Pioneer's and their front stuffers

Discussion in 'Muzzleloaders' started by Bowpredator, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. Bowpredator

    Bowpredator New Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    Licking Missouri
    I always wondered what was the normal length of time the pioneers would carry their rifles with a charge in it before they would fire it off? I'm sure they would use them quite often in self defense and hunting what about a rifle at a cabin? I would think you would want to keep it loaded at all time in case of emergency but how many days before you would worry about it misfiring? What about when out on the trail and after a night of rain, do you figure they would fire it off in the morning and reload just in case the powder got damp overnight?
  2. runner

    runner New Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    They pulled the ball to recover the lead if they had not fired it.

  3. 1madjack

    1madjack New Member

    Feb 17, 2006

    Well, I was just a lad at the time, but I member ol pap never did pull the trigger lessen he had to. Powder and lead was just too danged spensive to let go for the sake o' cleanin. Most folks with us had fowlers and such, a few rifles in odd calibres. 30s 40s and one family stopped in St. Louis and got em a Hawken Bros. fer a cow and a couple chickens. I think it was a 45 or a 48. Back then the ball mould was made to fit the barrel, warnt no such thing as standard calibre for the folks warnt military.Most folks wanted a gun that was easy on the lead and powder cause they didn't have the knowed how to make it therselfs. I tells ya what, go to that NMLRA. org club and git ya one them memberships and start gittin the Muzzle Blasts magazine and read bout the ol' tyme things. It'll raise yor hair fastern a Cheyenne with a sharp knife. :behead: 1madjack:confused:
  4. FiremanBrad

    FiremanBrad New Member

    Muzzle Blasts is a good read....and usually, the NMLRA has a booth at the deer classic every year!!!
  5. Mark Twain

    Mark Twain New Member

    Jul 15, 2003
    St. Charles
    I was reading an article online the other day in which a guy says he hasn't cleaned his hawken style rifle in over 10 years. He doesn't recommend anyone else doing it, but did it as a personal experiment. All he does is use bore butter on the bullets. He claims it fires just fine. His rationale is that mountain men probably didn't clean theirs religiously and they certainly weren't going to shoot them off and keep them unloaded while in bear and injun country.
  6. runner

    runner New Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    First off, their barrels were not made of steel. They were made of forged iron. They eroded faster than todays metals do when used, even with the best care and supplies. The habit was to freshen the rifling from time to time to keep them accurate. Wear .005 off the rifling, and then cut the rifling .005 deeper.

    Second, depending on where they lived and traded, the powder they used was much more corrosive on average than what is available today. There are stories of guns made in the eastern mountains using home made powder that had to have the breech area cut off and the barrel shortened after as few as 200 shots because of the corrosive powder they made and used.

    Third, since we are talking about iron, not steel, seasoning works. The grease actually penetrates the metal making any comparison to the care of todays guns like comparing apples and oranges.

    The powders we use are high grade pretty much across the board. Elephant may be the only bad powder out there for years now. We are using steel barrels that have to be protected on the surface. Most guns have had Pyrodex or other subs fired in them introducing completely different chemical mixes into the recipe. Our cleaning needs and care requirementst are not the same as theirs.

    I don't know how long they left a gun loaded in the field. The English troops shot theirs every day supposedly. That is all I know. With a flintlock loaded using a greased patch and a feather quill stuck in the touch hole to seal it, in good weather you could keep one loaded for days. I do know that they tried to conserve lead and powder as much as they could. Little tricks like waiting for the animal to step where the shot would hit the tree behind it were used so that balls could be recovered if they penetrated all the way. They did not generally use as much powder as we do.

    If a man made a quarter a week profit, and his gun cost him 10$, how would you take care of it?
  7. Chairman

    Chairman Senior Member

    Dec 2, 2002
    Henry County

    Booth #76