Muzzleloader question

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by 01freeman, Feb 6, 2010.

  1. 01freeman

    01freeman New Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    I have a question. I have a Thompson Center Fire Muzzleloader it has the stainless barrel. I was told not to use the aluminum rod that came with it to load the gun. i was told that it would scratch the barrel. i wouldn't think it would being aluminum is softer than stainless. Is there any truth to this. I was also told that i should not run a brush down the barrel to clean it simply use hot water and soap to clean it when using the triple seven powder. Also to use pellets instead of the powder because he said you cannot get an accurate amount when using the powder and that the powder cannot be packed as well as the pellets. is there any truths to these. i think i am dealing with an idiot. Please help me i just bought this gun and i am new to this.
  2. Buffalochip

    Buffalochip Well-Known Member

    Oct 22, 2008
    The aluminum rod should be fine, but all rods should be used carefully, particularly when starting them down the barrel. I have used a steel rod in my Thompson Center Hawken for 25 years, shot hundreds of loose powder loads through it, and I can still hit a beer can at 100yds with open sights. Loose powder is fine and has been for centuries--just measure it carefully, seat the bullet with consistent force, and keep the barrel reasonably clean. It is unlikely that any minute variations in velocity will affect accuracy at practical distances. Besides, BP is cheaper than pellets and will allow you to practice moreiif your budget is tight. Soap and hot water are fine, but use a brush when it really needs a good cleaning or before putting it away for an extended period--it won't hurt it. Your friend seems a bit inexperienced.

  3. yes you are correct in the alum rod,its not likely to scratch due to being softer metal.a cleaning brush when needed is not going to hurt either.i do want you to know that i started out using 777 pellets and they were fine but more expensive.i used my electronic powder scale and found out that by weight they are not uniform.i now use nothing but the powder,its cheaper and you can get more shots and also taylor it for the bullets that you are using,you can also weigh charges for a more exact charge if wanted. old semperfi
  4. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

    Jul 13, 2007
    +up to above comments.
    get a bronze brush, you'll have no problems. stick a rod guide on your cleaning rod. (has your 'advisor' not heard of this innovation?)

    hot water and dish soap works well in the cleaning process. LIGHTLY oil, afterwards. been shooting a Fayetteville and a Smith Carbine for ages, with no ill effects using bronze brush and soap and water for cleaning.
  5. ZZZ

    ZZZ New Member

    Jan 21, 2010
    I'm kind of new to the whole black powder thing, so this may sound dumb, but isn't it a bad idea to use a steel ram rod on a steel barrel around black powder? I always assumed that non ferrous metals were used on the rods to prevent spark, not because they were softer.
  6. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

    Jul 13, 2007
    Welcome to the forum, just in case no one else has said so!
    The only dumb question is the one you WISHED you'd have asked.
  7. rammed

    rammed New Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Centerville Ohio
    +1 on using a rod guide with a steel rod. Aluminum rods tend to get grit embedded in them. Turns them into a fine abrasive. But you could use them with a rod guide.

    Now I have a question. How can you use a bronze brush on a muzzle loader. Seems to me take the brush would "lock" when you try to pull it back out. Or are you talking about using a brush with a open breech? I just use a Jag with a patch and hot soapy water.
  8. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

    Jul 13, 2007
    Yes, good point. The brush does 'lock' - and the back-set works very well against the 'char' that happens within the first 8 - 10 inches from the breach-plug. This 'set' does reduce the life of the brush considerably, however. I go through three or four each competition season. My breach-loader is cleaned from the breach forward, just like a 'modern' firearm, so brush set isn't a factor in those.
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