View Full Version : smooth bore & ball suggestions for accuracy ???

Magnum Wheel Man
November 17, 2009, 10:27 AM
well... it started out life as a Damascus barreled 12 ga side lock double... I intended it to be sleeved as an authentic looking .410 coach gun...


we couldn't lighten it up enough for the petite Mrs. Magnum... also found out the chambers on the surpluss barrels I bought from SARCO to use as liners had oversized chambers, so now I'm thinking ( I've had several discussions with my builder as this project progressed ) that maybe we would use 444 Marlin cases, & Trail Boss powder, & a round ball & just use the gun as our 1st expiriement in building double rifles, which I have a couple in the works...

with a proper sized round ball, could one expect reasonable ( slug accuracy or better ) out of a brass case & a round ball in a smooth bore ????

November 17, 2009, 12:00 PM
ive used 2 3/4" 12ga round ball in a smooth bore, it was pretty good accuracy to around 40 yds, then it started drifting, badly.

they were hand loads so i dont know the ball weight.

November 17, 2009, 11:34 PM
Just to take a guess, I doubt if it would have as good "rifle like" accuracy as a smooth rifle does out to 60 yards and beyond with a tightly patched round ball unless the ball is a fairly tight fit in the bore. The short .410 .357 conicals shoot pretty accurately out to 50 yards but those may be enclosed in a shotshell wad.

But look at what a .410 slug can do from a specialty rifled barrel and also multiple .410 slugs from a smoothbore:


On another page about the multiple slug load:

These loads can also be used in the smooth bore .410 gauge shotguns where cylinder bore is the recommended choke. The advantage over single slug loads used in smooth bores is the obvious increase in overall metplat area hitting the target and more energy transfer with less chance of passing through with high retained energy


Trying to shoot targets accurately at very short range is also a lot of fun. Just reduce the size of the target bullseye and it becomes a challenge to hold steady. That's why there's 25 yard matches fired at targets with a smaller bullseye and scoring rings.

I also saw an article that showed that fairly good accuracy can be obtained from a .45LC cartridge loaded with a bare ball fired from a pistol barrel that's only partly rifled at the muzzle end. That in turn does lead me to wonder about a .410 rifled choke tube even though I've never heard of one.

However, the .444 case could probably be loaded with multiple balls which would increase the fun factor and the chances of being able to hit a target a longer distance.
There's .38 Special LEO loads that are loaded with 2 balls, so I wonder just how many could be fit into a .444 case?



November 18, 2009, 01:43 AM
ive read about 2-3 ball .45/70.