The 18th century really was the dawn of the modern age of warfare.
Firearms became the mainstay of armies, replacing pikemen and lancers.
It arguably saw the birth of the professional army, composed of citizen-soldiers, and of course it was the golden age of piracy when it seemed like the seven seas swarmed with scurvy sea dogs, sailing for plunder.
It’s only natural you’d want to bring some of that history and charm into your airsoft game.
While airsoft muskets and flintlocks may never be able to compete on the field with the latest assault rifle and SMGs out there, they do have a certain charm and appeal all their own and can be an interesting addition to just about any airsoft collection.
Of course, being a very niche type of airsoft gun, a good flintlock pistol or musket replica can be hard to find.
To help out, we created a list of some of the models out there that we think can be worth your time and money, whether you’re an enthusiast, a collector, a cosplayer or a historical reenactor.
In A Rush? Here Are Some Of Our Top Picks
|Check It Out
|Best Flintlock Musket – KTW Carbine
|Check out our review
|Check out the KTW Flinktlock
|Best Matchlock Musket – KTW Tanegashima
|Check out our review
|Check out the KTW Matchlock
|Best Flintlock Pistol -HFC Pirate Pistol
|Check out our review
|Check out the HFC Flintlock Pistol
What We Look For In An Airsoft Musket Or Flintlock Gun
Just like their real steel inspirations, when it comes to airsoft muskets and similar guns, it is important not to simply judge them as you might an M4, an AK or an SMG.
While certainly fully capable of sending BBs downrange (after all they are often based on the same systems used in other guns), generally speaking performance on the field is somewhat beside the point here – these guns aren’t likely to be your primary or secondary airsoft gun.
As a result, rather than focusing more on FPS, range, accuracy and so on, we do tend to judge these guns on different criteria.
Realism and Authenticity
Muskets and flintlock firearms are about as far from tactical as you can get, but they are historically significant, interesting and, with ample wood and sometimes filigreed metal, can be very beautiful to look at.
As a result, we do like our airsoft muskets to be as true to life as possible.
Beyond simply matching real steel 18th century firearms in terms of their size and weight, we like our replicas to use real wood (if possible, if not at least realistic polymer) furniture, stylized metal fittings and period-accurate, functional trigger/hammer mechanisms,
Airsoft flintlocks and muskets are rare and somewhat niche items and, as with other niche airsoft rifles, their manufacturers may not always spend as much time on quality control as they might a flagship tactical carbine.
Further, as a niche item, an airsoft musket’s external and internal components, may not be quite as easy to repair or replace compared to more common models.
Consequently, we place a bit more importance on out of the box build quality with these guns than we might other guns, having less of a tolerance for loose, wiggly parts or finicky gearboxes and springs.
Ease of Use
Flintlocks and muskets could be notoriously fiddly firearms that took some time to master.
When it comes to airsoft models, however, we like ours to have the option of being functional.
As they are based largely on the same types of mechanisms found in other airsoft guns, we like our airsoft muskets to be as easy to load, simple to cock and simple to use as possible, with no weird or difficult mechanisms that could break, impede use or cause users to become frustrated.
For the most part, an airsoft musket or airsoft flintlock will probably be used as a cosplay accessory or decoration.
That said, many users will want to actually try these things out on the field or at home and, while perhaps not as important as with some other gun types, power, range and accuracy are still somewhat important and are things that we do look out for.
Best Flintlock Musket – KTW Flintlock Carbine
|Power a bit lacking (224 FPS)
|Internal mag holds 55 rounds
|Easy to reload
|Very easy to cock mechanism, so can have high fire rate
If you’re looking for an old school musket, in our opinion the KTW Flintlock Carbine offers the best blend of old-school form and modern airsoft functionality.
The rifle’s look is undeniably one of its standout features.
The KTM’s combination of a real wooden stock and metal fixtures gives it a classic and authentic 18th-century look, while the carefully detailed flintlock mechanism and English filigree around the barrel adds to the realism, making it look like a relic from the past brought to life.
The use of real wood and thick alloy also makes the gun surprisingly durable, being able to stand up to running and…uh, musketing…pretty well and perfectly capable of being taken to outdoor skirmishes in even more challenging environments.
In other words, you don’t have to handle this with kid gloves -unless of course they’re part of your historical loadout.
Surprisingly, and despite its solid construction, the rifle is actually pretty lightweight at around 4 pounds (1.7 kg), so it is pretty easy to carry, especially compared to the 10 or so pounds of a real steel flintlock rifle.
Inside, users will find a pretty standard KTW spring system.
As a flintlock musket replica, unlike most other spring-powered airsoft rifles the gun doesn’t use a bolt or pump to work its spring, but instead actually makes use of its realistic flintlock hammer.
Users simply thumb the hammer back, which cocks the rifle and loads a BB, which makes this gun’s manual of arms pretty true-to-life and something like a giant airsoft single action.
When we tested it, the spring was surprisingly light and didn’t really require a lot of strength or force to draw the hammer back.
This allowed us to prime the rifle pretty quickly and resulted in a pretty hilarious rate of fire considering that this is an airsoft musket we’re talking about.
One thing we liked is that the gun runs on a magazine with a pretty decent capacity.
The internal mag (loaded from the underside of the gun) holds 55 rounds, which should give you plenty of ammo to work with for the types of games and events you might bring an airsoft flintlock musket to.
In terms of performance, the KTW isn’t exactly a powerhouse, which is kind of the drawback of having an easy to draw spring mechanism.
We chronoed the gun at around 220 FPS, which while not terrible by any means, does mean it doesn’t quite have the raw power of some other airsoft replicas out there.
It is, however, fairly accurate, largely thanks to its adjustable top down hop up and adjustable iron sights.
We saw the gun group pretty tightly at under 70 feet and could hit center mass sized targets pretty easily past 100 feet or so, not too shabby for a historical airsoft rifle.
Finally, it should be said that this gun isn’t cheap.
At over $400, your wallet will feel this purchase but for the money you do get a highly authentic looking weapon with good range, reliable action, solid accuracy, and a surprisingly quick fire rate.
As a further benefit, it will definitely stand out as one of the most unique airsoft weapons likely to be on the field.
Best Matchlock Musket – KTW Tanegashima
|Internal mag holds 77 rounds
|Easy to reload
|Easy to use spring mechanism
|Solid mid-range accuracy
If you’re looking for something even more old-school than a flintlock, then a matchlock musket might just be right for you.
A product of an earlier age, matchlock muskets were still in use as late as the 18th century in some places, such as Japan, where they remained a staple in the Tokugawa shogunate armories.
If you are looking for a matchlock airsoft musket then we recommend the KTW Tanegashima, which as you can imagine from the name is a replica based on a Japanese musket.
And like most Japanese guns from the period, this airsoft matchlock is a sight to behold.
Right from the start, the gun captures attention with its stunning aesthetics – its dark wood furniture is an immediate eye-catcher, and the brass clasps and firing controls (including an elegant elongated pan and cock/match holder) on a dark metal barrel add a touch of elegance that makes it stand out in any collection or on the field.
In terms of design, the Tanegashima is very realistic, resembling a genuine Japanese matchlock with its hex barrel, brass bracings and tapered stock.
It even includes a little rope “fuse” that hangs off the match holder, which we think is really cool.
Inside, the gun is a spring action rifle, with users cocking it using a small brass handle located forward of the trigger.
When testing it, we found the action to be very smooth and not all that stiff, making the gun pretty fun and easy to fire despite its complicated looks.
In terms of power, the gun chronoed at around 310 FPS or so, which gives it good all around power on the whole.
Accuracy was decent enough for the platform (it is based on a matchlock musket, after all, and isn’t exactly configured for long range sniping), hitting targets to around 100 feet without issue.
There is, interestingly enough, an adjustable hop up unit on the gun, a screw type model that provides decent enough spin to lift medium weight BBs without much of an issue in our experience.
The internal magazine tube is also a notable feature of the gun, holding a substantial 77 rounds, which ensures you’ll have enough firepower to last through most airsoft games.
If you do run out, like the company’s flintlock, the internal mag is located in the loading road underneath the barrel, so reloading isn’t that complicated – users simply have to pop the loading rod out and load their BBs directly inside.
Now, onto the drawbacks.
The price tag is undeniably hefty, crossing the $1100 mark.
Historical airsoft reproductions can come at a premium, and this niche model is no exception.
Additionally, just like a real steel matchlock, the lack of a true stock can make the rifle a bit front-heavy, requiring some adjustment in handling.
With almost all the weight at the front, your left arm will definitely be getting a workout.
However, if you’re willing to invest in a truly gorgeous and almost entirely unique airsoft weapon, and the price isn’t a deal-breaker, the KTW Tanegashima is a standout choice.
It combines historical aesthetics with practical functionality, making it a top pick for airsoft enthusiasts with a taste for the extraordinary.
Best Flintlock Pistol – HFC 18th Century Flintlock Pirate Pistol
|Can be a bit hot for some fields
|Very authentic design
|It’s not exactly a compact secondary
|Easy to reload BBs and gas
|Internal mag holds 21 rounds
|Included “powder bag” basically a speed loader
|Packs a real punch
If you’re building an airsoft pirate loadout or just want something suitably historic to fire at your opponents, then you probably want a flintlock pistol.
And if you’re looking for a flintlock suitable for a true sea dog, then we believe that the HFC 18th Century Flintlock Pirate Pistol is probably the best bet for you.
To begin with, the gun is a real head-turner = the intricate filigree on the metal gives it a high end appearance, while still looking like something a pirate might’ve done in his spare time at sea.
Although it is imitation wood, the plastic used on the gun’s furniture looks surprisingly authentic (and should hold up to outdoor use a bit better), while the gun’s metal fittings are available in both gold and silver finish, something that we feel gives players some more choice in how they’d like to stand out.
Overall, we’d say that HFC has really nailed authenticity with this airsoft pistol.
From the gun’s realistic design, complete with wide outer bore, loading rod, functional flintlock mechanism and more), as well as its accurate size and weight – everything screams 18th-century flintlock pistol.
Even the instructions are printed in a parchment scroll format, which is a very nice touch
Inside, the gun features a fairly sturdy CO2 gas system, which loads 12g cartridges through its grip,similar to most other airsoft gas pistols.
The gun chronoed at an eyebrow-raising 460+ FPS when we tested it, which means the gun packs a mean punch to go along with its looks, although it would obviously be a bit much for most indoor or CQB fields.
The gun can hold around 21 rounds, making the gun capable of holding quite a bit more than the standard 10 to 15-round capacity found on most airsoft pistol mags, and reloading is similar to the muskets we’ve mentioned on this list – simply remove the loading rod and pour.
Interestingly, the gun comes with a leather “powder flask,” which is kind of a fun inclusion and basically functions in this case like a speedloader.
As there is no slide, the gun isn’t, of course, a blowback pistol and the gun doesn’t really make a lot of noise when fired, which can be a good or bad thing depending on your preference and airsofting style.
That said, the lack of blowback action does give the gun excellent gas efficiency.
We saw the gun get around 40 or so shots per fill at room temperature, which isn’t bad at all, with some users reporting sixty or more.
On the downside, like a real flintlock pistol the gun does lack sights, which can make aiming tricky at any real distance – in our opinion this gun is best used as a close-in airsoft secondary.
At around 16 inches long (~430 mm) it’s also not exactly a compact pistol and stowing it comfortably in a loadout can take some creative thinking and a little work.
Nevertheless and on the whole, the HFC 18th Century Flintlock Pirate Airsoft Pistol is, in our opinion, a hilariously fun airsoft pistol to shoot.
It is also a visual masterpiece with surprising on-field functionality, and for less than $200 it’s not all that expensive for a niche historical pistol, either.
Ultimately we feel that while it has its quirks,, the overall experience of wielding this piece of history on the airsoft battlefield is well worth it for those who appreciate both style and performance.
Muskets and flintlocks were an important part of military history and, at one time or another, a critical part of most nations’ arsenals.
While their replicas may not be the most tactical or competitive, a decent airsoft musket or airsoft flintlock can be surprisingly fun and an eye-catching addition to just about any collection.
David Lewis – A longtime airsoft and airgun enthusiast and collector, our editor David’s lifelong passion for tactical sports began in high school with some friends, a cheap knock-off airsoft M4, and an open field behind his parents’ house.
When he’s not plinking around, he enjoys sharing his knowledge of airsoft and helping those just starting out.