It’s a rifle for when you had something very, very big that you needed very, very dead right now. Although the British exploration and colonization of Africa is most closely associated with the tail end of the 19th Century, there were hunters and explorers venturing into the Dark Continent as early as the late 18th Century. One relic of this era was a 10-bore flintlock hunting rifle from the 1790s, a .775″ caliber weapon designed to hunt the very large game native to Africa. Ian McCollum met with Mike Carrick, Q&A Editor for Arms Heritage Magazine and owner of the Ferguson rifle replica that Forgotten Weapons did an article on back in May, and one of the other weapons Mike brought along was replica of that very 10-bore gun. So, naturally, they did a little shooting:
The bullet, a 660gr .760″ caliber lead round ball, produced a measured velocity of 1,584 ft/s on 200 gr of 3F Swiss blackpowder, for 3,768 ft-lbs of energy, roughly comparable to that of a .300 Winchester Magnum. While this might not seem like much, that load would produce about as much recoil impulse as a .470 Nitro Express!