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Thread: Muzzleloader hunting in the UK?

  1. #1

    Muzzleloader hunting in the UK?

    I had a brown bess musket a few year back that I ended up selling to the gunshop. I used her mainly for clays and re-enactment, but did manage to take a few pigeon and rabbits on occasion. I now quite fancy a muzzle loading rifle for small game, but have no idea where I stand with the law on this. You can buy quite modern looking ones these days, but I'm a traditionalist in most things I do, so would stick to wood and blued metal.

    I guess my FEO could argue that I don't "need" it and I should just stick to conventional rifles, but I personally like muzzleloaders and like the added challenge. I hold a relevant explosives licence for black powder so I have that part taken care of, I just have no idea if I would be allowed to hunt with one.


  2. #2
    SD Regular
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    As long as you stick within its capabilities and imitations there should be no reason why not. After all these things...think 451 Whitworth...were lethal out to one thousand yards and beyond AS LONG AS YOU HIT WHAT YOU WERE SHOOTING AT. Certainly in the USA they still have, in some states, a muzzle loading only period in some game seasons.

    A lot of very nice percussion stalking rifles abound and even some heavy four bore rifle. Ten and twelve bore being though of as small! But the limitation for deer is, of course, the velocity and muzzle energy requirements. That some muzzleloaders in velocity might not be able to attain.

    So yet again becaiuse of the idiots at a certain deer society many perfectly sound, within their limitations, muzzle loading weapons are now illegal for deer.

    Now I would not use one by choice But as long as it is done within its limitations it will kill just as humanely.

  3. #3
    Just make sure you've got a gun bearer handy with a second, loaded, rifle ready. Otherwise, if it runs after your first shot, you might take a little while getting in that all important rapid second shot (which may be why the idiots at a certain deer society lobbied for a ban on muzzle loaders? Another example of deer welfare taking primacy over the fun/enjoyment of the shooting fraternity?).

  4. #4
    Yes in theory muzzle loaders are legal for game in the UK. If you look in the SCI record books there are plenty of muzzleloader entries for all the deer species. I saw a show once with the famous Canadian Jim Shockey shooting a red and a munty in Norfolk with his muzzle loader.

    The challenge may be land clearance. Technically a muzzle loader would be classed as a 50 cal and I haven't heard of too many stalkers with a 500 nitro express on an open cert!

  5. #5
    it dosn't have to be a huge cal ,the .22 started of as a blackpowder round .

  6. #6
    I did a few years ago load my then .22 hornet with fine blackpowder just to try. I was very messy and the target looked like I had hit it with a shotgun! Good fun though

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