New to smoothbore

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Kuntry boy

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I just got my first smoothbore a 12 gauge . I have never owned one . I need to know where I can buy everything on line I need to shoot it ?. I’ll be using to hunt turkey, rabbits , and tree rats aka squirrel. Like I need to know what size of shot and how to keep the shot in and wads, and everything else all help would be greater appreciated thanks kb
 

Brokennock

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There is a ton of info here if you poke around a bit.
I highly recommend you do some reading on the website of our fellow member Spence, look up Bob's Blackpowder Notebook.

I get wads from Track of the Wolf and Eastern Maine Shooter's Supply.

Shot size needed, just like with modern shotshells, is a combination of state mandate and personal preference. Some states have minimum and maximum shot sizes, sometimes for specific game.
I prefer #5 for squirrels, turkeys, and pheasants. I feel it is a good compromise between the mass of #4 shot, and the pattern density of #6. that said, I'm shooting a 20 gauge, if I was shooting a 12 and could get a good pattern with #4 I would use that for turkeys.
I go to smaller shot, #6 for rabbits, and 6s or 7 1/2s for partridge, #7 1/2 for quail on the very rare occasion they are an option.

Please also look up the Skychief load you will see mentioned a lot around here. It is now a "sticky" at the top of the hunting section. It is unconventional but works well for almost everyone who has tried it as written.

Essentially your going to load; powder, some kind of wad or wadding (something to separate powder and shot and to create a gas seal behind the shot), then shot with or without some kind of shot cup, then some other wad or wadding to hold it in.
 

Kuntry boy

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There is a ton of info here if you poke around a bit.
I highly recommend you do some reading on the website of our fellow member Spence, look up Bob's Blackpowder Notebook.

I get wads from Track of the Wolf and Eastern Maine Shooter's Supply.

Shot size needed, just like with modern shotshells, is a combination of state mandate and personal preference. Some states have minimum and maximum shot sizes, sometimes for specific game.
I prefer #5 for squirrels, turkeys, and pheasants. I feel it is a good compromise between the mass of #4 shot, and the pattern density of #6. that said, I'm shooting a 20 gauge, if I was shooting a 12 and could get a good pattern with #4 I would use that for turkeys.
I go to smaller shot, #6 for rabbits, and 6s or 7 1/2s for partridge, #7 1/2 for quail on the very rare occasion they are an option.

Please also look up the Skychief load you will see mentioned a lot around here. It is now a "sticky" at the top of the hunting section. It is unconventional but works well for almost everyone who has tried it as written.

Essentially your going to load; powder, some kind of wad or wadding (something to separate powder and shot and to create a gas seal behind the shot), then shot with or without some kind of shot cup, then some other wad or wadding to hold it in.
Thanks
 

ppg1949

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A couple of sources other than Track of Wolf are Ballistic Products and Precision Reloading. Ballistic has wads, cards and everything else. Just click on the muzzleloading section. Precision has felt wads. Good luck and have fun.
 

Gavin T Lane

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I do it the easy way. 80 gr of 2F Goex, a spit moistened wad of balled up tow over the powder, 1-1/8 oz of #6 or 7 shot and a wad of dry tow over the shot. Good enough for squirrels. For turkeys I use powder, moistened tow, then a plastic 3” 12 ga shotcup from ballistic products rammed down then 1-1/8 oz of #6 dumped down the barrel and a 12 gauge cardboard card over the cup. I have a pedersoli Mortimer 12 ga (cylinder bore no choke) and the shotcup fits perfectly down my bore. Very tight and shoots very tight patterns at 25 yards. I can shoot all day because the spit tow cleans the barrel for the next shot. I reuse the shot cups if I can find them. You can’t even tell they’ve been shot.
 
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Kuntry boy

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I do it the easy way. 80 gr of 2F Goex, a spit moistened wad of balled up tow over the powder, 1-1/8 oz of #6 or 7 shot and a wad of dry tow over the shot. Good enough for squirrels. For turkeys I use powder, moistened tow, then a plastic 3” 12 ga shotcup from ballistic products rammed down then 1-1/8 oz of #6 dumped down the barrel and a 12 gauge cardboard card over the cup. I have a pedersoli Mortimer 12 ga (cylinder bore no choke) and the shotcup fits perfectly down my bore. Very tight and shoots very tight patterns at 25 yards. I can shoot all day because the spit tow cleans the barrel for the next shot. I reuse the shot cups if I can find them. You can’t even tell they’ve been shot.
Got 2 ?s. 1st what shot would I use for Turkey hunting in a 12 gauge and what is spit tow .
 

Gavin T Lane

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Got 2 ?s. 1st what shot would I use for Turkey hunting in a 12 gauge and what is spit tow .
Use the same shot you’re comfortable with in a modern shotgun turkey load. 4, 5 or 6s. I use 6 because that’s what I have a ton of. Tow is flax seed fiber. It’s like a natural stuffing for old dolls and dog beds. I buy this stuff on amazon. One bag will last for 1000 shots. Wad a ball of it up a bit smaller than a golf ball and roll it around in your mouth until it’s just damp not dripping. You’ll spit a few pieces out lol.
 

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Kuntry boy

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I just got to say thanks to everyone that's responded to this new to smoothbore . Y'all been a lot of help I appreciate y'alls comments . I think I've gotten all the info I need. I think I'll leave this thread up that way I can always reference back to it . I got a bad memory unless someone can tell me how to take this thread down but I'll have it saved for me to go back too . Thanks to all KB
 
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Welcome to the addiction...
Don't be discouraged by the fact that you may have to work on getting your load down for different purposes. I've got my 20 gauge load down for pheasant/quail/rabbit but not quite for Turkey/squirrel. I'm still working it up. For pheasant I use 80gr 2f Goex powder, 1 over powder card, 1 and 1/8 oz 6 shot, and a fiber wad soaked in olive oil on top of it all. Works well for me on birds. I'm now trying to tighten the load with shot cups and 5 shot to get a good Turkey group out to 25-30 yards.
The time spent experimenting with different loads/shot columns is enjoyable if you aren't stressed about finding the "perfect" load right away. It will give you a chance to learn your weapon. I recommend keeping some notes as you work this out.
Good luck and enjoy the ride.
 

Kuntry boy

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What is a shot cup and where do you go online to get those and what is a fiber wad and can you make your own wads and powder cards and where do you get the tools you need to make your own ? Would it be easier to just by the plastic shot cup. I would like to be traditional all the way . I know turkey season starts in April here in Arkansas so I guess for now the shot cups would be better to start with since I'm new to a black powder smoothbore r shotgun thanks KB
 
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If you look above in the smoothbore area, you'll see a thread on them. I use brown paper bag and a dowel rod to make them. You can use the plastic wads if you want. Fiber wads you can find at any of the stores mentioned above. They are a premade, lubricated, wad made in varied chamber sizes. I buy heavy ones (3/4") and can cut them in half if I want thinner wad material. You can use tow or hornet nest instead of commercially made wads.
 

Brokennock

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What is a shot cup and where do you go online to get those and what is a fiber wad and can you make your own wads and powder cards and where do you get the tools you need to make your own ? Would it be easier to just by the plastic shot cup. I would like to be traditional all the way . I know turkey season starts in April here in Arkansas so I guess for now the shot cups would be better to start with since I'm new to a black powder smoothbore r shotgun thanks KB
Paper shot cup how to, https://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/threads/premade-shot-cups-cartridges-how-to.113216/

You can punch your own thin overshot cards, which many of us also use over powder too, many punch them out of cereal box cardboard. Just need a gasket punch or similar circular punch, available from Harbor Freight and Track of the Wolf. Some of us have had good luck using shredded up jute rope in place of tow for wadding. Old felt hats can be used with the same punch as for cardboard, then the felt soaked in your lube of choice (I'd recomend something that won't wet your powder, or freeze solid, or rust your barrel, if it has to sit a day or two loaded. The nest material of the paper wasp is popular for wadding, and is naturally fire resistant. Spence has had good luck just using brown paper cut in a 1"×2" rectangle, "rubbed soft," then folded to form a 1"x1" square "wad."

Don't expect modern turkey load, turkey choke performance. You are going to have to work your bird in within 20 yards or so. Some, with a lot of careful load development/testing, get good turkey patterns out to 30 yards from their cylinder bore guns, but this takes time and a lot of shot blasted at a patterning board.
 

Eterry

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Tons of info, but if you call Flintlocks Inc and tell them what gauge you're shooting they'll be happy to send you a "Starter pack" of overpowder, felt, nitro, over shot wads to try.
Yes you can make your own, and many do. But the 1000 packs from Mike at Flintlocks are less than .02 each, IIRC.

Give them a call.
Screenshot_20200319-231022_Contacts.jpg
 
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bigted

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KB ... welcome! It seems easy to get discouraged with the elusive success ... but ... remember this is a learning curve and a fun endeavor. I drift in and out ... when it ceases to be fun and leans toward obsession ... I give it a rest for awhile till I remember my quest is a fun thing and not to be taken too seriously. Did that with the BPCR thing and ruined another supposed fun endeavor ... my obsessive compulsive behaviour tends to run stuff into the ground on occasion. Sooo jest thought that a word in the wind might head off discouragement that I know I have experienced in the smooth bore endeavor.

Good luck and god speed. Keep us posted on your way.

These post's are educational for everybody. I sure relish reading them and invariably learn new things as I read. Er maybe they just sink in with other words saying the same things.

Thanks for beginning this post.
 

Kuntry boy

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KB ... welcome! It seems easy to get discouraged with the elusive success ... but ... remember this is a learning curve and a fun endeavor. I drift in and out ... when it ceases to be fun and leans toward obsession ... I give it a rest for awhile till I remember my quest is a fun thing and not to be taken too seriously. Did that with the BPCR thing and ruined another supposed fun endeavor ... my obsessive compulsive behaviour tends to run stuff into the ground on occasion. Sooo jest thought that a word in the wind might head off discouragement that I know I have experienced in the smooth bore endeavor.

Good luck and god speed. Keep us posted on your way.

These post's are educational for everybody. I sure relish reading them and invariably learn new things as I read. Er maybe they just sink in with other words saying the same things.

Thanks for beginning this post.
Thank you for the advice.
 
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