Quantcast

Smoothbores

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Flintshooter, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2019
    Messages:
    241
    In line with a post I made on the general forum, how many primarily shoot smoothbore?
    I have three very nice handbuilt flintlock rifles, but most of the time when I grab something to shoot it will be a .65/16 gauge North Star West Officers fusil.
     
  2. desmobob

    desmobob Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    upstate NY - Lake George region
    I live in an area rich in the history of colonial America and the French and Indian and revolutionary wars. I have always wanted a Brown Bess reproduction but just can't make myself spend that kind of money on something that isn't really practical and also useful for muzzle loader deer season. But as I get older and realize life is short, I get less practical about things and am more likely to buy something I've always wanted... it then becomes a budget issue!
     
    rodwha, robhof, ruger357 and 3 others like this.
  3. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2018
    Messages:
    745
    I have a .62 cal I built with parts from North Star West. Love the thing, taken rabbits and quail with it.
    Does anyone know if Matt Denison is still around, last I knew he had cancer.
     
  4. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2019
    Messages:
    241
    That I haven’t heard of him passing probably means he is still around. I wish someone who buy the business and tooling and go back in production.
     
    rodwha and robhof like this.
  5. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2019
    Messages:
    241
    A smoothbore is the most practical muzzleloader there is. At any range I would try a shot with a round ball rifle I wouldn’t hesitate with my Officers fusil. It takes a little practice to get used to not having a rear sight, but once you do that you will be surprised how well a smoothbore shoots. I have four, ranging from a twenty gauge early trade gun to a .75 first model Bess.
     
    Slamfire and robhof like this.
  6. desmobob

    desmobob Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2019
    Messages:
    242
    Location:
    upstate NY - Lake George region
    I guess in a real sense, the smoothbore is much more practical for hunting in general. Having never fired one, or even seen one at the range in my tiny rural town, my only ideas about their practicality for deer hunting come from what I've read: mostly that the smoothbore muskets were only accurate enough to reliably hit roughly center-of-mass on a man-sized target out to 75 yards or so. That made me think they wouldn't be an ethical choice for deer hunting. When I think about the average range of the shots I've made on deer over the years, I guess the smoothbore wouldn't be too bad...
     
    robhof and Armored farmer like this.
  7. Armored farmer

    Armored farmer Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2010
    Messages:
    7,509
    Location:
    South Eastern Illinois
    I don't have a smoothbore, but am interested in building one. We have a prolific rifle builder in my club who is my good friend. He often shoots his smoothbore at club events. He likes the ease of loading and cleaning. I would like to build one while hes still around to help me out.
    I would like to take a deer with one of those big ol punkin balls in .62 or .65.
    Maybe a Turkey too.(with shot of course).
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  8. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2019
    Messages:
    241
    Where smoothbores got their bad rep was from military loading with undersized balls that would still load quickly in battle.
    With a ball that is patched the same as a rifle accuracy jumps right up there.
    I have been trying to find a picture that shows the primitive range at Friendship. You shoot uphill and the farther the target is the steeper uphill the shot. The farthest gongs are about 100 yds. and comparable to the vital area on a deer. I can hit ‘em most of the time with my fusil and on the occasions I miss it’s my fault.
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    26,787
    I have often said that with my myopia, I would have been just as well off in the Colonies with a fusil, fowler, or musket.

    Bear in mind that "big old punkin ball .62-.65" is a 20 gauge at the low end. Plenty of ball, but not a whole lot of shot.
     
    qwert65 and Armored farmer like this.
  10. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,958
    I really want to like smoothbores but never have been able consistently group better than about 10 MOA with one, which takes a lot of the fun out of it for me.
     
  11. dave951

    dave951 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2018
    Messages:
    157
    I shoot a 42 Macon in North South Skirmish competition. It's a 69cal smoothbore. The Macon was a product of the Macon arsenal who, during the War took battle damaged 1842 Springfields and cut them down. My barrel length is 30in so overall it's about "carbine" length. We aren't allowed to patch by our competition rules but mine will put 5 out of 5 into half a playing card at 25yd with a bare ball. We recently got a number of our guys through the NRA Muzzleloading Instructor certification so they can work with Scouts. Part of that was muzzleloading shotgun. We just loaded shot into our competition smoothbores and had a ball. 69cal is right at 14ga and those with "Macons" were whacking skeet left and right.
     
  12. X62503

    X62503 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2019
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Vermont, U.S.A.
    About 20 years ago I collected parts to make my first flintlock, which included a swamped octagon 48" .50 caliber smoothbore barrel made by Don Getz, and an amazing slab of curly cherry for its stock. I inlet the barrel and ramrod channel as well as the muzzle cap, and rough profiled the stock. Then came medical school, and I put it in the corner. I have forgotten where I was on its construction but have been gathering gear to re-start (and finish) the gun. I hear Don Getz has passed away in the meanwhile. He made fine barrels.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    26,787
    That sounds like what is commonly known by the misnomer of "smooth bore rifle."
    About what will it weigh?
     
  14. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2004
    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    GA, CSA
    I've read articles in "Backwoodsman" magazine... those are mostly readers writing... they'll shoot anything that will shoot. One guy said he got ahold of a .45cal smoothbore and experimented. I forget which diameter ball he ended up sticking with, but with a tight patch he was shooting into 4" @100yds. If that holds for up to .75cal, you should be good to go with a Brown Bess.

    I remember a while back, in other threads, somebody was pontificating about how the N-SSA doesn't allow a patched ball for their match shooting. N-SSA attempts to replicate 1860's wartime ammo performance. But, we're not talking about N-SSA matches, so I wouldn't handicap myself by not experimenting with a patched ball, nor would I suggest it. If I were to guess, I'd bet any of the old longhunters who'd use a smoothbore may have been more likely to patch the ball if they knew it shot better.
     
  15. X62503

    X62503 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2019
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Vermont, U.S.A.
    Birdseye View.jpg View attachment 900982 View attachment 900982 View attachment 900982 Muzzle-end.jpg Breechplug Tang.jpg
    Jim Watson, I am not sure about its weight. The muzzle end is about an inch across the flats, and at the breech end, it's well over an inch. It's pretty heavy right now but there's still a lot of lumber in the stock. I imagine it will be heavier than most, but I plan on removing a lot of wood. I just went to have a look at it, and have attached a few pictures. The LOP is around 16" with a 3/8" cast-off (I am 6'5" tall; sitting on its butt, it comes up to my just under my chin). It appears I have also inlet the breechplug tang, and inlet and installed the barrel lugs down the length of the stock. I have also inlet the rear-most ramrod thimble.

    View attachment 900978
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
  16. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,050
    Location:
    People's Republic of Maryland
    Tough to say,,,,

    I spend a lot more days out with the rifle, but then I'm only shooting once. So If out of those four days, I only shoot once and get a deer...I've shot once..,
    but then if I go out for squirrels with the trade gun and shoot four times, I've shot four times in one day..., so which would I say I "use" more ???

    LD
     
  17. Flintshooter

    Flintshooter Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2019
    Messages:
    241
    By primarily I mean if you go out with a long gun ten times, eight or nine of them will be with a smoothbore.
     
  18. Pete D.

    Pete D. Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,395
    0B3A3E8B-F234-457D-90CD-8F30924F1329.jpeg


    This was made for me by Mike Brooks. It is an exact copy of New England Fowler #9 in Grinslades “Flintlock Fowlers”. It weighs only six pounds four ounces. Sixteen gauge. Forty-two inch barrel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
  19. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,050
    Location:
    People's Republic of Maryland
    OK..
    But what if I go out once with each, and I shoot the rifle once, and the smoothbore four or five times....how about then ??? o_O

    LD
     
  20. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    10,270
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    I have a .69 very short cute CVA brass barreled Blunderbuss , an elegant Pedersoli Queen Anne Brass .50 , and an unusually well finished SAR made London tower pistol also in .69 - all flinter smooth bores They have been shot but not much. I was happy to hit an IPSC shilo at 50 feet when I did
     
    Shanghai McCoy and arcticap like this.
  21. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2006
    Messages:
    2,958
    Someday I will own a blunderbuss! I can hardly think of a sillier gun, but I suppose that is part of the attraction. And nobody would expect you to hit anything at all with it, which kind of takes the pressure off...
     
    Gordon likes this.
  22. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    10,270
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    The only thing I don't like about mine is the .69 bore. I wish it was much larger so I could stuff in scrap metal and stones. I also have a 10 Ga. Sawed off ( 16") percussion double Pedersoli , but that is far too nice to play with stuffing the bore with crap :) I shoot bird shot out it on brushy hunts with quail and blowing up rats nests :) I have tried #4 buck in it and it is indeed fierce . Like I said in prior posts ; if I was back in time when I could get a percussion gun like that it would be the ultimate defensive weapon . :) back it with a couple revolvers and you would be a force to reckon with. Of course one would still need a good hunting rifle. My Blunderbuss hangs on the mantle of my California home where I guess it may be still legal so I can't take pictures. I have my 10 ga sawed off with me and I am doing the spring oiling under lock down so I can get pictures. My flinter smooth bore pistols are also displayed in Calif home (where relatives live next door on same property . Always leave potential enemies things of no interest to them !!!

    Here is what my Blunderbuss looks like, I'll take pictures of my 10 gauge sawed off Persoli today , later.

    pix225729036.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2020
  23. Gordon
    • Contributing Member

    Gordon Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    10,270
    Location:
    Southern Oregon
    My 10ga. sawed of Pedersoli I promised. I kept the "mid" sight it came with when the barrel was cut just short enough to retain the mid ram rod ferrule for the cut down from 32" ram rod. . Barrel is about 17" . It shoots wonderfully. I have felt and card wads ect. , but to tell the truth the Pattern driver wads I load in my Ithaca goose gun work also ! I don't see much plastic deposits.
    P1050031.JPG P1050032.JPG P1050038.JPG
     
    Ernie Bass, woodnbow, Pete D. and 6 others like this.
  24. TOOT44

    TOOT44 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    73
    why do they have to use billboard size signs for info on the side of the Barbarella? go back to the old days.
     
  25. TOOT44

    TOOT44 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    Messages:
    73
    sorry a senior moment- meant to say on he side of the double barrel,!
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice