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My PC is using a musket based on the standard rules for firearms in the DMG (p. 267), which includes reloading after every shot.

A limited number of shots can be made with a weapon that has the reload property. A character must then reload it using an action or a bonus action (the character's choice).

If I have an extra attack, I can't use my bonus action between the first attack and second attack to reload my musket, right? Word of God on the matter seems quite clear - per a tweet by Jeremy Crawford:

No general rule allows you to insert a bonus action between attacks in a single action. You can interrupt a multiple-attack action with a bonus action/reaction only if the trigger of the bonus action/reaction is an attack, rather than the action.

As there is nothing in the rules as they are written to allow me to reload my musket to use it for my extra attack, would asking my DM if we can brew a custom feat allowing me to reload between attacks (and sacrificing my bonus action to do so) make my character overpowered?

This doesn't seem too extreme, given that it is less potent than the Crossbow Expert feat ("you ignore the loading property of crossbows with which you are proficient"), which compensates for the musket being more powerful.

For clarity, I am aware that my character would be starting the next round of combat with an unloaded weapon.

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Whether or not it's too strong depends on your characters level and how hard the campaign is. I believe the musket is 1d12, which is pretty solid damage output considering its on par with the Great Axe and Great Sword. The thing is with the melee weapons, they can swing as many times as allowed without having to reset or reload. However they are also melee, so you lose that benefit with a ranged attack.

There aren't any official feats that exist, however some more public homebrew ones already exist on the D&D Wiki:

Firearm Expert

  • You ignore the loading quality of firearms with which you are proficient

  • Being within 5' of a hostile creature doesn't impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls

  • When you use the Attack action and attack with a one handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a sidearm you are holding

The first 2 could be pretty beneficial. Work with your DM to see if he would allow this feat. It operates similarly to the crossbow one

Another option is to look at a homebrew musket that has 2 in the chamber

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, I don't know about two in the chamber, but a double-barrelled musket is a great work around. My character is proficient with tinker's tools, so that would work well. I'm concerned with removing the reloading requirement entirely, as I think that would be damaging to the combat dynamic and enjoyment for my group. \$\endgroup\$ – Geoff Atkins Jan 28 at 13:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just FYI you might wait a little bit longer to pick mine as the answer. Although obviously I will want it, choosing an answer will discourage other users from answering. They might have a better idea, or some other valuable input in regards to this \$\endgroup\$ – Just Another Guy Jan 28 at 13:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ OP's feat is unnecessary, because characters can already take a bonus action that doesn't trigger based on "the Attack action" in between his multiple attacks. See Crawford's followup tweet: "My tweet below was addressing bonus actions and reactions that have triggers. A bonus action that has no trigger—such as Cunning Action and the misty step spell—can take place whenever you want on your turn (PH, 189)." \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 28 at 20:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ It isn't much of a stretch to allow the equivalent of Crossbow Expert for firearms. \$\endgroup\$ – Tiger Guy Jan 28 at 23:05
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No feat needed; bonus actions without triggers can be taken at any time.

Setting aside the fact that Crawford's tweets are no longer official rulings (just unofficial guidance):

Rules designer Jeremy Crawford did tweet the statement you quote in your question. However, this caused some confusion in the replies, so he made a followup tweet clarifying what he meant:

My tweet below was addressing bonus actions and reactions that have triggers. A bonus action that has no trigger—such as Cunning Action and the misty step spell—can take place whenever you want on your turn (PH, 189).

The rule on bonus actions that Crawford references states (emphasis mine):

You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action's timing is specified, and anything that deprives you of your ability to take actions also prevents you from taking a bonus action.

As you can see, bonus actions that aren't contingent on a trigger can be taken at any time, including between the multiple attacks of an Attack action. It's only bonus actions that are, for instance, contingent on "the Attack action" specifically - rather than on "an attack", or even on an attack that's specifically part of the Attack action - that can't take place between your multiple attacks from the Attack action.

Looking at the description of the reload property that you've quoted, there's no mention of any trigger that needs to happen in order to use an action or bonus action to reload. As a result, this means that you can indeed interrupt Extra Attack to reload in between the two attacks of your Attack action.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This only works for 1 turn though. After that, you don't have 2 bonus actions every turn to reload and shoot twice. Yes you can use a bonus action between attacks, but from how the rest of the question is framed, it seems like the OP wants to be able to make 2 attacks frequently as a normal turn. Given the single bonus action allotted, this only works for 1 turn. \$\endgroup\$ – Just Another Guy Jan 28 at 21:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ @J.Wagner: Reread the question, including the last sentence: "would asking my DM if we can brew a custom feat allowing me to reload between attacks (and sacrificing my bonus action to do so) make my character overpowered? [...] For clarity, I am aware that my character would be starting the next round of combat with an unloaded weapon." This is exactly what OP wants to do, and proposed a feat for - they want to be able to use a bonus action to reload between attacks, even if it only works for one turn. Reloading for free (i.e. no action economy cost) would be an entirely different matter. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 28 at 21:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps consider rewording your answer to show the rules first ("You choose when to take a bonus action during your turn, unless the bonus action's timing is specified"), talk about how its useful, then end with the tweet as a supporting footnote ("A bonus action that has no trigger can take place whenever you want on your turn"). \$\endgroup\$ – gszavae Jan 29 at 5:12

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