thanks for the interest in the lemat. it's a pretty hefty pistol especially when comparing it to my ansley rigdon. I chose the calvery model because of the spur trigger guard. it was a good choice. it holds well. loads aren't any different than an 1860 army repro. the 20 gauge shot barrel is recommended to use 25-35 grain of 2f. 35 seems a bit steep. shot load, I will have to test by volume. by the way, the shot barrel is only 6'' long. I have 4s and 7s and plenty of 20 gauge shot cards. the booklet that came with it recommends #11 caps. the side mount loading lever is hollow. inside it contains a ramrod to load the other barrel. right now, dixie and fall creek are offering them at 850.00 plus shiping. seems pricey, but if they remain available, the cost may go up. I thought to get one before either of these things happen. my great great grandfather was a contract surgeon in Hoods core. I'm thinking he probably would like to have had one of these.b.c.