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A great deal of practice is necessary to instill the five firing fundamentals until they become one smooth process. You’ll want to begin by practicing with an unloaded firearm—this is known as dry firing.

  • When you begin learning to fire a firearm, do so without loading it. You can repeat the process, including firing, without risk or the need to reload.
  • Dry firing a muzzleloader results in repeated striking of the hammer against the nipple or frizzen. Protective measures should be taken to allow you to practice firing without damaging the nipple, flint, or frizzen.
    • Protecting a Percussion Lock Firearm: Place a rubber faucet washer over the nipple so that the hammer strikes the washer instead of the nipple itself.
    • Protecting a Flintlock Firearm: Replace the flint with a piece of hard wood.