Muzzle Loading Firearms & Accessories

Many members are collectors of antique arms and accessories and the MLAGB is proud of the part it plays in encouraging the preservation, study and research of our colourful and historic past. Specialised knowledge is widely available to newcomers and authoritative articles in our journals are appreciated worldwide.

Research Queries

The MLAGB regrets that it cannot enter into correspondence regarding the identification/valuation of firearms via this web site. Members seeking information are referred to the Associations Magazine, Black Powder, where such queries can be published. Contact the editor in the contacts page. In addition questions can also be posted on the Facebook Discussion Forum.

Basic Information If you are researching a firearm, and consulting others, then to avoid wasted time and resources provide as much of the following basic information as possible:

  • Lock mechanism: eg. matchlock, flintlock, percussion
  • Barrel(s): length, bore diameter, rifled or smooth-bore
  • Engraving: details of any engraving or markings on the barrel and lock
  • Any other relevant information: eg. details of sights, bayonet fittings

Perusal of a few basic reference books may be enough to answer your queries. Suggestions for further reading are include below. Don't forget your local public library. If they don't hold the publication you are looking for, then they can usually obtain it through inter-library loans.

The Collector's Library

Collecting is not just about accumulating guns and accessories. A true collector wants to know what it is that he has. Where does it fit into the wider history of arms development? Who made it and when? What sort of person may have owned and used it? How well did it perform?This information makes a gun more interesting and meaningful.

Early collectors were very much on their own as few reliable books existed. We are luckier now. Today there are several thousand books in print on firearms and related topics. Then there are many museums, libraries and research units to which the collector can turn for help. Finding out how to access and use all this knowledge takes time but a good start can be made by building your own library.

Most collectors eventually specialise in a particular field. Before you get to this point it can be advantageous to ensure that your library contains these volumes which will enable you to identify most of the basic types and most commonly encountered firearms. The basic library should contain the following volumes:

Gun Collecting - G.Boothroyd Antique Firearms - F.Wilkinson

The Book of the Gun - H.Peterson

The Collecting of Guns - J.Serven

The NRA Gun Collectors Guide

Some general works which would help in the initial quests are:

Encyclopedia of Firearms - H.Peterson

A Glossary of the Construction and Decoration and use of Arms and Armour - G.C.Stone Firearms Past and Present - J.Lugs

Texts which are more specific but essential reading include:

English Pistols and Revolvers - J.N.George

English Guns and Rifles - J.N.George

Guns and Rifles of the World - H.L.Blackmore

The Gun and its Development - T.Lenk

The Flintlock - T.Lenk

Early Percussion Firearms - L.Winant

The Handgun - G.Boothroyd

The Revolver 1818-1865 - Tylerson,

Frith & Andrews Adams Revolvers - W.Chamberlain & A.Tylerson A 4

History of the Colt Revolver - C.Haven & F.A.Beldon

Colonel Colt, London - J.G.Rosa

British Military Longarms 1725-1815 - D.W.Bailey

British Military Longarms 1815-1865 - D.W.Bailey

British Military Firearms - H.L.Blackmore

The British Soldier's Firearm - C.H.Roads The Mantons - W.Keith Neal & D.Black

Even more specialised but worth having to broaden your knowledge:

Civil War Guns - W.Edwards The Pennsylvania-Kentucky Rifle - H.J.Kauffman

The Muzzle Loading Cap Lock Rifle - N.H.Roberts The Rifled Musket - C.E.Fuller

The Target Rifle in Australia 1860-1900 - J.E.Corcoran Firearms Curiosa - L.Winant

The Powder Flask Book - R.Riling

It is always handy to have a few directories of gunmakers, and three of the most useful are:

English Gunmakers - D.W.Bailey & D.A.Nie

Directory of British Gunmakers - G.Boothroyd

A Dictionary of London Gunmakers - H.L.Blackmore

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