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Another experiment... 200+ grains FFFg, and 2 balls

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Ferret, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Ferret

    Ferret Well-Known Member

    Yup.. thats right (well.. i dont know exactly how much BP... but)

    Dont remember who posted that the Confeds used to proof a BP revolver by doing this, but, I am insane and thought I would try it.

    Capped a nip, lined it up with hammer back, poured FFFg down muzzle until the level was about 1/2 " below crown. Put ball in crown and tapped with leather mallet until it was in bore, repeat with 2nd ball until ball just under muzzle.


    pull trigger........


    Not BOOM... but boom. Balls went a TOTAL of 22ft before hitting the ground and bouncing along quite merrily.

    :what: :what: :what: :what: :what: :what: :what: :what: :what: :what:


    One..... there is hardly any compression to the BP and the balls done provide enough of a seal (the furthest back travels 1/2 " in bore) therefore not enough pressure for anything really neat to happen.

    No power... LOTS of smoke.:cuss: :cuss: :banghead: :banghead: :( :( :p

    Oh.. and... disclaimer.

    DONT try this at home unless you want to be branded a complete idiot (like me) This is dangerous.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2006
  2. NailGun

    NailGun Well-Known Member

    :what: Theories: Manufacturer's recommendations for loading are probably accurate. Follow them…….Just a thought….
    Recommendations: Kids!! Don’t try this at home.
  3. Ferret

    Ferret Well-Known Member

    yeah.. this one definately isnt listed under 'manufacturers recommended loads'!!
    :confused: :eek: :confused:
  4. musher

    musher Well-Known Member

    You capped a nipple, cocked the hammer, filled the chamber and barrel with powder (from the muzzle, I suppose), then hammered on the muzzle end...and you want to know what's wrong with the picture?

    I don't know where to start.
  5. hillbilly

    hillbilly Well-Known Member

    Let's see, somebody posted something on the Internet, or you think you remember that's maybe where you saw it, and you filled a BP revolver cylinder and the barrel up with powder, and then hammered balls down the muzzle atop all that powder? And then you capped it and pulled the trigger on it?

    You are right about one thing. You are insane.

  6. Ferret

    Ferret Well-Known Member

    I am definately insane...
    didnt blow the gun though.
    and let me point out that when i was 'hammering on the muzzle', there was a THICK (14oz) piece of leather between the hammer and the cap, and TWO pieces over the muzzle, the last thing that i wanted was a have a 'honey, i just shot myself in the forehead' incident. I aint THAT insane... grin.
    (hey ferret... do me a favour will ya, look down here and see if you can spot the flash when i pull da trigger?)

    As to where this 'factoid' was posted, i do believe that it is on here somewhere.

    Also, let me note that this Remmie was about to be broken up into a parts gun anyway, (just picked it up at a pawn shop for $15, crap bore.. No finish..), so I wasnt worrying about breaking it.
  7. Manyirons

    Manyirons member

    cylinder gap mah fren! GAS done leaked out. Yer balls tight enuff ta do it from tha hammerin.
  8. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    This was sort of a stupid thing too do, but what saved your wagon was that the initial ignition blew the balls out of the muzzle, the pressure dropped to zero, and a whole lot of unburned powder ended up on the ground.

    And no, that wasn't the way Confederates (or the Union for that matter) tested their revolvers. They did test muskets with an overload (usually twice the standard load) but there was plenty of space left in the bore for the powder to burn.

    If you look close at your revolver you'll find little stamped symbols on the frame, and sometimes the cylinder. These are proof marks, made by a government proof house in whatever European country the gun was made in. Since they proofed it (and they know what they were doing) you don't have to. Take my word for it... :scrutiny:
  9. Ferret

    Ferret Well-Known Member

    Cylinder gap and blowing the balls out.
    Yup, I do believe you are both spot on with this one. The balls blowing out of the muzzle and the powder just blowing out are what I believe are the reasons for the small boom not the big BOOM.

    oh... and i did keep one fact from yawl....

    When i 'pulled' the trigger, I was behind 18" concrete and 10' from the revolver itself.

    (just coz i do stupid things dont mean that i am real stupid... :) :) )
  10. gmatov

    gmatov member

    Old Fuff,

    I might take some grief for this, BUT, well, yeah, the Rebs DID test in a manner more extreme than you think is rational.

    IE, the Yanks probably had better steel available than the Confederates did. They made their cylinders of "twisted iron", I assume "wrought iron", NOT steel.

    Page 10 of "The Confederate Brass-Framed Colt and Whitney", a journal of the manufacture of the Spiller and Burr brass framed revolver, and the Griswold and Gunnison, .

    F'rinstance, they proofed the 36 cal at 55 grs rifle powder, TWO balls, and TWO wads, and complained that the cylinder gap was too large, too much "windage" I assume too much blowby. They held, by the way.

    Next test was with 82 grs rifle powder, 2 conical balls, 2 wads. "Bursted".

    I probably posted the Maniac's loading data.The book says they tested 36 cal barrels at up to 165 grains of powderwith 2 balls "well packed".

    The Rebs made primarily, if not entirely, 36 cal copies. Gopddamn, if their brassies could do all that, why do we cut the brassies made today?


  11. Duncaninfrance

    Duncaninfrance Well-Known Member

    (just coz i do stupid things dont mean that i am real stupid... )


  12. pohill

    pohill Well-Known Member

    Ferret, how do you know how many grains of powder you used? Do you think that if you used, say, half as much powder, it all would have ignited in the barrel?
    How about a chainfire experiment?
  13. 1911 guy

    1911 guy Well-Known Member

    Proof loads.

    To proof fire a BP gun, double the max charge and use two balls, both seated firmly. This is not a shooting load, but a factory test load that generates pressures normal shooting will never approach. Despite internet rumors, you can blow up a BP gun with BP.

    As to the experiment conducted above, I wouldn't recommend a repeat. You just used up your "lucky day" allotment for the year. What saved you from holding onto a grenade was the cylinder gap, and the powder mostly burned in open air. Hence, almost no range. Oh, capping is the LAST thing you do before firing. NEVER load a capped piece, rifle or pistol.

    Just re-read and saw you weren't actually holding it. WHEW!
  14. Low Key

    Low Key Well-Known Member

    Any one reading this thread should keep 2 things in mind...

    1. Ferret is nuts for trying this...don't do this experiment at home kiddies
    2. There are some ancient italian replicas floating around in the shooting world which are of very questionable quality and very likely will explode with a true "proof load"

    Most of the newer guns are of pretty good quality, but not all. Caution is best.
    I'd rather shoot the gun than let a handgenade explode while I hold on to it. :eek:
  15. sundance44s

    sundance44s Well-Known Member


    All i can think of to say is ..FERRET, FERRET FERRET ..are your meds not working . Although you did explain ya is insain .. modern science can`t help ? no meds on the market yet ?
  16. Ferret

    Ferret Well-Known Member

    let me bring again to your attention .... there was a concrete wall between me and the grenade... whoops... remmie copy.. the butt was in a vice and there was a long string going between the trigger and me.

    Yeah.... i do know how insane this experiment was... but.. i was curious and took every precaution possible, past the fact that loading the damn thing was enough to get me in the Darwin Awards.

    As to 'how do i know the exact amount of powder'. Well, I have absolutely no idea... i stopped tallying after the 200grain mark.
    I could go out and fill it all up again to measure the charge, but, nah.:neener:



    As to the 'dont breed' comment.
    I am quite happy to state that I have absolutely no intention of getting together with Duncan and trying to breed.

    No boom today, boom tomorrow, there is always a boom tomorrow.
  17. Steve499

    Steve499 Well-Known Member

    Well, lets see...... Junk gun, concrete wall, long string, overloaded revolver and an internet rumor. Sounds like a segment on MythBusters to me. Atta boy, Ferret. Interesting experiment.

  18. sundance44s

    sundance44s Well-Known Member


    Sounds like one of those Acme products the cyote used trying to catch the road runner ..:D any way glad to know ya can still type . :eek:
  19. B.D. Turner

    B.D. Turner Well-Known Member

    When I first saw this I thought GK was out of jail.
  20. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Well-Known Member

    You wear the self-awarded title of "insane" like a badge of honor.

    It reminds me of the country/western and hip-hop stars who advertise their time in jail or prison as a worthy accomplishment.
    You're not insane, your'e just another damned fool. And some other damned fool will try your experiment and may lose a hand, eyesight or even life.
    There was absolutely no reason to post this, other than to inflate your own ego.
    If this were posted by a ballistics laboratory, that could also provide pressures and velocities, it would be of value. As it is, it proves nothing and is dangerous.
    Many others may think I'm being harsh. I am. I've seen too many foolish/dangerous posts on various message boards over the years to remain silent.
    Posting this was dangerous. The moderator should have erased it immediatley. As it is, I'll likely be chastised by a moderator for being argumentative and unfriendly.
    So be it. Label me a troublemaker. It doesn't mean I'm wrong.
    And it most certainly does not mean you were right to post such a dangerous practice.

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