Black Powder Shotgun
In the picture above
is a Thomson Center New Englander Black Powder Shotgun. You can see that it is a percussion type ignition, I
do not believe that there was ever any flint lock type black powder shot gun made by Thompson center. But there are
plenty of muzzleloader shotguns that used flintlocks on them.
This is a 12 gauge bore black powder shotgun. Back
when I bought this, it went for around $350, I do not think that they are made any longer. To get one of these
single barrel guns, you will have to find a used one. You can easily find new double barrels today. You can find
flint and percussion type double barrel black powder shotguns at Dixe gun works.
This gun is built just as good as my Thompson
Center Muzzleloader Hawken rifle. They use the same lock witch is very dependable. Metal to wood fit is excellent.
The gun is a hook breech also. This makes it easy to clean after shooting. You can see the gun broken down
Cleaning the black powder shotgun after breaking
it down is easy. Just take the removed barrel and put the breech end in a bucket of very hot soapy water. Take your
ramrod with a clean patch and run it up and down the barrel drawing water in and out through the nipple. Do this
until it is cleaned out and the worst of it is over. Wipe the rest of the gun down to be sure to remove any black
powder residue off. Oil the gun up and sore her away until next time.
If you load this black powder shotgun with a heavy
load you will know it when you shoot it. Needless to say it has a lot of recoil, but you can load it down to a 20
gage if you like. That would be good for practice and shooting small game like rabbits. However, you would want to
load it heavier for squirrels.
Like shell guns, you should choose your shot size
for the game or sport you are going to be shooting at. Power charge size and shot size along with the amount of
shot weight will determine how good of a pattern you will get.
BB = .180" with 47 pellets per
#2 = .150" with 87 pellets per
#4 = .130" with 135 pellets per
#6 = .110" with 225 pellets per
#71/2 = .095" with 350 pellets per
#9 = .08" With 585 pellets per
Above is a table of shot size in inches and
how many pellets to an ounce that you can use in your black powder shotgun.
Here to the left is a picture of BB, #4 and #6
shot. When hunting water birds you will have to use steel shot. Lead shot of the same size will carry further out
and have more energy on the hit than will steel due to the fact lead is heavier than steel per volume. I have even
mixed shot size in a single load and have had good luck with it. I will take #4 and #6 and it still gives a good
pattern when I test fired it.
When loading my Black Powder shot gun, I always
use a full wad on top of the shot. This way it will stay good and tight. If you are shooting a double barrel
shotgun the recoil from the first barrel going off can loosen the load in the second barrel if you use only 1/2 a
wad on top of the shot.
Here to the right is a picture of a wad that goes
on top of the powder and again on top of the shot when loading up your black powder shotgun.
When loading the 12 gauge, I use the same volume
of shot to the same volume of black powder.
For example, if I want a light load, I would use 70 grains of 2F black powder and the
same measure setting and put my shot in that. This will yield 1 ounce of shot. Note this load is a very light load
be roughly the same as a 20 gauge load.
Here below, is a table of powder measure
settings and what it gives
you in ounces for shot roughly.
70 grains = 1 ounce of shot
80 grains = 1 1/8 ounce
90 grains = 1 1/4 ounce
100 grains = 1 3/8 ounce
Just remember the lighter loads work best
with the smaller sized shot
and the heavier loads will work with bigger sized shot. However, here again you will
want to go out and test your loads. To test, just shoot at the distance of 40 yards or closer if you shoot your
game closer, check the pattern in a sheet of newspaper. This will show you if you have any holes in your shot
Go back to Black Powder
Shooter home page, just click link.