BASIC PRECAUTIONS FOR LIVE FIRING

If you do not understand any of the following information about your gun or these instructions, please consult with a competent firearms instructor before using.
BLACK POWDER ONLY All muzzle loading firearms we sell are made to fire black powder only! Make sure the powder is clearly marked "BLACK POWDER FOR MUZZLE LOADING". Never use smokeless powders!

WEAR SHATTER PROOF GLASSES AND HEARING PROTECTION TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FRAGMENTS AND NOISE.

LOAD YOUR GUN FROM AN INDIVIDUAL POWDER SOURCE

This does not mean a powder flask. Pour from the powder flask to your individual measurer and then into the firearm. Never use black powder near an open flame. This includes but is not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Camp fires, lanterns or candles. Store all black powder according to the manufactures instructions.

SPECTATORS SHOULD ALWAYS BE BEHIND YOU

NEVER ASSUME A GUN IS NOT LOADED

For safeties sake always handle every gun as if it is loaded.

NEVER USE A FIREARM WHILE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS OR ALCOHOL

CHECK YOUR TARGET. KNOW WHAT IS AROUND YOUR TARGET AREA.

NEVER FIRE INTO WATER OR ONTO HARD FLAT SURFACES

This type of surface can cause your bullet to ricochet.

EXAMINE YOUR FIREARM CAREFULLY BEFORE YOU LOAD

Make sure it is clear of any obstructions and in proper working order. NEVER ASSUME IT IS OK.

NEVER DRY FIRE YOUR WEAPON. It ruins your nipple.
GRANULATIONS OF BLACK POWDER.

Fg A course grain black powder generally used for cannons.

FFG Used in rifles from .40 cal. to .69 and some large cal. single shot pistols.

FFFg Most commonly used powder for all muzzle loading rifles and pistols.

FFFFg A very fine powder used for priming flint locks.

SELECTING A BLACK POWDER

USE BLACK POWDER AND NOTHING ELSE IN ANY MUZZLE LOADING REVOLVER.

.31 CAL. COLT AND REMINGTON 13 GRAINS FFFg
.36 CAL. NAVY AND ARMY STYLE 15 TO 22 GRAINS FFFg
.44 CAL. NAVY AND ARMY STYLES 20 TO 30 GRAINS FFFg
.58 CAL. MUSKETS 60 GRAINS FFFg
.69 CAL. MUSKETS 60 GRAINS FFFg

FOR PISTOL REVOLVERS ONLY

When loading a cylinder with a ball a small ring of lead should shear from the side of the ball when depressed into the cylinder. If it does not the ball is too small.
SUGGESTED SIZES FOR REVOLVERS.
.31 CAL. .315 BALL
.36 CAL. .375 BALL
.44 CAL. .451 BALL

BALL SIZES FOR MUSKET
.58 CAL. .577 MINNIE BALL
.69 CAL. .678 ROUND BALL WITH A .010 PATCH
.69 CAL. .691 MINNIE BALL

SELECTING PERCUSSION CAPS

No. 11 percussion caps are most common for all pistols and Kentucky style rifles. Winged musket caps are used for all muskets and sharps.

PREPARING TO LOAD YOUR MUZZLE LOADING FIREARM

CHECK THE HALF COCK POSITION. THIS IS YOUR "SAFETY" ON A MUZZLE LOADER.
When the hammer is in the half cock position you should be able to squeeze the trigger and the hammer should not move. If you can squeeze the trigger with the hammer in the half cock position and the hammer falls do not load the gun. It is not safe. Have the gun repaired by a competent gun smith before using.

FIRE A CAP WITHOUT A POWDER CHARGE TO REMOVE ANY EXCESS OIL IN THE NIPPLE.
Pull the hammer to half cock. Place a cap on the nipple. Place the muzzle near the ground next to a leaf or blade of grass. Bring the hammer to full cock and fire. The leaf should have moved. If it does not there may be an obstruction in the barrel. Too much oil or grease. Or the gun is just very dirty. In any case find the problem and fix it before you load the gun.

SWAB THE BARREL WITH A DRY SWAB OR CLOTH TO MAKE SURE ANY EXCESS OIL OR GREASE HAS BEEN REMOVED.

LOADING A MUZZLE LOADING PERCUSSION REVOLVER

FOLLOW ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS WHEN LOADING AND FIRING YOUR FIREARM.

Pull the hammer to half cock. The cylinder should rotate freely. Hold the gun in an upright position. (Barrel pointed to the sky). Pour the proper measurement of black powder for your caliber gun into each chamber of the cylinder from an individual powder measure. Using the loading lever press the black powder into the cylinder. Next place the round ball on the face of the cylinder and depress the ball into the cylinder using the loading lever. A small ring of lead should shave off the side of the ball as it is loaded. Seat the ball firmly against the black powder. Repeat this step until all cylinders containing black powder have been loaded with a ball. If you have used the proper amount of black powder and the right size ball there should be about 1/8 of an inch of space left in the top of the cylinder. Next fill the space left in the cylinder above the ball with vegetable grease or bullet lubricant. ( I'm not saying you should but I use CRISCO. ) Use plenty of it. This is what prevents chain fires. A chain fire is when all loaded cylinders ignite and fire at once. Never rest the barrel on your free hand when firing. Never have your free hand in front of the cylinder when firing for any reason.

ONLY WHEN YOU ARE READY TO FIRE
point the gun toward the ground and out at a slight angle away from your feet. Pull the hammer to half cock if it is not already in this position. Place a percussion cap snugly on each nipple. NEVER BRING THE HAMMER TO FULL COCK UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO FIRE! If you are not going to fire the gun immediately there are a couple of things you can do. Let the hammer down on the notch on the cylinder in between two nipples or leave one chamber in the cylinder unloaded and let the hammer come to rest on that chamber.

SAFETY FIRST, LAST AND ALWAYS!!!

LOADING SINGLE SHOT PISTOLS AND PERCUSSION RIFLES

Follow all previous instructions and safety precautions.
Most important! remember to clear the nipple with a percussion cap before loading with black powder!

Place the but of the gun in a steady firm position. DO NOT LEAN OVER THE GUN. Assume all guns are loaded. Take the individual black powder measure, which you have loaded with the proper powder and the correct measure of powder and pour it into the barrel. Take the ram rod and gently tamp the black powder into the breech of the gun.

FOR ROUND BALLS
Take the greased patch and center over the muzzle. Place the lead ball (with spur up) on the center of the patch and push slightly until flush with the muzzle of the gun. trim off any excess patch material. Push ball several inches into the bore of the gun with a short starter. Now take the ram rod and seat the ball firmly against the powder. VERY IMPORTANT, BE SURE YOU HAVE SEATED THE BALL ALL THE WAY WITH NO AIR SPACE IN BETWEEN THE POWDER AND THE BALL.

FOR MINNIE BALLS
Be sure your minnie ball is lubed with grease in the grooves and in the base. Push the minnie into the muzzle, no patch is required. Take the ram rod and firmly seat the minnie firmly against the black powder. VERY IMPORTANT, BE SURE YOU HAVE SEATED THE BALL ALL THE WAY WITH NO AIR SPACE IN BETWEEN THE POWDER AND THE BALL. ONLY WHEN YOU ARE READY TO FIRE, BRING THE HAMMER TO HALF COCK AND FIRMLY PLACE THE CORRECT SIZE PERCUSSION CAP ON THE NIPPLE. LEAVE THE HAMMER IN THE HALF COCK POSITION UNTIL YOU ARE READY TO AIM AND FIRE.

FOR FLINT LOCKS
Put a small amount of FFFFg in the priming pan and close. With flint in the jaws of the hammer the gun will now fire when pulled to full cock and the trigger squeezed. Do not allow gun to be near sparks or flame. Do not load priming pan until you are ready to fire.

MISFIRES. What to do if the primer does not ignite the black powder charge. Keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction and wait a safe amount of time to insure it is definitely not going to go off. 30 minutes is recommended. Do not reload the gun until the initially loaded charge has been fired or removed.
If the gun will not fire you must remove the load with a ball puller. Flush the powder out with water, clean the gun and swab the barrel dry before attempting to reload.

IF YOU ARE NOT COMFORTABLE DOING THIS TAKE IT TO YOUR LOCAL GUN SMITH OR FIREARMS INSTRUCTOR.
SAFETY FIRST, LAST AND ALWAYS.

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