Advantages Of The Muzzle-Loading Gun.

Discussion in 'Guns, Knives, Tools, Etc.' started by Keith H., Jun 16, 2016.

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  1. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.

    1) Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent caliber firearm.

    2) The smoothbore is very versatile, being able to digest round ball, bird shot, & buckshot, or any combination of two of these (can also use minies).

    3) The fusil is lighter to carry than a modern equivalent sized gun.

    4) You can vary the load if needs be.

    5) The smoothbore will digest other projectiles besides lead.

    6) Lead can be retrieved from downed game & remoulded with a simple mould & lead ladle. This means that you can carry less lead, & more of the lighter gunpowder.

    7) You can make your own gunpowder.

    8) You can use the lock to make fire without the need for gunpowder.

    9) You can use gunpowder for gunpowder tinder fire lighting if needs be.

    10) IF the lock should malfunction (these are very robust & it is not likely) you can easily repair it if you are carrying a few spare springs & a few simple tools.

    11)If you do not have any spare parts & the lock malfunctions, you can easily convert it to a tinderlock or matchlock & continue using it.

    12) You do not need a reloader, brass shells, caps, or primers. The latter have been known to break down in damp conditions or if they are stored for too long.

    13) Wadding for ball or shot is available from natural plant materials or homemade leather or rawhide.

    14) Less chance of being affected by future ammunition control legislation.

    15) Gunpowder is easily obtainable providing you have a muzzle-loader registered in your name regardless of caliber (only NSW is looking at this legislation at present).

    16) A .32 caliber flintlock rifle is more powerful than a .22 rimfire, less expensive to feed, more accurate over a greater distance, able to take small & medium sized game, & other than not being able to use shot (unless it is smoothbore), it has all the attributes of the other flintlocks.

    17) Damage from a .62 caliber-.75 caliber pistol or long arm is in the extreme. Wounded prey is unlikely to escape.

    18) By using buck & ball you are unlikely to miss your target. This load is capable of taking out more than one target.

    19) There is less kick-back to a muzzle-loading gun.

    20) Antique Flintlock muzzle-loading guns do not require a license, registration, or a permit to purchase in NSW Australia.

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  2. CivilDefense

    CivilDefense Expert Member
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    Great write up! Some notes and comments for American readers:

    1) Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent caliber firearm.


    After ball, powder, and cap? Probably, but not by much in the US. Ammo, even after the insane panics, are still pretty cheap.

    2) The smoothbore is very versatile, being able to digest round ball, bird shot, & buckshot, or any combination of two of these (can also use minies).

    True, though the same can be said of any shotgun.

    3) The fusil is lighter to carry than a modern equivalent sized gun.

    Not here. There are many, many firearms here in the US that are lighter. Space-age designs have brought the weight way down on most rifles, carbines, and the like.

    4) You can vary the load if needs be.

    True, though the same can be said of any shotgun.

    5) The smoothbore will digest other projectiles besides lead.

    True, though the same can be said of any shotgun.

    6) Lead can be retrieved from downed game & remoulded with a simple mould & lead ladle. This means that you can carry less lead, & more of the lighter gunpowder.

    Yep.

    7) You can make your own gunpowder.

    Very true and quite handy.

    8) You can use the lock to make fire without the need for gunpowder.

    True, though one can pull the powder out of any cartridge and do the same.

    9) You can use gunpowder for gunpowder tinder fire lighting if needs be.

    As above.

    10) IF the lock should malfunction (these are very robust & it is not likely) you can easily repair it if you are carrying a few spare springs & a few simple tools.

    Yep.

    11)If you do not have any spare parts & the lock malfunctions, you can easily convert it to a tinderlock or matchlock & continue using it.

    Yep.

    12) You do not need a reloader, brass shells, caps, or primers. The latter have been known to break down in damp conditions or if they are stored for too long.

    Indeed.

    13) Wadding for ball or shot is available from natural plant materials or homemade leather or rawhide.

    Good point.

    14) Less chance of being affected by future ammunition control legislation.

    Irrelevant here in the US, at least at the present. The odds of an ammo ban are nearly nil.

    15) Gunpowder is easily obtainable providing you have a muzzle-loader registered in your name regardless of caliber (only NSW is looking at this legislation at present).

    Loaded cartridges are easier to come by in the States by a wide margin. Though black powder is easy enough to buy. Storage requirements vary depending on the area.

    16) A .32 caliber flintlock rifle is more powerful than a .22 rimfire, less expensive to feed, more accurate over a greater distance, able to take small & medium sized game, & other than not being able to use shot (unless it is smoothbore), it has all the attributes of the other flintlocks.

    Eh, true, though there are a gazillion cartridges available to the American shooter at, or below, the cost to feed, and many times more effective than a .32 smooth-bore flintlock.

    17) Damage from a .62 caliber-.75 caliber pistol or long arm is in the extreme. Wounded prey is unlikely to escape.

    True that. Though, again, the cheapest of shotguns will do the same.

    18) By using buck & ball you are unlikely to miss your target. This load is capable of taking out more than one target.

    Yup.

    19) There is less kick-back to a muzzle-loading gun.

    Depends on what you are comparing it to, but often yes.

    20) Antique Flintlock muzzle-loading guns do not require a license, registration, or a permit to purchase in NSW Australia.

    All muzzleloaders (antique or modern repos) are totally unregulated at the Federal level and almost every State here. Title I firearms (e.g., regular rifles, shotguns, pistols and revolvers) are lightly regulated. Title II firearms (e.g., machine-guns, silencers, SBRs, SBS, AOWs) are very tightly regulated.
     
  3. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    1) Flintlocks do not use caps! If you are purchasing lead ball instead of making your own, well that is a more expensive way to do it & I don't know why you would!

    2) True, but you have to load your own cartridges & carry the extra weight in cartridges.

    3) I said gun, not rifle. If you have a .60 caliber rifle I will wager it is heavy & so is the ammo!!!

    5) Somehow I can't see you loading a breach-loading cartridge with an arrow, but other items you probably could. Again you will be loading your own cartridges which means you are not only carrying cartridges, but also primers & loading gear (or you could do it by hand).
    16) I doubt that, the .32 runs on the smell of gunpowder & .32 ball is light to carry, so are the heavier slugs. If you have calibers in breach=loaders above .32 that are less expensive & lighter including the brass, then you are very lucky indeed.

    17) Yet again, how many of these cartridges can you afford to carry without compromising other survival gear that SHOULD be in your pack?!
    19) I have used some very big guns in my time, & in my experience black powder it still more of a push than a breach-loader's shove.

    As I said before, if you are using say a 12 gauge breach-loading shotgun for hunting & defense in a wilderness situation, then you are going to need a lot of cartridges. If you can retrieve your lead from fallen foe & animal alike, & you can remould this spent lead, fine, but you will still need a good supply of primers & smokeless powder. You can load by hand, this would save you carrying loading gear.

    I will stick with my flintlock for occasional hunting & save my .22 rifles for defense.
    Keith.
     
  4. CivilDefense

    CivilDefense Expert Member
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    True that, but the title says "Muzzle-Loading Gun", so I was including caplocks. With a flintlock, you'll need priming powder, which is yet another thing to carry.

    OK, comparing smooth-bores then: a 12-bore shotgun is .72 bore" the light 20-gauge is .61". Some of the singles and doubles are very light. A 28-gauge or .410-bore, even more so. A legally shortened SxS I have in the armory is way lighter that almost every shoulder arm I've ever handled that is over .22-bore.

    Regarding weight, while cartridges are heavy, so is powder, ball, wads, ramrod, and the related accouterments and tools to properly load a muzzleloader. Those that hunt with muzzleloaders in these parts carry a "possibles bag" that contains much of that, which is even more weight and bulk. And if you are reusing your lead, you're going to need the tools for that too.

    A lot can be carried, they don't need to be in a pack, so there is no compromise of any kind. As examples:

    • With a shotgun, I can, and have, carried 50 12-gauge in a belt around my waist, and shells in the shotgun itself. So, with a pump-action, 50+3-8. Or with a SxS, 50+2. And those shells can be every conceivable variety of birdshot, buckshot, slugs, signalling flares, speciality ammo, etc.
    • With a .223 Remington (Mini-14), I can, and have, carried 7 loaded 20-round magazines in a cloth bandoleer, plus one in the rifle, and a round in the chamber, for a total of 161 cartridges.
    • With a .30/30 WCF, there are 6 rounds in the magazine, one in the chamber, and six more a cartridge loop. Another 20-round box can be stuffed in a pocket.
    And both systems (modern shotgun or file) feature more reliable ignition, water resistant ammunition, faster follow up shots, much quicker reloads, produces significantly less powder fouling, are readily available to suppress, are available almost everywhere in North America, etc.

    Anywho, just some point/counterpoints. Neat topic and guns. For whatever it is worth, I do have one muzzleloader in the armory. It is a Hawken-type .54-cal caplock rifle. I confess, there is something about the smell of blackpowder that is intoxicating. :)

    P.S. Out of curiosity, how does Australian law treat cap'n'ball revolvers? Thanks.
     
  5. Keith H.

    Keith H. Moderator Staff Member
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    I don't carry separate & different gunpowder for priming, that is a modern day idea. All pistols are restricted under an "H" class pistol license & are not available unless you have pistol club membership. Only antiques are unrestricted.
    Keith.
     
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