Eight Years' Wanderings in Ceylon by Samuel White Baker

 -   A ball of that weight with an ounce of powder, would
knock down six or eight men in a row - Page 110
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A Ball Of That Weight With An Ounce Of Powder, Would Knock Down Six Or Eight Men In A Row.

A dozen of such weapons well handled on board a ship would create an astonishing effect; but for most purposes the weight of the ammunition is a serious objection.

There is a great difference of opinion among sportsmen regarding the grooves of a rifle; some prefer the two-groove and belted ball; others give preference to the eight or twelve-groove and smoothbore. There are good arguments on both sides.

There is no doubt that the two-groove is the hardest hitter and the longest ranger; it also has the advantage of not fouling so quickly as the many-grooved. On the other hand, the many-grooved is much easier to load; it hits quite hard enough; and it ranges truly much farther than any person would think of firing at an animal. Therefore, for sporting purposes, the only advantage which the two-groove possesses is the keeping clean, while the many-groove claims the advantage of quick loading.

The latter is by far the more important recommendation, especially as the many-groove can be loaded without the assistance of the eye, as the ball, being smooth and round, can only follow the right road down the barrel. The two-grooved rifle, when new, is particularly difficult to load, as the ball must be tight to avoid windage, and it requires some nicety in fitting and pressing the belt of the ball into the groove, in such a manner that it shall start straight upon the pressure of the loading-rod.

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