Don’t leave home without these modern muzzleloading essentials (VIDEO)

02/12/19 8:00 AM | by

Muzzleloading essentials (Photo: Kristin Alberts/

While we’ve all seen old-timers with a flintlock over one shoulder and a leather-fringed possibles bag over the other, many of us now hunt primarily with modern inlines. As such, what goes into a modern hunter’s possible bag? gives you a look into mine for a few of the items that accompany me on every blackpowder hunt.

Blackhorn Powder

Several years ago, I switched from pelletized powder to loose Blackhorn and have watched my groups tighten up significantly as a result. Sure, pellets are simple to carry and drop in the barrel, but they do not allow for tailoring loads and ultimate accuracy.  I’ll gladly sacrifice a slight ease advantage for the end gains. Packing Blackhorn means a quality powder measure is needed as well, but that’s a simple addition when you’re getting the ability to load to the exact grain your rifle likes instead of dropping in 50-grain increments of pelletized powder.  Plus, you know you are getting an exacting measurement each time, as you do it yourself.

Hornady FPB Bullets

These flex-tipped, skirtless bullets allow for one-inch groups at 100 yards, per Hornady’s advertising, and they’re not kidding. Hold up your end of the bargain with a good powder, rifle, and smooth shooting, and I know my FPB pills will be on target. Better yet, I have seen the FPB hold together better on deer when compared with skirted bullets. My bullet of choice is the 50-cal 300-grain, which not only loads easily, but has provided excellent wound channels and filled the freezer.

Speed Loaders

Whether you choose pellets or loose powder, it’s always best to plan ahead and have a second load at the ready. Muzzleloaders are not quick to reload, but you can give yourself a fighting chance by having a backup container as a speed loader. I like the Traditions 5-in-1 version as it doubles as a bullet starter and rudimentary powder measure. When I I don’t have a factory loader at the ready, I find that single plastic cigar cases are the perfect size for storing an extra powder charge, bullet, and primer.

Bore Butter

This is simply one of my favorite products, and even transcends blackpowder use. Whether its seasoning your well-fired barrel like a fine cast iron pan, or protecting that gun collection from rust in storage, T/C’s Bore Butter is a must. In the past, I even used Bore Butter to start stubborn bullets or to lube patches, though that’s no longer needed with Hornady FPB’s. With black powder firearms highly prone to rust and seizing for multiple reasons, I won’t leave home without the Bore Butter, which keeps everything running smoothly.


Every hunter has their tried-and-true favorites, and these are a few I won’t leave home without when I head out with that inline smoke pole in tow. What’s in your possibles bag?

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