HUNTINGsmart! USA Knowledge Base

Module 06 - MUZZLELOADERS 101


Follow these steps to safely load your muzzleloader:

STEP 1: Pour the pre-measured powder into the barrel. NEVER pour the powder directly from the flask because the metal could cause a spark and ignite the powder. Lightly tap the barrel to drop any clinging powder down into the breech.


When loading a bullet or ball:

  • Position a lubricated wad over the bore and seat the ball on the wad.
When loading shot:
  • Insert an over-powder wad down the barrel as a gas seal. Drop your pre-measured charge or shot into the barrel and then place an overshot wad over the shot to keep it in place (like making a sandwich).

STEP 3: Using your long ramrod, push the ball down the bore and apply steady pressure.

STEP 4: Firmly seat the ball against the powder charge. Don’t leave any space.

STEP 5: Fill the flash pan with pre-measured powder. 

STEP 6: For flintlock muzzleloaders, close the frizzen. For caplock muzzleloaders, place the percussion cap on the nipple.

Wise Words: Take a Lesson From Elmer Fudd

Don’t forget to remove the ramrod from the barrel before you fire a muzzleloader! If accidentally left in, you’ll probably ruin the ramrod, you could injure somebody and you’ll definitely look foolish.

Campfire Collective truck icon.



Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

Campfire Collective high five icon.



Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.