Welcome, welcome, welcome! Best advice I can give you starting out in black powder muzzleloaders is read until your eyes pop out! I mean everything! Types of muzzleloaders, types of ignition, powder, balls, bullets, loading procedures, cleaning and maintenance and above all, safety. I've had a muzzleloader for well over 15 years. I've really only been shooting them the last few years. The only damage I've seen or injuries I've heard of were almost all shooter related. There's a wealth of knowledge here on this forum that can help you minimize or even eliminate any kind of mechanical or procedural failure. We all have dry balled at one time or another so start there, the best way to extract a dry ball. In many cases you don't even have to ask the question, just do a search for an existing thread. If that doesn't work, go ahead and ask. We all have asked questions to. It really is a great sport and I'm sure as an already seasoned shooter you'll appreciate the intricacies and how surprisingly accurate these guns can be.I'm a retired guy with more time than money, and I've been getting a lot of enjoyment out of shooting these last couple years. I pretty much taught myself how to reload ammo for my rifles and pistols (with a lot of internet research), and that's gone well for me as I like spending time at my reloading bench.
I thought I'd like to branch out with a black powder rifle although I've never fired one and don't really know too much about it. I've looked at a few forums dedicated to muzzleloading and this one seems to be a good one so I'll hang around and see what knowledge I can soak up.
I went ahead and ordered a cheap flintlock as a starting point, but I probably won't get it for another week or two. In the meantime I'm getting together the supplies I think I'll need.
I'm sure there will be some bumps in the road as I get my feet wet but that's all part of the experience in any new endeavor.