Collecting antique firearms is a wonderful hobby that can create a feeling of connection to the past. Muzzle loader collecting is also an interactive hobby that allows many opportunities for enthusiasts to engage in activities with those who have similar interests. Muzzle loaders are rarely collected simply to be placed under glass on display or for investment purposes -- those who love and collect these guns use them in a variety of ways. If you are fascinated by these antique guns and are considering starting a collection of your own, here are four things that you should know.
You Get to Make Your Own Bullets
Because it isn't possible to purchase factory loads for muzzle loaders, you'll have to make your own bullets if you intend to fire the gun. This process is called reloading, and it's important to obtain the proper training so that it can be done safely and effectively. Your local antiques firearms distributor is a good source of information concerning where you can learn reloading techniques in your local community. You can also pay a skilled reloader for his or her services if this is something you would prefer not to do yourself -- however, most muzzle loader enthusiasts thoroughly enjoy the reloading process.
You Can Attend Black Powder Events
Collecting muzzle loaders has a social aspect that is perhaps one of the most enjoyable things about the hobby. Black powder events are family-friendly gatherings that are generally held on weekends during the spring, summer, and fall. They include workshops, shooting competitions, dinner and dances, and living history exhibitions. Those who attend wear authentic 19th century costumes, and meals are prepared using 19th century culinary equipment and techniques. The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association sponsors many of these events, and local and state muzzle loading organizations are also active in planning and hosting black powder gatherings.
You Should Buy From a Reputable Dealer
Like anything else of value that is highly desirable to collectors, muzzler loaders and other antique firearms can be faked. An authentic muzzle loader will have a patina that has been developed over years of handling and exposure to the elements, but some unscrupulous types use chemicals to replicate a patina, and they may also alter maker's marks in order to artificially increase the value of the gun. Even many experienced collectors can't spot these alterations, so if you are interested in purchasing gun reloading supplies from a source other than a licensed dealer, have the item appraised by a professional before making a final purchasing commitment.
You Should Pay Attention to Local Laws
Because most muzzle loaders use black powder rather than fixed ammunition, they are classified as antique guns per the Federal Fun Control Act of 1964, and therefore, many federal regulations don't apply to them. For instance, muzzle loaders don't have to be sold through licensed dealers, and federal law allow imposes no penalties against convicted felons who own these guns. This has led to a widespread belief that "anything goes" with muzzle loaders, but that is not the case. State and municipal regulations exist that limit the sales as well as the uses for muzzle loaders and other antique firearms. The state of Alaska requires anyone desiring to hunt game with a muzzle loader to complete a certified safety course for permit hunts open to muzzle loaders only, and there are also states where convicted felons cannot own muzzle loaders despite federal regulations. Individual gun laws change often, so make sure you're on the right side of the law when you decide to purchase and use a muzzle loader.
7 April 2015
When I was a child, I remember the time I shared with a special uncle fondly. During the summer, he would take me fishing at my family’s pond. Sometimes, we would fish quietly at the dock. He would occasionally steer me around the pond in a little boat. A few days ago, I found out that I will inherit the family pond. I’m extremely excited about the possibility of purchasing a boat to ride around in with my future kids. On this blog, you will learn how to shop for the perfect pleasure boat for a small body of water. Enjoy!