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Hunter Uses Wrong Gunpowder, Gun Explodes

Last updated on Tuesday, December 18, 2007

(WASHINGTON COUNTY) - When hunting game with muzzle loading rifles, using the wrong type of power can blow up in your face, or, as an Indianapolis man hunting in Washington County discovered, at least blow up at your side.

Late Sunday morning, conservation officers report 46-year-old Derrick Edwards of Indianapolis turned up at Schneck Medical Center with gunshot related wounds at his side. Conservation officers say Edwards was turning in from his morning hunt and had to discharge his .54 caliber muzzle loading rifle to unload it.

However, when he pulled the trigger, the weapon exploded, sending shards of barrel into the ground, and into Edwards.

The problem was that Edwards used modern, smokeless gunpowder in his rifle instead of less-powerful black powder which is what those rifles are made for.

Conservation officers say Edwards was lucky he turned up with nothing for the day, since, had he aimed at a deer, the gun would have exploded directly in front of his face.

Officers remind muzzleloader hunters to always use black powder as a result, since those rifles can't handle the extra pressure from modern smokeless powder.

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