Muzzleloaders are some of the most common weapons for hunters. And many hunters wonder what is the safest way to unload a muzzleloader as this is essential information to use the weapon properly.

Your main goal when you are hunting is to keep yourself and others that might be on the same field, safe. Muzzleloaders can be a bit more difficult to master compared to newer firearms that come with simpler mechanisms. However, even if these types of firearms are not for beginners in terms of shooting, there are still newer models that are a lot more simplified compared to the traditional ones.

If you don’t unload your muzzleloader safely, you take the risk of having your weapon explode in your hands. Plus, over time, your gun will not function properly and it can even become a safety hazard. Keep in mind that unloading your gun goes hand in hand with cleaning it diligently which is also an important practice among all types of shooters.

What is a muzzleloader?

Before we get to the unloading technique of a muzzleloader, it is important to understand what such a firearm is and how does it function. Muzzleloaders are firearms that are loaded through the barrel at its open end. These weapons use a special gun powder and it is crucial to load them with the proper ammunition for their mechanism. Each manufacturer will recommend you a type of ammo for your gun and it is essential to respect those recommendations.

These weapons are still popular in the hunting industry, in spite of the fact that they are more difficult to use and maintain. And learning to clean as well as unload them correctly is extremely important.

The term muzzleloader is also used to refer to the shooters and hunters that choose to use such weapons during hunting seasons or other types of shooting. And once you learn how to master a muzzleloader, such a weapon can easily become one of your favorites.

How to unload a muzzleloader in a safe way

Before we get into the methodology of unloading a muzzleloader, it is important to clean such a weapon after each shooting. You should also check the manual of your weapon as there are many important specifications there that will help you use it and maintain it safely, not just unload it safely. Some hunters will advise you to always manage your firearm as if it was always loaded and that is one of the best pieces of advice when it comes to your safety.

Cleaning your muzzleloader should be a routine and it is an important step to cover before you unload it. When you clean your muzzleloader, make sure to use a cleaning kit that is made for your type of weapon. It is essential to use the right products so you maintain your gun in good shape for a longer time.

Once your gun is clean and you are familiar with the instructions that it came with, it is time to focus on discharging it or unloading it. But when it comes to unloading your muzzleloader weapon, here are a few safe ways that you can choose! Don’t improvise and don’t take risks that you don’t have to take unless you are an experienced hunter and you know exactly what you are doing and how your muzzleloader works.

CO2 Discharger

You can find a CO2 discharger fairly easily and at a budget-friendly cost. Such a product will come in very handy when you need to unload your barrel. The way you discharge the barrel of your muzzleloader will vary according to the model of the weapon and you will find clear instructions in the manual or on the manufacturer’s website. A common method is placing the discharger against the touchhole, especially if you have a flintlock weapon. On the other hand, if you use a percussion bolt muzzleloader, you should slip the discharger over the areola.

Fitting backstop

Using a backstop piece that fits your muzzleloader will help you significantly when you unload it. A backstop is a piece that acts like a limit or a boundary in the back of your gun and it can offer a lot of support. Make sure you don’t shoot your gun in the air or into the ground because you take the risk of suffering a rebound shot. When you unload your gun, you will simply discharge it into the backstop. If your backstop will not be compatible with your muzzleloader, this option will not work as well as you expect it so check your equipment first.

Invest in a modern muzzleloader

Newer muzzleloaders are a lot easier to unload compared to older models. In these weapons, all you have to do is unplug the breech and push the gun powder and projectile out of your gun. When you push the ammunition and projectile out, try to push it out of the rear end of your barrel.

With these guns, it is essential to place the loading bar back in the barrel as soon as the gun is unloaded. If you fail to do this, you take the risk of dust and debris entering your weapon and even blocking the touchhole.

Final thoughts

When you are unloading your muzzleloader, it is essential to put your safety first and have all the patience that it takes to complete this process. Keep in mind that if your muzzleloader doesn’t fire in 30 seconds you will have to re-prime its pan before you try again. You should wait for another 30 seconds to see if your arm fires before you discharge it. Make sure to stay as informed as possible when it comes to using your weapon and get familiar with all its features before you start using it and even cleaning it because an accident can happen at any time. Learning how to unload your gun safely should be one of the main aspects you invest time in before you start using a weapon.