That's almost un-American...LOLI will confess to owning a 50 and a 54. And have not fired a shot in either one. But, I hope to be retired in 14 months and have lots of lead to cast balls with.
When I start and run the ball - I pick it up by the muzzle and let the butt dangle. I too, fear of splitting the stock. This my .54I've seen some beautiful loading stands, but they scare me and I don't think I'd ever use one. I've shot pistols for years, and always just hold the butt up against my belt line as I do the ball starting and seating. I have seen quite a few cases over the years of stocks cracked from putting pressure down on the pistol while the butt was resting on a piece of wood.
my '401k' is just barely seven figures now, and my FERS pension would only be somewhat meager, even with the supplemental bridge payment, so unfortunately it just does not feel quite ready yetIf I could have retired at 50 I wouldn't have let the door hit me in the a**. Retirement isn't overrated, by any means. Especially with the way things are currently.