Minnesota Hunter Safety Course


Chapter 13 Summary

After reading this chapter on muzzleloaders, you should understand the different types of muzzleloading firearms, including propellants, projectiles and how to use these safely. Let's review the key points in this chapter.

  • You should know the differences between the five types of muzzleloading firearms presented in this chapter: Inline Percussion, Caplock, Flintlock, wheellock and matchlock muzzleloaders, as well as their distinguishing features and how to safely use them.

  • The primary powder that can be used in all muzzleloaders is black powder. However, black powder leaves a corrosive residue and can cause the barrel of a firearm to rust, so black powder substitutes are common today. Powder comes in different granulation sizes. Be sure you know the different granulation sizes available.

  • Always be sure that your muzzleloader is designed to handle modern smokeless powder before you use it in your firearm. Using smokeless powder in a firearm that is not designed for it can cause serious injury.

  • Percussion caps come in different styles and are each designed for a specific type of muzzleloader.

  • There are many types of bullets to use in your muzzleloading firearm. Check the owner's manual for the correct type for your firearm.

  • Use the ramrod as a tool to determine if your muzzleloader is loaded. When the mark on the ramrod disappears into the barrel, this means the firearm is unloaded. When the mark lines up with the top of the muzzle, the projectile is properly seated on the powder charge.

  • Be sure you are familiar with the different types of cleaning and maintenance tools to use when loading or cleaning your muzzleloader.

  • Always wear eye and ear protection when firing your muzzleloader.