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Round Ball In A Cartridge Case

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by 345 DeSoto, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Well-Known Member

    I understand the importance of matching the rate of twist in a barrel to the bullet/powder used...ie. round ball/black powder/slower twist rate. I understand Pyrodex makes drop-in pellets for use in my 1858 Remington. Drop the pellet into the chamber, seat the ball, etc. Now here's what I was wondering...since my Pietta 1858 Remington has a twist rate for optimum accuracy with black powder/lead ball, and I have a Howell's .45 ACP Conversion cylinder, is it hair brained to think that I could load up my .45 ACP cases with Pyrodex pellets AND seat a round lead ball in the case? This is in the pursuit of accuracy, simplicity of just dropping in a pellet as opposed to measuring/dropping BP/adding a filler, keeping things a bit cleaner when out shooting, not to mention loading cartridges instead of BP or pellets etc. Off hand, "I" think it's feasible. I need to hear why it wouldn't be...:scrutiny:
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  2. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    Turner Kirkland [RIP] wrote an entire article about exactly that thirty years ago, and it often sees reprinting in Dixie Gunwork's catalog.
  3. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    The problem with a round ball is controlling bullet depth in the case. Unlike with a normal bullet, that has a cylindrical shape and plenty of room for whatever you're using to load it to grip on to, as well as provide friction on the case neck to prevent it from setback, a round ball only has the small equatorial edge. This means the bullet can easily be set too deeply or be pushed back into the casing. This will dramatically increase pressure, and can even blow up your gun.

    So short answer: no, don't do it. It's a bad idea.

    BADUNAME30 Well-Known Member

    My initial thot DeSoto was why not as long as the ball was 'sized' and you use a die to crimp it.
    These fellas do it and say it works.Don't know if yer old enough but when i was kid you could buy .22 'BB's '. Jist a .22 round ball was all it was.

    Anywho, check out this link.
    Heck, it wouldn't suprise me that if you found a Lyman reloading manual old enough it may even have a 'how to' on this very idea.

  5. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Well-Known Member

    with Goex black powder and a Wonder Wad behind it, it can't ''set back'' much.
  6. Hellgate

    Hellgate Well-Known Member

    I don't theink there is enough room in a 45ACP for a Pyrodex pellet. Maybe in a 45LC, or 44/40 but the 45ACP is just too short.
  7. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Well-Known Member

    It can be done. Probably not with pellets. Just think of the case as the chamber. Add powder, wad, seat ball so powder is compressed somewhat. Make sure ball is seated passed its center line. Slight crimp will help. A case mouth flare will keep lead from being shaved from ball when its being seated.
  8. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Well-Known Member

    HELLGATE - These are the dimensions of the .44 Pyrodex pellet...approximately .40 inch in diameter and .63 inch in length. So with a .452 ball seated halfway into a .45ACP case (.735 inside depth), that would only leave approximately .51 inch for a .63 inch long pellet. Oh well...it was a thought. Back to Unique...:)
  9. dogrunner

    dogrunner Well-Known Member

    It can be done........easily, and the results might surprise you. Out of curiosity and with a lack of any proper bullet I applied the rb approach to my NAA Guardian in .32 auto. Used a light charge of Bullseye and a .311 RB from a Lee mould that'd been rolled in liquid alox, crimped it just sufficiently to hold and proceeded to shoot a full magazine load into a small cluster at about ten yards. Also used rb's in a .44 cartridge revolver with similar results with both black and smokless. In every instance the accuracy level was really good.
  10. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Well-Known Member

    I'm not a fan of pellets but I've loaded my fair share of Round Ball into 45 Colt on top of Goex 3f Black Powder.

    One of your biggest issues will be lube compatible with Black Powder/Pyrodex, round balls lack a lube groove which means you'll have to find another way. I used to scrape SPG into the case mouth prior to seating the ball on top of a veggie wad. Keep in mind that using lubed wads can lead to fouled powder over a period of time.

    The rifling on a pistol designed for conical bullets won't be sufficient to "over-spin" a round ball. Send one down a long rifle barrel though and you could wind up with a cork screw trajectory on the way down range.
  11. the Black Spot

    the Black Spot Well-Known Member

    U can add a small amount of cream of wheat on top of powder. It will clean out barrel. Make sure black powder is compressed at least 1/16"
  12. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Well-Known Member

    My circa 1920 Ideal catalog has instructions for shooting 457 round balls from 45-70 cases for small game and indoor armory practice. That would take a LOT of filler. I actually saw cases that were cannelured to hold the round ball down almost an inch down inside the case. Another way it was done is to punch a dimple on the side of the case to hold the ball at the depth you want. Seems like a great deal of work to shoot "poof" loads in a rifle.
  13. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I'm not following this. Why would a deep-loaded roundball increase pressures? Are you talking about bottleneck cases or something?

    I've loaded roundball in a variety of cartridges. Sometimes I crimp right over the ball's curve with filler holding it in place. Other times I poke the ball deeper into the case so it has contact. Either way seems to work well, and I've never seen any sign of overpressure. If anything they're running the risk of being underpowered and not clearing the barrel.

    I've also worked up double-ball loads for the .450 Marlin without issues.

    And I've also loaded bullets deep inside cases for the Nagant, and that works fine.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2012
  14. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Well-Known Member

    DANGER. There should never be a void between black powder and the projectile. Some kind of filler. I think the rational behind the ball being set back too far creating excess pressure is the velocity of the ball before it hits the chamber transition to rifling or forcing cone. It can act like the bore obstruction that we have all been warned about.

    The later model Martini Henry rifles had bores that were double choked. The bore just ahead of the chamber actually swaged the bullet from 472 to about 470 and then at the last six inches of bore at the muzzle, again swaged the bullet down from 470 to 468. Loading such guns with modern hard alloy bullets can be a recipe for disaster. (why is why slugging such a bore will not give a proper bullet diameter for loading. )
  15. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    Sure, there needs to be a tight fit with black. And arguably with smokeless (though this is still debated). But I've never heard that a roundball set deep will somehow become a forcing cone obstruction. If it's true, then the concern only applies to revolvers. But where is this printed? The physics don't really make sense to me, given that in many wheelguns there's already a significant space between the position of the projectile and the forcing cone. Think of a .45 ACP cylinder in a Blackhawk for example. Is it something the brass is doing?

    As an even more extreme example, I once left the T-C shotgun choke on my special .450 Marlin, which had the effect of swaging down high-velocity hardcast slugs at full velocity! The recoil was oddly jerky, and accuracy was horrible, but there was no KB and not even a sign of stress on the choke threads.
  16. Plastikosmd

    Plastikosmd Well-Known Member

    Got couple of boxes of Remington .357 00 buck, 2 balls per .357 round. One stacked on the other in the case. Never shot any
  17. 345 DeSoto

    345 DeSoto Well-Known Member

    Aaahhh...we digress...:)
  18. Captain*kirk

    Captain*kirk Well-Known Member

    Why not simply buy a Kirst or Howell conversion and shoot cowboy loads, if you are so inclined?
  19. BADUNAME30

    BADUNAME30 Well-Known Member

    I think i can answer that.
    In a word........FUN :D
  20. Captain*kirk

    Captain*kirk Well-Known Member

    Now I'm confused.:confused:

    Not about the 'fun' part.....personally the loading with all it's PITA is one of the best features of shooting the Holy Black. But the OP seemed to be trying to get away from that. Or am I missing something?

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