View Full Version : Using buckshot in a Muzzleloading rifle

10-08-2006, 02:14 PM
Anyone ever played with this idea or know of any information on it?

I have heard of the old "buck and ball" loads used by military troops I was wondering whay not buckshot only?

A .54 cal has almost the same size bore as a 28 ga. shotgun would it be safe to load a buckshot only load?

I understand patterning would be unpredictable because of the rifling but this is one of those "in case you have to" Ideas.

My idea would be to load the charge and then a lubed cardboard shot card, then a few pellets of #4 buckshot or BB's or other shot and then a tight fitting lubed paper wad.

I am intersted in your opinions in regard to safety, charge size, and type of shot/wieght.

10-08-2006, 03:51 PM
[ I have redacted this information previously posted. Just because I may have done something in the past that didn't blow up in my face, doesn't mean it won't blow up in somebody elses face. (too many variables to consider)]

I have read that shooting from a rifled barrel results in a donut shaped pattern, bit have never tried it.

I think one rule of thumb is to use the same amount (volume) of shot as powder. A lot of people use the same measure to portion out the shot as they do the powder. I'd start out with 40-50 grains of powder and work up, if I were experimenting up a load. Bear in mind, I've never shot a black powder shotgun.

One thing that might be a good emergency TEOTWAWKI weapon would be a .54 caliber double rifle (Kodiak) with one barrel bored out to a smooth-bore. You could then have the rifled barrel loaded for bear and the smooth-bore loaded for rabbit. If you really were hunting a bear, you could load the smooth-bore with a large musket ball and be ready to rock and roll with a quick follow up shot if the critter charged.


10-09-2006, 07:44 AM
I would not do it.

10-09-2006, 02:44 PM
Lead shot only. If you use steel shot and possibly bismuth you will leave counter grooves through the lands in your rifling and totaly destroy the accuracy of your rifle. The destroyed rifling will now act as a file stripping lead off the rotating bullet leaving the ball an uneven egg shape and alot of lead fouling in the bore.

Buck and Ball was done in smooth bore muskets with the hope of getting a few more hits out of the first shot. This was in a time when Armies marched shoulder to shoulder to within fifty paces of each other and fired into one another until one side had so many casuaties they quit the field. This was also the load for those on sentry duty since it was supposed to raised the probability of a hit with a shot in the dark.

10-12-2006, 10:25 AM
Hear here for ARMY Sgt.! If you would go with a multiple shot in your muzzle loader with a twist cut into the barrel, go with something like using three patched balls, where the patch is large enough that the balls make little to no contact with the lands and grooves, and the spin is imparted via the contact of the patch.
Each ball will probably go to a different point of impact, but you'll save your bbl., and the "shot" will, most likely, have some semblence of accuracy.
Firing a load of shot, including Buckshot, will cause you problems and destroy your bbl.

10-12-2006, 06:40 PM
The "Buck and Ball" was a common load for muzzle-loading "muskets", and was routinely used during the Revolution and Civil War. The load usually consisted of a full caliber round lead ball combined with three buckshot pellets and was issued in the Civil War as a paper rolled cartridge tied off seperately with string between loads which made for a faster reload. It was designed to improve the probability of a hit at close range.

I would not recommend this load for a rifle.

Ranger Rick

01-12-2007, 06:46 PM
no way

02-01-2008, 10:27 PM
i have the perfect gun for you to try this with. a 10 year old traditions in line. shoots musket caps and can be had cheap

02-01-2008, 11:33 PM
I tried it with an old cva and was not impressed so I took an old brake cylinder reamer and reamed out the groves and the more I reamed the better it shot I got it pretty smooth but it took me awhile.