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Gun Range Rules for Black Powder Cheat Sheet by

Gun Range Rules for Black Powder
rules     black     powder     safety     gun     range


You might not be shooting and feel like you don't need eye and ear protection on, but what about the shooter next to you? What happens if his brass casings shoot out and hit you in the eye?

The following rules of safe firearms handling are not just rules for the firing range. They are rules meant to keep you and others alive wherever you are. You don't want to be the guy whose sentencing papers or epitaph reads, "I thought it was unload­ed."­ This list is not compre­hen­sive; it's just a few of the basics:
#1. The gun is always loaded. Treat every firearm like it's loaded . (It's always the "­unl­oad­ed" gun that "­acc­ide­ntally went off.")
#2. Never point a firearm at anything you do not want to destroy or kill. (Note: BB, air, and pellet guns count too. For that matter, it's probably a good rule for nail guns as well . . .)
#3. Keep your finger off of the trigger and out of the trigger guard unless firing.
#4. Always be sure of your backst­op. (That's where the bullet will hit after it goes through your target. You must know what is beyond your target.)


1. Never allow your rifle to point at anyone . Careless gun handling and an accidental discharge could result in tragedy.
2. Do not use modern smokeless powders in muzzle­loading firearms.
3. Do not load directly from powder horn or flask. A lingering spark in the barrel can ignite the incoming charge, causing the horn or flask to explode in your hand.
4. Never fire a muzzle­loader unless the ball or shot charge is firmly seated against the powder charge. The barrel could be damaged or burst.
5. When loading your muzzle­loading firearm, do not expose your body to the muzzle.
6. Never use 4Fg Black Powder as a main charge. 4Fg bums too fast and could burst a barrel . Severe injuries are possible.
7. Do not exceed manufa­ctu­rer's recomm­ended maximum loads or attempt to load multiple projectile loads. When in doubt, secure inform­ation concerning proper loads from an author­itative source.

1. Treat muzzle­loaders with the same respect due any firearm . They are not toys.
2. Use only black powder or PyrodeXTM, of the proper granul­ations, in your muzzle­loading firearms.
3. Use a separate measure for loading powder.
4. Always make sure that the ball is seated against the powder.
5. Always make sure that your downrange area is a safe impact area for your projec­tiles.
6. The nature of a muzzle­loading firearm requires that you, the shooter, exercise caution and skill in the care, loading, and use of such a firearm. Make certain that you are informed as to the proper steps in such care and use.

Black Powder Guns


1. The half-cock notch is the safety notch on a muzzle­loader . Always be sure it is functi­oning properly . If your lock or triggers seem to be improperly functi­oning, take your firearm to a competent muzzle­loading gunsmith for checking and correction of the problem.
2. Never snap a percussion lock. It will often break the tumbler. If you snap a flintlock to adjust or test the flint, never do so with the firearm loaded. Even though the pan is not primed, many firearms will fire from the sparks alone.
3. When you prime your pan, fill it only 1/4 to 1/3 full. More powder gives an excessive flash and acts as a fuse delaying ignition time.
4. Grasp the ramrod only a short distance above where it protrudes from the barrel, pushing it down in short strokes . If you grasp it near the outer end and the rod breaks it could injure your arm or hand.
5. If you forget to run a cleaning patch between shots and a patched ball hangs up halfway down, follow this simple procedure. Pour a couple tables­poonful of water down the barrel and allow to stand for 30 seconds. The water will soak into the patch and loosen the fouling that caused the hang-up. Pour the water out and seat the ball on the powder . Shoot immedi­ately, and clean.
6. Maximum range of a firearm is obtained by firing at a 35 degree angle above horizontal . Round balls may carry as far as 800 yards and elongated projec­tiles well beyond this distance.

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