Ketland blunderbuss loads

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mscoble

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A approximate bore size is .75 caliber I have to take it out to the shop to get an exact bore.
 

mscoble

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Addedum: I took the Blunderbuss out to the shop and measured as best i could. The bore is approx. 69 caliber, the muzzle ID is 1.15 inches, the barrel length is 12 inches and the bore starts about 3-1/2 inches from the muzzle so the effective barrel length is only 9-1/2 inches. I attach a couple photos for reference.
 

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As you can see, the end of a blunderbuss is funnel shaped, primarily for rapid loading rather than as is often thought, to spread a load fired from it. Given the barrel length, and age, it may be prudent to think of it more as a pistol than an Edwardian street sweeper or long gun. .69 cal pistol loads might be the place to start. With shot or ball they are going to be lighter than a .69 musket load.
 

mscoble

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Thank you for your thoughts and I think your are correct it is more pistol like then it would seem at first glance. I was thinking of shot rather then ball, but I guess it is experiment time and that should be interesting and enjoyable as I have never fired one of these.
 

Capt. Jas.

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After all these years, that brass barrel has been leaching it's zinc and possibly has a very weak and porous interior.
 

Rudyard

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There is brass & brass but old brass dos'e tends to age. So I agree might be imprudent to try it out for the sake of it . It cant really be an 'Edwardian street sweeper 'He didn't Riegn untill 1901. Though of course their where some excentric Edwardians , If George the fourth or William the 4th might fit better . Nice gun. As for rapid loading ? cut wads fall down cockeyed & paper tends to jamb on its self tow might work I havn't tried it . If I think the easy loading idea is on par with the 'fires pebbles & broken glass' myth . A handfull of 30 cal balls would be the more likley loading .
Rudyard
 
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There is brass & brass but old brass dos'e tends to age. So I agree might be imprudent to try it out for the sake of it . It cant really be an 'Edwardian street sweeper 'He didn't Riegn untill 1901. Though of course their where some excentric Edwardians , If George the fourth or William the 4th might fit better . Nice gun. As for rapid loading ? cut wads fall down cockeyed & paper tends to jamb on its self tow might work I havn't tried it . If I think the easy loading idea is on par with the 'fires pebbles & broken glass' myth . A handfull of 30 cal balls would be the more likley loading .
Rudyard
Edwardian was indeed I misspoke phrase. I intended to say Georgian.
 
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As pointed out; a card is very difficult at least to run down a blunderbuss and conventional shotgun wads not much easier.
For mine I find cut out Egg cartons do the trick (the cup part the egg sits in).
Load your powder, about 65-70grain 2f, then drop the egg carton in and run it down. Now patched round ball you will find even more difficult then a card, but you can Wrap the patch material full over the ball, twist and cut off then drop that down and hope for the best.
For Shot you might try my method with a wad of lubed TOW as a cushion (I use Track of Wolf's Mink oil) then drop in your shot flowed by another wad of TOW to keep it held.
Be forewarned the TOW does add an element of fire risk so be prepared.

Another method that reenactors use for wad is the Green Styrofoam used in pots for plastic plants. I have not used it but I have used Styrofoam egg cartons. They dont seem to ruin the barrel but I prefer the cardboard ones.

Blunderbuss is a blast to shoot, whenever I bring my collection out ask "Which do you want to shoot first?" They Always point to the blunderbuss!
 
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I recall a video where someone experimented the accuracy and spread of a blunderbuss with and without an Under Shot Wad load. The under shot wadding, even if just grass pulled from the ground made a %100 difference in creating a tight group. Without any wad under, only a portion of the shot even hit the target. Also the tighter he packed the load the better the group he got.
 

Rudyard

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I recall a video where someone experimented the accuracy and spread of a blunderbuss with and without an Under Shot Wad load. The under shot wadding, even if just grass pulled from the ground made a %100 difference in creating a tight group. Without any wad under, only a portion of the shot even hit the target. Also the tighter he packed the load the better the group he got.
What you say is relavant to a New made B Buss but the Op sought advise re an original gun. Not that I have any heat in the matter Iv'e made four to date and agree their fun but hardly a game gun & mostly a psycological threat if with a serios potential .
Regards Rudyard
 
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What you say is relavant to a New made B Buss but the Op sought advise re an original gun. Not that I have any heat in the matter Iv'e made four to date and agree their fun but hardly a game gun & mostly a psycological threat if with a serios potential .
Regards Rudyard
New, Old. Okay.
He asked for advice in how to load and shoot it. What is your complaint with my suggestions?
My Blunderbuss is a replica of a late 1600s Dutch doglock. It is pretty true to an original, not exact, however if I got hold of a serviceable 1600s I would still load and fire the same.
What are you suggesting I and the OP should do different?
 
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Oh, and loading a handful of .30cal balls with no wadding, will just spew a few feet out the end and fall to the ground - I know, I have done it.
I have .75cal round ball (my caliber), 00 buckshot, and #4 shot. Without a good seal for pressure, it dont go too far and dont penetrate just as any Smoothbore
 

Rudyard

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Well he asked for an opinion & I gave him mine re old Brass that is wont to get brittle. As for the hand full of 30 cal or so balls I don't say there just chuckd in unwadded .I just pointed out such finding as Ive made . Its his gun & its your gun so its up to you weather you consider my views. its your head . Please take no offence for there is non intended .
Rudyard
 
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Well he asked for an opinion & I gave him mine re old Brass that is wont to get brittle. As for the hand full of 30 cal or so balls I don't say there just chuckd in unwadded .I just pointed out such finding as Ive made . Its his gun & its your gun so its up to you weather you consider my views. its your head . Please take no offence for there is non intended .
Rudyard
No offense taken. Yes an original firearm must always be inspected throughly before attempting to fire, same with even a second hand replica.
 
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