|Following the 1997 handgun ban our pistol
shooters were obliged to rid themselves of their preferred sporting equipment
and look to alternatives. Fortunately the Muzzle Loading Association of
Great Britain successfully lobbied to have muzzle loading pistols exempted
from the ban. This has resulted in many of our members getting to know the
amusement to be had with Black Powder!
Black Powder is the term used to refer to old-fashioned gun powder. (The same stuff Guy Fawkes planned to use.) Historically it was used for powering firearms up until the invention and introduction of nitro-based and “smokeless” powders at the end of the nineteenth century. The black powder we use is either manufactured specifically for shooting purposes or we can use a black powder substitute called Pyrodex. With either the result is similar; in that we get to propel our small piece of metal toward our sheet of paper but with an accompanying flame, BOOM and smoke cloud!
Given the vagaries of our Health and Safety laws it is a requirement to have, as well as a Firearms Certificate to cover the firearm, an Explosives Certificate to purchase and hold Black Powder. However, an Explosives Certificate is NOT necessary for the purchase and use of Pyrodex.
This is how many pistol shooters, who lost their cartridge pistols, continue to shoot competitively. The pistols are either single shot flintlock or cap-and-ball percussion pistols or caplock revolvers. Some of our members have caught the “history bug” and taken their target shooting further into the Black Powder realm by using “long-arms” such as muskets and rifles which can be either of flintlock or caplock ignition.
We welcome all interested parties but make sure you have ear defenders! (We have a supply at the Club.)