I'm reading a copy of Von Steuben's manual, which sought to transform the Continental Army from a rag-tag bunch of farmers into a professional military of the European style. Washington's goal, through Von Steuben, was to be able to fight in the European style and win. In any event, upon reading the manual I noticed one glaring thing: The order of steps in loading the rifles would be considered unsafe and get a shooter kicked off a firing line today! He has them charge the flash pan immediately after firing the weapon, BEFORE charging the barrel with powder and ball. I assume this was done for speed; one did not have to set the weapon butt on the ground, charge the barrel with powder and ball, and then pick it up again to charge the pan. Thus, he has reduced the amount of handling one has to do with the gun and thereby sped up the loading process. However, as I said, if you do this on a firing line today you'll get kicked off for unsafe practices. Charging the flash pan is the LAST step before firing.