Muzzleloading: A Dream

Powder, patch, and ball, or it won’t shoot at all. Follow this and you’ll be okay, unless a dream gets in your way.

I’ve been down more muddy Montana roads this spring than ever before and the narrow one-lane road to the muzzleloading range can be particularly scary because it is winding and steep. I am thankful for 4-wheel drive. However, I must admit it gets kind of fun when we get to flatter ground and drive through soggy ruts. Briefly we are propelled through the woods like an amusement ride – as in when you play like you are doing the driving on a mechanized kiddy car track, but the machine is in control – not you.

The mood was upbeat last Sunday as the sun was out for a change which made it warm and pleasant. The fire was going, but from the looks of things hardly anyone felt it necessary to stand up-close for warmth.


Coffee and a warm fire keep us warm on chilly days.


Mallory and Eileen improved their tomahawk throwing and unlike last week, no one threw the hawk in the direction of the other participants. When it was their turn for rifle practice, they both shot accurately and only missed a target once or twice.


Mallory shooting at her target.


But something happened on one of Eileen’s shots.

David and I were watching as she aimed her rifle at the target and pulled the trigger. Click. Nothing happened. No bang! She turned around and looked at her instructor, her dad, and me. Her instructor advised that she keep her gun pointed at the target and wait.

After a minute or two, she was told to put in another cap and pull the trigger. Again – click. No bang. No smoke! At this point, I was getting somewhat concerned about a misfire. I’m sure the expression on my face revealed my unease, but I said nothing. I have the utmost respect for her instructor, not to mention I barely know diddly-squat about muzzleloading.

Finally, she was asked if she remembered to put in the powder.  She thought for a few moments, and then realized that she actually did not remember putting in the powder.  For some reason, she had gotten confused during loading because Mallory was on the second step (putting in the patch and ball), so she presumed she was as well.  Her instructor assured her that everyone makes that mistake, and then proceeded to remove the nipple from the rifle. He then added a small amount of black powder to the gun to make it fire.


Eileen shoots her target


Boom! The shot was fired and all’s well that ends well.

Later that afternoon we found out that three of the other shooters also forgot to load gun powder into their barrels before shooting.

Finding that out was kind of uncanny. Not only did David’s dream come true with Eileen, but from all indications three other people as well.  He had the dream the night before muzzleloading and it went something like this.


Mallory was demonstrating how to load a black powder rifle. She put the ball in the barrel of the gun without any gun powder and the ball got stuck.


The dream was unusual enough, not to mention the relating circumstances that had followed at muzzleloading practice.

Did David have a prophetic dream – a foretelling of future things to come? Or was it his retelling of the dream to the girls and I that made the universe take action to fulfill it?

I believe it was both of those. A foretelling of an event by his subconscious mind which was fulfilled by his retelling of the dream.  As I said in “Pinch Me“, life is what you make it.

What do you think?



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