Forgotten Weapons And The 10-Bore (.775 cal) Flintlock

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!

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • ostiariusalpha

    Pfft, that little pea-shooter is way too practical! A mucho masculine manly-man’s mustachioed machismo manages to compensate for any short-comings with a 2-bore and 3500gr balls. Even if you somehow miss, you’ll have blasted most of yourself back to a safer distance. ?

    • TheNotoriousIUD

      For when lions attack in APC’s.

    • M.M.D.C.

      I remember this from years back, perhaps on TFB. The builder had a website with build pictures. Very cool. Not my thing, but very cool.

  • John Doe

    Surprised cap’n’ball hasn’t gotten his hands on something like this

  • Bill

    Next go for punt guns, the mega-bore shotguns used by market hunters to wipe out flocks of waterfowl.

    • gunsandrockets

      Swivel guns! As I recall, they fire about 1 pound of shot or canister.

      • Tassiebush

        I wouldn’t mind a punt gun in the bow of my boat for the waterfowl and a swivel gun at the stern to handle the legal and social aspects of punt gunning in this day and age :-p

    • Tassiebush

      I’ve been trying to upload photos of a punt gun I saw locally. They are awesome guns!

      • Bill

        There was a book titled “The Outlaw Gunner,” I’ve forgotten the author’s name, that was a great history of legal and illegal market hunting and the equipment used.

        • Tassiebush

          I’ll definitely be looking that one up! Sounds fascinating!

        • Tassiebush

          OK I just looked it up and it will be gracing my book shelf at some point in the near future. Thankyou for the lead 🙂