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Login Name Post: screw barrel pistols        (Topic#271190)
Matt85 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1538
07-21-12 09:17 PM - Post#1170252    


i recently purchased a Pedersoli Liegi (screw barrel) pistol from dixiegunworks to play around with since the idea of the screw pistol seems amusing. while the visual quallity of the Liegi pistol is low it seems to work well mechanically.

after lots of net surfing it appears that not many people seem to understand these types of pistols. if you look it up on youtube you will find most people dont even know how to properly load the pistol!

here is what ive learned from a combination of research and playing around with the pdersoli screw barrel pistol:

1. loading: the screw barrel pistol is NOT to be loaded like a traditional single shot pistol. the loading process is as such:
A: unscrew the barrel
B: fill the powder chamber till it reaches the bottom of the "ball cup" (roughly 12 grains in the liegi).
C: place a ball in the "ball cup" (there is no patch or wad involved)
D: thread the barrel back on the gun over the ball. (this should take some effort)

2. selecting a proper ball size: from my research and understanding of these pistols they are more closely related to the civil war era revolvers then they are to the single shot pistols they share a likeness too. you need to select a ball size that creates an interference fit similer to the way a ball fits in a revolver. most pistols come with a key for the barrel, a proper ball size will require the key to be used to easily seat the barrel after the ball is placed in the cup. you should not be able to fit the ball in from the muzzle! my Pedersoli Liegi pistol seems to like the .457 ball, this requires the key to turn the barrel down.

3. how power is generated in such a short barrel?: many people claim these little screw pistols are underpowered or weak. i suspect they come to this conclusion due to improper loading. the way i understand it, these pistols work by pressure building up behind the tightly fitted ball before the ball begins to move. an example is a cork in a bottle of champagne, loosen the cork just a small amount. then shake up the bottle, after a few seconds of shaking the cork will launch out of the bottle with impressive speed. this is caused by pressure building up against the resistance of the tight fitting cork. so, in theory if you use a tight fitting ball in the screw pistol the pressure build up will be much greater due to the resistance caused by the very tight fitting ball. this should allow a screw pistol to fire a ball at greater speed then a similer sized traditional patch and ball pistol.

disclaimer: im no expert, this is just some conclusions ive come up with threw research and testing the pistol. further tests need to be made with a chronograph but im BROKE. so unless someone wants to loan me one, those tests are going to have to wait.

 
Grullaguy 
40 Cal.
Posts: 138
07-21-12 10:12 PM - Post#1170269    

    In response to Matt85

I was intrigued by these pistols when I first saw them.

Crude yet functional for that needed shot for situations when the social niceties break down suddenly.


 
nilo52 
40 Cal.
Posts: 284
nilo52
07-22-12 12:48 PM - Post#1170448    

    In response to Matt85

I have a question. Do you load your screw barrel just before firing it, or do you carry it loaded?
The pistol does have a half cock and I guess you are "supposed" to cary it that way. What is your take on this ?
nilo

 
Anonymous 
07-22-12 01:33 PM - Post#1170463    

    In response to nilo52

I have a couple of originals and have a friend that has made a couple. Probably not much good past a couple of feet. I take it that they were carried loaded, just as you would a concealed weapon today. I've heard them refered to as muff or belly guns.
Mark
Mark

 
Matt85 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1538
07-22-12 04:35 PM - Post#1170518    

    In response to Papa

these pistols were ment to be carried loaded. the carry position for the Liegi is in half cock with the trigger folded up into the gun. (the trigger drops down when the hammer is pulled to full cock.)

i havent figured out an effective range for this pistol yet but im gonna assume its probably around 1-3 yards. the next time i get out to the woods ill play around with the idea.

 
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1301
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss
07-22-12 05:37 PM - Post#1170527    

    In response to Matt85

I've noticed the incorrect loading procedures on youtube as well. It drives me nuts seeing those guys loading from the muzzle. I've wondered how well a larger version of one of these would work. Say a beefed up frame with a 30 grain powder chamber and a 6 or 8" barrel.

 
Old Ford 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2261
07-22-12 05:56 PM - Post#1170531    

    In response to Matt85

The screw barrel pistols were not very powerful, and most were not too accurate.
They were disigned for defence.
And the greatest fear was the surgeon, he killed you ketting the ball out.
But they are neat in as much you do not need a patch, and the ball won't fall out!
Old Ford

 
Matt85 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1538
07-22-12 09:57 PM - Post#1170612    

    In response to Musketeer Von Blunderbuss

  • Musketeer Von Blunderbuss Said:
I've wondered how well a larger version of one of these would work. Say a beefed up frame with a 30 grain powder chamber and a 6 or 8" barrel.



this has crossed my mind many times. at some point down the road ill put together some $$ and get someone to build me one.

i think an 6" - 8" barrel with an inside diameter of around .451, with a powder chamber that holds 30 grains of 3F would be awsome!

i know Pedersoli makes a longer barreled version of the Liegi pistol but i believe it still uses the 12 grain charge.

Edited by Matt85 on 07-22-12 09:57 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1301
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss
07-22-12 10:49 PM - Post#1170627    

    In response to Matt85

What got me thinking about such a pistol was seeing this vid of the Kamerlader pistol. Imagine a pistol this size but a much simpler (and cheaper) screw barrel design.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjzrUYgAzAI

 
Matt85 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1538
07-22-12 11:08 PM - Post#1170632    

    In response to Musketeer Von Blunderbuss

i like the idea of the underhammer, it would allow for sights on the screw pistol.

 
Cynthialee 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4985
Cynthialee
07-23-12 08:21 AM - Post#1170699    

    In response to Musketeer Von Blunderbuss

That pistol is so cool!

Wonder why I have never seen a rifle with a similar mechanism?

 
Don 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2219
07-23-12 09:58 AM - Post#1170730    

    In response to Matt85

I have a pair of the Pedersoli screw barrel pistols. I load the chamber with all the triple 7 it will hold and a .454 ball. Its a tight fit but thats good because it means higher pressure and better velocity. With this load velocities are a bit over 500fps. Not great but enough to penetrate a one inch thick piece of pine every time and probably bury that lead ball in someone with bad intentions. These guns were often carried by ladies in a muff or by city gents when they walked bad neighborhoods. Backwoodsman some time ago had an artical about an original pair of pistols of similar design. Except these pistols were made of some very tough steel and could hold a charge of 40 grains of powder. I would imagine that I would feel quite secure back in the day carrying a brace of those. Of course range would be limited to a few yards. I can hit a paper plate easily with my screw barrel pistols out to about 5 yards. I would quickly buy a pistol that could handle a charge of 25 to 35 grains of powder and a .454 ball out of a gun about the size as my New Orleans Ace. I'm confident that velocities approaching 700fps would be possible making it a real threat to any bad guy.

Don

 
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1301
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss
07-23-12 03:05 PM - Post#1170845    

    In response to Cynthialee

  • cynthialee Said:
That pistol is so cool!

Wonder why I have never seen a rifle with a similar mechanism?



There were Kammerlader rifles and carbines from the 1840s to at least the 1860s. They were used by the Norwegian military. Sadly, though, while the pistol is a graceful work of art, the long guns were pretty boxy and homely (kinda like me).

P.S. Don, thanks for the load and velocity figures.

Edited by Musketeer Von Blunderbuss on 07-23-12 03:06 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Spence10 
Cannon
Posts: 6211
07-23-12 03:54 PM - Post#1170868    

    In response to Musketeer Von Blunderbuss

The screw-barrel pistol idea is a very old one. It is mentioned in a Portuguese book published in 1718, The Perfect Gun (Espingarda Perfeyta). It is in a section describing ideas which had been tried by the Old Masters in former times, referring back into the 17th century.

"Others invented the screw-barrel pistols, in which the bullet rests on the gunpowder, and does not fit into the barrel forward, and thus united it shoots far, penetrating much more that other pistols, which have an equal bore in the barrel."

Of course, the famous Ferguson rifle works on the same principle, oversize ball resting on the powder and forced/extruded into a smaller bore. The old Portuguese tried that, too.

"Others introduced the bullet under the trigger guard, which closes the entrance with a screw, or thread, advising that the fire to expel the bullet would go out by a hole even narrower than half the bore of the barrel, forwards, in which part it would not fit, and since the fire being compressed was prevented from leaving, it would multiply its forces, increasing such fury against the bullet that it would double its range."

Spence

 
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1301
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss
07-23-12 04:31 PM - Post#1170884    

    In response to Matt85

  • Matt85 Said:
i know Pedersoli makes a longer barreled version of the Liegi pistol but i believe it still uses the 12 grain charge.


I believe you're right. It just has a longer cannon style barrel. I'd assume everything else is identical.


 
HighRocker 
36 Cal.
Posts: 95
HighRocker
07-28-12 11:37 AM - Post#1172617    

    In response to Matt85

Here is my web page on a subset of these pistols.
Muff pistols

 
nilo52 
40 Cal.
Posts: 284
nilo52
07-28-12 11:44 AM - Post#1172621    

    In response to HighRocker

Thank you for the muff site address and the loading information ! These little guns are very nice.

Nilo52

 
Matt85 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1538
07-30-12 02:36 AM - Post#1173147    

    In response to HighRocker

  • HighRocker Said:
Here is my web page on a subset of these pistols.
Muff pistols



i had come across your website durring my research. its a very informative site and it helped me greatly with my pistol. thank you for the information!

 
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1301
Musketeer Von Blunderbuss
07-30-12 06:33 PM - Post#1173445    

    In response to nilo52

  • nilo52 Said:
Thank you for the muff site address and the loading information ! These little guns are very nice.

Nilo52



Ditto. Very cool. Thanks for the link.

 
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