Clean or not?

Discussion in 'Muzzleloader Hunting' started by Rem700addict, Oct 27, 2012.

  1. Rem700addict

    Rem700addict Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    I had a little more time to spend behind my Optima today and am starting to learn what this muzzleloader likes. I'm currently shooting Blackhorn 209 and have found that the gun seems to settle in and shoot real well after the third shot. When I left the range today the barrel was fouled and shooting good groups, should I leave the barrel fouled for opening day this coming up saturday and just clean the breech plug? I'm not going to be able to get back out to the range, I might be able to fire a couple primers down a clean barrel but i'm not sure that is going to get it to the sweet spot. I'm really debating on what to do, any experience with this?
     
  2. Frank in the Laurels

    Frank in the Laurels Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    667
    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    I have found that mine shoots better also after about two shots.. what I've been doing is to foul the barrel...run a few DRY patches down through it but I clean the breech plug, let it dry, make sure the hole is open and then reload it and it's ready to go..if your hunting in alot of rain you may want to reload it after a day or two..
     

  3. Daveinjax

    Daveinjax Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    504
    Joined:
    May 21, 2012
    I have shot as many as 60 shots with blackhorn 209 without fouling problems. I would leave it fouled.
     
  4. ENCORE

    ENCORE Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    704
    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2011
    Although not an Optima, this is an example of what my Pro Hunter does, which has been the norm for most of my rifles. I fire two fouling shots at the backstop, then fire one primer only, then load for the hunt. Although any of these shots may be fine for 100yds or less, the first two shots would present a significent problem if my first shot was at 200yds. As stated above, unless you fall in a creek or hunt in the pouring rain, you'll be fine with BH209. We have a 15 day firearm season and I use the muzzleloader exclusively for that. After our firearm season, we have a week's wait for the muzzleloader season. During that time, everyone normally gets together and shoots the 200yd range at least once. I clean mine, then foul it again for the muzz season. It'll be cold during that time and I use the same process throughout the season, which is to keep the rifle case cold. I put the rifle into the case, then bring it into the garage for the evenings. It won't allow the rifle to enter a warm (or warmer) garage quickly and attract moisture. It will slowly increase to the inside tempature of the garage and eliminate any moisture problems.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Rem700addict

    Rem700addict Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Thanks for the replies fellas, Encore that looks exactly like my target just on the opposite side. My first clean barrel shot is high then it starts to settle down. Like you said as well at 100yrds I wouldn't be concerned that much but add any length to that and things could get bad. I think i'll just clean my breech plug real good and after Muzzleloader season give the barrel a good cleaning. Our early Muzzleloading season is only 2 weeks.
     
  6. crappiedan

    crappiedan Active Member

    Messages:
    34
    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Im doing the same thing. I shot mine 7 times with BH209 then loaded my hunting load. I just make sure my breech plug is clear with a torch cleaner. I killed a doe with it yesterday and loaded it back, Im sure it will do fine but I will shoot it and clean again this week before heading back out next week. Of course I will fire a few loads in her again before going hunting. Mine seems to really get consistent after 3 or 4 shots. Good Luck