View Full Version : Howdah

December 21, 2009, 08:51 PM
Just bought a 20ga Pedersoli Howdah double barrel pistol at the Kansas City Ks. Cabela's today. New in box for $382.49 minus $70.00 promotion card. Total cost with tax $334.68. It has been 40 years since I shot muzzle loaders. Powder was REAL Dupont Black at $2.00 a pound then.
Anyone have experience with the Howdah?

The question I have, can / should you use / not use plastic shot cups with black powder? I will be using pyrodex.

Andy Griffith
December 21, 2009, 09:09 PM
Plastic does not work well with black powder. Some substitutes they do...but not the "real McCoy."

Call the fellers are Circle Fly wads, tell them you got a Howdah in 20 bore, and he'll fix you right up! :) Smaller shot such as #6 to #9 will give you dense patterns for small vermin such as snakes and shooting the proverbial Coca-cola bottles and milk jugs. If you are going to try buckshot, try some #3 buck or #2 buck- anything larger might not give good patterns in it, at least larger size buckshot don't work so well in my 24 ga. percussion fowling piece.

Also, a patched round ball of the correct diameter works well too. It should have instructions included with it as to which size Pedersoli recommends.

December 21, 2009, 11:43 PM
I have a 20 gauge Howdah. The Circle Fly people are a good source for wads and cards. So, too, is Ballistic Products.
I load 2 drams (54 grains) of FFg BP , a nitro card and a 1/4" felt or fiber wad, one ounce of shot, and then an Overshot card. Patterns are OK at twenty yards. I haven't done any more than load, shoot at a patterning board and visually evaluate density. I haven't shot farther than 20 yards. Remember that even 20 is way longer than these guns were designed to shoot. Their whole purpose was VERY close quarters defense against angry and dangerous animals.

December 21, 2009, 11:45 PM
I've used plastic shot cups in muzzle loading shotguns loaded with Pyrodex by first loading some compressed newspaper as an over powder wad underneath it in order to protect and cushion the base of the plastic wad. Wool wads would serve the same purpose. The plastic wads did produce a tighter pattern without causing any problems.
I also used some balled up & tamped down newspaper on top of the plastic wad in place of an over shot card.

December 22, 2009, 09:07 AM
I have seen the Howdah in the catalogs. That is one cool-looking pistol, I would love to have one!

December 22, 2009, 10:19 AM
I do the same load as darkgael with mine. I just picked up some round ball for it, going to try that.

How did you get a new in the box Howdah for $380? The sale price I see is $499.

December 22, 2009, 10:25 AM

Now that is one good-looking pistol!
I was just checking Cabelas.com, sale price 500 bucks. Damn did you get a good deal.
I see you can get either the 20 gauge smoothbore, or the .58 rifled barrel.
I would get the smoothbore.
I would love to shoot that thing at 20 yards with that big round ball.

December 22, 2009, 06:15 PM
The Howdah was purchased from the 'Bargin Cave' at the Kansas City Ks. Cabela's. The original reduced price was $480.00. The manager said the regular price was $600.00. I sniveled and whined that they were reduced to $500.00 on Cabela's mail order and argued that they should drop the one they had another $100.00 to be in line with the mail order and Cave pricing. I mean after all, it WAS the Bargin Cave. That is when he shot me a price of $382.49. Then I called Cabela's home office, again, sniviveling and whining, and got a $70.00 promotion. SOOO!! Now it is down to $312.49 + tax. I love Cabela's. AND, I am good at sniveling and whining.
The Howdah is new in the box, all papers EVERYTHING!!

And thank you guys for the valuable information.

Gaucho Gringo
December 24, 2009, 08:07 PM
The American Rifleman magazine I got today has a write up on the Howdah. No surprises but nice to see the article.

December 31, 2009, 12:09 AM
Is the Howdah smoothbore legal everywhere? Sure looks a lot like a sawed-off shotgun to me.

December 31, 2009, 07:52 AM
Good question!

Do sawed-off shotgun laws apply to muzzleloaders?

December 31, 2009, 08:53 AM
You can't make any rifle or shotgun into a pistol. That is cut a rifle barrel down past 16 '' or a shotgun down shorter than 18''. But the Howdah is specifically designed as a handgun from the factory. Also muzzleloaders are not considered firearms by Federal law so we can order them through the mail without an FFL. The short answer is that it is not a sawed off shotgun.

December 31, 2009, 09:15 AM
Short answer is NO.

Muzzle loading firearms do not have the same restrictions under the federal defination of 'firearm.' Bear in mind, there are dozens of different smooth bore handguns on the market. 20ga. is simply a defination of bore diameter, not different than .60 or .45 etc. Granted, calling it '20ga. may cause the looney left dim-wit-crats to get their shorts in a knot, but so be it. :p

December 31, 2009, 02:04 PM
To clarify, it's not legal to convert an ordinary centerfire shotgun/rifle receiver into a sawed off muzzle loading pistol.

I think that's what toolslinger is saying.
Don't make a muzzle loading pistol by converting a long gun centerfire receiver.

December 31, 2009, 03:39 PM
Would it be legal to saw off the barrel of a muzzleloading shotgun, to, say, 16 inches?

Not that I am interested in doing so, but would it be legal?

December 31, 2009, 03:54 PM
As far as I know, you can do anything you want to a muzzleloader including building one completely from scratch.

December 31, 2009, 04:26 PM
First of all, legal advice over the internet is worth exactly what you pay for it and not one penny more.

Having said that, as far as the federal law is concerned, it is legal to saw the barrel off a muzzleloading smoothbore gun to less than 18". Or to build one up from scratch for that matter.

State and local laws may differ, however.

Trust me.

December 31, 2009, 06:19 PM
c. robereston, you know there's a muzzleloading club just east of Grain Valley
about 15 miles. That would be a good place to shoot that, if you don't already
have somewhere. We have a New Years Day shoot tommorrow.

December 31, 2009, 09:28 PM
kwhi43, thank you. Yes, I am aware of a club just north about 15 miles near Sibley, Fort Osage I think.
However, I am a member of Pioneer Gun Club that is precisely 19 miles from my door to the outdoor firing line, and 18 miles to the Pioneer indoor range off Brickyard Road.

Thank you though.