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The legaility of building muzzle loading firearms in the UK

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S. Heslop:
I've done a little bit of searching and never found any good information on this. It's also a question I feel a little bit stupid asking.

Mostly I can only find stuff on owning and firing said firearms, and it sounds like alot of paperwork and licensing since they count as shotguns and black powder counts as an explosive. Both of which require special containers to store them.

I imagine it'd be prohibitively difficult to get licensing, if it's even at all possible, but i'm still curious about it.

There was a tread about one guy a while ago with a puntgun and a puntboat with links to how he made both the gun and the boat including the legal way to do it (a puntgun is basically a shotgun on steroids used from a boat in duckhunting) If Irc he had a pic of the boat in his avatar. The links were to a hunting forum. Hope this can help you, or maybe some recalls the tread and can help you out better than me. 

After some search on youtube I found his channel sadly he must have another nick here on madmodder.

I believe that the law in the UK stands (unless it has changed from when I was a sprog) something like this:
You can own a muzzle-loader, or any other firearm without a certificate or licence if it is old enough to be exempt.
Other than that, you need a certificate for a shotgun.
A licence for a firearm.
A licence for an air-gun whose muzzle velocity / energy exceeds a certain limit.

In cases where you need a licence, you are required to have a licence / certificate for parts of a gun even if you don't have a complete set of parts.

Strictly, then, I think that you would need to apply for a licence before you started making it. It would then have to be proof tested and marked.

If you really want the gory details I suggest that you approach a historical re-enactment group such as the Sealed Knot who use such things in displays.

Muzzle loading and black powder is alive and well in UK.

The people to contact about making a M/L from scratch are The Muzzle Loaders Association of Great Britain. Their HQ is at Wedgenock Shooting Ground near Warwick but they have groups up and down the land. One of their leading lights (might be the Chairman) is Peter Starley a business colleague of mine from way back. Pete is a Registered Firearms Dealer and has his own part time business supplying components plus buying and selling guns. Find him here ......

Speak to Pete, he's a sensible bloke, and see what his advice is. At some stage your local Firearms Liason Officer will probably be involved. These guys are usually civilians and their degree of helpfulness varies, so my advice to get your story straight beforehand. The licensing procedure isn't all that tedious; a mate of mine has black powder guns and shoots game with them a couple of times a year.

To make a gun for your own use you do not need to get involved in Proof. That only applies to guns that are to be sold or given to a third party.

I've got a set of sketches / drawings for a repro Harpers Ferry black powder pistol. PM me with your postal addy if you'd like a copy. It'll be my project before long.



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