Author Topic: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch  (Read 13726 times)

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #25 on: March 01, 2017, 11:06:20 PM »
The event I participated in several times, and captained a winning four man team in twice, is called the brush hunt, at the Jed Smith Rendezvous at Smith River Calif. this event is as much a head game as a shooting game. Written directions are at every station, and must be adhered to, but often have a couple of interpretations. Reserving fire from one or more of my team members at several targets averted ambushes. Noticing the club forgot to ban buckshot, and lighting a fire with lock on my trade gun, put us in first place the first year. Traveling light with rigs that allowed one to not only load standing, but prone as well. This event also required bullets be molded in camp, and hunting parties take enough game to feed themselves. It had a station that required a shot and reload in waste deep water, that made me happy my trade gun had a 30" barrel instead of 42".
 I treasure those two rough wooden plaques more than anything I've won in forty plus years of shooting.

 
  Hungry Horse

Offline Arcturus

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #26 on: March 02, 2017, 12:12:37 AM »
Obviously you've never participated in a real situational woodswalk where everything is timed, and there are multiple targets.
What are Evil Roy's minions doing while you're futzing with your gun?

Sure, I load in what I consider to be a more efficient and quicker method as well.  But seriously, regardless of what 21st Century game you're playing ....in the 18th Century if you were fighting multiple enemies ("Evil Roy's minions") using a smoothbore flintlock no matter how fast you could reload you would:
A)  Pull your pistol and/or tomahawk, go hand-to-hand and hope for the best
B)  Be reloading while being covered by allies
C)  RUN ...and try to perhaps reload like Wetzel or Kenton
D)  Die.
Jerry

Offline Frank

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #27 on: March 02, 2017, 12:55:56 AM »
Before you climb on your high horse about old timers, consider some things.  It's a good video, but he erred in his presentation.
He said, " If you compete in Woodswalks or Treks," and then posed a scenario:
It's Pennsylvania in 1755.  Evil Roy and his Shawnee raiders are attacking.  You have to take out the raiders and save your homestead.
That's where things go south and what we object to.  In no way is his loading procedure and the things in his bag appropriate for this scenario.  That is what we are objecting to.  He's one dead homesteader.

The key word here is "compete."  Many of you don't even know what a situational woodswalk is.  But anyone wanting to get into competing in them would be ill served by following his procedures.  There are hundreds, if not thousands of people who do complete in them and they are NOT old timers nor experts.  But they have taken the time to learn what it takes to compete in them.

He should have just left that part out and said our club has a trail walk consisting of metal targets and this is how I load when shooting it.

If anyone really wants to learn about timed events like the Seneca Run, situational Woodswalks, or even timed trail walks, they only need ask and we will be happy to oblige, but not many of those guys hang out here.  We can start a separate thread in the shooting forum.


Please do. I would love to see this discussed in the shooting forum.

nosrettap1958

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #28 on: March 02, 2017, 04:17:19 AM »
The event I participated in several times, and captained a winning four man team in twice, is called the brush hunt, at the Jed Smith Rendezvous at Smith River Calif. this event is as much a head game as a shooting game. Written directions are at every station, and must be adhered to, but often have a couple of interpretations. Reserving fire from one or more of my team members at several targets averted ambushes. Noticing the club forgot to ban buckshot, and lighting a fire with lock on my trade gun, put us in first place the first year. Traveling light with rigs that allowed one to not only load standing, but prone as well. This event also required bullets be molded in camp, and hunting parties take enough game to feed themselves. It had a station that required a shot and reload in waste deep water, that made me happy my trade gun had a 30" barrel instead of 42".
 I treasure those two rough wooden plaques more than anything I've won in forty plus years of shooting.

 
  Hungry Horse


Now that sounds like a great event!!!  I take it that there was various game targets that had to be hit in order to keep your team supplied with food.   Was the composition of how the team was going to be armed, rifles to smoothbores amongst the team allowed to be discussed before starting?

You got to gives us more on this HH.

Offline little joe

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #29 on: March 02, 2017, 08:15:22 AM »
I watched the video and have shot for 45 yrs.Cut him some slack, if a beginner watched the video at least he-she would not be doing something dangerous and as time goes by they will improve in speed, marksmanship and be safe.

Offline rjpalmer

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #30 on: March 02, 2017, 09:39:35 AM »
I enjoyed the videos very much. I have also encountered the same "expert" criticism from die hard experts in my involvement in golf, fly fishing, fly tying, traditional archery and SASS shooting. It's very easy to dampen someone's enthusiasm for a newly undertaken hobby, sport or activity. I would wager that nearly 1/2 of the individuals that begin a new sport or activity get discouraged and soured by the attitudes of other participants and soon lose their enjoyment and cease participation. I think  Duelist's writing and videos are aimed toward encouraging new enthusiasts and are of basic interest to those that he hopes may someday take-up the activities portrayed. I've watched all of his videos and admire his enthusiasm, costuming and subject matter of his presentations. I have never once heard him refer to himself as an "expert".  He usually mentions, this is how I do --- whatever he's talking about. 
I can remember an older kid on the school bus tell my 1st and 2nd grade boys that Santa Claus wasn't real. This smart ass spoiled Christmas for my 2 kids. Lighten up guys!

Offline sonny

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #31 on: March 02, 2017, 05:23:23 PM »
Exactly how far away did you shoot the 2 oz shot load to get an acceptable pattern for turkey hunting? Was the distance 20 yrds, 25, 30,35.........???.........The hands on period correct application was wonderful an very informative for bag set up possibilities, but what kind of patterns can be expected with 2 oz load in 20 gauge or how about 16 gauge or bess 75 gauge???..........more help please................ sonny

Offline Firelock

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #32 on: March 02, 2017, 06:37:23 PM »
The last thing I wanted to see here was an argument. I'm always open to constructive criticism, and I appreciate feedback.

Those of you who like the videos, thanks, I appreciate your support, but you don't need to tangle with someone who puts me down. I can take it.

What would be helpful is for the critics to detail their loading techniques in their remarks. Then we could learn from each other, rather than arguing with each other.

Offline Firelock

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #33 on: March 02, 2017, 07:09:23 PM »
For Sonny,

This video shows how that load patterns. 40 yards is the very maximum..30 is better.

I developed that load based on 18th century British hunting sources. They routinely shot at 40 yards.

I generally load with one ounce to an ounce and a quarter of shot, but I stay within 25 yards with that load.


Offline Daryl

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #34 on: March 02, 2017, 08:54:40 PM »
I load my 20 bore, using a measure, 82gr. (3 drams)2F, then shove an over-powder wad down about 1- 1/2" using my short starter - it's V-fast using the short starter - then the 1/2"  fiber wad(choked barrel) down onto that first wad, then a 75gr. measure full of shot which weighs out 1 1/16th oz. usually 7 1/2 for clays, then the overshot wad, then out comes the loading rod and down it goes. onto the powder with the air rushing out the vent.  If the vent is oversize (larger than 1/16"), you will likely blow powder out the vent when you seat the wads.  With 2F - there are no more than one or two grs. of powder make it to the pan, if frizzen closed, cock at 1/2 bent position.  Caution - I removed the flint for this test.

When actually loading for shooting, I prime last, not as the military dictated - first.
 
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline oldtravler61

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #35 on: March 03, 2017, 12:19:36 AM »
   I like this thread....reminds me when I was shooting something modern....An had a couple of "experts" tell me that in such an such you better be doing it this way....!   So I asked Mr. EXPERT if he had ever had someone try to shoot him in real life.... well NO he hadn't...But this is the proper way....yeah ok...one thing we all got to learn...there's always a different way to skin the cat...so to speak...!   Oldtravler

Offline Daryl

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #36 on: March 03, 2017, 01:41:35 AM »
If you are going to load "the proper way" as if someone was shooting at you, you'd better research the military method of loading and use only paper ctgs - everything else is too slow. Is this how you do it, oldtraveler?

Cock at 1/2 bent, hammer open. Tear the base off with your teeth, prime, close the hammer, shove the paper ctg. into the muzzle - POWDER first - out with the rod, ram it home, lift and throw the rod, 3 blows, shoulder the musket, cock and fire?

I think that is the proper 'American' scenario from the late 1800's through to the 1850's, if someone is shooting at you.  Never had that happen to me either - been close - however I would not be using my flinter if there was someone shooting at me - the only times it was close, I had my M29.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Vomitus

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #37 on: March 03, 2017, 02:06:01 AM »
   What Steve-ALA says!

Offline oldtravler61

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #38 on: March 03, 2017, 02:13:19 AM »
 Daryl you are right. Paper cartridges are extremely fast. Throwing the ramrod no I wouldn't. Grab the knife an hawk yes. But at the time the idiot was shooting at me I wasn't thinking of proper procedure.  An that's my point.  It's called save your butt...! An you never know what you will do till it happens...
Back to that cat thing..
Oldtravler

Offline little joe

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #39 on: March 03, 2017, 04:48:51 AM »
I have shot muzzle loaders for 45 years and have watched all of Mikes videos wish they were there 45 yrs. ago. Safety is a first with the club I belong to, and in Mikes videos I have not saw any safety violations. When I started I was out by myself and its a wonder I didn,t do myself in. Then I started going to Friend Ship and started learning some safety however the guys were real tight lipped when it came to ball size,patching and load. Bill Large helped me on these issues.I think a bunch of the the elite should do some videos so we can get it right.

Offline Arcturus

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2017, 10:50:53 PM »
If you are going to load "the proper way" as if someone was shooting at you, you'd better research the military method of loading and use only paper ctgs - everything else is too slow.

Agreed that paper cartridges are likely fastest, that's why the military used them.  But lot's of rangers and irregular troops are documented to have used shotbag and powder horn in the French&Indian War as well as the AWI.  If fighting efficiently in conjunction with a unit, you would have men reserve fire so that some were covering or shooting while others reloaded.  And the fastest methods then in life-and-death scenarios would be deemed dangerous now when shooting for recreation... e.g., like you said Daryl, I am NOT priming first while hunting or target shooting.  As I stated in my earlier post, however, no matter how fast you are, at times your choices were hand-to-hand, run, or die.  Anyone competing in a competition today where they fire a shot and then charge the enemy with a tomahawk and knife, or turn and run a 400 yard sprint through trees for time?  ;)
Jerry

Offline Daryl

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #41 on: March 03, 2017, 11:00:42 PM »
If you are going to load "the proper way" as if someone was shooting at you, you'd better research the military method of loading and use only paper ctgs - everything else is too slow.

Agreed that paper cartridges are likely fastest, that's why the military used them.  But lot's of rangers and irregular troops are documented to have used shotbag and powder horn in the French&Indian War as well as the AWI.  If fighting efficiently in conjunction with a unit, you would have men reserve fire so that some were covering or shooting while others reloaded.  And the fastest methods then in life-and-death scenarios would be deemed dangerous now when shooting for recreation... e.g., like you said Daryl, I am NOT priming first while hunting or target shooting.  As I stated in my earlier post, however, no matter how fast you are, at times your choices were hand-to-hand, run, or die.  Anyone competing in a competition today where they fire a shot and then charge the enemy with a tomahawk and knife, or turn and run a 400 yard sprint through trees for time?  ;)

Any more, so-called "Seneca Runs" are a thing of the past.  I suspect someone sometime screwed up badly and maybe someone got hurt or they blew up their gun. They were a regular event back in the 70's. Even then, I never saw anyone prime before loading - or have an accident.
I recall winning one and found I'd lost my short starter between the start line and the first target.(started with a loaded gun)  When using .457" balls in a .448" bore (.504groove to groove), one simply dispenses with using the .022" patches. LOL
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline little joe

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2017, 01:00:29 AM »
Some of you guys are digging in  Mikes behind pretty deep but as I reread this  I keep seeing  short starters and loading blocks mentioned. How much documentation can you back these items up with?

Offline thecapgunkid

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2017, 02:25:05 PM »
littlejoe;  Some of you guys are digging in  Mikes behind pretty deep but as I reread this  I keep seeing  short starters and loading blocks mentioned. How much documentation can you back these items up with?

First off, firelock, keep writing.  Your chances of lighting up a newby far outweigh the danger of messing up a detail, and half the fun of this hobby is learning along the way.

littleoe has hit the perennial nerve with his question.  Up to 1998 I had written 2 novels and about a hundred articles for everybody feom the Buckskin Report to Smoke and Fire to Muzzleloaders Book of Buckskinning.   Then I took fifteen years off to shoot Cowboy Action, and when I came back I was amazed at how much more documentation has been dug up.   In order to make a move from a 1300 square foot house in Pittsburgh to an 800 foot condo in Connecticut, I dumped a stack of documentation I had amassed of over five feet of piled  paper.  It's all still out there on the net and on a zip drive.

Here's my question on littlejoe's comment in the thread;

How much documentation do we have versus how much stuff that was out there in the 18th century but did not survive or merit somebody making a journal entry?  Somewhere in between  13 stitches to the inch and ..."if they'd had it, they'd have used it" is one enormous grey area.

How many guys used a starting block because it seemed like a good idea at the time, and how many guys dry balled or double loaded their guns in a panic?  Was everybody so perfect that they did everything right at places like Kings Mountain or Scoharie Creek?  It once took me three weeks to figure out that one diarists' account of "Lake Socomo" was not on a map because it was a phonetic corruption of the French "Sacrement" as they called Lake George.

If littlejoe and firelock have one thing in common, it is the ability of their posts to stir up either the imagination or the @#$%/!!.  Take your pick.

Thanks, guy, and,

don't shoot yore eye out, kid

The Capgun Kid

Online bob in the woods

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2017, 04:02:02 PM »
I don't want to give the wrong impression, so I sure hope I didn't in my post. There is nothing that is in Mike's video that is "wrong"
It just might not be the "best" loading procedure for most. If you want, you can mark your ramrod re the length of the shot/wad column and eliminate a bunch of steps by just setting the first wad and then loading the rest of the column, driving the works down together. I have done that for years. I now use an abreviated method that works for me, but again, everyone needs to use their gun extensively in order to find out what works best for them under all conditions. That will also sort out what and how you carry your loading materials.

Offline Firelock

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2017, 07:37:29 PM »
I'm happy to hear how others load. I'm always learning.

I used to load like that when I used 19th century wadding. I'd send an over powder and cushion wad, shot and over shot card down in one stroke, but, when I switched to documented 18th century shot loads using over powder wads of cut paper or thin felt I was concerned that the wadding would turn on the way down, allowing shot to spill past the wad, onto the powder, so now I seat wads first, then load with shot and top with cut paper, and it just carried over to tow wadded balls. But, I'll admit that I could send the tow/ball/tow column down in one stroke.

And, not to defend myself, but...on the subject of bag and horn strap length...I have used high bags and horns. The problem for me is that the angle of the straps  presses on my throat and triggers my gag reflex, which is why they hang lower. I don't enjoy puking while I'm shooting.

Of course, 18th century frontiersmen weren't big fat guys like me. So that wasn't an issue for them.

Thanks for all the comments.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 07:38:57 PM by Firelock »

Smoketown

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2017, 08:11:06 PM »
And, not to defend myself, but...on the subject of bag and horn strap length...I have used high bags and horns. The problem for me is that the angle of the straps  presses on my throat and triggers my gag reflex, which is why they hang lower. I don't enjoy puking while I'm shooting.

Of course, 18th century frontiersmen weren't big fat guys like me. So that wasn't an issue for them.

Thanks for all the comments.

6-5" at 220# and I like my straps LONG too!!    ;)

If my pouch takes to floppin', a thong to my belt or belt loop depending what I'm wearing has always worked well.

Don't short yer self there Mike ... I'm pretty sure not all pioneers were built like Fess Parker.   ;D

Cheers,
Smoketown

PS
Enjoyed many of you videos.

Offline sonny

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #47 on: March 04, 2017, 08:57:18 PM »
Firelock, thanks for the personal attention on this thought of turkey hunting efficiency. I really think my English officers 16 gauge smoothie might see springtime action here in northeastern p.a. this 2017 spring. 100 gr 2f with 2 oz of 5's for 30 yards sounds do-able. Where do you hail from as I bet shooting smoothies with you would be fun???......I never really thought smoothbores would be so much fun. I might just try your method but paper patch preload would make for a lot less stuff to carry...........100 gr 2f powder, then 2 oz of shot in a rolled paper cylinder, then dipped in beargrease an bee wax  over paper topped shot compartment,  an sealed with a bit of glue or rolled end would be my first try............I can keep you in the loop on results...................sonny

Offline Firelock

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #48 on: March 04, 2017, 09:22:48 PM »
Sonny, I'm in south-central PA

Offline Daryl

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Re: Loading smoothbore flintlocks from the pouch
« Reply #49 on: March 04, 2017, 10:27:25 PM »
Some of you guys are digging in  Mikes behind pretty deep but as I reread this  I keep seeing  short starters and loading blocks mentioned. How much documentation can you back these items up with?

You should be able to look up the use of short starters, or ball starting pegs right here - maybe in the archives. We've covered that a number of times.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V