My interest in black powder firearms is increasing. I started with a cap and ball Walker-Colt replica and then moved on to BP cartridge loads in my replica (Perdersoli) 45-70 1874 Sharps, and my replica (Uberti) 45 long colt model P. I also just picked up a Pedersoli replica .54 cal Hawken muzzle loader. My next acquisitions will be a single shot percussion muzzle loading pistol and eventually a flintlock Kentucky style rifle.
As I try to learn more about the different types of the old style long guns, I am a bit confused as to what defines a "musket". I had originally thought that this was a generic term for a smooth bore muzzle loading shoulder fired weapon. But I have seen the term "musket" applied to late 1800's to early 1900's bolt and lever action cartridge rifles, and even to a muzzle loding pistol. The only thing that seems "common" to the firearms I have seen with the "musket" description is that they have all had the full stocks (out to within inches of the muzzle).
Then there is the term "rifled musket", I am guessing that the "rifled muskets" were originally smooth bore guns that were either manufactured with, or modified to have, shallow rifling so as to use the minnnie balls in the 1860's era. But that's just my guess. I'd like to have a better understanding of these terms as as to have a better understand of the history and the evolution of the firearms.
Thanks in advance,