A gun that is loaded from the front by first placing the charge, then the projectile, in the muzzle of the piece and ramming them each back to the firing chamber. Almost all Civil War cannon were of the variety. See also: Breechloader.
The earliest type of gun, now also popular as modern- made replicas, in which blackpowder and projectile(s) are separately loaded in through the muzzle. The term is often applied to cap-and-ball revolvers where the loading is done not actually through the muzzle but through the open ends of the cylinderþs chambers.