Muzzle Loading

S.S.A.A. Muzzleloaders use all types of original and replica muzzleloading rifles, shotguns, pistols and cap and ball percussion revolvers. Most of the excellent replicas available are made in Italy, with others coming from the USA, Spain, Japan, England and other European countries.

Muzzleloading Handguns

Theses are divided into four classes, with separate events for each class. The classes are as follows:

  • CLASS 1: Original and exact replicas of cap and ball percussion revolvers. Sights and grips must be as issued and the only types of projectiles permitted are round lead balls or picket (conical) bullets. Colt, Remingtons, Rogers and Spencer revolvers fit into this class.
  • CLASS 2: Original and exact replicas of single shot percussion pistols. Once again, sights and grips have to be as on originals and the barrels can be rifled or smooth bore. The only projectile permitted is round ball. Military style holster pistols, Kentucky and duelling pistols all fit as specialised target pistols.
  • CLASS 3: Other percussion revolvers and pistols with any type of non-optical sight, any type of grips and using any type of bullets. This is an open class into which the excellent Ruger percussion revolvers fit, as they have adjustable rear sights. Other revolvers that fit into this class include Remingtons, Rogers and Spencers with adjustable rear sights.
  • FIRELOCK: This class covers all types of firelock ignition, matchlock, wheel lock and flintlocks. Flintlock pistols are by far the most common, although more and more smooth bore Japanese matchlocks are being used. There are separate events for smooth bore and rifled pistols and the only bullets permitted in both are round lead balls.

All competitions are fired standing with the handgun held in one unsupported hand. There is no pre-match practice allowed on the day of an event and 13 shots are fired in 30 minutes with the top ten shots counting as the score. Bullets holes cutting a line must be at least half way through the line to score the higher value, a rule that is necessary as widely different calibres compete against each other - such as .31 cal to .58 cal.

Competitors shoot 30 minute precision events with both pistols and revolvers at 25m and 50m and also have a 25m timed event for both Class 1 and Class 2 handguns, with a four second target exposure. Pistols, of course, fire one shot at a time while revolvers fire strings of 5.5 and three shots, four second exposures with ten second pauses between shots.

In the right hands muzzleloading pistols and revolvers perform just as well as modern handguns, the main difference being the 'after shooting performance'. Muzzleloading handguns have to be carefully cleaned after use with water or some water-based cleaning fluid. Blackpowder residues are hygroscopic and will cause rusting if not attended to, so careful cleaning is essential every time the pistols or revolvers are fired.

Muzzleloading Rifles

These are divided into four classes, with separate events for each class. The classes are as follows:

  • CLASS 1: MILITARY. Original and replica military issue rifles. Minie or round balls only. Minimum calibre .5333. Sights as issued, with minor modifications permitted. No windage adjustments or set triggers.
  • CLASS 2: TRADITIONAL. Other original and replica rifles of traditional types. Round balls only, original style open sights. Class 1 rifles using round balls only are not permitted. As some modern traditional style rifles are made with click adjustable rear sights, these are permitted on rifles issued with them, no adjustments are allowed once a competition has started.
  • CLASS 3: OPEN. Any original or replica muzzleloading rifle, any non-optical sights, any bullet type.
  • CLASS 4: FIRELOCK. (Matchlock, Wheellock, Flintlock permitted). Any original or replica muzzleloading military or civilian musket or rifle. Original style pre 1850 peep sights permitted. Any calibre, round balls only.

Muzzleloading Muskets

These are divided into two classes, with separate events for each class. The classes are as follows:

  • FIRELOCK MUSKET. (Matchlock, Wheellock, Flintlock permitted). Any original or replica muzzleloading smoothbore long arm without rear sights. Any calibre, round ball only.
  • OPEN MUSKET. Any original or replica muzzleloading smoothbore long arm, non adjustable rear sights. Any calibre, round ball only.

Competitions with class 1, 2 and 4 rifles are conducted at 50 and 100 metres using the 50 metre international slow fire target. Shooting positions are standing and kneeling for 50 metres. Prone, sitting and bench rest for the 100 metres . Class 3 rifle competitions are conducted at 100 and 200 metres using international slow fire target and the larger musket target. Prone and bench rest at 100, bench rest only at 200 metres.

Competitions with all muskets are conducted at 50 metres, standing unsupported and using a large musket target.

Most events are 13 shots in 30 minutes. Exceptions are class 3 rifle where 45 minutes is allowed for the 13 shots. The snap events with class 1 and 2 rifles have a 5 second exposure to fire a loaded and ready firearm at the 50 metre target. All events the best 10 shots of the 13 fired to be scored. Bullet holes cutting a line must be at least half way through the line to score the higher value, a rule that is necessary as widely different calibres compete against each other - such as .31 cal to .58 cal.

SHOTGUN: Original and replica muzzleloading percussion shotgun competition is conducted from 5 stations which are 8 metres from a non oscillating trap. 25 clays with 2 eye openers being the course of fire. Shotguns to be loaded single barrel only.

Only genuine, commercially manufactured sporting black powder shall be used and loaded from pre-measured single charge containers in all competitions.

Further Information

Des Prowse
07 4774 0493
0427 204 906
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Rule Books*

Muzzle Loading Rule Book

Muzzle Loading Cartridge Rule Book

* May be shot Subject to Range Approval. Approved firearms must still comply with Qld State Laws & Regulations.

National

National Information

National Competition Results

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Results

2013 State Championships Results

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