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Author Topic: Smoke Poles  (Read 298 times)

Offline BoBallistic

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Smoke Poles
« on: July 27, 2019, 08:03:38 PM »
It is getting closer and closer to the "Muzzle Loader" or "Primitive Weapons" season and my process is to take the smoke pole to the range maybe four or five times and shot it twice each visit. I will also pop a cap before shooting the first load down range? The first shot generally hits in the bulls eye circle and the second shot hits within an 1" to 1.5" from the first shot....after shooting it twice will bring it home and clean it and make any scope adjustment that maybe needed.

When I get down to GA on that day will fire two caps in it and then will load it with powder, sabot, bullet, will not put a cap in the muzzle loader till the next morning (or the morning that I have the first hunt on) but once I get setting into the ladder stand or blind, only then will I load a primer in!! I will try and keep the primers dry in a self sealing small bag with a drying agent inside the bag with the primers....and will keep a very low heat source within the camper to ensure that the primers are dry and fire as they had intended to...

This is my process would like to hear from others about there's.......

Having stated my process above, for as many years as I have been shooting smoke poles, I always loaded up 20 to 25 loads of the same amount of powder for each shot, sometimes the second shot is on top of the first and sometimes it is 2 maybe 3 inches from the first shot....does this mean that I need to load a different amount of powder for the second shot or do I load up more or less than the first shot? just wondering if I was crazy in thinking this way or not....say I load up 77.7 gns of triple 7 for the first shot and 78.7 or 76.7 gns of powder.....just wondering, have not tried it yet, but was just wondering......

 
« Last Edit: July 27, 2019, 08:21:11 PM by BoBallistic »
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Smoke Poles
« on: July 27, 2019, 08:03:38 PM »
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Online Madgomer

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Re: Smoke Poles
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2019, 09:30:57 PM »
Some great thoughts there Bo.

I have only one smokepole, my old Knight Disc .50 from the mid 90's.  It took me a number of years of experimentation to find a really consistent load, but I've got one now.  My routine is to set up and shoot it in late Oct/Early Nov from the back deck, at my 100 and/or 150 yard backstops.  Now that I have a load and scope I'm confident in, I'll generally only shoot 2-6 shots.  I can usually have at least 2 of 3 touching at 100 yds, and the other within an inch.  It opens up accordingly at 150, but I'm still confident that I can take that shot if needed (heart shot a doe last winter at 140 yards.)  Years earlier when I was still chasing the right load and having scope problems, I'd shoot a lot more and still not feel that great when I got done - the only saving grace was that I rarely shoot a deer beyond 50 yards and most are within 30.  That one I took last year at 140 was my longest attempted shot at a deer by a significant margin.

After the target shooting the gun gets a thorough cleaning - bore, breech plug, and bolt is broken down too in order to clear the fouling out of the firing pin bore.  Run a lightly oiled patch through the bore, then swab that out with a couple of dry patches, and back in the safe until season.  Night before the hunt, I'll fire a primer to ensure the breech plug is clear, and then drop a load (120 grains of 777, and then a Harvester sabot and a Speer Gold Curl at 250 grains).  No primer added until I get on the stand the next morning.  I keep my primers (in the DISC holders) in a couple of little plastic film canisters in my pocket, along with 4-5 extra loads in plastic speed loader tubes.  Haven't ever needed the extras, but don't want to be in HM's turkey hunting situation and have to go run down a deer and beat it with a stick!  I'll remove the primer and keep the pellets/bullet in there for weeks at a time until I either get a shot or season ends.  It gets pushed out and another thorough cleaning in January if I haven't already pulled the trigger on it.  I keep the ramrod in the bore if I put the gun back in the safe with a load in it (no primer of course).  Surprisingly, even in the goofy state of Illinois we're allowed to transport it that way.

As for adjusting the loads for second & subsequent shots - I don't have a need for that now since I can drop them on top of each other.  Might want to use your chrony and take some velocity data at the range to see if those second & third shots are consistently losing speed due to fouling or whatever?  Perhaps you just need to find that magic load yet for your smokepole?

When I switched to the Harvester sabots and the Speer bullets a couple of years ago I had to make a minor scope tweak but I didn't re-check my velocities - really should do that to get a feel for what the trajectory is if I had to make a really long shot for some reason.  I have a couple of friends who switched years ago to the BH209 powder and they just rave about how little fouling it leaves behind and how consistent it shoots - I want to try it but given that I have a really good recipe now, that hasn't made it to the top of my priority list yet.  I'm still lazy and using pellets, but just don't have much incentive to change given the consistency I've been getting with this setup in recent years.

I am getting the itch though to go old school - thinking about buying a Kentucky or Hawken kit and building one up for patched ball/open sight shooting.  I doubt I'll ever set aside my in-line as my primary deer gun, but it would be fun to build one and then go out & take a deer or two with it.  Just saw the latest Midway flyer today and that got me thinking about it again.
One of God's greatest gifts to us is
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and enjoy it!

Offline BoBallistic

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Re: Smoke Poles
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2019, 05:43:58 AM »
Madgomer - Thanks for the post....I remember those Knight Disc rifles and sometimes wished that I had gotten one...but ended up getting an TC Omega (can you believe that was 20 years ago!!) and it shot very good, matter of fact, it was my go to smoke pole for many years.

Like you I went through "Dixie Shooting Supplies" to get a Hawkins kits to build. It is a 45 Caliber that hangs across the fireplace today, that was way back in the early to mid 70's and got an another Kit back around 2000 and built a 50 caliber kit, it's twin brother (for a Colorado Elk Hunt, you had to have a 50 Caliber to be legal). Still have that one too...Also cannot remember how I got the Patriot Pistol Kit in 45 caliber and built it almost at the same time as I did the 45 Caliber Hawkins Rifle...boy did I shot a lot of deer with that old smoke pole!! Use the old Buffalo Bullets with the lube....

Then in 2000 I had a misfire/dry-fire on a huge old bull Elk at 32 yards!! it never misfired at the range! What I am talking about is that the primer went off but the powder never did!! I was very upset and pissed....so the following year I won a gun auction and picked out one or the first Remington 700ML inline muzzle loaders put a 209 kit in it a few years later (after going back after Elk in Colorado for the next few years, but never got an Elk with a muzzle loader) S/N 103 on the Remington. So a few years later bought the second wife a Remington 700ML and put a 209 primer kit in it....Next came the TC Omega, then the Savage ML10 II and about 5 years ago purchased a CVA Accura II with the Bergara Barrel on it. Put a Bushnell DOA (with BDC reticule) 3-9X scope on it and never looked back....My favorite bullet is the 290 gn Barnes Spit Fire with Sabots using 90 gns of Blackhorn 209 powder with a CCI-209 primer.....

I must admit that I never shot a deer over 75 yards with my smoke pole, not even close to the 140 yard heart shot!! Good shot!! I still think folks out to sight in the smoke pole at 100 yards and then go out to 150 and 200 yards....that is what I do with mine, knowing that it will drop 12.5" inches at 200 yards....

You cannot beat those 35mm black film canisters can you...I know I use to keep my primer and dry pack in those all the time....love you routine....I used to chronograph my smoke pole loads using the Oehler 35P but lately I have not, but that is a good idea to check the loads, but it seems like when I switch to a 290 and 300 gn bullets, the groups tighten up a bit no generally no more than 1.5" group....but was just wondering about the accuracy question, since with my centerfires, if the rifle doesn't shoot a 1/2" group at 100 yards it doesn't go hunting with me....it stays in the gun safe!!

The key is to continually experiment with new loads and bullets, two years ago I purchased some 275 Gn Parker bullets which suppose to be very accurate and has a center fire rifle like BC....and have been using them for the last few years....to the same degree of accuracy that I get from the T/C bullets I get at Walmart and the Barnes 290 Gn I get from Midway....the Blackhorn 209 Powder is more efficient/consistent than the other powders and the rifle does kick with I use 88 Gns of it in the Smoke Poles....

Thanks for the post and the comments..... 

 

     
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Online Madgomer

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Re: Smoke Poles
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2019, 07:17:01 AM »
That higher energy content in BH209 is something I'm going to need to be careful with.  I've been shooting 120-150 grains of 777 or Pyrodex for so long I will need to retrain my little brain to back off appropriately when I do try it.
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Online dave 1211

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Re: Smoke Poles
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2019, 09:33:24 AM »
lots of time the first shot will be a little off from the next ones as the barrel need a little burn powder in it to shoot right on. have several pops from the old side lock cap going off and no boom from the powder
time for food plots deer season is coming 10/1/20




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Offline BLUETOE

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Re: Smoke Poles
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2019, 09:14:17 AM »
Well Bo I always pop a cap the night before and load my ML 100 grs 777 and a 300gr Barnes Expander.  I leave it loaded no primer until I get a shot or until the season ends unless I am hunting in the rain then I push the load out and reload. I sight mine in at 100 yds just like my center fires and my slug gun. i keep my extra loads in speed loader tubes and my 209 primers in rubber primer holder all of that is in a ziplock bag just in case of rain. Oh my ML is a Remington Genesis 50 cal that i really like but if I had gotten a chance i would have gotten the Model 700ML and I may still get me one!! As far as the second and third shots I always check my zero a month or two before season and I load the exact same load the same way every time and I haven't noticed any being way off that being said even when I am on stand I run a spit patch down the barrel after each shot. That is just a patch that I wet down with my spit to clean the barrel some to make reloading easier. You get to three or four shots and it is hard to load but if you run a patch it is easier. Now if there are deer still standing around after number on I don't patch I load!! I do like the ram rod in the barrel there is a load in the gun I will be using that one for sure.
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: Smoke Poles
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2019, 06:24:01 AM »
Blue - Sounds like my routine, almost....thanks a lot....
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Offline BoBallistic

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Re: Smoke Poles
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2019, 06:28:14 AM »
Next week's Range Results will include some of the Smoke Poles as well......This was at Billy's request and I was thinking of bringing out this week, but will for sure do it next week...after cleaning the rifles of yesterday range results (8-1-19) and adjusting some of the scope a bit, will focus on the Smoke Poles for next week.....

For some reason had to remove the scope on the CVA so I will take it to the range and it is bore sited so I will start shooting it at 50 yards and go to 100 yards...And also the T/C Omega both are 50 caliber and may take the Savage with me as well, not sure just yet....next week's is a long way off.....
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Share Your Knowledge

 

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