#### Powderandball

##### 32 Cal

- Joined
- Aug 29, 2020

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Take a look at this chart with velocity, charges and barrel length comparison. Black Powder BallisticsMike Beliveau has a film out on the YouTube’s describing the power of cap and ball barrel lengths.

In .44s, the standard size 8” barrels give about 270 ft lbs of energy. The same load in the popular (if inauthentic historically) 5.5” barrel “Sheriff” models reduce that down to just over 200 ft lbs.

However the really short 3” and under “snub nose” or “avenging angel” type guns out there, of which Pietta makes repros of, have abysmally low ballistics. Something like 60 ft lbs, about on par with a .25 Auto.

So below 5.5” the cap and balls guns plummet in velocity and energy, and for my personally I prefer the added power of an 8” barrel.

A .451 ball loaded with 28 grains of pyrodex fired from a 5.5” barrel give 108 ft/lbs (146 joule)

A .457 ball loaded with 46 grains of pyrodex fired from a 5.5” barrel give 350 ft/lbs of energy (474 joule).

A .451 ball loaded with 28 grains of pyrodex fired from a 8” barrel give 113 ft/lbs (153 joule).

A .457 ball loaded with 35 grains of pyrodex fired from a 8” barrel give 242 ft/lbs (328 joule).

So in fact, the 5.5” barrel is more powerful than the 8” barrel when the powder charge is increased. Perhaps a 40 grain charge in the .44 3” Deringer actually made it more powerful? Perhaps a 3” Deringer in cal .50 loaded with 50 grains of pyrodex will give more ft/fps than a 8” pistol in cal. 45 loaded with 30 grains?

What surprise me is that a .490 ball loaded with 50 grains of 2F Goex Black Powder fired from a 10” barrel gave only 83 ft/lbs (112 joule), what’s the explanation behind that? A larger ball, more powder and increased barrel length should make it more powerful.