About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Today's Muzzleloader Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Muzzleloader Education Certification Card.

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  1. Perform the steps described in "Making Sure the Muzzleloader Is Empty."
  2. Point the firearm in a safe direction.
  3. At the loading station, use a ramrod, a cleaning jag (tip), and a clean patch moistened with isopropyl alcohol to make sure the firearm is dry and free of oil. Also do the following with a flintlock or percussion lock firearm.
    • On a Flintlock Firearm:
      • Put the hammer in the half-cock position, and then clean the frizzen and flint.
      • Use a vent pick or pipe cleaner to ensure the touch hole is clear of obstructions.
    • On a Percussion Lock Firearm: Use a nipple pick to check the nipple for obstructions.
  4. Skip this step with a flintlock firearm. With a percussion lock or in-line firearm:
    • Go to the firing station, and point the firearm downrange.
    • On a percussion lock firearm, place a cap on the nipple, and bring the hammer to full cock.
    • On an in-line firearm, pull the hammer assembly back until it locks into the firing position, and place a cap on the nipple or prime the pan.
    • Aim downrange at a blade of grass or weed about 8" to 12" away from the muzzle, take the safety off, and fire the unloaded firearm. Movement in the grass indicates that the flash hole is clear.
    • Repeat the process as necessary to remove all excess moisture and make sure the flash hole is clear.
    • Place the hammer in the half-cock position, put the safety on if you have one, and return to the loading station.
  5. Place the butt of the muzzleloader on the ground between your feet. You should be facing the underside of the barrel. The muzzle should be pointed upward and away from your body.
  6. Measure out the proper amount and type of powder using the calibrated powder measure. Replace the powder horn's cap, and swing the horn to the other side of your body. Pour the powder into the barrel from the measure.
    • Tap the barrel to make sure all powder falls to the breech end.
    • Do not load directly from a horn, flask, can, or other container—a loose spark or glowing ember in the barrel can cause the powder to explode.