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Old 01-27-2008, 01:12 PM   #1
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Default Muzzleloading shotgun questions

I have a caplock doublebarrel muzzleloading shotgun with Damascus twists barrels that I want to try to use for turkey hunting this spring. According to information in the Dixie Gun Works catalog, this gun should be safe with up to about 82 grains of FFg black powder. I would like to use size 4, 5, or 6 shot and would like some advice about how to maximize the density of the shot pattern and the best loads to try for such a gun. Both barrels measure 0.714 inch. at the muzzle, which, I think, corresponds to cylinder bore. I would also like to use Shockey Gold black powder substitute from American Pioneer Powder instead of black powder for the benefit of less fouling and easier cleanup. This product is supposed to be able to be substituted in equal volumes for black powder, and I think develops less pressure than an equal volume of black powder and would therefore be a safe substitute if I am correct. I want to try some loads and pattern this gun as soon as the weather here permits, so any advice on loads would be appreciated.[
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:31 PM   #2
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Default RE: Muzzleloading shotgun questions

Having Damascus twist barrels I would be real careful about loading it. Personally I would not shoot it. It would be a wall decoration. Granted I am guessing you are sure of the integrity of the firearm. So you want to start with light loads and work up from there. The old rule of thumb used to be equal powder and shot loads. I am still testing that theory. I shoot 80 grains of APP 2f in my 12 gauge cap lock. I use an over the powder card, then a fiber wad, then 90 grains of #5 and finally an over the shot card.

The only way to find a good tight load is to experiment with different loads and different set ups. I have shot the plastic wad cups in mine and they also worked good. I am still testing different things with mine, but feel it good out to 30 yards.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:46 PM   #3
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Default RE: Muzzleloading shotgun questions

82 grains would be 3 drams. I would guess 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 oz shot should pattern well. (80 or 90 grains on a powder measure)
If it were mine, I'd start off with 70 gr ffg powder & 70 gr shot. (appx 2 1/2 dram/1 oz load)
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:52 PM   #4
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Default RE: Muzzleloading shotgun questions

Quote:
ORIGINAL: cayugad

Having Damascus twist barrels I would be real careful about loading it. Personally I would not shoot it. It would be a wall decoration. Granted I am guessing you are sure of the integrity of the firearm. So you want to start with light loads and work up from there. The old rule of thumb used to be equal powder and shot loads. I am still testing that theory. I shoot 80 grains of APP 2f in my 12 gauge cap lock. I use an over the powder card, then a fiber wad, then 90 grains of #5 and finally an over the shot card.

The only way to find a good tight load is to experiment with different loads and different set ups. I have shot the plastic wad cups in mine and they also worked good. I am still testing different things with mine, but feel it good out to 30 yards.
Is your gun one with Damascus barrels or solid? Are you referring to 90 gr. by volume of #5 shot? Dixie Gun Works catalog gives information about using both 1 1/8 and 1 1/4 oz. of shot in the 12 ga., without reference to shot size or volume. How does that shot weight relate to volume? I suppose I can answer that last question by measuring and then weighing the shot or vice versa. I have plenty of over the powder cards, fiber wads and shot cards from the prior owner. The gun seems quite sound and has been shot with up to 70 gr. of FFg black powder that I know of. Thanks.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:55 PM   #5
 
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Default RE: Muzzleloading shotgun questions

82 Grains is equal to about 3 Drams. Equal volume load of 80 powder to 80 shot. I would proof test the barrels before I fired it from my shoulder. If you have a bore light take a look down the tubes to see if they are pitted and if they are how badly or deep. If no bore light, a small piece of mirror dropped down the barrel will reflect light. Have a gunsmith proof the barrels or if you want to proof test it load each barrel seperately(one at a time) with a double load (160-160). Tie the gun to something sturdy and place something heavy behind the butt.Take the nipple out and place a fire cracker fuse into the nipple hole to the barrel or if you decide to leave the nipples in and test, rig a line at least 25 feet long to the triggerBEFORE you cap the nipples. If the barrels come out of test OK you can shoulder fire it with standard loads.
#6 shot is fine for Turkey. Set a paper target about 24-30" wide at 40 yards and see how dense the pattern is . Try a load of powder,two cards,shot and an over shot card. The whole thing is how dense the pattern is since you probably won't be shooting 40 yards at a bird. If there are holes in the pattern,try a lighter load. 70-75 Grains. BP shotguns are usually Cylinder Bore so 40 yards is about the best you will want to try a shot. I wouldn't bother with the plastic shot cups.
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Old 01-27-2008, 01:56 PM   #6
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Default RE: Muzzleloading shotgun questions

Hey DocHunter, have you identified the maker of that gun? Sure would like to see some pictures.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:12 PM   #7
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Default RE: Muzzleloading shotgun questions

Quote:
ORIGINAL: Semisane

Hey DocHunter, have you identified the maker of that gun? Sure would like to see some pictures.
I have not identified the maker, but have several pictures of markings on gun. I can't get them to download to this site though due to file size. If you can send me your e-mail address, maybe I can send the pictures as attachments to an e-mail.
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Old 01-27-2008, 02:17 PM   #8
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Default RE: Muzzleloading shotgun questions

OK - vjlo@cox.net

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Old 01-27-2008, 05:11 PM   #9
 
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Default RE: Muzzleloading shotgun questions

I have an old 1886 double barrel,10 gauge,damagus barrels,side hammers..

I make my own shells for this one.I use 10 gauge federal hulls..The actual
length is 2 5/8 inch..Made my own dies except for the roll crimper,I use in
a drill press..I am using 1F Goex at 70 grains and the same measure for the
shot..Felt wads,and all..I use my drill press and a bath room scale to compress
the powder charge to 10 lbs..
This gun was in a closet for years,weighs a ton,I rebuilt the stock where it
goes on the action..Built most of it back to size with glass bedding....Had to
rework one of the firing pins as well..I have shot this only about 10 times..
I just had to do it..

I have to say that my first shots were fired with the gun tied to a tree and a
rope on the trigger..I love this old gun.It belonged to my great granddad...
Probably made in England for all I know..I would like to try some 2 or 3 F
sometime..I am using number 5 shot..What a joy to shoot...I had to also
make a new hinge pin I call it. It was pretty loose in the joints...I will try
to post a picture of it sometime...
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Old 01-27-2008, 10:33 PM   #10
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Default RE: Muzzleloading shotgun questions

Here are the pictures of DocHunter's barrel markings. Anyone recognize anything?



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