The instructions given in relation to right hand etc are because I am right handed. However, the reader can use the opposite hand if necessary. This may appear unnecessary, particularly if you own the firearm. However, it is good practice to ensure the pistol is not loaded. You will note this is just a matter of using the loading rod as a measuring stick. By holding the loading rod between your thumb and fingers and placing it into the barrel, you can tap it against the breech face to tell you it is empty. Another way is to wrap a piece of green electrical tape around the loading rod level with the muzzle when it has nothing in the bore, this makes a very simple quick visual check.
Next make sure there is no percussion cap on the nipple live or fired. At this stage you need to “cap off”. The purpose of capping off is to ensure there is no dried oil or debris in the nipple or the channel leading to the powder charge in the barrel. With the pistol uncharged, pull the hammer to half cock, place a percussion cap on the nipple point the gun down range, pull the hammer to full cock and fire. If the report does not come out of the muzzle you should repeat the exercise. If there is no cap on the nipple at all, you know you are safe. As you will see in the picture (below left) the pistol is stood in the loading stand and the hammer is at half cock.