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An Introduction to Muzzleloading

Today, reader Ian McKee, whose blog handle is 45Bravo, tells us about shooting muzzleloaders. If you’d like to write a guest post for this blog, please email me at blogger@pyramydair.com.

Take it away, Ian

In a recent blog, I mentioned that I had acquired a traditional-styled .32 caliber Cherokee muzzleloader. Several readers expressed interest in hearing more about it. 

I use the term Traditional style because it looks and is built like a muzzleloader from the early to mid-1800s before the advent of self-contained metallic cartridges. This is in contrast to a modern muzzleloader, which is designed more like a single-shot firearm and is typically called an inline muzzleloader.

BB has often discussed how similar air guns are to muzzleloaders. I am sure we will see that again in this series. 

My Background in Muzzleloaders

My first hands-on experience with a muzzleloader was when I was 12 or 13 years old. My dad bought me a kit of a Remington New Army black powder revolver, which most people would call an 1858 Remington. 

The kit came without instructions on how to actually build it. It was just a generic pamphlet that showed you how to load and operate it. (This was 1976-ish, and there was no internet at this time.) 

My dad guided me in building it from the kit. He would tell me what to do but make me perform the work and hand-fit both the metal and wood parts. At that time, the kits had not been refined as much as they are now, to the point that very little metal fitting is required. 

Before the advent of cartridge-firing arms, everything, with a few minor exceptions, was loaded from the muzzle. “First the powder, then the ball, makes it work best of all,” is the saying I was taught very young.

That experience started me down a lifelong path of competitive and recreational black powder shooting I still enjoy to this day. 

In this series, if there is interest, we will guide you through what to look for in a new or used muzzleloader.  How to clean them, and how to load and shoot them. 

If not, I can just start with shooting the .32 squirrel rifle, but I think if this path interests you we should start with safety and the basics. 

Safety First! Is It Still Loaded?

If you are looking at an unknown muzzleloader, it should be treated like a regular firearm and is considered loaded until YOU KNOW otherwise.  

traditional-styled .32 caliber Cherokee muzzleloader
It is pretty, but how do I know if it is loaded?

 Of all the used muzzleloaders I have bought over the years, several have been loaded. 

The owner may have been hunting, and when finished, they took the percussion cap off, intending to discharge the round later. But then put the rifle in the closet or safe and forgot about it being loaded. 

The Process

Removing the percussion cap should prevent the weapon from firing, but there may still be a charge in the barrel. 

Place the hammer on the half cock notch. Like lever action rifles, the half cock notch is considered a safe position as it engages the trigger in a very deep notch that is not easily jarred. Make sure there is no percussion cap on the nipple or inside the hammer cup that strikes the cap when it is on the nipple. 

If no percussion cap is found, you can leave the hammer on half cock, or it can be slowly lowered onto the nipple where it started.

Inspect the ramrod (if one is present) and look for two marks towards one end of the ramrod. One mark will be the empty mark, and the other will be the loaded mark. 

Insert the ramrod down the bore and see at which line the rod stops. The deeper the rod goes, the better. If it stops at the mark closest to the end of the ramrod, that’s great.

muzzle end of the traditional-styled .32 caliber Cherokee muzzleloader
The two positions of loaded and unloaded. Unloaded is on the left, and loaded is on the right.

But not all shooters do that, and ramrods can be lost or broken. So, the other way to be sure it’s empty is to carefully insert a wooden dowel or cleaning rod down the barrel until it stops. Then, mark the end of the barrel on the dowel or rod with your thumb, a piece of tape, or a Sharpie. 

Then, lay the ramrod along the side of the barrel with your thumb on the mark of the muzzle end of the dowel or rod.

The breech end of the ramrod should be about a half inch or inch from the seam where the barrel screws to the breech block. If it’s any more than that, you probably have a charge in the barrel. 

breech end of the traditional-styled .32 caliber Cherokee muzzleloader
The breech end has two positions, loaded and unloaded. Unloaded is on the left, and loaded is on the right.

This is not specific to just this rifle, it pertains to any muzzleloading firearm. Flintlock, percussion or otherwise. 

We will cover how to deactivate the powder and pull the charge in the next blog. 

After that we will get into the part of shooting the .32 caliber squirrel rifle.

Let us know what you think, is this something many are interested in?

How many of you have experience with muzzle loaders?

Shoot safe, and have FUN!


author avatar
Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier)
Tom Gaylord, also known as B.B. Pelletier, provides expert insights to airgunners all over the world on behalf of Pyramyd AIR. He has earned the title The Godfather of Airguns™ for his contributions to the industry, spending many years with AirForce Airguns and starting magazines dedicated to the sport such as Airgun Illustrated.

57 thoughts on “An Introduction to Muzzleloading”

  1. 45Bravo,

    apparently some people leave the wooden ram rods in their muzzle loaders for decorative purposes only, preferring to use a, less likely to snap, metal rod.

    Personally, I discovered a connection between airguns and muzzle loaders when I moved to France: here, subject to their definitions, any adult can freely have and use either. 🙂

    For example, airguns may have a power of up to twenty Joules. Muzzle loaders have to be either the pre-1900 originals or their new replicas.
    There are more limitations.

    I followed some of the French airgun website links and, pictured below, is my first handgun purchase: a historically incorrect, brass framed, Colt Navy revolver, made by the Italian company Pietta; ‘Navy’ is the calibre name for .36″…

  2. Over fifty years ago I bought a Pedersoli 1851 Navy Colt. I still have it but would not dare shoot it these days. I knew nothing about black powder at the time and there was almost no information available then. I quite literally wore it out. It makes a nice wall hanger these days.

    I would be very interested in learning everything you know of muzzleloaders as I intend to acquire a .62 Virginia long rifle in the near future. Any information would be most helpful.

    • RidgeRunner and other muzzle loaders,

      in among the bewildering amount of information online, I discovered this nugget:
      John L Fuhring’s website, geojohn.org, which I think is uniquely interesting! 🙂
      For example, his lengthy “Shooting the Black Powder Revolver Articles” ( https://geojohn.org/BlackPowder/RevolverMobile.html ).

      My most valuable lesson was about using only natural oils and greases to manage black powder fouling, to include, adding some of that grease behind the projectile!

      Please remember that his treatise is lengthy, ie better make a big pot of coffee and make the time to sip all of it slowly while you read, what I consider, highly interesting muzzle loading stuff… 🙂

      • hihihi,

        A few years ago i watched a video on u-tube posted by an elderly Brit who shared a wee hours hunt he did for birds with a vintage, blackpowder, double-barreled shotgun. Once back home he headed for his kitchen and put a tea kettle on the stove and got it to a boil. He then went out back and poured a gallon of boiling water down the barrels to clean them. That was it, other than later in the morning putting the gun in the sunlight on his picnic table to accelerate the drying.

        He said he had done this for his whole life with that shotgun, and all had always been just fine! 8^0


        • Michael,

          Boiling water down the barrels is the way I always cleaned my black powder long guns. If you take the nipples off the caplocks, they drain the water, and if it is boiling hot it evaporates in seconds, leaving nothing to rust.


        • Michael and Tom Gaylord (B.B. Pelletier),

          interesting observations and, I believe, the most commonly practised cleaning method for black powder guns.

          From my own experience, I agree that plain old water, actually, regardless of temperature, really does dissolve black powder and it’s resulting sooty residue very well. 🙂

          To reduce the onset of corrosion, I remember bathing my disassembled revolver in water so hot, I had to wear gloves to handle the parts.
          I read that some people place the cleaned pieces on a baking tray inside their oven, to shorten the drying time.

          Anyway, I remember that despite all of this, I could not dry and oil all parts quickly enough to prevent some from beginning to turn light brown. 🙁

          It was at about then, that I happened on John Fuhring’s idea of:
          iron + water = rust.

          Which, to him, meant, removing water to prevent rust. And so, that’s what he did and, he claimed, that it worked well.
          He knew from people’s experience that petroleum based lubricants made matters worse and that animal- or plant based oils and greases remained soft.

          And so, he reasoned that with such an oily residue, the metal would remain isolated from moisture, including that of the air, meaning, no need for water. Merely wiping and dry swabbing. And even then, he discovered that this was not necessary after every shooting session.

          Oh, and because the fouling inside the barrel could be kept soft with this food grade grease, there was no need for periodical wet swabbing of the barrel, ie uninterrupted shooting.

          So, thinking this too good to be true, or, in other words, with doubts in my mind, I gave it a go… 🙂

  3. I have noticed there seems to be considerable interest in the new Benjamin/Crosman pellets. I have not purchased any as of yet, therefore I cannot give my opinion concerning them. I have heard they are hard. That does make me most hesitant to purchase these as my experience has been that the softer the lead, the better the pellet.

    This is a rule that at best, I apply only in general terms. Each airgun that comes to live at RRHFWA will be given ample testing to find the “best” pellet for it, no matter the hardness or shape. There are actually one of two here that like the hard Crosman pellets.

    This is where the Wilkins pellet pouch becomes handy as I can then keep the “favorite” pellet with the airgun that perfers it. Hey, I know they are expensive, but they sure do look nice hanging on the wall with the airgun. Speaking of which, I could stand to pick up a couple of more.

    P.S. Just so you folks know, I do have both of these new pellets in my PAIR Wish List.

    • I have always like the look of the Wilkins pouch, but have never coughed up the asking price.

      I also thought they would be a great pouch to carry the round balls and patches for a muzzle loader while hunting squirrels.

      While hunting I have always carried a minimal possibles bag, a small powder flask with the appropriate grain spout for the charge I am using. A few round balls, and pre lubed patches.

      The capper I always used was a “snail” cap dispenser by Ted Cash, it would work for revolvers and rifles.

      But at this time, I can’t lay my hands on it, so I am having to do with a lesser straight line capper I could find in my storage.

      My thoughts on the minimal kit was if I stuck a ball, I would just go back to the truck and use the ball puller and the range rod.

      Rather than try to remove the stuck ball with the skinny ramrod.

      Since I have technically been out of the hobby for a while, I am having to rebuild some parts of my kit.


  4. Sixty some years ago, I learned ‘Powder, THEN ball, or it don’t go a’tall!’
    Learned lots from some of the old timers and scoured the libraries for what was available. In the 60’s it was Civil War and the N-SSA. Then the Mountain Man craze for Hawkens and then the Bicentennial and what repro Flintlocks were available. There, I found my comfortable home. I don’t know that I have fired a percussion long arm in the last 25 years. I trust rocks! They’re everywhere, and I have on occasion knapped my own flints.

    A .62 Virginia gun would be a worthy addition to any gun room. From the Tidewater to the ‘Gap’ and beyond to La Belle Rivière, a .62 rifle, balls and some swan shot should see you well fed. Mind your scalp, always.

    Looking forward to your blog series. Keep up the great work!

    • Oh no Paco!

      You are a rock knocker!

      (Hihihi, while not an acronym that’s one of many nicknames for the guys that use flintlocks, they knock a rock against their rifle to make it shoot..)

      Flintlocks are like springers to me.
      I have owned a few and can shoot them. My dad made sure I knew how to nap a flint properly.

      They are just not my preferred method of ignition.


      • 45Bravo,

        I see, as in knocking rocks to knap them into shape, eh. I admit that “Rock knocker” does have a fun ring to it… 🙂

        Although I think I know how flint stones produce a hot shower of sparks, it’s not easy to achieve, well, at least not for me. But even percussion locks have frustrated me.

        Actually, due to my neighbour’s objection to the noise, I have long stopped shooting my black powder muzzle loaders. 🙁
        Still, it’s nice to re-live those fun, filthy fingers days… 🙂

        • Actually I think it refers to the flint that is on the gun that strikes the frizzen.

          Causing the sparks to land on the powder that’s in the pan to ignite the main charge.

          But I could be mistaken.

          Flintlocks have their own set of tools that help maintain them that percussion guns do not use.


  5. Ian

    Count me as one who is extremely interested in your muzzle loading reports. My long time reloading background includes cap and ball wheel guns of which I own several replicas. But they are all loaded at the cylinder. I look forward to your comments on similarities of the shooting cycle (the long push) that black powder rifled muskets have with pneumatic air rifles.

    PS: I’ve said it before but the smoke and fire exiting the muzzle of a black powder gun at dawn or dusk is an event all should experience.


      • Decksniper.

        A friend of mine showed me something interesting.

        He uses a modern inline .50 caliber muzzle loader, and Pyrodex “pellets” (I will cover those sometime in the future)

        But suffice it to say the pyrodex pellets are a black powder substitute that is not classified as an explosive like regular black powder is and has a slower burn rate like smokeless powder unless it is under pressure

        But it does have a small amount of regular black powder on one end of the “pellet” that ignites easily and starts the pyrodex charge burning.

        If you load just a pyrodex pellet, then a 209 shotgun primer in the gun (thats what modern inline muzzle loaders use instead of a percussion cap.)

        With no projectile, point it in the air at night and pull the trigger the pyrodex pellet ignites and shoots in the air quite a distance leaving a nice sparkling trail like a fireworks mortar.

        The pyrodex pellet is completely consumed in the process.

        Quite entertaining.


        • Ian

          Years ago in high school I got a flare gun and 4 shells. I really wanted to see what it would do but there was no safe place to shoot it. Finally one night after much rain had soaked the trees, bushes, grass and any other plant life I walked out the front door in the pouring rain, loaded a flare, pointed at the sky and pulled the trigger. That thing lit up the west side of town and I thought it would never burn out. Naturally I vamoosed from the scene. I don’t recommend it unless you live in a barren desert. Happily nobody’s house caught on fire.


  6. After reading this, FM is probably going to be led down the wabbit hole of muzzleloaders once again. Back around ’75-’76, after doing a lotta book-and-magazine research, that’s how we rolled before the internet, bought an Italian-made replica of an 1863 Zouave model .58 percussion rifle. Had fun with it a couple of years before losing interest; particularly enjoyed taking it to junkyards and punching holes into discarded appliances and water-filled gallon jugs. Had a notion at some point of buying a percussion revolver, probably in .44, but never got the Round Tooit to enable that.

    Still have Zouave and the shooting accessories – powder flask, powder measure, nipple wrench (it is not a torture instrument!), a fairly complete tin of percussion caps, even some black powder and about 20 “minnys.” Oh, forgot there are a couple of the books/manuals about shooting black powder guns around; may have to do some “attic mining” to find them.

    Think it time to blast away with the small “cannon” again; to be safe and not be left high and dry, better get some more “minnys” and black powder. FM be a traditionalist – not so much into that Pyrodex stuff. Yup, black powder is dirty but hot water followed by thorough lubing/oiling takes care of that.

    Enjoyed reading this piece; going to do that dowel measurement; never thought of it. Looking forward to the rest of the series on this subject, 45Bravo. Bravo! 🙂

    • FawltyManuel,

      wow, junkyard plinking sounds like immense fun! 🙂

      I remember thinking that our old dishwasher would do nicely as a backstop. And then being amazed at how the little soft lead round balls went all the way through the machine… !

      Yeah, that’s when I realised how little protection a car door offers. I mean, in many films, even a wooden plank cannot be penetrated by bullets. 🙂

      What do you think about the Zouave being reputed to be particularly well made, including above average shooting precision?

      • What always impressed our muzzleloaders’ group was imagining the damage those “minnys” could do to flesh and bone, reflected in what they did to those poor appliances…made FM glad he wasn’t one of Pickett’s chargers heading towards that Bloody Angle at Gettysburg. The Zouave is well made and would consider it accurate or “accurate enough;” don’t recall shooting it at more than 75 yards’ distance and couldn’t say how tight a group was achieved – never measured one, but seemed the impacts were grouped within a torso’s area? Ugh! Seems 60 grains of FFg black powder, if dim memory still serves, produced the most accurate results; still have some Dupont powder in the original can – maybe enough for 15-20 shots. The bullets were lubed at the cavity on the bottom using Crisco shortening.

        Interestingly, the place where we would shoot the junk targets still exists in S Dade County FL but has been cleaned up and there is a locked gate preventing access. In any case, these days if you tried target practice there you’d be arrested for trespassing and discharging a firearm in a prohibited area. The urban concrete monster has crept too close to the place.

  7. 45Bravo,

    Enjoyed the read very much. Have a bunch of books about black powder arms that are all that is left of my dad’s collection…
    Only shot my dad’s; never bought my own. My mother hated all guns so when dad died and i was out of CONUS (Continental United States) and she cleaned out my dad’s gun room!
    ” ‘First the powder, then the ball, makes it work best of all,’ is the saying I was taught very young.” Is a great mnemonic: https://psychcentral.com/lib/memory-and-mnemonic-devices

    For hihihi: notice that acronyms are part of the world of mnemonics!

    They, rhymes and songs, were a fantastic aid to training folks who could not read or write operate their guns safely; as a matter of fact we used them to train folks with college degrees to not mess up flying multimillion dollar jets.

    Maybe we can share or make some up for airguns!


    • shootski,

      I agree that abbreviations and acronyms, including mnemonics, can be useful and certainly have a place when they’re appropriate! 🙂

      However, most of the time that I encounter them, they have been used for the benefit of the author, not the reader. 🙁

        • shootski,

          ok, your hope shall be my motivator. 🙂

          Actually, I’ve already made a start and noticed that he writes for an American audience. His measurements are given in units of fractions of things, like inches. Never mind, I shall persevere and enjoy his other thoughts. 🙂

          This Notebook is one link that I had thought worth saving / bookmarking, thanks.

          • Hihihi, I feel your pain, I can deal with decimals,

            In both inches and metric.

            But when fractions come out, other than common ones like 1/4, 1/2, 3/4. I just can’t do it.

            Siri or Google (depending if you use Apple or Android) is my friend at that point.

            I mean 19/64 ths of an inch means nothing to me.

            But My phone or computer will tell me it is 0.2969 of an inch, or 7.5406 of a mm.


  8. My father has only just stopped shooting at the ripe old age of 89. He was an avid black powder shooter, and I’ve shot many of his guns.
    In my 40 years+ of shooting, I’d never heard of inline muzzleloaders before. Every day truly is a school day!

  9. B.B., Ian and Readership,

    Bob Spencer’s Black Powder Notebook is one of my favorites on-line: home.insightbb.com/~bspen/index.html

    I suspect he may have gone to the Big Shoot in the Sky.


    • If he has moved on that’s a shame.

      I have read his stuff years ago.

      If he has at lease he left his writings so others could learn and enjoy the sport.

      Oh and when he starts talking math, it ain’t just a little math.

      Math makes my head hurt.
      This is supposed to be fun, and math is not fun.


      • 45Bravo,

        He just touches on the real math involved lightly. He does however do an amazing job of describing the concepts. His stories are a pleasure to read just for his take on life.
        It really is a shame that most math instruction is done by folks who should be doing other things than trying to give students the tools to break the math code. I was saved by two teachers of math at critical points or i would likely have been in the same boat most folks find themselves in thinking math is no fun.
        It is in fact a language that speaks the poetry of the Universe from the miniscule to the vastness of space-time.
        As far as Bob he is/was an amazing being.


        • My middle school and high school math teacher were just teaching math.

          In college my math professor was passionate about it. He live and dreamed math.

          He says he would wake up in the middle of the night, dreaming about numbers and write an equation on a notebook that he kept on his bedside table.

          In the morning he would have to decipher what it meant..

          He taught me advanced math so I understand it.

          But I do not like it..

          He knew of my love for the shooting sports, and told me that I would use algebra every day of my life when I was shooting.

          While I don’t remember the exact numbers he asked me how do I figure the drop for certain ranges?

          I replied with the answer of how do you get to Carnegie Hall and it’s “practice man practice.”

  10. I’ve had muzzle loaders most of my life. Just got my first Flintlock, a Pedersoli Blue Ridge in .54 caliber. Casting round balls for it currently and should be shooting soon.Sourcing powder is difficult these days, in a city as large as Houston there is no store one can walk in and buy black powder. One must order it and have it delivered, Graff’s works for me mainly because they use UPS , I never want to have to go to the FedEx hub at Hobby airport to get my powder ever again.

    • Singleshotcajun,

      A place called 10 Ring on Jones road near fm1960 has it in stock, and from one more than one manufacturer.

      Just ask for it at the counter as being an explosive, it now has to be stored in a specific way.

      The carry a very comprehensive selection of both reloading and muzzle loader supplies.

      We need to get together some time for airguns and black powder.

      And since they buy in bulk they do not charge you the hazmat fee.


      • Not too long ago Bass Pro was the only game in town for Black powder, I’m in Dickinson so that was an easy drive. I load for .577 Snider rifle and Swedish 12.7 Rolling Block so Black powder is a must. Recently got a bunch of Shuetzen brand powder from Graff’s. Hope to shoot the Flintlock soon. I too would like to get together at the range sometime . Seems the Airgun range is the only place we can shoot standing anymore since the “Eyebrows” have gone up everywhere .

        • What’s your home range?

          On the north side a couple of ranges still have not installed them and allow standing.

          At PSC (Pearland Shooting Club)
          They have done a lot of renovations and have installed them on some.

          But haven’t been there in a while to see if on all ranges.


          • PSC is my Home range. The city is quickly surrounding us so the eyebrows went up all over, even on range 1 and the Rimfire range. At least for now this means no more Service Rifle or Silhouette matches . Consolation prize is steel swingers to shoot at Range 1 and Rimfire range. I have been a member since 2013 but have never shot at the Airgun range , I need to remedy that.

            • Even though we were not members, but were guests Several of us got together one weekend and revamped the airgun range and cleaned it of debris out to 150 ish yards.

              And cleared a Field target lane next to it.

              The a few of the “legacy member” airgun shooters believe you have no need to shoot more than 50 yards with an airgun.

              It’s protected on three sides from the wind.

              It’s very possible that may have grown over since we last went out as a group.

              There are about 5 of us that get together there every so often.

              I have not been able to squeeze my membership in yet, I keep missing the boat.

              But a friend brings me in as a guest when he goes.


              • I was on the waiting list for several years. After I upgraded my NRA membership to Life(Wife and I) I got selected. I think the Life membership helps get you in, it is easier for club to account for your NRA membership .

  11. I have been shooting muzzleloaders since the 1970’s. Great fun. With rifles and smooth bore guns I found that using a over powder wad really improves accuracy. I use a piece of cut up old hand towel. I think it seals things better and I know it works. Give it a try! Just load the powder, the wad, then your patched ball or bullet.


    • Mike, I have long used lubed wool wads as an over powder wad with revolvers as it cuts down on fouling considerably.

      I would use a sharpened .38 special case as the punch to cut them for .36 caliber revolvers.
      And a sharpened .45 case as the punch for .44 revolvers.

      To get the wool, I would frequent resale shops like Goodwill and others looking for 100% wool hats for cheap.

      Then punch the wads, and put them in a pan with my lube and heat the lube until it liquified and soaked into the wads.

      Then let them cool, and they are ready to use.


      But I have never used them on patched round balls for rifles.

      I will have to give that a try. On paper for score.


    • I read that once upon a time wasp nest was the preferred over wad in smoothbore. One day soon I hope to get a smoothbore flintlock from Military Heritage, made in India and not drilled for flash hole(you drill it) this way they ship just about to anywhere in the world. Probably going to get a Charleville Musket repro, the U.S first standard issue long gun.

  12. Ian,

    Muzzleloaders are forbidden in my country as are firearm possession without a license. Airguns have to be registered. So I am going to happily come along for the introduction to a type of firearm which I have very little chance to experience first hand.


  13. If you need Black Powder, check Powder Valley online. I ordered some a few months ago. Shipped to your door. You will have to sign for the order when it arrives.


  14. I wish everybody a very Happy Easter ! 🙂

    My sister wrote “I wanted a bit of colour in the garden” and, because I like her somewhat seasonal picture, at least for the Northern hemisphere, I’m sharing it with you too…

    PS Besides, I’m also thinking: fun target. As in, how many tulips for 20 shots? 🙂

    For example, later, when it’s light, I’m going to print the picture and place it at a distance that allows seeing each flower clearly with one of my favourite airguns. Then I’m going to shoot offhand and report back, how many of those tulips I got with 20 shots… 🙂

    • Boy, was that tough !

      1. Lots of hmm’ing and hah’ing to choose an airgun, then
      2. ten metres looked easy but I took two big steps closer, just to make sure I wouldn’t miss…

      I’m sure someone laughed ! 🙂

    • Shooting twenty Geco 4,4mm (.177″) wadcutter pellets in my old Haenel Modell III (1927), break barrel springer air rifle, offhand, over eight metres (~8.75yds), at an A4 sized (common printer paper size) print-out of the tulips picture, I think, resulted in twelve flowers hit. 🙂

  15. Happy Easter to those of you that celebrate one of mankind’s greatest gifts.
    No other religion has ever had a greater gift given believers! None!
    Think on that and be blessed.


  16. hihihi,

    Happy Easter.

    I keep counting twenty two tulips….
    In the upper right there is a red tulip that appears to have a mauve one peeking out on the right side.

    Glad you had fun…Tiptoing Through the Tulips.


    PS: If i was scoring your target i would call it fourteen.

  17. shootski,

    oops, very well spotted indeed! 🙂
    And yes, there are more tulips than my suggested arbitrary number of shots.

    If, as I think, partially cutting the outline of a tulip can be called a hit, then there are obviously opportunities to score two flowers with one pellet in that picture. Therefore all flowers, at least theoretically, could be done with less than twenty pellets. But that’s just reasoning the possibilities while actually doing the deed is tough for shooters… like me! 🙂

    I actually continued shooting until I put a hole in each – but I missed the one you spotted – because, well, scoring a hit felt too good not to wanto to finish them all off… but I couldn’t tell you how many more shots it took! 🙂

    Plinking is like motorcycling for me! 🙂
    I first need to know where I’m going to ride to, before I can enjoy what I set out for: the journey.
    Likewise with airguns. I first need something to aim for, before I can enjoy the act of handling and shooting my airgun. Hitting the target, for me, is a very welcome and enjoyable bonus. 🙂

    Here’s today’s target held up to the sky, not as a challenge to count holes, but just to give an idea of how much more fun I derived out of just that one printed picture. 🙂

    • Looks like editing one’s comment within 30 minutes of posting, is still only possible when it’s text only.

      Attach a picture and editing attempts will not take. 🙁

      Workaround: delete the comment altogether and start over… 🙂

    • hihihi,

      Speaking of the sky…”Plinking is like motorcycling for me!
      I first need to know where I’m going to ride to, before I can enjoy what I set out for: the journey.”
      You need to go soaring (in high performance gliders) where most of the flights are just finding thermals or waves to ride eventually returning to the starting point.
      Lots of UP and Down in between.
      But even in soaring there are point A to B (end point landing) flights as well as the challenging Round Robin flights of either A-B-A, or A-B-C-A, and other types of flights that lead to Diamond Awards.
      https://airplaneacademy.com/how-far-can-gliders-fly/#:~:text=The distance a glider can,distance covered is 1%2C358 miles.
      I’m certain most folks will have a hard time believing the current distance record.


      • shootski,

        sadly, I struggle with all those fun activities that involve going up or down, because I can’t easily and naturally equalise changes in pressure. So, both flying and diving can not just be uncomfortable for me but downright painful, to include blacking out. 🙁

        Anyway, I am reminded of the distance gliding competitions with the somewhat low performance wing of the paraglider. Of course, here the pilots can thermal-hop with less worry about suitable landing sites… 🙂

        I only completed the paragliding beginner’s course. Despite all the sweating, while repeatedly carrying the wing back up the gentle hill we practised off, I have only fond memories. Such fun ! 🙂

        pictured below, my Paragliding Pilot’s Wing badge – to be sewn onto my pilot overalls – awarded by the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association!

        In reality, a keepsake for having attended the beginner’s course… 🙂

  18. To All,

    Happy Easter! After 40 days of Lent we now have 50 days of Easter tidings which is the reason why we celebrate Christmas. Because if Christ was not born how can we have Easter?


    I hope you are doing well.


  19. “Let us know what you think, is this something many are interested in?”

    I am “late to the party”! (Happy Easter! =>)
    But I would love to hear all you have say; I think muzzleloaders are really cool. 😉
    The pic below is the .50-caliber Hawken-style rifle my wife got me back in 1995.
    I shot a lot of matches with it till I was comfortable to hunt with it. 🙂
    Blessings to you,

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