Muzzle loading questions.

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by Oldcountryboy, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A few years ago was talking to a fellar who said he shoots two balls through his smoke stick. Said he puts in a little bit of extra charge to fire the two balls. Says he hunts this way. Has anyone here ever done such a thing? If so what was the results?

    Also, in a magazine, I read that you can take a spent 20 guage shell, remove the primer and replace with a new primer, trim off the end where it folded down to keep the shot in. Now load the empty cartridge as if you were loading a muzzle loader (powder, wad, ball) and presto! You can shoot your shotgun muzzle loading style! Has anyone here ever done such a thing as this? If so what was your results? Also, wondering about this, how many grains does a shotgun shell hold of it's factory load? How much compared to using say 90 grains of black powder?

    I have not tried any of these methods. Would like to know more about them before attempting. Don't want to blow my face off.
     
  2. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    You could load 2 balls, but I wouldnt count on it being accurate, and it's certainly not safe.

    Youd need to find a black powder loading manual to determine the correct charge for the shotgun shells, but there's no reason why that wouldnt work fine

    Here's some more info on that:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=20590
     

  3. pops550

    pops550 Member

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    imho....don't try the 2 ball stunt. If there is any gap at all between the 2 balls you have a bomb!!!! not boom,a bomb. The ball next to the powder would collide into the 2nd ball causing it to expand. However the shotgun shell trick could work,no different than handloading.Rule of thumb is equal powder to shoot,use wads for filler.powder,wad shot wad.Don't know which primer you would want to use though......And BE CAREFUL,you're playing with a powder keg!!!!
     
  4. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Ok yes I've heard of firing two Balls at the same time never had the Guts to or the need.

    Read the same artical on the Shotgun Casings in Survival Mag.I figure yes it can be done,just easier to Buy Shells or just Buy Muzzleloadinjg Shotgun.I think what the artical was trying to point out was if Regular Shells were hard to come by you could still do this.

    Not sure of your question on Powder.I have one Muzzlloading Shotgun I've Loaded with 100gr. of Powder.So I'm sure you could safely shoot this amount out of a Modern Shotgun.But my Shoulder feels better with between 80 and 90 grain.

    big rockpile
     
  5. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    If you use two balls, you want to decrease the amount of powder, not increase. More ball weight means more prerssure, so less powder will keep the pressure down.

    I've loaded 3 150 gr SWC stacked up in 45-70s. I use 450 gr loading data. They measure 0.452" and the 45-70 wants 0.458" bullets, but at 100 yards, I found they would almost always throw a perfect triangle, about 2' between each bullet. I didn't figure out a use for the load so I quit loading it.

    As for the shotshells, people above are right. Get a loading manual and it is no problem. You can also find a roll crimper that fits in a drill press so after you have your powder and wad column all ready, you hold the shell and press the spinning crimper on it and it rolls the edge over against the top card wad.
     
  6. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    I have done the double ball load, but with half the powder load in "post shoots" at Rendezvous.
    Idea being you want to "tear/splinter" the wood, not perf thru.
    Works well for that.
    As a hunting load I would NOT do it as I do not see any advantage vs possible safety problems.
    I one thing to stand at the firing line, load fire vs loading and carrying around for days.
     
  7. Gianni

    Gianni Well-Known Member

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    2 balls in my 50 cal TC Hawken print about 8" apart at 100 yards. Horizontal with no vertical spread. No advantage as I see it.
     
  8. Wis Bang 2

    Wis Bang 2 Well-Known Member

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    An 'old time' load was 'buck 'N Ball' in a smoothbore muzzleloader where three pieces of buckshot was loaded w/ a roundball...

    If you read older shotshells you will see 'three dram equavalent' which was the amount of blackpowder that the load replaced...I'm sure it is available somewhere.
     
  9. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I guess what I'm trying to ask is "If I load my muzzleloader with 90 grains of Pyrodex, then would I want to load the shotgun shell with 90 grains of Pyrodex also?"

    Don't forget, I'm talking about loading a shotgun shell with pyrodex/wad/round ball or conical and shooting it through a modern breakover shotgun.
     
  10. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    Here is a source for real black powder loading data.
    http://www.tbullock.com/bpsg.html

    I would also refer to the Loading manuals, haven't checked mine yet, but there is a lot of intrest in black powder trap shooting as well as "Cowboy shoots", re-loads with black powder/pyrodex.

    As with ANY re-loading NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING.
     
  11. Bearfootfarm

    Bearfootfarm Hello, hello....is there anybody in there.....? Supporter

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    The shot load is probably going to be a lot heavier than the bullet in your ML
    DON'T GUESS at powder amounts.

    There's plenty of data out there if you look long enough.
    Keep in mind if you mess up, it will be right beside your face when it explodes
     
  12. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    WIHH, not sure why 2 balls either. A man only needs one ball to do the job, but he has 2. More self confidence I guess! :shrug:
     
  13. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I agree. I can't think of any reason you would want to do this.

    As far SHTF, knowing how to re-load w/black powder, would be a valuable skill.
    This site does go into BP shot guns :

    http://www.tbullock.com/bpsg.html

    One thing to keep in mind, Black powder is an explosive, where as smoke-less (more modern powders) are a propellant.

    Any load w/black powder requires you pack it tight, this applies to BP rifles, shotgun, pistols etc.

    So, if the load in a revolver doesn't fill up the chamber, (squib loads in say a
    .44 Old army) it's common to add a filler on top of the powder load, so when you pull down the loading rod you with compress the bullet/ball.

    I would guess the same would be required when loading shot shell's or even cartridges.

    As there are a lot of people that "Coyboy shoot" using BP loads, I'm sure that info is out there.
     
  14. backwoodsman

    backwoodsman Well-Known Member

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    Ive been shooting blackpowder for over 30 years. Never load 2 balls in a rifled muzzleloader. Unless of course life doesnt mean much to you anymore. Buck n ball loads were used alot in the Civil War in muskets. There can be no gap between any component in a muzzleloader or blackpowder cartridge. Corn meal, flour, dry sawdust etc(even dry sand in a pinch) all make good fillers. We reload a few .410 shells. You dont have to remove the crimp. Once the brass is resized you can reload it and put a cardboard wad on top and press the crimp back in with your fingers. We prefer 777 powder most of the time now as Pyrodex and Goex etc blackpowder is very corrosive. I should say here most of the friends and family that shoot reloaded .410's shoot single shots or s/s / o/u double barrels. Blackpowder .410 loads rarely cycle a semi auto .410 and some dont feed good in pumps. Ive reloaded all gauges of shotgun shells using blackpowder. I wont post our powder charges for .410 or anything(lots of good books out there) but I will give you the loading as far as projectiles. Most of our .410 loads are 50/50 mix of 4's and 6's or 5's and 6's, the 3" shells get 3/4oz of shot. 28 ga same duplex loading of mixed shot but 1 oz. 20ga same duplex and 1 1/8-1 1/4 shot. 16ga 1 1/4 of duplex shot 12 ga 1 1/2 duplex shot. 10ga. we load no.2's and copper plated BB's(not the Daisy ones from wallys). We also used to load lead 10ga loads for waterfowl when lead was legal. 2oz of shot isnt too much in a 10ga. Some of our goose loads from decades ago we even had 2 1/2 oz-3oz loads in 10 ga. Blackpowder shot/projectile loads should run a little heavier then smokeless loads as the BP wont build the pressures up like smokeless so you have less velocity to put a critter down. Hince a little more shot to get the job done cleanly. Remember also that blackpowder is measured by VOLUME not weight. Modern smokless is weighed. The standard blackpowder shotgun load is a 50/50 mix of same volume shot and powder. We use to make our own powder because we could get it a tad hotter then Goex and the cost was nil if you kept chickens/fowl/rabbits etc on the place. No I wont give our recipe, there tons of spots on the net for that. Too many immature people cruise these sites. Gramps used to load "pumpkin balls"(deer slugs) by hand too with modern smokeless or blackpowder. He casted 1 oz eggfishing sinkers without the rod to make the hole. He packed rolled soft cardboard around them, similar to the modern shotgun sabot load. He killed alot of deer with his "pumpkin balls". Gramps used his own handrolled buckshot too for coyotes, fox, deer etc in the south. Theres alot of things you can do with muskets or BP shotguns/shotgun loads. Just be safe and when experimenting use a quality loading guide/book. Safety first. Good Luck
     
  15. Oldcountryboy

    Oldcountryboy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Backwoodsman, I have a question for you. Are you in any way affiliated with the magazine called "The Backwoodsman"? A lot of what you just said about pumpkin balls seems I've read in previous issues of the Backwoodsman.
     
  16. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    BWM, I sure there was a lot of good info in your post, no matter where you got it.
    But was really hard for "Me" to read.

    Maybe it's just me, but I kept losing my place.

    Thanks, anyway.
     
  17. backwoodsman

    backwoodsman Well-Known Member

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    Nope Im not "affiliated" with any magazine. Im not saying that Ive never sent articles into one or never had anything published but no Im not connected to or paid by salary or any other compensation by any magazine. I do read that particular magazine(its one of the better ones). Most of the people that write for it or send articles in are "hands on" or prefer simplier things/old ways. Theres quite a few people that still like to save a buck or two by reloading their own shells and blackpowder and its replacements are for the most part cheaper(although depending on the powder more cleaning is necessary). You can also "customize" your loads ie: the dual or duplex lead loadings I posted. Quality .410 3" factory loads around here are $12.99 and up(nephew paid :shocked:$19.99 for a box this past fall). We can reload a box for about $3 +/- depending on projectiles/shot etc. Ive always been amazed that .410 shells are 3-4 times as high as 12ga but use 1/3-1/4 the components to load? Pumpkin balls is what the first deer slugs were called by some as they were a round lead ball wrapped in cardboard and loaded in a shotgun shell. They predated the Foster style slugs by several decades at least. My first deer slugs were pumpkin balls and I dont think Im all that old. Fosters were out but gramps still had paper hulled pumpkin balls and he still handloaded them. Some old timers called them punkin balls too. Some of my first post was common knowledge but I dont remember seeing any of it in BWM mag? Hunter did I run it all together or bounce around too much? I do have a tendency to rattle alot.
     
  18. hunter63

    hunter63 Well-Known Member

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    LOL
    Ya got a lot of good stuff to say, just hit "enter" once in a while at the end of a sentance, for us old guys that can't see so good.............Thanks
     
  19. Ed Norman

    Ed Norman Well-Known Member

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    I read a few of the more interesting lines three times before I found my way out.
     
  20. backwoodsman

    backwoodsman Well-Known Member

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    I had one year of typing in high school but never quite got the hang of it. Most of the stuff I do is hand written. I had to start using one of these idiot box's at work and need more practice. I'll try to seperate the sentences more.