If you're reading this, the likely reason is that you're wanting to know how to choose the right muzzle loading rifle or shotgun. Don't worry, we've got you covered.

Shooting muzzle loading black powder guns is excellent fun, and no matter what your shooting discipline, there is a black powder rifle or shotgun out there for you.

With many styles and brands available, wondering how to choose the right muzzle loading rifle or shotgun needn't be a chore. We've put together a few commonly asked questions to help you pick the right gun to help you get the most out of your shooting.

Which Make of Black Powder Musket or Rifle Is the Best?

This depends entirely on what kind of shooting you're looking to do. We sell a large range of black powder muskets and rifles from a variety of manufacturers, to suit all sorts of shooting styles and budgets. Here is a quick run-down of our main brands:

Pedersoli With a pedigree of more than 60 years, Pedersoli of Italy is the ultimate name in black powder guns. Military muskets and rifles, Kentucky & Pennsylvania rifles, dedicated target rifles, big game rifles, black powder shotguns. Pretty much anything you could want.
Indian reproduction We have been importing quality Indian reproduction muskets for many years, and are consistently one of our most popular brands Military muskets from a variety of eras and in numerous different styles
Euroarms Euroarms of Italy are another hallmark of black powder gunmaking. Producing high quality black powder rifles for decades, the quality of Euroarms guns is beyond question Two band, three band and carbine length 1858 Enfield muskets and the commemorative 'Harper's Ferry' model 1805 Rifle.
Parker Hale A household name in British gunmaking, we are lucky to have a small number of new and previously unissued Parker Hale stock. Whitworth and Volunteer rifles, all of .451 calibre
Ardesa Ardesa of Spain are another old favourite with black powder shooters. Offering excellent quality guns at reasonable prices, Ardesa are an ideal first rifle. Kentucky and Pennsylvania rifles in flintlock and percussion.


What licence do you need for a black powder rifle or musket?

Shotguns and smoothbore muskets over 24'' barrel are held on a shotgun certificate, so no variation needed. All our muskets and shotguns are over a 24" barrel. For rifles, a firearms certificate is required. For the variation, enter the calibre and 'muzzle loading rifle', no need to specify flintlock or percussion.

Which calibre rifles and muskets are available?

There are a few different calibres available, with none being inherently 'better' than another. Kentucky and Pennsylvania rifles come in .32, .45, .50, .54 and .58, with .45 being the most popular. There is also the Whitworth and Volunteer rifles, using a .451 bullet, and Enfield pattern rifles, taking a .58 minie bullet.

Shotguns are available in either 10, 12 or 20 bore, and muskets vary based on the calibre of the original.

Percussion or Flintlock?

Flintlock is the earlier mechanism, and naturally gave way to the advantages of percussion for practical use. There is still a great joy to shooting both ignition styles, and on the range, the difference is entirely the choice of the shooter.


Pros Cons
More robust

Wider choice of smoothbore guns

Fun to shoot

Slow loading time

Slower lock time

Less reliable

Slightly more expensive

Requires more concentration to load correctly



Pros Cons
Faster to load than flintlock

More reliable

Fewer variables, more consistency

Better choice of rifles

Simpler for beginners

Also fun to shoot!

Still slow loading compared to breech loaders

Requires concentration to load correctly

Percussion caps can be fiddly to use


View our product ranges by clicking below:

Full range of muzzle loading flintlock rifles and shotguns.

Full range of muzzle loading percussion rifles and shotguns.

Check to view our range second hand muzzle loading guns.