Traditions™ Performance Firearms FAQ

#1 My break-open muzzleloader is opening when fired.

Are the face of the receiver (area surrounding the firing pin) breech face and breechplug/receiver threads clean and free of fouling? Make sure the gun is cleaned by the standards set forth in the Owner’s Manual by removing the forend and barrel. Clean any fouling build up in these areas. This should free up the tolerances from black powder fouling allowing the gun to function properly. Listen for a solid metallic clicking sound, this insures the gun has a complete and solid lock up. Make sure that your breechplug is tightened all the way. If you are not able to secure the breechplug tight against the barrel, use the breechplug wrench to snug it in completely. If the breechplug is backed out by a thread or two it will change the tolerances and not allow for proper lock up function. Use A: caution during firing to not lean against/on something near the barrel catch release, or allow your hand or fingers to ride near the barrel catch as this also will allow the gun to open.


#2 My breech face is very dirty only after a few shots.

Be sure to wipe clean the breech face between shots with a clean patch. If the blow back still continues, try different primers. Tolerances differ from one primer to the next. All primers will foul and create some blow back, it doesn’t mean they don’t provide the proper ignition functioning in your break-open muzzleloader, but some will require more cleaning between rounds than others and you just need to be aware of that. It may take a selection of primers to find out which primer works best for you.


#3 What scope mounts can be used on my break-open style muzzleloading rifle?

We recommend our one piece rail mount, item A1780. We also include this one piece rail mount in various base/ring packages such as our A1788 or A1789 as well as camo varieties.


#4  Do you offer left-hand versions of your break action muzzleloaders?

Our Vortek Strikerfire, Vortek, Pursuit and Buckstalkers can be used by both left-handed and right-handed shooters.


#5 I can’t get my inline rifle to group. What do you suggest?

We recommend using standard saboted bullets such as our Smackdown bullets or our Full Bore bullets which do not require a sabot. When using a saboted-style bullet, make sure to use high pressure sabots. When using black powder or a suitable black-powder substitute, be sure to swab out your barrel frequently. Allowing fouling to occur inside the bore will lead to tighter loading and will affect your grouping. When using powder pellets, make sure you are not mashing down forcefully onto the pellets. This will cause bits of pellet to break up at the bottom of your bore which can lead to sporadic shooting. Make sure you have a steady rest and pay attention to your shooting fundamentals.


#6 Why can’t I get the bolt back into my Evolution/Thunderbolt rifle?

The striker must be cocked to allow the bolt to be installed in the receiver. The bolt head must be in its’ rearmost position. If the striker has become uncocked during assembly or disassembly, insert the bolt into the receiver backwards with the corners of the bolt head aligned with the receiver groove. Press upward on the bolt handle until the bolt turns clockwise. This will cock the striker. Remove the bolt and reverse it, reinstalling it in the receiver as normal.


#7 While reassembling my Tracker 209, Sporter Mag, Timber Ridge or Buckhunter Rifle I put the bolt in backwards. How do I remove it?

Remove the stock by using a 5mm hex wrench to remove the action mounting screw in front of the trigger guard. This will expose the trigger group. Remove the trigger group by loosening the two 3mm hex bolts that secure it to the receiver. This will free the bolt and allow it to slide through the rear of the receiver. Reassemble with bolt oriented correctly.


#8 What peep sights fit on Traditions muzzleloaders?

Contact XS Sight Systems at 1-888-744-4880/ www.xssights.com or Williams Gun Sight Company at 1-800-530-9028/ www.williamsgunsight.com.


#9 What size flint do I use in my Traditions flintlock and what type do I use?

5/8" hand-knapped English flints. You may want to opt for a slightly larger flint if you have a PA Pellet or new style flintlock assembly with the larger frizzen.


#10 What type of Black Powder should I use in my muzzleloader?

There are four (4) types of black powder which are designated by granulation. 1f or fg - used with cannons and large gauge shotguns. 2f or ffg - the most commonly used powder in muzzleloading rifles, shotguns and pistols of .45 caliber and larger.  3f or fffg - used in muzzleloading rifles, pistols and revolvers of .44 caliber and below. 4f or ffffg - used to prime the pan of a flintlock. If you have other questions or inquiries about black powder, please consult the manufacturer of the powder. Visit GOEX, INC. at: www.goexpowder.com or ELEPHANT BLACK POWDER at: www.elephantblackpowder.com.


#11 My ramrod is too loose or too tight. What can I do?

Locate the ramrod retaining spring which is located in the stock channel. You will need to remove the barrel from the stock to find the spring. Bend the spring forward to tighten the tension, or bend the spring backward to loosen the tension. Note: on sidelock models this spring will be held in by the forward lock plate screw. For break-open and in line style rifles this spring will be screwed down in your forend. If you have any trouble with this, please contact Traditions' Customer Service Department.


#12 What should I use to clean my muzzleloader?

We feel that the best products to clean your muzzleloader are: EZ Clean 2 Foaming Bore Solvent (A1935), EZ Clean 2 Bore Solvent (A1936), EZ Clean 2 Presaturated Cleaning Patches (A1931), EZ Clean 2 Cleaning & Seasoning Patches (A1937), EZ Clean 2 Breechplug & Seasoning Patches (A1939), EZ Clean 2 1000 Plus Lube (A1934), EZ Clean (A1435), EZ Clean Concentrated Bore Solvent (A1755), Wonderlube 1000 Plus™ Bore Solvent (A1295), Wonderlube 1000 Plus™ (A1254, A1294) and Wonderlube 1000 Plus™ Lubed Patches (A1362). We make it easy for you, pick up our EZ Clean 2 Value Pack (A3955) which includes a great variety of our EZ Clean 2 products!


#13  How do I get the wedge out of my muzzleloader?

To remove the wedge from your muzzleloader, you will need to use a Wedge Puller (A1255). The wedge puller has a small hammer claw and a punch to help facilitate the removal. Use the punch to start the wedge out of the stock and barrel, and use the claw to pull the wedge out. Start the wedge by tapping the thinner side to a distance where you can reach it with the claw. Finish extracting the wedge using the claw. Pay close attention to which way the wedge came out of the stock and which way the curve of the wedge came out. When replacing the wedge, you will need to replace it the exact same way it came out. Most wedges will be inserted from the lock-side with the curve going down. This may not be true of all guns. Take your time when replacing the wedge, and do not force the wedge into place. If you are removing the stock from Pennsylvania and Shenandoah rifles and do not know how, please contact our Customer Service Department for directions.


#14 Is a .44 caliber cap and ball revolver suitable for hunting deer?

No. Even with a maximum powder charge, a 140 grain round ball will achieve only about 850 fps, thus producing only 224 foot pounds of energy at the muzzle. This is equivalent to a .38 special cartridge revolver, and insufficient for humane killing of deer-sized animals. We recommend limiting the cap and ball revolvers to small game and finishing shots on downed, larger animals. Always check your local game laws for compliance. Some states may require a special permit to hunt with a handgun and other states don’t allow hand guns for hunting.


#15 Are the classic muzzleloading pistols suitable for hunting deer?

No. A maximum charge in a .50 caliber pistol will push a 175 grain ball at only about 800 fps. This produces only 248 foot pounds of muzzle energy, which is inadequate for ethical deer hunting. Use these pistols only on small game, or for finishing shots on downed, larger animals. If you wish to use a muzzleloading pistol for deer hunting, we only recommend our Vortek break-open pistol or Buckhunter Pro In Line Pistol. Always check your local game laws for compliance. Some states may require a special permit to hunt with a handgun and other states don’t allow hand guns for hunting.


#16 What size round ball do I use in my muzzleloader rifle or revolver?

.32 caliber - .310, .44 caliber - .451 or .454, .50 caliber - .490, .45 caliber - .440, .54 caliber - .530, .50 caliber - .490


#17 What if my breech plug is stuck in my muzzleloader?

The most common cause of a stuck or difficult to remove breech plug in an In-Line Muzzleloader is powder fouling or corrosion in the threads. To remove stubborn breech plugs, use a water-base solvent/cleaner (A1435 Easy Clean, A1295 WonderLube 1000 PlusTM) to penetrate and soften the powder fouling. Plug the nipple with a rubber or leather patch between the nipple and hammer. Fill the barrel with solvent, let the barrel stand upright and allow time for the solvent to works its way into the threads of the breech plug. When trying to remove the breech plug after soaking, it may be necessary to secure the barrel (in a padded vice) to prevent movement and remove the breech plug. Using a back and forth movement with the breech plug wrench handle during the unscrewing of the breech plug will often speed up the process of removal. Thoroughly clean and lubricate the breech plug and barrel threads before re-assembly. If you still cannot remove your breech plug after performing these steps, please call or email our Customer Service Department.


#18 What if I remove my breech plug & bolster drum from my sidelock muzzleloader?

These parts should not be removed from your sidelock. You will void your warranty if you or a gunsmith remove these parts. Please contact our customer service department before removing these parts.


#19 What is the maximum amount of powder I can load in my muzzleloader?

The maximum amount of powder will vary with the muzzleloader that you own. Please refer to the instruction manual for proper loads of powder and projectiles. You can download the manual for your firearm by selecting “Support”, “Traditions Product Owner’s Manuals”.


#20 What is the correct projectile/powder charge combination for my rifle?

The best choice is the one that delivers good accuracy and sufficient velocity for the intended target. An efficient load for hunting will consume all of the powder, propel the projectile at a sufficient velocity, maximize performance and be accurate at many distances. We recommend that you experiment with several loading combinations to see which combo your rifle likes. One of the best things about muzzleloading is that you are able to choose the load you want to shoot.


#21 How often should I clean my muzzleloader?

After every time you shoot it.


#22 What happens if I leave my muzzleloader loaded overnight?

Condensation may develop in the barrel because of the change in temperatures from outside to inside. The powder may become damp, and the chance of it not igniting the next day is pretty high. We recommend either pulling the charge with a ball puller (A1280), or removing your bolt assembly and breech plug to push your powder and bullet out through the receiver, and reload the next day.


#23  When is a muzzleloader considered UNLOADED?

When the cap, powder and projectile are out of the muzzleloader, only then is the gun considered UNLOADED.


#24 Can I convert my side-lock into a flintlock?

No, you cannot convert your sidelock into a flintlock.


#25 Can I convert my Pietta black powder revolver over to shoot center fire cartridges?

No. It is not advised that you convert your revolver to take center fire ammunition. The pressures involved when using modern ammunition are much greater than when using black powder and can result in an unsafe situation.


#26 What is the thread size of Traditions nipples?

Standard #11 Percussion nipples are Metric 6x1mm. LFS Magnum Nipples for 209, #11 or Musket are M8x1mm. Revolver nipples from Pietta are M6x.75.


#27 How do I adjust the sights on my muzzleloading rifle?

Center the rear sight for windage and elevation so that you have a starting point. Take three shots at 25-40 yards to establish a group. If all three shots hit in a 2"-3" area, you can then move the sight left or right and up or down if needed. Do not move or adjust your sights until you are hitting all three shots in the group.  If your shots are hitting the target at the right, move your sight left. If your shots are hitting the target at the left, move your sight right. If your shots are hitting too high, move the sight down. If your shots are hitting the target too low, move the sight up. Always adjust your sight in the direction you are trying to move the projectile. If you have any questions about
sighting in, you may email or call, and we will gladly answer your questions.


#28 How often should I clean my muzzleloader?

After every time you shoot it.


#29 What happens if I leave my muzzleloader loaded overnight?

Condensation may develop in the barrel because of the change in temperatures from outside to inside. The powder may become damp, and the chance of it not igniting the next day is pretty high. We recommend either pulling the charge with a ball puller (A1280), or removing your bolt assembly and breech plug to push your powder and bullet out through the receiver, and reload the next day.


#30  When is a muzzleloader considered UNLOADED?

When the cap, powder and projectile are out of the muzzleloader, only then is the gun considered UNLOADED.


#31 Can I convert my side-lock into a flintlock?

NO


#32 What is the thread size of Traditions nipples?

Standard #11 Percussion nipples are Metric 6x1mm. LFS Magnum Nipples for 209, #11 or Musket are M8x1mm. Revolver nipples from Pietta are M6x.75.


#33 How do I adjust the sights on my muzzleloader?

Center the rear sight for windage and elevation so that you have a starting point. Take three shots at 25-40 yards to establish a group. If all three shots hit in a 2"-3" area, you can then move the sight left or right and up or down if needed. Do not move or adjust your sights until you are hitting all three shots in the group.

If your shots are hitting the target at the right, move your sight left. If your shots are hitting the target at the left, move your sight right. If your shots are hitting too high, move the sight down. If your shots are hitting the target too low, move the sight up. If you have any questions about sighting in, you may email or call, and we will gladly answer your questions.


#34 What is Pyrodex®, and can I use it in my muzzleloader?

Pyrodex® is a synthetic powder designed specifically for muzzleloading. Pyrodex® causes much less fouling than common black powder does. There are two forms of Pyrodex® - loose powder (P, RS, & Select) and Pellets (solid form of loose powder). If you have other questions or inquiries about Pyrodex®, please contact Hodgdon Powder Co. at http://www.hodgdon.com


#35 What size bases go on my Lightning™ Bolt or Buckhunter™ Series rifle?

We carry a full line of bases and rings for our muzzleloaders. Please check out our Accessories page on this site or our Muzzleloading Catalog. If you own a Lightning™ Bolt or Buckhunter™ Series, the correct bases are A1320 or A1321. If you own a Traditions Side-Lock that is factory drilled and tapped, the correct bases are A1322 or A1323.


#36 What types of powder can be used in my Traditions muzzleloader?

Pyrodex®, Triple Seven, Black Powder or any quality black powder substitute ONLY. DO NOT USE SMOKELESS POWDER. When using Triple Seven loose powder you must follow Hodgdon’s recommendation to reduce loose powder charges by 15%.


#37  What is the best type of projectile for my muzzleloader?

The type of projectile will vary depending on the muzzleloader you own.  If you own a fast twist barrel (1:28") such as our Pursuit, Evolution, Lightning Bolt, Tracker or Buchhunter, the best projectile is a saboted bullet. We recommend the Smackdown saboted bullet. Our 250 grain A1824 or A1826. For 300 grain A1825 or A1827. If you own a muzzleloader with a 1:48" twist barrel, we recommend that you shoot a conical lead bullet, such as our Ultimate Conical bullets A1265 or a saboted style bullet such as our Smackdown or the Hornady XTP Hunter bullets.  If you own a muzzleloader with a 1:66" twist barrel, we recommend that you shoot a patched round ball, such as our Swaged Lead Round Ball (A1241, A1244, A1449, A1242, A1245, A1263, A1243). Choose the correct caliber for your firearm.


#38 Can I adjust the trigger on my Traditions LightningTM or BuckhunterTM Series Rifle?

No, your trigger has been adjusted at the factory and should not be tampered with.


#39 Can I use a musket nipple with my Traditions Side-Lock muzzleloader?

A musket nipple, of the correct thread size, can be safely substituted for the standard #11 nipple on most Traditions Side-Lock muzzleloading rifles. It is very important to ensure that the hammer is correctly centered and aligned with the new oversized nipple. Rifles that have been manufactured utilizing the #11 nipple as original equipment often have small variations in the point of contact of the hammer face to nipple.


#40 Can I order cannon fuse directly from Traditions?

No. Not unless you are a licensed dealer. Due to shipping regulations regarding hazardous materials, we cannot ship cannon fuse to individual consumers.


#41 What size allen wrenches do I need to take down my Traditions In-Line muzzleloader?

If you have a Lightning™ Bolt Action, you will need a 5mm to take the stock off the barrel and a 2mm allen wrench to take the bolt apart. If you have a BuckhunterTM Series In-Line, you will need a 5mm allen wrench. Please check your instruction manual for the correct usage of these tools.


#42 Can I use Pyrodex® Pellets in my Traditions sidelock muzzleloader?

Depending on the model you have you may use Pyrodex® Pellets. Our ThunderTM Magnum (R70002) and Hawken Magnum (R30802) rifles are designed to shoot the Pyrodex® pellets. All Alpha Mag, E-Bolt, Evolution, Lightning Bolt, PA Pellet, Pursuit and Tracker models also accept Pyrodex and Triple Seven pellets. If you are still unsure whether or not your gun can accept the pellets contact Traditions Customer Service Department.


#43 How can I obtain a Warranty/Instruction Manual for my Traditions firearm

Warranty and instruction manuals are free from Traditions. Please make sure to thoroughly read the warranty and shooting instruction booklet that came with your new firearm. If your new firearm did not come with an instruction booklet download one now from this website.


#44 What if I need to get parts or service for my Traditions muzzleloader?

If you do not find what you are looking for on our website, you can request parts or service via e-mail info@traditionsfirearms.com or by calling the 1-860-388-4656 and asking for the Customer Service Department.


#45 Do I have to clean my muzzleloader right after I shoot it?

Yes, the sooner the better. Cleaning your muzzleloader after shooting enhances its performance and prevents damaging rust or corrosion


#46 My SAT-73 Single Action Model Revolver will not cock/cycle properly.

Make sure the cylinder pin is seated all the way into the frame through the cylinder. There is a pin under spring tension inside the cylinder pin that needs to press against the transfer bar to allow the gun to cycle and function properly.


#47 Where can I get a catalog?

You can email us at info@traditionsfirearms.com, phone or mail us with your request. (There is no charge for the catalog.)


#48 How do I disassemble the bolt on my Traditions Evolution, Thunderbolt or Lightning™ Bolt Action rifle?

1. Using the 2mm allen wrench, loosen and remove the small set screw located in the bolt head underneath and at the rear of the bolt.
2. Using the Traditions 209 Decapping Tool (A1404) or wide-bladed flathead screwdriver, unscrew the striker located at the front of the bolt, and remove it from within the bolt body.
3. Separate the striker, mainspring and bolt head.
4. Clean and lubricate all parts.


#49 How do I get the bolt out of the receiver of my Lightning™ Bolt Action?

Make sure that the rifle is UNLOADED AND UNCAPPED. Check your instruction manual if you are unsure how to do this. 1. Unlock bolt by raising its handle upward, then retract it to the rear portion of the receiver. 2. Move the thumb safety to the forward "FIRE" (F) position.  3. Pull the trigger to the rear, and hold it in that position.  4. Pull the bolt rearward, and remove it from the receiver.  Note: When replacing the bolt back into the receiver, you must remember to hold the trigger when sliding the bolt back in.


#50 Can I put the improved PA Pellet flintlock on my older muzzleloader?

No, the new lock is not interchangeable with the old one.


#51 Do you offer left-hand versions of your sidelock rifles?

Yes. Our Deerhunter and PA Pellet flintlock rifles are available in left-handed models.


#52 Can I use the A1443 Accelerator 209 style breechplug in my older Pursuit, Buckstalker or Canyon rifle that uses either the slotted style or hexagon style breechplug?

No. The Accelerator breechplug requires spacing between the back for the barrel and the face of the receiver to allow for the head of the Accelerator breechplug to fit. These older models do not have the required Accelerator breechplug head space and will not allow for the fitting of this newer style breechplug.


#53  My Strikerfire striker button is not cocking, what can I do to fix it? Does the gun cock when the breech is opened? If the answer is yes:

Make sure the gun is cleaned by the standards set forth in the Owner’s Manual by removing the forend and barrel. Clear any fouling building up along the crescent radius just below the firing pin. This will free up the change in tolerance caused by black powder fouling build up in that area that will inhibit proper cocking function. Make sure your breechplug is screwed in tight against the barrel.


#54  What base can be used on my older Thunder Magnum sidelock?

Because of the stepped barrel design, we do not recommend scoping the Thunder Magnum. Weaver #75 bases will fit, but the front base must be thickly shipped to bring the scope into coaxial alignment with the bore. This is seldom a satisfactory arrangement, unless done by a customer shop, and we recommend against it otherwise.


#55 Can I convert my Vortek Strikerfire Northwest Magnum, Vortek Northwest Magnum or Vortek Northwest Edition rifle over to use 209 primers? Or can I convert my 209 style Vortek Strikerfire or Vortek Ultra Light over to use a musket or #11 percussion cap?

No. Each of these rifles is designed by the manufacturer for a specific ignition style. It is not possible to change out nipples/breechplugs from one style to another on these break-open muzzleloaders


#56 Can I use the new style A1448 –Northwest Magnum Accelerator breechplug in my Vortek Strikerfire Northwest, Vortek Northwest Magnum or Vortek Northwest Edition rifle with the original, non-Accelerator style breechplug?

No. The new Accelerator Northwest Magnum breech plugs will only fit the newer model Northwest Magnums and are not interchangeable. Our A1403 Thunderdome Breechplug is used for the non-Accelerator breechplug models.


#57 What if my bullets are hard to load in my muzzleloader?

Your barrel may be very dirty, and it needs to be cleaned. After each shot you take, you should run a lubed patch (A1240) down the bore to keep the bore clean and seasoned. Check to make sure you are using the correct sabots, projectiles, etc. for the caliber you are shooting