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Stupid question

sockssocks Member Posts: 189 ✭✭✭
Just wondered: I have a '49 pocket, .31 cal. Would this round,
standard loading, be more or less powerful than a modern 22 long
rifle round?


  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,543 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    That is a good question.
    I do know that the .44 cap and ball has, on paper, about the same power as the .38 special. The round ball is a uniquely lethal man killer and the .44 and .36 proved deadly in Civil War combat. Wild Bill Hickok used the .36 and it is documented that he killed a man in a duel with a single shot to the chest at 75 yards.
    I bet some of the guys will be able to answer your question, but I do know, I wouldn't want to get shot by the little .31, as I imagine that a couple of those to the chest would be fatal.
  • firstharmonicfirstharmonic Member Posts: 1,031 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I checked two books to find out how they compare - "Cartridges of the World" by Frank Barnes and the "Lyman Black Powder Handbook". And it's no secret that Mr. Barnes is sometimes suspect in his information and opinions but the data that I got was from a table that he just reprinted; not one that he dreamed up. So it's probably pretty reliable. Probably more so than some of the other stuff he prints.

    Anyway, the hottest load tested by the Lyman folks was through a replica Baby Dragoon with a 5 3/4" barrel. It was using 13 grains of FFFFg black powder. 4F black is not usually considered a good idea as a main charge (just thought I'd mention that in passing). And the bullet was a 50 grain .319 lead ball. Muzzle velocity was 795 FPS; muzzle energy was 70 Ft./lbs.

    For the .22, a high velocity load - 40 grain bullet - fired through a 6" pistol barrel measured with a MV of 1125 FPS and a ME of 112 Ft./lbs.

    So the edge, at least using these two sources and their data, goes to the .22. And I wouldn't want to be hit with either one.
  • dtknowlesdtknowles Member Posts: 810 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The .31 would be about as effective as the .22 lr on small animals. Not as effective as .22 against someone with heavy clothing. Round balls do not have very good penetration.

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