Saturday, May 28, 2016

Loading A Civil War Era Musket

This is an informative, brief video demonstrating the process of loading a musket, something that has fascinated me most of my life.  There is  a command and precise set of moves for every step.  They skip the method of checking for an empty boar, which is "Spring Rammer!"  You draw the rammer, flip it around and lower it down the bore.  You bring it down with force at the end of the stroke, and it will bounce in an unloaded musket.  The rammer will not bounce off of a load.

The load used in these weapons was 60 grains of powder, which sounds anemic in these days of magnumizing muzzleloaders, but it did the job.  I have shot and hunted with a repro Enfield in .58 caliber, and shot Minies in it.  I bumped the load up to 70 grains, and it shot well.  You don't want to push a Minie too hard, or you will blow out the skirt when it leaves the muzzle.  These weapons make a very effective deer hunting rifle, even if they are a bit long for carrying in the woods.

1 comment:

Merle Morrison said...

First off, I have no experience with muzzle loaders, so I'm working from questionable grounds.

I seem to remember that some used "nitrated" paper so it wasn't necessary to open the cartridge - just drop it down the barrel & whack it with the ram rod. Does this seem likely to you?Merle