (including a shotgun with a rifled barrel); a muzzle-loading firearm (either rifled or smoothbore), fired from the shoulder, .44-.775 caliber; or archery (as provided below);

(b) during the shotgun deer season, a hunter may use a shotgun not larger than 10 gauge (including a shotgun with a rifled barrel); a muzzle-loading firearm (either rifled or smoothbore), fired from the shoulder, .44-.775 caliber; or archery (as provided below). NOTE: a person using archery or a primitive firearm during the shotgun season must abide by all the shotgun season requirements, including the wearing of "hunter orange" (see below);

(c) during the archery season, a person may use only a bow with a minimum drawn of 40 lbs. at 28 in. (or peak draw for compound bows) and well-sharpened steel broadhead arrows with a minimum width of 7/8 in. Crossbows are not lawful, except by permit. Hunters who are permanently disabled such that the person cannot operate conventional archery equipment can apply to MassWildlife for a crossbow permit (see archery regulations). Expanding broadheads are lawful, provided that at maximum expansion they fall within the acceptable widths stated above. During the archery season, no person hunting deer may have a rifle, shotgun or other firearm or a dog in his possession in any field or woodland.

(d) during the primitive firearms season, a person may use only a primitive firearm as described below except that archers may also hunt during the primitive firearms season, using archery equipment as in (c) above.

13. PRIMITIVE FIREARMS: A primitive firearm which is lawful for use during the primitive firearms deer season:

(a) must be either a flintlock or caplock firearm, and may have either rifled or smooth bores. So-called "in-line" ignition systems which have a horizontal firing mechanism in place of a traditional hammer system are lawful as long as they comply with all other provisions of these requirements;

(b) must be fired from the shoulder and have a barrel length of 18 inches or greater;

(c) must be loaded from the muzzle;

(d) must not have a break-open ("hinge-action") breech;

(e) must have only one operable barrel. Primitive firearms with double barrels must have one barrel made inoperable by removal of the nipple and hammer;

(f) must be not less than .44 caliber nor greater than .775 caliber;

(h) must be used only with black powder or an approved substitute such as "Pyrodex" which is approved by the National Muzzle-Loading Firearms Association;

(i) must use only a single lead or lead alloy projectile, including, but not restricted to, a pumpkin ball, Minie ball, Maxi ball, or similar projectile (i.e., buckshot is unlawful). So-called "sabot" rounds are also lawful, despite their composition, as are jacketed or belted projectiles;

(j) may have any type of sight, except laser sights or any other sight which projects a beam of light (see below);

(k) muzzle-loading firearms which use shotgun (209) primers are lawful when in compliance with other provisions of these requirements.
http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/regulations/plain_language/hunting_deer.htm
 
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