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Sometimes a muzzleloader will not fire immediately when the trigger is pulled. This is known as "hang fire" and requires great caution because the gun might fire some time after the cap or flint created the initial sparks.

Other times a muzzleloader may not fire at all. This is known as a "misfire" and also requires great caution.

Keep these safety tips in mind if a hang fire or misfire occurs.

  • Keep the gun pointed in a safe direction, preferably downrange.
  • Don't take it anywhere that it could injure someone or damage property if it fires.
  • If a muzzleloader doesn't fire properly, consider obtaining help from an experienced shooter to unload it using a ball discharger.

Some types of firearms may be discharged by an inexperienced shooter as follows if caution is used.