View Full Version : Shipping a Rifle....

July 10, 2010, 05:13 PM
Last January I took my muzzleloader out of state and ended up leaving it there:mad:. Now, I'll be needing it in a few months and will not be going to that state beforehand. If I remember correctly, I should be able to have it shipped to me without any hassles since it is BP. However, it still has a charge in the barrel. Will that affect this matter? I believe that as long as it is not capped, it is considered unloaded. Am I straight on this one?

My reasoning is, it's not a high end gun, a CVA Bobcat worth about 100 or so bucks, and I can't justify $200 worth of fuel and a couple days just to go get it, or paying $130 + shipping on Gunbroker to get another one:(. My local dealer said CVA discontinued those guns. Any opinions?

4V50 Gary
July 10, 2010, 05:52 PM
The charge will have to be removed first. Even though it's uncapped, the US Post Office does not allow for shipping of explosives. That may be the reason for the delay.

July 10, 2010, 07:21 PM
Cannot the person that will be shipping the gun to you get rid of the charge before shipping?

July 10, 2010, 07:44 PM
Yes, by firing it. Then putting the dirty rifle into shipping, which could take who knows how many days to get here, and hope that the barrel wouldn't be affected by the powder. I'm probably overreacting but I'm a stickler of keeping pristine condition. I clean within hours of firing. It could be taken to a shop and have the bullet pulled, I just have no idea of costs. Either way, one of these is gonna have to be done.

Just how bad would 5 to 7 days before cleaning, using Pyrodex Select, be?

July 10, 2010, 08:33 PM
As my father used to say . . . "it's a conundrum for sure". None of my business and I don't mean to intrude, but why did you leave it loaded? Sorry, but that's just not a safe thing to do. I once saw a kid on the line down at Friendship who was getting ready to shoot a match. He pulled his rifle from the case and went forward to snap caps to make sure the nipple was clear and the gun ready to load. When he pointed the rifle towards the ground and snapped his cap . . . it went off. Needless to say, those around hime were more than ****** off but even their anger could not match that of the RO. I don't know your circumstances nor why you left it loaded . . . but again . . . . too many "unloaded" guns cause injuries. Perhaps nobody else has access to it in the other state it is in . . . . but also look at the scenario of what could happen down the road if something happened to you and it fell into the hands of a curious kid or someone who did not have sense enough to know how to check if it was loaded. Sorry to have to make these probably unwelcome comments, but if one person reads this and thinks twice before leaving a muzzleloader loaded, it might prevent an injury or worse yet, a death. Safety should always come first. Again, just my 2 cents.

July 10, 2010, 08:39 PM
Does this gun have a removable breech plug? If so, you can just have them remove the breech plug and push the charge out the back.

July 10, 2010, 08:42 PM
I've gone nine days without cleaning a 58 Remington after a days shooting with Pyrodex with no ill effects. HYMMV

July 10, 2010, 09:35 PM
bedbugbilly, do not worry about your comments being 'unwelcome', and you are not intruding. Until now, I have never left it loaded. I could kick myself in the butt for that, as I usually fire it to empty it on the evening of the last day of hunting season. It is at my dad's house locked in his safe, and he is a 68 year old gentlemen that never allows grandkids to get near his/my guns. He and the cat live by themselves, and there are no caps at his house. I'm the only one into muzzleloading in the family.
Doyle, it is a no.11 cap hammer model, so no breachplug that I'd wanna try and take out.
As far as fears of forgetting it's loaded, I do not snap caps. I always run a marked ramrod into the barrel before first use and blow thru the nipple.
I'd prefer to have them take it to a gunshop and have them pull the bullet, but I'll probably have a BIL get some caps and fire it and then get a box to ship it in. All I have at my dad's house is a 2 gun hard plastic case that I'd rather not have go thru shipping. I imagine we can get a box thru a local dealer, maybe.
Hawg Haggen, thanks for the words of solace, this rifle is the only gun that I still use Pyrodex in. Still got almost half a pound of it. All my pistols use American Pioneer Powder.
Thanks for the help guys!

July 10, 2010, 11:21 PM
I think that Hawg hit the nail square on the head.

Also, FWIW, I just thoroughly cleaned my great great grandfather's Springfield musket and, after at least 70 years of what could be called "cleaning" only by extremely dirty people, the bore still looks extremely good for a nearly 150 year old gun. While it probably helped a lot that our climate is dry as a bone, I think that you'll be OK with the week or so that your muzzleloader will be spending on its journey.

July 11, 2010, 02:32 AM
Shipping by U.S. Priority Mail usually only takes 2 days.
The gun can be broken down into 2 pieces and covered with bubble wrap.
Who ever shoots it off can spray some lube into the bore, even if it's just cooking oil or WD40.
UPS or Fedex locations sell shipping boxes only and bubble wrap is easy to find.
Maybe your father has a friend who has a son or relative who can help to perform the required tasks.

July 11, 2010, 02:57 AM
The last I got rifle jus' got came Fedex in a big box with sheets of them air pillows around that brown gunpaper preservative wrapping.
Not a bit of damage to my 1873 Springfield Trap Door.
I rate UPS the roughest package handlers(use to work for them)Hsve had a damaged rifle stock that a generous seller replaced for me from the Factory...
Fedex seems to handle shipments with less damage, more careful as I have seen.

July 11, 2010, 03:29 AM
I agree that Fedex handles packages really well and are often no more expensive than the USPS. When shipping they never even ask what's in the package, and most locations will gladly accept a "non-firearm weapon" a.k.a. - muzzle loader.

July 11, 2010, 09:06 AM
How about using a C02 gizmo to drive the load out?

July 11, 2010, 09:07 AM
Sixgun, here's a thought. Post what city he is in and maybe it is near a member here that would be willing to clear it for you.

July 11, 2010, 01:33 PM
[Post what city he is in and maybe it is near a member here that would be willing to clear it for you.]

I'm willing & waiting............................:cool:


July 11, 2010, 02:55 PM
Dad lives just outside of the little eastern Ohio town of Belmont. Right close to 20 miles due west of Wheeling, West Virgina on I-70, exit 208. This seems kinda unlikely, but if it were possible, it would be greatly appreciated.

g.willikers, I've thought of that one too, just don't know if any shops up there would have the device. It would be preferred.

I haven't contacted my family about clearing/shipping the rifle yet, and they may not wanna do anything with it. We'll see. Thanks guys!

July 11, 2010, 07:24 PM
[Ohio town of Belmont]

I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I won't be able to help - That's about an 800 mile trip, each way, for me.......... :o


Nite Ryder
July 11, 2010, 09:32 PM
There is quite a bit of information online about muzzle loaders. Below is a link to many articles. I suggest you and others read the info on CVA rifles before you do very much shooting with them. I gave away the last one I had, and made the recipient promise not to use hot loads it it. These rifles are made from softer steel than many other muzzle loaders on the market. Be informed.



Article under 'Safety" entitled "Unsafe Muzzleloaders? (Article by Randy Wakeman)"

I wouldn't normally say a word about your choice of rifles, but if what I said prevented a terrible accident, I would be glad I spoke up.


July 11, 2010, 10:35 PM
Nite Ryder, from my reading, the article only covers inline rifles. The only speak of danger is with Pyrodex PELLETS. Even at that, I would never use a pellet powder in a sidelock rifle. And, it only covers rifles before '97. Mine was new in the box at Wal-Mart in 2004. I don't quite think this pertains here. The way I look at it, if I couldn't kill bambi with 100 grains, listed as the Hodgdon maximum charge in the article, 150 grains would be of no help to me.

Petah W, It's slightly over 400 miles for me one way also, and in my truck, just can't justify that one.

Take care all!

July 12, 2010, 06:47 AM
Wakeman's rant against CVA has been roundly and thoroughly discredited for many years. CVA did issue a recall against a specific lot of serial numbers of barrels for an inline design rifle. That has been the only credible incident.

July 12, 2010, 05:17 PM
Back to the CO2 gizmo:
Bicycle shops sell something similar for inflating tires.
Maybe one of those could be adapted.

July 13, 2010, 12:40 AM
That is a good idea, and an air compressor can work too if the user can adapt a nozzle with a rubber stopper, cone shaped filler, piece of hose or such to fit into the hole for the clean out screw.

July 13, 2010, 07:47 AM
Here's an idea, buy a muzzleloader bullet puller (less than $5 at your gun store) and mail it to him. They screw onto the end of your ram rod and have what looks like a wine bottle corkscrew on the end. You use it to snag the bullet and pull it out. Once the bullet is out, the powder should simply fall out (or if it is loaded with pellets, the same bullet puller will breakup and snag the pellets too).

July 13, 2010, 11:30 AM
[Once the bullet is out, the powder should simply fall out]

It's a good idea, to mail him the puller, along with instructions.
If loose powder was used for the load, it will have been (or should have been) compacted during loading, solidifying - and need to be dug out with the same puller, after the bullet is pulled.

FWIW, I've found that pellets usually fall out after a little sideslap to the breechplug with the muzzle pointed down.


July 13, 2010, 12:07 PM
The puller will break up compacted loose powder too. Just twirl it around and dump it out. What little residue is left will not be an issue during shipping.

July 14, 2010, 10:09 AM
Thanks for all the info guys, it is appreciated.
I've contacted a sister and she's gonna have her husband fire it, break it down, and ship it. I told her no hurry, just gotta have it before the second week of November!

This will be no problem for her, as she lives only about 60 miles or so from dad and visits him almost weekly.
I don't want dad to try it himself and he's kinda unable. He had a stroke six years ago and his left side is not what it should be. I don't want to burden him with my lack of intelligence. My sister and I are like 'two peas in a pod', and she doesn't mind at all.

By the way, my dad gets along remarkably well, walks slowly, but without a cane or walker, and drives both his manual transmission pickups, with only a small extension bolted to the clutch pedals to make them wider. He amazes me.

Take care guys!

July 14, 2010, 10:41 AM
By the way, my dad gets along remarkably well, walks slowly, but without a cane or walker, and drives both his manual transmission pickups

Sounds like half the population of SW FL. Glad you got your problem resolved.