hunter aiming muzzleloaderA muzzleloader is a firearm that is loaded only through the muzzle (the open end of the barrel). Muzzleloaders use special powder to fire, and require special handling.

  • Safely store and handle black powder, Pyrodex or any other synthetic substitute.
  • Handle guns in a safe and responsible manner
  • Safely store, load and fire muzzleloading firearms
  • Safely unload or discharge muzzleloading firearms
  • Properly clean and maintain firearms
  • Always use eye and ear protection
  • Remember that the effective range of most muzzleloaders is seldom beyond 100 yards

Important: Always Remember:

Never expose black powder to open flame

Never store black powder in steel, iron, plastic or other material that can spark

Never blow down the barrel of a gun

Never pour powder directly from the flask or horn into the barrel

Never use smokeless powder in a muzzleloader unless the firearm is specifically designed for smokeless powder.

diagram of flintlock muzzleloaderFlintlock Muzzleloader

Flintlocks feature a hammer that clamps onto a piece of flint. Fine powder is poured into a small pan mounted on the side of the barrel. The frizzen closes over the pan, covering it and providing a striking surface for the flint. When the hammer falls it strikes the plate of the frizzen, creating spark that ignites the powder in the pan which in turn ignites the main charge in the barrel.

diagram of percussion cap muzzleloader

Percussion Cap Muzzleloaders

Percussion cap muzzleloaders use a percussion cap mounted on the side of the barrel to ignite the main charge loaded in the rear of the barrel. The hammer is drawn back into the cocked position. When the trigger is squeezed, the hammer is released and falls, striking the percussion cap. This ignites a small charge in the cap which travels through a small hole in the nipple, into the rear of the barrel where it ignites the main charge and discharges the projectile.

Closeup of percussion cap and nipple

diagram of inline muzzleloader (bolt)Inline Muzzleloaders

Inline muzzleloaders use either a percussion cap or a primer located directly behind the main charge in the barrel. They come in two types, bolt or the break action which opens to allow access to the priming area.


Inline Break Action

Inline break action muzzleloader Close up of inline break action