Muzzle Loading


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Welcome to the PNZ Muzzle Loading Page

Black Powder pistol shooting in New Zealand is controlled by the Muzzle Loading Section of Pistol New Zealand. This part of Pistol New Zealand uses historic styled firearms from the 1700 and 1800's, with the shooters often having an associated interest in the old guns of the period.

The Black Powder Section shoots a variety of matches from three different organisations,and has classes to cater for the different types of pistols. The matches shot provide a variety of matches from precision to speed, with the aggregate duelling section allowing only 3 seconds per shot.

We use:

  • MLAIC rules for the 13 shot match
  • Pistol Australia rules for the 25M Aggregate and 50M precision matches
  • Pistol NZ rules for the Black Powder Cartridge matches

There are also occasional Fun Shoots run using picture paper targets.

Note that all the matches shot within the Muzzle Loading Section are 'precision matches'. These matches involve the careful loading and accurate shooting of the pistols we use. Although some matches utilise turning targets, all shooting is done from a fixed shooting position. We do not use holsters nor move between shooting stations within a match.

The firearms allowed to be used in PNZ competitions vary from the 15th century matchlock pistols to the 19th century percussion pistol and revolver (and their modern made replicas). There are also matches for guns with modern sights or purpose built target pistols.

Lastly, Black Powder is a really fun sport to participate in with its sparks and smoke on firing each shot. However shooting Black Powder also requires a commitment of time after the days shooting, for the shooter to thoroughly clean the pistol. Ideally the pistols must be cleaned and oiled within 24 hours of use, otherwise long term the pistol will suffer and its reliability and accuracy will be affected. Shooters should consider this before buying a Black Powder pistol.

Match Name Updates:

The names of the matches were updated.

  • Tanzutsu is now: Tanzutsu: Replica Matchlock - Smoothbore
  • Comminazzo is now: Comminazzo: Replica Flintlock - Smoothbore
  • Kuchenreuter is now: Kuchenreuter: Replica Single Shot Percussion
  • Mariette is now: Mariette: Replica Muzzle Loading Revolver

The above MLAIC match names are based upon famous European BP shooters or gun makers, and the matches are all for 'original style' pistols (i.e. exact copies of period gun, and cannot have target sights). For the non-BP match shooters the original event names have no relevance or meaning.

 This name change will not affect the other match rules in any way.

The word 'Replica' is used instead of 'Original Style' as 'ORIGINAL' has a specific meaning in MLAIC rules, and is reserved for antique firearms of the era.

In the MLAIC rules the word 'REPLICA' means an exact copy of a firearm of the era.

In MLAIC rules there is no competition for modernised or altered firearms. These types of pistol are catered for by the PNZ Modern matches.

To find out more about this exciting and nostalgic sport contact Pistol NZ's Muzzle Loading Director.

Shooting a Muzzle Loading Pistol

The following video shows a shooter loading and shooting a Muzzle Loading Pistol

Scoring Proceedures for Muzzle Loading matches

Guide to Muzzle Loading Matches

For those new to the discipline of Muzzle Loading, the attached guide (930k pdf) explains what pistols can be used and the matches involved.