Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Black Powder and Primitive Weapons

smooth bore versus old school

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surfivor:
 I'm interested in what folks have to say on the older muzzle loaders versus newer ..

To what extent does accuracy differ ?

 Does a smoothbore work good with birdshot ?

 Is buying a used gun a bad idea because the barrel might be pitted ? This is an important conisderation because the price of some used guns is cheap enough that I could almost buy a smoothbore and a newer style both if they where used.

 Shelf life of old school powder versus newer and which might be best suited to outdoor storage ?

 old school powder more or less corrosive ?

 Old style gun shoot ok in wet weather ?

 new style gun any easier to clean ?

 Old style gun looks less threatening to law enforcement ? (it basically may look like you got an antique)

What else to consider ?

 

 

Jimbo:
 Get this: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Black-Powder-Handbook-3rd/dp/0873491750

And 99% of your questions will be answered. I'm a tightwad & I bought mine used to save $$$.

"Old style gun looks less threatening to law enforcement ? (it basically may look like you got an antique)"

My advice is DON'T have ANYTHING in your paws that could be considered a firearm in your paws when the Po-Pos are around! :o



RipTombstone:
Not sure what you are meaning when you say old school, but...
The biggest difference in the new inline guns versus a sidelock will be lock time and most weather reliablity.
I will try to answer your questions in order:

1. The newer guns will usually have a must faster twist rate in the rifling, meaning they can shoot more efficient projectiles. My .50 Hawken is still very accurate (minute of squirrel), but it has a slower twist, so it works best with a round ball. The range is not as far with a round ball, but accuracy is still accuracy, just not as far away. A smoothbore musket will be inaccurate at distance, but up close, may be just as deadly.

2. A smoothbore should work good with birdshot, as its basically a shotgun barrel. Its just a matter of having the right components.

3. A used gun is a used gun. You should always check them out thoroughly. To some people pitting is a deal breaker. My .50 Hawken has a pitted barrel, but it has made no difference in accuracy that I can see. It is more of a pain to clean.

4. No powder is suited to outdoor storage. If you are talking real blackpowder vs substitute powder like Pyrodex, I have yet to see any degredation of my powder stocks, but I use the heck out of it.

5. Real black powder is much less corrosive than many of the newer powders. American Pioneer and Pyrodex are very corrosive in my experience. All of them need cleaned and oiled when done.

6. As long as you keep the cap and lock area dry  on an old gun, it should fire. The inlines will probably be a little better in this regard. You also need to keep water out of the barrel of course.

7. The inlines will be easier to clean, as the breech plug is usually removable, meaning you can push a rod clear thru the barrel. Not so in a traditional style sidelock. It becomes a bit more tedious on the older style sidelocks.

8. I think any gun in your hand when the law comes around can be taken into the wrong consideration. The ATF does not define muzzleloaders as firearms tho inline or not.

All this said, I still dont own an inline, but might some day. I will still use my sidelock tho as long as I can. In the broke college student days, I took a deer using a piece of notebook paper as a patch around a once fired cartridge bullet I found on the range. Had no money for round balls. Killed the deer just fine, but he wasnt too far away. The old and slow twist guns may be a little more versatile in this aspect than the fast twist guns of now. 1 in 66" twist was pretty popular, but now I have seen them with 1 in 9".

RipT

Tactical Badger:
Back in my re-enacting days...I hung out with some guys who were incredibly good shots with flintlock, smooth bore rifles.  Myself, I shot a flintlock smooth bore fusil.

I like the versatility of a smooth bore gun.  I shot just about every combination of shot and/or ball out of mine.  And, once you get them sighted in, which literally meant bending the barrel, they can be surprisingly accurate with round ball loads.  I LOVED shooting clays with that gun.

I cast my own round balls but bought shot.  You can pour your own shot if you need to though.

If I was to buy a black powder gun strictly on how utilitarian it would be in the PAW, I'd buy another smoothbore flintlock.  I can make black powder if I REALLY have to.  And I can always find a rock to make a spark.  And there will always be enough wheel weights around to make buck-and-ball loads from.

Just my $.02...with a truly primitive bias.

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