Author Topic: covering the ball with powder  (Read 9393 times)

northmn

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Re: covering the ball with powder
« Reply #25 on: July 22, 2009, 01:52:49 AM »
Do you really feel that fast reloads were typical use?  There has been some discussion concerning the fact that it may have been common for J Q Frontiersman to shoot then clean his rifle before reloading.  Considering that they may have not done a lot of shooting that is likely common.  While loading in a hurry may have been done on occasion, it was likely done with more an attempt to get something shooting than any attempt at accuracy.  When running buffalo off horseback the Metis were said to have put ball in their mouth and loaded directly from the horn. Try to use a powder measure off of horseback. You woauld not put it in your hand either.  Burst barrels were also not uncommon.  There were also references to plains rifles having barrel blow.  There were also references to double charging rifles, which implied the use of measures.  Cooper used to reference light loads in rifles in his Leatherstocking tales.  From most references I have read, we tend to use heavier charges today.

DP 

Mike R

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Re: covering the ball with powder
« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2009, 03:03:54 PM »
Do you really feel that fast reloads were typical use?  There has been some discussion concerning the fact that it may have been common for J Q Frontiersman to shoot then clean his rifle before reloading.  Considering that they may have not done a lot of shooting that is likely common.  While loading in a hurry may have been done on occasion, it was likely done with more an attempt to get something shooting than any attempt at accuracy.  When running buffalo off horseback the Metis were said to have put ball in their mouth and loaded directly from the horn. Try to use a powder measure off of horseback. You woauld not put it in your hand either.  Burst barrels were also not uncommon.  There were also references to plains rifles having barrel blow.  There were also references to double charging rifles, which implied the use of measures.  Cooper used to reference light loads in rifles in his Leatherstocking tales.  From most references I have read, we tend to use heavier charges today.

DP  


Easy to  find period quotes about fast reloads and techniques back into the 18th cent.  Loading on the run is mentioned more than once.  Bare ball were often carried in the mouth for quick reloads when in battle or facing a dangerous animal [bear, lion...].  fast reloads often involved dumping powder directly from the horn or pouring in the hand.  Anticipating battle some sewed patched onto the balls.  Precut patches in anticipation of battle are mentioned too. Of course paper cartridges were for fast reloads.  powder measures [chargers] are also commonly mentioned and it is true that some at least were ~ half charges--double doses used when heavy loads needed.  Alot of hunting and battles involved close-range shooting.  In one quote, the hunter, facing a large bear, withdrew his ramrod and put extra balls in his mouth before firing the 1st shot.  One account mentions carrying balls small enough that they would slide bare down the barrel without the need for a ramrod.  The balls were wet because the idea was that they would stick to the powder and not slide forward.  The old timers did what they thought was necessary and prudent and did not think like us moderns about ballistics and magic lubes and the like.

not sure where the lines came from...
« Last Edit: July 23, 2009, 03:04:56 PM by Mike R »