Muzzleloader and black powder suppliers for hunting and recreational shooting with insight on care and cleaning blackpowder rifles.
Muzzleloader and black powder suppliers for hunting and recreational shooting with insight on care and cleaning blackpowder rifles.
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Muzzleloader and black powder suppliers for hunting and recreational shooting with insight on care and cleaning blackpowder rifles.

Black Powder Muzzleloaders Safety

Muzzleloaders and Black Powder - An American Tradition

Blackpowder Rifle - pedersoli_kentucky_standard

Handling and Storage Precautions:

  • Avoid impact, friction, heat, sparks and open flame.
  • Never smoke while handling black powder.
  • Never handle or use black powder after drinking alcohol or using drugs or medications.
  • Keep containers tightly closed when not in use.
  • Do not mix black powder with any other type of gunpowder.
  • Do not purchase or accept black powder that is not in its original, factory sealed container.
  • Do not dispense black powder directly from the canister, flask or horn into the firearm.
  • Do not dispense substantial amounts of black powder in close proximity to the firearm.
  • Follow laws and regulations regarding quantities of explosive material and methods of storage.
  • Do not store black powder in the same area with other flammable materials.
  • Do not store black powder within the reach of children.
  • Store black powder only in manufacturer approved containers.

Use and Care Instructions:

Always consult the owner’s manual for your firearm and never exceed the maximum recommended powder charge for the gun you are shooting. If the owner’s manual is not available, the National Muzzle Loader Rifle Association recommends a safe starting load for muzzleloading rifles or single-shot pistols is 1 grain of the appropriate granulation of black powder per caliber. For example, 50 grains of black powder for a .50 caliber rifle, 54 grains of black powder for a .54 caliber rifle, and so on.

Cautions and Warnings:

WARNING! Black Powder is extremely flammable and explosive! Fire or explosion can cause serious bodily injury or death. Keep out of reach of children. Keep away from heat, sparks and open flame. Avoid impact and friction.

Black powder is intended solely for use in antique firearms or replicas and reproductions of antique firearms that are in good working order, solely for recreational, sporting or cultural purposes. Any other use of black powder is a violation of Federal law. If you have any questions about your firearm’s operating condition consult a professional gunsmith before shooting it.

Black powder is available in several different granulations. Using the wrong granulation of powder can result in bodily injury or death. Please be sure your powder is the proper granulation for your application.

  • Goex Cannon – Cannon use only!
  • Fg – Small bore cannons or large bore muskets (.75 caliber or larger)
  • FFg- Large bore fusils, trade guns or rifles (.50 caliber or larger)
  • FFFg- Small bore rifles or pistols (smaller than .50 caliber)
  • FFFFg – Priming flintlocks ONLY

Using Your Muzzleloader Safely

All of the basics of safe firearm handling that apply to modern guns apply to muzzleloading firearms as well.
In addition there are a number of other considerations:

Use only black powder or Pyrodex. Never use any type of modern, smokeless powder. The "black" in black powder refers to more than color. Black powder has a totally different chemical formula than smokeless.

Always seat the projectile directly onto the powder charge, never leave a bullet part-way down the bore. If you fire many shots without cleaning the bore in between, you may reach a point where the bore is so heavily fouled that you can't seat the next round. If a bullet should become stuck party-way down the bore, don't try to shoot it out as it could burst, or even bulge the barrel. If necessary, drive the bullet down with a heavy rod and a hammer, then fire it. Failing this, pour several tablespoons of solvent down the bore. In a few minutes the solvent will dissolve the fouling holding the bullet, allowing it to be removed with a bullet puller attached to your ramrod.

Many shooters have experienced the situation in which the percussion cap will fire, but the gun will not go off. In nearly every case this is a direct result of improper or incomplete maintenance. When this occurs, keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction for at least one minute, in case a delayed ignition or "cook off" should occur. Often times a second or third cap will fire the piece.

Never leave a muzzleloader loaded between uses. In some cases, hunters want to leave their rifle loaded overnight if they expect to hunt the next morning. If a rifle is left loaded and then plans change, it is quite possible to forget the rifle is loaded, creating a potentially deadly situation days or even months later. It is possible to accidentally leave a muzzleloading rifle loaded from one season to the next. When preparing for the next season, you might assume the muzzleloader is unloaded and intend to only discharge a cap resulting in an unexpected fully discharge of the bullet.

Empty the rifle by firing, pulling the bullet and dumping the power, or discharge the load with a CO2 ball discharger. If you do choose to leave a rifle loaded overnight, de-prime it, lock it in a safe place, and mark it as loaded with a sign attached to the rifle. Do not take a loaded rifle from a cold outside environment into a warm and humid building, as condensation will likely cause a misfire.

Black powder and Pyrodex are stable products that can be handled and stored safely. Store in the original container and protect them from fire and humidity. Neither one is sensitive to shock under normal conditions. Two high-risk situations involving powder are:

Black powder and Pyrodex must be respected and used properly per the manufacturer's directions.

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