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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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smooth bores?

ant other die hard smooth bore shooter/hunters on here? i started shooting flintlocks 35 years ago and owned many different rifles. 22 years ago i built my northwest trade gun in 20 gauge/62 cal flintlock. haven't looked back since. i have shot everything in pa with that gun except a bear. best and most dependable gun i have ever owned. just wonder why more folks don't use them.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 08:18 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

Most don't because they lack the skills to get within effective range. Smoothies were the norm in our colonial period, rifles were a luxury. One gun to do all you needed was just common sense to a settler without a pot to pee in or a window to chuck it out.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

i guess my next question would be, is what would everyone consider effective range? i've shot 1 at 120 yards years ago and another at 80 yards, and several 60 yards and closer. i will add, that i did make a very simple rear sight that fastens on by the tang screw. simple but accurate.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 10:12 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

I use a North Star trade gun with shot for small game. Never became very proficient with a solid ball beyond 50 yds. Might have to try that rear sight thing.

I do have a 50 caliber smooth rifle that is darn accurate at 25 yds.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 10:42 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

If you killed a deer at 120 yards with a smoothbore it was probably good luck, thats way beyond the norm. The best guys I know, with excellent custom guns, are deadly at 75 yards. 100 is not a stretch for a really good shooter. I will not take a smoothie shot over 75 yards, but I am not a good BP shot.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 11:05 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

I have four smooth bores, two 62 cal., one 56 cal, one 54 cal, I stay under 60 yards for any shot with round ball.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 11:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmerstutzen
I use a North Star trade gun with shot for small game. Never became very proficient with a solid ball beyond 50 yds. Might have to try that rear sight thing.

I do have a 50 caliber smooth rifle that is darn accurate at 25 yds.
my barrel is an older north star barrel also. when i built the gun in 1990, i spent more time than i care to think about at the bench with it. shot alot of round through that thing. originally i had 2 sights for it, depending on where i was going to hunt. one for shorter shots, the other for 100+. they both worked well. i now have just the one for out to 100 yards. could i make the 120 yard shot today? probably not, the eyes are getting old. but i think the gun has it in it. hunted with that gun exclusively for 15 years and knew it better by far than any gun i have ever owned or ever will own.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-26-2012, 11:54 PM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

so, i guess my next question then would be, what is everyone's max range with their rifled guns?
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 12:51 AM
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Re: smooth bores?

That needs clarification.
Round ball only?
Max range for what?
Harry pope shot 6 inch offhand groups at 200 yds with a muzzle loader shooting bullets.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 01:14 AM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

what is the max range you will shoot with your rifled flintlock. the people on here. the gun you carry hunting. what is the longest shot you feel comfortable taking. whatever you what to load it with.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 01:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe the Logger
If you killed a deer at 120 yards with a smoothbore it was probably good luck, thats way beyond the norm. The best guys I know, with excellent custom guns, are deadly at 75 yards. 100 is not a stretch for a really good shooter. I will not take a smoothie shot over 75 yards, but I am not a good BP shot.
if you will only shoot a smoothie out to 75 yards, what will you shoot your rifled gun out to?
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 01:31 AM
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Re: smooth bores?

haven't shot a deer with a Smoothie yet. Course everytime I go to build one for myself, it seems to disappear. The new one will be a 54 cal at 54"long. Should be a sweet turkey gun and not to shabby for deer.
As far as range. Don't shoot over 60 yrds really, and turkey I keep to 25 max. Can shoot them further, just like to be close enough to say..."Good Morning to Ya!".
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 01:37 AM
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Re: smooth bores?

I will not attempt a shot with a Muzzy rifle at more than 100 yards, and I own some of the best custom longrifles ever built. Its an ethical matter for me, and as stated, because of my poor eyesight I am not the best open sight or black powder shooter. However, I've been shooting them for a long, long time, and am priviledged to know or have known alot of the best shooters of our time. You would not find many, or any, that would profess shooting game at 120 yards with a smoothbore. If they were accurate at that range, a dozen wars would have been fought 120 yards apart, not 50. Its my humble opinion that shooting a smoothie at game that far away is " Punkin chunkin" at best. No offense meant, I just don't see shooting that distance with a smoothbore as practical or ethical.

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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

guess i'am "newbie", i've only been shooting flints for 35 years. "practical and ethical", must be i'am not. i've only stated the facts of shooting this "custom" smooth bore for 20+ years. just wondering if anyone else has put in "the time" with their smooth bore to get the results i have. if you put in the time and know your gun, there is nothing impractical or unethical about it.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 02:47 AM
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Re: smooth bores?

Interesting that this thread came up. I took a smoothbore to the range for the first time today. (Video below.) I had a very good time, but discovered on the first shot that it hits very low and somewhat left of my natural aim. Since there's no rear sight, I raised my cheek to a comfortable degree and used Kentucky windage from there. Any suggestions to bring the POI in line with POA? I suppose I could file down the front site and re-solder it horizontally, but resoldering seems like it would be a crap shoot. Doing the math shouldn't be too difficult, but the execution of such a minute thing...sheesh!

This was also my first time using a sprued ball. What's the verdict on those? Sprue towards breech or muzzle? Towards breech seems like it would be better aerodynamically, but that's just my rationalization.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZ9Ij2gJjjI
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 03:04 AM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

my rear sight is a piece of steel the same width as my tang. it is about 2" in front of the tang and about 2" behind the screw. it has a tappered hole to match the tang screw. the front is bent up about 1/4" high, with a vee groove. it is tappered to a point at the stock end, with the tip being bent down to "bite into the wood. this keeps it from moving left or right. i started with just a pen mark to get my l/r centered on target. once you have that, you can start filing the depth to get your height. its only about a 1/16" thick with a curve smaller than the tang to compress it and keep it tight. i do file the sprue off, but used to put mine out.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 10:52 AM
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Re: smooth bores?

There are so many variables to this question. Max range on a standing,unalerted deer. Offhand for me would be around 125 yds. Give me a rest and I'll push it a Little farther This is shooting a 62 cal 120gr of 2f swiss powder.
My limited experiance with a smooth bore would have me shooting a deer at 60 yds or less. I've seen guys that could push that distance to close to 100 yds.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 12:43 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

There is a big difference between a 50 caliber rifle round ball range and a 20 ga smooth bore round ball range. Technically, from the figures in the Lyman Black Powder Handbook, 1st ed. The 62 caliber round ball holds it's energy far better at 100 yds than a 50 cal ball.

Also, as for the way wars were fought in Colonial days, have you ever seen the sights on those guns??? A Brown Bess sight is pretty much a block of metal a 1/4 inch wide. Even with that sight radius, the front sight is far too large for fine accuracy. On the other hand, I have seen guys with smoothies shooting 4 and 5 inch groups at 100 yds. (Which I can't even get close to.)Hitting a grown man size target at even 150 yards with smoothies in mass volley fire isn't all that hard. Read about the Battle of King'S Mountain. Also, as shown in the Patriot, alot of soldiers aimed and then looked away as they pulled the trigger. Not real conducive to accuracy.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 01:10 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

LOL Zim, alot of guys do just that with flinters today ! I am sure there are guys who can do it, I just stated that I would not try it. To me, if there is any chance I am not going to do that animal justice with a clean kill, I won't try. If we are talking target shooting, I see it as alot of fun and good practice, if we are talking shooting game that far, thats not for me. I have loved muzzloading since I was a kid, just wish I had the eyes to be better at it.

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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 02:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

the original point that i wanted to make was,if you put in the time with a smooth bore, it can be a very effective deer rifle. it can also be a great shotgun as well. when you have one gun that does it all and that is the only gun you ever carry, you get very good with it. it becomes a part of you. i think alot of people that are into hunting with bp, if they carried a smoothbore for a couple days, would leave the other guns at home. one custom smooth bore is cheaper that a handful of other guns and alot more fun.
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post #21 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 02:42 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

Gotcha ! One of my joys every fall is taking a walk with an original smooth rifle I picked up years ago at a sale. I had it checked out, and it is safe to fire. I load 3/4 oz. 7 1/2 shot, twin veggie wads, all over 40 grains FFF. Thats really mild, but the squirrels don't seem to know. I have even had a few quite comical shots at grouse with it ! Getting a 44 inch barrel on a grouse quick is a hoot !

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post #22 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 02:43 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

With my Eye`s going south on me, I like the one sight deal on a Smoothie. I gave my .62 to my Son. Just couldn`t handle the recoil with my bum Shoulder. Now, I would like to try a .54 Smoothbore. Don`t think it would be a little easier in the recoil Dept??
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post #23 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

grouse are a tough customer indeed! i have shot a couple, but have missed alot more than i care to talk about. my gun has a 31" barrel. which makes it a dream to handle in thicker cover. i remember wheh my good friend bought his first 3 1/2" 12 gauge. we went goose hunting and the first group of geese that came over he fired 3 shots and i shot once. when the smoked clear mine was on the ground, and his wasn't. we left after that. things like that have been so much fun. it always makes it better when everyone you hunt with is using modern guns. the beagle i had before the one i have now, i had for 15 years and the only gun i ever shot rabbits with over her was my trade gun. those were good old days!
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post #24 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 04:56 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

I wouldn't say that I'm a "Die Hard" smoothbore guy but I do like them...... I have a nicely built .62 "Faber-ish" Early VA smooth rifle that knocks the stuffing out of em'
Built around a nice 42" Getz barrel.

With roundballs I would have no problem shooting to 75 or 100 yds with it, but of course the rear sight sure helps. The deer pictured with it was shot at about 50 yards no problem.......


Really want to take a gobbler with it this spring and have the load already worked out.
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post #25 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: smooth bores?

GREAT!!!!!!! now that why i started this post, to see what everone else was doing and how they were doing it. gotta love them big chunks of lead! congrats!!!!!!!
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post #26 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-27-2012, 11:42 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

I always envied my shooting friends their smoothbores, so I built one using Brad Emig's 24 guage colonial kit. It is a beauty! And, I look spiffy toting it, but edible wildlife remain safe in their environment since I'm unable to hit squat with it!

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post #27 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 12:09 AM
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Re: smooth bores?

You can't just say you look spiffy with it without a picture, can you ? LOL! Most game is more than safe when I am toting any muzzy ! If I would have lived in colonial times, I would have been the best knife fighter on the frontier !

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post #28 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 12:12 AM
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Re: smooth bores?

The only smoothbores muzzys I have are 3 origional doubles.Great for small game and shot but can't get a RB to group.Only tried the 11 ga.Great big hunk of lead.Didn't try the 20 or 14ga.Think I'll stick to the rifled barrels for deer.

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post #29 of 29 (permalink) Old 03-01-2012, 11:13 PM
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Re: smooth bores?

I miss my Brown Bess and my Tulle. But, I have a 28 ga smooth barrel that I swap out on my rifle stock. I'm still trying to get my sighting for roundball but I've harvest lots of small game and a fair share of those clay flying thingies using shot loads. I had a removable rear site on my Tulle. It was a serpant rear site for a rifle. I drilled a hole for the tang screw to fit through(I needed a slightly longer tang screw). I put the serpant head facing the butt and moved it right and left for windage. Once the windage is found I marked a dot on the serpant nose so I could line it up with the tang screw tightened. The elevation I filed very little for. You'll have to do you're own trial and error sight in. You could also fashion your own sight.

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