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round ball

cahascahas Member Posts: 4,064
I have always heard a slow twist rifled barrel is best for accuracy when shooting a patched ball in black powder rifles. I assumed the same would hold true in the pistols although the Pedersoli Kentucky .45 pistol is 1:16" twist and the Lyman plains pistol .50 is 1:30.
So does a short barrel change the equation?


  • hillbillehillbille Member Posts: 13,676 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    just a guess but I would say in a revolver it wouldn't make much of a difference because of barrell length and moreover powder charge in the 25-30 grain range. Not sure how much spin can be obtained from short barrell,low charge combo.
  • BrookwoodBrookwood Member, Moderator Posts: 12,277 ******
    edited November -1
    The purpose for rifling is to put a spin on the ball.
    This spin helps to keep a projectile in line to a point of aim for a longer distance than you would get from a smooth bore barrel.

    The shorter the barrel means that you have to have a faster twist in order to accomplish the spinning to take place.

    I have cut pieces from slow twist rifle barrels to make pistols out of them and have found that there is not enough twist left to give the projectile the spin required for longer range accuracy.
  • cahascahas Member Posts: 4,064
    edited November -1
    Thank you both for replies. I haven't used round balls for a quarter century and that was with Hawken rifle.
    I don't have much experience with BP muzzleloader pistols but have taken interest in them.
  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,860 ******
    edited November -1
    "have found that there is not enough twist left to give the projectile the spin required for longer range accuracy.".............not exactly correct, you need rpm's for accuracy; how much depending on bullet (round ball- or conical+) lenght and weight. short barrel=less velocity=less rpm's.
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