View Full Version : Advise on twist rate and a hunting pistol from Fire-Iron Mfg?

Joey V.
November 18, 2010, 10:43 AM
I am considering a ML pistol for hunting For a guy named Mark Kisenwether of Fire-Iron Mfg. Anyone have one of his guns? I am rather new to BP and Twist rate and stuff like that so can someone explain some stuff to me? Mark build a
Caliber - .54
Barrel length - 16”
Rifling twist – 1:66 (round ball)

I would like my pistol to only have a 12" barrel so would the twist have to be changed? Lastly how deep should the rifling be for a ball gun? I though a ball shooter should have deep rifling but a post Mark made a while ago said a ball shooter should have shallow rifling so it can handle a massive charge in a pistol length unless I am remembering wrong.


November 18, 2010, 11:55 AM
I'm not sure how easy it is to make generalizations about pistol barrels, their twist rates and depth of rifling.
The Pedersoli Bounty Hunter has a 16 inch barrel with a 1 in 18" twist.
There are just too many types of rifling and individual loads that can be developed that could possibly provide decent performance from any given barrel and twist rate.
I personally wouldn't go with 1 in 66" twist rate but to each their own.
IIRC revolvers generally have a 1 in 16" twist and the 12 inch Remington Buffalo model has been proven to shoot round ball very accurately. The Walker revolvers do too and they have a much shorter barrel and a faster twist rate.
Some folks might build a pistol using a shallow, slow twist rifle barrel because it was available and easy to cut down and then develop a load recipe that will work very good with it.
Slow twists usually do require more powder in rifles to get acceptable accuracy verses a faster twist. But I don't know how true that holds for pistols.
That's the beauty of muzzle loading. It's possible for anything to work and for other things to not work without much of a predictable, rational explanation.
Some folks might consider .006 - .008 to be shallow rifling when most deep cut barrel rifling is .010 or .012. But the different types and shapes of groove cuts can be just as important as the twist rate and depth of rifling in determining how well the barrel will shoot.
Once a gun is built then the results would show what the difference in performance is between a 12" and 16" slow twist barrel shooting patched round balls. And how massive the charges and the depth and type of rifling are just other parts of the puzzle. :)

November 18, 2010, 04:02 PM
One of my pistols is a Knight "Hawkeye". That's right, Knight made an InLine pistol. I was surprised to see that it's twist was 1:19. I have only shot round ball with it and it is a tack driver. I believe the twist is this fast because of the conicals or sabots, one might shoot. Now, yours is a .54 and you won't be able to load this as hot as a rifle but your mas and a good shot-string, should be able to put down a deer at teh ranges you will shoot.

Be Safe !!!