Black Powder Shotgun


Black Powder Shotgun

Google Ad 


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 below.

Black Powder Shotgun

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 oz

#2 = .150" with 87 pellets per oz

#4 = .130" with 135 pellets per oz

#6 = .110" with 225 pellets per oz

#71/2 = .095" with 350 pellets per oz

#9 = .08" With 585 pellets per oz

  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.


Black Powder Shotgun Shot


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.

Black Powder Shotgun Wad


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 and would
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 of shot

90 grains = 1 1/4   ounce of shot

100 grains = 1 3/8   ounce of shot


 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 pattern.


Go back to Black Powder Shooter home page, just click link.