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Loading a Snake Eyes pistol with bird-shot?

5282jt5282jt Member Posts: 10 ✭✭
How would you suggest loading this smooth bore double barrel derringer up?
I have a bottle of #5 bird shot already.
Just need close range for snakes.


  • odenthevikingodentheviking Member Posts: 523 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have tried this w/other BP pistols and I must say it does not work out so well. The problem seems to be that getting enough pressure from a muzzle loader and the short barrel. If you wanna try it out just load powder, then wadding that is packed down as tight as possible, then the shot, then more wadding to hold the shot in place. But i think you will find what I did...... the shot spreads out very fast and has little/no penatration.
    Good Luck!
  • GatofeoGatofeo Member Posts: 230 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    What caliber is the Snake Eyes pistol? I seem to recall it was .36 caliber, when made years ago.
    In that case, I don't think you could get much shot in it.
    Muzzleloading shotguns use the same measure for both black powder and shot. This might work for your pistol.
    A .44 caliber pistol would carry more powder and shot.
    You'll want a felt wad over the powder, perhaps two wads. Seat the wad(s) firmly on the powder. Add the shot, then top the shot off with a thin card wad you've cut yourself, or a single felt wad.
    Seat the top wad firmly on the shot, but don't crush the shot.
    Felt wads in either .36 or .44 caliber are available from Ox-Yoke, as Wonder Wads.
    I wouldn't use No. 5 shot. You'll get too little of it in the bore to be of much use. For snakes, go to No. 9 or 7-1/2 shot.

    DANGER! Beware of ricochets. Years ago I loaded my 1851 Navy .36 with shot, and fired at a paper target pinned to plywood about 30 feet away. What I didn't take into account is that the revolver has a limit on how much powder and shot you can put in it.
    Consequently, I had a small amount of powder and (thankfully) not a lot of shot. On my first shot, the low-velocity shot bounced back from the plywood, hitting me.
    I heard a "TICK!" hit my glasses. The remaining shot bounced off my clothing and bare skin. It stung a bit, but didn't penetrate my hide.
    So be very wary of shot ricocheting back. Rocks, water, trees, glass, metal and hard soil may cause ricochets.
    Shoot at an angle to your target when you experiment, so the ricochet doesn't come back at you.
    You may be able to get enough powder in your Snake Eyes to give the shot a little velocity increase, but these pistols are not particularly strong so don't overdo it.
    Use FFFG black powder or Pyrodex P.
    Do NOT use Hodgdon 777; it's fairly powerful stuff and not intended to replace black powder across the board. Hodgdon doesn't recommend its use in brass-framed revolvers, so steer clear of it with your pistol.

    I live in the remote Utah desert and don't shoot snakes. They keep the rodent population down. If I encounter a rattler in the wild, I just go around him. But I'm not maudlin about it, if he's in my yard then he's become too familar.
    Snakes are enormously beneficial to us. I hope you're not shooting them just because of what they are.
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