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Thread: Muzzle Loading Shotgun

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Muzzle Loading Shotgun

    I am interested in getting a muzzleloading shotgun, what should I be looking for? I would use it for hunting with most shots within 25-30 yards, small game and deer and hogs.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    A 28 ga (.550") would do quite well if you'd use a full size ball for medium game and shot for small game. Otherwise I'd likely look for nothing short of a 20 ga for shot and preferably a 12 or 10 ga.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master taco650's Avatar
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    I suggest a .62 "fowler". They are smoothbore but shoot both RB and shot. Same as 20 gauge in case you're wondering. Check out the dualist1954 channel on YouTube. He has several videos on flintlock fowlers showing both shot and ball performance.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    My vote would be for a .62 smoothbore as well. I have a fusel de chasse - good with patched ball or shot and as stated - the same as a 20 gauge. Unfortunately, when you are talking a fowler, you are also talking some dollars.

    My brother has a double 20 that CVA made and it is a good shooting shotgun but he limits it to shot.

    Maybe I'm not aware of any, but to me, I think a good reasonably priced production single barrel percussion shotgun in 20 go would sell well - I'm talking a traditional style gun - decent wood stock, etc. A twenty gauge is fully capable of taking down airborne birds, pheasants, bunnies, squirrels, varmints, etc.

    Good luck in your search and you might be able to find a decent vintage smoothbore at a fairly reasonable price - you'll just have to beat the bushes to see what turns up. You might also consider putting a WTB ad in the WTS/WTS section of this sight and see if anything turns up - you never know what someone might have that they no longer use and would be willing to sell.

  5. #5
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    I've tried pretty much all bore sizes in smoothbores over the years, the twenty bore is the best all around in my opinion. The guns we have built and sent out were overwhelmingly 20 bore.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  6. #6
    Boolit Bub hhilljr's Avatar
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    I have a nice Pedersoli 12 ga side by side with interchangeable choke tubes that I've been meaning to list on Gunbroker, if there's any interest.
    Montani Semper Liberi

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I also have a encore 12 ga x 209 if interested
    kids that hunt and fish dont mug old ladies

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I had Mr Bob Hoyt bore my 1' inch TC .56 cal barrel out to .62 cal and it will break clay birds as well as turkey/squirrel to 25 yds .Have not tried round ball yet as I own a lot of fast twist in 45-50-54 cal and don"t really need another deer killer ! The 62 is the 1st bird shot shooter that is a keeper .

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    For medium game are you intent on using buck shot? A .54 cal ball is more than plenty. However there's a fella on a traditional forum who likes to talk about "whompability" and the larger the ball the more of it you have!

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have never been a fan of buckshot, I thought about a Foster type slug or a round ball.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I picked a Lyman Deerstalker in .50 cal figuring a ball easily handles medium game and a conical will handle large game, though some kill elk with a ball too but reduce the range closer to 50 yds. I figure I'm handicapped enough and it would likely be a once in a lifetime hunt so I'd certainly use a conical.

    Being a Lyman replacement barrels can be had rather inexpensively and I intend to ream a .50 cal to 28 ga for small game and turkey. If a cylinder bore won't pattern well enough I'll likely have screw-in chokes installed if I don't do so at the same time. And I'd certainly try heavier loads than square for turkey as a few claim it does well for them and have had roughly 20 ga loads. This gives me two guns for less than many.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    While they keep increasing in value, the TC 12ga. New Englanders are not a bad way to go. Especially since interchangeable barrels in 50 cal. and others are available. I have one of those, and an Investarms Galleon. Both work quite well with ball or shot, are lightweight for carrying, and have been reliable though I would give the TC the edge for quality of construction. As mentioned earlier, Pedersoli makes several nice SXS shotguns, 20 ga, 12 ga, and 10 ga. if you want a double. Though hitting things with balls loaded in a double can get a little more difficult if you want to hit with both barrels.

    -Nobade

  13. #13
    Boolit Master swathdiver's Avatar
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    Pietta shotguns of 1970s and early 1980s vintage are very slight, light and handy. They are in reality 13 gauge. Pietta also made an excellent shotgun, a close copy of the English Westley Richards, that is the size of the modern Pedersolis and are 12 gauge. I prefer cylinder bore guns and can adjust the shot/powder charges. Pedersoli also makes 10 and 20 bore doubles. Soon, they'll be introducing a flintlock double of unknown bore.

    The Pietta doubles were last made in 1994. However, the lock parts are still available. When inspecting any double, check the condition of the bores, the solder between the ribs, and look for corrossion and cracking of the wood. Many of these guns were safe queens and never fired. Look for dents in the barrels too. Check the function of the locks and pull them if allowed to and inspect the underside. They can be easily cleaned and lubricated if dry and tough to work.

    With a 12 bore double, you can load as light as a 28 gauge or as heavy as a light 10 gauge load with the heavier doubles. They are quite versatile.
    "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." - John 3:18

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    Can anyone give me insight on a CVA Kit gun double in 12 gauge. Are these quality kits, I realize I need to inspect the build. I have no experience with CVA.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Nobade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgg View Post
    Can anyone give me insight on a CVA Kit gun double in 12 gauge. Are these quality kits, I realize I need to inspect the build. I have no experience with CVA.
    They were not the best quality. I know people ask high prices for them but I wouldn't give much for one.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Boolit Master swathdiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgg View Post
    Can anyone give me insight on a CVA Kit gun double in 12 gauge. Are these quality kits, I realize I need to inspect the build. I have no experience with CVA.
    The parts can be made into a serviceable gun. They had no metal butt plate, so consider making your own from steel or brass or whatever material suits you. Of course, if the barrels aren't regulated proper, it will not be a pleasant shooter.
    "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." - John 3:18

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Traditions imported the Ardesa single Caplock 12 bore fowler. It's a bit modern in styling but still walnut and blued steel. Did not import for long but they show up ocassionally. I picked one up CHEAP and like new, it shoots well. That 12 gage ball , it has lots of whoppity
    “You don’t practice until you get it right. You practice until you can’t get it wrong.” Jason Elam, All-Pro kicker, Denver Broncos

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    Thanks for all the information.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    If you just can.t handle a flinter I do have a 20 Ga caplock (yeech) trade gun here in the shop. Real reasonable too.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check