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Old February 8, 2020, 12:26 PM   #1
Derringeer
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Let’s make a rapid fire muzzleloader!

Hello! I wounder if it’s possible to rapid fire/speed load a muzzleloader?

To start with, the gun itself should have a short barrel and a big muzzle, like a blunderbuss for fast and easy reload. It should also have a permanent heating element in the chamber so that it won’t require new priming between each shot.

The next step should be combustible cartdiges and some kind of magazine that holds them. The ramrod maybe can be improved to? For example it can be L-formed as a safety feature.

The third step, maybe, is to skip the ramrod. Maybe a shotgun load can be chambered only by the force of gravity? What about magnetism?

The fourth step isn’t really a reloading improvement, but adding an extra barrel like an over/under gun, and that both barrels can be reloaded as fast as a single barrel will give the gun twofold the rate of fire.

Do you have any other suggestions or ideas on how the suggestions above best should be done?
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Old February 8, 2020, 01:19 PM   #2
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You could always use a left handed whim-whang for a vertical mustard mill.
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Old February 8, 2020, 06:00 PM   #3
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^^^^^^^^
What he said.

I concur.
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Old February 8, 2020, 06:41 PM   #4
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I'd disagree pwc and expat.

Left -handed whim-wangs are not suitable for muzzle loading as they are cycle speed limited. I'd suggest modifying a gonculator to ignite the gunpowder by RF energy, which makes for a more rapid fire option.
Second option is to use a merkel-jammer if you can find one to rapidly rotate a 24-barrel assembly with a blow torch used to preheat the end of each rotating barrel causing sponetaneous combustion of the powder.
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Old February 8, 2020, 06:49 PM   #5
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9xJkUyotSc4
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Old February 8, 2020, 07:33 PM   #6
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What about a .58 musket and paper cartridges, it worked in the Civil War.
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Old February 8, 2020, 10:52 PM   #7
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I just remembered, there might be an application for a kamus afredus here. For sure use flooby dust to keep the fouling soft
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Old February 9, 2020, 12:39 AM   #8
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It would be hard to beat three shots in under 60 seconds which you can do with a brown bess. Somebody on here had planned how to build a bp machine gun but I don't remember who.
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Old February 9, 2020, 07:16 AM   #9
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I saw one of those homemade contraptions at the range once...

We call called it a WHATCHACALLIT

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Old February 9, 2020, 01:04 PM   #10
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My Great Grandpa called it a “double barrel”, and Great Uncle Hugh had a pistol called a “pepper box”. It they had a proper mustard mill, they could have made a left handed whim-wham from a thing-a-ma-jig with a little file work and silver solder.
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Old February 9, 2020, 02:12 PM   #11
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Paper cartridges were used long before the American Civil War. The Brits and everybody else issued 'em in the 18th Century. There is documentation of 'em being used in the late 14th Century.
"...an extra barrel like an over/under..." Lots of those existed. Barrels were rotated.
"...a bp machine gun..." That's a Gatling, among others. Needs the brass/copper cartridge though. Paper cartridges would be too flimsy. There were revolving matchlock muskets in Europe in the late 1500s too.
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Old February 9, 2020, 07:19 PM   #12
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Muzzle loading precludes the use of metallic cartridges which helps to seal the breech.

How about a magazine tube like that on a lever action loaded with paper cartridges. After the discharge, the magazine follower is pushed forward, allowing the cartridge to approach the muzzle. The a swivel mounted (think British cavalry arms) ramrod is pulled forward, swiveled, pushed down to ram the paper cartridge down the barrel, and the ramrod returned to the pipes/thimbles. It would look like a half stock with magazine tube on one side and the ramrod slung underneath.

It would also be very ugly.
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Old February 9, 2020, 09:19 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4V50 Gary View Post
Muzzle loading precludes the use of metallic cartridges which helps to seal the breech.

How about a magazine tube like that on a lever action loaded with paper cartridges. After the discharge, the magazine follower is pushed forward, allowing the cartridge to approach the muzzle. The a swivel mounted (think British cavalry arms) ramrod is pulled forward, swiveled, pushed down to ram the paper cartridge down the barrel, and the ramrod returned to the pipes/thimbles. It would look like a half stock with magazine tube on one side and the ramrod slung underneath.

It would also be very ugly.
. . . ^^^^^^
And likely highly UNreliable.
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Old February 9, 2020, 09:38 PM   #14
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Quote:
.a bp machine gun..." That's a Gatling, among others.
If my memory serves me right it was anything but a Gatling. It may not have been a true muzzle loader but it used paper cartridges. As I recall he got a lot of flak from his idea and I don't know if he ever pursued it. I can't remember the mans name but he was a regular her until shortly after that.
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Old February 9, 2020, 10:12 PM   #15
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Old February 9, 2020, 10:31 PM   #16
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There's a reason those didn't catch on.
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Old February 9, 2020, 10:56 PM   #17
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Joseph Belton flintlock.
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Old February 9, 2020, 11:33 PM   #18
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Unreliable? There's no semi-automatic parts and everything would be manually operated. Make it smoothbore with undersized balls and paper cartridges.
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Old February 10, 2020, 09:11 AM   #19
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It's all about training.
The average British soldier could load and fire 3 rounds a minute with his Brown Bess.

Last edited by jcj54; February 10, 2020 at 04:12 PM.
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Old February 10, 2020, 11:31 AM   #20
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The original Gatling Gun used a steel cylinder loaded with powder and bullet, percussion
cap on the end. They were reloaded. Next was a paper cartridge--not sure I have
ever seen a paper cartridge Gatling, but they did exist. THEN they transitioned to
a self contained metallic cartridge ammunition--which is the version most of us are
familiar with.

OP--Rapid fire in black powder arms has been kicked around since there was
black powder. Harmonica guns, chain guns, revolvers of every style and orientation.
Rifles and pistols that feed via a drum using powder and bullet reservoirs in the butt.
Heck--the Puckle gun would fire 9 rounds a minute sustained, and could be had to fire
square bullets! Find yourself a copy of "Firearms Curiosa" by Lewis Winant if you want
some interesting reading.
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Old February 10, 2020, 04:29 PM   #21
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That is a good book. Read it many years ago. The Lorenzoni comes to mind. Turn the handle to get the powder charge and ball, return the handle to its position rest and you're loaded. There was one for sale in America at the time of the Revolution.
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Old February 10, 2020, 08:06 PM   #22
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I want to make a firearm based on simplicity and minimalism, yet very reliable. Less parts the gun have - less things that can go wrong..

Regarding the superposed percussion pistol above, it’s an interesting design but I’ve never attempted making anything like that, because of the potential danger if multiple charges fire at the same time, or if the rear charge fire first.

Here’s another superimposed gun, with a safer (or more foolproof) design of the mechanism https://youtu.be/pN4_RV5d15g

The fact that the US army actually ordered and used these guns seem to prove that they weren’t that bad.. With only two charges in one barrel, it should be resonable safe. If a double ignition occur or if the rear charge are set off first by mistake (shouldn’t happen with the Linday’s rifle), I wounder how much more pressure it will generate? It’s not that uncommon to load muzzleloaders wih multiple balls stacked together, and roundballs isn’t that heavy compared to bullets, and black powder doesn’t burn as fast under pressure as smokeless either.

A barrel that can handle the pressure of a .454 casull should be able to handle 50 grains of black powder and ~200 grains of roundballs (the heaviest .454 casull bullet weights 400 grains) without problem.

I think that the most dangerous thing that can occur in a superposed gun isn’t the rear charge firing first (atleast not when it’s only one load infront), but both charges firing simentaneously and therefore the front charge is pushing its recoil against the rear charge trying to exit the barrel.

But it’s all theoretically, there’s only one way to find out for sure. Maybe some videos with experiments will pop up here in the future.

What was used for sealing the superposed loads in the bore back in the days? Did they use slightly oversized balls? What kind of non-combustible material can best be used for sealing today?

Last edited by Derringeer; February 10, 2020 at 08:25 PM.
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Old February 10, 2020, 10:01 PM   #23
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Reference to the Belton repeating flintlock may be found in the records of Continental Congress. Think of it like that pistol but with a sliding lock. The Royal Armouries in Leeds has one or two that was made for the British East India Company.
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Old February 10, 2020, 11:02 PM   #24
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The Lindsey was pretty cool albeit somewhat functionally flawed.
But it’s the same idea as the more recent “Metal Storm” up to 1 million rounds per minute gun.
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Last edited by TXAZ; February 10, 2020 at 11:20 PM.
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Old February 11, 2020, 10:41 AM   #25
Derringeer
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The rear chamber will be about 0.04” smaller than the bore and I’ll use a O-ring behind the rear ball to make a good seal. Should the edge of the chamber be rounded or angular?



What kind of noncombustible, non-sticky sealant can be used instead of ordinary wad, infront of the rear ball? Do you have any suggestions?

Last edited by Derringeer; February 11, 2020 at 10:49 AM.
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