Shoot A Screw Barrel Pistol

A screw barrel pistol was often used as a last defense resort.

A screw barrel pistol was designed several hundred years ago as a “hide out” gun, able to be slipped into a boot or other tight space and readily available. The one-shot small-barreled firearm uses a cap and ball system to fire and is quite deadly at short range. Modern replicas are available and, because they are based on antique designs, are not as regulated by the federal government as more up-to-date firearms.


1. Fill the barrel with the correct amount of black powder according to the instructions for the screw barrel pistol. Each pistol caliber is going to use different amounts of powder. Do not overfill.

2. Lubricate a patch with grease and set over the top of the barrel. Seat the ball into the middle of the patch and push down with your reamer until the ball is seated against the powder.

3. Snap the percussion cap onto the nipple. Some shooters like to squeeze the cap before putting it on the nipple to ensure a better fit, but this is optional.

4. Pull the hammer back while the firearm is pointed in a safe position. When the gun is fully cocked, then carefully and gently pull the trigger while aiming at the target.

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