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Has anyone used their 54 caliber rifle as a 28 gauge shotgun?

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Aug 5, 2021
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Cave Creek Arizona
I was thinking about fooling around using a shot wad in my 54 hawken style Mountain rifle. You can get 500 of them on Amazon for about 30 bucks. Has anybody here used a 28guage shot cup/wad in their .54 rifle? And if so, what were your results?


62 Cal.
Feb 27, 2019
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I've done it quite often in a .69cal smoothbore which equates to a 14ga. The rifling in yours may give you some pattern problems. Try it, it might work ok.
Apr 6, 2014
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I haven’t tried the specific load you are considering, but I have seen shot loads ( with shot cups) fired from rifled breechloading “shotguns” which were intended for shooting slugs. The rifling imparts a spin on the projectile, and centrifugal force then pulls the shot charge into a thin, widely dispersed pattern with a big hole right in its center. I witnessed this load fail to take down a falling plate at less than ten yards. That was in the hands of a very competent shooter.

I don’t think you’ll hurt your rifle by trying it, but the shot cup may leave a deposit of melted plastic in your bore which could be a pain to clean.

Again, I’m not speaking from experience, but it doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. A waste of time, money, shot, and powder, and you scatter plastic wads downrange.

Notchy Bob

EDIT: One other thing is that a true 28 gauge bore would be .550”. I don’t know if the wads/shot cups mentioned would load well in a .54 caliber rifle. Never tried it.
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