Reloading while running?

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After reading about Lewis Wetzel and others being able to run and reload at the same time, I have the honest question of how? Was this done with powder measure, cutting a patch and ramming? Or was it with using pre-made cartridges? Guessing just getting some powder in the bore and dropping in a ball? What about priming while running? I am somewhat new to the hobby and after reading Belue's latest article in Muzzleloader about it I decided to ask.
 

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The 2nd Wisconsin the morning of July 1st at Gettysburg while traversing the field between the Seminary and the ridge before Herbst Woods loaded on the run. They had paper cartridges .54 caliber for their Lorenz rifles. When they reached the crest it was clear the doing that was very necessary as the 7th Tennessee was there in the woods and opened fire on them instantly. That must have been a task even for such experienced soldiers.
 
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Loyalist Dave

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So the story is Wetzel could load and fire while fleeing from Indians. He allegedly did so killing or wounding several Indians chasing him . This was an emergency procedure.
Wetzel was reported to place several round balls in his mouth, and to spit the ball into the barrel, after adding powder, slam the butt of the rifle upon the ground, and then turn and shoot one of the pursuing Indians.

Folks have experimented and it has been found to work BUT..., there are some special conditions. First, the frizzen is shut on an empty pan. Next the powder is poured into the muzzle from the horn. This is dangerous especially because after the first shot followed with a rapid reload the shooter is risking a premature discharge. Next, the ball is spit from the mouth but NOT directly into the barrel. ;) Holding the mouth up to the barrel and trying to spit a ball into the muzzle was found to be a good way to knock out a tooth or two while running over uneven terrain. Usually the ball failed to go into the muzzle during testing. The solution was found; the shooters "off" hand is held at the muzzle and the ball is spit into the hand, and the hand then guides the ball as it drops into the muzzle. Then the rifle butt is tapped several times against the ground while continuing to run (hopefully not breaking the stock at the wrist or causing other stock damage) which then hopefully seats the unpatched ball on the powder at the breech. The pan on the lock self-primes at the same time because..., the touch hole is overlarge from use. The rifleman need only to cock the piece, turn, and to fire. Not a very far shot, but one can hit a man sized target in the chest at 25 yards and perhaps farther with an unpatched ball in a rifle.

Wetzel didn't carry ball all the time in his mouth, so he wasn't sucking on lead all day.

Another account is that some men would hold ball between fingers jammed where the fingers meet the hand, and over time the hand changed and it was possible to hold the balls in that hand without much discomfort.

LD
 
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So the story is Wetzel could load and fire while fleeing from Indians. He allegedly did so killing or wounding several Indians chasing him . This was an emergency procedure.
Wetzel was reported to place several round balls in his mouth, and to spit the ball into the barrel, after adding powder, slam the butt of the rifle upon the ground, and then turn and shoot one of the pursuing Indians.

Folks have experimented and it has been found to work BUT..., there are some special conditions. First, the frizzen is shut on an empty pan. Next the powder is poured into the muzzle from the horn. This is dangerous especially because after the first shot followed with a rapid reload the shooter is risking a premature discharge. Next, the ball is spit from the mouth but NOT directly into the barrel. ;) Holding the mouth up to the barrel and trying to spit a ball into the muzzle was found to be a good way to knock out a tooth or two while running over uneven terrain. Usually the ball failed to go into the muzzle during testing. The solution was found; the shooters "off" hand is held at the muzzle and the ball is spit into the hand, and the hand then guides the ball as it drops into the muzzle. Then the rifle butt is tapped several times against the ground while continuing to run (hopefully not breaking the stock at the wrist or causing other stock damage) which then hopefully seats the unpatched ball on the powder at the breech. The pan on the lock self-primes at the same time because..., the touch hole is overlarge from use. The rifleman need only to cock the piece, turn, and to fire. Not a very far shot, but one can hit a man sized target in the chest at 25 yards and perhaps farther with an unpatched ball in a rifle.

Wetzel didn't carry ball all the time in his mouth, so he wasn't sucking on lead all day.

Another account is that some men would hold ball between fingers jammed where the fingers meet the hand, and over time the hand changed and it was possible to hold the balls in that hand without much discomfort.

LD
I still ponder at trying to get powder in the bore while running. He practiced and it would have needed plenty too! Wetzel seemed like a very different character, wonder how much lead did play into that. I imagine some particles did get ingested having them rattle against his teeth while running. Better than the alternative. Thank you for the info, I forgot about him putting them in his cheek, but didn't know the rest.
 

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I find this very interesting. Jason J refers to "reading about ......."
I would like to know what is source is. I DO hope that it is not the Interent. It might well be from a book written many years ago --- which could well be recounting "scuttlebutt" (Google this term?) which over the years has become "truth" - or "perceived knowledge", as with so many things which have been plagiarised from earlier documents.
In like manner there are STILL people in the ML community who believe that what they saw in Westerns made in the '40s and 50's are actually what happenned. This even extends to "The man with no name" movies ;-)
 
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I find this very interesting. Jason J refers to "reading about ......."
I would like to know what is source is. I DO hope that it is not the Interent. It might well be from a book written many years ago --- which could well be recounting "scuttlebutt" (Google this term?) which over the years has become "truth" - or "perceived knowledge", as with so many things which have been plagiarised from earlier documents.
In like manner there are STILL people in the ML community who believe that what they saw in Westerns made in the '40s and 50's are actually what happenned. This even extends to "The man with no name" movies ;-)
There are many books written about Wetzel that predate the internet by many years. Some historians suspect that James Fenimore Cooper's "Hawkeye" was based on Wetzel.
 
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I find this very interesting. Jason J refers to "reading about ......."
I would like to know what is source is. I DO hope that it is not the Interent. It might well be from a book written many years ago --- which could well be recounting "scuttlebutt" (Google this term?) which over the years has become "truth" - or "perceived knowledge", as with so many things which have been plagiarised from earlier documents.
In like manner there are STILL people in the ML community who believe that what they saw in Westerns made in the '40s and 50's are actually what happenned. This even extends to "The man with no name" movies ;-)
That Dark and Bloody River by Expert, Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars by Doddridge are two that I have read in the last couple months. I try to seek out the actual books vs the internet and especially first person accounts. The internet is a trove of info, but I agree, is it accurate?
 
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That Dark and Bloody River by Expert, Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars by Doddridge are two that I have read in the last couple months. I try to seek out the actual books vs the internet and especially first person accounts. The internet is a trove of info, but I agree, is it accurate?
That should have read Eckert, stupid smart phone and dumb user...
 

Rató:rats

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That Dark and Bloody River by Expert, Notes on the Settlement and Indian Wars by Doddridge are two that I have read in the last couple months. I try to seek out the actual books vs the internet and especially first person accounts. The internet is a trove of info, but I agree, is it accurate?
Awesome book. One of Eckert’s best researched works. I seem to recall he claimed Brady and Kenton could reload on the run as well but it was a skill few frontiersmen mastered.
 

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