Firing Muzzleloaders

How to Load a Muzzleloader

Load 1 black powder

1. Measure the correct amount of powder.

Load 2 black powder

2. Pour the measured powder into the muzzle.

Load 3 - black powder

3. Place a patch on the muzzle and then a ball on the patch.

Load 4 Black powder

4. Use the small cap on the ball starter to tap the ball and patch into the muzzle.

Load 5 black powder

5. Use the small ramrod on the starter to push the ball down the barrel.

Load 6 black powder Load 7 black powder load mark

6.  Always tightly grip the ramrod and use short strokes to seat the ball firmly on the powder charge. There should be no gap between the powder charge and the projectile.

loaded mark

Use a marked ramrod to determine if a muzzleloader is loaded or empty.

load black powder

cap on black powder

7. Prime the muzzleloader. On a percussion lock muzzleloader, attach a percussion cap to the nipple.

Flintlock pan charge

On a flintlock muzzleloader, prime the pan with FFFFg powder and close the frizzen.

half cock full cock

Many muzzleloaders with hammers can be placed in a half cock position. This locks the trigger so it cannot release the hammer. Only when the hammer is pulled back to the full cock position will the trigger release the hammer when squeezed. When hunting never walk around with a muzzleloader primed and the hammer in a half cock position. Bumping the firearm or snagging the hammer could release the hammer and accidentally discharge the muzzleloader.

shooter firing muzzleloader

As with all firearms, use proper hearing and eye protection with muzzleloaders.


black powder cleaning tips

Black powder is highly corrosive. After shooting a muzzleloader, the firearm should be thoroughly cleaned with soap and water. Many times it is necessary to remove the nipple from percussion cap firearms and sometimes the entire lock assembly. After thoroughly cleaning, all parts should be dried and then lightly oiled to prevent rust.

There are various tips you can attach to cleaning rods and some ramrods that will help clean muzzleloaders.