The use of muzzle loading equipment has become a popular part of the deer hunting season over the past decade or so. Today’s high tech and modern guns provide extreme accuracy and are generally easier to maintain than from years past. Here are a few safety and useful tips for adding a muzzle loader to your arsenal.
1. A muzzle loader is a firearm, as with any firearm, always think safety first.
2. Always read, understand, and follow the manufacturers instructions for proper use of a muzzle loader.
3. Only use the proper types and proper amounts of black powder or black powder substitutes as recommended by the gun manufacturer.
4. Make sure there are no obstructions inside the barrel before using.
5. Only use the proper bullet and size, percussion cap, any any other equipment as per the manufacturer.
6. If you can’t remember whether or not a muzzle loader is loaded, check before reloading. A double load can result in serious consequences.
7. Make sure all screws, bolts, breech plugs, and nipples are secure before discharging a muzzle loader.
8. Never force a bullet down the barrel of a muzzle loader. Use proper lubricate or switch to a different type of bullet.
9. Always store the powder and percussion caps in it’s original container and away from any fire or heat source.
10. Unload unfired loads after each daily use. Moisture can build up inside a barrel and result in corrosion, improper firing, or poor shot placement.
11. Keep a muzzle loader clean to prevent fowling. Run a patch down the barrel after each shot. Use a bore cleaner after use.
12. If using during wet weather, clean the muzzle loader as soon as possible after the hunt.
13. Thoroughly clean and lubricate a muzzle loader after seasonal use and when corrosion is detected.