The Pedersoli Muzzle Loading Indoor Shooting Experience
The Pedersoli Muzzle Loading Indoor Shooting Experience is a relatively new concept by Pedersoli, allowing muzzle loading shooting without the use of Black Powder or lead balls, using instead Pedersoli's specially designed polymer round balls. The Pedersoli Muzzle Loading Indoor Shooting Experience is perfect for function testing, practicing and trigger control for competitions, without the need for powder and cleaning.
Single Shot Muzzle Loading Replacement
The system works in two ways. Firstly, for muzzle loading single shot guns, such as the Pedersoli Kentucky, the regular nipple is removed and replaced with the Pedersoli 209 Primer Nipple Conversion Kit. This works on any single shot Pedersoli percussion gun, both pistols and rifles. This is a two-piece device, which works by firstly screwing the device into the gun in the normal fashion, next by unscrewing the top part of the 209 Conversion. This exposes a cavity in the top of the nipple, into which a standard 209 shotgun primer is inserted. The top is then screwed back on. The top part of the conversion nipple acts as a captive firing pin, when a primer is inserted in the device, and the top screwed in place, the regular action of the hammer will strike the captive firing pin in the nipple conversion device, and detonate the primer. All in all, this took me a couple of minutes. It really is as simple as unscrewing one nipple, then replacing it with another.
Fitting the Pedersoli Muzzle Loading Nipple Conversion
When the nipple has been fitted to the gun, but no primer inserted, the gun must be loaded. Pedersoli's polymer balls come in three different sizes, .354, .440, .451, for use in the gun of the next size up. Pedersoli recommend these are used with a patch. On test, I used a .45 Pedersoli Kentucky pistol, with a .440, 50gr Polymer ball and a .010 patch. Loading is easy and just like normal, though obviously no powder is used. The patch is placed on the muzzle, and the ball is driven slightly into the muzzle, then rammed all the way. The ball started well in the muzzle, and no real force was required to seat the ball firmly at the breech. I found, even after 20 or so shots, there was no fouling to speak of, and loading got no more difficult. Pedersoli recommend the bore is cleaned every 10 shots or so, though I noticed no difference in loading difficulty, so I omitted this step until after I had finished shooting.
After loading the patched ball, all that remains is to prime the gun, by unscrewing the top part of the nipple, placing a 209 primer into the cavity, and replacing the upper part of the nipple. The gun is then charged, and ready to fire.
Accuracy at 15 meters (Pedersoli's recommended distance) is reasonable, all shots went in the black of a standard air rifle target, shooting single handed. There is no recoil, and the gun is quick and easy to reload. The only small issue I found was that the primers have a tendency to get stuck to the upper part of the nipple assembly, and therefore may require a small wiggle with a screwdriver to free, but other than that, it's possible to get a fresh round off in only a few seconds. Pedersoli also claim the balls can be re used, and I did recover a couple of balls that I was able to re-use, when shooting into chipboard, I reused one ball twice before it shattered, though I'd say that the polymer balls are no more recyclable than lead, given that anything soft enough to prevent the polymer ball deforming would affect lead in a similar way, also polymer is not able to be melted and re-cast.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning is also simple. Though shotgun primers are naturally quite dirty, the nipple attachment was easy to clean, and required only a spray with oil and a wipe on all surfaces with a rag. The bore was very much similar, I ran a lightly oiled bronze brush through several times, then followed with cleaning patches until they came out clean.
All in all, I think the Pedersoli Muzzle Loading Indoor Shooting Experience is a very pleasant, more casual, way of shooting. Naturally, the characteristics of the propellant and projectile do restrict it to short range shooting, but given that no other components are required, I'd say the fun that can be had with it outweighs the small cost and limited range. It is important to remember that you are still discharging a firearm, therefore this can still only be used within the restrictions of your license, though I think this is something everyone should try with their muzzle loading gun. I was somewhat surprised how much fun I had with it, it is a simple and fun breath of fresh air to shooting muzzle loading guns, or alternatively, a low cost and hassle way to practice.
The advantages are that it's quick to use, comparatively clean, and cheap. There is also no smoke and no loud report, so it can be used without hearing protection. It's great, easy to use shooting for recreation or more serious practice. It has its drawbacks, namely that it's range is limited to 15m indoor shooting only, as the projectile has neither the weight nor propulsion to travel any great distance, though ranges beyond 15m are seldom used for shooting with Black Powder muzzle loading pistols anyway.
What do I need to use the Pedersoli Muzzle Loading Indoor Shooting Experience?
Also, to see the Pedersoli Muzzle Loading Indoor Shooting Experience in action, please click here.