There’s No Such Thing As ‘Too Safe’ With Firearms
While the internet is fine to play 'armchair range officer' in the comment section, sometimes firearms (due to negligence) harm the shooter. I can think of a dozen stories of 'my shotgun just went off,' or 'I didn't think dropping a gun would make it fire.'
Chances are, this muzzleloader was still loaded from last year. When they made it to the range, they most likely loaded it again. As you'll see, this creates havoc on a barrel.
Muzzleloader Pro-Tip: Shove your rod down your unloaded barrel. Make a mark on the rod level with the barrel crown. That way, if you don't know if the firearm is loaded or not, just stick the rod down the hole. It's a very effective, if not sort of redneck go/no go gauge for the field.
This guys was lucky.