Determine the Best Muzzleloader Load (Video)

Determine the Best Muzzleloader Load (Video)

Each muzzleloader shoots differently. That is, you can put identical powder/bullet loads into two muzzleloader rifles and get different results in terms of energy and accuracy. So, how does a shooter know what load is best for his rifle? He must learn this through simple trial-and-error testing on the range.

Start by deciding what powder/bullet combination you'll be using to hunt. Then start experimenting with different powder charges to see how they affect bullet flight. Set your target at hunting range (75 or 100 yards), and shoot 3 shot groups with different combinations of powder/bullets. I prefer using Pyrodex pellets, and I'll use different bullet weights with 2 and 3 50-grain pellets. Shooters using loose powder could increase loads in smaller increments, say 10 grains of powder at a time.

Keep accurate records of results of each combination, and soon you will learn what load shoots best in your muzzleloader. This testing process takes time and some expense in terms of using different bullets. But once you determine which load your muzzleloader shoots best, you can stick with it over the seasons and shoot with confidence that you're getting the best performance possible.

Recommended for You


No Kidding: Angler Smashes Record for Lake Trout

Scott Bernarde - May 21, 2019

The Pennsylvania man's trophy fish was more than two pounds heavier than the previous record.

Fishing How-To

Your Guide for the Best Catfish Baits

G&F Staff

If you've been catching catfish with the same method for years, it's time to change it up and...

Trout & Salmon

How to Catch the Biggest Trout in the Stream

David Paul Williams

Several factors need to be evaluated before reaching a conclusion about what fly, lure or...

See More Recommendations

Trending Stories


Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...


How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...


7 Best Bets For New Jersey Largemouth Bass

October 04, 2010

From Monksville Reservoir to Union Lake, plus five other picks, here's where you'll...

See More Stories

More Hunting How-To

Hunting How-To

6 Tips for November Mule Deer Bucks

Terry Otto - November 07, 2017

November mule deer hunting tips and tactics. (Shutterstock image) Put these tips in your...

Hunting How-To

5 Steps to Recharge Your Hard-Hunting Dog

Carl Myers - August 21, 2018

This routine provides all the benefits hunting dogs need for better performance the next...

Hunting How-To

4 Aggressive Strategies for Tough Gobblers

Travis Faulkner,

When textbook setups and calling strategies aren't producing success, change it up with some...

See More Hunting How-To

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.