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  #1  
Old 11-28-2012, 8:54 PM
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Default Want to build a muzzle loader from scratch.

Hello everyone! I'm considering building a muzzle loader from scratch and id like to know the laws on building one. Do I have to register it? Where is it legal to shoot it? (besides the shooting range) what is it considered because I'm pretty sure its not considered a firearm as long as the barrel is smooth. Just a wood stock, a barrel, a glow plug, batteries, and a switch.
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Old 11-30-2012, 9:12 AM
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anyone know that laws at all?
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Old 11-30-2012, 9:19 AM
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Might be mistaken but a muzzle loader is seen as a primitive weapon is it not? I believe you can make one if you want to. I know you can make flintlocks.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:10 AM
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I'm pretty sure its not considered a firearm at all, just wanted to be 100% sure..
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Old 11-30-2012, 3:47 PM
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100% IS A FIREARM, and is subject to all applicable laws about firearms and concealment, discharge, etc. If you have powder and ball in the barrel (not sure about the necessity of the cap) it can considered loaded firearm.

The only time it isn't treated as a firearm is for the purposes of purchasing/transferring it -- still have to be 18 to buy, just doesn't have to go through a dealer, can ship directly to you.

Last edited by SilentPea; 11-30-2012 at 3:48 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-30-2012, 4:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SilentPea View Post
100% IS A FIREARM, and is subject to all applicable laws about firearms and concealment, discharge, etc. If you have powder and ball in the barrel (not sure about the necessity of the cap) it can considered loaded firearm.

The only time it isn't treated as a firearm is for the purposes of purchasing/transferring it -- still have to be 18 to buy, just doesn't have to go through a dealer, can ship directly to you.
100% WRONG - black powder guns are not firearms and are not subject to any controls. You can walk into any store and buy one, you can order them through the mail, you can make them. I have lots of them, all through the mail. Have fun making one and ignore this guy's advice. One point though, black powder guns sold as kits are usually composed of parts not good enough to be assembled at the factory and can be a huge headache.
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Old 11-30-2012, 4:04 PM
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Also, rifling makes no difference, no muzzle loading black powder gun is a firearm.
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Old 11-30-2012, 4:25 PM
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Originally Posted by ThePatriot View Post
100% WRONG - black powder guns are not firearms and are not subject to any controls. You can walk into any store and buy one, you can order them through the mail, you can make them. I have lots of them, all through the mail. Have fun making one and ignore this guy's advice. One point though, black powder guns sold as kits are usually composed of parts not good enough to be assembled at the factory and can be a huge headache.
Incorrect as well.
While there is no immediate control at the Point of sale. There are laws on possession, Transportation, loaded vs unloaded. Possession by a prohibited person.

If a Muzzle loader is not a firearm Shoot one off in the backyard of a city home, Walk around a school yard with one, Try to get on a plane with a muzzleloading pistol and see what happens.
There are many differing type of "firearms" some regulated and some not so much or at all. But all of them are classified as a dangerous weapon and that where they get ya.

They are firearms just very much unregulated.
From the CA DOJ
The term firearm includes rifles, shotguns, revolvers, pistols, or any other device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile is expelled by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion. The term firearm includes the frame or receiver of any such weapon. (Penal Code § 12001.)

Then we have the exceptions
Exceptions
The term firearm does not apply to a federally defined “antique” firearm for the purpose of dealer licensing requirements, sales or loans between private parties, or requirements to obtain a Handgun Safety Certificate pursuant to Penal Code sections 12070, 12071, subdivisions (b) (c) or (d) of 12072, or 12073. The term firearm does not apply to federally defined “curio” or “relic” long guns over 50 years old for the purpose of transfers between private parties. (Penal Code §§ 12001(e), 12078(t)(2).)


And the loaded firearm section with a note on Muzzle loaders.
5. LOADED FIREARMS
Loaded Firearms in a Public Place
It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm. (Penal Code § 12031(a)(1).)
A firearm is deemed loaded when there is a live cartridge or shell in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to, the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the firearm. A muzzle-loading firearm is deemed loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder. (Penal Code § 12031(g).)
There is case law that elaborates on the intent of the "loaded Firearm law" and it basically says that the ammo can be attached to any part of the weapon so long as there is no cartridge in the chamber based on the intent of the law when referring to a muzzle loader. Thank you Enthusiast for the enlightenment on that topic.

The problem with building one from scratch is you may be building a zip gun and not know it. Zip gun law is very vague and broad.
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Last edited by kcstott; 11-30-2012 at 4:51 PM..
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Old 11-30-2012, 4:31 PM
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ThePatriot I direct you to the CGF wiki on antique firearms: http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/Antique_Firearms

Quote:
California law is less forgiving; while transfer may be made without using an FFL, 'antique firearms' ARE firearms for purposes of transfer to and possession by felons, and for purposes of carry and possession by persons who are not disabled by law.
(my emphasis)

I don't have the time or the will to sit down and research all the legal bits and pieces to prove my poin: my advice (I am not a lawyer, etc etc) is you're fine to make a muzzleloader all you want, but it still is considered a firearm/weapon for the purposes of almost every law except the requirement for an FFL for purchase/transfer.

ziconceo you should do a bit a research and come to your own conclusion. Many similar questions have been covered on this topic in the 2A forum a bit up the page.

[EDIT] looks like KCSTOTT has it covered pretty well too.
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Old 11-30-2012, 4:38 PM
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A glow plug?
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Old 11-30-2012, 4:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Mikeb View Post
A glow plug?
Electronic ignition
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Old 11-30-2012, 4:46 PM
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electronic trigger mechanism... like a detonator

We'll need librarian's clarification as I was under the working assumption that even a flipflop is a firearm in some cities.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
Incorrect as well.
While there is no immediate control at the Point of sale. There are laws on possession, Transportation, loaded vs unloaded. Possession by a prohibited person.

If a Muzzle loader is not a firearm Shoot one off in the backyard of a city home, Walk around a school yard with one, Try to get on a plane with a muzzleloading pistol and see what happens.
There are many differing type of "firearms" some regulated and some not so much or at all. But all of them are classified as a dangerous weapon and that where they get ya.

They are firearms just very much unregulated.
From the CA DOJ
The term firearm includes rifles, shotguns, revolvers, pistols, or any other device designed to be used as a weapon from which a projectile is expelled by the force of any explosion or other form of combustion. The term firearm includes the frame or receiver of any such weapon. (Penal Code § 12001.)

Then we have the exceptions
Exceptions
The term firearm does not apply to a federally defined “antique” firearm for the purpose of dealer licensing requirements, sales or loans between private parties, or requirements to obtain a Handgun Safety Certificate pursuant to Penal Code sections 12070, 12071, subdivisions (b) (c) or (d) of 12072, or 12073. The term firearm does not apply to federally defined “curio” or “relic” long guns over 50 years old for the purpose of transfers between private parties. (Penal Code §§ 12001(e), 12078(t)(2).)


And the loaded firearm section with a note on Muzzle loaders.
5. LOADED FIREARMS
Loaded Firearms in a Public Place
It is unlawful to carry a loaded firearm on one’s person or in a vehicle while in any public place, on any public street, or in any place where it is unlawful to discharge a firearm. (Penal Code § 12031(a)(1).)
A firearm is deemed loaded when there is a live cartridge or shell in, or attached in any manner to, the firearm, including, but not limited to, the firing chamber, magazine, or clip thereof attached to the firearm. A muzzle-loading firearm is deemed loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge and ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder. (Penal Code § 12031(g).)
There is case law that elaborates on the intent of the "loaded Firearm law" and it basically says that the ammo can be attached to any part of the weapon so long as there is no cartridge in the chamber based on the intent of the law when referring to a muzzle loader. Thank you Enthusiast for the enlightenment on that topic.

The problem with building one from scratch is you may be building a zip gun and not know it. Zip gun law is very vague and broad.
Fair enough, however I have been building, shooting and reenacting with black powder guns for years, including carrying them at state and federal parks with no issues, ever. The question at hand involved the legality of building one, for which there is no issue whatsoever. Now, if this individual is contemplating building something that does not constitute a rep;lica then, yes he might be playing with fire.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:48 PM
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wow! thanks for all the info guys! so does it matter what type of gunpowder i use? i have some pyrodex laying around but i also have imr 3130 as well. does it matter legally? also, since my gun will use a glow plug does it count? "A muzzle-loading firearm is deemed loaded when it is capped or primed and has a powder charge AND ball or shot in the barrel or cylinder. " My "gun" wont use caps or primers...have i found a loop hole?
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Old 12-01-2012, 5:51 AM
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Doesn't matter what type of gunpowder you use in legal terms, the feature that makes your plan fall into the "antique firearm" category is the muzzle loading (and consequently the non-cartridge ammunition).

If the glow plug is a permanently installed device, then it would LIKELY only be "loaded" when the battery pack is electrically connected with only a switch/trigger preventing it from firing. To my knowledge this particular method of ignition has not been covered before, so there is also the decent chance that just having the glow plug installed (with no batteries) would be considered 'primed'.
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Old 12-01-2012, 5:54 AM
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Read it again. Capped or primed. "Primed" can be construed to mean any other way to supply ignition
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Old 12-01-2012, 6:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePatriot View Post
Fair enough, however I have been building, shooting and reenacting with black powder guns for years, including carrying them at state and federal parks with no issues, ever. The question at hand involved the legality of building one, for which there is no issue whatsoever. Now, if this individual is contemplating building something that does not constitute a rep;lica then, yes he might be playing with fire.
Understood. My explanation was on the subject of a muzzle loader being or not being a firearm.
We still have a possible Zip gun issue or other dangerous device.

Myself I would not trust an electrically fired weapon. I work with electricity everyday and it can do some funny things if not properly controlled and even then it will still try to ruin your day.
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I fear that even though as tough as life has been for me I have only begun to pay for my sins.
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Old 12-01-2012, 9:51 AM
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hmmm so (ThePatriot) are you saying it has to "look" like a replica? or act like one? I just plan on taking it to the range and shooting it, nothing more.
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Old 12-02-2012, 3:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcstott View Post
Electronic ignition
Ya know the thing that surprized me about glow plug is I think of the plug in a model airplane engines. I would think that would give you a slow locktime. Seems like for electronic ignition would be more of a spark plug. and if the powder flowed around the electrode it might keep the spark from jumping. So I would think an explosive ignition, caps or flint and primer even match or wheellock.
But that's just me
Mike
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:51 PM
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Ive actually tried igniting gunpower by just putting it on the glow plug, has about 1/4~1/2 second delay...not too bad if you ask me!
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:03 AM
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Ive actually tried igniting gunpower by just putting it on the glow plug, has about 1/4~1/2 second delay...not too bad if you ask me!
There are several black powder firearms that use spark plugs:

Last edited by zomie; 12-16-2012 at 1:59 AM..
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:59 AM
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Hmmm well you could use mirrors or shiny small squares of titanium... after a few shots the reflector would get dirty though so you'd have to put a little "door" on each side of the reflector and use a toothbrush to clean it off then close the doors... at least that's how id do it.... hmmm that electra has me wondering...if that's not considered a firearm then mine shouldn't either right? same thing basically
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Old 12-03-2012, 12:59 AM
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Hmmm well you could use mirrors or shiny small squares of titanium... after a few shots the reflector would get dirty though so you'd have to put a little "door" on each side of the reflector and use a toothbrush to clean it off then close the doors... at least that's how id do it.... hmmm that electra has me wondering...if that's not considered a firearm then mine shouldn't either right? same thing basically
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Old 12-03-2012, 1:17 AM
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found this..

"The general prohibition in this section does not include antique firearms. An antique
firearm is defined as any firearm that was manufactured in or before 1898 and is not
designed or redesigned to use rimfire or conventional center fire ignition with fixed
ammunition. This includes any matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of
ignition system or replica thereof, regardless of the date of manufacture. Firearms
manufactured in or before 1898 that use fixed ammunition which is no longer
manufactured in the United States and is not readily available in the ordinary channels of
commercial trade are also considered antiques."

so ittl be considered an antique firearm I suppose....does that sounds right? its not a zip gun?
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Old 12-03-2012, 1:24 AM
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According to this link

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...7&postcount=67

it appears that "title 1 firearms" are exempt from being zip guns even if they are new models! time to start building!
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Old 12-03-2012, 5:05 AM
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The Zip gun definition is a hard one to beat on a home designed and home built weapon.
It basically comes down to "Unconventional design" Once that line is crossed a Zip you may have and be charged with.

Stick with recognizable designs and you should be fine. but do your home work there are other laws out there that can get you in hot water. so just be sure your bases are covered.
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Old 12-03-2012, 8:40 AM
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So by design do you mean if i designed the stock to look like an enfield muzzle loader I'd be clear? Or would i have to put fake side precussion caps on as well lol
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Old 12-03-2012, 9:58 AM
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Draw you own conclusions
(10) As used in this section, a "zip gun" means any weapon or device which meets all of the following criteria:
(A) It was not imported as a firearm by an importer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(B) It was not originally designed to be a firearm by a manufacturer licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(C) No tax was paid on the weapon or device nor was an exemption from paying tax on that weapon or device granted under Section 4181 and Subchapters F (commencing with Section 4216) and G (commencing with Section 4221) of Chapter 32 of Title 26 of the United States Code, as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto.
(D) It is made or altered to expel a projectile by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:03 AM
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The link in my signature addressing 80%'s may be of some use to you.
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:27 AM
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ok, so it is legal for me to make one "(C) No tax was paid on the weapon or device nor was an exemption from paying tax on that weapon or device granted under Section 4181 and Subchapters F (commencing with Section 4216) and G (commencing with Section 4221) of Chapter 32 of Title 26 of the United States Code, as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto."

so if the gun is listed under section 4181 Its 100% legal then right? I'm not sure, but i think section 4181 says if I'm not selling the gun ittl be exempt right?
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:09 AM
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I'm at the end of my legal advice. You have the tools to determine if what you are going to build is legal or not.
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Old 12-03-2012, 3:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ziconceo View Post
Ive actually tried igniting gunpower by just putting it on the glow plug, has about 1/4~1/2 second delay...not too bad if you ask me!
Really? If you had a gun and pulled the trigger and then 1/4 - 1/2 a second later it went off you would think that was good? Matchlocks work better than that.
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Old 12-03-2012, 3:58 PM
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Actually, i find it as an advantage the fact that it takes that long gets riudof my "shooters twitch" a would make a good practice gun nd would
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Old 12-03-2012, 4:45 PM
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I am doing a from-scratch build.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/command...7623583216070/
Like from nothing. Lots of work.

Currently interrupted by moving, getting new job, working on my new house.
But I did recently get the right magnum percussion caps and "flamethrower" nipples.
So I supposed I could make it go BOOM in a about a half hour.
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Old 12-03-2012, 4:54 PM
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ok, so it is legal for me to make one "(C) No tax was paid on the weapon or device nor was an exemption from paying tax on that weapon or device granted under Section 4181 and Subchapters F (commencing with Section 4216) and G (commencing with Section 4221) of Chapter 32 of Title 26 of the United States Code, as amended, and the regulations issued pursuant thereto."

so if the gun is listed under section 4181 Its 100% legal then right? I'm not sure, but i think section 4181 says if I'm not selling the gun ittl be exempt right?
*not making the gun to be sold.

a few years down the road, if you decide to sell, then it needs name of manufacture, city of manufacture, and a serial #.
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  #36  
Old 12-03-2012, 5:36 PM
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Wooooo! ok, I'm building it then Thanks for all of your input!
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Old 12-03-2012, 6:41 PM
Capt.Dunsel Capt.Dunsel is offline
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HMMMMM...... Electronic ignition , something other than BP as powder ( you mentioned IMR 3130 ), sounds like a pipe bomb.

When you light it off could you let me know first so as I can GET THE **** AWAY ?

Last edited by Capt.Dunsel; 12-03-2012 at 6:46 PM..
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Old 12-03-2012, 7:31 PM
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I'd be well back with Capt. Dunsel. Have you considered that the threading and construction of a glowplug may not be up to the task of withstanding the pressures generated with black powder let alone smokeless powder? Yikes!
Why don't you build a muzzle loader in the classic tradition. At least then you'd have a firearm that's worth something and not some weird, dangerous Frankenstein.
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Old 12-03-2012, 8:45 PM
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Actually glow plugs can withstand 1/20 ratio pressures since they are ment to be in the combustion chamber of an engine. Also, the barrel will be .50 cal and im going to use .40 cal steel ball bearings with a square of shirt to seal the ball, that way no over pressure will happen
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Old 12-03-2012, 9:02 PM
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check out a few youtube vids on why you shouldn't use smokeless powder in a muzzle loader.

Remember smokeless has a very different pressure curve than BP

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...Nek8fzE3mMFKDA

Hope that link works.

Before you light it off could you take out an insurance policy out making me the payee?
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