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Alaskan Woodsman



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PostSubject: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 4th 2016, 10:53 am

Gun safety should be our personal responsibility and we shouldn't require manufacturers to be "responsible" for making a "safe" firearm.

Recently it has been claimed that a TV personality suffered an injury to his little finger when his muzzleloader went off while carrying it through the brush with the gun over his shoulder muzzle forward, at it was capped....  My thoughts on safe muzzleloader and firearm handling in this situation are as follows:

This unfortunate accident was due to firearm mishandling. The  discussion could be on how to carry a capped gun or whether to cap or prime a muzzle loader gun until you are ready to take the shot. So here goes from my perspective, knowledge and training so far....

The 3 main NRA Gun Safety Rules are as follows:

1. Always keep your gun pointed in a safe direction.
2. Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
3. Always keep your gun unloaded (round unchambered I read it as) until ready to use.

It seems to me that in an instance when for what ever reason the situation becomes unmanageable, having an unloaded gun or a gun where the round is unchambered, or the gun is unprimed would help alleviate an accident entirely. Rule 3 was breached and so was rule 1 in this instance. Fortunately nothing worse occurred in this preventable instance.

Grouse hunting, pheasant hunting, etc.seem to demand a hunter have a shell in the chamber. Hammer guns with a shell in the chamber or a cap on the nipple or a primed pan are ready to shoot. Slipped safeties may also cause deadly problems SO back to rule 3.

As a professional big game hunting guide for 18 years our camp rule was never chamber a round until ready to shoot.  Double guns were carried w/no shell in the chamber or the action broke open. Some guide/hunters keep their bolt in the up position meaning the action is not fully closed and the gun can't fire even with a shell in the chamber. There are all kinds of variations to this given the guns action type. The idea is, the gun can't shoot.

In my opinion the parts of a second it takes to chamber a round (in a bolt, lever or pump gun) is worth it in terms of safety even compared to maybe not being able to make the shot. Safety trumps the inability to make the shot in every situation.

There are all sorts of situations in the field where I may chamber a round or cap my gun and when those situations change, I will uncap or unchamber the round in my gun. A capped or primed gun is ready to shoot. Safeties, hammer covers, tethers etc. do not negate the fact that the round is chambered or in the case of the muzzleloader that the nipple or pan are primed i.e. the rule 3 situation. 

As our TV personality has shown, hunting and gun handling is far more than the readiness implied by carrying a chambered or primed gun. What say you?
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FrontierGander
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 4th 2016, 11:30 am

I watched that episode again last night and saw what the issue was.

He lifted his arm to push the brush away and as he did so, his pinkie lifted up and in front of the muzzle.

After that, A branch most likely snagged the hammer, pulled it back enough and when the branch broke loose, BANG!

I personally would have been crying like a baby after that LOL.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 4th 2016, 11:34 am

He always carries the gun like that. I never knew it was capped. Not a good move.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 4th 2016, 11:57 am

i don't have a problem with carrying loaded guns while hunting.   But i can't understand why anyone in his right mind would carry a gun on his shoulder with the muzzle forward.  

Somewhere in the attic is a booklet written by a British firearms expert in the 1870s.  The topic is firearms safety, specifically safety with muzzle loading rifles and shotguns.  

The author admonishes readers to not dry fire a muzzleloader.  Explosive residue  would sometimes adhere to the nipple when the cap was removed.  He cites several cases where folks were killed or injured from the dry firing of uncapped guns. 

The writer cited  cases where the wedge pin fell out of guns while hunting.  Seems like the capped nipple/s always hit a rock when the barrel/s fell off.   

Folks of yesterday sometimes loaded their guns from flasks:   The author cites horror stories.
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 4th 2016, 1:03 pm

Who was the " TV personality"?  Which show?
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 4th 2016, 1:24 pm

Sasquatch.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 4th 2016, 2:15 pm

Muley wrote:
Sasquatch.

Gotcha... thanks.
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 5th 2016, 10:54 am

@FrontierGander wrote:

I personally would have been crying like a baby after that LOL.

Me too! That will hurt like heck for a while. Hope his eyes and ears are OK. 

In the Susquatch Show he likes to spot and stalk black bear and probably had a full charge in it.

I think Susquatch and his TV director/producers do a good job with the show and I like it. Sharing this kind of more traditional muzzleloader shooting and hunting to me is far more interesting.

It would be great to see young people more interested in primitive hunting pursuits. 

Too bad the Boy Scouts don't have a merit badge specific to black powder muzzleloader shooting. 

I understand the 2nd Amendment and support it the way it was written. I just don't have much interest in semi-automative or automatic guns.
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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 5th 2016, 11:55 am

Quote :
I just don't have much interest in semi-automative or automatic guns.

I didn't either until the Clinton Administration. :Hide

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 5th 2016, 12:02 pm

I certainly enjoy the show and what he teaches. Shit happens. He looked like he wanted to throw up or cry when he was talking about it, but he pulled through. I've seen a guy in Africa shoot his guide in the back during a charge when he was running backwards and tripped. Luckily they were non expanding bullets.

But carrying a loaded rifle over your shoulder with your hand this close.... Just asking for trouble IMO.


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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 5th 2016, 6:33 pm

Id love to see a flintlock series on you tube. Shooting the flint napping and just general how to and what gives a person dependable ignition with flintlocks. I d watch it and I bet others would to. Al

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 5th 2016, 7:08 pm

I would think that the "_____ for dummies" thing would be copyright protected, but maybe not.

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PostSubject: Re: Muzzleloader safe gun handling   August 5th 2016, 7:40 pm

"Familiarity breeds contempt".......I taught Hunter"s Ed in Colorado for 8 years and one year in Wyoming...............I have heard all kinds of horror stories. I always taught the "muzzleloading" section and emphasized safe handling by removing caps or dumping priming before traversing any difficult terrain, crossing fences.....etc. But keeping the muzzle pointed in a safe direction is paramount....when we get too over confident and allow our egos to override our good sense.......we get sloppy! As we used to say "there are no gun accidents"...every incident is avoidable. Sadly it often gets used as propaganda against our fraternity. Mad

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