May 14, 2017

What is a Safe Way to Unload a Muzzleloader?

what is a safe way to unload a Muzzleloader

One of the most interesting things about hunting as a hobby is the fact that people still prefer to use guns with muzzleloaders as opposed to the new firearms. This could as a result the difficulty one has to go though to master the use of modern hunting guns.

Though muzzleloaders are the preferred choice of any hunter, unloading it may prove to be the biggest challenge. The best thing that you should do is to find out what is a safe way to unload a muzzleloader.

Safe Way to Unload a Muzzleloader

Safe Way to Unload a Muzzleloader

What is a Muzzleloader

A muzzleloader is a handgun which allows for the loading of a projectile and a propellant to be loaded via the muzzle of the gun. This type of weapon has its use in hunting and target shooting. A muzzle is the front part of the gun barrel that the projectile and propellants are loaded.

A muzzleloader is hard to load and fire because it does not have any of the modern technologies which make it even harder to clean the weapon.

  • A muzzleloader may sometimes refer to a person who has experience in using and cleaning the gun.

The Importance of Unloading Your Muzzleloader

The Importance of Unloading Your Muzzleloader

A muzzleloader has to be cleaned after each shot. Failure to clean the muzzleloader will damage your gun because of the powder that settles on the muzzle after the hunting spree. This will eventually damage the gun and will make it hard to load and fire accurately.

A muzzleloader has to be cleaned after every shot. Since cleaning a loaded weapon may present a risk not only to you but other people too, you need to know how to unload a muzzleloader before taking the next shot.

The black powder used in this type of firearm is corrosive, and if left inside the barrel for so long it will damage the gun.

As usual, every gun manufacturer recommends their own way of cleaning a muzzleloader. You should be very keen on these instructions and the recommended cleaning materials. Many muzzleloader models have a lock system that is held by bolts that may need to be removed before the cleaning process

Ways to Unload Your Muzzleloaders Safely

There is a likelihood that if you are an experienced handgun user, you may be familiar with the guidelines given on how to unload a muzzleloader safely. It is also important to know the basic and the safest way to do so in the shortest time possible. For the sake of those who may not have their manuals with them, here is a guideline for you

1. Use of Carbon Dioxide to Clear the Barrel

Use of a CO2 discharger depends on the type of muzzleloader you have. It is imperative for you to know if you are using any of this muzzleloader types

  • Inline
  • Flintlock
  • Percussion

To safely unload the percussion with CO2 discharger, you must place the discharger over the nipple. For the flintlock the discharger is placed next to the touchhole. The modern inline muzzleloader has to be disconnected from the breech plug and then push the projectile and powder through the rear barrel.

Modern handguns have an inline muzzleloader design with breech centerfire design. This will let you use smokeless powder when unloading. The advantage of this modern design is the reduced frequency of cleaning.

2. Use of a Backstop

unload the muzzleloader

A backstop is a simple mechanism that is used as a target practice. Rather than firing into the ground or air to unload the muzzleloader, you aim and fire at the backstop. The backstop will absorb the ammunition and will not present to you the risk of damage, injury or hitting, and unintended target.

  • A good backstop should not deflect the bullet in any direction.

3. Get an Inline Muzzleloader

Get an Inline Muzzleloader

For the hunters who want to stay with the modern times, an inline muzzleloader is what you should go for. Unloading it is the simplest thing you will ever do because all you need is to remove the breech plug and push the projectile and remove the powder from the barrel.

The moment you are done with emptying the muzzleloader, put the loading bar into the barrel several times and accurately to prevent debris from accumulating in the barrel. Failure to clear up the debris will result to a blocked touchhole.


The safety of everyone around you depends on how you unload the muzzleloader. Practice a lot of patience when going through any of the steps I have described above. The most important thing you need to adhere to is the weapon’s manufacturer instructions on cleaning the muzzleloader. Get more information into the type of muzzleloader you are using so that you get every step right and accurately.

I hope that the question of what is a safe way to unload a muzzleloader has been put to rest by this article. Another thing that you need to remember is how you store your gun after the hunting is over. Make sure you keep it in a dust free area to keep the barrel clean and free from debris.

I want to imagine you found it so easy to unload your muzzleloader safely and that you had no challenges. If you have any additional tips, please share with us in the comments section below. We know how sharing may be helpful, share this article via your favourite social media platform and help keep our friends safe.

Alex Ramsey

Work hard & live to hunt! Countryman Hunter , Archery, shooter, Freelance outdoor writer and Love USA. founder of where I share my hunting experiences and gear reviews to help you become more prepared. Knowledge will save you, but great gear will help! Let Get Out & Go Hunting

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