MuzzleLoader — The Loading Procces For My Flintlock

Loading my new flintlock gun at first seemed a little complex and time consuming, but with the practice of around 30 shots I have become much better at the process of loading. The process I have developed so far is information from what people have told me, what I have read, and what I have learned from my small experience. The loading process is as follows:

Loading Preparation:

  1. put ramrod in the gun to check against the unloaded ramrod mark to be sure the gun is unloaded.
  2. run a rubbing alcohol soaked patch, cut from a T-Shirt, down the barrel followed by a dry patch of the same material. (This removes oil or if the gun has just been shot it helps remove the fowling.)

Loading Powder:

  1. measure powder from my powder horn into the powder measure. (It is important for both accuracy and safety that an exact amount of powder is put down the barrel, which is partly why a powder measure is used.)
  2. after closing the powder horn, pour the powder from the powder measure into the barrel, being careful not to miss the barrel any, since a lighter powder load might affect accuracy. (In addition to the aforementioned reasons for using a powder measure, it is also important that it is used for safety. Safety, because if powder were to be poured directly from a powder horn or flask and an ember from the previous shot is still present the resulting explosion would not be pleasant.)
  3. tap the gun butt(end of gun stock) lightly on the ground to settle the powder.

Loading Projectile:

  1. align the lubricated patch over the muzzle the same way for consistency. (Note: a patch is never used on a conical or sabot bullet only on round balls.)
  2. place the round ball over the patch.
  3. start the patch and ball with the ball starter.
  4. push the patch and ball down the barrel until it is seated on the powder charge. If fowling is present it often takes a little extra pressure to get it down to the mark.

Priming Pan:

  1. put hammer at half cock and prime with a small amount of priming powder (around 1/4 of a pan), then close frizzen.

Bought A New MuzzleLoader Gun — CVA Trophy Hunter III Flintlock

Because of a recent purchase I made, two new hunting seasons have been added to the list of Pennsylvania season’s I can participate in! Muzzleloader and Flintlock hunting season are now available to me, because of the flintlock rifle I recently bought. Early Muzzleloader season here in Pennsylvania last year ran from October 18th to the 25th, with flint lock running from December 26th through January 10th. So, that means 6 days + 14 days = 20 extra days of deer hunting per hunting year.

The gun came with an agated flint which worked O.K.–for a time, but soon became dull. I tried to knap it with a small deer antler, but with no success, so I just reversed it which then gave me a good spark again. Then when I was in a sports store the other day I bought a piece of English Flint, which some say is the best flint for a flintlock gun. After trying the flint for one shooting session of four shots I cannot yet attest to its durability compared to agated flint, however, it seems to be doing fine so far.

As can be seen in the picture above I made a mark on my ramrod. This mark is a recommended “safety” feature for muzzleloaders, because it and another mark I placed farther down the ramrod show whether the gun is unloaded, loaded, or loaded without either powder or projectile. The mark that cannot be seen also serves to help me be more consistent while I am loading, because it lets my compress my load the exact same amount every time.

Because my CVA Trophy Hunter III has a rifling twist of 1:48 I can shoot conicals, sabots, and round balls. However, it can shoot none of those three really well, just O.K. To shoot round balls well the barrel would have to have a twist rate of some where around 1:66. In contrast conicals and sabots like a rifling twist of around 1:28. So, my gun is in the middle of the road, which will allow me to shoot any kind of bullet instead of being restricted to one certain kind.