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Thread: i just bought a used navy arms 10 gauge double barrel blackpowder shotgun percussion

  1. #1

    i just bought a used navy arms 10 gauge double barrel blackpowder shotgun percussion

    so anyone on here own and use blackpowder shotguns? and what load recipes you have to share as i just bought this BP shotgun and are wanting to learn more about it plus can i use it as short range deer/hog gun like they used the trade muskets for back in the day using lead roundballs? plus am i going to use this with light loads to hunt squirrels all the way up to turkey and hopefully some ducks/geese so any info on this would be appreciated?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy arcticap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Central Connecticut
    You are asking for a lot if info.
    I wouldn't be surprised if it was made by Pedersoli since Navy Arms used to be a major Pedersoli dealer and may still make a DB 10 gauge shotgun.
    However their updated model has removable Invector chokes which I don't know if yours does or not. Does it?
    The Pedersoli website should at least have some loading data for it.
    Pedersoli often has 1 large manual for many guns:
    Here's 2 manuals their website offers:



    I also found a post elsewhere that mentions the bore diameter of their newer production DB 10 gauge. But again that
    model has Invector chokes that may constrict the bore at the muzzle.

    Loading it can be easy or complicated depending on what supplies that you have on hand and how much that you are willing or need to improvise.
    For instance, sometimes loading can be dependent on what the choke is, if any, and if it has fixed chokes or not.
    You should obtain the bore diameter at the muzzle to see which size of commercial wads might best fit past the muzzle of your gun if it does not have removable chokes.
    Or you can improvise and use non-conventional alternative loading materials to simply try the gun out.

    I have loaded a few different BP shotguns and smooth bore guns, including a .410, a .667 smooth bore pistol, 28 gauge shotgun and 12 gauge shotgun.
    But never a 10 gauge. Not that it matters but I have used both conventional and non-conventional loading techniques.
    By non-conventional, I mean that I have used newspaper as wadding over the powder in order to help seal the bore & powder from the shot or projectile charge.
    This is because I did not have the correct conventional BP wads or over-shot card material at the time.
    Because I was using Pyrodex, I wanted to be able to seal the powder since it's not as explosive as real black powder is.
    I also wanted to cushion the shot charge to help improve performance by cushioning more like conventional wads.

    There's different types of wadding material that can be used and/or purchased to seal the powder charge, and shot charge.
    I have also used conventional plastic wads made for modern smokeless shotguns to hold shot charges and projectiles and then firmly tamped down balled up newspaper
    both under and on top of that in place of over-shot cards.
    That was mostly for convenience and experimentation purposes, but plastic wads can and do work as intended to enhance performance with better patterns, depending on the gun.
    I did not experience any plastic melting inside my bores at all using Pyrodex and plastic wads when newspaper was used as wadding in between the powder and plastic.

    Generally speaking, a large bore muzzle loading shotgun can be loaded with at least equal amounts of powder and shot.
    If you load 80 - 90 grains of powder and 90 - 100 grains of shot, you will have very close to a modern hunting load.
    I've loaded this charge in a 12 gauge BP shotgun without any problems, although it was a single barrel.
    I often add at least 10 grains (by volume) more of shot than powder.
    Then add extra shot as needed to fill your pattern as desired.
    Or use less shot and powder if you want even lighter loads.

    Wikipedia has a shot chart that can tell you exactly how many balls of a particular shot size equals one ounce.
    You can count the shot balls out to verify that number and then put the load into your powder measure to verify the volume.
    Here it is:

    IMHO, even 1.5 ounces of shot is not too much of a shot load for a 12 or 10 gauge shotgun as turkey loads can be quite large.
    And muzzle loading shotguns don't always pattern as tight as modern guns thus more shot is needed to obtain good patterns.

    You can always adjust the load incrementally up or down to meet your needs and depending on your results.

    The next step would be to figure out exactly how you want to load it, and with which types of wadding and over shot material to hold the shot charge in place.
    That's imperative with a double barrel gun since you don't want to dislodge the load in the 2nd barrel with the recoil from shooting off the 1st barrel.
    I would load only one barrel at a time until you have all of the loading procedures down pat and are confident in their ability to hold the shot load in place.
    I usually like to keep the gun pointed upwards in between loading and taking my 1st shot while at the range.
    I also had no problem with using several balled up wads of newspaper and compressing them down into the bore to hold the shot charge in place when at the range.
    I have also used cotton balls along with the newspaper wadding to help cushion the load both under and over the shot.
    But using cotton was only experimental and not being recommended for you.
    But it's very important that everything is tamped down and compressed tight.
    Cotton can also be a slight fire hazard if not shooting in an environment that's safe from fires as the cotton can sometimes lightly smolder after exiting the barrel.
    Newspaper is less of a hazard.
    Take a small section of newspaper, crumble it up into a smallish loose ball that's slightly more than large enough to fill your bore and tamp it down hard.
    Repeat this several times until you get a good enough seal on top of the powder charge.
    A long thick wooden dowel can be very helpful in this regard, which can be purchased from any hardware store for $1-$2.
    It should be close to about 1/2" in diameter to make an effective tamper which can accept putting weight on it. Make sure that it's longer than your barrels.

    You will eventually need to decide which conventional wad materials to buy, which diameter and material of wads and over powder and over shot cards.
    Whether they will be enough to seal the bore and shot charge as well as this unconventional method that I have described is all up to the materials that you choose.
    It may take some experimentation which can be hit and miss.
    I'm only trying to give you an opportunity to shoot your gun without knowing the specific details about your chokes.
    Good luck and PM me if you need further clarification

    P.S. If loading both barrels, always be careful about pointing your muzzle downward. I do not recommend carrying a loaded ML shotgun that way.
    Whether you hold it upward, use a gun boot on your belt, or cradle carry it while in the woods, it's preferable and safer than holding the muzzle downwards.
    You never want the loaded shot or projectile to slip downwards off the powder charge, or the powder to move off from the bottom of the barrel.

    P.S.S. A round ball that's smaller than bore diameter could probably be fired if placed inside of a plastic shotgun wad.
    Then cut the petals on the wad to about the same height as the ball.
    Otherwise the ball would need to be held tightly in place using traditional wadding or a patch material that fits the bore diameter within the limitations of the chokes.
    All of the previously mentioned precautions and loading procedures would still apply.
    It would probably only be good for a relatively short range shot since how the double barrels are regulated would also be a limiting factor (along with the chokes).
    But shooting buckshot might also provide some great fun!
    Last edited by arcticap; 06-30-2018 at 06:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    coastal Ga
    The oldest method of loading a ML shotgun was FFg or Fg and loaded as following:
    the powder and shot charge is of an amount such that the depth of powder in the barrel equals the diameter of the bore. same for shot.
    the cushion wad about the same thickness too.
    So, you would load your powder, put a over powder wad on that (a hard cardboard wad), then load the cushion wad (felt about as thick as the bore is diameter), then load the shot, then place a over shot wad on that.
    The over powder wad generally is about 2x thick as over shot wad, both are hard cardboard.
    The cushion wad was in olde times was felt, but there is many others as well, just saying that is about the consistancy or hardness, and this is used to carry the lube, such as a lubed cast bullet in a rifle, the shotgun uses its cushion wad to carry the lube.
    If your bore checks out on a true 10gage, then you could use regular plastic wads.

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    The Black Hills of South Dakota, USA
    The best source on muzzleloading shotguns can be accessed on this very site: check out V. M. Starr's "little book" available from the sticky just above on this muzzleloading page!
    Last edited by Golfswithwolves; 06-30-2018 at 04:57 PM. Reason: sunspot activity

  5. #5
    okay guys heres what i have on my navy arms shotgun it has pietta and so i thought david pedersoli was the only one who made these for navy arms but this one has pietta stamped on the barrels. plus i mic'ed the ends of the barrels and they come up to .775 so should be cylinder bore or no choke, plus i order new wads from dixie gun works the over powder, 1/2in cushion and over shot card and i tried something i took my homemade bore butter i make and soaked the cushion wad in hot melted bore butter and then took this thing out to shoot it and pattern it to see what it would do and found one that the lubed cushion wad was helping to make it easier to load as it kept the fowling soft plus i went all the way up to 2 1/4oz of shot and 120grs of pryodex and this made for an excellent load for turkey! plus i tried some lighter loads all this using number 6 shot with like 7/8oz to 1 3/8oz of shot at 65gr to 90grs of powder made for some nice patterns for small game hunting so this is about as far as i have gotten but also wondered if this shotgun can be used like the singleshot trade guns with a buck/ball loads to take deer/hogs with? and if so what do ya'll recommend?? thanks for your help!

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy arcticap's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Central Connecticut
    That's great news.

    A custom brass round ball mold can be ordered from Jeff Tanner in any size that you desire for a reasonable price.

    Round ball mould page:

    Home Page:

    Or perhaps use a smaller .735 ball with some thick patch material.
    Track of the Wolf sells .735 round balls:

    Ballistic Products not only sells 10 gauge plastic wads, but also 10 gauge gas seals. Perhaps they can be used with an undersized ball to try out whatever
    balls that you can find before ordering a custom mold.

    Wad product page:

    Home Page:
    Last edited by arcticap; 07-01-2018 at 05:55 AM.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master kens's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    coastal Ga
    with the muzzleloader shotgun, you can somewhat adjust the pattern with powder charge.
    the higher velocity, the wider the pattern; likewise the lower velocity the tighter the pattern

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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