If you’ve ever felt the need to engage in a fun, relaxing hobby that is an excellent stress reducer, a great way to do this is with single shot black powder shotguns. These firearms require a high degree of patience, and using one can be almost meditative as you stalk your game.
What Is a Black Powder Gun?
A black powder gun is also known as a muzzleloader. It’s very similar to the guns used in the Revolutionary War, in that you manually load powder, wad, shot, and primer. Another way to look at it is that every load is custom built, by you, directly into the barrel.
A good ratio to begin with is fifty/fifty, so equal weights powder and shot. More powder will open the pattern and can mimic the effect of less choke. Using less powder than shot will do the opposite and tighten the pattern. From these basics, and with some experimentation, you can teach yourself a lot about how a shotgun works.
Benefits of a Muzzleloader
One of the greatest advantages is the versatility, as the shooter can choose the type of load. When shooting a standard shotgun, there are constraints on the types of loads used and which are the most effective. A black powder shotgun, on the other hand, allows you to choose based on what you’re hunting, though it may take some practice to discover what works best.
When loaded a certain way, the muzzleloader can achieve a fourteen-inch pattern at 45 yards; an impressive feat no matter the shotgun. Different combinations of powder, shot, and choke work for hunting different game, all with the one shotgun.
Because these shotguns don’t offer multiple chances to hit your target, you have to actually take your time to ensure you’ve got a viable shot. No spraying and praying, as the saying goes, but true skill is needed.