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In the DMG, it says 1 round to reload a firearm. In reality, three rounds would be more appropriate. I'd think that a heroic effort, maybe three feats, would allow a character to reload in one round (6 seconds). 20-30 seconds is more like it, for most flintlock-era muzzleloaders. I could see the Rapid Reload feat dropping the reload time to two rounds, but still. I'd say, raise the damage die, and reduce the load time. I guess I'm speaking mostly to pirate-sorcerer, cause you've made most of the guns I see here :D. I'd say, maybe increase the critical range to 19-20/x3 or 19-20/x3. At least.
Earlier hand-cannon style weapons could possibly require a shorter reload, due to the fact they wouldn't need to be cleaned every firing. That's *need*. They probably still should, or could. But it's up the PC's. I don't see a reason they couldn't be fired multiple times without cleaning, so that's more like 2 rounds.
But is 2-3 rounds really enough? I'm thinking maybe untrained (like no proficiency) with firearms would require 4 rounds to reload.
I know pirate-sorcerer has been making "heavy" and "light" versions of weapons. From what I've seen with older weapons (hand cannon style, like 1500-s and earlier) is that most of the higher calibur, 50 and higher, could easily pierce so-called "proof" steel. But they were considered the "light artillary" of the time, whereas the lower-than-50 caliburs were more like personal weapons, and they often didn't pierce proof plate. Would it be too much to say that heavier weapons would ignore AC bonuses provided by armour, and lighter weapons would ignore bonuses provided by Light armour?
When it comes to more "modern" weapons, such as muskets and flintlocks from the 17th century, they wouldn't be penetrating "proof" steel.
Anyways, I think that firearms as they are now on this wiki are a lil' unbalanced. Comments?
Also, I've spent some time reading what others have to say about firearms. I particularly like this one.
 Pirate-Sorcerer 13:08, 10 October 2007 (MDT)
First off, the DMG does not say that firearms take one round to reload. The Renaissance-era firearms given in the DMG both take a standard action to reload. Secondly, for the reload times on the firearms on this wiki, I do know that they are unrealistic, but DnD is more concerned with game balance rather than realism.
Now, for the weapons themselves, I would not consider them to be unbalanced at all. For example, a heavy musket and a light musket is just like a heavy crossbow and a light crossbow with a reduced critical threat range, but with an increased critical multiplier. An arquebus (both heavy and light) deal less damage than a musket or crossbow, but have an increased critical multiplier.
Concerning the armor penetration value of firearms, I would think it is best suited for a variant rule rather than a standard rule. I think it would work best with either armor as damage reduction or Armor Penetration (DnD Variant Rule); granting firearms the ability to ignore points of damage reduction or a bonus to penetrating armor.