What to look for in a smooth bore?

Discussion in 'Smoothbore' started by hamanky, Jan 19, 2019.

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  1. Jan 19, 2019 #1

    hamanky

    hamanky

    hamanky

    32 Cal

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    Good morning folks. I am new to flintlocks and think I’d really like to get a Smoothbore for hunting. I recently bought a older Dixie gun works Tennessee poor boy .50 cal to try it out and I’m afraid I’m hooked!
    I think a Smoothbore would be better for 90% of my uses though in the Woods, I’m just not sure what to look for in one though. My questions are, how much does barrel length affect performance on a cylinder choke gun? Wouldn’t a 20 gauge be plenty for any hunting in KY, I now in a regular shotgun it is.
    I’m going to a market fair the first of February In Elizabethtown KY that’s supposed to have a lot of muzzleloading related guns and stuff to hopefully find one and would like some pointers on what to look for. My main uses are rabbit, squirrel, turkeys, and just Woods walking. I have the rifle for deer but may use it for them also. I’m not new to guns or hunting by any stretch just flintlocks. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks Joe.
     
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  2. Jan 19, 2019 #2

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

    Comfortably_Numb

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    Yes, in my experience the longer the barrel the tighter the pattern it will throw. A 20 bore is plenty.
     
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  3. Jan 19, 2019 #3

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

    Grenadier1758

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    Twenty gauge is more than enough gun for any hunting in KY. The wads, cleaning jags, will be easy to find. You will need real black powder, such as GOEX, Ole Eynsford, Scheutzen, or Swiss, as the substitute black powder do not function reliably in a flintlock.

    When shopping, you want a gun that feels lively and well balanced in your hands. It should come to you shoulder and with a natural hold, the sight should be fully visible with a bit of barrel showing above the tang bolt and below the bead sight. It should have a fairly wide, flat butt plate. The trigger pull should be comfortable on your shoulder and accommodate the clothes you would wear out hunting.

    Length is not that much of an issue. I prefer longer barrels of at least 42". A fowler from 38" to 44" will perform well. Let us know what you find.
     
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  4. Jan 19, 2019 #4

    tenngun

    tenngun

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    The northwest gun is light and handy. A 36 or42 inch barrel is handy.
     
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  5. Jan 19, 2019 #5

    Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776

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    20 ga. is plenty for anything that walks in Kentucky. When you shop get whatever appeals to you and your budget except something made in India. Check the lock for performance, especially good sparking.
     
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  6. Jan 19, 2019 #6

    Black Hand

    Black Hand

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    Are you interested in a smoothbore for a particular period or just one for hunting?
    A 20ga will do the trick and supplies are easy to find. I carry mine ~90% of time while in the woods just because of its small-game capabilities and have also taken it deer/elk hunting.
     
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  7. Jan 19, 2019 #7

    Robby

    Robby

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    A 20 ga. will certainly fill the bill, but if you're at the show and see a, 16, 12, 10, or even an original in some odd caliber, and it really tickles your fancy, the price is right, grab it!!!!! Components are readily available for practically any bore size and one of the beauties of a muzzleloading smoothbore is the infinite possibilities for load adjustment. Good luck, it is a wonderful sport that will not disappoint you.
    Robby
     
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  8. Jan 19, 2019 #8

    hamanky

    hamanky

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    Thanks for the replies folks. To try and answer although for now it’s just for hunting, I think I’d rather have one that would be more correct to mid eighteenth century if I can afford it. From what research I’ve done I guess that would be a fusil de Chasse or a northwest trade gun style gun. I really like the lines of the FDC but have never held one so I’m open to what fits instead of the looks.
    I’ve saw some trade guns in the white on another forum for sale by a maker named Jackie Brown that where very reasonable priced but it was a 36” barrel and feel I need to handle some different ones before making any decisions.

    Thanks Joe
     
  9. Jan 19, 2019 #9

    Black Hand

    Black Hand

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    Most of the NW guns sold today are more 19th than 18th century. Yes - the NW gun has a long history, but there are specific characteristics that place a particular style at a particular time.
     
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  10. Jan 19, 2019 #10

    bigted

    bigted

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    In my humble opinion, 20 gauge (62cal) is more than sufficeint for ANY north American game ... both large, small and birds of all kinds ... when hunted and stalked within it's range.

    Imagine quietly strolling in the woods with a powder charge huggin the breech with a over powder wad and your charge of shot covered with a over shot card to hold it all together ... when outta the corner of your eye, you spot a nice buck or bull. Squating, you pull the rod from under the barrel, screw on your card pulling screw, and quietly pull the over shot card ... followed by pouring out the shot. Next after unscrewing your pulling jag, you place the ball board containg patched balls for just this reason. Now you are stocking to your pre prescribed range to your quarry and with a small shrug ... mounting your smoothy to your shoulder, you make meat with a " ball to the lights ".

    Now swiftly go pick your smooth bore weapon that seems rite to your body needs, eye needs and just plain ol contentment with your choice.

    Barrel length from 34 inch up to what your desire will suffice to your needs.

    Now go burn powder with different possibles and combo's till you get what you are looking for group wise and pattern wise.

    The journey and dissapointment's will be WAY out weighed by your success in the field after discovering what your gun will wisper to you on the trail to it's needs.

    Happy hunting for your soul mate my friend. This is exciting and thrilling path you have chosen.
     
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  11. Jan 19, 2019 #11

    Rifleman1776

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    Jackie Brown has quite a reputation. Be all business if you decide to buy one of his guns. Especially get a promise of 100% refund if you are not satisfied. Do a search here for my experience buying from Jackie. For example, the 36" barrel smoothie I ordered from him came with a 31" barrel.
     
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  12. Jan 19, 2019 #12

    Le Loup

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    I use a 20 gauge/.62 caliber fusil with a 42 inch barrel Joe & I wouldn't swop it for anything else except a fusil de chasse in the same caliber. However, having got the one I have, I can't really justify the expense of purchasing another fusil.
    Keith.
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Jan 19, 2019 #13

    Brokennock

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    20 gauge is excellent for just about anything. It would seem that longer is generally better, especially with shot for small game. I've never had the issues moving through the woods and brush with 44" barreled guns. But then, I hunt with a long bow or 64" recurve a lot. I find gear and clothing to be more of an issue moving through thick stuff.
    If you find one I your price range don't forget the often left out Type G trade gun. Very versatile with a a straighter stock than the French guns, more like what we are used to. Small rear sight for ball and/or turkey loads, but unobtrusive for instinctive jump shots.
    Will you be doing more wing shooting, or aimed shooting with shot and ball?
     
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  14. Jan 20, 2019 #14

    hamanky

    hamanky

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    Thanks for the advice guys. I’ll have to look into the type G trade gun, hadn’t heard that one before. As bad as I’m wanting one I think I’ll try and make myself wait till I can look over and handle different styles to try and get one that fits me.
    There’s not really much wing shooting around here any more so it will be more aimed shots like turkey and squirrels. And running rabbits when the opportunity arises.
    Thanks Joe
     
  15. Jan 20, 2019 #15

    Robby

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  16. Jan 20, 2019 #16

    Stumpkiller

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    I went with a 16 gauge because they finish up lighter than a 20 or a 12.
     
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  17. Jan 20, 2019 #17

    Robby

    Robby

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    16 gauge is my favorite for a few reasons, including weight. Haven't made a 20 in ten years.
    Robby
     
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  18. Jan 20, 2019 #18

    Trot

    Trot

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    Some of the French guns can be real cheek thumpers, the ones with the "pied de vache" stock. This is the one with the curved stock with a lot of drop at the butt. Probably properly shaped ones are fine, but properly shaped ones are also few and far between. I have a club butt Dutch trade gun, and a type G or Carolina trade gun, love them both.
     
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  19. Jan 20, 2019 #19

    Toklo Etee

    Toklo Etee

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    The Type G / Carolina Gun has been a great investment for me. Mine is a Jack Brooks kit that was built by the late Dave Wagner. It is .600 caliber and has a 46" barrel that I believe was made by Getz.
    I was surprised that it doesn't kick considering it weighs 5 1/2 pounds but I don't use magnum powder charges. Killed several deer and countless squirrels. It is a joy to carry
    David
     

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  20. Jan 20, 2019 #20

    PluggedNickel

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    Nice looking smoothie you have there. I like the drop of the stock, more like our modern guns than some I'd say. Trot probably speaks from experience about that radical drop in the stock of some of the French guns, though I must say, my 1766 Charleville puts my eye right inline with a good cheek weld. I'll let you all know what I think about the thumpin' once I make some smoke! LOL
     
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