While the Olympics are going on right now, and are certainly a world class avenue of firearms competition, another firearms competition is happening right now, in Sarlóspuszta, Hungary. For the next several days the Muzzle Loaders International Committee will be holding their 27th match. There are twenty six countries represented by over 300 shooters shooting for a number of disciplines. One of the head organizers, a native English speaking Hungarian will be putting out a video per day about the different competitions. It appears that everything from handguns, rifles (100m,50m,25m), and shotgun trap shooting, all black powder. Capandball, a European Youtube channel devoted to all things muzzle loading, is going around the competition, asking some of the competitors what they think of it. Bulgaria just joined the governing organization for the first time. Everything in the competition seems to take place at a mellow speed. I can’t believe there can be too much urgency when you have to load every single round carefully!
Joking aside, it is really too bad traditional percussion muzzle loaders have been pushed to the wayside when it comes to the mainstream firearms community of today. There is alot to be learned from a history perspective for instance. I mean consider that in all the years of the existence of firearms, only around a century of it has seen the use of the self contained metallic cartridge. The world spent at least three three centuries prior to this, relaying completely on rifled or smoothbore muzzleloaders, whether that be percussion, flintlocks, or matchlocks. Myself personally, I think firing a flintlock muzzle loader is an excellent way to teach follow through to a new shooter, because you have a momentary delay between the trigger breaking, and the powder igniting.
The United States will be represented by the United States International Muzzle Loading Team, I hope they have the best of luck in the coming days of the competition! I like how the presenter ended his video with “Stay cool and keep your powder dry”, literally for them!