[SHOT 2020] Federal Premium FireStick Muzzleloading Rifle Ignition System

Hrachya H
by Hrachya H
Federal FireStick (1)

At SHOT Show 2020, besides the HammerDown lever-action rifle ammunition line, Federal Premium also introduced a new ignition system for muzzleloading rifles called FireStick. This system is designed to work with Traditions NitroFire series break action .50 caliber muzzleloaders. It consists of the FireStick unprimed roll-crimped plastic shell loaded with a black powder charge, the projectile and standard 209 shotgun primer.

Scaled up cutaway mockup of a muzzleloader barrel loaded with the FireStick system.

In order to load the rifle with FireStick ammunition, you need to close the action and first push the bullet down the bore using the ramrod. There is a shelf in the bore where the bullet stops and you can positively feel it stop. Next, you need to open the action, insert the polymer FireStick shell (that contains the powder charge) into the breech and lastly, prime the shell. Now all you need is to close the action, cock the hammer and fire the gun.

The reason why the bullet is suggested to be loaded first is safety. With that procedure, you are not pushing a bullet down the bore when there is a powder charge in the barrel. I loaded and fired a Traditions muzzleloader at SHOT Show range day and the entire loading process was smooth, intuitive and flawless. The extraction of the fired case had no issues too and there were no signs of gas leakage on the hull.

L-R: Federal Premium Trophy Copper muzzleloader bullet, FireStick encapsulated powder charge, fired hull.

The non-reloadable polymer hull is roughly the size of a 28 gauge shell but its dimensions are deliberately designed to be different from any size shotgun shell to prevent accidentally loading a shotshell into the gun. The flash hole in the plastic hull has a membrane that is strong enough to keep the powder charge sealed yet weak enough to allow the flash of the priming compound to puncture it and ignite the powder charge.

Federal FireStick (2)

The powder used in FireStick shells is Hodgdon Triple Eight. The plastic shells will be available loaded with 100 or 120-grain powder charges. The MSRP for both options is $26.95 for packages of 10 loaded hulls.

To sum up the advantages of the FireStick system, what you get is an encapsulated, precisely measured consistent powder charge that is sealed and impervious to moisture, elimination of double charging possibility, safer loading procedure, easier to clean muzzleloading rifle, less hassle when loading because you don’t deal with loose powder and last but not least, you can easily unload the muzzleloader by removing the hull and pushing the bullet out of the bore. As strange as it may sound, the FireStick system brings the muzzleloaders to the 21st century.

Hrachya H
Hrachya H

Managing Editor Being a lifelong firearms enthusiast, Hrachya always enjoys studying the history and design of guns and ammunition. Should you need to contact him, feel free to shoot him a message at Hrachya@TheFirearmBlog.com

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4 of 35 comments
  • Cuda Cuda on Jan 24, 2020

    Damn sounds like you all spent too much time with your liberal aunt growing up and whine like pussy hat wearing libtards. The vast majority of comments are from those who don't know jack about muzzle loader hunting

    • Alex Karulin Alex Karulin on Jan 24, 2020

      @Cuda And instead of educating them with your massive treasure trove of knowledge you've decided to troll. Popularity of muzzleloader hunting is largely a byproduct of government legislation.

  • Phuzz Phuzz on Jan 24, 2020

    So let me get this straight. It's a muzzle loader, because the projectile goes down the muzzle. Even though the propellant is loaded via the breach?

    • M2AP M2AP on Jan 24, 2020

      @phuzz Yes, because it does not use fixed cartridges and probably because the hunting regulations of most states don't specify that the powder has to go down the muzzle too. Some DNRs might be able to change their regulations to say the powder has to go down the muzzle too.