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
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.
Step 2: Clean Nipple And/or Breechplug
Step 3: Cleaning and Protecting Your Barrel
1) Apply a powder solvent to the barrel and allow to sit. Read (and follow!)instructions to your particular type of solvent.
2) Run patches through your barrel repeatedly. When they come out clean, move to next step.
3) Use a brass or copper brush to remove any final fouling, rust, or carbon. (This can be done before the solvent step, but follow instructions for the products you use!)
4) Coat a patch with a lubricant/protectant, and LIGHTLY coat the inside of your barrel.