Author Topic: Natural materials for smooth bore  (Read 1715 times)

Offline shifty

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #25 on: February 13, 2020, 03:24:41 PM »
  I would hate to depend on hornets nest now days i hardly ever see any around here any more.

Offline BOB HILL

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #26 on: February 13, 2020, 04:16:59 PM »
I unloaded an old percussion double that appeared to have been underwater for a long time. It had Spanish moss in it for wadding.
Bob
South Carolina Lowcountry

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2020, 05:44:41 PM »
Daryl,
Very true, but I only mentioned "spit lube"  as water was mentioned.
It would be a hard task to wring water out of ivy leaves....

Re the leaves, I was told and passed on the fact that any other tough leathery leaves will do.  These leaves are not succulent types.
I have also made the point whenever this topic arises, to not leave the gun loaded overnight.
Using leaves was the only real safe way, when shooting over harvest fields that can be bone dry.


Shifty,

I could send you some hornets if you like. We seem up to the eyes in them I the summer!

Bob,
Spanish moss Does work well.

Best,
R.

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #28 on: February 13, 2020, 06:16:12 PM »
I’ve burned green ivy when cleaning up yard trimmings. It has some resins or oils in it or maybe a waxy coating. I’d not worry about rusting. These are good discussions because from studying and working on quite a few original barrels, most are pretty bad inside especially at the breech. I think that’s due to shooting, and reloading and leaving it loaded until it’s shot again. Maybe days later. It does shock me to find old rifles that essentially cannot be loaded because of their condition, with the powder chamber eroded so that no rifling is present.

But, I digress. I think many folks today trend toward one of two camps. One is attracted to the very best possible practice, sort of “best English gentleman” style. The other camp is more “country” or even “frontier”.  Understandably, their preferences will be confusing at best to those approaching things from the other end of the spectrum.
St. Louis, Missouri

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #29 on: February 13, 2020, 08:58:36 PM »
Dan,

What Are you talking about?

How many use spit as a lube and manage to not ring the bore??  Green leaves have very little water in them.   Sufficient to not be a fire problem, and that's what we used them for.

Best,
Richard.

Does not take much water.  BP fouling is only really active when its damp or wet. Either from high humidity or contact with liquid water.
If you use spit patches a lot and/or leave the gun loaded for a time after it was fired as when hunting you run a very real risk of ringing the bore. If you have shot spit patches a lot have you ever pulled the breech and looked?  I have BTDT. Because in loading a ring of wet fouling is pushed down in front of the patched projectile. Yeah I shot a lot of spit patches when I was a kid. I stopped after my 58 started needing a larger ball to get any accuracy and I pulled the breech and looked.
If you are going to hunt with the thing it needs to be loaded to give the best PATTERN/accuracy in order to be ethical. Why people insist on playing games of this sort when hunting is beyond me.
Part of this game it to learn what it was like back in the day, experimental archeology if you will. So experimentation is part of the game. I don't do shotguns and I sure will not use wadding with water in it if the gun is to be loaded for more than 30 seconds. I have killed far more grouse and pheasant with a pistol, ML or otherwise,  than with a shotgun. Cause I never packed a shotgun around (its not even a good club if you are trapping) and very seldom went bird hunting. In the high country guiding elk hunters a shotgun is just excess baggage. And yes I have guided hunters carrying a FL rifle. Shotguns are too inefficient unless shooting birds on the ground in a flock. Which is the only way that makes any sense economically and I am sure that this was done a lot then and is now by subsistence hunters. 
When reading old writing etc one must also remember that there have always at least 3 levels of firearms ownership.  In Colonial times and long after a man was required to have a firearm and a supply of powder and balls for it for militia use. Most of these people had no other use for the thing and only used it if forced to. "Gun owners". All they needed was the cheapest thing they could find to meet the requirement. One of the Outfitters I used to guide for came to the mountains once with a rifle with a bore completely plugged with a grease like RIG. Had not a friend of mine and another "Rifleman" type not given the rifle a look the "gun owner" might well have blown his head off had he reason to shoot the rifle. He was a "gun owner".  "Shooters". They actually use the thing, perhaps for hunting or shooting a Fox around the hen house. Or during game drives where the farmers killed everything that was not a domesticated animal to protect crops. But they did not put any time or effort into making sure things are just like they need to be and most thought of the firearm as a tool and it got treated as such. Perhaps even kept in the barn. Then we have "Riflemen". They understand the firearm and how to the get the most out of it. So when we read old writings we have to filter them. Why would they use grass for wadding? Didn't have or could not afford anything else? Or just a gun owner who did not much care? AND you will even find things written by someone who is well respected, like  Ned Roberts, that are pretty questionable based on trying to do it today. Shooting picket bullets for example I am not the only one who thought ???? after some experimentation. It just not possible to get accuracy (better than paper plate sized groups at 25-30 yards) without a guide starter and these are both heavy and easily damaged so I can't see people using them in the field. Or the line that Brockway fed him on working up powder charges for slug guns, makes no sense at all, and based on some of my experiments with a RB rifle, cannot be duplicated. Roberts was a Rifleman type but some of the stuff just makes no sense. So when reading some old writing we need to be careful about taking it at face value. Unless we can verify it though our own experiments or there is some logic to it such as field expedient or financial reason.

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline LynnC

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #30 on: February 14, 2020, 07:34:20 AM »
Can you tell how much Dan enjoys the smoothbores  ;D
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Offline Stony

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2020, 03:00:12 PM »
I've used wasp nests for a lot of years, with  good results. I just carry a supply in my bag, and when needed I pinch off a good bit and into the bore with it. It packs nicely and seals off the bore for me. I live in the south though, and wasp nests are pretty easy to find around the eaves of old buildings etc..

Offline alacran

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2020, 04:32:46 PM »
Dan I agree with what you say about smooth or rifled guns and using any kind of water based lube. However the only thing I agree with when shooting birds with shotguns is the old adage" if they live on the ground like rabbits they should die on the ground like rabbits.
Come shot desert quail and see how many you kill shooting them on the ground. The trick with them is putting enough pressure on them to get them to fly. Bad things happen to them when they fly. The little rascals are born with Nike's on their feet.
.
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Offline Dphariss

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2020, 06:03:23 PM »
Dan I agree with what you say about smooth or rifled guns and using any kind of water based lube. However the only thing I agree with when shooting birds with shotguns is the old adage" if they live on the ground like rabbits they should die on the ground like rabbits.
Come shot desert quail and see how many you kill shooting them on the ground. The trick with them is putting enough pressure on them to get them to fly. Bad things happen to them when they fly. The little rascals are born with Nike's on their feet.
.
I think you just made my point.
Pheasants like to rub too.
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Offline Dphariss

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #34 on: February 16, 2020, 01:52:27 AM »
Can you tell how much Dan enjoys the smoothbores  ;D

Everything has a use. But people really set my teeth on edge with the "versatility" thing. They are special purpose guns or for people with poor eyesight. As a practical subsistence firearm they fail miserably.  Thats why there were so many small bore squirrel rifles in the 19th c after the need for militia service largely disappeared.

Dan
No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline LynnC

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #35 on: February 16, 2020, 06:02:45 AM »
I know, I know......waste of powder and lead. We are just enjoying a what if discussion of way back then smoothbore loading methods.
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Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #36 on: February 16, 2020, 06:22:42 AM »
Dan,

Back in the UK, mostly Everything is shot with a shotgun.
Yes there are exceptions, ...deer stalking and licenses for rifled arms for vermin destruction, but everything else gets clobbered with a shotgun and it has Always been that way.
It too sets my teeth on edge when someone says what we have been doing since powder and shot was invented isn't right or sense...

We come from totally different backgrounds, and a small bore squirrel rifle makes No sense at all in some parts of the world.

I'd suggest looking up "Market Gunners" sometime. These chaps were as close to subsistence hunters as they come, and all used the smooth-bore.
In England, these old marsh-men were called "Fishermen -Fowlers" as that's how they made their living, Fishing, Eeling, and shooting wildfowl in the winter.
This was their only income, apart from mowing marsh-grass and reeds  for the London market.

All the best,
Richard.

Offline Brokennock

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2020, 08:01:50 AM »
Dan,

Back in the UK, mostly Everything is shot with a shotgun.
Yes there are exceptions, ...deer stalking and licenses for rifled arms for vermin destruction, but everything else gets clobbered with a shotgun and it has Always been that way.
It too sets my teeth on edge when someone says what we have been doing since powder and shot was invented isn't right or sense...

We come from totally different backgrounds, and a small bore squirrel rifle makes No sense at all in some parts of the world.

I'd suggest looking up "Market Gunners" sometime. These chaps were as close to subsistence hunters as they come, and all used the smooth-bore.
In England, these old marsh-men were called "Fishermen -Fowlers" as that's how they made their living, Fishing, Eeling, and shooting wildfowl in the winter.
This was their only income, apart from mowing marsh-grass and reeds  for the London market.

All the best,
Richard.

Here, here!

Offline alacran

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2020, 04:17:54 PM »
Dan I guess I did not state my point clearly. You aren't going to shoot many desert quail on the ground.
 As far as shotguns go, to become proficient with them you you need to spend a lot of time shooting them.
 There was a time when I truly believed that shotguns are for those that cannot shoot a rifle. Well needless to say I was proven wrong when I was compelled to hunt with one. I decided to become a wing shooter. I put away my rifles and pistols and did not touch them for over a year. I immersed myself in the shotgun sports.  To become an efficient killer with a shotgun takes more time and dedication than what it takes with a rifle.

I have great respect for you Dan. I first read your name in the buckskin report. July '78 issue. There is a photo of you with an antelope you shot with a .58 caliber flint Hawken. The photos in the Buckskin Report were generally difficult to see . Always wondered why Mr. Baird used such a crappy printer.
By the way if you still have that photo I would really love to see it.
"From one thing know 10,,000 things" Miyamoto Musashi

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #39 on: February 18, 2020, 09:29:35 PM »
Dan,

Back in the UK, mostly Everything is shot with a shotgun.
Yes there are exceptions, ...deer stalking and licenses for rifled arms for vermin destruction, but everything else gets clobbered with a shotgun and it has Always been that way.
It too sets my teeth on edge when someone says what we have been doing since powder and shot was invented isn't right or sense...

We come from totally different backgrounds, and a small bore squirrel rifle makes No sense at all in some parts of the world.

I'd suggest looking up "Market Gunners" sometime. These chaps were as close to subsistence hunters as they come, and all used the smooth-bore.
In England, these old marsh-men were called "Fishermen -Fowlers" as that's how they made their living, Fishing, Eeling, and shooting wildfowl in the winter.
This was their only income, apart from mowing marsh-grass and reeds  for the London market.

All the best,
Richard.

Here, here!

But I don't live in the UK. Nor was I discussing the UK.
I understand what you say about shotguns and there are Americans who live in heavily populated areas that are forced to hunt small game like squirrel with a shotgun. But it sets MY teeth on edge when people tell me how versatile a shotgun is. Just because you are FORCED to use it for what ever reason or it works for the specific game hunted does not make anything I said invalid. Especially in the context of 18th or 19thc.  America. Telling me how much shooting is done in the UK with a shotgun is completely meaningless to the observation that the small bore ML rifle, anything under 45 caliber, is and was more efficient than a shotgun for small game as far as pound of lead for pound of meat produced. This is not important for someone shooting for sport with disposable income or someone shooting water fowl on the water for the market. For someone who trades grain or whiskey or labor for powder and lead to shoot something to eat or protect crops or their LIFE, because they have no currency then the COST of ammo is more important. In the context of American longrifle many people who used them in the "ML era" were SUBSISTENCE hunters. There are STILL places in the US where subsistence hunting is legally recognized and people who live in remote areas get a special season.
Have YOU ever tried hunting Antelope with a NW Trade Gun? I have. Its frustrating as $#*! trying to get in range of an animal with 8 power vision and won't even stop running for at least a mile with a top speed designed to outpace the Cheetah that lived here at the time they appeared. They will stop maybe 1 1/2-2 miles away on a ridge and look back at you. You of course will need binoculars, they don't. Its hard enough with a FL rifle.
A great many Americans used to hunt waterfowl with large bore shotguns and punt guns for the market. Where is was practical to do so but not everyone in the US lived in a place where this was all that viable.  My g-grandfather used to market hunt deer with a trapdoor Springfield.
I paid all the hospital bills for my first child trapping beaver. I have guided hunters in occupied G bear habitat carrying a 50 caliber  FL rifle. I have actually done things much like what people in the 18th and 19th c did.

Because for MY firearm uses the shotgun was not and is not worth carrying I have not even shot at anything with a shotgun in 30 years. I had a pretty nice 18 bore German Silver mounted Belgian double when I was a kid. But it never really got much use. And I think I sold it after I got out of the Army.
I can take you to places I hunt where you can walk for miles and never see a game bird. Or a duck or a goose.  Where I grew up, Iowa, birds, Pheasants, were pretty common. But like I stated I seldom carried a shotgun sop if I shot one it was with a pistol usually. If I was trapping it was always a pistol. Rabbits and squirrels were better shot with a small bore rifle 32-40 caliber. In the mid 60s I used to hunt rabbits with a 32 cal percussion rifle loaded with as little as 15 grains of powder when hunting rabbits setting under bushes or brush piles. Hard to beat that for efficiency.


Dan

Supper after a day in the saddle when I was a lot younger.  50 cal RB at 800 +- fps just pokes a hole no meat loss. Have shot them with a 50 cal rifle with a reduced load too. Head shots with a 54 FL pistol.


No, sir, I don't give 'em $#*!, I just tell the truth and they think it's $#*!. Harry S Truman

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #40 on: February 18, 2020, 10:38:37 PM »
Dan,

The title of this thread is,   "Natural Materials for Smoothbores".

Very best,
R.

Offline Mike from OK

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #41 on: February 23, 2020, 09:08:04 PM »
I finally got to take my smoothie out last Sunday and try it out...

I took a handful of different materials to try out as wadding for both shot and roundball loads. Not all of these are "natural" though

I had punched out several wads from varying thicknesses of cardboard with my 5/8 punch. They worked fine but were a little tedious in the handling/loading department.

I also had a wad of brown craft paper. It worked well for stuffing down the bore over a ball... Just tear off a hunk, wad it up, send it down the bore... but it also was a definite fire hazard. I recovered a few that were still smoldering. I did mitigate this by wetting it with saliva while measuring/pouring powder... But that isn't a good solution for hunting where the shot may not be taken immediately after loading.

I was shooting out at a family member's property and they raise sheep. Specifically "hair" sheep for the meat market instead of wool. However their "hair" is still quite woolly and there are usually shed hunks of it lying around. It too worked as intended for wadding over a roundball.

The material I liked the best was leather. I had a scrap piece of 3-4 oz veg tan I had stuck in my bag and I tried it out. Rather than punching out a bunch of discs with my punch I just cut off a square hunk with my knife as I needed it...3/4" to 7/8" or so... Not real sure of the actual size... And just stuck it in the bore. The corners and edges would roll up and fit snug. Then just push it down and seat it on top of the ball. This was a really good method... No fiddling around in pockets/tins for pre-cut wads. Just grab the hunk of leather and cut off a square.

I didn't manage to recover and inspect any of the leather wads. I did look out where I was shooting looking for visible signs and saw no traces of smoking/smoldering. Didn't see any like I did with paper wadding. I know leather will char but I've never known it to smolder and burn... At least my gloves never have while welding/torching.

I dabble (very poorly) in leather work so the scrap leather is "free" for me. Otherwise I would just be throwing it away.

I'm new to smoothbore shooting so that's what I learned so far about wadding. YMMV.

Mike


Offline Banjoman

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #42 on: February 23, 2020, 11:15:37 PM »
Thanks for the info.  If the monsoons ever slow up here in East Tennessee I plan on taking my fusil de chasse out for a shooting day.

Offline JW

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #43 on: February 24, 2020, 10:20:47 PM »
I use tow, wasp nest, green leaves, grass... I've tried a number of different things in smooth bore guns. At home, in the woods where I shoot most often, there is an abundance of ferns growing and I've just stripped off some of that to shoot. On Saturday, I put a bunch of town in my pouch, but ended up using the ferns instead both over the powder and over the ball (bare, but kind of nestled in a nest of fern). This is five shots at a 2-pint can of paint from 40 yards off hand. Honestly, I can’t tell the difference in accuracy using bare ball over patched ball when shooting off hand, unless I don’t use anything as an over powder wad. I like simple. Of course, I also like wearing hand-stitched clothes from documented patterns, so I know I’m weird.


Offline Banjoman

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #44 on: February 28, 2020, 02:43:35 AM »
I finally got to shoot my fusil de chasse today.   Using 70 grains of Goex 2f and 70 grains of #6 shot, I tried different wad materials such as wasp nest, leather, flannel, green leaves, brown paper and pieces of unraveled jute string. The wasp nest worked best in this gun producing very tight, dense groups at twenty five yards

Offline walks with gun

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #45 on: March 26, 2020, 06:11:52 AM »
   One of the real nice things of using wasp nest is for some reason the nests usually don't hold a ember like many other wads do.   many times I've found wadding or cloth patches, TOW smoldering on the ground.   Some years in very dry weather this can be pretty scary.  Just a thought.

Offline Banjoman

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #46 on: March 26, 2020, 03:27:37 PM »
That's true.  When using the unraveled jute string, a smoldering wad of it actually penetrated and stuck in a cardboard box at 25 yards!  I decided real quick that this would not be a good choice for the dry squirrel woods.  We have a seemingly endless supply of wasp nest around the farm so this will be what I use most.

Online Daryl

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Re: Natural materials for smooth bore
« Reply #47 on: March 26, 2020, 07:54:08 PM »
Commercial wads do not 'catch' and smolder that I've seen.
Daryl

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