How to Load Your Muzzleloader for Consistent Accuracy

Today’s blog post comes to you from Chad Schearer, host of Shoot Straight with Chad Schearer.

Many people over complicate hunting with a muzzleloader when in reality if you just stick with the basics you can have consistent accuracy. With today’s modern in-lines like the CVA Accura MR loading, shooting and hunting with your muzzleloader is as easy as following these steps.

Safety First

Check to make sure that your muzzleloader is unloaded.  When you have confirmed it is unloaded, mark your ramrod with an ink marker so you can tell it is unloaded in the future.

Fouling your Barrel

Once you are sure there is not a load in your muzzleloader fire a few primers down your barrel to make sure that there are no oils or moisture in your breech plug or barrel which could cause a misfire.  This step will also help with the fouling of your barrel.  Fouling your barrel is an important part of the loading process.

Measuring your powder accurately

Fortunately for us, many blackpowder substitutes like IMR WhiteHots or Pyrodex Pellets come in pre-measured form making it very simple to load our muzzleloaders.  Never exceed more powder than what your owner’s manual suggests.  If you choose to you loose powder, use a volume measurer as directed in your owner’s manual and not a scale. When a manufacture mentions using 100 grain of powder they are referring to a volume measurement not a weight measurement.  Always read your owners manual and never use smokeless powder in a blackpowder muzzleloader.

Muzzleloader Bullets

Consistent loading pressures increase accuracy

Seating your bullet in the same place every time increases accuracy.  I mentioned marking your ramrod previously to tell if your muzzleloader is unloaded or not.  Load your muzzleloader with load you are going to hunt with and mark your ramrod at the muzzle.  That way each time you load your muzzleloader you can tell the bullet is consistently seated.  Make sure if you are using pelletized powder not to push to hard and crush the pellets.  But, make sure you apply enough pressure to seat the bullet against the powder.

Should you swab in between shots?

When shooting PowerBelt Bullets I swab less.  If I am shooting a saboted bullet I will swab between shots because of the plastic residue left in the barrel making it difficult if not impossible to load the gun after two or three shots.  If you shoot a fouled barrel at the range then shoot a fouled barrel while hunting.    To achieve the best accuracy stay consistent with your loading.  Start with a three shot group swabbing (running a saliva soaked patch) in between shots.  Then try shooting your gun dirty (not swabbing between shots).

Start close to your target

To make sure you are achieving consistent loading start close to your target.  I like to start at 25 yards to make sure I am getting good results.  Then I move to 100 yards and start with a 3 shot group.  If  I am getting a good group I don’t change anything.  If may accuracy isn’t what I am wanting I adjust bullet weights and powder loads.  Just like center-fire rifles, muzzleloaders will have their favorite load too.