there was an article years ago about the guy who builds the mountaineer’s rifle. He builds a new one every year by hand. They are absolutely works of art. And most definitely functional. It is a tradition for the mountaineer mascot to hunt with his rifle.
Robert Muzzle-loading black powder guns are not “Firearms” by law. You can walk into any sporting goods store in America and buy a black powder gun, be it an antique, replica, or modern gun with all the hassle and paperwork of buying a pocket knife or a pop-tent.
The ATF doesn’t consider it a firearm, nor do most states, so yeah, you can bring it on campus.
WV is the only school to lose its rifle team, get it back, and then go on to an NCAA championship. Some people don’t know how to choose their enemies. I would not mess with the WV Rifle Fan Club to save my soul.
And the Pennsylvanians have to go there. Pennsylvania has no NCAA Rifle colleges. Lucky, lucky WV.
There are such things as “rifled muskets” and some of them so-called are of the percussion type, so I still don’t know what “musket” really means. I couldn’t tell for sure from the vid whether that, uh, long gun (we don’t know, do we, whether it has rifling?) had a flint or a percussion lock.
Some states and some cities treat a muzzleloader pretty much the same as a modern firearm.
And yeah; if it can spit fire and smoke, it can spit lead too. Big deal. Mind the safety rules and you’re OK.
Better plan, do a STANDARD chamber check by running the rammer down the bore before each game — if it doesn’t bounce with a clear ring, there’s something down there.
DON’T permit the guy to use ANY powder charges in his pouch that were there when he showed up for teh game — issue them from a can of charges poured for use for teh game ONLY, better yet, if you use paper cartridges, use distinctive paper for the blank charges.
Civil War and Rev War re-enactors deal with this all the time; many of us shoot our reenacting pieces with live ball occaisionally. Simple safety rules prevent your plinking (or hunting) ball from EVER getting on the field with reenacting blanks. And they regualrly manage it with hundreds or thousands of participants at each even, on practically every weekend there isn’t snow on teh ground (and some there are).
Making sure ONE DUDE doesn’t screw up and load a ball instead of a blank by accident isn’t hard by comparison, ESPECIALLY since loading a ball into a rifle like that is harder than loading plain powder; it is impossible not to notice. If it is a round ball rifle (instead of rifled for minie ball; yes the optimum twist rates are different), it is literally impossible for him to load a hunting load without realizing it, since the ball MUST be hammered down teh bore to engrave the rifling in.
Here’s another pre-event test, applicable to percussion guns like this one:
AFTER ramming the gun to check that it’s clear. . .
Have him cap his nipple (but load no charge), then fire it into a pile of leaves or dust. * If the puff from the bore doesn’t move the debris, there’s siomething between teh percossion cap and teh muzzle. It could be rust, it could be dirt, or it could be a bullet — either way, the gun is downchecked until you figure it out and correct the malfunction.
* Protip — keep in mind if Cletus has a ball with a powder charge behind it that you missed on the ram check, keep in mind it’s probably gonna go off — so pick a safe spot where a lead bullet won’t riccochet.