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Waxahachie Kid #17017 L

Muzzleloading Shotguns

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In my double-barrel percussion shotgun, I use an over-powder wad, a cushion wad, and an over-shot wad, in my shot-column.  I know, I know, some folks use that method, and some have their own concoction of a shot column, based on their own trial and error experiences. 

I remember, as a boy, the shotgun shells I would buy were made of paper, and had a paper/cardboard type "shot cup" inside.  Today, I suppose most of the shotgun shells have their shot cups made out of plastic, or something like that.  Anyway, I haven't found any made out of paper/cardboard, and I am not interested in using a plastic shot-cup in my muzzleloader.  Been there, and did not like it. I'm not a fan of plastic and blackpowder bores being together.

I just thought one made out of paper/cardboard might be a good thing to use in my shot column, and may keep the shot together, after firing, like it does with a modern shotgun.  I have been toying with the idea of trying to make one, but I was wondering if anyone has thought of, or uses, or made/tried something similar to a paper shot cup in their muzzleloading shotgun?  I don't mind using the standard shot-column, it is fun to build a load, and I realize that a muzzleloading shotgun will not be as efficient as a modern, smokeless shotgun.  I am not trying to duplicate the modern shotgun in my muzzleloader.  I'm just wondering if this might be fun to fool around with, to see how it does, and how it might affect the shot pattern on the paper boards I use to develop a load. 

Perhaps someone has been there, done that, and might share their experiences.

Or not.

 

Thanks.

W.K.

 

 

 

"I'm sorry", and "I apologize", mean the same thing....except at a funeral. 

 

   

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You're right.  Modern shotgun shells have a plastic shot cup incorporated into the wad.

 

To your question, however, the closest thing I've seen is a fiber wad.  

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I wonder if those little paper cups at restaurants for ketchup/sauces would work? Or maybe the little paper cups they bring medicine in at the hospital?

 

https://www.vitalitymedical.com/solo-paper-portion-cups-050-075-100-2050.html

 

 

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Humm....the paper cups may be an idea.  I had not considered that.  Thanks for the idea. 

 

W.K.

 

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Why not use teflon wraps from Ballistic Products?  Teflon has a melt point of 260 degrees C (500 F)*.  I can see that a shotcup made from the thin wax impregnate paper cups would tear or the shot would punch through the paper & contact the bore.

The $13 plus freight & state sales tax is cheap enough for fifty to not be too expensive to experiment.

*The plastic wads have a melt point half that.

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If you have an over powder wad & a fiber wad, you should be able to use a plastic shot cup (only) with out "plastic/BP" problems I would think. At least worth a try .....

 

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Hey Kid:

When I shot nuthin' but Muzzleloaders many years ago, I used to make paper cartridges for my double.

I learned from a MLer named Bill White.

This is the article that taught me -- I've had it in my files for over 30 years.

--Dawg

*********************

Paper Shot Cartridges for the Smoothbore

 

Bill White

Shot cartridges not only serve to tighten the pattern of cylinder bore guns, but they also provide a handy means of carrying pre-measured shot charges in the field. Different shooters have their own favored methods of making them, but here's what has worked best so far for me.

 

All you'll need is a supply of index cards, or paper of a similar weight, some fast-setting glue (I use Duro Contact Cement -- comes with a handy application brush), and a piece of doweling of the appropriate diameter for your gun's bore. I use a 6" length of 1/2" doweling with a couple of wraps of paper glued to it, making it a loose fit in my 20 bore.

 

Cut your file cards into strips approximately 2" wide and long enough to make ALMOST 2 full wraps around the dowel. IMPORTANT -- you want the paper of proper length to fall about 1/16" short of two full wraps. Wipe a thin, narrow coating of cement on one end of the strip, then wrap it around the dowel to form a tube. Slide the tube off the dowel about 1/2", then tightly fold in the end of the tube as you would a coin wrapper. I use the dowel to press the fold onto a tabletop to make it good and tight. Pull the paper tube the rest of the way off the dowel. Now, pour in your shot charge.

 

Using scissors, trim off any excess on the open end of the tube, leaving about 1/2" above the level of the shot charge. Fold this end closed just as you did the other end. PUT NO GLUE ON EITHER END. If you're making up a large supply of cartridges, or want to carry different pre-measured shot charges afield, you can easily write the charge on the outside with a pen.

 

Now... if you've done it properly, the resulting package will be a loose fit in the bore of your gun, and the tube will have a very narrow side seam where it is only one thickness of paper. Both of these features are VITAL for proper functioning. The seam allows the cartridge to split down the side, while the loose fit gives it room to split. Correctly sized, the cartridge will hold the shot charge together until the instant it leaves the bore, whereupon the paper will open and fall away, letting the shot go on to the target. You should find the empty cartridge within a few feet of the muzzle of your gun. If not, you'll see one big hole in the target, and you'll know you goofed!

 

I always load powder, 1/8" thick overpowder card, 1/2" thick lubed fiber cushion wad, shot cartridge, thin overshot card. The 25 yard patterns are real eye-openers -- almost too tight for wingshooting, but great for almost-stationary targets.

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Might want to try wrapping dry wall tape around a wooden dowel.  Fold the ends over and hold in place with some fast setting glue.  I stopped using it because I could not see any difference in performance although I never got around to patterning the load.

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I don't actually know how or if this equates to a ML Shotgun with BP.  However .....

 

When I started shooting All Brass 12Ga hulls with BP/Subs, I was unable to consistently take down the more common poppers and even noticed almost non-hits on swingers.  Very frustrating.  Went to the pattern board.  Turned out, without a shot cup of some sort, the Cushion wad as blowing a really big hole in the shot column.  Shot was going around the targets.  I went to plastic shot cups first, then just dropped the fusion wad altogether and went with the standard wad/shot cup combo.  HUGE difference.  

 

Understand you don't want to use plastic.  I had never thought of trying those little paper catchup cups as a shot cup.  It sounds like a really good plan.  Keeping the shot column together until the cushion wad drops away is key.  I think.

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On ‎4‎/‎13‎/‎2020 at 4:56 PM, Yusta B. said:

If you have an over powder wad & a fiber wad, you should be able to use a plastic shot cup (only) with out "plastic/BP" problems I would think. At least worth a try .....

 

The base of the wad does not melt and coat the bore contrary to what one might think.  It is the side walls of the wad in contact with the hot glowing BP residue on the barrel.  Fire 6 or so rapid shots out of a 1887 and then look down the barrel will confirm this.   If you check the base of the wad, it will be smooth and no indication of plastic being melted

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On 4/13/2020 at 2:20 PM, Waxahachie Kid #17017 L said:

... I use an over-powder wad, a cushion wad, and an over-shot wad, ...

... one made out of paper/cardboard might be a good thing to use ..., and may keep the shot together, after firing, like it does with a modern shotgun...

 

... might be fun to see how it might affect the shot pattern on the paper ...

Conventional wisdom, better patterns are achieved by keeping shot as perfectly spherical as possible prior to leaving the muzzle. Shot cups to help prevent pellet flattening due to scrubbing against barrel wall.  Cushion in the column, fiber or collapsable plastic, to reduce deformation of malleable pellets due to applied force following ignition. 

 

The wad does not keep shot together "after firing" (beyond muzzle). The wad provides for fewer deformed shot to fly randomly out of the intended pattern. 

 

File cards or drywall tape should make dandy paper shot cups. Ketchup cups from the hot dog stand might be a tad thin and flimsy. Regardless, are you fixing something that ain't broke?  Are your current on-paper patterns acceptable? Most ML shooters using lead shot are happy with your current load.  If pattern is too thin, a shooter might consider a shot cup or better cushion. If blowing holes in center of your pattern, reduce powder charge, or as suggested above, cup it.

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