Under normal conditions a muzzleloading firearm is unloaded simply by firing it into a suitable and safe backstop. There are, however, some conditions under which the firearm cannot be fired and the charge must be removed.
THE TWO MOST COMMON CONDITIONS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
2. If the rifle is loaded in a proper manner yet fails to fire after repeated attempts (as explained in the "Loading and Shooting" Section). NEVER ATTEMPT TO PULL A CHARGE UNTIL THE POWDER HAS BEEN RENDERED INERT (DEACTIVATED) BY THOROUGHLY SOAKING IN WATER.
Removing a projectile is dangerous when there is a powder charge behind the projectile. Two approved methods of removing a projectile from the barrel are to: (1) Use a CO2 discharger to blow the projectile from the barrel, or (2) With the muzzle in a safe direction, and the primer removed from the breech plug, remove the breech plug. Empty the powder into a safe container. Using the ramrod and cleaning jag with a solvent soaked cleaning patch, push the projectile from the breech forward and out the muzzle of the barrel.
After the projectile has been removed from the bore, clean the bore, barrel and parts as explained in the "Cleaning" section and reassemble the firearm.
If for any reason you are unable to remove the charge in the manner recommended, soak the barrel in very hot water for one-half hour. Once the powder has been rendered inert, take the barrel to a qualified gunsmith.
Was this article helpful?