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Traditions Blunderbuss Loads

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JJohnson2023

32 Cal
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Picked up a traditions .54 cal blunderbuss kit 6 months ago as my first smokepole and have had a great time developing loads. You'd be surprised how good some of the patterns are. These would likely work in another .54 smoothie or 28 gauge. I figured there really isn't much in the way of data for the loads besides on Hovey Smiths YouTube channel so I decided to share mine. Let me know what you think. When I write wad I refer to .125 wool wads from T/C
Small Game Hunting

  • 70 grains Hogdon’s Triple 7 3F black powder substitute
  • Wad over powder
  • 1 ounce shot
  • Wad over shot
  • Extremely loud, harsh recoil, resource intensive
  • Proven as a deadly hunting load

  • 35 grains Hogdon’s Triple 7 3F black powder substitute
  • Wad over powder
  • 60 grains of shot
  • Wad over shot
  • The skychief loading technique can make this load pattern more uniform, very good pattern at 20 yards

  • 35 grains Hogdon’s Triple 7 3F black powder substitute
  • Wad over powder
  • .54 to .50 caliber sabot(Badger industries)
  • 35 grains of shot
  • Wad over shot
  • While sparing resources this load patterns similar to much more resource intensive loads. Performing exceedingly well within 10-15 yards.
Big Game Hunting

  • 80 grains Hogdon’s Triple 7 3F black powder substitute
  • Patched .530 round ball
  • Devastating power but shoots very high (It’s the bell of the gun that causes this by inhibiting aiming) Pattern and become familiar with load.
Buckshot

  • Roll 4 .44 caliber round balls like a tootsie roll in paper
  • 60 grains Hogdon’s Triple 7 3F black powder substitute
  • Over powder wad
  • Would be good for mid-sized game(coyote)

  • 60 grains Hogdon’s Triple 7 3F black powder substitute
  • Over powder wad
  • 6 .35 roundball
  • Over shot wad
 

Comfortably_Numb

The Evil Mike Brooks
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I wouldn't recommend hunting anything with a blunderbuss. You can't get a sight picture with it. These were designed to shoot feet away. Not yards. I have tried to shoot skeet with one in 11 Bore and could only hit the low house at station one, only because it was a couple feet off the end of the barrel.
You might consider yours a novelty to have fun with and go look for something a little more capable of hitting something.
 
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I am hoping to fire my blunderbuss this weekend for the first time. There will be a learning curve for me ad I have never seen one fired before.
 

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JJohnson2023

32 Cal
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I wouldn't recommend hunting anything with a blunderbuss. You can't get a sight picture with it. These were designed to shoot feet away. Not yards. I have tried to shoot skeet with one in 11 Bore and could only hit the low house at station one, only because it was a couple feet off the end of the barrel.
You might consider yours a novelty to have fun with and go look for something a little more capable of hitting something.
With practice I have figured out ways to aim it that make it surprising accurate. 25 yards my round ball group is very consistent. With birdshot I consistently hit targets well, and have broken clays. The secret is that the funnel makes you aim higher than you want. To remedy this, put the target on top of the bell, centered, and drop down 6 inches to a foot depending on distance to the target.
 

JJohnson2023

32 Cal
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With a practical range of 25 yards with roundball and 10 to 15 yard range with shot I'd not be tempted to hunt with it. But you do what you want.
I don't think I'd hunt big game with it, I question how ethical it is. With shot, and reasonable ranges not exceeding 25 yards I would trust it for small game, given the good patterns I've seen consistently.
 
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As mentioned above, I also found that using the top edge of the bell, pointing to the bottom edge of the target, or about 6" - 12" (depending on the size of the bell) below the black will give you a roughly centered pattern. Need to experiment using this POA.
It does a decent pattern at 7-yards. 15-yards and the pattern doubles (or more). But I figure that's all the distance these guns were made for. They are a blast to shoot.

Rick

blunderbuss 001 (Medium).jpg
 

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