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Thread: hang fire with 209 primers

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Red face hang fire with 209 primers

    I just got around to loading up a rifle Purchased a long while back from White Rabbit. Rifle is set up with a mag spark system for 209 primers. loaded with 60volum Blackhorn 209 powder, a patched .445 RB. Shot at fifty yds., first shot 3" high, wind dead on. Second shot in same hole as first. Had to realy look as I thought I missed the target. On looking on backside of target board it was visible that the second ball had made the hole bigger. Third ball, a distinct hang fire. With each subsequent loading the duration of the hang fire got longer. Same powder,Fed 209 primer, ball and patch. Any suggestion as to where to look?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy

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    Did you use anti seize on the threads of the mag spark adapter and clean it ?
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Loudenboomer's Avatar
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    My guess is the .445 PRB is too lite to maintain sufficient compression on the Blackhorn for optimum ignition.
    I'd try:
    1) a heavier conical Boolit or a 200gr. Sabot Projectile
    2) see if the problem goes away with 777

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    What twist does your rifle have?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    Old or defective primers? Old powder, moisture in one or both?

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Is the primer firing as soon as its hit and then after a delay the charge going off?
    This could be caused by fowling in the ignition passage or stale (damp) powder. What are you using for patch lube? It could be too much and its effecting the powders ability to ignite. When using patch lube you don't want the patches dripping wet. Just dampen them enough that you can tell
    they have lube on them. It also sounds like you got the right charge weight with that kind of accuracy.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    rifle has 1 in 60 twist. Was built to be a patched round ball shooter. Rifle was built by Rodger Johnson. Shoots as good as it looks. With my limited BP experience, I am sure the problem is very minor in nature. Patches are TC pre lubed pillow ticking. Load combo as recommended by Mr. Johnson and White rabbit. I will check for blockage. Thanks for the suggestions. Iron Whittler

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy arcticap's Avatar
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    It's either the PRB's, the breech plug and lack of sabots, or all of these

    I agree with Loudenboomer in principle.

    Blackhorn 209 was primarily intended for use in inlines along with sabots.
    The powder needs a good gas seal and the most direct type of breech plug design to obtain the best ignition.
    Not only have I read that patched round balls do not provide enough of a seal & compression for certain ignition,
    but their website explains that some conicals will not provide enough of a seal & compression for certain ignition
    and that sabots will provide more certain ignition.
    As well, even the design of some inline breech plugs will not provide a strong enough flash channel for certain ignition.
    Their website states that these conditions are similar to not having proper head space in a cartridge gun, and can result
    in a loss of pressure and uncertain ignition.
    Not only does your gun not seem to be an inline, but the breech plug design does not provide direct ignition and the projectile is not contained
    in a sabot which is one important factor most often needed to provide more pressure for certain ignition.
    It goes on on to say that it's not the powder, it's these factors that can lead to poor ignition.

    I can only speculate that if the breech plug issue is not the primary culprit, then using some kind of partial sabot or ballistic bridge
    sub-base underneath the patched round ball may help to resolve the problem.
    But that would be an experiment to try.

    MMP makes ballististic bridge sub-bases which are designed to fit underneath a sabot to provide a better gas seal when needed.
    Or cut off the petals of a conventional sabot and load that underneath a patched round ball and give it a try.

    The same principle would apply if loading conical bullets.

    Remember, your gun does not have direct ignition like an inline does.

    Here is some relevant info. from 2 pages on the Blackhorn website:

    1. "18. Can I use Conical bullets with Blackhorn 209?
    In many cases conical bullets may work fine. However, results vary depending on the many factors so we cannot recommend conical bullets. However, many shooters have reported good results with Hornady FPB and Thor bullets."--->>> http://www.blackhorn209.com/faqs/

    2. "5. Loose bullet with inadequate seal or compression
    A muzzleloader is different than a cartridge gun, but many of the principles relative to the propellant are the same. The bullet is seated in the cartridge to create the pressure necessary to propel the bullet. A bullet in a muzzleloader needs to be compressed against the powder. The base of the bullet, or sabot needs to expand to hold the building pressure which propels the bullet. Imagine you placed a bullet 1 inch ahead of the case in a cartridge gun. The bullet most likely would not exit the barrel. This same principle works in a muzzleloader. Loose fitting bullets, like the typical Powerbelts, may be convenient to load, but lack sufficient compression to assure consistent ignition or accuracy.

    Because there are no standards in muzzleloading barrels, the diameters vary between all manufacturers and at times within the same manufacturer. A Powerbelt may fit nicely in one and slide to the bottom of another. Just the simple act of carrying your gun in the field may allow the bullet to slide forward and when compression of the powder is lost the result is a misfire or poor accuracy.

    We recommend a quality tight fitting sabot for the most consistent accuracy and ignition."--->>> http://www.blackhorn209.com/specs/ignition-guidelines/

    3. "3. Non-compatible or poorly designed breech plug
    There have been many different styles of breech plugs from all the gun manufacturers over the years. It is impossible for us to evaluate every breech plug that has been manufactured and the problem goes deeper than just the breech plug, it also depends on the fit of the primer in the breech plug and the head space between the breech face and the breech plug.

    A properly designed breech plug should seal the primer, have minimal head space (less than 0.004”) and should effectively facilitate efficient flow of the flame and gas through the flash hole including a proper face angle on the flash hole cone. Failure of any or all of these requirements may cause hangfires and poor accuracy due to inconsistent ignition.


    We have pin gauged a number of flash holes from all manufacturers and found there can be a wide variation of the flash hole size. Even within the same model breech plug we have measured variances of 0.005”. This lack of tolerance control can certainly contribute to poor ignition and also poor accuracy. Is there an optimum size flash hole that will ignite Blackhorn 209? Generally, IF all other factors mentioned above (minimal head space, good flash cone angle, good primer seal and minimal distance from primer to flash hole [see below]) are correct, a flash hole of 0.030” – 0.035” is sufficient to ignite Blackhorn 209.

    The flash channel should be adequate to transfer the flame and hot gasses to the flash hole. The angle at the point of the hole reduction should be conducive to funneling the gasses through the flash hole efficiently, say 60. Many breech plugs have a very shallow and in some cases, no angle. A shallow angle or a flat bottom hole causes the gasses to reflect back and disrupt the necessary smooth flow of gasses through the flash hole and into the powder column.

    a. Too Much Head Space


    Pressure is reduced in the flash channel as the primer backs out and reduces the flow of gas and flame to the flash hole.

    Head space is the distance between the face of the gun breech to the back of the breech plug in the locked position. Too much head space allows the primer to back out during firing. If your primer has a tight fit in the breech plug, but you are still getting dirty primers, you have a head space problem.

    b. Excessively Long Flash Channel


    Heat is robbed by excessively long breech plug and increased volume of flash channel reduces chances for good ignition

    With the advent of quick release breech plugs gun manufacturers have increased breech plug length and subsequently the distance from the primer to the flash hole. Lengthening this distance can only allow the side walls of the flash channel to rob heat and energy from the primer and the increase in volume of the flash channel reduces pressure through the flash hole.

    An excessively long breech plug can also contribute to ignition problems especially in cold weather. A longer breech plug absorbs more energy from the primer by acting as a heat sink for the flame and hot gasses. It doesn’t make sense to move the powder farther from the ignition source.

    Some manufactures have lengthened breech plugs to facilitate easier removal. However, easy breech plug removal has never been a problem with Blackhorn 209.--->>> http://www.blackhorn209.com/specs/ignition-guidelines/


    This is why CVA inlines have a special breech plug especially made for use with Blackhorn 209 powder.

    Just because your gun is fitted with a 209 primer adapter does not mean that it is compatible for use with Blackhorn 209 powder.

    You can try to make it work with BH 209 by experimenting, but only loading patched round balls may not create the proper conditions needed for certain ignition.
    Last edited by arcticap; 12-02-2018 at 12:15 PM.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    Iron Wittler it was unclear from the original post but it sounds like you have a very nice custom built 1-60 SIDE LOCK rifle. In that rifle I'd shoot real black FF and enjoy. I'd bet your problem would be solved. I think you'll find the 209 conversion will be un necessary. just my 2 cents.
    Last edited by Loudenboomer; 12-07-2018 at 01:07 AM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tripplebeards View Post
    Old or defective primers? Old powder, moisture in one or both?
    This has happened too me with Remington primers
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    When I clean my inline I use a wet patch then a a few dry ones to make sure there's no moisture. Then I load it...with a dry unlubricated barrel. Sometimes I even run a patch of rubbing alcohol through and then a dry patch to get any oil out that could contaminate my powder. It's going to be harder to push down the boolit but there will be no moisture for a constant ignition. You probably have moisture in your barrel from a wet cleaning patch or old powder that is cinaminated/moisture in it, or you don't have your boolit pushed ALL the way down the barrel untill it compresses the powder. Intall your ram rid into your barrel with no charge and put a mark on it where it's flush with the barrel. Then if your using pellets put them and your boolit on the mark and mark your rod again. That way you know your pushing your load all the way down. When I first started Muzzel loading in the eighties I had a few loads that I didn't push all the way down and they sound like hang fires and will belt your shoulder like nobody's business. Also make sure your primer flash hole is clean. I've had dirty clogged breach plugs cause gang fires as well. The built up residue in them will absorb moisture like a sponge as well. When I'm out hunting and now it's going to rain or snow I'll put electrical tape over the end of my barrel to keep out moisture. You can use a balloon or a jimmy as well.lol

    It will blow off when you shoot.

    Muzzel loader season just ended yesterday. No bucks seen the whole time. I had does within bow range every sit. Today is antler less only through Sunday. I'm going to go out and try my first go with cast boolits using my 77/44 and the 80/20 devastators.
    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 12-06-2018 at 10:39 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Staying on point. Its not about me but about Iron Whittler

    Hang fires? Sounds like a patched ball not fully seated.
    Suggestion: Clean the barrel well of all fouling breech to muzzle.

    Ledger mark your Ram Rod two (2) markings.
    One Marking for empty barrel. The other Marking measuring charge & patched-ball height when fully seated.

    When re-loading. If Iron Whittler can't press his patched-ball to the Charging/ Ledger mark. Partner it's "Time to swab the barrel."
    "JUST A OLD DEPLORABLE THAT'S IRREDEEMABLE."

  13. #13
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    next time you get a hang fire, reload it, then remove the mag spark adapter and see if you are getting any powder under the " nipple ".

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master

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    If its getting worse as the number of rounds that are fired goes up it sounds more like a fouling issue than any thing. If you can try a nipple wire or pipe cleaner thru the "nipple into the barrel between shots. Primers can be dirty and then theres powder fouling and lube fouling on top of it. A small channel funnels the flame well but a build up in it can slow restrict the flame quickly.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    What happens if you fire off several 209 primers with no load in the rifle? We do this with regular percussion caps to make sure the fire channel is clear. I would suggest doing the following: find a scraper to clean out the area where the 209 primer sits in. Next as already mentioned, run a wire through the hole into the barrel until it is stopped so the fire channel is clear. Next, make sure the 209 primer is seated all the way into the body, use some spit on the primer to allow it to go in and come out easily. Last of all make sure the firing pin is free in the cap and can hit the middle of the primer, I shake the caps I use to make sure I can hear the little bit of firing pin movement.

    If you get hang fires with the Mag Spark and 209 primers then the issue is with ignition, not patches, balls, bullets or even powder loads.
    John

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    The above mentioning word "compression" is being used wrong. The word they should be using is resistance. The bullet needs the resistance to be pushed in the bore to build pressure. If it can not build this pressure at the start you will get a hang fire or a dud with the 209 powder. You have to have a very high resistant holding bullet to the bore to build the pressure. The powder is just that way to make it burn. It also needs a straight channel to make it burn correct. They also want you to use Mag primers.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    As said above it sounds like you have a very nice side lock. 209 is hard to ignite and cantankerous in inlines that are made for it. Try 777 if you're set on a hot substitute. It ignites much easier than 209. You also may have to clean the flash channel every couple shots if your set on using 209. It's notorious for fouling the flash channel even on inlines.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check