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  #1  
Old 05-27-2009, 07:42 AM
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Muzzleloader Shotgun


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On a whim, I recently purchased a used double-barrel muzzle loading shotgun. Have never owned one or shot one but something I'm thinking I just have to try.

What do you all use for wads? Where do you find them?
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Old 05-27-2009, 07:47 AM
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Track of the Wolf sells them as do some of the other on line stores. You need an over the powder wad, a fiber wad that the shot rests on, and finally some over the shot cards. So you dump the powder, push the over the powder card on that, then the fiber wad on the over the powder card, then the shot, and finally the over the shot card.

I also load a standard plastic shotgun wad in some of my smoothbores. And then an over the powder card on top of the plastic wad and shot. Works real good.
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Old 05-27-2009, 01:37 PM
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For wads go to http://www.trackofthewolf.com/(S(413...x))/Index.aspx

You really only need to buy one type of wad, the hard card over powder wads. Load two such wads over the powder and split one to half thickness for use over the shot. You can use standard loads as in modern shotshells. Where the shotshell box is marked something like 2 3/4 drams powder, 1 1/8 ounces shot, that means it is loaded with a charge of smokeless powder equivalent to 2 3/4 drams of blackpowder. So just forget the smokeless equivalent and load 2 3/4 drams of black. One dram is 27 1/2 grains so if using a powder measure marked in grains, try 75 grains for starters. Normal practice is to load equal volumes of powder and shot. Often the imported muzzleloading shotguns have a recommended maximum load stamped on the underside of the barrels and it is just good sense not to exceed that but you can load much lighter if desired. In a 12 gauge gun I have dropped squirrels from the tree tops with only 35 grains of powder and 1/2 ounce of shot.
With a double, if only one barrel is fired it is a good idea to drop the rod down the unfired barrel to make sure the recoil has not unseated the shot charge and of course take pains to assure you don't put two loads down one barrel! There just is no better upland bird and bunny gun than a light weight muzzleloading double.
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Last edited by CoyoteJoe; 05-27-2009 at 01:43 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2009, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoyoteJoe View Post
There just is no better upland bird and bunny gun than a light weight muzzleloading double.

ooohhh...this is no lightweight....30" bbl 10 gauge. Goose, turkey, and maybe a ditch chicken (if I don't have to walk to far).

Thanks for you help, guys!
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2009, 02:58 PM
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my New Englander 12 gauge makes a great bird gun, but it sure cuts my odd of brings a ruffed grouse home. These things are hard enough to hit with a modern shotgun...
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Old 06-03-2009, 05:43 AM
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I know grouse are hard to get onto but unless your gun just doesn't fit you I can't see any reason you'd feel handicapped with a muzzleloader. The traditional cylinder bore muzzleloaders sans choke do pose a handicap for shots beyond 25 yards and one can be pretty frustrated in pass shooting ducks and doves as they stream over while the shooter wrestles with his ramrod. I should think grouse and the ML shotgun would be a perfect match.
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Old 06-03-2009, 06:06 AM
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I had a double barrel 12 muzzle loader for years and like a fool I sold it. I killed a lot of squirrels and several deer with it. When squirrel hunting during deer season, I would load the left barrel with squirrel shot and the right barrel with buck shot. I was ready for whatever came along. I used a lot of the prelubed fiber wads but I can't remember who made them. Nothing like the smell of black powder and early morning dew....
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:58 AM
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As mentioned, go to Track of the Wolf's site, they'll have the three things I liked to use:
Over powder card
fiber wad (usually 1/2" thick)
over shot card (can use this for an over powder card if you want)

Do your homework first and measure the bore. Many 12ga. muzzle loaders are really 13ga. in size (my 10 gauge was really an 11ga.) and you need the cards to fit right.

Are some that use plastic one-piece wads and an over shot card. I had problems with plastic fouling...and plastic fouling mixed with black power fouling is no fun.

NOTHING seems to get as fouled as a black powder shotgun. the pressure is low, powder amounts pertty high, and the fouling just seems to layer up real fast.

The main use of the 1/2" fiber was is suppose to be for a cushion....but the patter is just as good without it. However, damp with water based lube, using those fiber wads really keeps the bore cleaner...and keeps you shooting longer.

When hunting, and offered a double on birds. you don't have time for this...but if you just shoot one barrel, it pays to drop the ram rod down the unshot barrel (hopfully deprimed) to reseat the power shot card.

Will say this, unlike rifles and pistols, the black powder shot gun gives up a lot less to the modern smokeless shotgun. It's a little slower, but not a whole bunch slower, and other than that cloud of smoke and increasing the lead on crossing shots, haven't found much difference in effective range.
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