You know what’s really embarrassing at the range? Having to remove your breech plug and push out a load because you got distracted and double loaded it.
You know what’s even MORE embarrassing? Blowing up your rifle because you double loaded your gun! The likelihood of this happening grows exponentially when you’re shooting more than one muzzleloader at the range or helping others with theirs.
Once you have the power / bullet combination you’re going to run with take a sharp object like a knife or a screwdriver and put a line around your loading rod level with muzzle when loaded.
Now if your line is IN the barrel, you know you’re missing something. If your line is ABOVE the muzzle, you know you have too much in the barrel or your bullet isn’t seated all the way (which can blow up your barrel just as easily).
I’m going to start posting a short muzzleloader “tip of the week” aka “Monday Muzzy Munchies”! This will be helpful little tid-bits from cleaning to the range to the field.
Muzzy Munchy #1: Speed Loaders
So you’ve forsaken those expensive and inaccurate pellets and gone to powder. Good for you! Now take that money you saved and buy a TON of speed loaders!
1. Buy speed loaders: Keep an eye out for the .45 caliber speed loaders as they often put them on clearance. Gander Mountain had 3 for 99 cents. They work the same as the .50’s only you can’t put a bullet in it, which you won’t do because you’re using powder. That said, any vial that can be sealed will work
2. Load them up: I’ll load up 40 speed loaders while watching TV with the wife at night. I find it very therapeutic.
3. Stash them in Zip-Loc bags: This is a great way to keep different powder charges separate. If I’m working up a load for a gun I will load up a dozen 80 grain, 90 grain, 100 grain, and 110 grain speed loaders and then write the corresponding charge on the Zip-Loc bag. I’ll bring an extra bag to store my empties in when I’m at the range. It helps you spend range time shooting instead of loading. Crazy idea huh?