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Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Talk about all Big game hunting here.

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CoHiCntry
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Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby CoHiCntry » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:56 pm

I've been hunting western big game for several years with an inline. I'm switching to a sidelock this season for the first time ever. I've got moose, elk, and pronghorn tags for Colorado. I have a few questions for those of you who hunt in the mountains since I won't be walking to and sitting in a stand or blind for the day.

I'm planning to use a simple valve stem cap over my nipple to let the hammer rest on while hunting and the gun is capped. I'll have a short piece of fishing line tied to my trigger guard and to the valve stem cap. When/ if the time comes for a shot, I can just cock the hammer and pull the cap off and it will dangle from the fishing line. Having never used a sidelock for hunting I'm concerned about rain, snow etc. Will the valve stem cap over the nipple be enough to protect from moisture or do I need to look at also having something that covers the whole lock area?

I've always used a sling on my inlines while I'm hunting. Western hunting (at least the type I do) requires hiking all over the place all day, for several day's in a row. The sidelock doesn't have any sling studs. I've seen some slings that wrap around the barrel and the butt of the gun. Anyone use these? Wondering if they function very well and what others do for carrying their sidelock when hunting?

I'll probably have a few more questions but can't think of anymore right now! Thanks for any replies...

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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby QuinnTheEskimo » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:11 pm

If I were concerned about keeping the cap sealed on the nipple, I'd seal it with nail polish. Quick, easy and effective.
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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby CoHiCntry » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:23 pm

QuinnTheEskimo wrote:If I were concerned about keeping the cap sealed on the nipple, I'd seal it with nail polish. Quick, easy and effective.


Thanks for the reply... I never thought about the cap coming off the nipple. Are they prone to falling off while hiking around? I'm using the valve stem cap so I don't have to walk around with the hammer resting on the primer or in the half cocked position. I can rest the hammer on the valve stem cap instead.

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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby QuinnTheEskimo » Wed Aug 09, 2017 6:26 am

CoHiCntry wrote:
QuinnTheEskimo wrote:If I were concerned about keeping the cap sealed on the nipple, I'd seal it with nail polish. Quick, easy and effective.


Thanks for the reply... I never thought about the cap coming off the nipple. Are they prone to falling off while hiking around? I'm using the valve stem cap so I don't have to walk around with the hammer resting on the primer or in the half cocked position. I can rest the hammer on the valve stem cap instead.


They aren't prone to falling off, you said in your first post that moisture was a concern. The valve stem cap is unnecessary, just put it on half-cock, that's what it's for. You're overthinking this.
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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby CoHiCntry » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:21 am

Not sure I'm overthinking it... just trying to figure out how to keep the nipple/ lock area dry if it starts raining or snowing. I am new to hunting with a sidelock. Walking around with the hammer in the half cocked position just doesn't seem like a good idea in the type of terrain I'm in. Maybe I'm wrong? Once I start hunting maybe I'll figure out what seems right to me concerning the hammer position and wether or not I think I need the valve stem cap over the capped nipple or not.

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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby Idaholewis » Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:50 pm

Finger nail polish should work good, another one that i know guys use is a little short 1/8" or so piece of black rubber surgical tubing used for fishing, roll it over the Capped nipple, it will fit good and tight and keep moisture from getting in, push it down so that the cap top is good and exposed so the hammer face can hit it good. And like the nail polish, no need to remove it when ready to shoot, just cock the gun and fire when ready. I think i like the nail polish idea better though, more times than not these hammers do not line up dead square over the cap, they are off to one side a bit, i doubt the little piece of surgical tubing would cause any problems, but it's possible? And if anything is gonna go wrong it usually does so at the most inconvenient times! I have threatened to take each of my hammers off my guns, heat and bend them so they hit the center of the nipple, just haven't done it
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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby CoHiCntry » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:48 pm

I picked up a universal sling and some "cap guards" also saw them called cap keepers from October Country. The cap guards hold the cap firmly on the nipple. Figured I'd give them a try for $3. Think I'll abandon the valve stem cap idea and just use the cap guards and keep the hammer in the half cock position. Still need to find something to cover the lock area if it's raining.

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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby triggerhappy243 » Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:43 pm

you should try these cap covers before you go afield to make sure they do what you want.

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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby Idaholewis » Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:51 pm

triggerhappy243 wrote:you should try these cap covers before you go afield to make sure they do what you want.



I agree here, i would waste a few of these to make sure you have them figured out and can trust that they don't interfere with ignition in anyway, like i said before if something is gonna go wrong it will usually be at the most inconvenient time, like when you are on a bull and pull the trigger and only hear a 'Click'
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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby CoHiCntry » Sun Sep 03, 2017 4:40 pm

After receiving these, I'm not going to use them. I was really disappointed in them. It's obviously just a piece of hose that they cut into little sections. That would be fine but they aren't even all the same length. Some much longer and or shorter than others. I assumed they would be more of a precise measurement and fit. I'll just cap the gun and start hunting and see if I have any issues with it falling off or not. Sounds like it's not really an issue for most guys anyway.

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Re: Western Big Game with a Sidelock

Postby FredB » Sun Sep 03, 2017 7:45 pm

I'm in the "you may be over thinking this" camp. I've never used a sidelock, but I do use an inline that's Idaho legal, which means it uses #11 percussion caps, and has an exposed ignition. Granted it's a little less exposed than a sidelock, but I've never had moisture problems in rain and snow, and certainly never had a cap fall off. Okay, I did learn the hard way that I needed to put electrical tape over the end of the barrel. I don't think I'd put nail polish on it either. At the end of the day, if I haven't fired and tagged something, I like to remove the cap before I put it in the truck, to make it safe, and legal for travel. If it's on with nail polish I'd think it would be pretty hard to remove without firing. I think if I was concerned about moisture getting by the cap, I'd put a little dab of breech plug grease on it. Or look in the "Sidelock" section, and see if this wheel has already been invented.


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