Black powder and muzzleloading firearms are fun. They give you a sense of the frontier days and the old west. In many states, there's also an extra hunting season for those willing to use these "out of date" weapons.
By the way, muzzleloading weapons are still evolving. Many use a "209"(shotgun shell-type) primer for ignition, and a few are even designed to fire modern smokeless powder (NEVER mix or substitute modern smokeless powder for black powder/pyrodex!). Because of my work schedule (and hunting seasons), I hunt more with these weapons than anything else. I use the modern, more reliable muzzleloaders because I can't afford to come home empty-handed!
Black powder firearms are particularly susceptible to rust and corrosion. It takes a bit more time and effort to clean a Muzzleloader/black powder gun, but for me the extra effort is well worth the reward.
NOTE: I'm pressed for time, but I'll try to add a few more pics to this ible soon.
Step 1: Disassembly
First and most importantly!!!! MAKE SURE your gun is UNLOADED!! Do not ever work on a loaded weapon! I had one friend that shot himself in the toe, and another who SHOT HIS EAR OFF, while working on loaded muzzleloaders.
Begin disassembly. Tear it down as far as you can. You may need a manual or diagram. Don't do anything that you can't undo!
1)Remove the barrel.
2)Remove the breechplug (if possible), and primer-nipple.
3)If it's really dirty/rusted, remove stock and trigger assembly.