At Woodman Arms we manufacture our Patriot™ Muzzleloader breech plugs from 17-4 stainless steel. After machining they are heat treated to the H900 condition.
This material resists pitting and corrosion against black powder and black powder substitutes. The design gives instant ignition, particularly when shooting loose powder. The flash hole is only about 1/8 of an inch long and sits directly under the primer. On the other side of the flash hole is a large pocket which fills with powder. This design works well for those whose like to shoot pellets, pellets are another topic we will discuss.
Our breech plugs are under one inch long. The .45 cal is even shorter at 3/4 of an inch. The shorter the distance the ignition flame has to travel makes for faster ignition, more more consistent groups and guaranteed ignition. A socket and wrench are included with the rifle to remove the breech plug.
There is a lot of hype about quick remove or no tool removal breech plugs. We went the other direction because accuracy and performance mean more to us. I’ve never had to remove a breech plug in the field, can’t remember doing it while target shooting either. I only take it out when cleaning my gun. Every time I clean I apply anti-seize to the breech plug threads. It takes maybe 12 seconds to get the breech plug out. I have been asked “what about blow back around the primer”, it depends on the primer. Primers vary in diameter by over .012″. In order to make them all fit, the primer pocket has to be big enough to accommodate the largest of primers. This means the smaller ones will have more gap around them and therefore more blow back around them.