Politics aside I am sure there are some of you, like me, who are not well versed in older style firearms. Ignorantly I would assume all flint locks and “old timey” guns are all the same. However I am wrong and happy to learn more. This photo was shot by Oleg Volk. It points out some simple facts about the percussion rifled musket. It is a great example as well when debating gun control issues. If you so happen to engage in such debates.


  • B-Sabre

    That photo just sent legions of re-enactors into keyboard-hammering rage.

    • Dougscamo

      10 Roger on that….if there are any re-enactors or or blackpowder enthusiasts here….

      • PersonCommenting

        I shoot a civil War Era cap and ball occasionally. Its fun to mess around with but gets old real quick when I could be loading a mag or heck even my single action Ruger New Model Black Hawk at 3 times the speed.

        Also it is a real civil war era gun so that probably has an effect on how often I shoot it.

      • codfilet

        I’ve shot muzzleloaders for almost 50 years. I had a Dixie gunworks flintlock rifle when I was a teenager, and I have a wide assortment of original and reproduction muzzleloaders now. I did Civil War reenacting for about 12 years, but I’m pretty much done with that.
        Once you get hooked on shooting a flintlock, modern guns become boring. Try one-you’ll see!

        • Dougscamo

          Been off the computer due to a friend inviting me to an all night fishing trip….was a member of the Walking Dead all day yesterday….
          My comment was not an indictment, I was pleasantly surprised that there were this many blackpowder shooters on the blog as comments indicate!
          I’ve been shooting blackpowder since VA passed a special season for whitetails using muzzleloaders eons ago….I have 2 Hawkens rifles, 1-45 and 1-50, a Shenandoah pattern in .45, 2-.44 caliber Army 1860 (Uberti), and 3 modern inlines…love blackpowder rifles and pistols!
          A friend of mine is heavily into flintlocks and they are a hoot to shoot….but I’m like everyone else….want to and having the means to support a rapidly expanding is a rapidly diverging axis!

      • Blake

        We’ve taken more deer with muzzleloaders than anything else.

        • Gary Kirk

          I too know the feeling of building and using said build to hunt. Mine too is a Hawkins rifle. That being said, the only fifty cal. I’m hanging on my mantle would be the Barrett.. And if any visitors are “freaked out”, they’re no longer welcome..

        • Rob

          Wanted to try blackpowder for over 20 yrs, and have looked at those kits many times…even hung my (never fired by me) BP shotgun up just today…been in the family since my dad was a kid (late 40s, early 50s).

          • Marcus D.

            If you like working with wood, you should give one a try. The Traditions Hawken and Kentucky rifles in these kits are easy to make and fully capable of taking game. The hardest part is bluing (or as I did, browning) the barrel.

  • Major Tom

    Needs more bayonet.

    • noob

      That’s always something I noticed when people talk about old timey arms: They never talk about weapon systems in the modern sense applied to the older weapons. The muzzle-loader is a system including the bayonet.

      You could think of the muzzle loader’s bore like a M203 and the bayonet as the modern soldier’s carbine. Or in the really early days of dragoons you could think of the gunpowder weapons as your antitank component of your infantry company, and the sword and pike as your main force.

      You wouldn’t expect to see an infantry company deploy today with just carbines and no organic MG or AT component. Likewise showing this guy with a muzzle loader and no bayonet would be like showing an RPG gunner without an AK to watch his back while he reloads.

      • Major Tom

        You might be overthinking it.

        • Peter Nissen

          I have to disagree Major Tom – small arms training in the 18th & 19th Century centred and practised around the BP rifle as a system… to an end: defeating the enemy – yes to volley and repetitious fire and once the participants closed to CQB – it was bayonet , sword and knife

          • Warren Ellis

            That’s because of the fact that most armies break before the face of a charge. Of course that relies on your military being extensively trained and aggressive enough to charge into gunfire, such as the Prussian military.

            There is a reason the Europeans were so big on bayonet charges, because often their militarjes had enough grit, training, aggression, and elan to soak up volley fire before getting in close.

      • Ark

        Yeah, no, the existence of bayonets is not an argument for why you should have a grenade launcher.

  • Bill

    “firearms not politics”

    • Phillip Cooper

      See that thing in his hands, sport?

      • Bill

        Yeah, I’m not blind. See the thinly veiled pretext, sport?

        • Phillip Cooper

          Clearly no. đŸ˜‰

          • ozzallos .

            -raises hand- Politics.

    • William Elliott

      thank the brady bunch for injecting politics and making arguments like the OP a necessity.


    Sadly Oleg Volk is no longer with us. RIP Oleg!

    • Ross

      Really? He just posted on his blog yesterday…

      • JASON B

        No! My bad. For some reason I confused him with Todd Louis Green. I don’t know why.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Why would you want to go starting unfounded rumors?

  • valorius

    If you want your eyes truly opened to the capability of weapons in the era of the ratification of the US constitution, google the Gioradani rifle. A weapon that was active military service in the 1790’s in Europe, and one that would not be matched, let alone eclipsed in capability, for almost a century.

  • Edeco

    I covet a Pedersoli Harper’s Ferry pistol, flintlock with rifled 58 barrel. Figure it’s the high watermark of martial pistol before the revolver, except flint ignition instead of cap for more fun. If I catch my checking account strutting about, putting on airs above its station I may dial one up.

    • The Rambling Historian

      The actual Harper’s Ferry 1805 pistols were .54 caliber smoothbore, and the Model 1836 pistols are certainly the most evolved form of the U.S. martial flintlock pistol (also smoothbore). Many of the latter were converted to percussion, and the Model 1842 percussion pistols are essentially an update on them and also pre-date U.S. military use of revolvers.

  • Waskoley Wallaby
    • Peter Nissen

      Has anyone forwarded this to Ian of Forgotten Weapons?

      • I’m pretty sure forgotten Weapons has a video on the Puckle Gun.

        • Rodford Smith

          Yeah. He got to play with one a while back.

        • Some Rabbit

          Yes, in fact they do. Although Gun Jesus (it’s 2017 Ian, visit a barber fer chissakes) didn’t have any cubical bullets intended for shooting Moslems.

    • noob

      Ah the machine gun O-face. Since 1718.

      • ozzallos .

        OOOOOOooooooh yeeeaaaaaaaaah.

  • EC

    I never understood the “only applies to muskets” reading of the 2d Amendment. No other amendment is interpreted as only pertaining to specific technology at the time of writing. “Free speech” covers modern cell phones. “Freedom of religion” gives protections to religions not present in the US in the 18th century. “Freedom from unlawful searches” includes the content of my emails, and the government cannot illegally seize my microwave oven just because George Washington didn’t have one. The Constitution protects ideas, not specific technologies, which is plainly evident when you look at how all the other rights are viewed. It makes no sense whatsoever to apply a special standard to the 2d.

    • Dave

      And in the really existing nation of laws:

      The SCOTUS has long ruled that there are, in fact, “limits to freedom of speech.” Yell fire in a crowded theater? No. Denounce the proffered rationales of POTUS Wilson to make the world “safe for democracy” having tried to teach Latin Americans “to elect good men?” Go to jail. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200 USD.

      Freedom of religion? Well, can Mormans practice bigamy and trigamy? Um, “plural marriage?” Not openly… Go to jail. (see above.)

      Right to keep and bear arms “shall not be infringed!” Well, there’s this here 1934 Gun Control Act that merely ensures “gangster weapons” like machine-guns and short-barrelled shotguns and suppressors and so on remain collectibles and play things of the better sorts of persons, you know, the gentlemen of quality, the persons of distinction. Not the rascal multitude, rabble, “mouthbreathers,” and other assorted untermensch… you know, mere “citizens.”

      Like surplus bolt-actions? Well great, here’s 1986, and now they can be imported again! Fine print: No more Class III, and with the market artificially limited, the prices on transferables go through the roof… Predictably.

      4th Amendment? See USA PATRIOT ACT.

      Your emails are sacrosanct? Not exactly current affairs, yes? There was this contractor who once worked with NSA stuff who currently resides in Russia. Ed Snowden by name. Might see the substance of what his revelations indicate…

    • AurĂ©lien Morel

      It’s not that “it only applies to muskets”, the argument is that the second amendment was written in a time where the only weapons available were single-shot, black powder, muzzle-loading, and the Army of the States was quasi-inexistant and used militias for local defense.
      In short, that things evolved way past whatever could be seen at the time.

      And that at the time a well armed militia could stop the Canadians from invading. Pit a militia against the current Canadian Army, see what happens.

  • This is jumping through unnecessary hoops; the most immediate and most obvious rejoinder to that idiotic “the Second Amendment should only apply to muskets” nonsense is to point out that they just argued that the First Amendment shouldn’t cover TV, movies, email, or cell phones. Then you can point and laugh at them when all they have in response is to stamp their little feet and sputter about “That’s not the same at all!” without being able to articulate why it’s not the same thing.

    For the advanced class, point out the parallels between requiring a license to exercise one’s Second Amendment rights and requiring a literacy test or poll tax to exercise one’s Fifteenth Amendment rights.

  • Richard Allen

    One of the reasons that the Civil War was so lethal was that military thinking hadn’t really caught up with technology. Napoleon would roll his artillery up to about 100 yards away from enemy lines and blast large holes for his infantry to charge through thus leading to decisive results which Civil War generals tried to emulate. With rifled muskets and minie balls, this was suicidal so the less numerous artillery stood off more and the breakthroughs were tried with lightly supported infantry. If everything was right, it could work (Chancellorsville, Missionary Ridge) but if it wasn’t, either a bloody stalemate (Spotsylvania, Antietam) or a complete debacle (Fredricksburg, Cold Harbor, Picket’s Charge, Malvern Hill) ensued. As the war went on, trench warfare similar to WWI developed in response.

  • koko

    The guy in this photo actually holds that nowadays we would call a sniper rifle – a .451 Whitworth, far more precise than your average Minie thrower. Still an anathema to various astroturfing donation gobblers and freedom grabbers.

  • HMSLion

    Considering that I’ve been shooting muzzle loaders competitively for nearly 40 years…yes, I’d say I know my way around them. Percussion, flintlock, and matchlock.

  • John Rainier

    I have always felt that the second ammendment covered the citizen’s right to own the current military rifle used by Government Troops , but it is a minority viewpoint .