HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base

Module 06 - MUZZLELOADERS 101



  • Never blow down a muzzleloader barrel. The debris could blow back at you and burn your face.
  • Never prime or cap a muzzleloader if you aren’t ready to fire.
  • Never smoke near muzzleloaders—black powder is explosive.
  • Never load more than one charge (if your muzzleloader is double-barreled, be careful not to load the same barrel twice).
  • Never use smokeless powder in a muzzleloader and never use black powder in a modern cartridge firearm not designed for it. Follow the rules.
  • Always protect your eyes, ears and arms when shooting a muzzleloader by wearing safety glasses, long sleeves and ear plugs.
  • Always use brass accessories as cleaning tools to prevent sparks from being created during cleaning.

Wise Words: What’s That Smell?

If your black powder has been sitting around for a while, the granules will begin to cake, smell like ammonia and form white crystals (AKA: nitro glycerin!). If this happens, your powder has become unstable and you should immediately soak it in water to deactivate it. DON’T use it for shooting.

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