Washington Laws and Regulations for Muzzleloaders
These rules and regulations apply to all hunters using a muzzleloading firearm.
- Muzzleloading firearms are loaded from the muzzle and use black powder or a black powder substitute. Muzzleloading firearms must be wheel lock, matchlock, flintlock, or percussion lock. A percussion lock firearm must use original-style percussion caps that fit on the nipple and are exposed to the weather. “Exposed to the weather” means the percussion cap or the frizzen must be visible and cannot be covered or enclosed by an integral part of the muzzleloading firearm proper. Telescopic sights are not allowed.
- Muzzleloading firearms for deer hunting must be at least .40 caliber. However, buckshot, size #1 or larger, may be used in a smoothbore of .60 caliber or larger.
- Muzzleloading firearms used for all other big game hunting must be .45 or larger.
- Only one barrel of a double-barrel muzzleloading firearm may be loaded while hunting big game during any muzzleloading season.
- A muzzleloading handgun used for big game must be .45 or larger, with a barrel length of at least eight inches, and capable of being loaded with 45 grains or more of black powder or a black powder substitute.