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View Full Version : flintlock pistols and ball seating


MEDDAC19
March 19, 2012, 02:39 PM
Watched episode of Topshot where flint pistols were used and the balls were rolling out of bbls. Thought they needed a patch or a tight enough fit to engage the lands and grooves. Do I have this wrong? I admit my experience is with flintlock rifles and they are fitted tightly so no air gap to prevent excess pressure.

orangello
March 19, 2012, 03:00 PM
I use patches and want a tight fit in my CAPLOCK pistol (single shot, .50 cal, sidelock, etc).

mykeal
March 19, 2012, 03:21 PM
Smoothbore pistols and rifles were often shot using undersized balls and no patch. This was done to allow speedy loading.

denster
March 19, 2012, 03:23 PM
That was not one of their better episodes. They had it all wrong probably for the sake of rapid continuous loading.

FrontierGander
March 19, 2012, 03:29 PM
yes they were supposed to use a patch. IMO I think they skipped it due to all the shooters using the same pistol. A patch certainly would make things harder to load after all of those shots. Still a very dangerous practice they were doing.

Pahoo
March 19, 2012, 04:05 PM
Watched episode of Topshot
I just got into the middle of what they were doing and saw the same thing. I'm not sure how they introduced this practice but thought it quite odd, if not unwise. On top of that, did you see how well they shot? I know it can be done and historically it has been done but still wish they could have explained themselves or just not show it if they are not going to do it right. I teach M/L's and how do I explain this if asked by a student. .... :rolleyes:

Be Safe !!!

4V50 Gary
March 19, 2012, 04:19 PM
Had to have something to keep the balls from dropping. Pistols were the secondary weapon of the cavalryman (his sword or lance being the primary weapon). The pistols were carried in pommel holsters that were muzzle down. A trotting or galloping horse would shake the ball out quick but for some tightly fitted wadding.

Rifleman1776
March 19, 2012, 04:32 PM
I didn't watch the show. Really never do just because it is more show than guns.
Most balls are patched. Rolling out is not correct. Nor is it conducive to accurate shooting. Everybody competing under those conditions was cheated.

Newton24b
March 19, 2012, 06:07 PM
you can do it with a patch or with over powder wad, and anothe wad over the ball. to expect anything realistic from that show is well, unrealistic.

Pahoo
March 19, 2012, 06:19 PM
to expect anything realistic from that show is well, unrealistic.
Well said and for the short time that I watched this segment, they loaded the powder followed directly by the ball. No patch or wadding or anything else, was ever used. .... ;)

Be Safe !!!

4V50 Gary
March 19, 2012, 07:46 PM
Television is for entertainment, not education.

B.L.E.
March 19, 2012, 09:09 PM
Smoothbore pistols and rifles were often shot using undersized balls and no patch. This was done to allow speedy loading.

That's true, smoothbore military muskets did not use patches, but, the paper that the premeasured powder charge and ball was wrapped in was rammed down on top of the ball to serve as an overshot wad.