Last fall I committed to becoming a Cincinnati Sons of the American Revolution Color Guard participant. This had many challenges, clothing, learning how to march appropriately, acquiring a period correct Muzzleloader.
This article is about the Muzzleloader firearm or “Firelock” as they were called.
I reached out to our Cincinnati Chapter Color Guard Commander – Brad Jarard who shared much information. This was very helpful. In addition, I reached out to a historian and reenactment participant from the area my SAR ancestor in Pennsylvania who from. He also told me about the “National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association or NMLRA and recommended that I use them as they are a great resource.
In search of more information about Muzzleloaders, I visited the annual NMLRA conference in Friendship Indiana in September 2021. This is an outdoor event with vendors, shooting participants and folks who just wanted to watch this special event.
This visit was the catalyst for joining the NMLRA, as well as talking to participants and identifying recommended options for acquiring a Muzzleloader kit firearm I could purchase and finish myself.
Once I joined the NMLRA, I received as part of my membership a very helpful guide which is a primer and great resource for those with muzzleloading firearms.
This guide is titled: NRA NMLRA Guide – Muzzleloading”
This guide is very helpful and includes instructions on how to use, handle and fire the weapon safely, how to maintain, how to clean and most important how to troubleshoot common problems. Muzzleloaders are unique and the require knowledge on how to operate safely. This guide is an excellent resource and very clear in its instruction.
One of the common problems with Color Guard events is misfires. This is addressed in “Unit 7 – If It Fails To Fire – page 55”. They explain the process for “knapping the flint” to improve sparking needed for proper ignition. Also addressed is how to best handle the firearm in the event of misfires. Scary if it happens to you, this guide walks you through how to respond safely.
The guide also addresses firearm safety as these are very dangerous if handled improperly and without regard to safety at all times.
I recommend this guide to any and all members of SAR Color Guards as a great recourse to maintain their “Firelock” (aka Muzzleloader)
You can order the Guide for $12.00 US from the NMLRA Store – the link is: https://www.nmlra.org/store/muzzleloadingguide
You can help others. Please let me know of other resources that are available for SAR members and other folks wishing to learn more about the Muzzleloading firearms and their use.