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Unloading a Percussion Gun?

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Unloading a Percussion Gun?

Old 11-23-2018, 08:37 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 1
Default Unloading a Percussion Gun?

Hello! New member and new to muzzleloading. I've been practicing with my .54 caliber Cabela's (Investarms) Hawken style percussion gun. I shoot patched roundballs and target practice has been going well. Going on a special State Park hunt tomorrow and Sunday where I can take up to two does. My dilemna is this. If I don't get one, what do I do at the end of the day? I've read you can leave the gun loaded but without a primer cap. It makes me nervous transporting it like that in my trunk. But perhaps I shouldn't worry if put some leather in between the hammer and nipple or take some extra precautions. My only other option I guess would be discharging the gun into the ground or side of a hill on the way out I guess. Not a huge fan of that either. Thanks for any input from you veterans.

P.S. I bought this gun 10 years ago with giftcards and never got around to using it because I became enamored with bowhunting. I tried to sell it last year and the most anyone would give me for this brand new gun (purchased for nearly $400 many moons ago) was $75. So glad I kept it. Because this thing is fun and awesome to shoot. I can't wait. I will shoot a fawn I think if I get the chance just to say I was successful my first year. Those northern corn fed fawns can be pretty big this time of year. lol
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:23 AM
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 64

You're ok with simply removing the cap and casing it up. Set it at half-cock if you feel better or do the leather thing. I don't void a load by shooting until I am done shooting....as in the end of the season. You'll need to fully clean any black powder gun after shooting it at the ground, in the air or a deer within a day or so. On a two day hunt, I'd just reload if a shot a deer the first day and keep right on hunting but un-capping and leaving the gun in the truck between hunting days. Then give the gun a good cleaning the second night. If you don't shoot at a second deer and you don't want to mess with blowing the charge out with air just point the muzzle skyward or directly at the ground and fire the charge....assuming you are not with others. Step away from others to do this if you're in company.
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Old 11-23-2018, 11:48 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: south eastern PA
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Never shoot skywards with a bullet, that is totally stupid. Bullets that go up have to come down and you have no control where, you could kill someone.
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Old 11-23-2018, 12:18 PM
Boone & Crockett
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Eastern PA
Posts: 12,652

Originally Posted by Oldtimr View Post
Never shoot skywards with a bullet, that is totally stupid. Bullets that go up have to come down and you have no control where, you could kill someone.

Good lord ctom! Haven't you ever taken a Hunter Safety Course?
Chuck, you may want to check your hunting regulations there in MN. I know here in PA a muzzleloader is not considered "loaded" if the perc. cap or primer is removed or the flash pan on a flintlock is empty. A cap from a valve stem fits nicely over the nipple to prevent and incidental spark from entering the charge. Or you can pull the bullet/ball with a bullet puller and then scrape the powder out with a breech scraping tool. Both of these fit on the end of your ramrod. (If you plan on pulling your ball, make sure you drill a small hole on your brass ramrod end and pin it to the ramrod using a small brad and peening it over and filing it so it doesn't pull off the end of the ramrod)
But the absolute quickest and safest way to unload is to shoot it into a proper backstop (a dirt bank, stump or something that will safely stop the bullet.
One other option is buying a CO2 unloader. With this thing you would need to remove the nipple, install the correct attachment, and send a "charge" of compressed CO2 into the breech to blow out the charge. I've done this with my air compressor also. But you still have to clean it so you might as well practice by aiming and shooting at a leaf on a dirt bank for practice.

Last edited by bronko22000; 11-23-2018 at 12:23 PM.
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