So I was given a muzzleloader..
I am new to the forum and have a few questions for you muzzleloaders out there..
I was recently given a Thompson Center Arms .50 caliber cap lock rifle. I believe its the Hawken but it doesnt say it specifically on the barrel like the new ones do according to the website although it looks exactly the same. The gun seems to be in pretty good shape other than the fact that its got some corrosion near where the percussion caps are placed. The actions all seem to work.. The hammer (assuming thats what its still called) moves and locks, the dual trigger set up works fine as well (set trigger, etc.). I believe whoever shot it last did not remove the spent percussion cap as there is one on there that is crusty and seems to be the source of the corrosion. (I already got the old cap off but the corrosion remains). I would really like to clean this rifle up and take it to the range. It doesnt have any visible damage or issues other than the corrosion and a hint of rust on the outside of the barrel (I havent looked inside the barrel yet but am definitely planning on cleaning it to the best of my ability.) My question is this.. Are there any specific points or mechanisms on the gun that need to be very closely inspected to ensure that it is safe to fire after sitting for who knows how long? (I'm not new to guns, just new to muzzleloaders) I heard that the gun had no problems last time it was used (who knows how long ago?) If I am able to use muzzleloader cleaning materials to remove the corrosion near where the percussion caps are placed and am able to get the barrel nice and cleaned without any more real signs of rust or corrision, would you guys try and give it a shot if it were yours? Should I take it to a gunsmith and have it checked out? I have read up on the load data and procedure for loading but am just curous about the firearm itself. Thanks a ton!