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Who uses their smoothbore strictly as a shotgun?

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Ranger94

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I have only recently started using my one 62 Fowler with LRB. The Fowler was purchased years ago, primarily for Turkey, and occasional use on small game and Upland birds, with one of my several rifles, used for deer and squirrel hunting. As with the OP, I was intriqued by the numerous posts of those achieving very good accuracy using LRB’s in their smoothbores, and were serving double duty. I decided to give them a try and was pleasantly surprised with the results. With the kind assistance of “Hanshi”, another member of the forum with a smooth bore comparable to my own, I was able to develop an accurate load, that was no fuss, using a Mink Oil/patched ball, with the same powder/charge used with my birdshot loads. The versatility is quite apparent, particularly given my typical Deer hunting distances. While I have not yet used my Fowler with LRB for deer hunting, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so.
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This is great. Can you let us know the ball and patch size you used? Impressive group.
 

MAC1967

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I'll take the bait from Feltwad . . . but in reading his post, I am not sure I disagree, but I may need more info. A more modern ML shotgun would only be intended for shot, though not to say one cannot use ball . . . a fowler would be either. I have a Chambers Penn Fowler I built, which was designed after a 1770 rifle which Chambers says would have been found on the farm in which a frontiersman would use it for shot or ball as a versatile tool for upland or big game . . . if one could not afford a rifle (rifled barrel) and a shotgun or fowler. We know that many of these farmers took such weapons from their cabin straight to war with them using RB against the British or Indians. At least that's my understanding.

As to the original question, I found my fowler shoots RB fairly easily and accurately, even without a rear sight, but the shot load took more work to put together. I am not fully confident in either, but I'd like to try deer with it using a RB. . . I did take this grey squirrel with it last fall.
 

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Bob McBride

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Feltwad is a English Fowler (1740-1790) guy if I’m not mistaken, so he’s probably coming from that place. A proper ‘shot’ gun.
 

TreeMan

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I use mine strictly for Buckshot. I’m too paranoid the biggest buck of my life will show up at 100yards and if so I want all the accuracy I can squeeze of one of my 54 rifles. I also have a hard time parting with that much lead to make those big fat .600+ round balls lol.
 

Feltwad

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Feltwad is a English Fowler (1740-1790) guy if I’m not mistaken, so he’s probably coming from that place. A proper ‘shot’ gun.
Exactly A shotgun barrel was designed for shot but there are some members who think different because they have shot a ball from a smoothbore ,most have a attitude that they know everything but only small knowledge of Muzzle loading firearms but have a lot to learn .I have been documenting Victorian and Georgian gunmakers with a vast knowledge restoring and building muzzle loaders for the past 72 years and still things come to light that I have never heard of Most of my knowledge I have put into answers to threads and PM and most not even a thank you also entered threads and to receive silly an arrogant replies makes one think is it worth while
Feltwad
 

Britsmoothy

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Exactly A shotgun barrel was designed for shot but there are some members who think different because they have shot a ball from a smoothbore ,most have a attitude that they know everything but only small knowledge of Muzzle loading firearms but have a lot to learn .I have been documenting Victorian and Georgian gunmakers with a vast knowledge restoring and building muzzle loaders for the past 72 years and still things come to light that I have never heard of Most of my knowledge I have put into answers to threads and PM and most not even a thank you also entered threads and to receive silly an arrogant replies makes one think is it worth while
Feltwad
The original poster did NOT stipulate any type of shotgun.
He referred to smoothbores, of which there are many types and not just the type you favour Feltwad. Smoothbores made for civilians such as smoothrifles were for shot and ball.
All you did sir with your opening comments to this thread was mount your soapbox. You have as so often contributed little to no factual information of historical fact. You simply show piece some original guns which is very nice but does not give you any authority to belittle anyones opinion.
Can you please post a link to articles of your knowledge you may of shared. You refer often to sharing your knowledge.... please share it or point me to where it is published?

B.
 

Ridge

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Mostly my smooth bore is used for rabbits and squirrels. I like to shoot round balls at the range. However, I have other muzzleloaders that I'd rather deer hunt with.
 

Bob McBride

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The thin barreled fowling pieces are designed for shot, super light and agile, but of course they will shoot a ball just fine and have millions of times. That’s a Fowler to my mind regardless of architecture. A ‘Smoothbore’ with a Fowler barrel in other words. Heavy barreled smooth bores like smooth rifles shoot RB much better IME and of course will shoot shot excellent as well.
 

nhmoose

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I grew up in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Nothing change fast as in 200 plus years only smoothbores were allowed for most hunting. Ball and shot was used in ML and unmentionable's.

One thing a learned is with ML anything that fits down a ML bore can come back out fine. Not so much in the unmentionables. So Ball through a Smoothbore is fine IMHO for either but pay attention to what you are doing.

As far as our 2 Brit friends the animosity between the two of you is sickening. SUCK it up guys and quit it. I(MHO Both have great posts don't lessen the value by doing this. Don't like my post to bad.
 

Feltwad

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The original poster did NOT stipulate any type of shotgun.
He referred to smoothbores, of which there are many types and not just the type you favour Feltwad. Smoothbores made for civilians such as smoothrifles were for shot and ball.
All you did sir with your opening comments to this thread was mount your soapbox. You have as so often contributed little to no factual information of historical fact. You simply show piece some original guns which is very nice but does not give you any authority to belittle anyones opinion.
Can you please post a link to articles of your knowledge you may of shared. You refer often to sharing your knowledge.... please share it or point me to where it is published?

B.
You refer to me not sharing my knowledge it is my vast amount of knowledge that is your problem has you once said [You are out of my league}. All i can say stop making silly remarks to my answers and threads and talk genuine muzzle loading but I think you will never let that happen.
Feltwad
 

Capt. Jas.

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Many smoothbored guns historically were not intended for shot. Many trading guns/fuzees saw shot and ball and i believe were intended for both purposes. Fowling pieces proper, although designed for such also saw service with the use of ball for putting meat on the table as well as being pressed into militia service. There were some smooth bored guns in England, Germany,, etc., fowling piece "type' guns made with heavy walls that were intended for ball for hunting/sporting/protection purposes. Then of course there is the musket which saw use with the ball as well as large shot (preferred in some ranging companies for engaging the Indians. In America, i believe one saw the use of ball and shot in smooth guns more frequently no matter what their original
intended configuration was. This occurred because you had everyday people using firearms for protection and procuring vittles. Unlike across the pond where just the elite had access and the means to acquire purpose specific guns.
In answer to the OP, I have a couple of fowling pieces that see mainly shot and were designed and built for such but both have seen a ball or two for large game.
 

Zonie

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It is past time for you two to take a break...you know who you are.
I agree.
Personal bickering adds nothing useful to the forum and it detracts from the topic.
I'm about to start deleting posts that are primarily aimed at others and their merits or lack of them.
 

tenngun

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Many smoothbored guns historically were not intended for shot. Many trading guns/fuzees saw shot and ball and i believe were intended for both purposes. Fowling pieces proper, although designed for such also saw service with the use of ball for putting meat on the table as well as being pressed into militia service. There were some smooth bored guns in England, Germany,, etc., fowling piece "type' guns made with heavy walls that were intended for ball for hunting/sporting/protection purposes. Then of course there is the musket which saw use with the ball as well as large shot (preferred in some ranging companies for engaging the Indians. In America, i believe one saw the use of ball and shot in smooth guns more frequently no matter what their original
intended configuration was. This occurred because you had everyday people using firearms for protection and procuring vittles. Unlike across the pond where just the elite had access and the means to acquire purpose specific guns.
In answer to the OP, I have a couple of fowling pieces that see mainly shot and were designed and built for such but both have seen a ball or two for large game.
Lots of shot went on to the far frontier. So it would have to come down to your game. Based on what was seen in terms of sales guys that needed each shot to return a meal seems happy to hunt small game as well as big.
You can get a dead deer from 7/8 oz of lead and 1/100 of a pound of powder. And feed a good sized group over night, or one person for a week or so.
While an oz of shot and 1/100 of a pound of powder can make one man one meal or less.
So boys were hunting ‘jest fer fun’ eating small game meals that were more costly then a deer.
The only thing that would count it seems is the available game.
 

beardedhorse

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Smoothbores work well with round ball. Curly Gostomski Sitting Fox barrel about 12 gauge using .715 round ball in heavlly greased patch of old blue jean has harvested four white tail bucks in Eastern Colorado. Same half stock back action percussion lock smoothbore taken a daily limit of pheaants in November around same areas. Used No. 5 or 6 shot with over shot cardboard wads over 90 grains of FFg black powder for bird loads. For big game such as elk, moose, bear, deer I favor 120 grains of FFg.
 

bud in pa

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I have only recently started using my one 62 Fowler with LRB. The Fowler was purchased years ago, primarily for Turkey, and occasional use on small game and Upland birds, with one of my several rifles, used for deer and squirrel hunting. As with the OP, I was intriqued by the numerous posts of those achieving very good accuracy using LRB’s in their smoothbores, and were serving double duty. I decided to give them a try and was pleasantly surprised with the results. With the kind assistance of “Hanshi”, another member of the forum with a smooth bore comparable to my own, I was able to develop an accurate load, that was no fuss, using a Mink Oil/patched ball, with the same powder/charge used with my birdshot loads. The versatility is quite apparent, particularly given my typical Deer hunting distances. While I have not yet used my Fowler with LRB for deer hunting, I wouldn’t hesitate to do so.
View attachment 39759View attachment 39760View attachment 39761
I have an early Virginia fowler from Jack Garner. Looks like yours iron fittings and all.
 
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I currently have two smooth bore muzzleloaders, although only one has any semblance of tradition. The first is a Knight TK2000, an inline 12 gauge with screw on jug choke. I believe it was the 3rd gun I ever bought in my life, a spur of the moment buy from a gun shop, years before I had any real interest in muzzleloaders. I bought it for $110 that day, best buy I ever made. This gun was made to do one thing, hunt turkeys. As such, I've never fired anything but shot from it, and have taken a number of turkeys with it.

The other I have is a Pedersoli SXS 10 gauge. Well, it's an old one, and in reality it is an 11 gauge with .764" bores. Both barrels are cylinder bore, no choke. This is a recent gun to me, I spent all spring trying to get it ready for turkey season. It took a monumental effort, but with 2 ounces of #6 shot, some good ideas from fine members online including this one, I was able to get an effective pattern to 25 yards. I don't care what anyone says, that is no small feat for a cylinder bore unless you are willing to chance a less effective pattern. My minimum is 100 pellets in a 10" circle, and I was only barely able to meet that. I ended up shooting two rabbits as well, and quite a few clay targets.

I've always been a shotgun guy, never cared as much about rifles. It's no different if I'm loading from the muzzle. One of the reasons why is the versatility. So in this Pedersoli, I have been playing with both bare and patched round ball. As far as I'm concerned, slugs (or balls) are just as common to a shotgun, as they are to a rifle. If I had to guess, buckshot was used much more in the past than people realize. It is a most effective round. With my Pedersoli, I can load .380" buckshot with ease, and get pattern I would use on a deer to 35 yards. While I'm able to get groups good enough for 50-60 yard shots with a single round ball, unfortunately the barrels are not perfectly regulated, and neither one is perfect to the bead. So I can have buckshot, which is the most effective choice on medium game used within its limits, in this case 35 yards, and with a pattern that makes shooting moving deer a breeze. Or I could use a singe round ball, which in this gun would be a 40 yard or so deal, and is much more dependent on me making a perfect shot. Unfortunately the bureaucrats have made the choice for me in my state, and I am required to use the single round ball. A shotgun, used as a shotgun, is an absolutely wonderful thing.
 

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