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

Nathaniel F
by Nathaniel F

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 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. He can be reached via email at

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  • John Doe John Doe on Oct 28, 2015

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

  • Bill Bill on Oct 28, 2015

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

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    • Tassiebush Tassiebush on Oct 29, 2015

      @Bill 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 :)