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Loading a musket while advancing was difficult, but not impossible. This was due in large part to the invention of the percussion primer, or cap. This self contained, single-use ignition device (for a caplock mechanism) was simple to use in comparison with the priming procedure for the flintlock. Before, the soldier had to open the pan, pour out a measure of gunpowder into a holder (said pan), close the pan, and hope that he did not put in too little or too much powder, either of which could produce adverse results. Now all the soldier had to do, after he had seated the charge and ball, was to simply set the cap in place,
pull back the hammer to cock position, aim the weapon, and pull the trigger.