The Pattern 1800 Infantry Rifle, colloquially known as the Baker Rifle, needs little introduction thanks to the exploits of Bernard Cornwell’s fictional rifleman, Richard Sharpe.

Designed by gunsmith Mr Ezekiel Baker, it entered service in 1800 and had a long and illustrious service life, indeed the longest service life of any British military service rifle, well into the mid 19th Century.

It was primarily used by several regiments and corps within both the British and Portuguese armies, such as the famous 95th Rifles, during the Napoleonic Wars and with very few minor modifications saw action at places such as Buenos Aires, Salamanca, New Orleans and of course, Waterloo. It was also used by troops in East India Company service and perhaps surprisingly they were also carried by some of Santa Ana’s army at both the Alamo and San Jacinto!

Firing a Baker Rifle from the laying position.

A member of the British 95th Rifles firing a Baker rifle from the laying position.

The adoption of both a service rifle and creation of specialist light infantry to use them was a fallout of both the American and French revolutions.

After trials at Woolwich in February 1800 Baker’s rifle was selected as the weapon to equip these new ‘light-bobs’ after showcasing it’s ease of use and accuracy.

During these tests Baker himself demonstrated the accuracy of his rifle. A man-sized shape was drawn on a target and he fired 34 rounds at 100 yards, all of which hit within the man-shape. He repeated this at 200 yards, firing 24 rounds, again all of which hit within the target shape. He also averaged two shots per minute.

Baker Rifle Flintlock

The flintlock weapon was made more accurate by seven-groove rifling that had a quarter turn over the length of the barrel. The round lead balls were wrapped in greased patches to facilitate a tight fit and allow the rifling to do its work. This allowed riflemen to accurately hit targets up to around 200 yards, as demonstrated in the Board of Ordnance test, whereas the standard British infantry longarm, the smoothbore Brown Bess musket, had a roughly 1-in-3 chance of hitting a man sized target at 50 yards, a notable improvement!

In the same year an Experimental Corps of Riflemen was set up, initially with the intention of training drafts from line regiments in the use of the rifle with these men then returning to their regiments to help form specialist platoons. This idea was swiftly rethought and in 1802 the experimental corps officially became the 95th (Rifle) Regiment of Foot, giving birth to a legend.

The Baker rifle was also issued with a 23 inch long ‘sword’ bayonet which made it the same height as a Brown Bess and its bayonet. This was deliberate so that if rifle and musket armed troops had to defend themselves together against cavalry there would be no difference in the height of the blades.

Baker Rifle with Bayonet attached

Our Inert Baker Rifle with a Baker Bayonet

The Pattern 1800 Infantry Rifle was famously used to deadly effect by one notable rifleman, Thomas Plunkett. Rfn. Plunkett became known as a crack shot after his exploits on a convent rooftop in Buenos Aires where he picked off several enemy officers. He garnered further laurels on the retreat to Corunna during the harsh winter of 1808 - 09 where he used his rifle to kill the French General Colbert, to prove it wasn’t a fluke he reloaded and then hit the generals ADC who came to assist his fallen commander.

Rifle-armed troops quickly earned a reputation as an elite and were used for a variety of tasks such as pickett, outpost and scouting, in addition to their light infantry roles. Any doubt over riflemen being able to hold their own was also quickly dispelled and by 1812 rifle armed light infantry made up some 15% of Wellington's allied army in Spain and Portugal.

The Baker continued to perform admirably throughout the remainder of the Peninsula War, during the War of 1812 and of course at the battle of Waterloo in June 1815. Its life with the British army started to come to an end in the mid 1830’s when attempts to convert their flintlocks to percussion were made before it was phased out and replaced by the Brunswick Rifle. However, it did remain in service with the East India Company for some considerable time after.

The rifle itself, and one of the regiments that carried it, saw a huge growth in interest thanks to the launch in 1981 of ‘Sharpe’s Eagle’, the first book written by Bernard Cornwell about a fictional Rifle officer called Richard Sharpe.

The novels proved so popular that a TV series was produced from 1993 to 1997 starring Sean Bean, with additions being made in 2008. The Sharpe series remains hugely popular, so much so that Bernard Cornwell is still writing new books meaning the Baker rifle will continue to march on.

Sharpe with his Baker

Sharpe with his Baker.

Where Can I Buy A Baker Rifle?

Here at Henry Krank, we stock high quality Indian Reproduction Baker Rifles. The Indian Reproduction Baker has consistently been one of our best selling reproduction rifles, and for good reason!

Option One - Inert:

The Baker Rifle is available to purchase from Henry Krank as an Inert Gun, in both a new and antique finish.

No licence is required to purchase an Inert Gun and they can be shipped direct to your door.

An Inert Gun is a gun that has never been proofed or designed for use as a proper firearm. They cannot be loaded and are incapable of discharging a shot or being modified to do so. The locks still function as normal, and can be cocked and dry fired, so from the outside, they are identical to our live firing muskets! From the exterior, they are identical to the real thing.

Inert Baker Flintlock Rifle

Baker Inert Flintlock Rifle


Inert Baker Flintlock Rifle Antique Finish


Option Two  - Shotgun:

We also sell the Baker as a Smoothbore. The Indian Pattern Baker is available to purchase as a shotgun in .65cal on a shotgun certificate.

Indian Pattern Baker Flintlock Muzzle Loading Shotgun 65cal

Indian Pattern Baker Flintlock Muzzle Loading Shotgun 65cal


If you require any further information, email us at [email protected] or call us on 0113 256 9163.

Baker Accessories

Along with the Baker guns that we sell, we also stock a whole host of different accessories for the Baker. Take a look below...

Baker Bayonet and Scabbard

Baker Bayonet & Scabbard


Indian Reproduction Baker Lock (Flintlock)


Antique Baker Balls

Antique Baker Rifle Balls