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  #1  
Old 01-01-2020, 04:56 PM
critterman
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Muzzle loaded shot gun



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So my neighbor gave me a sack o gun . It's a T Walden sxs 12 ga muzzle loading shotgun, it was in many pieces. Being the amateur gun repair guy I am I set out to get the thing operational.
After a few major repairs and many minor and ready to test fire, what's a good low to mid power load for it? I have lots of fff powder and #6 shot.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2020, 07:43 PM
wjritchie
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In a 12 ga 3 Drams - 82 grains 1F or 2F and 11/4 oz shot would pretty much be standard . If there is any pitting especially if Damascus twist steel be cautious . load it up and fire with the butt inside an old tire or similar setting it off from cover with kite string or the like . Proofing is usually double charge and double shot but I wouldn't go that far . They are really satisfying to shoot and hunt with when set up . Be careful and have fun with it . WJR
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Old 01-01-2020, 08:28 PM
fourbore
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TrackOfTheWolf has over powder and over shot wads. I 2nd everything posted by wjrichie.
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Old 01-02-2020, 02:06 AM
critterman
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Shotgun

Bores are perfect gun doesn't look to be Damascus. I'm going to strap it down to the shooting table and test fire it with some paper balls a few times. Then I will load it up with some shot. Guess I'm going to have to get some FF or RS powder . I have pounds of FFF that I shoot in my rifles, can't find a 3f load for a shot gun? Just want to see the old gun shoot. Wishing could find out who T Walton was and where he built guns at thing my be priceless.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2020, 07:49 AM
wjritchie
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T Walton, London England , there is a 10 bore listed on Gun broker . Hope you can find out more about them . WJR
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:18 AM
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toomanyguns
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wjritchie View Post
In a 12 ga 3 Drams - 82 grains 1F or 2F and 11/4 oz shot would pretty much be standard . If there is any pitting especially if Damascus twist steel be cautious . load it up and fire with the butt inside an old tire or similar setting it off from cover with kite string or the like . Proofing is usually double charge and double shot but I wouldn't go that far . They are really satisfying to shoot and hunt with when set up . Be careful and have fun with it . WJR
I hunted with 20 ga. muzzleloaders for a number of years. For the 20, I used 70 grains of 2F and 1 oz. of shot, so I think your numbers are right on for a 12.


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Bores are perfect gun doesn't look to be Damascus. I'm going to strap it down to the shooting table and test fire it with some paper balls a few times. Then I will load it up with some shot. Guess I'm going to have to get some FF or RS powder . I have pounds of FFF that I shoot in my rifles, can't find a 3f load for a shot gun? Just want to see the old gun shoot. Wishing could find out who T Walton was and where he built guns at thing my be priceless.
A general rule of thumb to use when going to a finer grain is to reduce the load by 25% or so. For example, most people use 25 grains of 3F in a .32. I had very good results using 15 grains of 4F. I had better ignition and less fouling.

Another rule of thumb is that it is hard to overload a blackpowder gun that is in good condition. On the other hand, why punish yourself. Use light charges, at least to start with.

In the Dixie catalog, Turner Kirkland said to test your load on a tin can. If the shot penetrates the can, the load is heavy enough.

Congratulations on getting the old gun put back together.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:28 AM
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They're a lot of fun Critterman but my experience hunting blue grouse with one was to make your first shot count because trying to make a quick follow up with the other barrel through the cloud of smoke is pretty much like shooting blindfolded
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Old 01-02-2020, 08:46 PM
wjritchie
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Post a picture of the project if you get a chance , always nice to see an old fowler put to use . Good luck at the range . Paper is a good idea first . I load the shotguns I have with a 1/8 inch over powder wad , 1/2 inch fiber wad soaked in melted crisco and cooled , over shot wad on top of the shot . Circle Fly wads has a number of outlets and seem to work good . Depending on the choking it might be a tight fit thumbing the wads at the start . just make sure they stay put against the powder as they will seal the bore entirely creating pressure that can force them back up the bore if you don't pay attention . Again have fun with a really good project . WJR Add / Edit if you need non tox shot I have found Roto Metals to be about the best for availability of Bismuth in any size . Don't use steel in those old barrels .

Last edited by wjritchie; 01-03-2020 at 06:59 AM. Reason: Added Information
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:04 AM
critterman
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Shot gun

Hopeing to get back to shop today been sick for a week. Thanks for all the help I will try and post a photo or 2.
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  #10  
Old 01-05-2020, 09:43 AM
fourbore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by critterman View Post
Bores are perfect gun doesn't look to be Damascus. I'm going to strap it down to the shooting table and test fire it with some paper balls a few times. Then I will load it up with some shot. Guess I'm going to have to get some FF or RS powder . I have pounds of FFF that I shoot in my rifles, can't find a 3f load for a shot gun? Just want to see the old gun shoot. Wishing could find out who T Walton was and where he built guns at thing my be priceless.
This is odd. You dont need to tie the gun down to fire powder and paper or a couple wads. I guess you can. I would not worry about that. With this test, you are looking for any smoke leaking from the breach. And it will burn off any residue, verify the lock etc.

If you really want to be safe use the 2x load with a rubber tire. Never clamp a gun down for full power loads. It may crack the stock. Heck stock crack anyway.

The 3F is too fine. I use 2F for my Thompson Center 12ga. In a pinch 1F would be ok. Some like 1F for the slower burn and softer recoil. Maybe more in the 8 and 10's.

Edit: I would avoid the substitutes out of an ignorance more than for nostalgia sake. I think you need to do some homework on the pressures those develop for testing purposes. No idea. I just dont know.

Last edited by fourbore; 01-05-2020 at 09:47 AM. Reason: accept no substitue
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2020, 07:13 AM
mushka
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I have a 20 ga. double BP shotgun that is fairly old. No markings of any kind on it anywhere. Very well used too. I got some of the ready made wads for over powder and over shot. Shot at a coke can at 20 yards and one BB hit the can and the shot pattern was huge. Used 30 grn of 3F and 7/8 oz shot. Not a good result with the store bought wads. I then powdered the gun and stuffed some paper napkin from McDonalds over the powder and also over the shot. Totally different result. Knocked the can about five feet, 9 holes in the can and totally penetrated. Same 30 grn with 7/8 oz shot load. Pattern was probably less than two feet wide. Also over powdered and shot with cleaning patches, pretty much the same result. Gun just did not care for the store bought wads. Go figure.
Black powder shotguns are fun to shoot even though they take a minute or two to load two barrels. I measure my powder with a measure I made but pre load shot into some plastic tubes. Faster to load . My gun is a cap gun, not a flintlock.
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  #12  
Old 01-07-2020, 04:34 PM
wjritchie
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My favorite upland gun is a Pedersoli 20 ga double choked cylinder bore and improved cylinder . The gun throws 80 /90 percent patterns respectively at 30 yards . Love it for Teal over decoys . It can be hectic to load in the blind . 2 3/4 dram and an ounce of shot as 4Bore has said is a killer at game ranges . The 12 bore will be a good all around gun for most any thing that flies even clays . Again be carefull , do your home work on how to load and handle it correctly . It will shoot as good as any modern shotgun , maybe even better . For me certainly more satisfying . Just love the pace of it .WJR

Last edited by wjritchie; 01-07-2020 at 04:53 PM. Reason: Added info
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  #13  
Old 01-08-2020, 11:13 AM
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I have a CVA 12 gauge sxs replica that my brother and I use with 90 grains of powder and 1 and 1/8 ounce of shot in a Harvester plastic wad and an overshot card. It works well on rabbits and squirrels.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:27 PM
critterman
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Smile T Walton

Man you guys are helping me out. So I got to old boy all back together test fired with 50gr of 3f and paper was after putting the fire out on the beach in my back yard I reloaded it again and packed to paper real tight. Second test same powder and amount. Let it RIP from the shoulder no breach smoke paper went into the lake so no fire, declared success on test.
My repair brain took over so I cleaned the rust off all metal parts outside of barrel was worst. Found up on top of center rib the words Laminated steel, so it is Damascus. I lightly blued the barrels an stopped before it looked to redone. I ordered a hammer screw from Dixie I have chip off the end of the butt stock to fix and 2 holes to drill ,fill and re drill on the butt plate. Going to get some 1 or 2 f powder because the 3fff is to messy in a shot gun. Thanks for all the advice this gun is becoming an addiction will post photos when I figure out how to.
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Old 01-14-2020, 12:05 AM
wjritchie
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Fire on the beach , At least you saw it before walking away . Good Luck . WJR
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