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Old October 9, 2005, 08:56 AM   #1
mec
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Gary and other flinters

What can you tell me about loading modalities for Flintlocks (Pistols especially)?

Just about everything now pre-supposes a a patched ball but I am wondering if there was a time when simple wadding might have been standard. I have always heard that the earliest practice (up until the time of the Pennsylvania Rifles) was to hammer an oversized ball down the barrel but this has been called into question by recent researchers and enthusiasts.
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Old October 10, 2005, 02:17 AM   #2
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mec,

In pistols, one common and successful way around using patched balls originating in the early 18th century is known variously as the Queen Anne, cannon barrel, or screw barrel pistol. These pistols were designed with a barrel which unscrewed from the breech block. The breech block contained a tapering powder chamber smaller than the bore. The barrel, whether rifled or not, was chambered, or relieved at the rear to accommodate a well fitting ball. The action proper was mounted in several ways. Initially, the lock was mounted in a relieved area of the metal just behind the breech, the hammer and frizzen at the side. The second form used an ordinary lock mounted in the usual way into the wooden butt. The latest and most often seen form used a box lock mounted within an extension of the breech, the hammer, frizzen and vent are not at the side but aligned with the axis of the barrel, on top. Source: paraphrased from Hugh B.C. Pollard, The book of the Pistol and Revolver, McBride, Nast & Co. Ltd., London 1917.

Bob
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Old October 10, 2005, 08:05 AM   #3
mec
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I've done a little shooting with a pedersoli leige derringer that works like that. I particularly like the story of Prince Rupert of something or another who had a pair of screw barrels with rifling. Allegedly, he shot the tail off a rooster weather vain at 60 yards and when challenged to shoot the head off if it, did that as well.

current shooters of everything from matchlocks onward seems to be an undersized patched ball. I am just wondering if there was a time- probably pre-18th century when it was common to dump an under sized ball on top of the powder and then stuff in some wadding to keep it in place. Rifled matchlocks came about in the 1500s or slightly before and most sources say that these were loaded with an bore or oversized ball pounded down the barrel. The same sources seem to be saying that smooth bores were loaded with undersized projectiles.
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Old October 16, 2005, 10:05 AM   #4
4V50 Gary
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Just returned from almost two weeks in the Midwest.

Conical type bullets have been used for BP revolvers. They came individually wrapped in paper cartridges. I'll have to check to see if there was a was or filler in the cartridge.
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Old October 16, 2005, 11:34 AM   #5
mec
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envelop cartidges for revolvers ranged from early foil wraps to nitrated paper and had no filler. They basically held less powder than you could get into a chamber loading from a measure.

What I am wondering about is common practice in loading single shot flint pistols. It is convenient -and a fairly long standing practice to use a cotton patch but I am wondering if it wasn't common in the time of the snaphance and early flintlocks to just roll the ball down the barrel and pack wadding on top.

Have been shooting a tightly bored 67+caliber tower and finding little difference in velocity among several methods- patched- wadded or paper ctg

Last edited by mec; August 28, 2010 at 09:22 PM.
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