Shotgun necessities?

Discussion in 'Muzzleloaders' started by Landlover, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. Landlover

    Landlover Active Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Springfield, MO
    I have a CVA Optima that I plan on buying a shotgun barrel for. A buddy of mine got a chance to get at tag in Iowa this Spring if he could find a muzzleloading shotgun. I noticed that they had shotgun barrels now for my Optima for $129. He told me he would buy the barrel, but I told him if he split it with me I would let him use it. The problem is that I don't have any accessories I need for shotgun muzzleloading. What do I need?

    I have some experience with shotgun muzzleloading but it was several years ago. I used to have a Beretta over and under that I used a couple of times to hunt quail with in the late 80's so I have shot a muzzleloading shotgun, but I ended up selling it because I didn't use it at all the last 15 years. I never really used any scientific loads when quail hunting and usually just loaded the same powder charge of 90 grains, put a wad over that, then poured a shot load (usually too much), put a wad over that, and then commenced to killing quail and pheasant in KS. I had a lot of people laugh at me when I used it, but I shot a lot of limits of quail and pheasant with it and it was fun. Sometimes I had to ask if I had killed anything because the wind was blowing in our face.

    I need to know what you guys use to measure your shot load, what you use for quick loads, should I use wad or shot cup, what 777 charge and load to use, and any other tips or suggestions you folks might have.
     
  2. FiremanBrad

    FiremanBrad New Member

    Landlover, even more so than a centerfire shotgun, you will need to work up a load that patterns best out of your gun, first and foremost.....In my Pedersoli, side by side 12 ga, I use 80 gr. of RS Pyrodex, with a pair of fiberwads on top of that, then 2 oz. of #6 lead shot, then an overshot card (thin cardboard disc)...#11 percussion cap gun also, and it kills turkeys dead!!! I have not tried shotcups out of this gun. I will be using this gun in Iowa meself. As far as measuring your shot, I used my reloading scale, and my BP powder measurer, and figured out, by volume, how much shot I was using for different loads....436 (I believe) grains, in your reloading scale, is 1 ounce of shot...Quick loads? No such thing...lol. Any more questions, just ask, I've been shootin it for prolly 10 yrs!!!
     

  3. mrclean

    mrclean New Member

    116
    Nov 30, 2005
    Harrisburg
    Fireman is right about testing your loads. I have a Thompson Center New Englander 12 guage that, with my help, has let 2 gobblers get away within 15 yards. That's bad.
    MZ shotguns are persnickety. Most likely you will get the best results with some kind of shot cup. Also, you should use the same copper plated shot that comes loaded in premium shotgun shells. I usually just cracked a shell open and took the shot out. This hard shot flies better and hits harder than lead. It penetrates the feathers much better.
    Experiment with various shot and powder charges and don't expect the gun to be effective anywhere near as far out as a regular shotgun.
     
  4. FiremanBrad

    FiremanBrad New Member

    Shotcups will especially help if you don't have screw in chokes, I use xfulls in mine, so don't use the cups...You can also order a bag of copper plated shot at about any reloading supply house....
     
  5. Landlover

    Landlover Active Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Springfield, MO
    Thanks for the info. guys. I am going to try shotcups first and they come with overshot wads. They seem kind of expensive($14.99 per 20)but I think they might be worth it as far as effective range goes. The barrel I am getting has a screw in full choke that comes with it. Bass Pro also sells a thing called a pellet packer that holds a load of shot, shot cut, and powder. It kind of looks like a medicine container with the different days of the week on it. It isn't a quick load but would make a second shot much quicker. The shotcups hold 2 oz. of lead shot, so I might just kind of use them as a gauge. What size shot would you guys recommend? I was thinking I would go with copperplated 6's.
     
  6. FiremanBrad

    FiremanBrad New Member

    I use lead #6...farthest kill so far is 33 yds....turkey was DRT....Copper shot is alot more expensive than lead, and lead still kills em. Your gun should come with a manual with some recommended loads too....good starting point for powder charges and shot amounts. The shotcups hold 2 oz. of what size shot??? By volume like that, it will hold more #6 than it will #4's...Dont forget to show us some pics of some patterns and turkey targets when ya get it fired up!!!!
     
  7. Landlover

    Landlover Active Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Springfield, MO
    I'll be ordering the barrel tomorrow. I don't know when it will come in, but I will definitely post some targets and let you know what kind of loads worked best. I hope the CVA barrel will accept some of my choke tubes, so I can try them. I have 7 or 8 tubes for Berettas and Remingtons. My arm might get sore trying all of those tubes though. The shot cup holds 2 oz. of lead 6's or 1 1/4 of steel 6's. I might measure the cups and see if I can't find some cheaper shotcups because $14.99 per 20 seems pretty expensive to me. I also might try to find some hevi-shot or something else to try in it. Whatever I find out, I'll keep you guys posted.

    Don't get too cold at that 3-d shoot tomorrow!
     
  8. FiremanBrad

    FiremanBrad New Member

    Ya might go ahead and try patterns without shot cups, see how it works...mine patterns better, 5 yds farther out, than my 1100 3" mag with straight full choke barrel does....

    I'll have a bit of "anti freeze" tomorrow, but still gonna be cold!!!
     
  9. Longbow26

    Longbow26 New Member

    Feb 5, 2005
    Farmington, MO
    Dont rely on the plastic contaner to meshure your shot load. Well if you want consistancy dont rely on it that is. If u have to maek ur self a container that will meshure 2 oz of teh size of shoot u will be using. that quick reload container you mentions will have a varience in in depending on teh size of shoot you use, and unless it says will hold 2 oz of number 6 they cold of made it to hold 2 oz of number 8.
     
  10. Landlover

    Landlover Active Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Springfield, MO
    After reading some info on loading a shotgun muzzleloader and one of Firemans' former posts, I have come to realize I might not be able to use shot cups with screw in chokes. My only experience is with the Beretta that was cylinder bore. Will I be able to use the shotcups with the screw in choke? If I have to use the fiber wad and overshot card it won't be any big deal. I also am going to try and find some container other than the shot cup, especially since I might not be able to use them anyhow, to measure the shot in. I have a lot of quick loads that I could load powder in one and shot in another and carry my fiber wads and overshot cards in my vest. I also looked at the prices of shot and it looks like this tight wad is probably going to use lead. I might use plated lead but I know I am not going to use hevi-shot. Wow they are proud of that stuff!
     
  11. FiremanBrad

    FiremanBrad New Member

    My xtra full chokes are wayyy too tight to get a shot cup down.....some guys I've talked to that use them, unscrew thier chokes, and push thier shotcups down....then screw back in the chokes.....big pain sounds like.....Knight uses a shotcup in thier loads for thier TK2000, if I'm not mistaken.....Buy yourself a powder measurer.....Let me know how many ounces of what size shot, I'll weigh and measure here and tell you, by volume in your measurer, how many grains to set the measurer at.....BELIEVE ME.....lead shot kills em plenty good....I can show ya pictures.....lol.
     
  12. Landlover

    Landlover Active Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Springfield, MO
    Thanks for the offer Fireman but my dad has everything I'll need to measure the shot. I think we have about every gadget that was ever made to shoot muzzleloaders or catch muzzleloader nuts. I talked to him today and he told me he still had some shot, fiber wads, and overshot cards. I guess I should have talked to pops first before I started this topic. However, he has no knowledge like me at shooting tight patterns at turkeys. I really appreciate the info all of you guys have shared with me. I'll keep you guys posted when the barrel comes in.
     
  13. oneshot 1

    oneshot 1 Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    Ozarks
    In my White I load 90Gr. Pyrodex RS,thick Ovrer Powder Card,thin Fiber Wad,2oz. #6 Shot,which would be 140Gr. on your Powder Measure,then thin Over Shot Card.

    I've killed Birds out to 60 yards.

    I know the White Shotcups are Taperd to fit in with Extra Full Choke.

    oneshot
    :D The Big Grin just uses Sand in his Pea Shooter.
     
  14. Landlover

    Landlover Active Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Springfield, MO
    Have you ever used the shotcups? It sounds like you don't use them or have found that you don't need them. Thanks for the info. I won't get my barrel for about another week and I want to have things ready, so I can pattern it asap.
     
  15. oneshot 1

    oneshot 1 Well-Known Member

    Jun 11, 2003
    Ozarks
    I have tried Knight and White Shotcups.Blow the pattern with both,seems I blow the pattern using too thick a Felt Wad,and I blow pattern using too much Powder.

    In my Double Barrel I don't use a Felt Wad at all.

    Its a matter of playing around finding a pattern that works good,plus have enough energy to kill.

    oneshot
    :D The Big Grin finds Spit Wad works good behind Sand.
     
  16. runner

    runner New Member

    135
    Sep 24, 2004
    I use a thick over powder wad and no cushion or lubed wad. 90 grains of powder and 120 of number sixes dropped my bird at a hair over 40 steps last spring. Don't worry too much about the choke to start. My gun is a better turkey gun with the Improved tube than with the full. Find what you gun likes using softer loads like 70/90 rather than the heavy loads. Once you find the correct combination for the gun, it will usually carry over into the heavy loads. Trying to work up a load using full house turkey loads hurts. My gun likes a 3 to 4 ratio of powder to shot. 90/120 is a perfect turkey load with it. I shoot 60/80 or 70/90 for smaller game. 2f will kick a lot less than 3f. If you have problems getting a good pattern with the overpowder cards most folks sell these days, try using two or three of them and things should be better. If you get the CVA cups, don't shoot them without cutting them a little at least. If you do, you might as well be shooting a slug at thirty yards. Right now several folks I know are using cups made for steel and notching the skirt about ten times so that they catch enough air to slow down and separate from the shot. In modern shells they are claiming things like 10 inch full patterns at 30 yards. The muzzleloaders are not claiming that much success, but they are saying good things about the notched steel shot cups over a thick overpowder card.
     
  17. Landlover

    Landlover Active Member

    Jan 10, 2006
    Springfield, MO
    Well I just got the barrel today, about three weeks after it was supposed to come in and will be patterning it over the weekend. I plan on just robbing some regular shells of their shot and seeing which shot size I like the most. I hope it patterns well with 5's or 6's. The choke system is an invector and it came with an extra-full turkey choke. I am also just going to use the fiber wads this weekend to see how they will work. I will post the results by Sunday.
     
  18. FiremanBrad

    FiremanBrad New Member

    Landlover, don't forget pics of some patterns!!!! good luck