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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone else out there ever tried a round of NSSA skeet with a flintlock (NOT a percussion) muzzle loader? It could be an educational and thought provoking experience.

I found the only way I could hit anything reasonably consistently was to shoot 'maintained lead'. The lock time was so slow and ignition time so long compared with modern shotguns and ammunition, there was no other way to keep the muzzles in sync with the targets.

I failed dismally to hit much of anything using either 'swing through' or the 'stare at the target' methods.

Once you've gotten used to the fireworks display in front of your nose when the hammer drops and the enormous cloud of acrid smoke when the shot leaves the barrel, skeet shooting takes on a new dimension :) .
 

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Are you joking with us, Old Diabetic?
Ordinarily, I would not have thought that, but after that discussion about bent barrels........ well, I'm sure you understand my skepticism - and my cautiousness when considering the seriousness of this question.
I'll be a-begging your pardon if I have misread the seriousness of your post. Every person has a right to ask any question here on this forum.
Much obliged.
Rebel Sympathy
 

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I've shot skeet with a Charleville musket (approx. 16 ga/.69 cal.) Doubles are hell! (just kidding.) Sustained lead is the trick. Didn't do as well as with a modern shotgun, but 17/25 isn't all that bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rebel Sympathy said:
Are you joking with us, Old Diabetic?
Ordinarily, I would not have thought that, but after that discussion about bent barrels........ well, I'm sure you understand my skepticism - and my cautiousness when considering the seriousness of this question.
I'll be a-begging your pardon if I have misread the seriousness of your post. Every person has a right to ask any question here on this forum.
Much obliged.
Rebel Sympathy
No, I wasn't joking..........in all seriousness I have shot NSSA skeet with a flintlock, but it wasn't in a registered competition :| .

The experience was most educational.

It confirmed to me that some of the approaches to hitting flying targets advocated by certain shooting 'instructors' are likely to be more successful than others when you take things to extremes........like slow lock and ignition times.

When I get the opportunity, I'll have to re-read some of my older books from the 1800s to see how the muzzle blasting aficionados of those times hit anything on the wing.

NB: I do have a sense of humor but only on Saturdays :wink: .
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Bill M. said:
I wonder how long it would take to shoot a round of skeet with a flintlock?
The answer is too long time for all practical purposes. We did it during the preparation for filming a TV program about clay target shooting that went out live on air many years ago. The flintlock piece was just light entertainment for some of us shooters while the camera crews were trying to figure out how to film the targets in flight.

We also shot down many kids' helium filled balloons with muzzleloaders. That really was interesting. It was a windy day and the balloons presented quite a challenge because they not only climbed pretty fast being lighter than air, they were quickly carried away on the wind. It was quite incredible how far some of them got away before being hit, but of course it only took one pellet to burst them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
smokpole said:
I've shot skeet with a Charleville musket (approx. 16 ga/.69 cal.) Doubles are hell! (just kidding.) Sustained lead is the trick. Didn't do as well as with a modern shotgun, but 17/25 isn't all that bad.
The problem I found shooting doubles was there was so much smoke after the first shot it was difficult to see the second target until it was too late :shock: .

Your score of 17/25 beat my attempt.
 

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Rebel Sympathy said:
Are you joking with us, Old Diabetic?
Ordinarily, I would not have thought that, but after that discussion about bent barrels........ well, I'm sure you understand my skepticism - and my cautiousness when considering the seriousness of this question.
I'll be a-begging your pardon if I have misread the seriousness of your post. Every person has a right to ask any question here on this forum.
Much obliged.
Rebel Sympathy
Muzzle loading skeet? Never heard of it!
 

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Sounds like fun! I never had a smoothbore flintlock to try. But I did a LOT of shooting with a SXS hammer SXS 14 ga. percussion, choked IC and Mod and it worked fine, even on the pairs.

(I also succesfully hunted grouse with it.) Wish I still had that gun!

For skeet, I pre-glued my overpowder and cushoin wads together beforehand and pre-lubed them with a light coat of Crisco. And I made a Whinnery shot pouch with a 1-oz. shot dispenser tip for speed of loading, along with a Civil War type powder flask with a nozzle to drop 82 gr. (3 drams) of black powder. It was quite fast to reload, and I didn't hold the squad up too much. It made for fast and accurate reloading.
 

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I shot some trap birds with somebody else's 20 gauge flintlock. I was able to hit about half of them.
If a flintlock don't teach you to follow through, ain't nothing going to.
 

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I think that would be a lot of fun. I have thought about it but never knew anyone who did it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
BobK said:
Sounds like fun! I never had a smoothbore flintlock to try. But I did a LOT of shooting with a SXS hammer SXS 14 ga. percussion, choked IC and Mod and it worked fine, even on the pairs.

(I also succesfully hunted grouse with it.) Wish I still had that gun!

For skeet, I pre-glued my overpowder and cushoin wads together beforehand and pre-lubed them with a light coat of Crisco. And I made a Whinnery shot pouch with a 1-oz. shot dispenser tip for speed of loading, along with a Civil War type powder flask with a nozzle to drop 82 gr. (3 drams) of black powder. It was quite fast to reload, and I didn't hold the squad up too much. It made for fast and accurate reloading.
Shooting a flintlock is a whole different experience to shooting a percussion muzzleloader. After pulling the trigger you have the pyrotechnics just in front of your nose to contend with as well as the delay in anything useful coming out of the barrels. If the combined effect of that doesn't produce a flinch then nothing will and I don't think a release trigger would help at all :) .

When I used a flintlock at skeet, fortunately the gun I was using was primed and loaded for me each time by someone familiar with the 'technology'. I don't think I'd want to do it myself, so I admire your courage.
 

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We have guys shooting skeet at our club with 45 Long Colt Pistols and shot shells or .410 Contenders, so why not a SxS Flint Lock?
 

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I saw trap shooting at the Friendship, IN range a few years ago. Lot of smoke and only 1 person on the trap range at a time. They reloaded off range, and then proceeded to go on range when called. I also saw it on a skeet range where the individual was shooting at the same time as the modern guns were. Really disruptive as he loaded off range, then ran on range to shoot. He was kicked off the range as he was a big safety hazard running on range with a loaded gun. Running was the correct word!
 

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Most folks don't have "hand-knapped" flints on their guns. What a difference THAT makes!

They also put too much priming powder in the pans. Flintlocks have good fast ignition when the level of the priming powder is just level with the bottom of the touchhole.

You also need a proper hardening job on the frizzen, and it should be re-hardened when it wears through.

Fast ignition is there if you pay attention to details!
 

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BobK said:
Most folks don't have "hand-knapped" flints on their guns. What a difference THAT makes!

They also put too much priming powder in the pans. Flintlocks have good fast ignition when the level of the priming powder is just level with the bottom of the touchhole.

You also need a proper hardening job on the frizzen, and it should be re-hardened when it wears through.

Fast ignition is there if you pay attention to details!
A properly set up and loaded flintlock won't give you time to flinch from the pan flash. Also, flintlocks really need real black powder to function well. I was at a muzzle loader shoot where a new shooter was shooting his flintlock and it was going off really slow. He was using Triple 7. I gave him some real black powder to try and he couldn't believe the difference. He thought flintlocks were just supposed to go "click..flash..hiss...boom".

Here's a video of a properly loaded and set up flintlock firing.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
rkittine said:
We have guys shooting skeet at our club with 45 Long Colt Pistols and shot shells or .410 Contenders, so why not a SxS Flint Lock?
So what's the technique they use? Do they start with their 45 Colts holstered and tied down when they call 'Pull' or do they use an extended shoulder stock?
 

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Old_Diabetic_100 said:
rkittine said:
We have guys shooting skeet at our club with 45 Long Colt Pistols and shot shells or .410 Contenders, so why not a SxS Flint Lock?
So what's the technique they use? Do they start with their 45 Colts holstered and tied down when they call 'Pull' or do they use an extended shoulder stock?
Putting a shoulder stock on a pistol makes it a "short barreled rifle", which is a NFA Class II weapon in the U.S. The same background checks, taxes, and waiting periods you undergo in order to own a machine gun apply. Posses one illegally and it's a prison sentence in a federal prison.
 

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I attend a large muzzle loading shotgun shoot up in Electra Texas every year. They shoot trap, skeet, and sporting clays.
The format is a little different than modern skeet. They don't have squads. Each shooter just loads off the field and when he's loaded goes to the next station he needs to shoot. The referee might have over a dozen score sheets in front of him, each one a single shooter and the shooters are in different stages of completion. That's why the shooters wear numbers on their vests.
Also, they shoot all the singles first, and then come back to shoot the doubles and lastly, the option bird.
 

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Shot black powder and a Judge handgun in 410 but never muzzleloader or flintolock.

The Judge was a hoot.....high 2 was a *****.
 
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