Just recently a friend of mine made a rather unusual purchase. egged on by those who should know better he bought a musket. A 1858 patent, army issue musket. It is a truely remarkable thing. After spending three months last year as a volunteer in a miliatry museum I saw quite a few unusal and quite old guns, I never before, however had the opportunity to fire one.
It was quite spectacular, firstly the boys lined up some targets (an empty bottle) and shot a hole right through the centre of it, a brilliant shot. They then insisted that I take a turn, which I was a little apprehensive about. mostly because I know hows guns can kick back and hurt your shoulder, so the boys suggested that I fire into the air without a bullet loaded only powder. Loading the gun itself isvery exciting, instead of sticking a catridge into a properly designed hole the musket needs both powder and bullet to be poked down the end, as you see done in films.
So I took my turn and the result of only powder it went off like nothing before! an almighty flash before my eyes!
A very exciting evening.