Help with Muzzle Loading Shotgun

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

rseymorejr

32 Cal
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
8
About a year ago I got the itch for a muzzle loading shotgun. I looked around here and there and didn't find much available. Then out of nowhere I saw, on another forum, that a semi-local to me shop had just gotten one in. The price was $125. I wasn't expecting much but I decided to make the trip and take a look. It's a double barrel 10Ga with 32" barrels. It seems to be very solid, wood is a little dinged up but nothing horrible, the finish had a tiny bit of surface rust that I took care of in about 5 minutes. The metal finish has turned to almost brown but doesn't look bad. There's a small crack on one side of the stock behind the lock. Hammers operate and feel nice and solid, springs seem great, bores look good as far down as I could see. The only markings that I can find so far are "H & JW King" on both locks. Ramrod was missing.

So I paid the $125 and brought it home. My plans are to shoot it a little bit. I'm going to clean it up as best I can and maybe try and get a pair of SS nipples from Track of the Wolf and shoot some light loads through it.

What should I look for to make sure it's safe to shoot?
I was planning on shooting with powder only, no shot at first. Work my powder charge up until I felt comfortble and then add shot. Is this a good strategy?
Finally what does everyone know about H & JW King??
Did I get a decent deal on an occasional shooter? Or did I get a wall decoration?

Thanks in advance for any advice or info!

Bob
 

SOLANCO

50 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
1,006
Reaction score
1,174
Location
Lancaster County, PA
I look at bores with an endoscope from Amazon. Spent about $50. Have found other uses for it too, like finding a hidden plumbing leak. I take it to gun shows too.

I feel Britsmoothy is the most knowledgeable shotgunner on these Forums and I would chat him up for an expert opinion.
 

Brokennock

69 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
3,672
Reaction score
2,572
Location
North Central Connecticut
Have you dropped a dowel down the bores to make sure it isn't loaded already. Sorry of this seems like am a-hole comment,,, but m.l. guns have often been brought into shops loaded, and with no ramrod, there is no guarantee they checked it.

Are the flash holes clear? Can you blow air through them and out the muzzle?

How far down the barrels could you see? Your statement was vague. Did you use a light? Even if you don't use a scope, you need a good view all the way to the breachface. A small flashlight will help, but not too bright or the glare at the muzzle is hard to see past.
No rod. Do you have a shotgun cleaning rod? Can you run a cleaning patch up and down the bores and feel for rough or tight spots?
 

Britsmoothy

70 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Feb 28, 2007
Messages
8,378
Reaction score
6,720
Location
England.
Nice find.
One thing I like to do with old doubles is lift the barrels from the stock and suspend them via a rammer pipe so that I can listen to them when lightly tapped.
They should ring. Any dull sound indicates a loose or lifted rib. A loose or lifted rib can be a symptom of hidden corrosion under the ribs.

I don't really go with your strategy of firing blanks off first but that is your choice. I would just start with 1&1/8oz loads.
 

Sparkitoff

40 Cal.
Joined
Nov 17, 2016
Messages
1,075
Reaction score
801
Location
N.C. and elsewhere
Find someone with a gauge and measure nominal wall thickness. Then, check the length of the barrel(s) for any thin spots or bulges. I'd at least fire a charge with a thick wad instead of just powder. You can use the old strap and string method, fasten down gun and pull trigger with a long string. However, please don't use a "Lead Sled" type support. The recoil can break the stock. You want something that is not holding the butt from moving. For $125 I'd do my own "proof" by firing a light load and incrementally increasing and alternating amount of powder and shot until you are comfortable that it is safe with whatever charge you intend to use. A 7/8 oz load of proportion should be effective in the 10b and low pressure compared to a heavier load.
 

ML48

Banned
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
567
Reaction score
564
Have you dropped a dowel down the bores to make sure it isn't loaded already. Sorry of this seems like am a-hole comment,,, but m.l. guns have often been brought into shops loaded, and with no ramrod, there is no guarantee they checked it.

Are the flash holes clear? Can you blow air through them and out the muzzle?

How far down the barrels could you see? Your statement was vague. Did you use a light? Even if you don't use a scope, you need a good view all the way to the breachface. A small flashlight will help, but not too bright or the glare at the muzzle is hard to see past.
No rod. Do you have a shotgun cleaning rod? Can you run a cleaning patch up and down the bores and feel for rough or tight spots?
Brokennock, that was not an a-hole comment. That was excellent advice.👍
I bought an old muzzleloader off an auction a couple years back, and when it arrive, I checked and found it was still loaded. I immediately emailed the auction about what I found and advised them to check every ML that came in to their auction house. The last thing they needed was to have the feds shut them down for something like that.
 

rseymorejr

32 Cal
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
8
Thanks for the tips. I did put a rod down the barrels to make sure they weren't loaded and no I don't consider that an A Hole question. It's good advice for anyone, never assume. I could only see a little way down the bores, I think I'll look into one of those endosopes, they sound handy. It sure doesn't look like it's been a barn for 80 years (maybe in a closet or under a bed! Once I get that Contender barrel off my work bench this is my next project!
 

Feltwad

45 Cal.
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
1,536
Reaction score
1,248
A image will help remove the wedge and lift of the barrels to disclose the bore size plus the proof marks both English and Belgium guns will have them stamped on the barrels
Feltwad
 

andy52

45 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
875
Reaction score
928
Location
Missouri
With an SxS as big as a 10 ga you should be able to see down the bore well enough with just a good flashlight. With most of the old SxSs a little pitting can be excpected as long as it's not too deep it should be fine. Check for dents which is not uncommon also if they're deep it could be a problem and would have to be raised.
For about 35 bucks you can buy a bore honing tool to clean up the bore and remove minor rust and 125.00 is a good price for the gun.
 

jlatz

Pilgrim
Joined
Nov 30, 2010
Messages
100
Reaction score
65
A little mag light using one AAA battery should be available from a hardware store. Those will illuminate most of the bore. Yes, check the ribs by giving them the "ring" test. British gun barrels were soldered and Belgian guns were mostly brazed. The former r barrel ribs can spring loose after over 100 years. Have a fun, safe time with the project.
 

OhioHawkeye

32 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2012
Messages
152
Reaction score
137
Don't work up a blank then add shot to that.....very dangerous.

Work up a load using shot and adjust for pattern. I do suggest 1oz shot loads though as the standard 2.5x the powder measure of shot is a bit stout above a 12ga. Surprisingly, my pattern had fewer holes with a 1oz shot load vs the 1 ⅝ oz load. I still scratch my head over that, but it's why we always pattern new guns and loads.

Ps. As for blank loads, most insurance coverages stipulate 100 or 110gr max load for muskets, etc. (16 to 10ga depending on manufacture) 70 gr for rifles. Other groups use a formula that's 1.5x the bore diameter so a 20ga is 90gr. 108gr for a 12 ga. 115 gr for a 10 ga....interesting to note that those are about 2x the charge for shooting shot or ball. A good place to start working up a load if your barrels are fit for it. I use 90gr in my 10 ga under 1oz shot.
 

rseymorejr

32 Cal
Joined
Jul 24, 2021
Messages
5
Reaction score
8
I popped the barrels off and took pictures of the proof marks. From what I've found they are English (Birmingham) I think? Also the barrels are marked 11. The ID at the muzzles reads .770. Seems a lot closer to 10 Ga than 11 Ga? What do you all think? I grabbed one of those s copes from Home Depot yesterday and took a look at the bores, They look horrible but I can't see anything beyond surface corrosion. I have a bore hone on the way from Brownells, when that comes I'll clean those bores up and see what they really look like
 

Attachments

Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
14
Reaction score
1
About a year ago I got the itch for a muzzle loading shotgun. I looked around here and there and didn't find much available. Then out of nowhere I saw, on another forum, that a semi-local to me shop had just gotten one in. The price was $125. I wasn't expecting much but I decided to make the trip and take a look. It's a double barrel 10Ga with 32" barrels. It seems to be very solid, wood is a little dinged up but nothing horrible, the finish had a tiny bit of surface rust that I took care of in about 5 minutes. The metal finish has turned to almost brown but doesn't look bad. There's a small crack on one side of the stock behind the lock. Hammers operate and feel nice and solid, springs seem great, bores look good as far down as I could see. The only markings that I can find so far are "H & JW King" on both locks. Ramrod was missing.

So I paid the $125 and brought it home. My plans are to shoot it a little bit. I'm going to clean it up as best I can and maybe try and get a pair of SS nipples from Track of the Wolf and shoot some light loads through it.

What should I look for to make sure it's safe to shoot?
I was planning on shooting with powder only, no shot at first. Work my powder charge up until I felt comfortble and then add shot. Is this a good strategy?
Finally what does everyone know about H & JW King??
Did I get a decent deal on an occasional shooter? Or did I get a wall decoration?

Thanks in advance for any advice or info!

Bob
I just bought a 12ga sxs kit. And paid 925 for it. Hope that tells you something
 

Feltwad

45 Cal.
Joined
May 28, 2017
Messages
1,536
Reaction score
1,248
I popped the barrels off and took pictures of the proof marks. From what I've found they are English (Birmingham) I think? Also the barrels are marked 11. The ID at the muzzles reads .770. Seems a lot closer to 10 Ga than 11 Ga? What do you all think? I grabbed one of those s copes from Home Depot yesterday and took a look at the bores, They look horrible but I can't see anything beyond surface corrosion. I have a bore hone on the way from Brownells, when that comes I'll clean those bores up and see what they really look like
First you have the Birmingham proof mark, then the viewers mark, 11bore is a large 12 ,take no notice what the muzzle reads has all original muzzle loading shotgun barrels have ramrod wear ,Rose is the barrel maker who was a patent barrel maker , No 20 could be the gun number or the barrel maker number .You may find that once the bores are lapped that they will be bright with a few pit marks near the muzzle
Feltwad
 

andy52

45 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Dec 21, 2020
Messages
875
Reaction score
928
Location
Missouri
I bought a Belgian SxS recently that I thought was a 12 ga and it turned out to be a 15 ga. or a 17.4mm.
 

Newtire

32 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Messages
459
Reaction score
242
Location
Southwestern Idaho to the left of Boise
About a year ago I got the itch for a muzzle loading shotgun. I looked around here and there and didn't find much available. Then out of nowhere I saw, on another forum, that a semi-local to me shop had just gotten one in. The price was $125. I wasn't expecting much but I decided to make the trip and take a look. It's a double barrel 10Ga with 32" barrels. It seems to be very solid, wood is a little dinged up but nothing horrible, the finish had a tiny bit of surface rust that I took care of in about 5 minutes. The metal finish has turned to almost brown but doesn't look bad. There's a small crack on one side of the stock behind the lock. Hammers operate and feel nice and solid, springs seem great, bores look good as far down as I could see. The only markings that I can find so far are "H & JW King" on both locks. Ramrod was missing.

So I paid the $125 and brought it home. My plans are to shoot it a little bit. I'm going to clean it up as best I can and maybe try and get a pair of SS nipples from Track of the Wolf and shoot some light loads through it.

What should I look for to make sure it's safe to shoot?
I was planning on shooting with powder only, no shot at first. Work my powder charge up until I felt comfortble and then add shot. Is this a good strategy?
Finally what does everyone know about H & JW King??
Did I get a decent deal on an occasional shooter? Or did I get a wall decoration?

Thanks in advance for any advice or info!

Bob
1627303560135.jpeg
1627303560135.jpegThese little lights drop down the bore and light up everything. I just googled “fish, tiny light” and it came up.
 

Latest posts

Top