View Full Version : 2 ball load in a revolver?

May 13, 2010, 03:22 PM
a guy at the range was telling me he shoots 2 balls per cylinder in his cap & ball revolver.

said he has a .44 and loads 20gr ffg/ball/wad/ball.

has anybody ever heard of this, or was this guy just talking out his bum?

May 13, 2010, 03:37 PM
Oh, I'm sure he's serious, but I can't think of a good reason for doing it. I'd ask him why, if for no other reason than to hear what sort of a story he has.

I'd halfway expect the balls to be in the dirt in about 30 yards :D

May 13, 2010, 04:26 PM
I have fired two balls from my Hawken, with 80 grains of powder.
At 50 yards they hit just right vertically, and were two inches apart, side by side.
I figured that would be a great deer load.
But then, I figured the accuracy might get bad on a 100 yard shot, plus, you obviously would be losing energy on each ball.
In other words a single ball would penetrate better.

So I couldn't think of a good reason use two balls.

With a revolver it makes even less sense.

May 13, 2010, 05:12 PM
It was fairly common back in the day. Two holes are better than one, especially if a 2 or 4 legged critter is closing fast with ill intents.

May 13, 2010, 09:16 PM
Multiple ball loads are nothing new, I recall seeing an article on loading two balls in .45 ACP cases several decades ago. Here's (http://www.castpics.net/memberarticles/Round%20Ball%20Loads...Final%20edit.htm) an article on dual ball loads for cartridge hand guns. Many of the procedures can be applied to BP revolvers.

May 13, 2010, 09:28 PM
Only tangentially related, but I read that in the heat of Revolutionary War battles, soldiers would sometimes be interrupted in the middle of reloading and forget what they had already done. After the battles, discarded rifles were found with two, three, four (or even more) balls in the barrel.

May 13, 2010, 10:18 PM
There was a similar scene in the movie GETTYSBURG, during the attack on little round top. The Irish sergrant explains to Chamberlin, about multiple loadings.

May 14, 2010, 07:30 AM
The 2 ball load has very common practice back in the day. Uses as a defensive load in both rifle and revolver/pistols.

May 15, 2010, 11:26 AM
2 balls in one chamber sounds like a great way to get rid of any balls which are too small. Just use the smaller ones for the first ball.
I have a few .440, and .451 balls that have a tendency to roll out of the chamber, so I will have to try this.
For that matter you could put anything behind the ball such as crushed glass etc, that would be cruel to shoot someone with crushed glass. An oldtimer once told me that if you wanted to really make someone suffer- take the shot out of a shotgun shell and fill it with crushed glass and shoot them with it........ I don't know of anyone I would wish that on.

May 16, 2010, 12:37 AM
I think about CCW with a cap/ball revolver. For no other reason than I want to give the ER physician the opportunity to say, "Jeez! I haven't dug out buck & ball since working the hospital tent in Gettysburg!" :D

May 16, 2010, 11:30 PM
HeadSpace, who or what is CCW?

May 16, 2010, 11:57 PM
Conversely 20 grains of FFg sound like a light load to me. You increase the chances of hitting the target but each ball has lower velocity.
Large numbers of muskets retrieved from Gettysburg had multiple loading-the record was 23, IIRC. In 1991 at the Cedar Creek reenactment one fellow in my unit got a double or triple charge-of just blanks. When he fired it sounded like a cannon going off, knocked him and the fellow behind him down, cracked the stock of his musket.

May 17, 2010, 12:23 AM
Large numbers of muskets retrieved from Gettysburg had multiple loading-the record was 23,

Those were cases of not tearing the cartridge open for the first one and not being able to tell it didn't fire with all the noise and confusion. Then loading full rounds on top of it.

May 17, 2010, 02:56 AM
HeadSpace, who or what is CCW?

CCW stands for Concealed Carry Weapon

May 17, 2010, 05:29 AM
what i was thinking was ball and shot since my remmy will be for carry out at my camp. do as much damage as posible to either 1, kill the bear or 2, make him run off never wanting to return. would bb behind ball work or am i looking for trouble with a revolver due to the transfer from the cylinder to the barrel?

May 17, 2010, 05:36 AM
either 1, kill the bear or 2, make him run off

Don't think I'd want to shoot a bear with a reduced load. Don't think I'd want to shoot a bear with a bp revolver in the first place. Would prefer a .44 magnum if it had to be a pistol and even then wouldn't shoot a griz with it. I'd just hope I could outrun him or have somebody with me I could outrun.:D

May 17, 2010, 06:09 AM
lol... i can see it now..
me- "holy crap! a bear!"
bear runs toward my friend and i
me- "ohhh...well that didnt work out so well"
friend "ouch!! why the hell did you kick me in the knee?!?!?"
me running away.. "i left you the revolver! maybe you can beat him to death with it! good luck!"