I larn't frum an ole dixie catalogue thet i kept in th' two-holer; started usin' th' pages thet only showed 'spensive stuff' an' it lasted near as long as th' monkey wards catalogue i had in there afore it. one uv th' last papers had a formula fer usin' wool felt soaked in salt-free lard, outta th' mesican food aisle at th' soopermarket fer wads. wound up usin three felts punched outta one o' them army surplus mukluk liners, th' thick white wool felt'uns. din't use no overpowder card, jist used a punched-out milk carton overshot card on top o' th' load. used equal volume o' FFg 'n shot; 65 grain measure fer th' 12ga, 60 grain fer th' 20ga, 55 fer th' 24ga. th' wads wuz punched out on th' end-grain of a hunk o' chain-sawed fire log; 3/4" fer th' 12, 5/8" fer th' 20, 9/16" fer th' 24. my loads jist natcherly seem ta shoot tighter than th' commercial components. one uv th' 24ga guns likes 4 felts better'n three.
Great thread. I had no idea there's so much that can be experimented with to get a BP smoothbore to pattern. I had a double percussion 12 ga close to 4 decades ago and couldn't hit a bull in the azz with it. Haven't fooled with a BP smoothbore since, and really don't mess with shotties at all other than the short pump and box of buck that's in the safe for a rainy day.
Been wanting to build a flintlock fowler though and have been apprehensive because of the double's troubles years ago. Back then was the beginning of the BP learning curve for me and being self taught I figured it was just powder, card, shot, card, and never knew to try anything else. Didn't know a load could be tweaked like yall are doing.
I appreciate this thread, and any other like it. Old dogs like me can learn new tricks like this........
I tried the corn muffin mix again today and got good results. I think when I tried it in the spring I was aiming to low and getting the upper part of the pattern. The corn muffin mix is easier to mix with the shot than the corn starch.