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Old March 30, 2013, 08:35 PM   #1
chickenmcnasty
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Brown bess on the way!

Hello all,

After picking up the kentucky, the hawken and then the Uberti Walker I started to feel like there was a gap in my bp arsenal. I have wanted a smoothbore for a long time, and finally found one that I could afford from a member of this forums. I have just purchased a brown bess carbine and am looking forward to getting my hands on it.
So with all this being said, it is now time to pester everyone about what I may need for this new purchase. The members of this forum have been a blessing to me in figuring out my new hobby turned obscession. I don't know hardly anyone that shoots bp and most of my friends do nothing but ridicule me for my new interest. There is no way to explain how grateful I am for all the help you folks have provided.
I have most of the neccesary items for shooting my other guns, but I would like to turkey hunt with this gun and would love more information in regards to how to measure and setup shot loads for game. I have no idea where to obtain shot or any other things associated with this process, so any info would be great.
I would also like to know more about round ball size/patching combinations. I'm sure my hawken will be my go to roundball shooter, but I will definately want to toy around with this as well in the bess.
In general, I would just love any information that you guys could provide in regards to these guns. If you have any experience about what loads these guns prefer or what equipment I need to buy, I would be grateful for it. Thank you very much
-Corey
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Old March 30, 2013, 08:43 PM   #2
Hawg
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What caliber is it? Original Bess carbines were .66 caliber. The land pattern muskets were .75
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Old March 30, 2013, 09:08 PM   #3
chickenmcnasty
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Re: Brown bess on the way!

.75 caliber
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Old March 30, 2013, 09:15 PM   #4
B.L.E.
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If it's a .75 caliber and you want to shoot shot, I would start with 70 to 80 grains of FFg, an 11 gauge thick card over powder wad, maybe a fiber cushion wad, and then 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 ounce of shot followed by a thin card overshot wad to hold the load in the barrel until you shoot.
An old rule of thumb is to use the same measuring scoop for both the powder and shot.
You can get lead shot from places that sell shotgun reloading supplies or order it from MidwayUSA. It normally comes in 25 pound bags. I have never had problems getting it locally where I live.
Track of the Wolf has card wads in every concievable gauge. 11 should be right for .75 caliber. If it's .66, 16 gauge wads should work.

A musket has an unchoked barrel so expect cylinder choke patterns and range. Experimenting with different powder charges may give a tighter pattern. Using modern plastic shot protector wads will probably tighten up the pattern but you'll still want a card wad over the powder because a 12 gauge shot protector will be a little too loose in a .75 caliber barrel.
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Old March 30, 2013, 09:45 PM   #5
chickenmcnasty
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Re: Brown bess on the way!

Where could I get a scoop that would be suitable for that weight of shot and volume of powder?
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Old March 31, 2013, 12:50 AM   #6
Hawg
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I don't use a scoop. I use the same powder measure I use for my rifle. Like B.L.E. said an equal amount of powder and shot by volume to start. Less powder than shot tightens up a pattern, more powder than shot opens it. I use 85 grains in my 12 gauge but it'll put a thumpin on ya if you're recoil sensitive.
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Old March 31, 2013, 05:31 AM   #7
Rifleman1776
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Congrats. You will have fun once you have all your 'stuff'.
Those Besses (assuming it is a Pedersoli) can have varying size bores. They are nominally supposed to be 12 ga. but mine is an 11 ga.
You can get sample packs of wads from Flintlocks, Inc. their website leaves a lot to be desired but you can phone your questions and orders to them.
Finding the proper mould might be problematic. BB owners use different sizes. Mine is a .731. Some use .735, some use much smaller, as small as .715. Try to find some and test before getting a mould.
Use real black powder only. Either 2 Fg. or 3 Fg will work with proper charges.
You can easily make your own scoop or measure from on hand materials.
I do not advise the use of plastic wads, they are not designed for bp. Regular wads work just fine and your gun is capable of good patterns.
Don't forget to buy some extra flints also.
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Old March 31, 2013, 08:00 AM   #8
B.L.E.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chickenmcnasty
Where could I get a scoop that would be suitable for that weight of shot and volume of powder?

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/Catego...EE-SHOT-DIPPER

You will see this tool used by a lot of people at a muzzleloading shotgun shoot, it's marked in ounces of shot but most everyone uses it to measure the powder charge too. A lot of shotgunners refer to their powder charges as "ounces" as measured by a shot dipper, many don't even know the charge they use in grains.
Track of the Wolf also sells fancier dippers and shot flasks.
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Old March 31, 2013, 09:31 AM   #9
chickenmcnasty
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Re: Brown bess on the way!

The fancy flasks look nice, but I think that scoop is ideal and the price is right.
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Old March 31, 2013, 09:47 AM   #10
chickenmcnasty
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Re: Brown bess on the way!

I'm planning on making my own paper cartridges. Does anyone know of a good starting point as far as what type of paper and ball diameter?
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Old April 1, 2013, 10:51 AM   #11
maillemaker
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3M wrapping paper makes a good cartridge paper.

You can find it's equivalent at Home Depot. Go over in the painting section and look for the masking paper.

Steve
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Old April 1, 2013, 02:08 PM   #12
chickenmcnasty
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That masking paper looks like a great buy. It's a 1'x180' roll for $3. Can't beat that....
What size round ball would you guys start out with for the .75 caliber? I will have to order it all as I have no place to get it locally, and I just figure it may be easier to get firsthand experience so that I can avoid having to order a lot of different sizes.
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Old April 2, 2013, 07:20 AM   #13
steinauge
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I use a .730"round ball from a Dixie mold and an .010" spit patch over 80 gr of 2f in my Bess.Good accuracy out to 50 yds.I am shooting a rangerized Pedersoli.
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Old April 2, 2013, 08:00 AM   #14
chickenmcnasty
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thanks for the info, but what is a "spit patch"?

I'm sorry for my ignorance, I'm still trying to figure all of this out as I go.
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Old April 2, 2013, 08:32 AM   #15
Rifleman1776
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Quote:
what is a "spit patch"?
A spit patch is your cloth ball patching that you spit on for lubrication.
Not reccomended. It can dry if not used immediately and is not consistent and questionable if the best.
Another lube like a beeswax and oil (peanut, olive, canola, etc.) mix is much better and will serve you well.
Sadly, the best ball size for your gun can only be determined with use. The .730 might be fine but it also might be too large. Buying two or more moulds to get the right size is not unusual, albiet expensive.
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Old April 2, 2013, 06:41 PM   #16
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Olive oil makes a good patch lube by itself.
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Old April 2, 2013, 07:52 PM   #17
chickenmcnasty
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Re: Brown bess on the way!

This has been a wealth of knowledge. It looks like it may come down to buying some different combinations and giving them a whirl. Thank you all very much for the info.
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Old April 2, 2013, 10:06 PM   #18
B.L.E.
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Some smoothbore shooters don't use a patch, just the ball over the powder and wadding on top to keep it from rolling out. The paper from the paper cartridge served as wadding for soldiers that used smoothbore muskets. This makes a musket very fast to reload and was why rifled military arms didn't really catch on until the Minié bullet was invented.

Minié is pronounced min-i-ay and named after its inventor.
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Old April 3, 2013, 05:31 AM   #19
Hawg
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Quote:
Minié is pronounced min-i-ay and named after its inventor.
Yeah but pronounce it that way and see how many funny looks you get.
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Old April 3, 2013, 06:01 AM   #20
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Congrads on your Bess .

when it comes to patch lubes , your probably going to find that each one has some effect on your accuracy. As such your probably going to want to try a few and see how it all works out .
As for the spit patch . Speaking for myself , I stopped lubing patches along time ago and went to strictly spit patches and cutting patches at the muzzle .
Target shooting , hunting , doesn’t mater , I do the same. I have done very well at both and have had no issues with the spit patch
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Old April 3, 2013, 03:12 PM   #21
chickenmcnasty
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I think i'll probably try the smaller size first with different patch combinations and see how it goes.
I watched a vid on youtube the other day about the different over powder and over shot wads for use when shooting shot. Is there anything that I can use to make these myself?
I'm being a cheapskate on this one, but my wife is officially ticked off that I have bought a few bp guns in the last few months and I need to fly under the radar for awhile...
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Old April 3, 2013, 04:44 PM   #22
Captchee
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you can pretty much make your own wads and cards .
myself i punch my own out of horse hair padding for my 20 gage's , using a spent Co2 cylinder . cards are not very exspensive even from ToW. but you can punch those out to .
You could go the PC way and use Tow or wool for wadding as well as over the shot .
there are lots of different options to include making your own paper shot cups . for Round balls in some of my smoothbores , i even get better results by using a wad , ball and card vs. using a patch

but like rifles , each smoothbore often likes different things , so it takes some time to figure out exactly what your Bess will like
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