I like to spend my oval office time watching hunting videos on Youtube. The other day I was watching a video of a Pennsylvania muzzleloader hunt and the guy had shot at a running deer (hmmm…) and during his reloading process he was THROWING the ramrod down the barrel, and then RAMMING it down.
This kind of loading is completely UNNECESSARY! Loading should be consistent. Think of it like tightening the bolts on your wheel. The professionals torque the bolts down with consistency on each bolt. While you don’t have a torque wrench, you should use a similar approach with loading your muzzleloader. The more consistent your loading pressure the more consistent your velocities will be (powder burns differently depending on how compacted it is). Consistent velocities result in consistent accuracy.
A) Start the bullet in the muzzle using a bullet started. This ensures your bullet isn’t started cock-eyed. Plus it’s easier.
B) Using your ramrod with a palm saver, put the ramrod on top of the bullet and with one consistent motion push the bullet down the barrel until it stops. I use my body weight and ‘pull’ with my legs.
C) When your bullet stops, put slightly more effort on the ramrod to ensure it is seated. Double check the mark you made on your ramrod to confirm that it is level with the muzzle.
D) You are DONE! Do not smash the bullet, throw the ramrod down a dozen times, or any other crazy ritual that you feel will make the deer gods happy with you and bless you with a 320 pound, 31 point buck.