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View Full Version : how do you go about loading a M/L shotgun?


p&y finally
07-21-2009, 05:00 PM
Ive got a Optima that i bought a shotgun bbl for and i need info on whats the best/simplest way to load it. Ive seen shotgun wads that are made for a m/l and im assuming you load powder, wad, shot, then a felt pad overe the shot. Right? Also, can you load w/o the wad? powder, felt pad, shot, another felt pad.
Any info is appreciated

thanks

tv_racin_fan
07-21-2009, 05:55 PM
I just got an M L shotgun myself. You need something for under the shot and something for over the shot. Some also use a cushion wad and you can opt to use regular 12 guage shot cups but they say you should cut the cushion off of them and you need to measure how much shot will fit in the cup if it isn't what you want to load you need to cut the cups down to match your load. Generally you use a volumetric measure and use the same volume of shot and powder. I doubt you will find the wads you need anywhere around so more likely you will order them online. Powder as well, generally you want FFg and you might even try Fg (assuming it is a 12 guage), different grades burn at different speeds and they claim you want slower powder for a shotgun so it doesn't disturb the shot column.

I haven't shot mine yet so most of what I am telling you I got off the internet from people who apparently have done quite a bit of it (but ya can never really tell).

Midway has just about everything you could want.

Here you have an over the powder wad and an over the shot wad, with this setup you would probably want to use the cushin wad as well. Notice the cushin wad is lubed, in fact I understand you use the cushin wad as much for keeping the fouling soft as anything.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=287872

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=659914

With these wads you double up for over the powder and use a single wad for over the shot and don't need the cushin supposedly.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=497617

Volumetric measure...

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=442506

Dixe gun works has quite a supply of stuff for the blackpowder enthusiast as well and you can find what ya need there.

http://www.dixiegunworks.com/default.php?osCsid=ee870b1f4e50a3e03047d67daa6f439 8

Track of the Wolf is another place to find what ya need. I go here and drool over the firearms for sale...

http://www.trackofthewolf.com/(S(fc3cd23cquufod55sfcupr2b))/index.aspx

The Possible Shop is another place to find what ya want.

http://www.possibleshop.com/

I am going to the range up at Wilson Shoals soon to try this thing out that I have. Dunno where you intend to work up a load but if it is close enough and you would like some company I would be happy to meet and put in my 2c.

Another awesome black powder based website.

http://members.aye.net/~bspen/index.html

p&y finally
07-21-2009, 11:07 PM
Thanks for the info!
I havent shot mine yet either. I did find some wads at bass pro that are suposedly made for m/l shotguns but there 10.00 for 20 wads. I was wondering if you could use a regular 12 ga. wad instead.

Thanks for the invite, maybe we can get together and figure out this shotgun thing sometime.

hawgrider1200
07-22-2009, 12:28 AM
Thanks for the info!
I havent shot mine yet either. I did find some wads at bass pro that are suposedly made for m/l shotguns but there 10.00 for 20 wads. I was wondering if you could use a regular 12 ga. wad instead.

Thanks for the invite, maybe we can get together and figure out this shotgun thing sometime.

I used 12 gauge plastic wads sometimes in a muzzleloader shotgun I used to own. I also used reg 12 gauge over shot wads, Worked good. I think u could lube cleaning patches and pack em on top of the lead if u wanted.

tv_racin_fan
07-22-2009, 12:42 AM
You are welcome sir. The shot cups are expensive that way. I bought a bag of shot and a bag of shot cups at the local place, flippin shot was $50 for a 25 lb bag...

The trouble with the shot cups is you have to make sure to use at least a full cup of shot because if not the over shot wad wont hold the shot still and it will effect your pattern. You don't have to have a shot cup at all but I got em to give em a try out. Also you want to "rod" the over powder card good but not the over shot card, black powder performs best when slightly compressed but you do not want to deform the shot or it will mess up your pattern. I dunno if I have it right but I like the idea of a stiff over powder card because it will tend to "scrub" the fouling some as you load and I want the lubed cushin wad because it will tend to lube the barrel and that keeps the fouling soft. I intend to cut the cushion off of some of these shot cups I got and see how they work with and without that cushin with and without the cushin wads I bought. I'm also going to try some without the shot cups at all.

I showed the wife a shotgun kit earlier that was almost twice what I paid for two shotguns one being the M/L. She isn't so upset now... I also showed her a couple different shot snakes and she told me I CAN'T ORDER ONE OF THEM!!!

I just made an $80 order from Midway! I'll be ready to shoot by the time I head out of town the first weekend in August.

I forgot to ask if that barrel has a choke. It might make a difference as to which cards and or wads you want to use.

p&y finally
07-22-2009, 03:44 PM
You are welcome sir. The shot cups are expensive that way. I bought a bag of shot and a bag of shot cups at the local place, flippin shot was $50 for a 25 lb bag...

The trouble with the shot cups is you have to make sure to use at least a full cup of shot because if not the over shot wad wont hold the shot still and it will effect your pattern. You don't have to have a shot cup at all but I got em to give em a try out. Also you want to "rod" the over powder card good but not the over shot card, black powder performs best when slightly compressed but you do not want to deform the shot or it will mess up your pattern. I dunno if I have it right but I like the idea of a stiff over powder card because it will tend to "scrub" the fouling some as you load and I want the lubed cushin wad because it will tend to lube the barrel and that keeps the fouling soft. I intend to cut the cushion off of some of these shot cups I got and see how they work with and without that cushin with and without the cushin wads I bought. I'm also going to try some without the shot cups at all.

I showed the wife a shotgun kit earlier that was almost twice what I paid for two shotguns one being the M/L. She isn't so upset now... I also showed her a couple different shot snakes and she told me I CAN'T ORDER ONE OF THEM!!!

I just made an $80 order from Midway! I'll be ready to shoot by the time I head out of town the first weekend in August.

I forgot to ask if that barrel has a choke. It might make a difference as to which cards and or wads you want to use.

It does have screw-in chokes. I stoped by BPS today and got some shot cups w/ the over shot cards and some lubed wads also. The choke that the bbl came with is a x-full turkey choke and the shot cup cant be loaded thru the choke tube (i wondered about that).
According to CVA it takes a Browning invector + choke tube so im going to get an imp. cyl. for it.

BTW, if anybody has a CVA Optima they have shotgun BBLs on clearance for 39.00 w/ the turkey choke on the CVA website.

tv_racin_fan
07-22-2009, 06:10 PM
HHMM. Ok IF you want to use the choke that came with the barrel then you would need this style of wads as they will load thru the choke and then expand to fill the bore.

http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=497617

You don't need the shot cup at all, way back in the day they didn't have em but they should give a better pattern when you can use em. IF you really have to have the shot cup it should be no real issue to screw the choke out and load er up then screw the choke back in. Way back in the day they didn't have a choke and you adjusted the ratio of powder to shot to adjust the pattern, more powder apparently = looser pattern less powder = denser pattern. Understanding that black powder isn't going to give the results that modern powder does one would generally lessen the range. That thing being a 209 inline you should be ok trying almost any of the substitutes, be aware they are not formulated for shotgun useage so you would need to experiment to see how you need to load to get the results you desire. I have 2, 3 and 4 F granulations but doing some research I intend to get some Fg and give that a try as well.

When I got shot the other day I got #4 shot as all they had was 8, 9 and 4. I ordered #6 from Midway.

Honestly I have no experience with a muzzleloading shotgun and not near as much experience with BP guns in general as it may seem. I have just read and read and read so that I believe I understand the theory enough now I just need to put it to use and get the experience.

Hawg: as I understand it you don't want to use lubed patches for the over shot wadding because it tends to open up and obstruct the shot column whereas a card tends to fly off out of the way. (That is my understanding but honestly I can't say for sure as I haven't tested it.)

I am going up to Wilson Shoals one day next week. Dunno if my order from Midway will make it before I go but if it does I'll make it a long day and test out as much as I can and report back.

tv_racin_fan
07-24-2009, 01:02 PM
I am stoked, my order came today!

The measuring device I got is nothing to brag about but it should get the job done and is adjustable. I will hit Wilson Shoals next week and then report back.

P&Y I just noticed how much you gave for that shotgun barrel. THAT was a steal!

scottfrmga
07-24-2009, 01:16 PM
My grandfather had an old BP shotgun, as best as I can remember he loaded the powder, then a small wad of news paper, then the shot, and another wad of paper, it seemed to work for him, now I am sure there is a lot better out there now, but when in need you use what you got

hawgrider1200
07-25-2009, 08:54 AM
hey, I looked up a conversion chart the other day and found out that a dram is 60 grains. Those 3inch magnum shells hold the equivalent of 4 drams of powder. thats 240 grains. that ought be a good stiff load.

tv_racin_fan
07-27-2009, 01:17 AM
Hawg that would be a stiff load indeed! My shoulder hurts already just contemplatin 1 7/8 oz of shot over 4 drams of powder...