Black Powder shooting in the UK

Helm

MIA
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Book Reviewer
I knew a female who, after a few drinks at dinner, would regale anyone and everyone about how Sharpe would ensure r&f fired four rounds per minute so a visit to Bisley was arranged where John (actually owned one of the Baker rifles used at Waterloo) allowed her to have a go with said rifle.

View attachment 571196

I think the female person in question managed one round in four minutes.
In what weather though?
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
Someone will rightly correct me I'm sure. Is it true that you don't need a firearms licence to own obsolete calibre weapons. I.e. black powder types, but you do need a licence for black powder?
 
I believe it's still a case of you can own an obsolete calibre but once you think about shooting it then it has to go on your FAC unless it's a shotgun then that's got to go on your shotgun certificate.
 
I knew a female who, after a few drinks at dinner, would regale anyone and everyone about how Sharpe would ensure r&f fired four rounds per minute so a visit to Bisley was arranged where John (actually owned one of the Baker rifles used at Waterloo) allowed her to have a go with said rifle.

View attachment 571196

I think the female person in question managed one round in four minutes.
Four rounds a minute on a Baker. Was that with the Ram rod or tap loading ?
 

ancienturion

LE
Book Reviewer
Four rounds a minute on a Baker. Was that with the Ram rod or tap loading ?

I hope she never reads this because at the time of her new found knowledge Sharpe was drilling RoL infantry who had muskets.
 

Themanwho

LE
Book Reviewer
Four rounds a minute on a Baker. Was that with the Ram rod or tap loading ?
Can you tap load a Baker Rifle? I was under the impression that was something only done with a smooth bore musket. I have very little knowledge of the loading of black powder long arms, so this is just what I gleaned from Bernard Cornwell four decades ago... Happy to be corrected.

Presumably tap loading with a Baker (if possible) would preclude the use of patches, reducing accuracy to the level of a Brown Bess or worse.
 

Helm

MIA
Moderator
Book Reviewer
Can you tap load a Baker Rifle? I was under the impression that was something only done with a smooth bore musket. I have very little knowledge of the loading of black powder long arms, so this is just what I gleaned from Bernard Cornwell four decades ago... Happy to be corrected.

Presumably tap loading with a Baker (if possible) would preclude the use of patches, reducing accuracy to the level of a Brown Bess or worse.
That is pretty much it yes you can do it, and I believe it was done in emergencies but defeats the point of a rifle
 
Just a bit on antiques, which are covered by Section 58 (2) of the Firearms Act 1968 (as amended). It used to say 'Nothing in this Act relating to firearms shall apply to an antique firearm which is sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as a curiosity or ornament.' and has had numerous amendments since as below. The key bit is 'curiosity and ornament' ie use was deemed not to equate to a simple wall hanger:

(2) Apart from—
(a) sections 19, 20 and 21 and Schedule 3, and

(b) any other provision of this Act so far as it applies in relation to an offence under section 19, 20 or 21 ,

nothing in this Act relating to firearms shall apply to an antique firearm which is sold, transferred, purchased, acquired or possessed as a curiosity or ornament.

(2A) For the purposes of subsection (2), a firearm is an “antique firearm” if—

(a) either the conditions in subsection (2B) are met or the condition in subsection (2C) is met, and

(b) if an additional condition is specified in regulations under subsection (2D), that condition is also met.

(2B) The conditions in this subsection are that—

(a) the firearm's chamber or, if the firearm has more than one chamber, each of its chambers is either—

(i) a chamber that the firearm had when it was manufactured, or

(ii) a replacement for such a chamber that is identical to it in all material respects;

(b) the firearm's chamber or (as the case may be) each of the firearm's chambers is designed for use with a cartridge of a description specified in regulations made by statutory instrument by the Secretary of State (whether or not it is also capable of being used with other cartridges).

(2C) The condition in this subsection is that the firearm's propulsion system is of a description specified in regulations made by statutory instrument by the Secretary of State.

(2D) The Secretary of State may by regulations made by statutory instrument specify either of the following conditions for the purposes of subsection (2A)(b)—

(a) a condition that a number of years specified in the regulations has elapsed since the date on which the firearm was manufactured;

(b) a condition that the firearm was manufactured before a date specified in the regulations.

(2E) In its application to Scotland, subsection (2C) does not apply in relation to a firearm that is an air weapon.

(2F) Regulations under subsection (2B), (2C) or (2D) may make different provision for different purposes.

(2G) Subject to subsection (2H), a statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (2B), (2C) or (2D) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament.

(2H) A statutory instrument containing regulations under subsection (2B) or (2C) which contain only provision amending regulations previously made under that subsection so as to remove a description of cartridge or a description of propulsion system from the descriptions specified in those regulations is subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

There's a whole Chapter in the guidance on antique firearms, Chapter 8:
https://assets.publishing.service.g..._on_Firearms_Licensing_Law_April_2016_v20.pdf

Blackpowder licence:
Form ER4A: https://www.bedfordshire.police.uk/...for-an-explosives-certificate-private-use.pdf

Some guidance:
 
Can you tap load a Baker Rifle? I was under the impression that was something only done with a smooth bore musket. I have very little knowledge of the loading of black powder long arms, so this is just what I gleaned from Bernard Cornwell four decades ago... Happy to be corrected.

Presumably tap loading with a Baker (if possible) would preclude the use of patches, reducing accuracy to the level of a Brown Bess or worse.
That is pretty much it yes you can do it, and I believe it was done in emergencies but defeats the point of a rifle
From my reading of 95th Rifles tactics, in a major battle Riflemen would pair off in front of the British lines Skirmishing and sniping at the advancing columns of Froggies. As the enemy advanced, they’d retire sniping as they went. Once circumstances dictated they’d join any Regt in squares or in the lines of the closest Regt. They’d carry on sniping till it got to the point where even the line infantrymen were tap loading.
 
I am making the plunge into black powder, but going one step further to flintlock. Have this piece on order.

Screenshot_20210507-071644.png


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Helm

MIA
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Currently on hold for a while as none of my local clubs are taking new members due to Covid etc blah blah
 
you know when you've had a good shooting session down the range with blackpowder, when you need a decent shower afterwards. I used to shoot a Pederosoli 1860 style Colt and a stainless steel Ruger Old Army, the latter was a superb shooter, but was restricted to the competitions as it is not based on an original design. If I'd get back into it, which I'm tempted to do, I'd go for a repro Remington 1858, as they have a top strap over the cylinder and therefore are a far stronger design than samual's, even if the Colts look nicer.
Then there's the Baker Rifle, but that's another story.
 

old_fat_and_hairy

LE
Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
you know when you've had a good shooting session down the range with blackpowder, when you need a decent shower afterwards. I used to shoot a Pederosoli 1860 style Colt and a stainless steel Ruger Old Army, the latter was a superb shooter, but was restricted to the competitions as it is not based on an original design. If I'd get back into it, which I'm tempted to do, I'd go for a repro Remington 1858, as they have a top strap over the cylinder and therefore are a far stronger design than samual's, even if the Colts look nicer.
Then there's the Baker Rifle, but that's another story.
As I said earlier, I had a repro Remington. Very accurate indeed, but then they were always better than Colts for accuracy. And the top strap does help, makes for a sturdier piece. I would like to get back into it but doubt that I will.
 

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