Well, a comedy of errors---but I learned a bit about shotgun muzzleloading :)

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Good advice there and thanks for the kind words! I definitely don't want to screw up with my new pup and you are quite right, the 'other chainsaw' can always come later with him :)

I'm surprised at the # of posters suggesting I go ahead and drill out the Pedersoli touch hole, guess that's a known issue with them eh? @hanshi suggested a 1/16th bit---any other info I should know? Do I need to remove the touch liners, grease my bit, worry about shards, etc? Thanks!
I just drilled mine then went shooting. What could go wrong.
 
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Well if you’re going to twist my arm and make me post pics of my buddy, sure! He's a pointing lab from Lankas Labs in Kansas. Mike and his wife run a great business and has always been responsive, helpful and is extremely experienced with gun dogs. Since this is my first, I have nothing to compare to but my other dogs in my life (we had a golden for 15 years, pound rescues before that)---I'll just say our new buddy is extremely trainable and Lankas seems to turn out some smart dogs. Housebroke @ 9 weeks, fetched/retrieved naturally (well he is a lab), already quarters and responds to hand signals, woahs, recalls, etc. He just soaks up lessons, brightest dog I've ever been around. My wife would say you made a mistake asking about our new son! :)

When I first got him
View attachment 114196

Compared to today
View attachment 114197
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Funny pic my wife got. Naturally, he loves the smells on any of my hunting boots. First month we got him, she forgot to close latch our barn door entrance to the walk in, she heard it slide open and him scuttle down the hallway from our bedroom. She walked in and said "What are you doing!" and he froze like this. She yanked out her camera and we had a good laugh:
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His first point on a pheasant wing. Didn't raise his foot yet but he goes rigid and tail goes out--this was about 10 weeks:
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I work from home a lot (healthcare admin/analytics), so I'll be working and hear him whine. when I turn around, half the time he's assumed the position and waiting for a belly rub:
View attachment 114201


And one of his favorite past times, next to chewing, chewing, chewing and chasing bird feathers/bumpers:

View attachment 114202



We are at 13 weeks. My first experience training a gundog, going off the Knutson Training the Pointing lab bible. We reliably fetch, find hidden bumpers with quail/pheasant wings in deep grass, return to call and woah. I introduced birds (quail) one weekend to see prey drive--and he was all over the birds and popcorned around the yard after--so we are good to go there. I'm lucky to live in the country with him, we have a big pasture with deep dried up grass/clover, so it's a good training ground/walk to get there and back.

I'll wait until he's past his 4 month fear phase, then @ 5 months start introducing some loud sounds during fetch/hunting walks--and slowly start bringing the noise up to .22 blanks at a distance, .22 blanks closer, etc. etc. Luckily, I have a lot of shooters in the 'country neighborhood', so we've had distant gunshots go off quite a bit during our hunting walks and he doesn't seem to care/notice---and some of them have been the sharp staccato of an AR so I hope we'll be good when introducing the gun down the road. No e-collar yet, figure I'll wait until 6 months or when his teenager phase starts--he's good on obedience for now.


Ok I'll shut up! :)
Good looking dog. It's not that hard. Whatever effort you put in you'll be rewarded for. A few minutes a day is all it takes. Right now he's just a little guy, no need for being a hardass with an e-collar yet. In the future for his safety you may need to, but just strengthening the bond you have is most important now.
 
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RyanGeiler, I believe I may be able to help. My wife and I are serious shotguners, we shoot clays and often go after birds with our German Shorthair. We have our own oscillation auto thrower, that’s how serious we are. A good pattern is an absolute must. Have to have many different combos of powder and shot. For our 20s to our 10ga we have gone to 3f for the speed pick up (less lead=more hits). For excellent patterns, ease and speed of loading we are using two over powder and one over shot. Hope this helps.
Doc,
3BB06114-58B0-4A5B-9135-CAB0E7B73A32.jpeg
 
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"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful" Ann Landers :)
See my avatar if you don't think All my (X) dogs did't love me..
Noise training started from birth with all my litters. A spoon against the cupboard door at feed time. then change to a tin tray when they don't take any notice. First blank training with the pistol in my game bag about 20yds from the pups.Pick out the bravest and the most timid and keep them for yourself. A timid gripe very often turns out a winner. Mum at the top.. They are all woth the time and heart break it takes to get them to the end.. OLD (No more) DOGs..
 

OldSmoky1967

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I appreciate your issues and concerns. I too have the Pederosoli 20 double. Nice gun, but with any double, loading and shooting is a new challenge to be learned. All shotguns require for the most part many more items to load. Keeping them in such a matter to facilitate loading can be a bit problematic. Over the decades that I have been shooting smoothbore shotguns I have tried many ways to organize the "Parts". This is my latest attempt for this purpose:
View attachment 114032
The gun is set on the ground before me (always the same each loading). Trigger guard outward for orientation. I use the flask for powder and charge left side barrel then right side looking down toward the barrels. Then I take the over power card (in left compartment of the belly box) and seat them, one left, one right. The cushion wad is next, left to right, unless you are using the Sky Chief method. (I won't discuss that now, as I am sure it has been debated enough). Shot is dispensed by an English charger fashioned as a shot snake and slung over my left shoulder, again left side then right. Finally the over shot card from the right side of the belly box is seated over the shot, left barrel to right. Both pans are filled as desired by the small flask. Flints are short enough for frizzens to close completely as designed.

Off to the woods and fields.

My years of playing these games have evolved this method for me. Not necessarily for all, but works for me.
THAT IS HOW I ROLL, TOO.
 
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'Just a thought Ryan, re; dog vs. gun. Your pup's either into or quickly approaching the learning curve that will define him/her and you together. Miss it, and you may never get the chance again. Fuss with the gun while your pup's resting between training outings and I'd be willing to bet you'll both be having a grand time in the very near future. "Never trust anyone who doesn't like dogs" quote; Mine
There is something fundamental that is warped in a person who does not like dogs.
 
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Thought I had done enough research and had all the bits/gear I need. As you can see from my post count, I'm new to muzzleloading--got a Kibler this past year and had great success with it. This forum was super helpful and has been my bible.

Since I happened to be getting a pup as my first bird dog, I figured I'd dive into muzzle shotguns as well and purchased a SXS Pedersoli .20 ga. Figured since I had a year of flintlock under my belt, I could handle a shotgun well enough as well. You plan, God laughs right?

So I went out after discussing possible loads on this forum.

Lesson 1
1st thing I discovered, yes, loading two barrels makes it disturbingly easy to forget where you are in the process. By the end of the day, I had settled on a process--loading both barrels at the same time--keeping a thumb over last barrel down in what particular step you are in (Pour powder in one, thumb over, pour powder in other, now cards, etc.). But since I'm spelling that out, you can tell mistakes were made and barrels were pulled a time or two for safety.

Lesson 2
I suck with this thing :). I've shot pigeons enough that I figured I'd just adjust from a swing through to a lead with no issue. Wrong. I had a hell of time getting on the birds (3 of 15!). Now part of this is the load I believe. The Pedersoli calls for 75 gr/1 oz. The forum suggested I start at 60-65, fair enough--but it really didn't pattern well. Later today I'm going to go back at it with a 75 gr load and see where I set. It's going to take a lot of practice.

Lesson 3
Don't load the second pan, even if you close it. The Pedersoli 20 has smaller flints but even then--they don't allow the frizzen to seat all the way on the pan. There is a (very small) crack near the bottom even when closed. I discovered this when one barrel firing kicked off both barrels :). So either I will need to knap that second flint to make sure the frizzen seats all the way or just not prime that pan.

Lesson 4
This gun is a bit more temperamental than my Kibler. The Kibler just fires, every time, without fail--the lock just ticks along. Not so much here. The touch hole plugged a few times and after a few flashes, I realized I would need to pick my vent hole more often. Using Goex FFF powder too, no substitute powder. I would also need to swab the gun more often between shots, as the choked barrel can become a bugger quick. This concerns me if I hunt with it. I'm not sure if temperature played a part here. I google beforehand on cold weather effects on muzzleloading and mostly what I found was condensation concerns when bringing back inside. Since I planned on cleaning immediately after, I wasn't concerned--but it was pretty damn cold (10 degrees) when I was shooting...so I wonder.

Lesson 5
About that choked barrel! This was a mistake that made me feel like an utter fool. So I didn't have a 20 ga cleaning jag at the range (not in my normal kit) and was making due with a double patch on a .50 jag. This worked just fine for the non-choke barrel....and seemed to work ok on the choke modified until one pull snapped my ramrod (I didn't think I was even pulling that hard but suppose so!). The barrel must have been fouled pretty good that time around. So I had to pull that sucker out, luckily it was right near the end so I did manage to slip it out.....but man I felt like a stupid a$$ (still do). What a dumb mistake. I'm still ****** at myself for doing it.

Lesson 6
Not so much a lesson but a concern! I would love to upland hunt with this gun but hoo boy, I'm not sure I'll be able to manage all of the special needs + my dog in the field. I have some speed loaders from Dixie, with shot/powder on each side and those were pretty damn nifty--definitely going to get some more. But the cards are fickle and difficult to manage, I can't imagine with gloves in the field on a windy day. I tried putting them in ziploc bags (I pre-drilled a tiny hole in the overshot cards as well to make seating easier)---but those ziploc bags didn't work so well. How do you guys carry your cards/wads in the field?

Lesson 7 (Hey a good one!)
The gun cleans nicely! Boy those chrome barrels come clean quick! It only took a few swabs on each barrel, changing the water out and then the water ran clean. I had read that brass wire brushes were ok in a chrome barrel for cleaning--but I'm not sure why would ever need it--they are slick and swab so easily. I didn't remove the touch hole liners, although given the flashes that day I considered it. For one, I'm sure that requires a special tool I don't have and 2--it seems like when I searched this forum it's a debate if you should or not--with most saying not. Regardless, I really enjoyed this part of it :).

Overall, I'm a bit disheartened but I'm old enough to realize this is the nature of learning a new thing---however I'm still particularly nervous about hunting with this. Between my accuracy, how touchy the gun seems to be regarding fouling and how difficult it will be to manage the dog/ammo needs....dunno. Not feeling warm and fuzzy :). I'm going back at it later today with lessons in mind to see how it goes this time. Feel free to talk me off the cliff!
It was always easier for me to push a piece of cleaning rag in the tube I wasn’t loading. Load the first barrel, then pull the rag, put it in the loaded tube and load the second one. I’ve never hit anything but I’ve never had a mishap either.
 
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I appreciate your issues and concerns. I too have the Pederosoli 20 double. Nice gun, but with any double, loading and shooting is a new challenge to be learned. All shotguns require for the most part many more items to load. Keeping them in such a matter to facilitate loading can be a bit problematic. Over the decades that I have been shooting smoothbore shotguns I have tried many ways to organize the "Parts". This is my latest attempt for this purpose:
View attachment 114032
The gun is set on the ground before me (always the same each loading). Trigger guard outward for orientation. I use the flask for powder and charge left side barrel then right side looking down toward the barrels. Then I take the over power card (in left compartment of the belly box) and seat them, one left, one right. The cushion wad is next, left to right, unless you are using the Sky Chief method. (I won't discuss that now, as I am sure it has been debated enough). Shot is dispensed by an English charger fashioned as a shot snake and slung over my left shoulder, again left side then right. Finally the over shot card from the right side of the belly box is seated over the shot, left barrel to right. Both pans are filled as desired by the small flask. Flints are short enough for frizzens to close completely as designed.

Off to the woods and fields.

My years of playing these games have evolved this method for me. Not necessarily for all, but works for me.

Do you have more photos of the belly box? Did you make it? Great idea!
 
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NO, I did not make this box. Not exactly sure where I got it either. There are a few makers of Rev War leather goods that have them but unfortunately I can't remember where I got it. Here are some photos (for size comparison, the belt is 3" wide).

This one shows the extra "blocks" for the various sizes of wads (12, 16, 20)
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r
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There is something fundamental that is warped in a person who does not like dogs.
There is still something fundamentally wrong with any animal that enjoys eating cat 💩...arguably the most vile substance known to man. There's a reason cats are born knowing exactly what to do with the stuff and what do dogs do? They go well out of their way to dig it up and chow down. 🤢
Dogs have absolutely NO social graces and have to be taught to keep their cold noses out of your crotch.

wm
 
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There is still something fundamentally wrong with any animal that enjoys eating cat 💩...arguably the most vile substance known to man. There's a reason cats are born knowing exactly what to do with the stuff and what do dogs do? They go well out of their way to dig it up and chow down. 🤢
Dogs have absolutely NO social graces and have to be taught to keep their cold noses out of your crotch.

wm
Don't knock it 'till ya tried it!
 

OhioHawkeye

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...
I suck with this thing :). I've shot pigeons enough that I figured I'd just adjust from a swing through to a lead with no issue. Wrong. I had a hell of time getting on the birds (3 of 15!).

Yes, possibly the load, but you won't know till you get it on a pattern board. Get a big sheet of brown paper from the hardware, or what I do and use a huge piece of cardboard. Put an oval black spot like the silhouette of a clay pigeon in flight in the center. Hold at 6 oclock like you are shooting at the feet of the bird and fire... see what percentage of your shot is above and below etc... work your loads from there. Yes, do it for each barrel.
 
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Just to add this, as I believe a couple of posters mentioned how great @simonbeans belly box was--when searching Etsy I found this guy who makes the leather boxes with inserts (Etsy is everything Ebay wanted to be back in the day--truly my favorite 'shopping' site on the internet):

Cartridge Box

It looks like he likely uses a press drill to make the holes so unsure if he would be accommodating to making custom inlays--but I did message him with @simonbeans example asking--so I'll update if he says he could. Kind of $$ @ 78 bucks with an insert but it does fit the bill. If you could make your own insert, then a little less of a hit @ 56. Thanks for the example @simonbeans
 
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@RyanGeiler That cartridge box you found on Etsy is a good price. Again, I am not too sure as to where I bought mine years ago. Anyway, the block that comes with it is the basis for the block you might want. Use the dimensions to make a block of your design. I used 2/4 lumber, gluing up a couple to pieces to get the correct thickness. I then cut the stock to the same dimensions that the original block is. A table saw helps here. I then drew on the block where and of what size i wanted my holes to be which of course is dependent somewhat with the size of the block you have made. I then used a Forrester bit to drill out holes. A Forrester bit cuts a flat bottom hole. Work you way around inside your drawn shape with the bit. Be sure your depth of cut is within the thickness of your block. Do not bore through the bottom. I then sprayed the completed block with some poly or acrylic or varnish. (Note that my box has a "kidney" shape. I used a oscillating sander for that step. The box you show is just a rectangle).
 
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If you might be interested in trying the “belly box” idea of organization, there is a decent-looking box on eBay right now at a pretty good price (<$40). eBay number is 185013319397. Not sure if there is a wood block included in the sale.
 

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