100 yard groups with a Smoothbore Musket

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Stantheman86

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Lee Drive Key slugs sized to .680, 70 gr of Schuetzen 2f

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100 yard target at the "pit" , the 3rd backer at the back. Truth be told it's more like 90something yards but we're not being scientific.

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Fired about 16 rounds. A few on the paper, several were hitting low ....so I adjusted my sight picture to where the base of the front blade was in the notch.

The front barrel band moves around, thus moving the front sight left and right. It's so sloppy it occasionally jumps the band spring and moves to the muzzle after a shot. No good for accuracy.

But for my final 7 shot string something lined up and I shot a group off the paper that I could cover with my hand.

These would have fell mostly in the Black but I think because I was grabbing the front band during loading, I inadvertently twisted it , throwing my front sight off but apparently I was consistent with this :) I also had a brain fart and forgot my rear sight had an elevation slider. Next time I'll set it to 200.

I'm going to put some pillow ticking under the band to keep it from moving.

The Lee Drive Key slug has a "bridge" that makes the slug spin , for accuracy in smoothbore shotguns so it seems like it basically makes a musket shoot like a Minie rifle with a slow twist. I need to shim my front sight and see how these do at 200. Lee seems to have designed the perfect "Nessler Ball" about 100 years too late.


I shot all these from a Standing position, because this is a Musket , not a bench rest rifle and I wanted to see how it would perform as it was supposed to be used.

I'd honestly be satisfied with that group out of a rifled weapon at 100 fired from a standing position but out of a smoothbore I was pretty surprised. I'm not a world class shooter by any means but I'm happy with any kind of usable consistency.

Schuetzen/Wano 2f is not the best, the breech started to get crusty and I had to wipe the bore every 5 shots. By shot 5 I had to whang the slug to the powder for the last few inches. In Previous shooting with Foster slugs at 50 yards, with Old Eynsford 2f , I didnt have this issue. I just happened to have a bottle of Schuetzen open and used it.

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I made a setup for this musket using a repro 2-prong Confederate belt, a cap pouch with the cheap "wool" torn out and caps kept in a cheesecloth sack and a generic Indian made "carbine cartridge box" that holds exactly 22 .69 cartridges.

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The musket is a Pedersoli 1816 percussion conversion, that I had a Harpers Ferry rear sight soldered onto the barrel. I had read that not all of the conversions were rifled but some of the independent contractors who converted Flintlocks for the US Govt slapped rear sights on them anyway so they could get paid. So this is a repro of the "unrifled and sighted" conversion
 
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Stantheman86

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I have that LEE mold. Will have to give it a try.
I have to work out some way to lube them better, maybe hot dip

They get tight in the breech area , likely because the lube is gone by the time it reaches down there

I'm gonna have to play around with using cigarette paper in my cartridges
 

Stantheman86

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Apparently using a paper wrap is a wasted effort, too tight.

I'll try hot dipping them.

Originally these were loaded in the paper but there's no way a .680 Nessler is going down a .690 pipe wrapped in paper. The original Nesslers measure at about .68 but during tests the caliber of the musket was listed as "French musket .70"

Mark at Eras Gone thought the .680 "North Carolina Nessler " he copied for his mold was intended for a .71 Austrian musket.

Loading these without paper is the way to go. Unless I can find something like a .660 Foster
 

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Please remind me where you got your CS-marked leather accoutrements?
 

springfield art

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View attachment 93994

Lee Drive Key slugs sized to .680, 70 gr of Schuetzen 2f

View attachment 93995

100 yard target at the "pit" , the 3rd backer at the back. Truth be told it's more like 90something yards but we're not being scientific.

View attachment 93996

View attachment 93997

Fired about 16 rounds. A few on the paper, several were hitting low ....so I adjusted my sight picture to where the base of the front blade was in the notch.

The front barrel band moves around, thus moving the front sight left and right. It's so sloppy it occasionally jumps the band spring and moves to the muzzle after a shot. No good for accuracy.

But for my final 7 shot string something lined up and I shot a group off the paper that I could cover with my hand.

These would have fell mostly in the Black but I think because I was grabbing the front band during loading, I inadvertently twisted it , throwing my front sight off but apparently I was consistent with this :) I also had a brain fart and forgot my rear sight had an elevation slider. Next time I'll set it to 200.

I'm going to put some pillow ticking under the band to keep it from moving.

The Lee Drive Key slug has a "bridge" that makes the slug spin , for accuracy in smoothbore shotguns so it seems like it basically makes a musket shoot like a Minie rifle with a slow twist. I need to shim my front sight and see how these do at 200. Lee seems to have designed the perfect "Nessler Ball" about 100 years too late.


I shot all these from a Standing position, because this is a Musket , not a bench rest rifle and I wanted to see how it would perform as it was supposed to be used.

I'd honestly be satisfied with that group out of a rifled weapon at 100 fired from a standing position but out of a smoothbore I was pretty surprised. I'm not a world class shooter by any means but I'm happy with any kind of usable consistency.

Schuetzen/Wano 2f is not the best, the breech started to get crusty and I had to wipe the bore every 5 shots. By shot 5 I had to whang the slug to the powder for the last few inches. In Previous shooting with Foster slugs at 50 yards, with Old Eynsford 2f , I didnt have this issue. I just happened to have a bottle of Schuetzen open and used it.

View attachment 94000

View attachment 94001

I made a setup for this musket using a repro 2-prong Confederate belt, a cap pouch with the cheap "wool" torn out and caps kept in a cheesecloth sack and a generic Indian made "carbine cartridge box" that holds exactly 22 .69 cartridges.

View attachment 94002

The musket is a Pedersoli 1816 percussion conversion, that I had a Harpers Ferry rear sight soldered onto the barrel. I had read that not all of the conversions were rifled but some of the independent contractors who converted Flintlocks for the US Govt slapped rear sights on them anyway so they could get paid. So this is a repro of the "unrifled and sighted" conversion
I like that you did it 'combat style'...I don't do much 'bullseye' shooting, I like combat or dueling target work, but it is nice to use a rest at first just to see where it's hitting...nice entry! Thanks.
 

Stantheman86

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I like that you did it 'combat style'...I don't do much 'bullseye' shooting, I like combat or dueling target work, but it is nice to use a rest at first just to see where it's hitting...nice entry! Thanks.
I figured, I'll shoot it the way it's supposed to be used :)

People driving by to other parts of the range were stopping to watch me load and fire one off , like "look at this dude shooting a musket "

No one usually cares when I shoot something like a Musketoon , they probably just think it's a hunting rifle or a Hawken like everyone has but they see that mile long musket barrel and they are fascinated. Last summer a guy asked me what the twist was on that, was it a "roundball" twist , I'm like, none. There's no rifling and he thought I was just being weird.

I may sandbag it after I work all the bugs out just too see the "mechanical" accuracy these slugs/Nesslers are capable of
 

Stantheman86

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Please remind me where you got your CS-marked leather accoutrements?
I got that cap box right off eBay, it's the Indian or Pakistani made stuff but for range or field use, it's actually really good quality . The "wool" inside is a cheap acrylic fake hair that's glued on and usually falls off, I just remove it. The caps won't fall out unless you turn it to the side with the flap open. I just use a little cloth sack to hold them so I don't lose precious caps.

The CS marked cap box adds the Confederate look I was going for with my little setup. I don't need an $80 JD Carnegin US made cap box for range shooting.
 

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I have experimented with my 1777 Charleville and for competition shooting I use 80 gr of 2F Goex , an over powder card then a thick felt wad then the patched ball then a thinner felt wad . It works for me for 50 meter shooting , I have never tried it at 100 meters but I'll give it a go next time I go to the range . I think the wad sandwich stabilises the ball as it goes down the barrel
 

Stantheman86

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Apparently the French army played around with "sharpshooter" paper cartridges that had either a bigger ball or more paper,I'm not sure which, kinda complex using glue and a lot of folding and had their best shots serving as skirmishers that would take aimed shots from the flanks of the main body to engage individual targets. They could reportedly get consistent hits at longer ranges. The US and CS took this concept and used it extensively in the Civil War with the skirmish lines and Sharpshooters.

The French muskets had that cheek cutout in the stock and a usable front sight, the later percussion models had a rear sight, it seems like the French actually tried to stress some kind of 100+ yard marksmanship with the smoothbore muskets. I have a Pedersoli 1777 Charleville that I haven't fired yet but looking down the barrel with my face in that cutout makes it feel like I can actually effectively aim it.

I've tried shooting at longer distances with a .648 ball in a tight fitting paper cartridge and got consistent hits at about 80 yards in the torso of a paper bad guy silhouette but it seems like 80ish yards is the magic distance that a round ball starts to drift off. At 100 the hits became less consistent but still very possible if you really aim well. At 200 obviously the balls just hit in the general area of the target but some will still hit, I've fired at steel swingers at 200 and 300. 300 yards is purely just guesswork, you aim high and pull , and the balls will hit in an area maybe the the size of a group of men once you get the elevation down. People believe this myth that smoothbore muskets can't hit anything past point blank range because "they're made for ranks of soldiers to fire at other ranks of soldiers and aren't made for accuracy"
 

Cutfinger

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The British soldiers stood in two ranks so both ranks could bring their muskets to bare and were taught to aim (point) their muskets straight in front of them and volley fire on command , Some Officers encouraged their troops to close their eyes, to stop them aiming at the same mark .After, what the British called the Rebellion and the UAS called the Revolution, where the Brits had been taught a thorough lesson in rifle marksmanship, they developed light Infantry tactics with riflemen dressed in green and black uniforms ,using Baker rifles , these were put to good use in the Napoleonic wars , where they developed the skirmishers . The French tried to copy this but their rifles were not very reliable so many used the Charleville .
 
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