Pigeons

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Feltwad

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With a change in the weather from rain and more rain to a fine mild windy day I decided to have a few hours decoying pigeon on a cut rape stubble. Arriving on the field by 9am and setting up the hide and decoys by 9,30 am I loaded my 12 bore sxs percussion gun by Rowntree the first gunmaker to build a sxs percussion cap gun. with the wind in my back I new that when pigeon came they would come in against the wind and make a incoming shot before they swung of with the wind .It was not long before the first bird came in low just skimming a couple of foot above the stubble and was on the decoys before I notice it on noticing my movement it swung from right to left and climbing which I connected making a good sporting shot On shooting pigeon over decoys provides many different sporting shots from incoming. going away shots, to left and right crossers. Shooting pigeon the local name is cushart over decoys where most birds are taking at 30 to 35 yards I used a modest load of 2.1/2 drms of FFg to 1 oz of number 6 shot .Although there were plenty of good sporting shots there is also one that you remember well This was bird that came from behind and 70 yards high on spotting the decoys it took a quick u turn and dived to the decoys I connected on its downward swoop and it hit the ground exploding in a heap of feathers , these shots are also dangerous has I have witnessed several times because they sometimes when dead end by plummeting into the hide and give you a nasty injury By 2 pm I decided to call it a day the total bag was 43 birds although for this time of year it was a average bay it was a pleasant change to be out in the field and not sitting looking out of the window at the rain. These birds were plump birds I only use the breasts which after marinated they are cooked in a pie, a job for the wife Has i am a lousy cook
Feltwad
 

LawrenceA

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That is an incredible haul.
What wad column do you use?
I am totally spun out that 1oz of shot is still a dense enough pattern at 40 yards.
I am still playing with mine which is a 14g and doubt it shoots that tight.
 

Notchy Bob

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That was a nice day of shooting, Feltwad. Thank you for telling the tale.

I would have never thought of injuries incurred by falling birds!

Notchy Bob
 

Feltwad

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That is an incredible haul.
What wad column do you use?
I am totally spun out that 1oz of shot is still a dense enough pattern at 40 yards.
I am still playing with mine which is a 14g and doubt it shoots that tight.
The load of 2.1/2 drms to 1oz of shot is volume load for a 16 bore but for pigeon decoy work including driven grouse I find this load quite adequate The wad column I always use for many decades is powder , two 1/8 card wad ,shot followed by a 1/16 over shot wad,. All my loads according to the bore size are always volume loads , If the bores after shooting a large number of shots sometimes become coked making seating the wads difficulty then I use a felt wad or just has good some spittle in the bore with the second card does the job just has well. Some people prefer the fancy loads of lube wads but I do not see any difference so I stick to 2 card wads over the powder
Feltwad
 

Spence10

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The wad column I always use for many decades is powder , two 1/8 card wad ,shot followed by a 1/16 over shot wad,.
A fun report, Feltwad, thanks. Brings back memories of shooting mourning doves over corn stubble, nothing better for avid shotgunners.

Year ago there was a man in our midwest named V. M. Starr who was quite expert in BP shotguns. He wrote of his experiences and was a big help to a lot of us. The wad column you describe is exactly the same as he used. He said there might be ways to make his gun shoot better, but he had no need of it, would not know what to do with better performance. I think a lot of the secret to shooting on the wing lies with the shooter, not some magic combination of powder and shot or wads. Mr. Starr competed in crow shoots in his area, won so often the club wouldn't let him shoot.

For anyone interested, here's a link to his little brochure, The Muzzle Loading Shotgun:


Spence
 

Feltwad

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A fun report, Feltwad, thanks. Brings back memories of shooting mourning doves over corn stubble, nothing better for avid shotgunners.

Year ago there was a man in our midwest named V. M. Starr who was quite expert in BP shotguns. He wrote of his experiences and was a big help to a lot of us. The wad column you describe is exactly the same as he used. He said there might be ways to make his gun shoot better, but he had no need of it, would not know what to do with better performance. I think a lot of the secret to shooting on the wing lies with the shooter, not some magic combination of powder and shot or wads. Mr. Starr competed in crow shoots in his area, won so often the club wouldn't let him shoot.

For anyone interested, here's a link to his little brochure, The Muzzle Loading Shotgun:


Spence
Yes I have heard off V.M.Starr has I have said before I have shot muzzle loaders for the past 72 years , then wads were difficult to buy because the wads of that time were only for shotgun cartridges and to small for a muzzle loading shotgun . To overcome this my main wadding was toilet paper till I purchased a wad punch and using the thick 1/8 card which came from cement pallets I cut all my own after several tries at loading different ways I settle with the 2 number 1/8 card over the powder and a 1/16 card over the shot this has been my favoured way ever since . I shoot all my game sporting and on the wing and never a sitting shot this is frowned upon in this part of the UK for which this type shooting has a special name. Where most wing shooters go wrong is they try to shoot game more than 40 yards away in an original 12 bore with 30 inch true cylinder barrels this is its killing limit, using heavy chargers does not help but increases the recoil. With a volume load on some days decoying pigeons and more so crows I can fire in the excess of 100 shots with little effect this would not be so with heavy loads, if you want to shoot higher loads and more shot go for the bigger bore sizes
Feltwad
 

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