HOWDAH Pistols for stopping the charge

I found some 460 cases! So now its just priming and load testing. I "think" Im gonna start with Pyrodox and some lead 255 gr SWC bullets that I had intended for 45 acp. They are .451 caliber. I think 460 calls for .452 diameter bullets. Im guessing they will work, at least until I can source something better???
 
I have heard of people loading 460 S&W cases all the way up with BP to use in reproduction Colt Walkers. If an open top can handle it then you should be totally fine.
 
I found some 460 cases! So now its just priming and load testing. I "think" Im gonna start with Pyrodox and some lead 255 gr SWC bullets that I had intended for 45 acp. They are .451 caliber. I think 460 calls for .452 diameter bullets. Im guessing they will work, at least until I can source something better???
I think 60grs is probably max, or equivalent pistol pyrodex
 
Most people use a thin card over the powder, you can use your flaring die as a compression die. Then measure from the rim to the top of card, repeat until you get the depth that you need to crimp the bullet into the crimp groove. Either add or remove powder to get the correct depth, remembering that bp and bp substitutes need to be compressed. I personally don't use a card and just made a tight fiting compression stem. You could load 300-400gr bullets this way also, I have some 385's I'm going to try, when I get some brass, using 3f Swiss.
 
Depends, most are .451, some older ones are .454


Generally:
Based on my firearms and experiences.

45 ACP is .451 jacketed bullets and .452 lead bullets. .452 may work, depends on firearm.

45 Colt is .452 jacketed bullets and .453 or .454 lead bullets. .451 may work depends on firearm.

44 Old Army, New Army, Navy, etc black powder revolvers use .4515 to .457 depending on: using ball, type conical, firearm, and manufacturer.

.45 Single shot muzzle loading pistols like Colonial, Kentucky, Trapper, etc. again depends on type: smooth bore or rifled bore, type/ period, firearm, and manufacturer. Whether if using a patch, wad, or card, with round ball(s), or type conical, and barrel length. Generally the use .440 to .4475 diameter projectiles.

.45 rifles using patch and round ball(s) use .440 and .445 diameter ball. Mini and maxi balls (conical bullets) are .445 to .454. Depending on smooth bore or rifled bore, firearm, and manufacturer.
 
Generally:
Based on my firearms and experiences.

45 ACP is .451 jacketed bullets and .452 lead bullets. .452 may work, depends on firearm.

45 Colt is .452 jacketed bullets and .453 or .454 lead bullets. .451 may work depends on firearm.

44 Old Army, New Army, Navy, etc black powder revolvers use .4515 to .457 depending on: using ball, type conical, firearm, and manufacturer.

.45 Single shot muzzle loading pistols like Colonial, Kentucky, Trapper, etc. again depends on type: smooth bore or rifled bore, type/ period, firearm, and manufacturer. Whether if using a patch, wad, or card, with round ball(s), or type conical, and barrel length. Generally the use .440 to .4475 diameter projectiles.

.45 rifles using patch and round ball(s) use .440 and .445 diameter ball. Mini and maxi balls (conical bullets) are .445 to .454. Depending on smooth bore or rifled bore, firearm, and manufacturer.
In a revolver, in my experience, jacketed bullets .452 work across the board, from 45 colt to 460. Except for really early 454 casuals, which were actually made .454 groove diameter. Depending on manufacturer. With lead bullets it becomes more important and they should be at least cylinder throat diameter and not more then a few thousand over bore diameter. Muzzleloader single shots rifling is the exact same fir rifle or pistol, depending on manufacturer, not point in having buttons, readers and drills different, even the cut rifling they try to have the same, depending on how it laps out. A lot of custom builders will make both from one blank, that's what I used to do. I have loaded for and shot all the above, except for 460s&w. The big differences between the bores, comes mostly between original and replica and where and when the replica was made, or if it's a.built custom gun. I.was talking generally, because this is a Howdowa page, basically just slug your bore, then you know what you have, in a revolver, use pin gages in the throats and slug the bore.
 
".....Muzzleloader single shots rifling is the exact same fir rifle or pistol, depending on manufacturer, not point in having buttons, readers and drills different, even the cut rifling the...."

Somewhat true...Eeehhh.....

I had a 45 cal rifled barreled that depending on patch thickness I could shoot a .440 to .447 round ball. Using hollow base mini ball I needed to use .445 to .4475 diameter conical. Using a solid base "buffalo bullet" cast from a Lee bullet mold I would have to size the "buffalo bullet" to .445 - .446 for it to fit down the rifle's barrel.

My .45 Colonial pistol won't take a patched .440 round ball. The .440 round ball sits on a felt wad. A .445 round has to be severely forced down the barrel. For conical bullets I have to resize cast bullets to .435. Using jacketed bullets over a felt wad the .430 Hornady bullets work fine.

And then back to the revolvers in my previous thread.

I for good reason have to reluctantly not go into detail on what I am patent pending trying to do. When fully successful (to my very stringent satisfaction) my concept (I hope) will be a revolutionary game changer for hunters; ( especiallyAmerican hunters).
 
You should call Pedersoli, they do excellent tests and could probably help with how much pressure the action can handle. Fun project, by the way, hope it works out well!
 
Its been a while but I finally got around to priming a few 460 SW cases and today I loaded three, (yeah I know only three). The first I loaded with Pyrodex Pistol BP substitute. I loaded 50 grs then a fiber card and a round ball. To seal the round ball I used a "star crimp" tool that I purchased from Buck Stix. He makes tools for various full length brass shotshells. This one is for .410 shells and puts 3 crimps in the brass (the larger tools make more crimps). The case with 50 grs plus the fiber card and the ball had the uncrimped load only slightly above the case mouth, so the crimping tool holds the round ball just slightly exposed.

The next two were loaded with 55grs and no card. Then I seated a 451 caliber lead SWC bullet so the top of the gas seal was flush with the case. In all three shells the powder was tamped to remove any airspace. The powder load about capacity for the case with the ball/wad and SWC bullet.

A FEW NOTES
a (commercially loaded) round fits in the Pedersoli Howdah
I do NOT plan to attempt shooting a full power 460SW in the Howdah
460 SW calls for magnum rifle primers
So far Im using Pyrodex pistol powder


On a side note 45-70 does NOT fully fit the chamber (it stops about 1/4 inch short) but it appears to my UNTRAINED eye that it MIGHT be a candidate for a gunsmith conversion??? I do understand that there are significant mods that would be required but Im hopeful of the potential....
 
Its been a while but I finally got around to priming a few 460 SW cases and today I loaded three, (yeah I know only three). The first I loaded with Pyrodex Pistol BP substitute. I loaded 50 grs then a fiber card and a round ball. To seal the round ball I used a "star crimp" tool that I purchased from Buck Stix. He makes tools for various full length brass shotshells. This one is for .410 shells and puts 3 crimps in the brass (the larger tools make more crimps). The case with 50 grs plus the fiber card and the ball had the uncrimped load only slightly above the case mouth, so the crimping tool holds the round ball just slightly exposed.

The next two were loaded with 55grs and no card. Then I seated a 451 caliber lead SWC bullet so the top of the gas seal was flush with the case. In all three shells the powder was tamped to remove any airspace. The powder load about capacity for the case with the ball/wad and SWC bullet.

A FEW NOTES
a (commercially loaded) round fits in the Pedersoli Howdah
I do NOT plan to attempt shooting a full power 460SW in the Howdah
460 SW calls for magnum rifle primers
So far Im using Pyrodex pistol powder


On a side note 45-70 does NOT fully fit the chamber (it stops about 1/4 inch short) but it appears to my UNTRAINED eye that it MIGHT be a candidate for a gunsmith conversion??? I do understand that there are significant mods that would be required but Im hopeful of the potential....

Pictures please. I'm interested in what your loads look like.
 
Pictures please. I'm interested in what your loads look like.

6982CF20-6493-43B2-BA4D-39A04A5948DC.jpeg
AEE2C183-2ABD-4341-BBA3-54BD7F42D2FC.jpeg
BF697156-137A-4BD9-AB2A-EAF967C90680.jpeg
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Its been a while but I finally got around to priming a few 460 SW cases and today I loaded three, (yeah I know only three). The first I loaded with Pyrodex Pistol BP substitute. I loaded 50 grs then a fiber card and a round ball. To seal the round ball I used a "star crimp" tool that I purchased from Buck Stix. He makes tools for various full length brass shotshells. This one is for .410 shells and puts 3 crimps in the brass (the larger tools make more crimps). The case with 50 grs plus the fiber card and the ball had the uncrimped load only slightly above the case mouth, so the crimping tool holds the round ball just slightly exposed.

The next two were loaded with 55grs and no card. Then I seated a 451 caliber lead SWC bullet so the top of the gas seal was flush with the case. In all three shells the powder was tamped to remove any airspace. The powder load about capacity for the case with the ball/wad and SWC bullet.

A FEW NOTES
a (commercially loaded) round fits in the Pedersoli Howdah
I do NOT plan to attempt shooting a full power 460SW in the Howdah
460 SW calls for magnum rifle primers
So far Im using Pyrodex pistol powder


On a side note 45-70 does NOT fully fit the chamber (it stops about 1/4 inch short) but it appears to my UNTRAINED eye that it MIGHT be a candidate for a gunsmith conversion??? I do understand that there are significant mods that would be required but Im hopeful of the potential....
I bet the 45-70 case can be turned down and resized to fit
 
I sorta Hijacked the Backwoods Carry Gun thread with my insistences about a Howdah pistol for stopping an attack. So to clarify a Howdah Pistol got its name from the "saddle" mounted on the back of an Indian Elephant, where hunters sat while hunting Tigers. The Bengal Tiger is the largest of the Cats. It seems they quite often take exception to being hunted and often will show their displeasure by climbing up the elephant's side to get the hunter.

The Howdah Pistol began in the percussion age (Maybe flintlock but I am dubious), and reached its zenith during the side hammer cartridge period. Typically they were SxS's although O/U's do exist. Most were double barrels but some had four barrels. They fired LARGE round balls or conicals, of at least 40 caliber but typically much larger 50 and 577 were more the norm. Quite a few started as shotguns and stayed that way firing slugs.

Many of them began as Shotguns that were shortened and modified with a handgun grip, Later guns were purpose built as handguns. Generally speaking they werent holster guns, although that was possible. Most originals show a lanyard loop on the butt and were meant to be hung on the sides of the Howdah "chair" for quick access. The pistol format was chosen because it was easier to maneuver than a rifle at close range (read that arms length), during the the general chaos of the climbing Tiger and the disturbed elephant.

We are here now because Ive made a pursuit of Howdah pistols over that last few years. So far Ive found one original, a few double barreled pistols that definitely arent Howdah's but were sold as such. As well as a few reproductions. Pedersoli is responsible for the reproductions. They make a flintlock and percussion guns with 58 as well as 20 ga barrels. They also make several versions of 45Colt/410 guns with and without hammers.

I like the Pedersoli caplock; but the 45/410 guns are hardly what I would call a Howdah. Im sure they chose 45Colt because of its ability to also be chambered for 410 shot shells. Neither 45Colt nor especially 410 shot gun rounds are anywhere near a REAL Howdah cartridge. I would have much preferred 45-70 or larger. Using 45-70 Cowboy loads would have been possible. Heck one of the 50 caliber pistol rounds would have worked too. Were it not for NFA rules a 20 or 16 gauge SxS or O/U shotgun with 8-10 inch barrels and a pistol grip would be easy and near perfect.

Modern options are limited American Gun Company makes the Diablo Its a SxS In-Line muzzleloader that uses 209 primers. It has a single trigger and single hammer with a switch/lever to change barrels. Its available with 6, 8, and 11 inch barrels. My biggest grip is the grip. Its more "Gangsta" than Howdah. The only other options are from Bond Arms. They make a 6 inch barrel for their two shot derringers but again only in 45Colt/410. They also make a single shot 45-70 that they call Cyclops. Its also available in 50AE. The Cyclops is more gimmick than Howdah. Perhaps if they made it with TWO shots and a longer barrel ....
Just me…I would never use any type of hand gun to stop a charge even one that started off as a shot gun
 
The reason for a handgun originally was because of such close range and a startled elephant that you were riding on and because your double rifle was probably empty

Today I think in addition to the close range, it’s also because the user might not be hunting or his rifle was leaning against a tree or some such. Do you carry a rifle while fishing? Or keep your rifle in one hand when skinning?

Ultimately we depend on handguns because they are “handy”….
 
I dont want to turn the 45-70 down. Id love to rechamber the gun for 45-70.
I would be very cautious of doing that, I don't believe the action would take the pressure. You have to remember that after you are done and gone, it will still be around and someone may fire a standard 45-70 in it, not a reduced charge, like you would, also, a 45-70 is for a .458, not a .451, so it may not work. It is best to just work with what you have and not modify the chamber. We'll, that's my 2 cents on the matter.
 
Good point about the .458 vs .451.

Im way down this rabbit hole, trying to get Howdah "power" from one step above a toy. Its a bit of a (dare I say) fools journey; but fun if also frustrating. Something in a fat short cartridge is my desire.
 
Good point about the .458 vs .451.

Im way down this rabbit hole, trying to get Howdah "power" from one step above a toy. Its a bit of a (dare I say) fools journey; but fun if also frustrating. Something in a fat short cartridge is my desire.
Right, but I would still stay within the pressure limits and not modify the guns chamber, or some fool.down the road will blow it up. I think the idea of either brass 410 or the 460 brass is on the right track. Or step up to a bigger/stronger frame
 

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