Is the Brown Bess good for hunting?

Discussion in 'Traditional Muzzleloader Hunting' started by Shot deer, Feb 3, 2019.

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum by donating:

  1. Feb 8, 2019 #21

    Greenjoytj

    Greenjoytj

    Greenjoytj

    40 Cal.

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    268
    Likes Received:
    7
    would a cast LEE drive key Foster style slug work in the Brown Bess?
    Not sure how it could be wrapped in a patch to keep it against the powder.
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  2. Feb 8, 2019 #22

    BrownBear

    BrownBear

    BrownBear

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2004
    Messages:
    14,603
    Likes Received:
    116
    I've read the reports from guys trying them in different combos, but I don't recall anyone saying they made them work. Seems kinda counter-intuitive when guys have been able to wring out hunting accuracy to 50 yards +/- with 580 grain round ball loads. Let us know if you get something to work, cuzz guys who have tried would probably like to have a use for their slug molds.
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  3. Feb 8, 2019 #23

    satx78247

    satx78247

    satx78247

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    6,423
    Likes Received:
    62
    shot deer,

    At the range that game, both large & small, is taken in the South Texas brush country, I can think of NO muzzleloader that would be BETTER than a Bess.
    (Where I hunt, you cannot SEE a deer more than 40-50M & often no more than 25M.)

    IF the Bess was more common in South Texas, I suspect that it would be just as "well thought of" here in 2019 for hunting as it was in 1820-1860. = Any large-bore smoothy, when loaded with RB or heavy shot is DEADLY out to 75M on any living game in South Texas. = The Bess was THE most common firearm in early Texas for home/farm defense & hunting at least until 1845.

    Note: I'm seeking a good used Bess for hunting & when I find one it WILL be used for hunting "small to medium game", WT & Axis deer.
    (Fyi, I've recently twice SEEN a VERY LARGE Axis buck, who was probably well over 36". = In both cases, I was armed only with my EDC 9x19mm handgun.)

    yours, satx
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  4. Feb 8, 2019 #24

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    70 Cal.

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,031
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    England.
    I know it's not HC but I like my lube on some form of wadding under the ball to manage the fouling.
     
    Loyalist Dave and Shot deer like this.
  5. Feb 8, 2019 #25

    jrmflintlock

    jrmflintlock

    jrmflintlock

    45 Cal.

    Joined:
    May 13, 2010
    Messages:
    839
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    I was just about to say, My Smoothy likes a lubed felt wad under the patched ball for best accuracy.

    If I do my part it can clover leaf 3 balls at 50 yards (off the bench)!!
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  6. Feb 8, 2019 #26

    Rat

    Rat

    Rat

    50 Cal.

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,509
    Likes Received:
    124
    That would be quite a hunt, to fire 24 shots! :)

    This is a question, not a critique, but when swaging the ball as Brit does, it seems that to my mind that creates an elongated projectile, which would tend to tumble, and be less accurate? I'd like to see a 50 yard target shot with those balls, just as a confirmation, I'm not doubting anyone's results, integrity, or honesty.

    I've been experimenting with the chewed balls, and do seem to get much better accuracy. I use .690" balls that I patch. It does increase the diameter of the ball, in fact quite a bit, as with a unchewed ball I use a heavy denim patch, if I chew it (and you know what I mean) a .028", or something in that neighborhood patch then fits the ball snugly in the barrel.
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  7. Feb 8, 2019 #27

    Rat

    Rat

    Rat

    50 Cal.

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,509
    Likes Received:
    124
    I'm getting better results with two/2 felt wads under the ball, especially in a rifled barrel. Soon as weather permits, I'm going to see how my wax "biscuits" work in my musket and rifle, that I've been working on with the revolvers. The wax biscuit is a felt wad/wonder wad dipped in hot bee's wax. Recovered biscuits fired in the revolver shows that the wax is almost all gone...so the wax is melting and lubing the bore...but not contaminating the powder if left loaded for a long time. I'd like to see someone else try it, and compare results.
     
  8. Feb 8, 2019 #28

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    70 Cal.

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,031
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    England.
    I have been meaning to try it but not got to it yet.
     
    satx78247 and Shot deer like this.
  9. Feb 9, 2019 #29

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    7,330
    Likes Received:
    173
    Location:
    People's Republic of Maryland
    HUH? or sorry, in the Queen's English, that would be "EH"?
    IF it's HC for a civilian to hunt with a Bess, and not use a military cartridge, then it's fine for that same civilian to use a lubed wad. Unless I'm wrong and civilians didn't use lubed wads in shotguns during the time of the Bess ??? I think you're fine. ;)
    I think finding a .750 - .760 caliber ball at the trading post (back then), to then swage it, is a tiny bit of modern, jiggery-pokery, but we're talking harvesting game animals and accuracy is an important point for that..., right.... as nobody is going to argue the animal "didn't die slowly enough because you used too accurate a round"... after all.
    I'm going to try a swaged ball in a few weeks, myself! :D

    LD
     
    Shot deer and Britsmoothy like this.
  10. Feb 10, 2019 #30

    Rat

    Rat

    Rat

    50 Cal.

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,509
    Likes Received:
    124
    I bet there was a few Bess around Texas after they whooped Santa Ana, as that was what his army was equipped with.
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  11. Feb 10, 2019 #31

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    70 Cal.

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,031
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    England.
    I wish someone would whoop Santa Clause!!
     
  12. Feb 10, 2019 #32

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave

    Cannon MLF Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    7,330
    Likes Received:
    173
    Location:
    People's Republic of Maryland
    Yes I believe muskets from the Battle of New Orleans, and from Santa Anna's Army were mostly converted over to caplock, and ended up in State Militia armories. I also read where the 10th Tennessee Infantry CSA was at first armed with 3rd Model Bess, still in flintlock, taken in one of those two previous wars.

    LD
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  13. Feb 10, 2019 #33

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    70 Cal.

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,031
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    England.
    I got out for an hour today to test Bessy at 50 yds with the shaven down .760" ball.
    First off I must apologize! I read my loading and shooting notes in a rush and failed to note a crucial point!
    My notes instruct me to only use a thin card on top of the ball. In my haste I loaded a full lubricated fibre wad under and on top of the ball!
    I have my excuses but I won't bore you with them.
    Anyway shot #1-4 I completely missed the old oak butt my target was pinned on except for #3 that struck a few inches right.
    By shot #4 I reminded myself of my notes and realised my mistake!
    So shot #5 had a thin piece of fibre wad on top of the ball and I deliberately held low and sure enough the ball struck the oak butt just under my target.
    Shot #6 I aimed as the notes and put the ball on the target, approx 3" above shot #5.
    So I goofed it up and thus need to repeat the test.
    The charge was 140 GRN of course powder, it looks just like 1f. Recoil was present but not excessive.
    Check the picture.

    [​IMG]

    Shot #6 is on the target (junk mail).
    Shot #5 struck just low but the ball was found and it is above the target. Interestingly it struck the oak at a right angle to the axis it was loaded at.

    It is clear to me my adding the full wad on top of the ball was very bad for the ball, makes perfect sense really!

    Some video for your amusement.



     
    Shot deer and Rat like this.
  14. Feb 10, 2019 #34

    Shot deer

    Shot deer

    Shot deer

    36 Cl.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2019
    Messages:
    85
    Likes Received:
    21
    Location:
    Northern ohio
     
    Britsmoothy likes this.
  15. Feb 13, 2019 #35

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    8,758
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Republic mo
    Owned one pseudo Bess. It was a Bess cut down to a ‘canoe gun’ about a30” barrel and a pound of brass tacks in a pseudo Indian pattern. I think it was Japanese.I shot 100 grains of 2f with a .69 ball in a blue jean patch greased with lard. Killed a muleli at about 30 yards north west of Pindale Wyoming
    It came up over a ridge crumpled and rolled back down the ridge. Never seemed to try and get up.
    The gun got stolen a few weeks later.
     
    Shot deer and Rat like this.
  16. Feb 13, 2019 #36

    atllaw

    atllaw

    atllaw

    32 Cal

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2013
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    North Metro Atlanta
    Your dog cracks me up! :p
    He must have a lot of faith in your shooting to run in the direction of your shot like that! :) Was he mad when he didn't find anything? ;)
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  17. Feb 13, 2019 #37

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    70 Cal.

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,031
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    England.
    That a good and sad story all in one tengun. Some miserable folk about.
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  18. Feb 13, 2019 #38

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    Britsmoothy

    70 Cal.

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,031
    Likes Received:
    280
    Location:
    England.
    She does wonder sometimes what it is I am shooting at when target shooting. She usually gives up eventually and entertains herself.
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  19. Feb 13, 2019 #39

    Rat

    Rat

    Rat

    50 Cal.

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,509
    Likes Received:
    124
    Yeah that sucks, the stolen part. Do you mean more like a 20" barrel? The "carbine" barrel on my Bess is only about 32" long, but in no way resembles a canoe gun. ?? Just wondered. My Bess only has a half pound of tacks, actually small brass nails...but in my own Rat Pattern.
     
    Shot deer likes this.
  20. Feb 13, 2019 #40

    tenngun

    tenngun

    tenngun

    Cannon

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2008
    Messages:
    8,758
    Likes Received:
    274
    Location:
    Republic mo
    No, prev owner had cut it short. This was in ‘81, first time I had heard ‘canoe gun’. I had traded a multi stripe Early Whitney capote one of those big ‘70s Bowies and a few dollars, I think fifty. I think it was one of the Japanese bicentennial imports. The stock was a light colored wood, stained a reddish brown. The RR pipes were misplaced and uneven and I had to rework the forearm as the nose cap had been poorly replaced. The wrist piece had XX Foot poorly stamped on. I filed that off.
    Lock worked great, I think it could get a spark of a piece of limestone drive way gravel.
     
    Rat, Britsmoothy and Shot deer like this.

Share This Page

arrow_white