PDA

View Full Version : Loaded for bear


mtnman
December 16, 2009, 07:42 PM
With the blackpowder season in full swing I was sitting around shooting the bull with the guys today as I am now tagged out. One of the oldtimers mentioned that the phrase loaded for bear refered to loading two patched round balls and some extra powder into a rifle. This sounds very dangerous to me and does not make sense in a rifle. If it were a smoothbore maybe but the presure would still increase and could cause a problem. Has anyone else heard of this.

4V50 Gary
December 16, 2009, 08:03 PM
No, but I'd go with a minie rifle that was loaded with a 500 plus grain 58 caliber minie ball that was propelled by 65 grains FF. Better yet, a Kodiak double barrel .58 cal rifle. Two shots are better than one.

simonkenton
December 16, 2009, 08:52 PM
I have heard that the double charge means "loaded for bear."

I have "proof tested" three muzzleloaders with a double load of powder and two balls.
In the case of my Tennessee Mountain Rifle, that meant 160 grains of ffg black powder, and two patched balls.
It did not harm the barrel! With a 42 inch barrel, I bet that most of that powder got burned. For God's sake that had to be some serious foot-pounds of energy.

If I were bear hunting, I think I would go with the increased powder, and only one ball, I would want the penetration.

mykeal
December 16, 2009, 10:30 PM
Single load of powder beneath two prb's is not a problem as long as the first ball is firmly seated on the powder and the second ball is firmly seated on the first ball.

Double load of powder beneath two prb's MAY not be a problem depending on what maximum load the barrel is designed to withstand. As above, the first ball must be firmly seated on the powder and the second ball must be firmly seated on the first ball.

Single load of powder beneath one prb with another load of powder and ball on top of it is big time trouble.

madcratebuilder
December 17, 2009, 11:26 AM
I have heard the phrase "loaded for bear" for ever it seems like. I have read about and even shoot two ball loads. I have not heard about a double powder charger with the two ball load. It does make sense though.

I have always assumed that the phrase meant a very heavy charge and bullet. Never considered applying it to a front stuffer.

Single load of powder beneath one prb with another load of powder and ball on top of it is big time trouble.

I wouldn't want to be close to that:eek:

simonkenton
December 17, 2009, 05:03 PM
After I proofed my Tennessee Mountain Rifle, and it didn't blow up, I decided to try the two-ball load for accuracy. For the proofing, I had the thing fixed in a tire, with a 50 foot string, I was afraid it would blow.
I dropped the powder charge back to 80 grains and fired at a target at 50 yards.
The elevation was dead on, the balls hit side-by-side, 1 1/2 inches apart.
I was surprised the balls were so close together.
I knew that would be a devastating shot on a deer.
But, on the other hand, a single ball was a devastating shot on a deer, I well knew that from hunting with my Hawken.
Also, I figured the 2 ball load might get inaccurate at 100 yards, although, I never tried anything past 50 yards.
I never went hunting with the 2-ball load.

Noz
December 17, 2009, 05:48 PM
"Buck and ball" used to refer to a common load of a single patched ball under some buckshot. Ready for anything.

Newton24b
December 17, 2009, 11:41 PM
the multi ball loads were not used for big animal defense. When the british army or navy would load a musket up with 2 or 3 balls on a charge of powder, they did so that when the gun was fired at that unruly mob of colonials/boarders, each shot would have the ability to hit more then one person.

madcratebuilder
December 18, 2009, 11:02 AM
the multi ball loads were not used for big animal defense. When the british army or navy would load a musket up with 2 or 3 balls on a charge of powder, they did so that when the gun was fired at that unruly mob of colonials/boarders, each shot would have the ability to hit more then one person.

That's what I have read also. I have a few accounts in old books on the Indian campaigns and the migration west by settlers, of instructions given to "load them double boys" when preparing for an imminent attack.

Newton24b
December 18, 2009, 11:13 PM
all the world loved multiple round balls on a charge of powder for crowd control. theres a shipwreck in the saintlawrence from the french and indian wars, they recovered dozens of muskets that had 3 balls on top of the powder.
not exactly conducive to accuracy for firendly recoil. thats why colonial 'rangers" like rogers rangers kinda liked the round ball with 3 pellets of buck on top.

Diamond LawDawg
December 24, 2009, 02:29 PM
Now I always thought it meant you were carrying/packed for any circumstances ...enough powder/ammo for any length of fire fight or animal