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Old September 24, 2018, 01:50 AM   #1
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blunderbuss load

In the "I have this old gun" section of the "Rifleman" for Oct there is a early 1800's flintlock muzzloading blunderbuss/coachgun. I find the blunderbuss an interesting piece, and the article was a good read for me. I had the opportunity to handle a similar weapon locally.....from Purdy, (maybe it was Rigby?) that was sold back to the British firm for considerable money I might add.

For some time I have wondered what might have been a "standard" load for such a weapon. In the Rifleman article , the author comments that 120 grs of powder and 20 OObuck pellets was an accepted period charge. Wow!

Currently, Traditions makes a repro blunderbuss that looks like an Elmer Fudd gun, it leaves me cold. There are some India made guns out there, and one high end shop makes a blunderbuss ($999) that has the right appearance. Seems as if CVA made a blunderbuss? kit, back in the day that had pretty good lines.

So, how bout some blunderbuss pics, and what do you shoot from one?
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Old September 24, 2018, 08:59 AM   #2
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Pecatonica rifle works has a nice kit with pre-carved and mostly inlet stock with all quality parts for about $650. I have one in progress now.
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Old September 24, 2018, 06:51 PM   #3
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Blunderbuss models come in different barrel lengths and bore sizes which would affect their loads as well as their price.

Here's 4 models from Sitting Fox for your viewing pleasure:




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Old September 24, 2018, 09:03 PM   #4
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If you watch the series "Turn" on Netflix the character Caleb Brewster sometimes carries a Blunderbuss over his shoulder. This is a pretty good show based on real people who worked as spies during the revolutionary war.
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Old September 25, 2018, 12:03 PM   #5
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" accepted period charge..." Wouldn't likely have been shot at all. Blunderbusses used mostly stones, bits of nails and just about anything else laying around.
Repro blunderbusses all look like that. It's because that's what they look like. And Mr. Fudd used a SxS shotgun. snicker.
This is a pretty decent how-to using "shot".
Spelling and grammar count!
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Old September 25, 2018, 08:28 PM   #6
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Nothing at all wrong with the traditions blunderbuss.

They can fire anything from nails to glass to rock salt, and were.
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Old September 25, 2018, 10:20 PM   #7
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No. Not so. The myth that blunderbusses were loaded with all sorts of found objects - nails, broken glass, stones, rock salt, etc. is just that - a myth. The most common load was similar to the one mentioned - a hefty charge of BP and a handful (18-20) “pea sized” shot, two ounces or more. The most common use was protection for wagons and stage coaches in the wild borderlands between Scotland and England in the late 1700’s and aboard Ships of the line of that time. The bell at the muzzle was a helpful loading device on a pitching coach or ship deck in the heat of a boarding mix up.
Trying to load anything other than shot results in a wildly inefficient and inaccurate load as dangerous to the shooter as anyone else. A load of nails would likely destroy the barrel. I
Take a read through J.D. Forman’s “The Blunderbuss: 1500-1900”.
I have a 14 gauge BB - a flint gun with a 14 inch barrel. It is a hoot to shoot.
Tried to upload a picture but both attempts failed.

Related note: Taofledermaus on YouTube filmed a test of rock salt fired from a shotgun. The results were consistently underwhelming
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Last edited by darkgael; September 26, 2018 at 07:25 AM.
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Old September 26, 2018, 09:31 PM   #8
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The thing with the Traditions BB is the configuration of the muzzle. I do not think that their rendition is correct at all......period specimens exhibit a "cannon muzzle" or a thick flared muzzle......not the flimsy, thin arrangement that looks like a coronet or bugle as exhibited on the Traditions piece. If Traditions would change that, they'd sell more I'm betting. It sure is a turnoff for me.

Agree also that a "standard load" of heavy lead pellets and healthy dose of BP would be a far better arrangement than a "langrage" type load, and easier on the bore too. Not sure where the "rocks, nails nuts, and bolts" business started, but you encounter it often, as this post demonstrates.

I recently saw a CVA BB on Gunbroker I think, not sure what it sold for.
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