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 Post subject: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:03 pm 
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A blunderbuss (roughly translated thunder pipe) was a short muzzle loading firearm of enormous bore diameter and short barrel length typified by a trumpet shaped muzzle.
Some had stocks like a traditional musket, some were stockless like a large pistol and some had just a nub of a stock suitable only for tucking it under your arm. These were porously designed for use in close quarter combat aboard ships and by carriage drivers in defense against highwaymen.

The blunderbuss is all but forgotten. Practically nobody collects them. They abound in myth and misunderstanding. For example, they were not loaded with nails and broken glass (except by idiots) but with precisely measured amounts of powder and shot. The trumpet shape of the muzzle was not designed to spread the shot (which is impossible) but rather to act as a funnel to facilitate faster loading. The few that I have handled were all flintlocks and all had a bore diameter of around an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half, 125 to 150 caliber! Such a barrel could fire nine .45 caliber balls in one shot.

The closest thing we have now to the blunderbuss is the Mossberg Shockwave and the Remington Tac 14. These serve the same purpose. Even though they are of significantly smaller bore diameter, they hold multiple high velocity shells and unlike their flintlock predecessors, they don't malfunction approximately one out of seven shots.

Even though these short "firearms" are one of the hottest fads going, I don't think most buyers have the slightest idea how effective these short shotguns can be in confined spaces where you just can't have a full stocked shotgun such as inside the interior of your car, or packing it inside of a suitcase to get past the front desk of a motel without alarming the desk clerk.

I for one thought that they were gimmicks when they first came out but after using one I am totally sold. The point is that they are not the best shotgun that you can have, but they are the generally the ONLY shotgun that you can actually have with you.

Contrary opinions are certainly welcome.



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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 9:47 pm 
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I'm waiting for the day I hear of someone SBSing a punt gun. Being that it's classed as an "antique firearm" by the ATF and exempt from the NFA rules, no tax stamp required. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:00 pm 
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Maser wrote:
I'm waiting for the day I hear of someone SBSing a punt gun. Being that it's classed as an "antique firearm" by the ATF and exempt from the NFA rules, no tax stamp required. :D


It's legal to own and shoot muzzle loading artillery, as long as it doesn't use fixed ammunition, which means that modern mortars are not legal even though the are technically muzzle loaders.


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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:15 pm 
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As I understand it, shotguns with bores larger than 10 gauge, up to and including punt guns, are still legal to own, just not legal to use in hunting migratory water fowl. You can still use them to hunt turkey. Not that you would want to.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:20 pm 
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Maybe one of our UK members can confirm it, but yeah here in the US, hunting with a punt gun is considered poaching and is illegal, but I think it's still legal in the UK. As far as the gauge limit here in the US goes, I think an 8 gauge is the max that's legal to use for hunting. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:43 am 
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10 gauge is the limit for migratory waterfowl and other migratory game birds. You can use an 8 or 4 gauge to hunt anything else. Some states may have additional restrictions.

Punt guns were used by market hunters before market hunting became illegal and 10 gauge was the line drawn at where punt guns begin. A punt is a boat used by hunters and punt guns were usually mounted on the boat like a cannon. The idea was to hit as many sitting ducks as possible in one shot so the crew could gather the dead game, pluck and clean it, and take it to the market to sell.

In the UK, I believe that landowners legally own the game on their land and landowners pretty much make the hunting rules on their property. The reason for shotshells loaded with traditional paper and fiber wads over there is because a lot of landowners won't allow plastic wads to litter their property.


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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 7:45 am 
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There are real blunderbus kits out there, I really do kinda want the 2-gauge one, there is also a 4 gauge one.

The smaller ones................. nope.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:55 pm 
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OldStufferA5#1911 wrote:
There are real blunderbus kits out there, I really do kinda want the 2-gauge one, there is also a 4 gauge one.

The smaller ones................. nope.


Can you post a link? I would really like a 2 gauge to play with.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 9:10 pm 
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Oh man! Remember for awhile they sold these barrels for Remington 870s and Mossberg 500s?

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:59 pm 
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Ezra Smack wrote:
OldStufferA5#1911 wrote:
There are real blunderbus kits out there, I really do kinda want the 2-gauge one, there is also a 4 gauge one.

The smaller ones................. nope.


Can you post a link? I would really like a 2 gauge to play with.

Will try to relocate, cost is right at 1000

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 6:12 am 
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Maser posted
Quote:
Maybe one of our UK members can confirm it, but yeah here in the US, hunting with a punt gun is considered poaching and is illegal, but I think it's still legal in the UK. As far as the gauge limit here in the US goes, I think an 8 gauge is the max that's legal to use for hunting. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Punt gunning is indeed alive and well in UK, pursued by a small but enthusiastic body of 'fowlers. The subject is as much surrounded by myth (especially in the US) as Ezra's blunderbuss.

I think a ten bore is the biggest you hunt with in USA, the eights are verboten. Again no restriction over here; you can use anything you are strong enough to pick up. See below our mate Vikram with what I think is a four bore; bloody lunatic :wink:

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Eug

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 6:51 pm 
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That thing Vikram is holding is so huge that it looks like a Photoshop exaggeration but punt guns this size really exist.

This gun would be perfectly legal to own and shoot in the US, it just is not legal for hunting migratory water foul.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 7:30 pm 
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Andy Larson, current president of the Texas Muzzleloading Rifle Association has this 4 gauge muzzle loading trap gun custom made by the late Vic Beeson.
I've shot it a couple of times, hitting the clay birds every time. I joked with him "aren't blunderbusses supposed to be loaded with rocks and nails and stuff?
The gun weighs close to 13 pounds so the recoil is manageable, besides, we don't put anything close to 1/4 pound of shot in that gun.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 7:33 pm 
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eugene molloy wrote:
Maser posted
Quote:
Maybe one of our UK members can confirm it, but yeah here in the US, hunting with a punt gun is considered poaching and is illegal, but I think it's still legal in the UK. As far as the gauge limit here in the US goes, I think an 8 gauge is the max that's legal to use for hunting. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


Punt gunning is indeed alive and well in UK, pursued by a small but enthusiastic body of 'fowlers. The subject is as much surrounded by myth (especially in the US) as Ezra's blunderbuss.

I think a ten bore is the biggest you hunt with in USA, the eights are verboten. Again no restriction over here; you can use anything you are strong enough to pick up. See below our mate Vikram with what I think is a four bore; bloody lunatic :wink:

Image

Eug


If you still stop your swing while shooting skeet with that gun, ain't nothing going to help you.


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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 9:15 pm 
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I'll see your Blunderbuss and punt gun and raise you one 8GA Industrial Shotgun

Image

It was originally designed to remove ash build-up in power plant boilers.

The Company I work for still has one.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 9:24 pm 
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Quote:
If you still stop your swing while shooting skeet with that gun, ain't nothing going to help you.


As I understand it, these giant shotguns were designed to be fired from a forked rest in the front of long low boats called punts. The commercial market hunter would lay low in the punt and slowly and stealthily approach a flock of sitting ducks in a lake and then blast the entire flock from a considerable distance, hence the freakish long barrel. This was not about sport but about taking as many birds as possible with the least amount of hunting necessary in order to turn a quick profit.

Here is a good look at how they were used.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuHdoDQ2b_4

Not exactly sporting.

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Last edited by Ezra Smack on Fri May 04, 2018 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 9:28 pm 
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Vikram

Awesome photo! Made my day. Hopefully you have eaten many fine birds taken over that beast!


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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 9:43 pm 
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VTHokiesDuckHunter wrote:
Vikram

Awesome photo! Made my day. Hopefully you have eaten many fine birds taken over that beast!


That is probably a very expensive antique that was likely retired from hunting 100 years ago.

Vickram?

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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2018 10:13 pm 
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Location: On the wrong side of the river, Austin TX
Ezra Smack wrote:
Quote:
If you still stop your swing while shooting skeet with that gun, ain't nothing going to help you.


As I understand it, these giant shotguns were designed to be fired from a forked rest in the front of long low boats called punts. The commercial market hunter would lay low in the punt and slowly and stealthily approach a flock of sitting ducks in a lake and then blast the entire flock from a considerable distance, hence the freakish long barrel. This was not about sport but about taking as many birds as possible with the least amount of hunting necessary in order to turn a quick profit.

Here is a good look at how they were used.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuHdoDQ2b_4

Not exactly sporting.


In other words, it's sort of the opposite of a blunderbuss, which was a short compact self defense shotgun.


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 Post subject: Re: Return of the blunderbuss.
PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 3:00 am 
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eugene molloy wrote:

Image


That smile on Vik's face says all that needs to be said! {hs#



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