Author Topic: 20 gauge smooth accuracy  (Read 16975 times)

Offline Salkehatchie

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20 gauge smooth accuracy
« on: November 29, 2008, 02:33:27 AM »
OK.  I have just about had it.  So, I turn to the oracles of BP. 

I have a Getz barrel 20 gauge, 44".  Shooting round ball, no rear sight.  And for the life of me I can not get any consistenty!  I bet I have fired 120 rounds through it and have only gotten at best 12 balls in a 6" bull @ 50 yds.  My smart aleck 17 year old said today, "Pops, if our Grandads had shot like this in the Rev. War, we'da lost man!"  Oh the shame.  :-[

.595, .600, .610 with .10 or .015 patch and untold different lubes.  The barrel does seem to be tight though.  With .61 and .10 patch and lube I get balls stuck and have to pull them.  So am using .600 and .595 balls with various patch/no patch/lube combos.  And although once in a while I can get a "string" of 3 or so balls in some type of pattern.  Either the next group or the next shoot.  Nothing.  Now...she does seem to foul up a bit too much from what folks say.  I have to clean after every 2 shots or so, regardless of combination tried.

What in the heck is up?  Is it the shooter?  My "hold".  What?

When I shoot shot, I get really nice patterns @ 25 yds.  No complaints there.

Thanks!  All suggestions welcome.  This is not deer hunting capable now, just no way would I risk a shot with groupings like this!
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 02:38:36 AM by Salkehatchie »

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2008, 03:27:01 AM »
Although my Getz smoothy barrel is a 28 gauge (.54 cal) (read sissy) I shoot .530 ball and a patch that goes .014/.015 or some such and spit.  You may be getting some barrel whip with that xtra tight combo??  You didn't say if you are shooting her from a rest or offhand!! ???  If you can keep 5 shots in a 6 inch bull at 50 yds offhand you are in line to win the match around here at least...

Ok I'll ask--- Are you bearing down and following thru or are you "gasp" flinching with that heavy ball and light weight piece ::)

Offline Salkehatchie

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #2 on: November 29, 2008, 03:53:41 AM »
Sorry Roger.  At rest.  Of course, I can't tell the difference once I back up to 50 yds!  It seems like my break point is 40 yds.  Once I go past that, my consistency goes south.

Now I get educated.

"Ok I'll ask--- Are you bearing down and following thru or are you "gasp" flinching with that heavy ball and light weight piece"

I think, I know what you are saying but not sure.  More to the point, I bet I am flinching.  If you can though explain some more for me please? 

Your right, it is a Fusil.  Beautifully done piece and oh so sweet.  Reminds me of the George Jones, "Corvette" song.   Never had this much trouble with the lighter calibers though.  But I love the holes this thing punches when it hits.  Then again, won't do me any good, if it does not hit in the right spot!!!  And, I like the versatility of RB and shot all in one gun out for the day.  But, if I can not hit...


Thanks, again feedback is appreciatted.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #3 on: November 29, 2008, 04:56:48 AM »
What is your load?  i think your patch material is too thin.  It is not carrying enough lube to keep the fowling soft to the muzzle... that's why you have fowling trouble.  I don't care what your lube is...just about anything will work if the patch/ball combo is good...as long as you SATURATE the patch.
I'd go with .595 ball, .018 - .020" denim patch, soak to dripping with lube, and 65 - 80 grains FFg. black powder.  And no deer can receive that ball load and live if lunged.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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don getz

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #4 on: November 29, 2008, 07:48:39 AM »
I agree with Taylor above.  I would stick with a .595, or possibly a .600 ball...no bigger.   Thick patching, and find a lube
that works.  Then, on the other hand, this gun has only one sight......how consistent are you on holding it at the same
place every shot, it's not easy, and how can you expect it to shoot like a rifle with two sights.........Don

Daryl

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2008, 10:02:31 AM »
.595 + .020" denim patch. This is the load used by the fellows who shoot .61 and .62 cal smoothbores every weekend. These guys shoot most of the time as if they were shooting rifles. They only give up targets to our rifles PAST 50 yards for the most part.  The cut stings, cards, drive tacks and slam the gongs out to 60 and even 70 yards with monotonous frequency.  At Hefley, they shoot silouette with matched scores to the rifle shooters to 100 yards. Yeah, go figure.

 Smaller ball, heavy patch lots of lube.

 Check the barrel's crown- must be radiused slightly to allow loading the tighter combinations. No, it isn't hard to shove down - loading is relatively easy. A rod must be used, of course and most guys ues a short starter- simple and quick.

Offline Salkehatchie

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2008, 04:10:01 PM »
Will try that as well Daryl.  I know it can be done.  Getting gear and owner to do it is another thing.  Will try to go back out again today, providing it does not rain.  Have not tried denim, but hear of it a lot.  I really want to get this honed in.  Where I live, 60 yds is max range, outside of a rare shot.  Lots of heavy brush up and down bluffs and ravines.  I want to stop the bugger right in his tracks!  No four wheelers in this area.  They get stolen anyway! 

And...my bench rest is probably in need of some work too.  That might be part of the problem too.

Yes, she is crowned.

Thank you.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2008, 04:26:38 PM by Salkehatchie »

roundball

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2008, 04:34:01 PM »
Then, on the other hand, this gun has only one sight......how consistent are you on holding it at the same place every shot, it's not easy, and how can you expect it to shoot like a rifle with two sights.........Don

It is amazing...in spite of them having no rifling...at how accurate smoothbores can be with that rear sight added

Daryl

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2008, 05:34:31 PM »
I agree RB- rear sights on smoothies do add an element of precision to smoothbores.  It is interesting, however, how the best shooters do without a rear sight. Afterall, the eye is the rear sight and where it's held determines impact for elevation. With the 20's, longer ranges of course, require additional elevation - some guys are exceptional at this without rear sights.

 One of the better shooters from Hefley Creek rondy, got into a silouette match with rifles.  He and a rifle shooter were tied for first and went 3 to 5 shots into overtime, with the rifle gun finally missing - range 120 yards.  I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen these guys shoot before.  As I noted in another post, at the sil. matches, the smoothbores usually post as good or sometimes better scores than the top scoring rifle shooters - same targets, same ranges.  These are guys who practise every week regardless of the weather. Only one wipes between shots - the rest don't. The guy who wipes - same rag every time, is top dog - guy has eyes that are incredible - can see .36 cal holes on a board at 25 to 30 yards - doubled holes, you name it. Incredible.

 .44 Smothbore I built, now owned by my late friend's son is a shooter. I used to shoot snowshoe hares in the head at 50 yards with it. Rear sight helps.

Offline Salkehatchie

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2008, 09:44:22 PM »
A little bit of everything.

Spit patch, not lube.  Could not tell the difference.  .595 and .010 patch.  This bore is tight, tight.  Fixed my homecountry shooting stand too!!!

Laying the balls in a string about...9" long vertically.  Pretty much dead center as well, that is good.  +/- 2" on center vertically.  Several right on top of each other.  First I thought I was missing totally my 3' x 4' plywood backstop, then took a looksee.  A few outlyers, but those only when I tried to change things up.   

So...need to adjust me elevation factors and should be good. 


Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2008, 11:18:29 PM »
Sounds to me like you have a .60 cal - not a .62 cal.  Yes, in that case a .010" patch will be tight, but not impossible.  Only problem is that .010" patch cannot carry enough lube to keep the fouling from building.  .595" ball + .010" x 2 (.020") = .615"  That's .0075" of compression.  With pure lead - no probem except for the fouling.

Now, if it's really a .620, your .010" patch is .005" short of filling the bore!  If you're finding that tight, you've got problems that we can't help with.
D. Taylor Sapergia
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Offline satwel

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2008, 03:51:00 AM »
I too, just started shooting a 20 ga, smoothie. I built TOW's type D fusil with a 42" barrel. I've had a little more success at 50 yds. Out of 10 shots, I can usually cover 7 or 8 with my hand. I shoot a .60 ball using OxYoke prelubed .015 patches with 65 grns of 3F. Like your gun, that combo is a tight fit. I need a short starter to get them going but they slide down pretty easy.

I figured out two things after some trial and error. Only the commercial pre-lubed patches work in my gun. I've used spit patches for many years in my rifles with great success but spit doesn't work in the smoothie.

You didn't mention if you are using any type of card or wad. I've been experimenting with either a nitro card or a vegetable fiber wad on top of the powder and under the patched ball. Both seem to work equally well. I haven't tried using both yet. Some experts say cards are not necessary, however, my fusil groups much tighter using some sort of wad. Also, fowling has yet to be a problem.

May I suggest you try experimenting with either a nitro card or a thick fiber wad or even both, on top of the powder.

Leatherbelly

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2008, 04:05:08 AM »
Sal,
  As Taylor says, you must have a sixty. I'd mike the barrel at the muzzle. My Fowler is supposed to be a .62  but mikes out at .617. So I shoot a .595 RB and a .022 patch with a water based lube for targets.(...or spit),and animal fat for hunting. Shoots nicely if I do my part. With a wood  RR, I shove it down in short increments so not to bust my tapered rod.
  If that barrel is a sixty,a .590 Rb with a 20-25 thou patch should be the ticket! A nice radiused and I repeat,RADIUSED crown is a must. Don't forget to get that patch sloppy wet. Good luck,you'll figure the girl out.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2008, 04:11:23 AM by Leatherbelly »

Offline Salkehatchie

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #13 on: November 30, 2008, 08:54:42 PM »
No, no wad.  Have thought of that.  Maybe next go round.  Should help in fouling too from what I have read.  And...I really need to mike it and see exactly what she is.

Thanks.

Offline George Sutton

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2008, 03:36:12 AM »
I shoot an old Centermark Tulle 20 ga. I use 65 gr. 3f Goex with 30 gr of Cream of Wheat as a buffer over the powder charge, .010 spit patch and a .600 roundball. Out to 50 yards it shoots like a rifle.

Without the rear sight holding the gun the same way everytime is critical, much more so than with a rifle. A little tilt one way or the other or seeing a little more or a little less of the sight relates to a much larger group down range. Smoothies are a different animal.

Centershot

Daryl

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #15 on: December 01, 2008, 07:47:18 PM »
I'd forget about a wad to allow you shoot a too-thin patch.  The thin patch doesn't hold enough lube and the wad will wipe the lube from the bore, something you don't want. You want enough lube to remain on the bore to soften the fouling. This is why the thicker patches - they hold more lube and make wads a non-necessary item.

Offline Salkehatchie

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #16 on: December 01, 2008, 10:59:26 PM »
Well, I have lots of variables to try.  I think, heaven forbid; that I might righ up a rear sight.

Only as a last resort thugh.  I am getting to the point where I am going to learn to shoot it without a rear sight if it kills me!

Thanks one and all.

ERH

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2008, 12:55:46 AM »
All you have to do is take a littel super glue and glue on a back sight . With the back sight glued on it should shot as good as any rifle you have at fifty yards. after it shots good and you find a load you can take the back sight of with a very very littel bit of heat and know if it shots bad its you and not the gun ;)

altankhan

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #18 on: December 13, 2008, 02:39:17 AM »
just duct tape a rear sight on in different places and see what works

altankhan

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2008, 07:24:13 AM »
I was just leafing through Torsten Lenk's "The Flintlock: It's Origin, Development, and Use" -- a number of the very early (17th c.-18th c.) French smooth bore sporting guns pictured have rear sights -- the sights (molded or soldered on?) are on a ring that either goes around the barrel, or at least down to the wood on each side of the barrel channel -- I'm wondering if anyone here has ever make a "clip on" rear sight for smooth bores using this principal today -- I vaguely recall something like that being used on modern shotguns for shooting punkin' balls way back when.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #20 on: December 23, 2008, 12:44:11 AM »
I agree with Taylor and Daryl about the load. Smaller ball, thicker patch.
I have a 50 smooth rifle that shoots better with thick patch and 480 ball than with a 490 or 495. But it never "shoots like a rifle". At 50 yards it is a consistent 4-5" group. I have not tested it at 25 with a the 480 but with the 490 and 495 it was 2-4" with any powder charge tried.
But you must remember that no matter what it is still a SB and it will sometimes throw fliers.
Sometimes increasing the powder charge helps. The 50 seemed to like 100 gr of FFG and a .480 best at 50 yards . The best group was about 4" for 5 shots.
I went no higher with the charge since I considered it silly to shoot any more powder in a 50 cal SB.




While a little smaller than typical it shows the usual fliers associated with the SB.
I have not yet done serious testing with the 50 rifled barrel in the same stock.

Dan
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Daryl

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #21 on: December 23, 2008, 08:28:41 PM »
Looks pretty good Dan - even though it has those 2 'flyers', it is better than some guys get with their rifles. Those 3 in the 9 and 10 ring sure look good. All would be on the typical 8 inch steel plate at 40 to 50yards, but a round 6" plate would have been missed by one of those outside hits.  I suspect by the looks of it, this load might be a 1-holer at closer ranges like 25 yards.  From the centre of the bull, that far outside shot is barely over 3" outside while the other is well inside the 3" radius.  Not bad at all.  It's taking a bit more powder than some are willing to shoot.

 How's it shoot with, say, 60 or 70gr., Dan? That load is more in keeping with what a lot of guys would use.

tg

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2008, 05:56:33 AM »
Next time you try to sight it in set up a rest that you can shoot from a standing position, I found this can make a difference with no rear sight.

Offline Collector

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2008, 01:54:43 AM »
Merry Christmas to all!!

Q. Is this a smoothbore that you ordered and had built to your spec. or is this a piece that you picked up/purchased in as-new or prior owned/used condition? 

Curious, because I'm of the opinion that a Getz barrel has a serial number and a miked bore diameter etched on the bottom surface of the barrel, near the breech.  Pull the barrel out of the stock and check for yourself.  You definitely need to mike your bore. 

I'm also wondering, since no rear sight is present and you don't seem to have any trouble shooting shot loads, by your own description, if this barrel has been jug choked. 

I think that there is a consensus of opinion that a.) RB(s) shouldn't be shot out of jug choked barrels and that b.) if RB's are shot out of a jug chocked barrel, they don't perform well.  I'm not all together sure that it's an absolute rule or finding of fact either. 

What say all ya'll?

Offline Dphariss

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Re: 20 gauge smooth accuracy
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2008, 09:16:37 AM »
Looks pretty good Dan - even though it has those 2 'flyers', it is better than some guys get with their rifles. Those 3 in the 9 and 10 ring sure look good. All would be on the typical 8 inch steel plate at 40 to 50yards, but a round 6" plate would have been missed by one of those outside hits.  I suspect by the looks of it, this load might be a 1-holer at closer ranges like 25 yards.  From the centre of the bull, that far outside shot is barely over 3" outside while the other is well inside the 3" radius.  Not bad at all.  It's taking a bit more powder than some are willing to shoot.

 How's it shoot with, say, 60 or 70gr., Dan? That load is more in keeping with what a lot of guys would use.

Oh I lied, these were 60 yards. Found the range written on a couplke of other targets I shot that day.
We don't have a rifle range anymore so you set the target where it looks right on public land. I have since learnt to use my RF to put the target out (duh).
The first 3 shots of the groups in the other post were the lowest ones with the far right flier that set the group size.
Below  is a better group, shot the same day. But it cannot be reproduced on command. It will always shoot under 5" but but it will not do smaller that 4" reliably at 50-60 yards.
Its an honest 50-60 yard big game gun. But I HATE shooting groups this big at 50 yards.

I got to looking through the pics and found this. I guess I should go back and shoot it some more after all. Especially with FFG.



Below is typical 25 yards with thin patch and larger ball, 60 gr of FFFG. Some were significantly worse. Did not try the 480 ball at this distance. Did not get them till a week or two later.



This is 60 yards with 75 gr of FFFG 495 with a thin patch.

The bore was wiped and allowed to cool between strings. It really did perk up a lot with the 480s and a ticking patch compared to the thin patches and the 490-495.

These were shot with the 16 bore while the 50 was cooling. I shoot 3 shot strings with it since its a little  uncomfortable off the bench.


The big group was with a thick soft felt wad under the patched lead ball, the next best was pure lead, the best group was WW alloy with a center hold since 6 oclock seemed to be causing problems with the silver front sight. I consider the WW group to be about as good as I could do.

Dan
He who dares not offend cannot be honest. Thomas Paine