How To Load A Flintlock

Demonstrated by Ed Taylor

Please note that the Florida Frontiersmen promote and maintain high standards of safety on our shooting range. The following is step by step instructions on loading a flintlock.  A loaded flintlock rifle should be handled only by responsible persons. The Florida Frontiersmen accepts no responsibility for damages resulting from the improper and/or unsafe use of this information. Above all, use your Common Sense at all times!

Here are the things you will need to load out of your shooting bag. This is what we call shooting "primitive".



A) Shooting Pouch/Bag
B) Powder Horn
C) Vent Pick
D) Patch Material (this is pillow ticking)
E) Powder Measure
F) Rifle This one is an accurate reproduction of a Peter Berry Rifle of the 1770's.
G) Patch Knife
H) Flint Knapping Hammer and Screwdriver
I) Priming Horn
J) Ball Starter




Now let's get started!



Ed is pouring 3f black powder from his powder horn into his powder measure.






Now he is pouring the powder down the barrel of the rifle. Please note that for safety reasons you NEVER pour powder directly from the powder horn into the barrel!






Ed places the end of the patch material in his mouth to moisten it as he gets out his lead round ball.





Ed now has his ball on top of the patch material and is using his ball starter to get the ball started on its way down the barrel.





After the ball has been started down the barrel Ed can cut off the extra patch material using his patch knife.





 It is now time to finish sending that ball all the way down the barrel. Ed uses the ramrod to seat the ball at the bottom of the barrel.




Please note that these last two steps are to be done ONLY at the firing line when you are ready to shoot!

Now Ed pulls back the hammer.


and uses his priming horn to prime the pan.

Parts Of A Flintlock

A) Set Trigger
B) Shooting Trigger
C) Hammer
E) Frizzen
F) Pan

Special "Thanks" to Ed "Grey Wolf" Taylor for this demonstration and help with the accompanying text. Ed is often seen helping and encouraging newbies on the range. He really enjoys sharing his knowledge and love of blackpowder shooting. I'm proud to call him my "friend".

The Coon'n Crockett web site offers more information at the following links.


The Flintlock and the Percussion Lock

Muzzleloading Safety Do's and Don'ts

Black Powder Notebook