A little muzzleloading story

I chant when I shoot muzzleloaders. If you listen carefully during the loading process, you can hear me muttering “powder, patch, ball” under my breath as I load. This action is a byproduct of a humiliating experience in my teens that involved spending about 45 minutes trying to extract a .54 caliber roundball from the barrel of a rifle. Hypothetically speaking, yours truly might have forgotten the “powder” portion of “powder, patch, ball”.

Some people just don’t “get” muzzleloading; and I confess that a sport where it takes a matter of minutes to fire a single shot doesn’t seem to have the fun factor of a semi-automatic .223. I’ve mentioned the romantic appeal of muzzleloading firearms, but they do have some drawbacks, like I mentioned above.

Of course, the best quote I’ve ever heard about muzzleloading was comparing front-stuffers to one of the other most finicky things in the world.

Ahab, a good muzzleloader is like a good woman. Sure, sometimes you’ll want to toss the whole fucking thing in the lake and get something that doesn’t require so much goddamn work, but then every time your touch her, you forget all that bad stuff – the fouled bores, the nitpicky attention to detail, everything. It’s just like a woman, if you treat them right, they’ll treat you right.

I’m sure that there’s a joke in there somewhere about ramrods, but that would be juvenile. And God knows I’d never indulge in juvenile humor, no sir not me.

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