Muzzeloader propellent and primers


Muzzleloading firearms use a special type of propellant, often referred to as black powder. But be warned: traditional black powder is a corrosive material that can cause the barrel of your firearm to rust quickly. There are brand-name substitute powders such as Pyrodex®, Clean Shot® and Hodgdon's Triple Seven®, which are all safe to use when handled properly. These are sold either in granulated or compressed pre-measured form.

Modern muzzleloading firearms now can fire both smokeless powder and black powder. However, using modern smokeless powder in a firearm that is not designed to handle it can result in serious injury to the shooter and damage to the firearm. Remember: always follow the manufacturer's instructions for propellants to use in muzzleloader firearms. 

Black powder comes in six granulation sizes:


Grain Description Use


Coarse grain powder Cannons


Called single-F, coarse grain Shotguns 10-gauge and higher
FF Called double-F, medium grain

Rifles, single shot pistols (.45 caliber and larger)

and shotguns (12-20 gauge)

Cartridge Medium-fine grain Substitute for double-F powder
FFF Called triple-F, fine grain

Rifles and handguns that are under .45 caliber,

as well as shotguns smaller than 20-gauge

FFFF Called four-F, extra-fine grain Used only to prime flintlock muzzleloaders



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