the first time I loaded BP cartridge was in 1995. I had been muzzleloading for 3 years and had heard that the 44-40 was originally a BP round, so I bought a Ruger Vaquero, and armed with only the knowledge that the bullet must be against the powder, I loaded a box of 44-40 with BP, surprised that I could not get 40gr of powder in the case. I used a RNFP with standard "blue" smokeless lube on it, with no over-powder card.
When I went to the range, I waited till nobody was there, found a wooden pistol rest that had a half circle cut out, put that over my wrist to shield the gun from the rest of me, figuring that at most, I would lose a hand...
Closed my eyes and pulled the trigger.
Now I can't stop.
I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and in fact, couldn't figure out why my original Springfield Trapdoor and Pedersoli Sharps 45-70 were leading so bad after several shots. Took me nearly 5 years to realize that BP needs a different lube in cartridge guns.
So if you think you are a newbie, don't worry, you're starting out at a much better place than I did.