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Federal's FireStick Muzzleloader Charge: Best Muzzleloader Ammo?

Using Hodgdon's Triple 8 clean-burning powder, the Federal FireStick is a unique muzzleloader charge that offers best-in-class safety and performance.

Federal's FireStick Muzzleloader Charge: Best Muzzleloader Ammo?

Hunting white-tailed deer during muzzleloader-only season is typically a way to spend more time in the field for a rifle or shotgun hunter. However, antique firearms and even modern inline muzzleloaders do have their frustrations and limitations. So much so, that the hassle of operating them can be a deterrent for some hunters and can be considered a barrier to enter the sport. Federal found a better, easier and safer way with the proprietary muzzleloading propellant system that was safer and easier to use than anything before - the FireStick, a propellant capsule powered by Hodgdon’s Triple 8 granular powder.

What is the Federal FireStick? 

The Federal Premium FireStick is a part of a whole muzzleloader system that uses a primer inserted into an encapsulated powder charge. In other words, it’s a premeasured self-contained powder charge. First, the bullet is loaded separately and independently from the muzzle to seat on top of a bullet shelf inside the barrel of the rifle. The break-open action of the rifle is opened. The FireStick is installed into the open breech to seat just behind the bullet shelf and seated bullet. A 209 Muzzleloader primer is inserted into the FireStick propellant capsule to charge the powder. The break-open action is closed. It’s now ready to fire, once the hammer is pulled back and the safety is turned off. Physical features of the FireStick consist of a polymer capsule precisely filled with an exact charge of ultra-clean black powder substitute Hodgdon Triple 8 granular powder. The sealed capsule utilizes a breakable front section (cap) that completely encases the powder charge. The FireStick propellant capsule requires a 209 primer, not included, to be inserted into it by the user to become charged. Once inserted, the primer doesn’t need to be uninstalled. The primer can remain inserted into the FireStick. Keeping the primer inserted in the capsule will continue to keep it protected from the elements or being lost.

A muzzleloader is any firearm into which the projectile is loaded from the muzzle of the gun (from the open end of the gun’s barrel). Most (but not all) muzzleloaders used are considered antique firearms and are not defined as a “firearm” according to the Gun Control Act of 1968. Antique firearms such as flintlock and caplock rifles use black powder flint and steel, or percussion caps for ignition and propellant functions. Inline Muzzleloaders are more modern due to their inline ignition and propellant system. They work by pouring granular or pelletized black powder substitute into the muzzle and pushing down a sabot or bullet to seat it on top of the propellant. This step creates a guessing game to determine if the powder and bullet are seating properly and consistently. A 209 primer is then tediously installed in the breech of the rifle via a breech plug to fully charge the firearm. The firearm is then considered loaded. With the new type of muzzleloader rifle that operates using the FireStick System, the inline system is dramatically easier. First, a bullet is loaded down the muzzle to seat on a bullet shelf within the rifle’s barrel. The bullet shelf provides a consistent seat point for the bullet and eliminates any need for a breech plug in the rifle. The charged FireStick with primer then gets inserted from the breech into the rifle. The firearm is then considered loaded.

FireStick Advantages

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The primary benefit of the FireStick is safety. The benefits of overall better shot consistency for better accuracy and ease of use follow close behind. It allows safe, easy removal of the unfired charge from the breech. The FireStick System is purposely designed to install and uninstall quickly, easily and safely by simply slipping it in or out of the breech. This allows for a safer hunting experience. FireSticks can quickly and easily be uninstalled whenever needed such as uninstalling to cross a fence, climb into a treestand, enter a blind, or ride in a vehicle. The bullet is loaded first, separately, and is completely independent of the powder charge and primer. To unload the rifle, the bullet can simply be pushed out of the barrel. Use a ramrod and jag to push the bullet starting from the open breech, out through the muzzle. Due to the open breech, it is easy to see if the rifle is loaded with a bullet or not.

The FireStick delivers a safer shooting experience because using factory-controlled, precision-measured, pre-filled powder charges eliminates the risk of accidentally over-charging a rifle to dangerous levels. Not having a breech plug to remove from the rifle adds another level of convenience. There is nothing in the breech to remove, clean, soak and lube. Breech plugs can become fouled quickly and even clogged and often need to be thoroughly picked and cleaned. This also means no hassles from stuck (frozen) breech plugs. When using a FireStick in a muzzleloader rifle designed for a FireStick, users can be assured they are using safe, correct products designed to be used in conjunction with each other. The charge is completely encapsulated and impervious to moisture, allowing for consistent, accurate shots, every time. It can be also stored for later use.

FireStick Compatible Bullets and Primers

It’s the perfect match for Federal Premium Trophy Copper or Lead Tipped muzzleloader bullets. These bullets’ exclusive B.O.R. Lock MZ System provides outstanding accuracy in a non-sabot design that's easy to load, scrubs fouling from the breech and ensures consistent bullet seating. B.O.R. Lock MZ System features an expanding polymer base cup that engages rifling and seals the bore for extraordinary velocity and accuracy. Its high ballistic coefficient flattens trajectories and minimizes wind drift. The required loading force averages about half that of most sabots. B.O.R. Lock MZ’s non-sabot design is approved for hunting in most areas. That said, Federal’s FireStick is compatible with any brand of muzzleloader bullets. The decision is up to the shooter on what bullet works best in their rifle.

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Ignition is important in muzzleloading. That's why Federal Premium developed the 209 Muzzleloading Primers, Part No. PMZ209. The formulation provides superior resistance to moisture, as well as hot, reliable ignition of both granulated powder and pellets in any conditions. The design reduces the excessive breech fouling—also known as a “crud ring”—typical of standard shotshell primers. They are sold in 100-count packs. However, any brand of muzzleloader-specific or 209 type primers could work with the FireStick system. For safety reasons, FireSticks are designed for one-time use and cannot be reloaded. A separate primer allows the shooter to choose their preferred primer, and keeps with the traditional components of muzzleloading; bullet, powder, primer. Shipping the product without a primer also allows it to ship to as powder, not ammunition. The Federal FireStick has a lot of great advantages to the muzzleloader enthusiast. If you like modern muzzleloader firearms, then the FireStick is worth a look!




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