New Jersey Hunter Safety Course



Muzzleloading firearms use a special type of propellant, commonly referred to as black powder. However traditional black powder is a corrosive material which can cause the barrel of your firearm to rust quickly. There are also brand-name substitute powders, such as Pyrodex®, Clean Shot® and Hodgdon's Triple Seven®. All these powders are safe to use when handled properly. They are sold either in granulated or compressed pre-measured form. Some modern muzzleloading firearms are now designed to handle the extreme pressure of modern smokeless powder, however using smokeless powder in a muzzleloader that is not designed for it can cause damage to the firearm and severe injury or even death to the shooter. Always carefully read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for propellants to use in muzzleloading firearms.

IMPORTANT! It is illegal in New Jersey to use smokeless powder in any muzzleloader.


Black Powder Comes in Six Granulation Sizes





Coarse grain powder.

Used for cannons


Referred to as single-F. Coarse grain.

Used for shotguns 10-gauge and higher.


Referred to as double-F. Medium grain.

Used in rifles, single shot pistols (.45 caliber and larger) and shotguns (12-20 gauge).


Medium-fine grain.

Substitute for double-F powder.


Referred to as triple-F. Fine grain.

Used in rifles and handguns that are under .45 caliber, as well as shotguns smaller than 20-gauge.


Referred to as four-F. Extra-fine grain.

Used only to prime flintlock muzzleloaders.

Safety first! NEVER pour black powder into the barrel of a muzzleloader directly from a powder flask or horn. There may be a small ember inside the barrel that will detonate the powder on contact. ALWAYS use a powder measurer to put black powder or its equivalent into the barrel of any muzzleloader.