MLAIC: a successful test for the World Muzzle Loading Championship at the 5th Grand Prix of Italy in Valeggio, with support from Pedersoli and international stars

CNDA President Delvò (center) with Secretary Francesco Fabbri (left) awards the owner of the Tiro Sportivo Valeggio, Marco Pasini, with the bottle dedicated to the World Championship to be held at the end of August.

A World Championship dress rehearsal at Valeggio sul Mincio, near Verona. The 5th Grand Prix of Italy was held from April 19 to 21. Organised by the Consociazione Nazionale degli Archibugieri (CNDA, the Italian National Association of Harquebusiers), it is named after Alberto Ferrerio, who passed away a few years ago, one of the founding fathers of Italian muzzleloading sport and the CNDA.

It is an international competition recognised by the MLAIC (Muzzle Loaders Associations International Confederation), which includes all international muzzleloading disciplines recognised by the international Confederation, divided into original (O) and replicas (R), on the classic distances of 25 meters (pistols and revolvers), 50 meters (revolvers and rifles) and 100 meters (rifles). Plus the national disciplines Smith & Wesson, Barsanti, Carcano, Sharpshooter, Zouave, Tatanka and Festscheiben. That makes a total of 33 disciplines.

It is an internationally recognised competition by the MLAIC (Muzzle loaders associations international confederation), which includes all international muzzle loading categories recognised by the international confederation, divided into original (O) and replicas (R), on the classic distances of 25 metres (pistols and revolvers), 50 metres (revolvers and rifles) and 100 metres (rifles). Plus the national categories Smith & Wesson, Barsanti, Carcano, Sharpshooter, Zouave, Tatanka and Festscheiben. That makes a total of 33 categories.

Muzzle loading pioneer Pedersoli promotes the Grand Prix of Italy for sport shooters from all over Europe

Stefan Ernst from Slovakia took first place in Mariette, Cominazzo/R and Remington/R.

The Grand Prix of Italy is relatively young and, in its fifth year of existence, has become a fully-fledged part of the MLAIC international competition calendar on a par with other, much more established GPs such as those in France, Germany and Hungary. Once again this year there was excellent participation by shooters – Italians, of course, and Europeans from France, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Holland, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Participation was in some ways even "unexpected" according to Francesco Fabbri, Secretary and Treasurer of CNDA: approximately 250 registered participants, just under a thousand performances, over the course of the three days, from Friday to Sunday, in a relaxed atmosphere because, as is well known, muzzle-loading compared to other shooting disciplines takes a little longer, which is what is required for the ritual of reloading firearms compared to breech-loading guns. There is also a very special psychological approach, which determines the fascination of the discipline, because it commits the shooters to maximum concentration even in phases different from aiming and shooting.

Traditional painted wooden targets in the Festscheiben category: individual at 25 meters (pistols) or 50 meters (rifles), standing position.

"Muzzleloading is ideal for bringing sceptics closer to the use of firearms for sporting activities," said Pierangelo Pedersoli in his speech at the ceremony

"There is a deep-rooted conviction that a muzzleloading gun only serves as an accessory for historical re-enactments," explains Pierangelo Pedersoli, owner of the company specialising in muzzleloading replicas that is sponsoring the Grand Prix. "It doesn't matter if competitions are held from 25 metres to 1,000 metres, with very high results, it doesn't matter if muzzleloading is very popular all over the world, it doesn't matter if in the United States, Canada and Hungary, alongside traditional hunting, hunting with muzzleloading firearms has developed."

"The fact is that this indifference and lack of knowledge has meant that sporting activity with muzzleloading guns, but also applies to hunting, is still an unknown phenomenon, and this despite the fact that precision shooting could also be interesting at Olympic level."

Enrico Siclari, responsible for clay pigeon shooting at CNDA, positioned himself in the middle of the ranking.

"It would certainly have a positive role to play in communication thanks to its cultural and unquestionably sporting foundation: it could become a means of bringing sceptics closer to the use of firearms for sporting activities, precisely on the basis of its cultural and historical aspects." Pedersoli is referring to Italy in particular, but the assertion is as verifiable as ever: a muzzleloading firearm is much more acceptable to a "city" public that is not familiar with guns in general and fears and rejects them no matter what. "The Italian Grand Prix and the forthcoming World Championship are and will be a very important and convincing showcase for all those who have not yet realised this sport's potential: one only has to look at the results to realise that participants are true shooting sportsmen and sportswomen and that the guns, built with modern materials and technologies, are made for outstanding technical performances."

A German competitor struggling with the clay pigeon in the Manton flintlock category.

Test passed: everything is set for the Muzzleloading World Championships at the end of August

Muzzleloading requires time between shots to reload the firearms.

In the end, it is always about the results in anticipation of the World Championships to be held in Valeggio sul Mincio from  August 25 to 31. The medal table sees Germany in first place with 15 gold, 11 silver and 9 bronze medals, ahead of Switzerland (9-10-5), Slovakia (6-2-3) and Italy (5-8-14), between individuals and teams.

Waiting for the muzzleloading clay targets series.

Gianmario Delvò, President of CNDA, who has many surprises in store for the next historic world event, is satisfied but had to concentrate on the management of this Grand Prix: "The 5th Grand Prix of Italy was an important test to evaluate both the location of Valeggio and the organisation in view of the World Championship. A little less than a thousand performances between rifle shooting and clay shooting were a significant test, especially considering that we managed what is practically the equivalent of a European Championship in half the time these events usually take place. We practically did everything in two and a half days, whereas the European and World Championships take four and a half days. The shooting range, thanks to the availability of the owner, proved to be up to the task. There were a few minor critical points that will be resolved in the coming months. The organisation, despite its reduced ranks due to a few illness-related absences, was able to accommodate and manage more than two hundred shooters, and the inevitable imperfections were more due to the fast pace. Overall, I think I can say that the event was a success, not least because of the quality of the shooters present, with numerous noteworthy results, but without a real highlight that we will certainly see at the end of August..."

French shooter Mathieu Ducellier on the 50-meter line with a Swiss match rifle in the Pennsylvania category.

Rankings of all competition categories in the Grand Prix of Italy 2024

Switzerland's Andreas Holdener during the La Marmora competition with his percussion rifle.

Rounds are held every hour, while the competitions last 30 minutes to fire the 10 shots (3 practice shots). Clay shooting competitions, with two series of 25 clay targets per discipline, plus possible tie-breakers, with muzzle-loading rifles in the "Lorenzoni" (percussion rifle) and "Manton" (flintlock rifle) disciplines. In muzzle-loading rifle shooting, the clay pigeon always travels in the same direction, falling at approximately 65 m, with a parabola of approximately 2.5 m maximum height, while the shooter has to move in sequence along the stations arranged in a semicircle and has only one shot available.

Polish Maksym Zukow shooter in the Kuchenreuter underhammer category.

Many top level shooters were present. Worthy of mention are the performances of Stefan Ernst from Slovakia, first in Tantzutsu, Mariette, Donald Malson/R, Cominazzo/R and Remington/R and the German Andreas Wimmer, winner in Donald Malson/O, Remington/O and Zouave, the French Mathieu Doucellier who won in Pennsylvania and La Marmora, and the Swiss Roland Frei, winner in Minié and often with good rankings, as well as the German Markus Wornle.

The busiest categories were the Mariette with 74 performances, Whitworth O&R and La Marmora with 50 performances, Colt with 48, Vetterli/R with 47, Remington/R with 45, Donald Malson/R, Kuchenreuter, Cominazzo/R and Barsanti with 43. All rankings, including the team rankings, can be found on the CNDA website (Italian language only).

Slovakian Stefan Ernst shooting at 25 meters with a Remington Pattern revolver.

Individual rankings


  1. ERNST Štefan (SVK) 93
  2. KRÁLÍČEK Petr (CZE) 90
  3. FILIPPIN Darwin (ITA) 89
  4. PIZZINATO Nicola (ITA) 89
  5. FORMAN Josef (CZE) 89


  1. HOLDENER Andreas (SUI) 87
  2. MARTIN Philippe (FRA) 85
  3. PACILETTI Michele (ITA) 83
  5. SIFLETTO Pier Giorgio (ITA) 81
Muzzleloading requires time between shots for the ritual of firearm reloading.


  1. ERNST Štefan (SVK) 93
  2. FORMAN Josef (CZE) 91
  3. SPIESZ Peter (SVK) 91
  4. GIANDINOTO Pietro 142 (ITA) 89
  5. JAQUES Clara (BEL) 87


  1. SCHMIDINGER Steffen (AUT) 95
  2. MIKSCHL Roland (AUT) 95
  3. HOLDENER Andreas (SUI) 94
  4. ZIPPERER Robert (GER) 93
  5. JURZA Vladimir (SVK) 93


  1. MASSA Roberto (ITA) 97
  2. REALE Orlando (FRA) 96
  3. BALA'ZS Bartok (HUN) 95
  4. DUCELLIER Mathieu (FRA) 95
  5. PONTES Gaspar Americo (SUI) 95


  1. SCHONBORN Bernd (GER) 95
  2. DUPONT Antony (FRA) 94
  3. WORNLE Markus (GER) 94
  4. MIKSCHL Roland (AUT) 93
  5. SPIESZ Peter (SVK) 93


  1. ERNST Štefan (SVK) 98
  2. MARTIN Philippe (FRA) 96
  3. JAQUES Clara (BEL) 94
  4. WORNLE Markus (GER) 94
  5. VECCHI Francesco (ITA) 93
An overview of the Valeggio sul Mincio shooting range that hosted the fifth edition of the Italian event.


  1. SZUPPIN Robert (AUT)126
  2. CARUSO Stefano (ITA) 123
  3. ROSETTI Alfredo (ITA) 121
  4. PIZZINATO Giancarlo (ITA) 120
  5. CAL Mario (ITA) 117


  1. WIMMER Andreas (GER) 83
  2. MIKSCHL Roland (AUT) 82
  3. HANULÍK Marcel (SVK) 82
  4. ZUKOW Maksym (POL) 81
  5. ZIPPERER Robert (GER) 81


  1. ERNST Štefan (SVK) 85
  2. HINRICHS Helmut (SUI) 84
  3. DE MEEUS Vincent (BEL) 83
  4. ZUKOW Maksym (POL) 82
  5. PASOLINI Denis (ITA) 79


  1. WIMMER Andreas (GER) 176
  2. MIKSCHL Roland (AUT) 175
  3. HANULÍK Marcel (SVK) 174
  4. DUPONT Antony (FRA) 173
  5. ZIPPERER Robert (GER) 171

REMINGTON/R (20 shots)

  1. ERNST Štefan (SVK) 183
  2. ZUKOW Maksym (POL) 175
  3. HINRICHS Helmut (SUI) 173
  4. PASOLINI Denis (ITA) 172
  5. DE MEEUS Vincent (BEL) 171


  1. RÜFENACHT Hans-Peter (SUI) 100
  2. DEDRYVER Fabrice (FRA) 96
  3. DUCELLIER Mathieu (FRA) 95
  4. DEEN Lorenz (NED) 91
  5. MALŮŠ Miroslav (CZE) 87


  1. DEDRYVER Fabrice (FRA) 96
  2. RÜFENACHT Hans-Peter (SUI) 95
  3. GRÁF Gustav (CZE) 94
  4. MALŮŠ Miroslav (CZE) 93


  1. KRÁLÍČEK Petr (CZE) 95
  2. RÜFENACHT Hans-Peter (SUI) 91
  3. DUCELLIER Mathieu (FRA) 90
  4. BAILER Alfred (GER) 90
  5. BUGNON Francois (SUI) 88


  1. DUCELLIER Mathieu (FRA) 98
  2. FREI Roland (SUI) 94
  3. WIMMER Andreas (GER) 94
  4. DEDRYVER Fabrice (FRA) 94
  5. MOELO Maeva (FRA) 93


  1. DUCELLIER Mathieu (FRA) 99
  2. BAILER Alfred (GER) 95
  3. NICOLI Leonardo (ITA) 95
  4. EICHELBERGER Adrian (SUI) 95
  5. FREI Roland (SUI) 95


  1. BAUMHAKL Kiara (GER) 96
  2. FREI Roland (SUI) 96
  3. WIMMER Andreas (GER) 96
  4. PRINZ Franz (AUT) 95
  5. MARTHON Martial (FRA) 93


  1. JURZA Vladimir (SVK) 99
  3. MALŮŠ Miroslav (CZE) 99
  4. BAUMHALKL Thomas (GER) 98
  5. LUISA Rudolph (GER) 90


  1. MARTIN Philippe (FRA) 97
  2. WORNLE Markus (GER) 97
  3. LAMBERT Rudolph (BEL) 97
  4. ZUKOW Maksym (POL) 95
  5. SCHMIDINGER Steffen (AUT) 95


  1. BAILER Alfred (GER) 94
  2. HINRICHS Helmut SUI) 91
  3. WANNENMACHER Kevin (GER) 91
  4. BAUMHALKL Thomas (GER) 88
  5. RÜFENACHT Hans-Peter (SUI) 86


  1. WIMMER Andreas (GER) 91
  2. BALÁŽ Michal (SVK) 91
  3. FREI Roland (SUI) 88
  4. GIULIANI Massimo (ITA) 88
  5. VICINI Andrea (ITA) 86


  1. FREI Roland (SUI) team (SUI) 95
  2. ALFRED BAILER (GER) team (GER) 94
  3. EICHELBERGER Adrian (SUI) 92
  4. BAUMHALKL Thomas (GER) 92
  5. GRÁF Gustav (CZE) 90


  1. WORNLE Markus (GER) 92
  2. SCHMIDINGER Steffen (AUT) 85
  3. RICCI Mauro (ITA) 84
  4. DUPONT Antony (FRA) 83
  5. DE FRANCESCO Paolo (ITA) 83


  1. BAUMHAKL Kiara (GER) 98
  2. LENHARD Marián (SVK) 97
  3. WANNENMACHER Kevin (GER) 96
  4. EICHELBERGER Adrian (SUI) 96
  5. DUCELLIER Mathieu (FRA) 95


  1. ROPA Lorenzo (ITA) 142
  2. MASCHIO Federico (ITA) 135
  3. CATTANEO Graziano (ITA) 131
  4. LAVARONE Beniamino (ITA) 125
  5. FUSERIO Giovanni (ITA) 125

CARCANO O/R (15 shots)

  1. BIOCCHI Gianluca (ITA) 132
  2. SGARBI Vittorio (ITA) 131
  3. LAVARONE Beniamino (ITA) 129
  4. CATTANEO Graziano (ITA) 128
  5. ANDREOLI Antonio (ITA) 122


  2. Giordano ROSSI (SUI) 13
  3. FELICI Sandro (ITA) 13
  4. GIANORA Denys (SUI) 13
  5. FREI Roland (SUI) 5


  1. TAR Mihály (HUN) 94
  2. BALA'ZS Ne'Meth (HUN) 94
  3. GIULIANI Massimo (ITA) 88
  4. CAL Mario (ITA) 86
  5. DELVO' Gianmario (ITA) 85


  1. GRUBL Armin (GER) 22+22
  2. LOTSPEICH Franz (GER) 24+18
  3. DOBOS Tamas (HUN) 20+19
  4. ROMANN Jean_Yves (FRA) 17+20
  5. RAGER Sabrina (GER) 18+18


  1. DOBOS Tamas (HUN) 21+20
  2. LOTSPEICH Franz (GER) 17+20
  3. BACSO Peter (F) 16+19
  4. GRUBL Armin (GER) 20+14
  5. DENK Werner (AUT) 14+19

Click here to download the ranking of the 5th Italian Muzzleloading Shooting Grand Prix

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