View Full Version : Side by side muzzle loader shotgun questions

September 6, 2010, 12:40 PM
Hi all, I'm a long-time lurker, this is my first post.

I am seriously considering a side-by-side 12 ga muzzle loading shotgun, like the Pedersoli.

Reading through their instructions and the internet, I have come across some confusing information. To me, it seems that the whole point of a side by side shotgun is to have two shots ready to go. Yet the Pedersoli manual clearly states that you should not cap the second nipple until you've fired the first. And they also state that the first shot could cause the shot load and wads in the second barrel to move, creating a potentially dangerous condition. They recommend you re-tamp the second barrel after discharging the first.

If this is common practice, what is the point of having two barrels? Do I really need to worry about these things, or are they just being paranoid? I was hoping to load both barrels, cap both nipples and keep both hammers on half-cock while hunting pheasants.

I'm hoping someone with muzzle-loading shotgun experience can help me.

September 6, 2010, 12:49 PM
It's cover your butt legalese. The load in the second barrel is not going to move from the recoil one shot. If I only fire one barrel when I reload I drop the rammer down the other barrel just as a precaution but the load has never moved in my shotguns or my double rifles.

September 6, 2010, 01:36 PM
Thanks for the reply. I was hoping that was the case.

I'm also a bit confused about what wads/cards to load, and in what order. Since you've had good luck with yours not moving, can you share your loading process?

September 6, 2010, 02:02 PM
Sure. With 12Ga. 75Gr 2F followed by an overpowder card wad, followed by a cushion wad (wet if I am shooting trap and reloading frequently) followed by shot 1 ounce or 1&1/8 ounce followed by a overshot card wad. Works for me. You can adjust powder and shot according to use. Oh yes each wad is seated before adding the next component.

September 6, 2010, 04:14 PM
When I load a double barrel shotgun, I start the overpowder card in the muzzle immediately after pouring in the powder charge but I don't ram it down yet. Then I pour the powder charge into the second barrel and it's obvious which barrel I haven't charged yet because the charged barrel has a card wad started in it. Then I start the overpowder wad in the second barrel and ram them both down with the ram rod.
Repeat that for the cushion wad, if you use one, and for the shot charge and overshot wads.

This will help prevent accidental double charging of one barrel.

September 6, 2010, 05:00 PM
Start with an equal amount of powder and shot by volume. You can adjust pattern by using more or less of one. More powder than shot opens a pattern up. More shot than powder tightens a pattern.

September 6, 2010, 05:27 PM
B.L.E. and Hawg make some good points.

September 6, 2010, 08:38 PM
I just use lubed hard felt wads of 1/8" thickness. Two of them over the powder, and one over the shot. I tried other shot column combinations of cards, wads, etc but have the best pattern in my 10ga Pedersoli with just the felt wads (and easier to load as well). You will have to work out what the best load is for your shotgun. I've never had an issue with recoil messing with the second barrel. I always keep both caps on, but when I reload a barrel after one shot, I take the cap off the second (loaded) barrel for obvious safety reasons.

If you get misfires with the #11 nipples that Pedersoli uses on their shotguns, replace them with musket nipples and use musket caps (I did).