What has transpired to suddenly render the antique muzzle-loader so popular among hunters? After all, it is antiquated technology that cannot vie with today’s modern firearms. Yet its popularity seems to know no boundaries, not only on the local front, but also internationally.
One wonders whether it is due to the legendary muzzle-loader skills of a Cornwallis Harris or of the “white god”, Tjaart van der Walt, who were able to hit targets over great distances with this primitive technology. Skills with your own gun is invaluable to all and sundry. The muzzle-loader presents a challenge to see whether one can copy the forefathers to down game with black powder and a round bullet.
Muzzle-loaders are available in different forms nowadays: in the antique format or in modern hunting rifle format, complete with lock mechanism and all. There are also various mechanisms in the market with which it can be jazzed up. Furthermore it is accurate to almost 150 meters.
Muzzle-loaders are affordable – from exorbitant to dirt cheap. Excellent muzzle-loaders can be procured at prices ranging from R8 000 to R14 000.
Licence not required
That is probably the best news for South Africans. When last could a hunter simply see, buy and take a gun home without further ado! One doesn’t require a licence for a muzzle-loader in terms of the new act. One does, however, require a licence for the black powder use to shoot with. (Go to: http://www.pacificbreeze353.com/newsletters/index.cfm?y=article&company=17&article=1709&nl=307&click=web&subsection=51&langu=2&searchterm=swartkruit)
In the days of yonder fathers taught their sons how to handle a muzzle-loader. Don’t think the modern hunter can simply buy a muzzle-loader and start shooting with it. There is much to learn to prevent the loss of a finger or two or perhaps a jawbone. Therefore, rather undergo the necessary training.
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