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Keep these safety tips in mind whenever you use muzzleloading firearms.

  • Use only black powder or a black powder substitute in muzzleloading firearms. Select the right powder for your muzzleloading firearm!
  • Store black powder and black powder substitutes away from heat, sparks, and static electricity.
  • Store percussion caps and powder separately and in a cool, dry place.
  • Use a marked ramrod to see if a muzzleloader is loaded. Never look into the barrel!
  • Never pour black powder or a black powder substitute directly into a muzzleloader from a flask or powder horn or can. Always use a powder measure.
  • Be sure to seat the ball, bullet, or wad and shot directly on top of the powder charge. A gap between the projectile(s) and the powder charge could damage the firearm and injure the shooter and bystanders!
  • Have a qualified gunsmith inspect older/antique muzzleloading firearms before using them.
  • Do not fire Damascus-barreled shotguns unless they have been inspected. If they are safe to use, load them only with black powder or a black powder substitute.
Using a ramrod to see if a muzzleloader is loaded
Using a ramrod to see if a muzzleloader is loaded