Don’t forget muzzle loaders

Published 12:30 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2020

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The muzzle loader has been around since the seventeenth century and is the oldest firearm in history. It has came from being as primitive as any firearm has ever been to one that has near rifle accuracy.

In the year 1610, King Louis XIII of France was presented the very first muzzle loader ever made by Marin le Bourgeois.

A muzzle loader is a firearm that must be loaded from the barrel end of the gun called the muzzle. Powder and projectile are loaded down through the muzzle and then it’s ignited from the breech by a match, flint, percussion cap and even shotgun primers in today’s modern muzzle loaders.

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The matchlocks were the absolute slowest and most primitive as a match or wick was lit and then upon trigger pull it would slowly be rotated into a flash pan to assist in lighting the main charge in the barrel. Flint replaced the match and percussion caps replaced the flint. Nowadays, ignition is created by a super fast 409 shotgun primer that gives the muzzle loader near rifle performance when pulling the trigger.

Accuracy improved as well throughout history as they went from smooth bores to rifling. The grooves inside the barrel allowed the projectile to spin as it left the barrel creating a much more accurate firearm.

Muzzle loaders have been used to hunt both small game and big game alike. They come in countless sizes from .22 caliber on up with the most popular modern muzzle loader caliber now being .50 caliber.

It’s not limited to rifles either. There are shotguns in several different gauges as well.

The modern muzzle loader has improved triggers, tighter tolerances, more reliable powders plus most are drilled and tapped for modern rifles scopes and red dots making them much more desirable.

Hunters have excellent chances of bagging big game as the muzzle loader is improved and the seasons are made longer by the addition of hunts and longer muzzle loading opportunities.

The muzzle loader has a long history from the first shot fired out a smooth barrel up to the highly accurate and ever improving firearms currently on the market.