SAFETY SHOULD ALWAYS COME FIRST WHEN AROUND GUNS
Even if you are the most experienced user, remember that Safety should always come first folks. Accidents happen very quickly and often have very bad results, results which may have been prevented in the first place. If you're not 100% sure of what you're doing, best get advice first.
Don't take things for granted and never experiment unless you are sure of what you are doing – your life may depend on it!
Don't look at this if you have a weal stomach!
A very good shooting friend of mine from Winnipeg, MB Canada sent me a link to these photos in a web album. A Winnipeg area shooter by the name of Trent Procter who works for Manitoba Hydro was sighting in his Savage muzzleloader rifle and nearly lost his hand. Luckily, he had his hand on the scope instead of the forearm when this happened. (Incidentally, the Svage is the only muzzleloader that is supposed to withstand the high pressures of smokeless powder.)
I don't know if this failure happened due to a defect in the rifle itself or if the shooter perhaps didn't properly seat the projectile against the powder firmly. This is VERY important with any muzzleloader, especially when shooting black powder.