(February 2000) Years ago, I was visiting my local gun range when I noticed a gentleman having trouble with his muzzleloader. You load a muzzleloader by pouring black gunpowder down the barrel, placing a bullet on top of the powder, and ramming it down tight with a rod. You shoot the loaded gun by cocking the hammer and placing a pinch of gunpowder under it. When the trigger is pulled, the hammer falls against a flint. The resulting sparks ignite the powder, a jet of flame flashes through a hole into the main charge, and the gun goes bang.
This gentleman loaded his gun, but when he pulled the trigger, nothing happened. He tried it again, and again nothing happened. So he looks down the barrel. It's dark in there and he could not see anything. So he pulls out his lighter, and holds the flame against the flash hole (where the pinch of powder is placed) while STILL looking down the barrel.
I ran up and separated idiot from gun before anything could happen. The cause of the malfunction was old, degraded powder. It's people like this that cause waiting period laws to be enacted.
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Submitted by: Albert D. Mayse