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How to Load a Hilti Gun

By Cassandra Tribe

Hilti is a respected manufacturer of power-actuated systems. These systems use a kind of nail gun to fire a nail that has a powder charge on its head into steel, concrete or other materials. The caliber of your charge and the style of Hilti gun you select will depend on the material you are fastening. Hilti guns are most popular for attaching wood to concrete for form work or to attach sill plates for walls because they act as a concrete nail gun. Learning how to load a Hilti gun is easy but you must do it properly in order for the gun to work well and safely.

Hold the Hilti gun so it is pointed away from you and slightly down at the ground. This way, should it accidently fire, the nail will drive into the ground and not fly through the air, where it could cause injury to someone.

Press the release tab or button (depending on your model) at the base of the handle grip to release the charge cartridge. Pull the cartridge out of the grip. Place a charge strip into the cartridge. The charge strip will snap into the grip along the advance rod that is sticking up from the base of the cartridge. Your strip should extend straight up out of the base of the cartridge and along the advance rod (the advance rod is what will hook and pull the charges into the firing mechanism of the gun). Push the cartridge back into the grip, make sure that the charge strip goes into the grip with the strip toward the trigger side.

Load your nails. On single-shot Hilti models, you will load one nail at a time by pushing the head of the nail into the tip of the gun until it "clicks" into place. Make sure you keep the tip of the gun pointed away and down while you do this and that your hand is not over the nail as you insert it into the tip. This way, if it fires accidentally, it will not go through your hand. For models that use a nail strip, pull the load release lever on the top of the barrel of the gun near the tip back to open the nail slot. Insert the first nail of your strip into the slot with the head of the nail facing towards the rear of the gun (the grip end) and push the lever forward until it locks. Your Hilti is ready to be used.


Things You Will Need

  • Hilti gun
  • Hilti nails
  • Hilti charge strip


  • Work in an assembly-line fashion to increase your productivity on the job site. For example, if you are going to attach kickers to a concrete slab to brace a wall form, lay out all the kickers first and then go back and shoot all of them in place with the Hilti.


  • Treat a Hilti gun as you would any small-caliber firearm and never leave it lying around and loaded. If dropped or jostled the Hilti gun could fire a fastener and in the hand's of a child there is the same potential for danger as with any gun.

About the Author


Cassandra Tribe has worked in the construction field for over 17 years and has experience in a variety of mechanical, scientific, automotive and mathematical forms. She has been writing and editing for over 10 years. Her areas of interest include culture and society, automotive, computers, business, the Internet, science and structural engineering and implementation.