Author Topic: loads  (Read 559 times)

Offline walt53

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loads
« on: September 11, 2019, 08:41:10 PM »
Gentlemen  a while back someone mentioned loading smoothbores the old way.I would be interested how ball and shot was loaded the old way so please mentor me. thankyou Walt.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: loads
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2019, 09:26:21 PM »
The old ways were many. Oneway was to make paper cartridges. You can look that up here or anywhere. Paper cartridges for musket. That was standard military practice for centuries for ball and buck and ball.

Next on the list would be “run what you brung”. Pour powder down. Add wads of wool, cardboard, Spanish moss, tow, teeny corncobs, grass, newspaper, or whatever was at hand. Add shot or ball or buck and ball. Ram some small wadding on top.

Then there is the “Ive got the whole kit” method. Discharge the powder load using a commercial dispenser, then commercial over powder card and or cushion wads, then measured shot dispensed from a shot snake then an over shot wad. Which were you thinking of?


St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Jerry

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Re: loads
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2019, 09:51:56 PM »
Rich, What would you consider a commercial over powder wad? Thickness and material please? Thanks! Jerry

Offline walt53

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Re: loads
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2019, 10:22:50 PM »
Thanks Rich I think I got the whole package thing , was looking for the old old way of loading as you explained thankyou.  walt

Offline rich pierce

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Re: loads
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2019, 11:10:42 PM »
Rich, What would you consider a commercial over powder wad? Thickness and material please? Thanks! Jerry

Guys like Feltwad and Mike Brooks and Skychief and Pukka are better sources. I am sure others as we’ll. Hopefully they will chime in.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline WadePatton

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Re: loads
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2019, 12:34:37 AM »
Rich, What would you consider a commercial over powder wad? Thickness and material please? Thanks! Jerry

Guys like Feltwad and Mike Brooks and Skychief and Pukka are better sources. I am sure others as we’ll. Hopefully they will chime in.

and Hungry Horse.  He speaks of the bare-ball method (as does Mike), which is an undersized ball (.020"+/-) loaded over a oversized charge (it's a leaky load) with nothing but a wad/card/tow/ (pick one) over the top to hold the ball next to the charge.  If I've been reading it all correctly.  I do not own a smoothbore, but this BB has me intrigued a little-so long as some semblance of accuracy can be worked out of it.

Theory is that the ball rides in the cone of flame escaping the bbl.  Pros: faster/simpler loading, less pressure and recoil, 1F powder is dandy for it, less lead in smaller balls.  Cons: more powder consumed, may need wiping after several dozen shots. 
Hold to the Wind

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: loads
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2019, 04:28:09 AM »
I bought a bunch of the fibre board wads for my 10 and 20 bores for " cushion"wads , but never got great results with them. Now I just use  punched out wads from wool blanket or felt hats with a lube for over powder  , or most often, just squares of oil/wax lubed brown paper for over powder and over shot. The 10 bore is the most forgiving, as it shoots /patterns well with a few combinations. The 20 has a preference for the paper wads, but lately, I have been trying TOW for wadding and getting decent results

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: loads
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2019, 06:12:14 AM »
Walt and all,

When we talk of commercial wads, they didn't really come into use until into the 19th century.  Before that, pasteboard could be bought in sheets from the gunsmith, and wad punch of correct size was supplied with the gun.
This is of course speaking of guns charged with lead shot, not a ball.
When wads became available, some were anointed around the edges with mercury, as this prevented the barrel leading (it was claimed),  but at one point, many gunsmiths wereall vying with each other for the best and most up to date wadding.
Col. Peter Hawker did trials with a good few of these, and certainly had his preferences.  Like him though, I have found cut cork wads very hard to  ram down.
As I said in my PM to you Walt, a lot of gunners used old paper as wadding, as it would fit any bore and works very well, but can set things ablaze ina dry time.

Ivy leaves are very good for dry conditions. (or any other tough green leaves)  They shoot as hard as any other wadding, and will not set the country ablaze.  I got this as a young lad from a very old gunsmith and it has worked anytime I needed to avoid fires.

As Rich said though, Spanish moss, tow from an old saddle, or cardboard works.  Grass is good for holding the shot in place.

Some nowadays use wool, but it was frowned on in the 18th C.  ...."Wool is nothing worth"   (From An Essay on shooting").

All the best,
R.