About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Pennsylvania Hunter Ed Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Hunter Education Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

CO2 discharger
CO2 Discharger

There are four basic methods for unloading a muzzleloader when you are finished hunting for the day.

  • Discharging
    • Point the muzzleloader at a suitable backstop.
    • Make sure that no one is in front of your position.
    • Discharge into the backstop.
  • CO2 Discharger: This is the safest method.
    • Follow the manufacturer’s directions.
    • Place on the nipple or in the flash hole.
    • Point the muzzle in a safe direction.
    • Discharge the bullet and powder.
  • Modern In-Line Muzzleloader
    • Remove the breech plug.
    • Push the projectile and powder out the rear of the barrel.
  • Un-Priming: This method is the most dangerous and to be used only if absolutely necessary.
    • Remove the cap from the nipple or powder from the pan.
    • Cover the flash hole.
    • Use a bullet puller to remove the bullet and pour out the powder.

When a muzzleloader is unloaded, place your ramrod or loading rod in the barrel before leaning it against a good rest—this will prevent debris from falling down the barrel and blocking the touch hole.