Author Topic: Fowler recoil  (Read 9946 times)

billd

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Fowler recoil
« on: April 07, 2010, 09:59:54 PM »
I shot my Chambers New England fowler today for the first time. Actually it was the first time I've ever shot a fowler.  The recoil was much, much greater than I'd expected.  Maybe I'm doing domething wrong???

It's a 12 ga., 46" barrel jugged choked full. The gun weighs 8 1/2 lbs.  I used 90 grains of 3F, one 1/8" cardboard wad and one lubed felt wad over the powder. Then 1 3/8 ounces of #5 shot with a 1/8" cardboard wad over the shot.  I guess I should have used 2F but I don't have any.

The gun shot where it was pointed and gave a nice tight turkey sized pattern.

I only fired 6 shots. I planned to increase the shot charge to about 1 5/8 ounces but was afaid to. The recoil was no fun, and normally recoil doesn't both me.  It was straight back into the shoulder, didn't smack me in the face.

Is this normal or did I screw up somehere in the loading process?? 

Thanks,
Bill

Harnic

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 10:10:52 PM »
Bill, that is a VERY heavy load!  In a muzzle loading shotgun, one to one & one eighth ounce of shot was standard & 1 & 1/4 was a very heavy charge of shot.  3F powder is too fast, 2f should be used with 90 grains being a good field load with 1 & 1/8 of shot.  Those would be my initial suggestions.  2.5 to 3.25 drams are standard loads & you'll find your pattern is tighter with powder charges towards the lighter end of that.

billd

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 10:30:28 PM »
Harry,   

My shot dipper says 1 3/8 is a 3 1/4 dram load.  The 90 grains of powder was what the shot dipper held when I used the same setting.  I thought that's what is called a square load.   I guess with 2F it would be about 80 grains.

When I bought the wads at Dixon's Greg told me 70 to 90 grains is a normal load and to use the same volume of shot. 

The pattern was great size wise, about 22" at 30 yards.   I planned on increasing the shot but not the powder to try to get more denseness (if that's a word).

Thanks,
Bill

Harnic

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 11:00:33 PM »
Hi again Bill. I would advise against more shot & try less powder (2f rather than 3f) to tighten the pattern.  If there is still a lot of powder burning as the shot column clears the muzzle, the pressure behind the over powder wad tends to push the wad through the shot, causing it to spread.  If all the powder has been consumed so the shot is essentially coasting as it leaves the barrel, the end result is usually a tighter pattern.  Worth a try.

keweenaw

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 11:11:49 PM »
The load you're using will kick considerably more than an equivalent load in a modern shotgun of the same weight because the weight of the powder is so much higher than that of smokeless powder which all turns into burning gases going out the front end.  Black powder trap shooters typically use about 1 oz. of shot with an equivalent volume of 2F powder (about 2 1/2 dr.).  Now there is nothing wrong with the load you are using to shoot turkeys as you're not going to get more than one shot anyway!  But it is going to kick.  Badly!!

Tom

Offline rich pierce

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2010, 11:31:15 PM »
When aiming a shotgun at a target, perceived recoil is harder than when swinging the gun.  Bend a little at the knees, crouch into it, and you may find it is more comfortable.
Andover, Vermont

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #6 on: April 08, 2010, 12:03:47 AM »
I have 2 New England fowlers, and shoot 85 to 90 gr  of 2F with an ounce and 1/8 to an ounce and a 1/4 , usually a mix of #4  and 7 1/2 shot.  One gun is a 12 and the other is a 10 bore. Aside from adjusting the comb while finishing them, they are wonderful guns, and you will have a faithful partner for life. They will do pretty much anything re hunting on this continent. I load mine with a patched ball and 120 to 140 gr FFg for deer, bear or moose. You can always use less powder, which I do if out for grouse etc. and still have the benefit of a large full pattern. I check for penetration on a tin can. Grouse load in the 10 was 1 ounce of 7 1/2 with 70 gr 2 F.    Also, I don't use those big cushion wads.  I usually just break them in half, or go with a lubed felt wad.  Have fun!

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2010, 12:26:15 AM »
Quote
3F powder is too fast, 2f should be used with 90 grains being a good field load with 1 & 1/8 of shot. 
Why not just reduce the load to 75 or 80 grains of 3f which tends foul less in my 20 ga fowler.
Dennis
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billd

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2010, 12:33:45 AM »
Thanks guys.   I can handle the recoil, it's just that I never expected it.  It scared me to the point I thought it may be dangerous.   I'm going to try it again with 2F... I'm happy with the pattern for turkeys, which is what I built this for.


Dennis,  What load do you shoot out of your 20 gauge for hunting?

Bill

Offline hanshi

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2010, 01:25:49 AM »
I have a 20ga fowler that I've just started working with and until recently had a 12ga bp gun.  To me they seem to kick about like the same gauge in a modern gun.  My 20ga is not bad but that little 12ga could be nasty when loaded heavy.
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northmn

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2010, 01:33:52 AM »
Since you have been put onto 2f already I will mention that some folks used to recommend 1f for shotguns and claimed a little less recoil.  A square load is not equal volume of powder and shot but a shot load where the height of the shot charge matches the diameter.  They are recommended mostly because of the setback effects on the bottom pellets and the tendency of that setback to send a bunch of pellets into neverland.  A 16 ga square load is 1 oz and a 12 bore around 1 1/4 or 1/38 oz.  In the good old days with soft shot there was something to be said for it, but use of high grade shot like copper plate or nickel can permit much higher loadings.  Common loads for 12 bore doubles in both BP cartridge and ML's were around 1oz to 1 1/8 oz in their day of use. 10 bores used 1 1/4 oz very commonly.  Since turkeys also are shot on the ground the heavier charges of shot work for them, but for flying birds the square load was recommended because of shot stringing.  when Brister patterned shot loads on a paper frameworks crossing at about 40mph the patterns looked pretty oval.  Another individual that has done a lot of patterning, Tom Roster, claims that anything over 1 1/2 oz of shot in a 12 bore is a waste as he could get very tight patterns out of that charge.  One individual used to state that the best way to make a full choke a improved cylinder was to shoot the baby mags in it.  Its the number of pellets in the turkey head that counts not the payload that knocks you on your tail.


DP

Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2010, 02:47:11 AM »
Bill: Why not go down by the crick and pick some 12 Ga round rocks and bring them along down Sunday at have a go at our r ball reentry with the new fat lady ???

Now you know why my smoothie is a 28 gauge.  Not many targets shot with spread shot.  I'll shoot my turki birds tied down in a holi burlap bag the hills are getting steeper every year...... :-[

billd

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2010, 03:22:17 AM »
Roger,   I can bring it sunday for you to try.  I'm sure I could find some rocks along the turnpike where the new bridge is going in. I have to pass that way, I'll stop and pick some up for ya.

I'll be crossing the Susquehanna Thursday and Friday too.  Which shoot better? Susquhanna or Lehigh rocks?

Bill

Offline volatpluvia

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2010, 05:51:02 AM »
Bill,
The fowler I built for myself many years ago was a twelve gauge and weighed about 6 and a half pounds.  I once put in 120 grains of 2f and ounce and a half of #6 shot.  I stood up and fired it.  Because the buttplate pointed forward at the toe I almost lost the thing over my shoulder.  It did bring a smile to my face and my shooting partner enjoyed my experience.
volatpluvia
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northmn

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2010, 01:55:20 PM »
Bill,
The fowler I built for myself many years ago was a twelve gauge and weighed about 6 and a half pounds.  I once put in 120 grains of 2f and ounce and a half of #6 shot.  I stood up and fired it.  Because the buttplate pointed forward at the toe I almost lost the thing over my shoulder.  It did bring a smile to my face and my shooting partner enjoyed my experience.
volatpluvia
My 12 bore weighs in at about that weight.  Its fine up to about 1 1/8 ounce, equal volume of powder.  Gets your attention off the bench with RB and over 100 grains.  I like a larger bore for most uses even though its loaded down.  8 1/2 pounds is not all that heavy for a fowler.  Shot quality is also very important.  Were I developing a turkey load I would invest in nickel plated shot as that tend to pattern tightly.  It was originally developed for those involved in live pigeon shoots for fairly large money.

DP

DP

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #15 on: April 08, 2010, 05:36:15 PM »
I shot my Chambers New England fowler today for the first time. Actually it was the first time I've ever shot a fowler.  The recoil was much, much greater than I'd expected.  Maybe I'm doing domething wrong???

It's a 12 ga., 46" barrel jugged choked full. The gun weighs 8 1/2 lbs.  I used 90 grains of 3F, one 1/8" cardboard wad and one lubed felt wad over the powder. Then 1 3/8 ounces of #5 shot with a 1/8" cardboard wad over the shot.  I guess I should have used 2F but I don't have any.

The gun shot where it was pointed and gave a nice tight turkey sized pattern.

I only fired 6 shots. I planned to increase the shot charge to about 1 5/8 ounces but was afaid to. The recoil was no fun, and normally recoil doesn't both me.  It was straight back into the shoulder, didn't smack me in the face.

Is this normal or did I screw up somehere in the loading process?? 

Thanks,
Bill

1 5/8 oz of shot is a 10 gauge load of the 19th century. 109 gr was the service load for 10. FFF is too fast for shotguns and probably will not pattern as well as FF.
FFF has faster burn rate then FF (almost double) and is hard on the shot due to the faster pressure rise.
 1 1/4oz of shot is the old service load for BP 12 bore cartridge shotguns with about 89 grains of powder similar to FF.
Many people shooting ML smoothbores with shot are shooting a near proof load of shot in many cases.

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

Harnic

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #16 on: April 08, 2010, 06:07:10 PM »

Many people shooting ML smoothbores with shot are shooting a near proof load of shot in many cases.

Dan

Agreed!

billd

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2010, 12:19:43 AM »
Thanks for the replys.   From what most are saying the load I was shooting is not out of line, but I should be using 2F.   My shot dipper is set to 1 1/4 ounces but when I weighed the shot it was just shy of 1 3/8 ounces.  The same dipper setting throws 88 grains of powder. I rounded it off to 90 grains in my original post.

Northmn,  I am using nickle plated shot. Your right when you say "invest" in some.   I cost me $51.00 for 11 lbs.  That was from Ballistis Products.  Any place you know of to get it cheaper?  Actually, 11 lbs. will last me for years.  PA allows two turkeys a year.  That's about 64 years worth of hunting  ;D ,,,,if I don't miss.

Offline Jerry V Lape

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2010, 01:59:05 AM »
The problem which occurs with shotguns is the American tendency to believe more is always better.  In shotguns this is not usually true.   For example, the modern gun load used in sporting clays competition had been 1 1/8th oz.  They reduced the maximum loads permitted to 28grams (a little less than an ounce) and the scores went up!  So they reduced it again to 24 grams (a little less than 7/8oz ) and the scores are still higher.  Trying to improve muzzle velocity significantly is also a fallacy, usually results in poor patterns, and as muzzleloaders we already know the roundball projectiles shed velocity very quickly.  So the added recoil is not rewarded with results either.  I have loaded a 10ga cartridge shotgun with 1150fps one ounce loads and absolutely crushed trap targets from the 27 yd handicap line.  The guns superior choking and the gentle loads resulted in very dense patterns which would have certainly been effective on turkey heads/necks out to 40 yds or more.  In shotguns less is often more - do the pattern work to learn what works for your barrel.   

Daryl

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2010, 03:40:38 AM »
1 5/8oz. is 711gr. weight - virtually the same weight at a 12 bore Paradox bullet for shooting dangerous game. It is a heavy load indeed, for a 12.  Buddy of mine has a BP 10 ctg. double, which smokes clays with 1 1/8oz.  he used it for ducks with 1 1/4oz. until the lead shot ban became law here.

J.D.

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Re: Fowler recoil
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2010, 08:31:44 PM »
IMHO, the idea of a "square" load came from 19Th century percussion shotgunners.

Flint guns seem to shoot better with 1 and 1/2 more shot than powder, by volume.

Try 70-80gr FF and 110- 120 gr measure of shot, using a single 1/8" card wad, over powder, and your choice of OS wad.

Those loads shoot very well in my 11 ga, cylinder bored piece, though they may perform differently when shot though a choked bore.

God bless