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Minute of Turkey

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Celt5494

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I took my fowler out (Sorry no pictures) because I decided I should start shooting shot and experimenting with buck and ball loads because, well I can. She's a beautiful Fowling piece in .73 or roughly .12 ga. I loaded up 1.5 oz of #4 shot and took aim at a strategically placed cardboard piece draped over the dilapidated fence at about my best estimation in distance at a guess, 60 yards and whammo perfect minute of turkey. Should I have taken aim on a turkey the shot pattern would have done the job and then some.

Next I loaded a round ball and it hit about a foot low and grazed through the ground a good 4' before stopping. This was at a sloping angle maybe 20 degrees or so. Since the nemesis target wasn't so large I didn't fret. Next I loaded up a round ball with the exacting drams of a two finger dip and away we went. I should mention these charges were right at 120 gr 3F because I'm running short on 2F. I took my time and pffttt. misfire, rats. Checked my flint and the frizzen load. All was good. Next shot, pfft. Shazbot. I blew out the pan and picked the vent then re-primed. Took aim and there was a delay between the pan and the main charge but it went off great.

I walked down and checked the target. Nice middle round ball hit in the middle low left with a shot pattern around it. This went on through the afternoon and I had a great time. The patterns of the shot were more than I could have expected. I also learned that when pushing the over shot wad down if you don't go slow when you let go it will send your ramrod about two stories into the air as the pressure has not been released. It was quite the comical event and I got a big laugh out of it.

I waked away very happy and learned a whole lot in the time spent with my new Fowler. I have been shooting BP since I was a kid but I have always wanted to get into the Fowling world. As much as I have learned over the years about running a flintlock made me realize I am still a student and have a lot to learn and it's a great path to be on!
 

Musketeer

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I haven't done a whole lot of shot shooting out of my Bess (just a few loads of birdshot I scrounged from some old 12 gauge shells), but I recently got a great deal on an old Lee 2 cavity .380 ball mold. I've already cast a few hundred balls, which come in at 81-82 grains. My intent is to use them as 0000 buck. Eight of them will give me just a hair shy of 1.5 oz, so I'm going to start with that. In any case, the experimentation with different combos of powder, wadding, and projectiles (ball, buck n ball, shot) is one of the most fascinating aspects of the smoothbore. Thanks for the report.
 

Britsmoothy

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I haven't done a whole lot of shot shooting out of my Bess (just a few loads of birdshot I scrounged from some old 12 gauge shells), but I recently got a great deal on an old Lee 2 cavity .380 ball mold. I've already cast a few hundred balls, which come in at 81-82 grains. My intent is to use them as 0000 buck. Eight of them will give me just a hair shy of 1.5 oz, so I'm going to start with that. In any case, the experimentation with different combos of powder, wadding, and projectiles (ball, buck n ball, shot) is one of the most fascinating aspects of the smoothbore. Thanks for the report.
I stuck 12 such size once in my Bess and the pattern was awesome.
Bess's seem to rejoice with heavy loads and charges!
 

Celt5494

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Im reading with great interest to use my "bess" to shoot shot. Any information or tips, as listed above, is appreciated. Sounds like fun.
I am surely no expert with this but what I was doing seemed to work very well. I tried to keep everything as the same as the last shot that I did. When I shot buck and ball I used a lubed patched round ball then put a cushion wad over the ball and added the shot followed by an over card. I will admit the shot was certainly not exact each time but I was satisfied. I tamped everything down along the way where I felt like it was properly seated.

With my shot loads, I just added a over powder card then the cushion and the shot. I added an over shot card last. I'm not positive the over powder card was completely necessary and could have probably just gone with the cushion. I'm sure some will be able to elaborate with more experience than I. I used two different loads of the #4 being 1 oz and 1 1/4 oz. I bought my wads and cushion from Track of The Wolf mainly because I wanted uniformity while I'm putting this all together instead of fashioning my own from scratch and using tow as the cushion.

Overall, I was very impressed with the outcome and the shot pattern seemed to me that of a modern shot shell. I realize that your mileage may vary but I have a feeling if you just take your time you will see some really great results with your Bess!
 

Blaze

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I am surely no expert with this but what I was doing seemed to work very well. I tried to keep everything as the same as the last shot that I did. When I shot buck and ball I used a lubed patched round ball then put a cushion wad over the ball and added the shot followed by an over card. I will admit the shot was certainly not exact each time but I was satisfied. I tamped everything down along the way where I felt like it was properly seated.

With my shot loads, I just added a over powder card then the cushion and the shot. I added an over shot card last. I'm not positive the over powder card was completely necessary and could have probably just gone with the cushion. I'm sure some will be able to elaborate with more experience than I. I used two different loads of the #4 being 1 oz and 1 1/4 oz. I bought my wads and cushion from Track of The Wolf mainly because I wanted uniformity while I'm putting this all together instead of fashioning my own from scratch and using tow as the cushion.

Overall, I was very impressed with the outcome and the shot pattern seemed to me that of a modern shot shell. I realize that your mileage may vary but I have a feeling if you just take your time you will see some really great results with your Bess!
Thank you for the information, since the bess is my only flint smooth bore, I always like to read what others are doing with their bess!
Thank you again!
 

Celt5494

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Thank you for the information, since the bess is my only flint smooth bore, I always like to read what others are doing with their bess!
Thank you again!
No sweat at all, please post up here what you get done and the results!
 

Carbon 6

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I also learned that when pushing the over shot wad down if you don't go slow when you let go it will send your ramrod about two stories into the air as the pressure has not been released.
Cut or tear a knick or small slit in the edge of the overshot card. This will allow the air to escape more easily as you ram it down.
 

hanshi

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When seating card wads in a smoothbore I poke pin holes in the cards and have no problems with that "airgun" phenomenon. That's something I learned, like you did, quite some time back.
 

Blaze

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Cut or tear a knick or small slit in the edge of the overshot card. This will allow the air to escape more easily as you ram it down.
This is the way I was taught by my son! Old dogs do learn new tricks, the pin hole method I would think would work equally well! Thx for the new method gandhi.
 

Celt5494

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I really like the idea of either scoring the side of the over shot card or poking some small holes in it. I knew someone with some great experience was going to come up with something good and I really appreciate the input greatly. While I'm at it, I might as well ask another question. On my over powder card as expected it would become very difficult to get seated about 3/4 of the way down the barrel due to burnt powder residue build up. I know I could get a little smaller diameter card or the obvious of swabbing or brushing the barrel, does anyone have any cheats to make the seating a little easier without swabbing the barrel?
 

Celt5494

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Keeping most, hell ANY of a charge of #4s on a Turkey sized target at 60 yards is amazing!
Is it jug choked?
That question to the choke I cannot answer. When I cleaned it after the shoot I didn't see any markings on who made it. Next time I will pay more attention. I "assume" it's a Colerain by look but I don't know for positive. Maybe next time I can take some pictures of the pattern to post. I estimated the distance but it was pretty close I'm confident. I'll take my range finder out next time and get a very accurate number. I was really impressed with it all truth be known.
 

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