The invention of rifling: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord
Writing as B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

The history of airguns

This report covers:

  • Fine rifling
  • The Trapdoor barrel
  • Bullet deformation is bad
  • Pope’s muzzleloading breech loaders
  • Dr. Hudson
  • Airguns and rifling
  • Twist rate
  • Diabolos and twist rate
  • One last question answered
  • Summary

I am running this report immediately after the Part 1 because of the questions several readers asked. I can see that the subject of rifling is not understood that well. I stopped the first report with the invention of Ballard rifling, which I said was shallow thin lands and wide grooves. Today I will start at that point.

Fine rifling

Ballard rifling was great because of what it did — or rather what it didn’t do. Ballard rifling did not deform the bullet as much as the other kinds of rifling I mentioned last time. You will recall that I said the development of the Trapdoor Springfield rifle marked a major advance in the development of ammunition. It did not do the same for rifled barrels. read more