Smoothbore

Discussion in 'Muzzleloaders & Black Powder' started by The Bongo, Sep 19, 2015.

  1. The Bongo

    The Bongo AH Member

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    I have just got been offered some cheap solid ball for my 12g BP smoothbore. I usually use it with shot but 200 ball for £10 was too good to resist!

    What BP charge would people with experience use please?

    The gun is proofed to 1 1/4 oz shot and 3 1/4 drams BP. The balls weigh less than 1 1/4 oz.

    I would be very grateful for any ideas for a starting load.
     

  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Wish I could help you.
    Maybe somebody has one of these that they play with.
    Good luck.
     
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  3. Mr. 16 gauge

    Mr. 16 gauge AH Fanatic

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    Hopefully the following page will help you:

    http://home.insightbb.com/~bspen/shotgun.html

    Please note the last paragraph.......it should help you to get started. I don't shoot round balls in my 10 gauge (it uses choke tubes, and they are too tight to get round balls past), but I do use them in my 62 caliber flintlock trade musket......I have used anywhere from 60 to 90 grains of FFg with a patched round ball; I've found that in order to get ANY kind of "accuracy", the balls need to be patched tightly to the bore........otherwise, you might as well fling 'em by hand!
     
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  4. The Bongo

    The Bongo AH Member

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    Thank you very much. The tip about the tightness of the patched fit I had not heard before. The site is fascinating. I had thought that greater set-back in a solid ball would require a much reduced load, but it seems as though the slightly undersquare powder to lead is still the starting point.

    Many thanks for info Mr. 16.

    Thanks also for the kind wishes Brickburn.
     

  5. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

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    Smooth bore........................I have shot a lot of RB in my 12 bore shotguns over the years. I often start with 80 grains of 2F. But be sure you know what the RB composition is. What the choke, if any, is in your gun. A typical 12 bore has an average bore diameter of about .733. A pure lead ball of that size weighs over 1 and 1/4 oz. It is not uncommon for a choke diameter to be .695 and a high alloy lead doesnt swage down easily. If you have ANY choke in your gun, you will need to use wadding and patching, not simply patching. If the unpatched ball falls down the bore easily, then that tells you something good. With a little wadding (13ga wad, hand cut felt, piece of newspaper) then the patched ball, it is no harder to "start" when fired then the shot charge would be. If your gun is proofed for over three drams, you will be fine with 75-80 grain charge. But the fun of a muzzleloader is that every shooter must be a hand loader. Plink with 40 grains until you get your courage up. .................good shooting..................FWB
     
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  6. The Bongo

    The Bongo AH Member

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    Excellent tip I am sure Bill. I was unsure of using a low starting charge and also unsure of the patch/wad issue.

    I have weighed the balls as just shy of 1 1/4 oz and there is no choke, as it is an invention of the Devil and had ruined many an otherwise fine gun.

    Start low and build up sounds a grand idea.

    In the UK we need a separate license for BP, so I will start off using Pryrodex RS until the paperwork is done and the storage facilities are inspected. I will e-mail Hodgdons and ask for a comparison with 2f Swiss.

    Thank you.
     

  7. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

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    TB...............You are right about the choke. Pyrodex is also evil................but sometimes a necessary evil. If you use an equal weight of Pyrodex RS you will get lower pressure so you will be very safe......If it even goes off. And you will get lower velocity in your gun. If you use a volume to volume exchange, you may gain a little with the Pyro. I have found that a lightly hardened RB of over 500 grains is very difficult to stop even at about 300M/S, so it makes a pretty good plinker.........................FWB
     

  8. 8 x 60

    8 x 60 AH Veteran

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    Have had some fun with this;
    [​IMG]

    Using Pyrodex (spawn of the devil so it seems!) and .695 round ball , patched over a felt wad. Cant be precise as to the powder load as it was some time ago but I do remember left and right were level and about 1 inch apart at 20 yards. Backstop was a huge muck heap (cow and horse sh*t) well compacted. 15 yards into the muck I gave up the search for the rounds. This experience was what made me determined to get a double rifle. She is pretty old with no proof marks but was made in Edinburg in he early 1800's and is half way between a 12 and 13 bore. Shot numerous squirrels and a couple of duck with her. Lovely to handle and shoot with. Now retired to the wall. If I want to use her she will have to go on my ticket and then remain in the safe. Pretty pointless for something I would rather look at than use when there is a safe full of other options.
    Ade
     

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  9. The Bongo

    The Bongo AH Member

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    Lovely timber on that!
     

  10. EDELWEISS

    EDELWEISS AH Enthusiast

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    Can I just suggest a mixed load of Buckshot and a full size Round Ball. Historically it was called Buck & Ball. I think Ive read stuff about it being used in the Seven Years War (French and Indian War). It might have been Rogers Rangers???
     

  11. The Bongo

    The Bongo AH Member

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    A mixed size, bird/buck/slug load is sometimes called a 'bush load'. The idea is that if fighting humans in the bush, something out of that lot will get through and at least wound/make them make a noise ands give themselves away.

    Fearsome stuff indeed, and very easy to imagine being used for early warfare!
     

  12. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    3 1/4 Drams is roughly 80 grains. If the gun is 12 bore and, if the balls are almost true diameter, according to my calculations they actually would weigh almost exactly 1 1/4 oz. 12 bore is roughly .720"-.735" which means a ball to fit would be about .710"+a patch. Cast from pure lead it would weigh 539grains or roughly 1.23 oz. I wouldn't go above 80 grains myself. Black powder is a capricious mistress. i would start even less if you are using substitutes. Most subs are actually more closely related to smokeless powder than they are to original black. Can't tell you for sure because most of their composition is still a trade secret. I can tell you however, that Hodgdon Triple Seven WILL detonate if hit with a large enough shock (read blasting cap). Black will not. So it is something to think about. Be Careful. You don't want to bulge the barrel and ruin the gun. That really ruins your day.
     
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  13. 8 x 60

    8 x 60 AH Veteran

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    Sound advice from ChrisG

    Standard operating procedure. Start low and work up the load whatever powder/propellant you use.

    Always...... No exception...

    Stay safe
     
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  14. Paolo Mauritania

    Paolo Mauritania AH Senior Member

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    A word of caution, the fact that the weight of the shots is more than the weight of the RB does not mean that the pressure patter is going to be the same, especially with a tight patched RB. Before experimenting I would ask the manufacturer if the gun is approved for RB. Just as a matter of curiosity what type of gun is it?
     

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