Patterned the fowler for a bit today

Help Support Muzzle Loading Forum:

Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
199
Reaction score
124
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA
Well I got home with just a bit of light left and wanted to try 2 shots with 2 different loads out of my "new to me" .62 cal fowler.
1. 70 grains 2F powder, over powder card, 1/2" cushion wad, 1oz of 5 shot, and an over shot card
2. 80 grains 2F powder, over powder card, 1 and 1/8 oz of 5 shot, and a 1/2" lubricated cushion wad (skychief style)
Both shots were fired from 20 yds at a 2x2 square inch paper on a full sheet of newspaper.
The gun worked flawlessly, primed with 4F, having no appreciable delay between spark and main charge ignition. The patterns were very different.
Load 1 left a donut hole in the middle of the pattern. That load might need more shot to improve the column.
Load 2 was excellent with 2 bb in the 2x2 and many others around it. While more work needs to be done on this load (may up the shot quantity a bit and try again) it is a valid load for pheasant this weekend.
Wanted to thank folk here for the guidance that got me off to a pretty quick start.
 

Brokennock

50 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
2,526
Reaction score
1,053
Location
North Central Connecticut
Ditch the "cushion" wad in between powder and shot. At most use a lubed felt wad just to keep fowling soft and to a minimum. I use 65 grains 3f and 1oz #5 shot for squirrels and 80 grains 3f under 1 1/8oz #5 shot for turkey.
I do like to put a thin card, sold as "over shot cards," between powder and lubed felt wad for 2 reasons. To separate my dry powder from the lube, and, so scrape the fowling from the last shot down on top of the next shot thus it is launched out of the barrel with the next pull of the trigger. I also think the tight fit of the card, which helps it to scrape the inside of the barrel, also keeps fowling down because it creates a better gas seal for a better burn.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
199
Reaction score
124
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA
Perhaps my novice is shining through. The 1/2" wad is an ox yoke prelubricated wad Dixons Muzzle Loading shop recommended. I don't know what they are made of. Are felt wads thinner? I didn't notice them on the shelf at the shop but that doesn't mean they weren't there.
 

Brokennock

50 Cal.
Joined
May 15, 2011
Messages
2,526
Reaction score
1,053
Location
North Central Connecticut
I'd estimate them at about 1/4" thick of dense felt, maybe durofelt for the "premium" white ones, and a softer grey felt for the standard wads. I like the standard ones better. I think I got the last couple bags from Maine Shooter's Supply. I'll check later and get back to you.
I'm assuming the wads you got from Dixon's are the heavy, dense, vegetable fiber wads sold as so called cushion wads. These were traditionally loaded between powder and shot, though no one seems to know why, and have often been blamed for blowing through the shot column and creating a "donut hole" in the pattern. Then, Lord SkyChief of ShotLoad came along and placed the wad, saturated to the point of dripping, on top of the whole shot load, and changed muzzleloading shot patterns for the better for one and all (or at least for those who would abandon the flat earth theory and actually try his method), and it was good.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
199
Reaction score
124
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA
When I loaded my second load, putting that wad in last very much helped. I didn't have them dripping with lube, but I have a dozen now soaking in olive oil for use on Saturday.
 

Skychief

69 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2006
Messages
4,006
Reaction score
360
Location
The hills of Southern Indiana
Ah shucks brokennock.

Daryl, you're gonna have a great time getting to know your smoothbore. It pleases me to read about your success! Good luck with the hunting and let us know how things progress.

Best regards, Skychief.
 

Eterry

45 Cal.
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
353
When we went to Nebraska to hunt ring necks, #5 was the suggested load, almost to obsession. One in our party refused to go by convention and used 7.5's. EVERYONE told him he was wasting his time, but that dude killed more birds than the rest of us, with no cripples i recall. He said the extra pellets helped him. He also had a great black lab.
Just throwing this out there.
 

Britsmoothy

70 Cal.
MLF Supporter
Joined
Feb 28, 2007
Messages
6,366
Reaction score
1,929
Location
England.
When we went to Nebraska to hunt ring necks, #5 was the suggested load, almost to obsession. One in our party refused to go by convention and used 7.5's. EVERYONE told him he was wasting his time, but that dude killed more birds than the rest of us, with no cripples i recall. He said the extra pellets helped him. He also had a great black lab.
Just throwing this out there.
I have always done well with #7 too.
I noticed the birds often had pellets in the head neck and wings.
 

Eterry

45 Cal.
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
353
Mixing shot was all the rage a few years ago among commercial ammo for Turkey hunting. I have a few boxes of mixed shot. The idea was at close range the swarm of smaller pellets would be effective, and the larger ones would hammer at longer range. Not sure if it was proven or not, but was a sales pitch for a while.
 

Eterry

45 Cal.
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
353
I have always done well with #7 too.
I noticed the birds often had pellets in the head neck and wings.
50 odd years ago my dad was friends with a hunter who was locally known as a market hunter. He shot ducks, geese, you name it, all with 7.5s or no.8 shot. He said he held for their head, as a goose can't fly with one no.8 in its neck, but could fly away with several no.4s (lead) in the body.
He supported his family this way, it was all he ever knew.
I'm not condoning his actions, just stating what he did.
 

spudnut

50 Cal.
Joined
Jul 13, 2005
Messages
1,520
Reaction score
65
I have the best luck with just some kind of natural wadding, tow, leaves, wasp nest, a wad about as big as my thumb to the first knuckle, lubed tow, then enough just to hold the shot in.
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2019
Messages
199
Reaction score
124
Location
Lehigh Valley, PA
Well, for those of you who like to keep score, today's field festivities resulted in a score of Pheasants-2 and Crawford-0. I simply missed.
I did use my second load mentioned above except the cushion wad I load last has been soaked in olive oil as is done in the Skychief style. My ignition is really fantastic, my skills and quickness were lacking.
 

Eterry

45 Cal.
Joined
Aug 15, 2010
Messages
1,460
Reaction score
353
Don't beat yourself up; my only pheasant hunt began much the same, maybe even worse. My hunting buddy saw a cock lying in a tangle of weeds and pointed him out to me. I got the sun to my back, shouldered, and slowly crept up on the bird. At about 10 yards he flew. You'd think hitting something that big at close range would be easy??? Nope, after 2 shots he flew away unscathed.

The 2nd day I finally hit my stride and got my limit.

Keep shooting!
 

Robby

62 Cal.
Joined
Apr 15, 2008
Messages
2,841
Reaction score
203
Location
NYSSR
I have been using #4-#6 mixed shot for the last ten years, from turkeys to squirrels and everything above and below with great success, I don't recall ever loosing anything I shot at with it. Why this mix(?), well a guy gave me a two liter bottle full of it and I'm pretty sure it will out last me, HAH!
Robby
 
2

Latest posts

Top