When using firearms for hunting, may it be a rifle or shotgun, there is one important part that we need to learn about, and that’s the muzzleloader. Many hunters often wonder: “What is a safe way to unload a muzzleloader?” Why? Because you’ll need to stay safe while on the hunting field to avoid hurting yourself and others! If you’re still a beginner with using guns for hunting and need to know about how to use a muzzleloader, then learn all about it here!
I’ll be talking about keeping it safe when using your muzzleloader, especially when it comes to unloading it.
What is a Muzzleloader?
For those who aren’t familiar with muzzleloaders, here’s a quick overview of what they are and what they do:
A muzzleloader is a firearm where the projectile is loaded from the gun’s muzzle. It’s similar to the classic type of hunting and shooting during the earlier years, which gives hunters more of a thrill and challenge. There are three types of muzzleloaders to choose from:
These are known as black powder guns as they use flintlocks and black gunpowder. They need more time and effort for shooting.
There is a cap held by a nipple on the gun barrel’s side. This is also a nice choice, though the cap is susceptible to being wet, which makes it difficult to shoot.
Inline muzzleloaders are newer, with the cap found on the charge. There are more protection and reliability here, but not the traditional type of muzzleloader as it uses pelletized powder and bullets that look like today’s modern design.
What is a Safe Way to Unload a Muzzleloader?
Unloading a muzzleloader will require some practice, but it is easy to do! Here’s a guide on safely discharging this tool:
For a Percussion Lock Muzzleloader, clear the barrel by slipping the discharger over the nipple. For Flintlock Muzzleloaders, place it against its touchhole. This method is the best way for older muzzleloaders.
The backstop is placed behind a barrier or reinforcement. You can safely clear the barrel through firing it on these backstops. NEVER shoot the muzzleloader to the ground, as it may ricochet and hurt others. Don’t shoot to the air as well, as it will free fall and may hit someone on the ground. This is especially for those who hunt on elevated stands.
This method is suitable for any muzzleloader, though you’ll need to be careful.
Modern Inline Muzzleloader
Fortunately, there are now new muzzleloaders that do not require you to use dischargers or shoot on backstops. Modern inline muzzleloaders only have one step when unloading: Remove the breech plug, push the powder and let it projectile out of the barrel. Load the ramrod to the barrel to avoid the touch hold from being blocked by random things while storing it. And you’re ready to go!
Quick Tips on Using a Muzzleloader
Now that you’re familiar with unloading a muzzleloader, what else are things you need to know to use this tool for hunting safely and efficiently? Here are some quick tips to help you out:
- Just like maintaining your carbon arrows and other bowhunting gear, you need to regularly clean and dry it. Yes, even if it’s new! To clean your muzzleloader. Remove the breech plug and allow it to soak in breech plug cleaner while cleaning the barrel in hot water with dishwashing soap. Use a cleaning patch and then dry it up to protect it from rust.
- I recommend you to use the same powder and sabots, keeping it consistent to make it easier to load.
- Load your muzzleloader correctly and always keep it dry. If it does get wet, it won’t ignite. To keep it dry, put electrical tape at the end of your barrel and shoot right through the tape.
- Once you have made your shot, reload the muzzleloader as quickly as possible. It isn’t only about keeping your muzzleloader long lasting, but it will also help you stay prepared (because you never know if you have another target after the first one!).
To keep you and everyone safe while you hunt, make sure that you know how to unload your muzzleloader. While it will take a bit of time and a lot of practice to perfect unloading this part of your gun, it will be worth it in the long run. Just make sure that you follow the tips I showed you, as well as the manufacturer’s instructions (since every muzzleloader is different, depending on the brand!), and you’re ready to go!
I hope that this article answers your question: “What is a say way to unload a muzzleloader?” Now that you know what to do follow these tips to ensure an enjoyable hunting trip!
If you have any questions or would like to share your tips on unloading a muzzleloader, then comment down below. I would love to hear what you have to think.