Howdah pistol for hunting?????????

Discussion in 'Traditional Muzzleloader Hunting' started by Skychief, Feb 21, 2019.

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  1. Feb 21, 2019 #1

    Skychief

    Skychief

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    While recovering from eye surgery, my mind has been racing. Most thoughts revolve around my black powder hunting (imagine that).

    Not one to worry much about what the future holds, I still have a concern regarding turkey hunting this late April.

    I have a suspicion that my surgeon might strongly suggest that I avoid much in the way of recoil. If so, that'll truly be a life-changer.

    Thinking ahead, I'm wondering about going after a gobbler with a Howdah 20 gauge double barrel pistol, or something similar. I know very little about them only having checked them out on youtube during my recovery. At least as much as my eyes will allow as it's hard looking at these devices for long. I digress.....

    Please let me know here what you know about these guns (or any hand held smoothbore) and their ability to pattern with enough oomph to put a turkey in the oven. I don't know what kind of powder and shot charges are recommended as maximum.

    Not looking to turn one into a 30 yard blaster. Would be happy to know a guy could get dense enough patterns for a sure 15 yard kill.

    If any of you know of a buddy with some experience, here on our forum or elsewhere, ask them to weigh in here please.

    Thanks and best regards, Skychief.
     
  2. Feb 22, 2019 #2

    Lobo

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    I had an original Howdah in .69cal. I used it mostly as a backup for self defense. One barrel loaded with #4 buckshot and the other with a round ball. It can be a hand full if you load it too heavy so you'd better have two hands on it when you shoot. I don't know about a dense enough pattern to kill a turkey at 15yds, you'd have to shoot it to see what king of pattern you have at that distance.

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  3. Feb 22, 2019 #3

    Skychief

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    Ron? Is that you Ron? The West Virginia has thrown me. Great photo!


    Not to inspire thread drift right off the bat, but I'd like to hear more about this bear harvest!

    Best regards, Skychief.
     
  4. Feb 22, 2019 #4

    Britsmoothy

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    I like your thinking and am sure it would work, even to 20yds.


    There are ways to manage recoil chief!
     
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  5. Feb 22, 2019 #5

    No Deer

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    Not a howdah, but I have a single barrel 20 ga. flint pistol that I have used trap shooting just for grins and giggles. Three of us actually hit a clay pigeon. So I guess if it patterns well enough to hit a clay bird, it would probably pattern well enough for a turkey. The load i used for trap was extremely heavy, needed two hands to hold it, and the recoil was pretty stiff. Might not have to be such a heavy load for up close turkey hunting.
     
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  6. Feb 22, 2019 #6

    BrownBear

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    Bud has one and has used it quite a bit with 7/8 oz of #6 for snowshoe hare. I've used it a bit, enough to kill a few myself. Fuggedabout one-hand use, at least in his hands and mine. Balance is all off, with enough weight out front that you're lifting pretty good, but when you touch it off all that lifting force adds uncomfortably to perceived recoil- even with 7/8 oz.

    Based on our shooting and what we're perceiving of patterns without clanking a pattern board, I'm guessing you'll want lots more shot than 7/8 oz for sure head/neck shots at even 15 yards. We've had hares run right through the pattern at 20 yards.

    Fun gun, but neither of us have found a comfy way to hang it from a belt. It's either carry it in your hands or fashion a good bucket-style shoulder holster. I built one for him with the harness fashioned after an old Bianchi rig intended for 8" revolvers, but with an open top rather than break-front like the Bianchi. It was even longer and relied on a strap to engage your belt like the Bianchi, rather than swinging free from the shoulder.
     
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  7. Feb 22, 2019 #7

    Treestalker

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    A few thoughts; for carrying a Howdah pistol, how about a chest holster? I've heard good from 'modern' hunters using suppository artifacts that they are comfortable, snug and out of the way, freeing the hands and bearing weight well. Caliber wise, I would choose a smoothbore 20 guage, or larger. Smoothies shoot patched round ball accurately (enough) for dead deer up to 50 yards (my own experience with a Traditions 12 ga single on oil cans) so the versatility shines. Shot loads must be heavy and close for small game,( my experience with a 14" barreled Confederate double barrel shotgun on squirrels). Also I wonder how it would do to chop down a used double ML shotgun with damaged barrels and reconfigure the grip to a pistol kind of shape for a 'poor man's' howdah? I understand this is legal under Federal law, but state and local fiefdoms may disagree. I have a breeched and drummed 10" pistol barrel made from a modern 20 ga shotgun barrel that is destined to be a companion to my 20" flintlock 'Canoe gun'. Of course the pistol will be percussion and should be a handy rascal. We'll see. Be safe, George.
     
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  8. Feb 22, 2019 #8

    Skychief

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    Thanks to you 4 above for the replies. Much appreciated!
     
  9. Feb 22, 2019 #9

    BillinOregon

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    Skychief, I had one of the Pedersoli 20-gauge Howdahs for a while, and while I never really patterned it, it seemed to want to shoot reasonably with shot and surprisingly well with patched round ball. I think it would be very interesting to try the famous "Skychief load" on one of these.
    ;)
     
  10. Feb 22, 2019 #10

    Skychief

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    Hello Bill. I've dug up some older threads that mentioned your Howdah. Thanks for weighing in here. Sounds like the gun has went on down the road. Correct?

    Best regards, Skychief.

    PS, do you think the gun would reliably take turkey at 10 or maybe 15 yards?
     
  11. Feb 22, 2019 #11

    Rat

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    I think it would work at ten to fifteen. For me, hunting is more about the hunt, and being in the wilderness, than the kill, so I would not have a problem passing up shots until the right one presented it's self. I mean, that's why I muzzle-hunt in the first place.

    You might want to consider using unmentionable shot cups. But I won't mention that. And perhaps your method of loading shot charges works just as well. I'd also use a full ounce of shot.

    I'm not sure about the Hoo-dah pistols, but the big single shot BP pistols can be carried on the belt comfortably if the holster is designed right. I had a saddle make make such a holster for me. The trick is that since there is so much weight towards the muzzle, the pistol needs to sit high in the holster, and the holster high on the belt, so that it's not hanging there like some giant plumb-bob. Also a cross-draw will work best, with just the right angle of "tilt" on the belt being important. I can post a pic of mine, in anyone is interested.
     
  12. Feb 22, 2019 #12

    Skychief

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    Thanks Rat. I'd really appreciate your posting photos.

    Best regards Skychief
     
  13. Feb 22, 2019 #13

    BillinOregon

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    Yes, Skychief, long gone. I think it might have held promise to 20 yards if it could be made to work with your special load.
     
  14. Feb 22, 2019 #14

    Pukka Bundook

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    Skychief,

    I wear my Tranter in a WW 1 Webley flap holster. I carry it on a belt over my shoulder, so it sits nicely up under my arm, inside my jacket.
    If I carry the s/b 14 bore, I carry it in a similar manner. It's out of the way there.
     
  15. Feb 23, 2019 #15

    Skychief

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    Thanks Bill.

    Pukka, have you done any hunting with your smoothbore pistols? Thanks for the holstering ideas.
     
  16. Feb 23, 2019 #16

    Rat

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    Okay, looking at this rig, it probably does not look comfortable, but it wears very well. Because of the extreme muzzle heaviness of a long barrel single shot, much more of the pistol has to ride above the belt-line. Don't know if it would work for a hoo-duh.

    Looking at the pics, you'll see that when the pistol is snapped in the holster the thick leather is between the nipple and hammer when the pistol is on half cock. She's safe to carry capped. The picture from the back shows the angle and location of the belt loop. Very important. It is a right hand holster, but carried on the left side/cross draw. The "angle" let's you sit down on the ground DSC06794.JPG DSC06795.JPG DSC06796.JPG DSC06797.JPG without the gun/holster shoving your belt up to your chest, besides being more comfortable when walking. When sitting, you just slide it to the right a little, and it's right there ready to draw. Hope that helps. This holster really "works".
     
  17. Feb 23, 2019 #17

    Pukka Bundook

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    Skychief,

    Just used it on pest squirrels around the farm-yard,..... up to now! Bit under an ounce of small shot. (# 7 1/2)
     
  18. Mar 12, 2019 #18

    Mad Professor

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    This came up in another thread but there is a company called American Gun Craft that makes side by side double 12ga in percussion. I checked out their website and those might good on turkey too.
     

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