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beginning guide to muzzleloaders
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On this page we'll go over shooting blackpowder pistols. This will include blackpowder revolvers & single shots. When shooting bp pistols, you are primarily using 3fg powder and small amounts of it as you don't have the barrel legnths needed for larger powder charges.


The photo above is of a T/C Patriot Pistol I bought earlier this year. This one is in .45 caliber. These were made in both .36 and .45. They are no longer offered by T/C. The one below is similar though not exactly like my hubby's Pietta 1858 New Army. His is the target model with adjustable sights. This one doesn't appear to have adjustable sights.


The loading procedures are the same. However those shooting blackpowder revolvers need to pay particular attention as they are loading 6 cylinders rather than one as single shot shooters would.

Those persons using revolvers, the dangers can be minimized by following a few little tricks to assist you in knowing what has been done to each cylinder. After mesuring out your powder and pouring it into the first cylinder, take a fiber wad and insert it into that cylinder. It doesn't matter at this point if you seat it all the way down. The thing you are looking to do here is give yourself a visual reminder that this cylinder has powder in it, thereby giving you the signal not to double charge. Then you just rotate the cylinder one time and repeat the above procedures until all 6 are loaded with powder and wads. With bp pistols you can shoot bullets or roundballs. You can even use shot in them. The last choice is great for snakes. If using a roundball, when you seat it, the tolerance is so close that the seating will actually shave a ring of lead off the ball. Then each cylinder is topped with either grease or anothe wad for protection. This prevents "flash over". Flash over is where one cylinder is purposely fired but other cylinders ignite as well resulting in injury and possibly death to the shooter and bystanders. By putting grease or another wad on top you "seal" the cylinder and prevent any sparks from that firing cylinder from getting to the remaining cylinder's charges.

Once you get the pistol loaded you simply cap the nipple(s) and you're set to shoot.

Always refer to your owner's manual for load recommendations and do not exceed the manufacturer's maximum loads.




One thing I neglected to make note of. If you shoot a lesser charge in a bp revolver, I would consider you using cornmeal or some other filler between your powder charge and ball as your loading lever may not be able to seat the ball down far enough to seat it firmly on top of the powder. Any airspace in the cylinder upon firing could bulge or blow your cylinder and pistol upon firing. This is a very real danger and should be taken SERIOUSLY!!!