Re: 243 shots with the Pro Hunter muzzleloader- in one day
The Pro Hunter has a different ignition design, the 209 fits flush now so there is very little blow-by. Same goes for the amount of residue that gets into the threads since there is now a set of 3 stainless steel gas rings in the front of the breech plug, similar to the rings on the pistons in the engine of your vehicle. Plus a large O-ring at the front rear.
I just took a new Pro Hunter, cleaned the threads in the breech dry, inserted a new breech plug without any lube and shot 25 times with 3 777 pellets and a 250 Shock Wave. Breech plug removed no sweat. Almost no fouling on it because of the new breech plug with the gas control rings. Then I cleaned the threads very thoroughly and inserted another brand new breech plug again with no lube on it, and shot 25 shots with 3 Pyrodex pellets and the same bullet. No problem to remove the breech plug and a bit more residue but not a whole lot. Very little blow-by evidenced by almost no smudge on the bottom of the scope. Plus the new Flex Tex stock reduced recoil so that shooting 3 pellets is very comfortable - we fired 100 consecutive shots with Pyrodex, then 100 with 777 and not even a red mark on the shooters shoulder. This is a significant improvement over the Encore. I see no reason to mess around with ignition, this one works as well as most guys could want. They lengthened to the flame path in the new breech plugs, no need to use low-powered 209's or other types of primers. Personally I see no logic in reducing the amount of flame during ignition, I prefer as much flame on the propellant as I can get. Particularly in cold weather. I shoot a lot of Encores, they make for a fine muzzleloader but the Pro Hunter model is far superior.