Author Topic: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores  (Read 2383 times)

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2019, 05:30:27 PM »
I went rummaging through my parts pile and not only found the .47 cal. Oct/rnd, Smoothbore barrel I was looking for, but also found a .28 gauge and a .24 gauge antique unused shotgun barrels from a Friends estate. Now I have to decide which one to build.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Nhgrants

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #26 on: April 23, 2019, 02:13:36 AM »
In my 16 gauge Fowler with 44 inch barrel,  I tried 80 gr 1F then 0.023 over powder card
1.5 oz #5 lead (110 gr volume) then 0.023 card over shot and 3 piece of felt maple syrup
Filter full of Olive oil.  This made about 3/8 inch for felt with the three pieces.

Shot the oiled wad go right over the shot?
 Thanks




Offline Daryl

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2019, 05:32:05 AM »
In my 16 gauge Fowler with 44 inch barrel,  I tried 80 gr 1F then 0.023 over powder card
1.5 oz #5 lead (110 gr volume) then 0.023 card over shot and 3 piece of felt maple syrup
Filter full of Olive oil.  This made about 3/8 inch for felt with the three pieces.

Shot the oiled wad go right over the shot?
 Thanks

and - the pattern percentage at 40 or 25 yards was ??%
Daryl

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

Online Pukka Bundook

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #28 on: April 23, 2019, 03:59:04 PM »
I think the oiled wad should go directly over the shot,  NH.

Daryl,
I don't know if it's altitude, but back home (70 feet above sea level)  my old guns all seemed to shoot 40 % patterns at 40 yards, but here they shoot thinner with the same load.  (3200 feet)  Seems wrong really, as thinner air should reduce pressure.
Powder back then was C & Harvey's no 2 or No 6.   The C & H I have here is marked 1F but is Very fine looking.
Goex also produces thinner patterns here..



Offline Daryl

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #29 on: April 23, 2019, 08:21:55 PM »
40% is thin - sounds cyl. to me - weaker patterns would not work well at all.

Don't know about the elevation - humidity might have more to do with it, Richard.

The C&H 1f from the 70's was quite fine, while Meteor 1F looked like  really small pea gravel.

I am going to try some of these & a variety of wad column loads in my 20 bore choked gun - maybe Taylor's cylinder bored gun as well.

We found a load that worked well in his Manton 15 bore, using a standard wad column. It has no chokes.  Like Mike B. noted, it's a matter

of experimentation with both shot and powder charges. You can, of course add in powder granulation differences as well as makes of powder into the equation.
Daryl

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

Offline Nhgrants

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #30 on: April 23, 2019, 08:43:15 PM »
Is 1.5 oz of shot reasonable for 16 gauge?
Is it common to use more like  1.75 oz in a 16? 

Offline Daryl

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #31 on: April 24, 2019, 09:13:05 PM »
Is 1.5 oz of shot reasonable for 16 gauge?
Is it common to use more like  1.75 oz in a 16?

1 1/2oz is a very heavy load, in my opinion for a 16 bore gun.
I shoot 1 1/8oz in my 20 bore as a heavy load.
I would say that 1 1/2oz is a normal heavy load for a 12 bore,
thus 1 1/4oz would be my load for a 16.
If you need tighter patterns, work on the load dynamics and components
rather than pouring in a 12 bore load.
Post-it note paper is great for making up 'ctgs.' of shot. Experiment with them
at various ranges.
Back in the percussion period, up to 1875's or so or so, Ely was making shot ctgs.
for muzzleloading shotguns that were colour coded for effective game shooting at
various ranges. You can do the same, using bank-roller tubes, stressed so they
release shot, or the post-it notes formed into shot containers- reinforced or split
weakened, whatever is needed to adjust patterns.
I am not suggesting you make Ely ctgs. rather use the ideas to make your own.  These
rather elaborate ctgs. in the green colour (colour co-ordinated) were good to 80 or 90 yards
for birds, but shot like bullets/slugs to 60yards for wolves and deer.
Oh yeah - just in case you thought shot buffering materials were something new. Very little
that is being used today, is actually a new idea.
I am aware the 'shot basket' in the picture notes breech loaders. These were also made earlier
as I noted, for use in muzzleloading smoothbores.






role a dice
Daryl

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

Online Pukka Bundook

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2019, 08:34:29 AM »
Daryl,

With a true cylinder, all we can hope for normally is a 40% pattern at 40 yards.

This is a very killing pattern (if well distributed)  over a 30 inch circle.

What this means, is that for birds like ducks, and using English No 4, is that we should bag them out to 40 yards nearly every time, providing we shoot straight.

For game like pheasants and partridges, and using say No 6 or 7 shot, we should also be good out to 40 yards and I might add that that is how it worked back home. Here, I need to experiment,  as patterns have failed before 30 yards very often.

As for shot and powder charges in a M-loader, it is (according to Hawker) judged by the shoulder more than anything else, and he reccomended  1  1./2  ounces for a 14 to 22 bore, with same measure of powder.  (Bulk not weight!)   :-)
Most charges we see now are  for B-P cartridge guns, and much lighter than in the M-loading day.

Offline R.J.Bruce

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2019, 08:17:30 PM »
First, I would like to thank everyone that has replied to this thread for the information so freely offered.

I have never owned a smoothbore muzzleloading firearm, and the info here at ALR really makes me want to get one and start learning!!

Daryl, re. the paper-wrapped, copper mesh basket, Ely cartridges....do you think that similar results might be achieved by using a paper-wrapped, modern plastic shot cup??

My thinking is that the paper would eliminate the plastic melting and fouling the bore; and the shot cup would act to extend the range as did the copper mesh baskets in the 19th Century Ely cartridges.

Just a thought from a complete novice!!

Regards,
                 R.J.Bruce

Offline Daryl

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2019, 08:54:16 PM »
I understand where you are coming from, Richard, however there are some things we can do to improve our patterns by not using bare shot.
About the modern plastic shot cup - some use it all the time. I tested them and found I did not like the plastic melted onto the bore from the
base of the wad. This happened in the ML as well as in BP loads in shot shells.
If using a plastic wad, you must protect the plastic base from the flame of the powder by using an 1/8" hard card wad.  The wad will help keep
the shot together longer than if fired bare out of the bore.
You can experiment with varying heights of tape on the outside or better yet, inside of the shot cup, to further contain some of the shot which
will increase the centre percentage of shot in the pattern. Experiment with shooting no tape, 1/4" of tape, 1/2" etc. placed on the inside, so it
does not scrub and get removed on the way out the bore. You need it to act to keep the shot together longer.  You should, using this method
be able to make 'eley'-type ctgs for your pellet shooter.
Swedish Cup Wads were used for this purpose in early ctgs., shaped like this U with a fairly thick base for use in cylinder bores to increase
pattern percentages. As well, normal fiber wads were used with a 3/8" hold punched or cut form the middle, to hold a quantity of shot to increase
shot count on targets. Greener spoke of this "cheat" in the patterning trials.
From outfits like Ballistic Products sells all sorts of things that have the POTENTIAL to improve your pellet shooting pleasure.
https://www.ballisticproducts.com/Wads/departments/83/
https://www.ballisticproducts.com/Wraps-Inserts/departments/513/
https://www.ballisticproducts.com/Card-Filler-Wads/departments/211/
 www.trackofthewolf.com also sells wads of MANY different sizes.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2019, 09:00:17 PM by Daryl »
Daryl

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

Offline Daryl

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2019, 09:03:38 PM »
If you do not want to use a cushion base wad, you can also buy just the shot cup, or simply cut off the base cushion, loading your 1/8" or 1/4" over-shot card wad first.
Shot cups can be carried in pocket or pouch pre-filled with shot, taped and loaded as a single 'shell'.
Daryl

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

Online Pukka Bundook

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #36 on: April 26, 2019, 04:34:52 PM »
Daryl,

You are quite right in your post above about improving patterns.
I was meaning what we can normally expect with a good load used ina traditional/plain old fashioned manner.  (How they did it "back then".

Even reducing the powder charge will tighten things up a lot.
Busy in the fields, so I best get going!

Richard.

Offline Daryl

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #37 on: April 26, 2019, 07:59:53 PM »
We found a 'standard' load for Taylor's Manton, but it took a bit of experimentation to get it. This 15 bore
has no chokes.
Mike Brooks does the same, using standard wad columns - it takes experimentation with many adjustments
made and RECORDED.
The easiest method to almost instant good patterning, is to have the barrel jug choked.
Daryl

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

Online Pukka Bundook

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #38 on: April 27, 2019, 07:27:52 AM »
Daryl,

Some of the old long barrels bored " friction and relief" shot very well.
My guns are all but one antiques, so jugging them is out, but if I could get my old 40% pattern back, I would be happy, as not much should escape then, out to about 40 yards. :-)
Need to play with them as you say, and find what's different here to there!

Offline Daryl

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #39 on: April 27, 2019, 08:19:17 AM »
In an old HWahl 11 bore, I used 3 drams, 2 overshot thin cards, 1 1/4oz reclaimed 8's and overshot card over that.

I won a trap shoot with it at rendezvous, powdering some of the birds, but they were close.
Daryl

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

Online Pukka Bundook

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Re: Skychief load for small diameter smoothbores
« Reply #40 on: April 27, 2019, 04:22:22 PM »
That sounds like a good load, Daryl!