Patterned the fowler for a bit today

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by Daryl Crawford, Nov 14, 2019.

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  1. Nov 14, 2019 #1

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

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    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.
     
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  2. Nov 15, 2019 #2

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

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    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.
     
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  3. Nov 15, 2019 #3

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

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    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.
     
  4. Nov 15, 2019 #4

    Brokennock

    Brokennock

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    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: Nov 15, 2019
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  5. Nov 15, 2019 #5

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

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    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.
     
  6. Nov 15, 2019 #6

    Skychief

    Skychief

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    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.
     
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  7. Nov 15, 2019 #7

    Eric Krewson

    Eric Krewson

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    Try the Skychief load, it worked wonders for my patterns.
     
  8. Nov 15, 2019 #8

    Brian Gibbs

    Brian Gibbs

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    Great thread....I'll be following as I need to try this myself.
     
  9. Nov 15, 2019 #9

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

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    What is the difference between my 2d load above and the Skychief load? Of course besides the very wet wad.
     
  10. Nov 15, 2019 #10

    Eterry

    Eterry

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    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.
     
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  11. Nov 15, 2019 #11

    Britsmoothy

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    I have always done well with #7 too.
    I noticed the birds often had pellets in the head neck and wings.
     
  12. Nov 15, 2019 #12

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

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    Is there benefit to mixing shot in a single load?
     
  13. Nov 15, 2019 #13

    Britsmoothy

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    No benefit no and no harm in it at the same time.
     
  14. Nov 15, 2019 #14

    Eterry

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    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.
     
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  15. Nov 15, 2019 #15

    Eterry

    Eterry

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    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.
     
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  16. Nov 16, 2019 #16

    spudnut

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    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.
     
  17. Nov 17, 2019 #17

    Daryl Crawford

    Daryl Crawford

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    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.
     
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  18. Nov 17, 2019 #18

    Eterry

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    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!
     
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  19. Nov 17, 2019 #19

    Britsmoothy

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    To be honest, I miss most of mine too.
    It don't matter none....still out there. Better than not being out there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  20. Nov 17, 2019 #20

    Robby

    Robby

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    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
     
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