Muzzleloader season is open during some of the best hunting days of the year, and in many states can be your best chance at tagging a trophy buck, especially on public land. When Capt. Todd Jones is not hunting big fish on Emerald Tails, he is chasing whitetails across the Mid West & Texas. Todd shows us how to safely load and unload a muzzleloader.
First thing to do when loading a muzzleloader, is make sure that it is unloaded. The simplest way to do it is to unscrew the speed breech and look right through the barrel. Next, make sure that the barrel is clean to ensure that you don’t have any solvent or excess in there. After you clean the barrel, put your speed breech back in and determine that the gun is safe and unloaded.
To load your gun, you first need to get out your powder. Make sure that you have the right amount of powder. The easiest way to measure it is by weight so that you have the same amount every time you reload your muzzleloader. Put the stock of the gun on your foot and pour the powder down the barrel. Once the powder is in, lightly tap your stock on the ground so that the powder settles at the bottom. Next, get out your bullet and sabot and begin to push it into the barrel. Once it is started, take your jag and begin pushing the bullet lightly. You want to make sure that your bullet and jag match and that you don’t push too hard on the jag or else you will deform the bullet. Push down until the bullet is seated. Not any harder than that or it could cause problems within your gun.
Once you are out in the field, all you have to do is take out your 209 primer and set it in your muzzleloader. Cock your hammer and you are ready to fire.
As far as safely unloading goes, you first want to crack your gun. Unscrew the breech and take it out. Tap the breech plug and make sure that no powder is on it. Then, pour your powder out and take your ramrod and push the bullet through the breech hole. The gun is now completely unloaded and you have your bullet back.
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