Hangfires and Misfires
Cause and Cure
Contributed by October Country

Probably the single biggest problem facing muzzleloading hunters is misfires. Typically, this is not a problem inherent to the rifle; it is usually due to one or more errors on the part of the hunter. First of all, the person does not take the time to clear the ignition passage of his rifle, whether it is an in-line or a traditional side lock. There are two ways to do this.

1. The first is by popping a few percussion caps prior to loading. The actual number does not matter, but what one is after is a visual and an audio indication that all is clear. Prior to popping a cap, check the rifle to make sure it is, in fact, unloaded. Than select a convenient surface that will indicate air movement, like loose dirt, fresh powdery snow, a mud puddle, or blades of grass. Put a cap on the nipple and hold the muzzle a few inches from the surface. It is important that one carefully watches the reaction and listens closely to the report. What you want to see is the dirt or snow scatter, the puddle splash or the grass deflect. Also, you want to hear a crisp, clear report. Repeat this until you achieve both results.
2. The second way to clear the passage is to give it a blast of CO2 from a discharger. That takes care of clearing the passage, and it is quiet, too. That could be important on a crisp, clear morning where sound seems to travel forever.

The second potential cause of hangfires and misfires is a combination of products, typically using Pyrodex and regular CCI #11 caps. Please understand that I am not throwing rocks at any particular product, but that combination just doesn't seem to work well together. Pyrodex has a higher combustion point than black powder and regular CCI #11's just don't have enough fire to consistently ignite it, especially on cold, wet days. Fortunately, there are several cures for this problem. The first is pretty obvious, use regular black powder. But black powder is often not available for a number of reasons, and Pyrodex is all that is around.

So, what are you going to do? Switching caps is the first line of defense that works pretty good. Instead of the regular CCI #11, the next step would be the CCI Magnum #11 percussion cap. Much hotter. The better choice would be RWS Plus Percussion Caps, they are hotter still. The next thing to do would be to change nipples. The MSM Spitfire Nipple gives a small boost in performance over factory installed nipples, and we recommend them. Also, if the customer has a rifle that is threaded forBC-28 nipples, Thompson Center is offering a HotShot nipple for them. Next on the list would be to convert the rifle to use a Musket Cap instead of the #11. We believe the RWS is hotter than the CCI, but both are good. The CCI has six wings at the base, and the RWS is available in cans of 200 each with four wings, or 100 each that are flangeless. Both RWS caps are the same in performance. The last thing is to convert the rifle to use 209 Shot Shell Primers. Care should be taken here, because they are not legal in all areas. For example, both Idaho and Washington have legislation against the use of the 209.

Well, that's all there is to it. Following is a list of items that will save your day.
All items are available at Smoke & Thunder.

Percussion Caps

Item Number Description Notes
84-00311M CCI #11 Percussion Caps -
84-00310M CCI #11 Magnum Caps -
83-2105209M RWS Plus #11 Caps Hottest #11 Available
83-2105225M RWS Flangeless Musket Caps 100 per "tin"
83-2105276M RWS 4 Wing Musket Caps 200 per "tin"

To Upgrade the Nipple and Stay with #11 Caps

Item Descrition Notes
19-14126 Spitfire 1/4-28 For T/C, etc.
19-14127 Spitfire 6 x 1M CVA,Traditions
19-14128 Spitfire 6 x .75 Lyman
22-7075 T/C 1/4-28 Hot Shot T/C, etc
22-7242 T/C Flame Thrower In-lines Only

To Convert to Musket Cap Ignition, You Will Need

Item Number Description Notes
19-14141 Spitfire 1/4-28 For T/C, etc.
22-7252 T/C 1/4-28 For T/C, etc.
11-50-02 Treso 1/4-28 For T/C, etc.
22-7204 T/C 1/4-28 HotShot T/C, etc.
19-14142 Spitfire 6 x 1 Spitfire CVA, Traditions
11-50-08 Treso 6 x 1 CVA, Traditions
19-14143 Spitfire 6 x .75 Lyman
11-50-09 Treso 6 x .75 Lyman
22-7237 T/C Flame Thrower In-lines Only - Musket
13-595 Cash Musket Capper Flanged Caps Only
13-595B Cash Musket Capper Flanged Black Anodized
62-06500 Pedersoli Musket Capper Flangeless Caps Only
19-14184 MSM Nipple Wrench For Side lock Ignition
19-14041 MSM Nipple Wrench For In-Lines
22-9424 T/C Nipple Wrench For In-Lines
22-7112 T/C Nipple Wrench For Side Locks

CVA Recall Reminder


Connecticut Valley Arms, Inc. voluntarily implemented a recall of inline muzzleloading rifles manufactured in 1995 and 1996. If you, or any of your customers, currently own or possess a CVA in-line rifle with a 95 or 96 serial number, or purchased one or gave it or sold it to another person, and the barrel has not been replaced, contact a CVA Company Representative immediately.

Full recall notice information can be obtained by going to this address.