Hunters Participating in Primitive Weapons Deer Season Should Review Safety Features

Muzzleloader (Photo courtesy of West Virginia Department of Commerce)
Muzzleloader (Photo courtesy of West Virginia Department of Commerce)
Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division
Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga.-(Ammoland.com)- Hunters getting ready for the opening day of primitive weapons deer hunting season, Oct. 15, should first review safety information.

“Primitive weapons, such as muzzleloaders, have specific safety use rules beyond general firearms safety that should be reviewed before heading to the woods,” said Jennifer Pittman, WRD’s Hunting and Shooting Education Supervisor.

Following are recommendations to ensure a safe experience:

  • Never smoke in the proximity of a muzzleloader.
  • Use an intermediate device, such as a measure, to pour powder into a barrel.
  • Keep flask and powder containers away from flames and sparks to prevent an accidental explosion.
  • Use only powders specific to each muzzleloader and recommended by that firearms manufacturer.
  • Place percussion cap on nipple only when ready to shoot.
  • The gun is safely unloaded only after removing the bullet, powder and percussion cap. If using a flintlock muzzleloader, unprime the flash pan and remove the bullet and powder.
  • Use the recommended loading materials, the correct powder charge, the right diameter and weight bullet and the correct lead material.
  • Never use plastic (poly) patches. These are different from sabots.
  • Treat a misfire as though the gun could fire at any moment.
  • Make sure the gun is unloaded before attempting to clean it.
  • Make sure the projectile is firmly seated on the powder before capping and firing.
  • Never blow down the barrel of a muzzleloader to clear or extinguish sparks.
  • Keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction.
  • Read the owner’s manual and be familiar with its operation before using a muzzle-loading firearm.
  • Handle every gun as if it was loaded.
  • Do not use alcohol or drugs while handling a firearm.

All hunters, including archers, must wear at least 500 square inches of daylight fluorescent orange above the waist during the primitive weapons season.

To pursue deer in Georgia, hunters must have a valid hunting license, big game license and a current deer harvest record. If hunting on a WMA, a WMA license is required. Licenses can be purchased online at www.gohuntgeorgia.com/licenses-permits-passes , by phone at 1-800-366-2661 or at a license agent (list of agents available online).

For more information on muzzleloader safety, visit www.gohuntgeorgia.com/hunting/education.

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Bob Kerr
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Bob Kerr

It would be great if you showed how to safely remove a patched ball from a Muze loader. Everybody says to do it but neglects to tell you, or show you, how. My great, great grand fathers double actually had a screw in the end of the ram rod to remove wadding from his 10 gauge. I would think showing how to remove a minnie ball (un-patched slug) would also be helpful as well,

Chris Roland
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Chris Roland

Pulling a patched ball out of a muzzleloader is easier said and done. I have never been able to do it the way they will tell you to do it. The best way is to get yourself a removal tool that works with a CO2 cannister. You remove the nipple and put the nozzle end in the nipple hole and pull the trigger on the tool. The blast of CO2 will push your ball, patch and powder out of the barrel. If you have a flintlock it has an accessory that you poke into the vent hole to make it… Read more »

durabo
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durabo

Photo fail: The spout on the BP measure should be swiveled into in-line position with the charge, to avoid spillage of BP grains which then fail to enter the muzzle. Your photo editor and the BP “shooter” must grossly ignorant about safety and accuracy procedures. PHOTO EDITING IS AS IMPORTANT AS TEXT – EVEN MORE FOR THE GRAPHICS-ORIENTED, SEMI-LITERATE US POPULATION.

Infidel7.62
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Infidel7.62

“Remove the bullet and powder, and un-prime the flash pan.” I think you have that backwards, un-priming the flash pan should be the first step in unloading a flintlock.

durabo
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durabo

Re the photo: Why isn’t the spout on the measuring charger swiveled in-line? It looks as if some of the grains of BP are falling out of the muzzle. Sometimes posed pictures used in articles and advertising work against the concept of proper use of the equipment.