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beginning with the left barrel, and holding the pouch at an angle so that the hand is not over either barrel. A cardboard wad is then put into each muzzle, and the ramrod is again used to push them carefully home, but not to rap them, as before; the less pressure used on the shot the better, so long as the wad barely keeps it in its place. Lastly, replace the ramrod (or loading rod); and, taking the gun up in the left hand, with the muzzle pointing downwards, half cock it, and removing the exploded caps, put on fresh ones, pushing them well down on the nipples with the thumb. By adopting this method the least possible amount of danger is incurred; the only risk being from a piece of tow having been left in the breech, which may take fire, and communicate it to the powder as it is being poured down, when, if the powder flask is not properly constructed, an explosion of its contents may take place. On the other hand, if the above precautions are not taken, even if the flask is ever so sound, it may be blown through the hand with great violence. In loading either barrel while the other is loaded, take care that the one containing the charge is at half-cock, while the other has the hammer down, as left by its discharge. In this case the most prudent plan is to turn the gun so that the loaded barrel is the farthest off from the person; but if the butt is put across the foot, and the hand is not held between the gun and the body, which it never ought to be, this is not of any great importance.

In order to accelerate the loading of these guns, or to increase their powers,

several contrivances have been invented. Of these the most ingenious are the Rackheath and Hall's two kinds, which act on somewhat different principles, and Eley's as well as Joyce's cartridges for increasing the range of the gun; each being described as follows:

(a) The Rackheath consists of a case of common cartridge paper, at the bottom of which is placed an ordinary wad, the edges of the paper being gummed over it. Into this the shot is poured, then a felt wad, next the powder, over which the ends of the paper are turned. Lastly, a disk of paper, having a piece of tape attached to it, is gummed to this all round, taking care not to wet the powder in doing this. When this is done the cartridge is complete, and may be carried in the

a

pocket till it is wanted, when the tape being pulled the disk comes off, leaving the powder exposed, and then the whole, being inverted, is put into the muzzle and rammed down with a final tap.

(6) Hall's first cartridge is made in the same way excepting that, instead of the tape, a disk of paper is attached to a ring of metal, which, as the ramrod is applied, prevents the case from going down the barrel, but allows of the powder and shot being rammed down at one operation.

(c) Hall's second cartridge is much more ingenious than either, but like many most clever inventions is radically bad, for the reason which will presently be given. It consists of a brass tube which fits the interior of the barrel, and is pushed down for its whole length, being prevented from going further by a rim or turn over. This tube is loaded as follows. A thin wad has a fine thread attached to it, and is pushed down to the bottom, leaving the thread fixed over the upper lip by the thumb; the powder is then poured in; next follows a felt wad, then the shot, and finally a card wad, with the name of the inventor on it. When thus prepared the thread is cut off close and the cartridge is ready for use. When the metal case is put into the barrel, a ramrod drives down the charge, but in doing this the thin wad is held suspended by the thread, allowing the powder to pass it, and finally lying between the powder and the felt wad. But in order to use this cartridge the wads must of necessity be smaller than the barrel by the thickness of the metal cartridge case, and thus there is always danger of the charge becoming loose. Although, therefore, there is great ingenuity displayed in the invention, I cannot recommend its use in the field.

The two cartridges just described (a and 6) may, however, facilitate the loading of the percussion gun to a considerable extent.

(d) Eley's and Joyce's patent wire cartridges are used for a different purpose, having reference to the shooting powers only. The circular of Messrs. Eley is here annexed, its statements being verified by my own experience as well as by that of most practical sportsmen. The cartridges of Joyce and Co. are similar in their construction, but Messrs. Eley have the credit of the invention.

of the gun.

“ These cartridges are composed of a cage of wire, inclosed in a thin paper case, with a wadding attached, fitting the bore

The shot are placed within the wire; and the principle of their action is extremely simple. On leaving the gun, the paper is torn in pieces, and the shot immediately begin to quit the case, passing through the meshes of the wire net. The wire is carried forward with the shot so long as any remain in it, and, when empty, falls. Thus, the royal cartridge, when fired through a paper screen placed at 10 or 15 yards from the gun, will be found to have spread some of its shot like a loose charge, while the remainder will have been carried through the screen in the form of a ball; and if a target had been placed behind the screen at 25 yards, the wire would be found to have dropped short of it, and the shot entirely separated. The green will carry their shot further.

The royal are intended for the second barrel at the commencement of the season, or the first barrel when game is wild; they make a good spread of shot 20 yards from the gun, and will kill 20 or 25 yards further than a loose charge.

“ Those in green cases are for wild fowl and very long shots; they will kill twice as far as a loose charge.

“ The universal shot cartridges are intended to supersede the use of the shot-belt; they are composed of shot packed in a paper case, between layers of soft bone-dust, with a wad

a ding attached, fitting the bore of the gun. They contain no wire, thereby removing the objection (however fallacious) sometimes urged against the wire cartridge. On leaving the gun the

paper is torn in pieces, and the shot at once separate, acting precisely as a hard-hitting loose charge, but much more uniform. Balling, or clubbing, at any distance is impossible, the shot being quite as much separated, and covering as large a space, even at the distance of five yards from the gun, as if loose shot were used. And whatever is the performance of a gun with loose shot, a cartridge of equal weight will put twenty-five per cent. more shot in the same space at 40 yards, and with great additional strength; so that a gun that will throw loose shot strong and close is improved in the same degree, making it shoot in a very superior manner-affording a greater chance of killing, because, in addition to the closeness, they cover a larger surface in consequence of every shot being brought into action.

" The manufacturer having only put forth statements, the accuracy of which any sportsman may test for himself, solicits a few careful experiments, in order that they may be used with confidence.

“The following advantages may be enumerated as applicable to all of them :

“ They keep the gun free from lead, and the unpleasant recoil consequent therefrom, during the longest and hottest day's shooting

“Much smaller charges than common may be used.

"The loading is performed in half the usual time, the only wadding necessary being attached to the cartridge.

“ When once rammed down, they are not so liable to rise or get loose by the tiring of the other barrel.

"To those who prefer light charges they are invaluable; a cartridge containing 1 oz. of No. 7 shot is far more effective than a loose charge of 14 oz. of No. 6. This will be found a great acquisition in the early part of the season.

“ It has long been well known to sportsmen of discernment, that the pellets constituting the loose or open charge are scattered too much, and thrown with a very disadvantageous irregularity, besides a considerable portion of the charge being very defective in point of strength or projectile force, about one-fourth of it being rendered nearly useless by friction in passing up the barrel. These great defects induced innumerable plans and experiments from time to time with the view of effecting the great desideratum of lessening the spread, and accomplishing the dispersion with some degree of precision-none of which had been found to act with cer. tainty until the discovery of the patent wire cartridge.

“The only real objection ever raised against them was their liability to ball; but this defect has been long remedied, in proof of which the patentee has received the highest encomiums from most of the first sportsmen of the country, and all the leading authors of the present day who have written on the subject of shooting.

“The patentee submits the following particular statements as to the comparative effects of the loose charge and the cartridge, with the assurance that he states nothing but what is borne out by the evidence of facts, being founded upon the repetition of careful and accurate experiments, which renders any material error utterly impossible.

Comparative Effects of the Loose Charge and the Cartridge.

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