How to load a musket.

While the procedure for loading a muzzle-loading weapon was virtually the same whether it was a musket, rifle or a cannon, there were some differences. The military had a slightly different sequence than did the hunter or militia member.

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1. Powder was poured from the powder horn into a measure that held a pre-determined amount of powder. 2.The powder charge was then poured down the barrel of the gun. A patched lead ball was the placed on the muzzle of the gun and then shoved down the barrel until it rested on top of the powder charge. 3. A finer grade of powder was poured from a different powder horn into the pan of the rifle or musket, the hammer pulled back and the frizzen was closed. The weapon was the ready to be fired.

This procedure could be altered under certain circumstances for example, a ball could be loaded without a patch, but this would detract from its accuracy.
© 1999 The Second Flying Company of Alamo de Parras
Photos & Text by John Bryant