Black Powder Pistol

Discerning Shooters’ Black Powder Pistol and Black Powder Revolver Depot

My thanks to Michael Shepherd of for permission
to reproduce the photo of an English Turnaround Percussion Black Powder Pistol

Dale Calder who hails originally from Whangarei, New Zealand has had an interest in handguns including black powder pistols over many years.
He has now reached a point in his life where he would like to indulge that interest further by participating in the firing of reproduction
black powder revolvers and pistols here in Auckland, the City of Sails, where he is currently residing.

Flashover – A Real Danger With Your Black Powder Pistol

Posted by admin on August 22, 2008 under black powder revolvers

So .. why should you be concerned about flashover in your black powder pistol? And indeed, just what is flashover?

Flashover occurs (and we are here referring to black powder revolvers as opposed to single shot pistols) where the flash resulting from the discharge of one chamber causes the powder in other chambers to ignite .. with often devastating consequences. Injury or even death can result to the shooter .. or even any observers close by.

There are a number of ways that the problem of flashover can be addressed.

Using a greased or beeswax covered ball slightly larger than the bore so it is packed into the cylinder with the loading lever is a method that many of the old stalwarts will use, whereby some of the lead is actually shaved away. An added benefit of this is improved accuracy.

Crisco, a popular brand of shortening is also often used to top each cylinder and has the added effect of retarding black powder residue.

Wads are perhaps the most commonly used, however if you choose these it is important to ensure that these are resistant to high heat and compresssion and are water resistant. Vegetable fiber wads are excellent in that regard. Furthermore, wads will give your revolver a good seal thus minimizing blow by.

After measuring out your powder and pouring it into each cylinder it is also a good idea to pack a wad in on top .. just a memory jogger which should ensure that you don’t go load a second charge! This is in addition to the wad used to seal the cylinder.

In situations where you may be using a lesser charge in a black powder revolver it is a good idea to put some sort of filler such as cornmeal between the powder charge and the ball, because the chances are that if you don’t you will not be able to seat the ball far enough down so that it sits firmly on top of the powder. It is important that you don’t have any airspace in this area as this can blow out or bulge your cylinder or black powder pistol when it is fired .. and that could prove catastrophic!

Technorati Tags: , ,

One Response to “Flashover – A Real Danger With Your Black Powder Pistol”

  1. I recently was at the range shooting my pietta 1858 new army buffalo with 25 grains of pyrodex p and tried both conical and round ball loads, for some reason I got some kind of blowback that went straight back and stuck tiny pieces of what I think was the Cap into my cheek and arm , it didnt cause any serious damage , but what might have made this happen ?
    I loaded with 20-25 grains of pyrodex p fffp pistol powder, then placed a wonder wad over powder, then loaded in an appropriate grain conical bullet, made sure it was place firmly in , and placed a #10 cap on the nipple reapeated process for each cylinder , fired and this happened .
    any idea’s why ?

Leave a Reply