View Full Version : More Testing With the 12 Ga Trade Gun (smoothbore)

November 16, 2008, 12:36 AM
I finally got back to the range for some more testing on the 12 Ga Gustomski trade gun. I cast both .690" and .715" roundballs for it, plus brought some buck. Here's a video of the beast in action. If you pause it in the right spot you can see a nice glow from the pan. It was a balmy 20 f.



--All loads were 100 grains FFG with a lubed divider disk over the powder. I'm using a shotgun measuring tool set for full load. I worked up from 75 but the lower charges had a very low POI even at 25 yards.

--The .715 balls only load well with lubed cloth patches. The ticking is too thick. They have a 3" higher POI than the .690's at 25 yards but are no more accurate. This was surprising to me, but I tested from the bench with a dozen of each and there was no difference as far as I could tell. Both do about 3" groups at 25 yards with the occasional flier. I suspect this may change at 50 yards or beyond, but I ran out of balls and my hands were freezing. (I rode my bicycle there and back, 25 miles)

--The .690 balls from the Lee mold are pretty much spruless and load very easily with lubed ticking cut on the spot. I find they do better with a generous amount of ticking around them.

--The .690 with three buckshot balls and an overpowder wad (buck and ball) give big 6" patterns at 10 yards. I doubt they'd be of much use beyond 25 at the most. But they're a load of fun.

--Buckshot patterns are running to the right, but are reasonably consistent. What I really need to check are loads for squirrel, as I am unlikely to be hunting anything with buck. I'm wondering if I should go with No. 7 or something larger, given the lower FPS vs. smokeless.

--Ignition is 100% so long as the flint works, but I'm working off some really weird shaped flints. I've got an order in for proper flints from Track of the Wolf. The rifle-size flints you can get in the store are WAY too small.

November 29, 2008, 08:44 PM
I too shoot a northwest trade gun, smooth bore, about 20 gauge.
A couple of years ago, I was shooting on an outdoor range and noticed my fired patches smoking in the dry grass. Yikes!
I now use a cushion wad between the powder load and the .600 round ball I fire. My patches are pillow ticking from wal mart. I make sure they are well lubed with bore butter. No more smoking patches.
Happy shooting!

November 30, 2008, 02:14 AM
I'm wondering if I should go with No. 7 or something larger, given the lower FPS vs. smokeless.

#6 shot is more commonly used. :)

November 30, 2008, 08:30 AM
+1 about # 6 shot. It is what I use in both of my 12 ga. MLers , in my .62 cal Fowler, and in my .54 smoothbore.
A suggestion about loads - it may help to think in terms of drams when working up BP shotgun loads. Modern smokeless shotshells frequently list "dram equivalents". This is a reference to when shotguns were loaded with BP. A dram, in round numbers, is 27 grains of BP. A heavy smokeless field load is 3 - 3 1/4 dram equivalent. Three drams, then is 81 grains of BP and the other about 90 grains. Your 100 grain load is maybe hotter than it needs to be. Hot loads blow patterns.
For my BP shotguns, I load 85 grains (about 3 drams) in all except the .54 (28 ga.). For that I stay with 2 1/4 drams (60 grains). These all pattern nicely at 25 yards. (OP wad, 1/2" or less hard wad, OS wad.)

December 1, 2008, 03:49 AM
I believe "cigar bicycle" is a much better video.