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Thread: Temperature effects?

  1. #1

    Default Temperature effects?

    Any Alaska muzzleloaders have experience with extreme cold hunting and shooting? What effects have you seen on powder, pressures, accuracy, priming, etc.? I live in a very hot and humid lower 48 state and have to consider this when shooting and hunting with the coal burners. Primary problems here are condensation, pressure, and point of impact changes when the temp increases. I'm considering a muzzleloader for my next Alaska trip so I'm wondering what happens when the mercury is in the negative. Any experiences with cold?

  2. #2


    I haven't shot at temps below 0, but I don't notice any difference in apparent pressures or POI going from summer 70's to winter teens. But then again, I'm not pushing the maximum end of the pressure scale or making long shots.

    Condensation going from cold outdoors to warm indoors is another issue altogether. Guns fog up faster than eyeglasses when you come indoors. I guess you could leave your guns outdoors overnight, but I prefer to clean them each night, especially around saltwater. Therefore I use a CO2 discharger to empty the gun, then bring it indoors and allow it to warm up completely before cleaning.

    Another issue to consider- Make sure you have a powder supply lined up once you get here. Not sure, but I bet TSA would go ape poopy if you had black powder or even a substitute into your checked bags. Substitutes like Pyrodex are easily available in Anchorage, but true BP is harder to find. If you are flying out from Anchorage, locating even the subs could be an issue unless you are dropping into a larger town. I'd call the sports shop at your final destination (if there is one) and confirm availability, even prepay and have a supply waiting for you. That would also mean sighting in and load development with that particular powder before you left home.

  3. #3

    Default Ditto

    Yeah, what BB said.

  4. #4
    Member mod elan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006


    We didn't notice any problem with accurracy last winter. Both mom and I put down each of our moose last november with one shot in each animal. She did hers with a body shot at 127 yards and mine was a neck shot at 122 yards. Both shots hit right on the mark. The temperatures both days were between 15 and 20 below zero. Both guns were sighted in at the range earlier in the fall during warmer temps. I will say that you won't be swabbing the barrel between shots when it's that cold. Things tend to freeze instantly! Being able to reload and fire a few times in a row is what decided our choice of powder and bullet. I'll probably get harrassed, but after cleaning at night I set the guns outside to be cold and ready in the morning.

  5. #5


    No harrassment here mod elan. Putting a gun back outside after cleaning is a good idea unless you don't have shelter for it. Just spent the day hunting in wet and wind, and my cleaned rifle is already back out in my truck ready for tomorrow's hunt.


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