Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020 - 60

Pedersoli 12-gauge shotgun, in the reverse
order it would come out, was correct, and
I didn't spook the bird or rush my shot, the
outcome would be predictable.

loads larger-gauge shotguns normally
use.

POWDER

The individual components necessary
make loading a muzzleloading shotgun
more difficult and thought-provoking.
Although a greased patch is not used,
over-powder, bore-sized cushion wads
that have been edge-lubed for easier
ramrodding are necessary. They can be
purchased at outdoor retailers, blackpowder shoots or on the Internet, but
you absolutely need them.
Next come the lead pellets.
Remember that with slower-velocity
blackpowder, shot needs more mass for
penetration. While Nos. 6 and 7½ HeviShot might work in your 3-inch magnum
modern shotshells, I like No. 5 lead shot
in a muzzleloading shotgun.
It is more forgiving from a muzzleloader, and personal experience has
shown it to provide more than enough
foot-pounds of energy to anchor a big
gobbler.
Some hunters like to add the protection of a plastic shot cup, but I've found
it isn't needed with soft lead shot.
Lastly, remember to ramrod an overshot card tamped tight to prevent pellets
from rolling out the barrel during a hunt.
My setup proved reliable when the
gobbler spotted my hen decoy, 20 yards
to my right. Two beads on the barrel rib
aligned with the gobbler's waddles. A
No. 11 CCI percussion cap ignited the
right barrel, and the misty fog tunneled
as the shot column sliced through the air.
Another blackpowder gobbler
memory was made.

"First the powder, then the ball" is
a Revolutionary War motto that I have
taped to the inside lid of my shooting
box.
Of course, when hunting turkeys, lead
shot replaces a patched roundball. But
the saying holds just as true.
But what kind of powder should a
muzzleloading scattergun hunter use?
Some modern muzzleloading replica shotguns, such as the Knight TK
2000 and Traditions single-barrels,
and the Pedersoli and Dixie Gun
Works double-barrels, have modern
steel barrels and can be safely fed
bulk Pyrodex or Triple Seven loads of
substitute blackpowder.
Older shotguns, particularly custom-made trade guns and fowlers,
or shotguns made before the 1980s,
should be loaded with basic blackpowder.
But blackpowder comes in four grade
sizes, from Fg through FFFFg.
I particularly like the FFg grade
because of its cleaner burn. Many
dyed-in-the-wool shotgun competitors
at the National Muzzle Loading Rifle
Association (NMLRA) national shoot
compete with Fg, claiming it delivers
more-consistent velocities and is easier
on the acceleration of the shot train.
The volume of powder is determined
by the gauge of the shotgun since it
takes more powder to push the heavier

60

WADS & SHOT



Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - May 2020

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