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Smallest ML Rifle Caliber I use.

whats the smallest caliber you'd use for hunting? if your goal is conversation of resources, it makes no sense to put 400-700 grains into a single projectile


.32 caliber flintlock with double set triggers. Can digest round ball & conicals. Less expensive to use than a .22RF, & harder hitting. Small to medium sized game.
I think the smallest gauge smoothbore commonly used was 25 gauge.
Keith.
 

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My pocket garden gun, for years, was a Remington replica in .31. And, for the same reasons as your flintlock, it has continued to have a place in my battery. One of the collectors at the Tulsa Wannamacher gun show had several 32 gauge (not caliber, 32 balls to the pound) smoothbores. They were apparently used in the German ports for rat control.
 

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.32 caliber flintlock with double set triggers. Can digest round ball & conicals. Less expensive to use than a .22RF, & harder hitting. Small to medium sized game.
I think the smallest gauge smoothbore commonly used was 25 gauge.
Keith.
That's practically a big bore in Appalachia! I have a 25 caliber flintlock that I use on squirrels and such. It uses 25 grains of powder and a .245 caliber ball, which if I remember correctly weighs 17 grains.

It seems that in some parts of my area sub 30 caliber guns were not uncommon. Time period dependent, of course.
 

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That method is way beyond normal stupidity.

It would only work with very loose fitting balls, and putting lead in your mouth is idiotic.
And I guess you never hunt game with a shotgun?
Lead pellets pass through your entire digestive tract just fine.
Holding a musket ball for a few seconds in your mouth is not the end of the world
The exercise was to prove that this was a viable practice in warfare
 

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And I guess you never hunt game with a shotgun?
Lead pellets pass through your entire digestive tract just fine.
Holding a musket ball for a few seconds in your mouth is not the end of the world
The exercise was to prove that this was a viable practice in warfare
I would not advise that sort of tactic or weapon in today's warfare, as one will not live long enough to get that many shots off.

The key phrase from above quote = " was a viable practice in warfare.

Historically obsolete for this endeavor via centuries up till nowadays. ( Compare this to what a British Infantry rifle squad could accomplish using Lee Enfield rifles prior to and during WW1.)

2 personal examples :

1. Of the 250 soldiers trained in a unit sponsored SDM course, any one of them could engage std pop up targets out to and surpassing 600m with rifles like the M14 and iron sights. ( They had to iot pass my course)

2. Have used my " all bone stock " Romanian AKM ( WASR10/63) , iron sights, and cheap 7.62x39mm metal cased FMJ / JSP to consistently hit targets ( Ivans) out to 300m. JSP in particular ( MFS 125gr JSP) has proven to be lethal vs feral pigs / deer/ coydogs at this distance and then some.

The point: Give me a well disciplined muzzle gun shooter, and I can increase his effective range and decrease his time between engaging multiple targets with a Lee Enfield , M14, or an AK. ( The 3 examples of modern rifles mentioned above.)

Shotguns and hunting :
Lead poisoning ain't the problem. If you miss one piece of shot while dressing out game it is very unpleasant to find it with your teeth when it's dinner time. Fairly simple to locate a 22lr slug....if it didn't pass thru to begin with.

Took this rabbit with rifle lying next to it in pic below using ammo shown in other pic. Distance was well out of shotgun, rimfire, PCC, or muzzle gun range under the less than optimum conditions when one 168gr OTM was sent. ( This time of year and this specific area = the only animal seen that day with 0 chance of utilizing great white hunter skills to get any closer before they go to ground. 0 chance of finding any lead afterwards either.

One note concerning ammunition: Primers and bullets sealed from factory. This ammo has proven to work reliably every time and even after being submerged in sea water for days , or frozen solid .

11B
 

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Six pages of information which may or not be correct.

Smooth bores are volley firearms. They were designed to reload 3 times in 5 minutes (British requirement).

No we did not send the British running with smooth bores. We use small caliber rifled barreled flintlocks. Just like the one I built.

If you are talking smooth bore, leave caplocks out of the thread. Caps were not used until 30 years after the end of smooth bores in the military.

The reason cap locks suck, is because the air between the cap and powder compresses, and can snuff the fire out. A modern invention called the vented nipple stopped that.

If you are thinking about a third world built non historical production gun.
You dont have a good firearm. They are mass produced and many have problems.

I went to Union City TN to the Dixie Gun Works store and museum, just to buy a Pedersoli 1803 Harper's Ferry. If fired 8 times and the frizzen broke. They dont make spare parts for ANY of their firearms. So 10 months later Dixie made me one. When I took it to a lock smith he told be the frizzen spring should be under 15lbs, That one was 322lbs.

I do 10 or so rondys a year. I shoot about 35 to 100 rounds a rondy. Depending if some one in our groups production guns fails and we piggie back mine. Ive had 2 other shooters and me using mine, several times.

What separates mine from the production guns? my lock and barrel cost more than most of them. I bought $800 worth of parts, and built it over 5 months.

"Oh I cant build one". Then the Americans that came before you without running water or electric lights did it to stay alive.
I did not build a fancy wall hanger, I made what is called a barn gun, or working gun, or filed gun. Nothing fancy about it except it made from he best parts money can buy.

All them fancy modern bullets are no better than a round ball. My 45 cal, 180gr patched round ball does 1630fps with a target load, and 2066fps with a hunting load.
It is as good as a 30-30, and shoots 50 yards further.

Calibers: The smaller the more accurate, the bigger the more kinetic energy dump.
In this state 40 cal is as small as you can hunt with. I went with 45 because the rifling is easier to load. The 32-36 hard to load, but make great small game shooters.

50 cal is the all around caliber. in the middle, can use 2f or 3f.
Anything bigger are fun, but you dont need it.

I can go on forever. We need to talk about loads. People waste powder thinking they are getting more power. Each caliber and barrel length have a maximum and accurate load.
You will need to know the Davenport Formula to find out what yours is.
My 42 inch swamped barrel shoots at max 74.5gr of 3F. Any more and it goes out the barrel before it ignites.

If your new, dont go for the cheap cap gun. It will be your first gun, but a flintlock will be your last. I used cap guns from the 70s thru the 90s. Then some one let me shoot a custom flinter. I Went right out and got the above Harper's Ferry. What a waste of money.

Locks: There are several lock makers today. I have met most of them. If you want a Lewis & Clark 1892 or a Harper's Ferry. Jess Malot @ the rifle shoppe is who you want to talk to.(If he is still alive). His stuff is all hand made the way it was.
Then you have Jim Chambers (what I have) or a Rice lock. My lock was by Chambers , and tuned by Mr Rice Sr. (RiP).
The late Ketland is still the fastest lock time lock ever made. I built the rifle around it.
Chambers lock have to be returned to Jim for repair. Rice locks you can get the parts from a number of muzzle loading supply places on the net.

Where to get the stuff:

Jim Chambers flintlocks is on line. He kits are true historically. Also dang pretty.

Since I wanted something he did not have. I went to Muzzle loader Supply also online. The ladies there really know their stuff. Do not order from their web site. CALL them. They offer way more in on the phone. My Sheetz rifle has been retired, but you and I can still get all the parts, its just not on the site.

You can pick and choose what you want. When I built my Sheetz Virginia rifle.
I did mass research. Found that not Sheetz or his sons, but an unknown gun smith did make working man guns, at The Sheetz armory. My ramrod tubes come from a much older rev war rifle. I like the look.
When I told them I wanted them, they said "If any one notices just tell them they were off your grand fathers rifle. Well its been 15 years and no one has ever asked.

This is the tip of the iceberg. We need to have separate threads for each subject, not hodge podge like this one is.
 

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Excellent Post, Thank You.

Six pages of information which may or not be correct.

Smooth bores are volley firearms. They were designed to reload 3 times in 5 minutes (British requirement).

No we did not send the British running with smooth bores. We use small caliber rifled barreled flintlocks. Just like the one I built.

If you are talking smooth bore, leave caplocks out of the thread. Caps were not used until 30 years after the end of smooth bores in the military.

The reason cap locks suck, is because the air between the cap and powder compresses, and can snuff the fire out. A modern invention called the vented nipple stopped that.

If you are thinking about a third world built non historical production gun.
You dont have a good firearm. They are mass produced and many have problems.

I went to Union City TN to the Dixie Gun Works store and museum, just to buy a Pedersoli 1803 Harper's Ferry. If fired 8 times and the frizzen broke. They dont make spare parts for ANY of their firearms. So 10 months later Dixie made me one. When I took it to a lock smith he told be the frizzen spring should be under 15lbs, That one was 322lbs.

I do 10 or so rondys a year. I shoot about 35 to 100 rounds a rondy. Depending if some one in our groups production guns fails and we piggie back mine. Ive had 2 other shooters and me using mine, several times.

What separates mine from the production guns? my lock and barrel cost more than most of them. I bought $800 worth of parts, and built it over 5 months.

"Oh I cant build one". Then the Americans that came before you without running water or electric lights did it to stay alive.
I did not build a fancy wall hanger, I made what is called a barn gun, or working gun, or filed gun. Nothing fancy about it except it made from he best parts money can buy.

All them fancy modern bullets are no better than a round ball. My 45 cal, 180gr patched round ball does 1630fps with a target load, and 2066fps with a hunting load.
It is as good as a 30-30, and shoots 50 yards further.

Calibers: The smaller the more accurate, the bigger the more kinetic energy dump.
In this state 40 cal is as small as you can hunt with. I went with 45 because the rifling is easier to load. The 32-36 hard to load, but make great small game shooters.

50 cal is the all around caliber. in the middle, can use 2f or 3f.
Anything bigger are fun, but you dont need it.

I can go on forever. We need to talk about loads. People waste powder thinking they are getting more power. Each caliber and barrel length have a maximum and accurate load.
You will need to know the Davenport Formula to find out what yours is.
My 42 inch swamped barrel shoots at max 74.5gr of 3F. Any more and it goes out the barrel before it ignites.

If your new, dont go for the cheap cap gun. It will be your first gun, but a flintlock will be your last. I used cap guns from the 70s thru the 90s. Then some one let me shoot a custom flinter. I Went right out and got the above Harper's Ferry. What a waste of money.

Locks: There are several lock makers today. I have met most of them. If you want a Lewis & Clark 1892 or a Harper's Ferry. Jess Malot @ the rifle shoppe is who you want to talk to.(If he is still alive). His stuff is all hand made the way it was.
Then you have Jim Chambers (what I have) or a Rice lock. My lock was by Chambers , and tuned by Mr Rice Sr. (RiP).
The late Ketland is still the fastest lock time lock ever made. I built the rifle around it.
Chambers lock have to be returned to Jim for repair. Rice locks you can get the parts from a number of muzzle loading supply places on the net.

Where to get the stuff:

Jim Chambers flintlocks is on line. He kits are true historically. Also dang pretty.

Since I wanted something he did not have. I went to Muzzle loader Supply also online. The ladies there really know their stuff. Do not order from their web site. CALL them. They offer way more in on the phone. My Sheetz rifle has been retired, but you and I can still get all the parts, its just not on the site.

You can pick and choose what you want. When I built my Sheetz Virginia rifle.
I did mass research. Found that not Sheetz or his sons, but an unknown gun smith did make working man guns, at The Sheetz armory. My ramrod tubes come from a much older rev war rifle. I like the look.
When I told them I wanted them, they said "If any one notices just tell them they were off your grand fathers rifle. Well its been 15 years and no one has ever asked.

This is the tip of the iceberg. We need to have separate threads for each subject, not hodge podge like this one is.
Excellent post, thank you. Spot on :) :thumb:
Regards, Keith.
 

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Six pages of information which may or not be correct.

Smooth bores are volley firearms. They were designed to reload 3 times in 5 minutes (British requirement).

No we did not send the British running with smooth bores. We use small caliber rifled barreled flintlocks. Just like the one I built.

If you are talking smooth bore, leave caplocks out of the thread. Caps were not used until 30 years after the end of smooth bores in the military.

The reason cap locks suck, is because the air between the cap and powder compresses, and can snuff the fire out. A modern invention called the vented nipple stopped that.

If you are thinking about a third world built non historical production gun.
You dont have a good firearm. They are mass produced and many have problems.

I went to Union City TN to the Dixie Gun Works store and museum, just to buy a Pedersoli 1803 Harper's Ferry. If fired 8 times and the frizzen broke. They dont make spare parts for ANY of their firearms. So 10 months later Dixie made me one. When I took it to a lock smith he told be the frizzen spring should be under 15lbs, That one was 322lbs.

I do 10 or so rondys a year. I shoot about 35 to 100 rounds a rondy. Depending if some one in our groups production guns fails and we piggie back mine. Ive had 2 other shooters and me using mine, several times.

What separates mine from the production guns? my lock and barrel cost more than most of them. I bought $800 worth of parts, and built it over 5 months.

"Oh I cant build one". Then the Americans that came before you without running water or electric lights did it to stay alive.
I did not build a fancy wall hanger, I made what is called a barn gun, or working gun, or filed gun. Nothing fancy about it except it made from he best parts money can buy.

All them fancy modern bullets are no better than a round ball. My 45 cal, 180gr patched round ball does 1630fps with a target load, and 2066fps with a hunting load.
It is as good as a 30-30, and shoots 50 yards further.

Calibers: The smaller the more accurate, the bigger the more kinetic energy dump.
In this state 40 cal is as small as you can hunt with. I went with 45 because the rifling is easier to load. The 32-36 hard to load, but make great small game shooters.

50 cal is the all around caliber. in the middle, can use 2f or 3f.
Anything bigger are fun, but you dont need it.

I can go on forever. We need to talk about loads. People waste powder thinking they are getting more power. Each caliber and barrel length have a maximum and accurate load.
You will need to know the Davenport Formula to find out what yours is.
My 42 inch swamped barrel shoots at max 74.5gr of 3F. Any more and it goes out the barrel before it ignites.

If your new, dont go for the cheap cap gun. It will be your first gun, but a flintlock will be your last. I used cap guns from the 70s thru the 90s. Then some one let me shoot a custom flinter. I Went right out and got the above Harper's Ferry. What a waste of money.

Locks: There are several lock makers today. I have met most of them. If you want a Lewis & Clark 1892 or a Harper's Ferry. Jess Malot @ the rifle shoppe is who you want to talk to.(If he is still alive). His stuff is all hand made the way it was.
Then you have Jim Chambers (what I have) or a Rice lock. My lock was by Chambers , and tuned by Mr Rice Sr. (RiP).
The late Ketland is still the fastest lock time lock ever made. I built the rifle around it.
Chambers lock have to be returned to Jim for repair. Rice locks you can get the parts from a number of muzzle loading supply places on the net.

Where to get the stuff:

Jim Chambers flintlocks is on line. He kits are true historically. Also dang pretty.

Since I wanted something he did not have. I went to Muzzle loader Supply also online. The ladies there really know their stuff. Do not order from their web site. CALL them. They offer way more in on the phone. My Sheetz rifle has been retired, but you and I can still get all the parts, its just not on the site.

You can pick and choose what you want. When I built my Sheetz Virginia rifle.
I did mass research. Found that not Sheetz or his sons, but an unknown gun smith did make working man guns, at The Sheetz armory. My ramrod tubes come from a much older rev war rifle. I like the look.
When I told them I wanted them, they said "If any one notices just tell them they were off your grand fathers rifle. Well its been 15 years and no one has ever asked.

This is the tip of the iceberg. We need to have separate threads for each subject, not hodge podge like this one is.
This thread is in regards to a practical effective range while while using an ancient weapon as a hunting tool for survival because of a logistics failure concerning modern weapon ammunition. ...( oops.....we didn't stock enough and / or it was all stolen because we stashed all of it in one location........) which = some such nonsense.

You are quite correct about some of the information here as it may or may not be correct. Stating that modern bullets are no better than a 45cal ball is so incorrect that it is funny. I would assume that your joking, but.......

Lets take your figures as gospel ( for the sake of argument) , and push your 45cal ball hunting projectile at 2066 fps from the muzzle. A bit of a stretch, but it wont matter much compared to a modern projectile regardless.

That projectile will have a static G1 ballistic coefficient of .185......but lets stretch it to a flat .200 just for giggles.

Using a 6 inch kill zone, you end up with a maximum point blank range of 175 yards.

My AK pistol utilizing cheap metal cased 125gr JSP in 7.62x39mm will do better than that, but this is about " fancy" apparently, so lets use something more on the modern end. 308 perhaps?

Anywhoos.......throw in a full value 10mph breeze and that 45 caliber projectile gets push by as little as 10 inches when it gets to that 175yard MPBR.
So much for MPBR huh?

Wanna take a guess at what it does out at 400 yards? With a 100 yard zero, it drops to over 7 feet. To hell with that....Lets utilize modern fancy equipment to get it on paper at 400 yards. Then all that is needed is to compensate for that pesky full value 10mph breeze that pushes our 45cal ball off target by over 4 feet.

Should I print the numbers my 308 chambered rifle can produce, or skip right to actual achievements utilizing a middle of the road cartridge, but also the most popular hunting cartridge in America for around the last 3 years or so?

In skipping ahead, but can produce them if asked. ...

All critters below taken at distances exceeding 400 yards using a rifle I built ( documented round count well over 30k when these critters were all shot), and can use several different 168gr loads to get it done with. Plain old M852 , reloads, or fancy 168gr TTSX.

Tip of the iceberg indeed.








11B
 

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(1)
This thread is in regards to a practical effective range while while using an ancient weapon as a hunting tool for survival
(2)
You are quite correct about some of the information here as it may or may not be correct. Stating that modern bullets are no better than a 45cal ball is so incorrect that it is funny. I would assume that your joking, but.......
(3)
45cal ball hunting projectile at 2066 fps from the muzzle. A bit of a stretch,
(4)
Using a 6 inch kill zone, you end up with a maximum point blank range of 175 yards.
11B
(1)
Missed the range part, sorry. I thought this was last ditch effort survival.
(2)
Firing modern muzzle loading bullets in a muzzle loader. Not smokeless ones.
(3)
Got some money to bet? I have chrony pictures and video to show it.
I have a specialized hand built rifle with the finest makings and have professed those procedures on muzzle loading forums. I use standard 3F Goex powder, hand made Lee mold round ball (with the spue sanded off)
several different patch materials.

Like I said, the key is the Davenport Formula. Find your max load and your accurate load.
(4)
You are correct. One of my favorite targets at rondy is a 1 inch square piece of steel that is 2 feet long at 150 yards. I can hit it 7 out of 10 times with my old eyes. Never have bothered to shoot further than that. Now Im gonna have to go out and hit the dang 200 yard gong. Which I considered way out of range before. (still do)
 

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Missing the point.

This thread is in regards to a practical effective range while while using an ancient weapon as a hunting tool for survival because of a logistics failure concerning modern weapon ammunition. ...( oops.....we didn't stock enough and / or it was all stolen because we stashed all of it in one location........) which = some such nonsense.

You are quite correct about some of the information here as it may or may not be correct. Stating that modern bullets are no better than a 45cal ball is so incorrect that it is funny. I would assume that your joking, but.......

Lets take your figures as gospel ( for the sake of argument) , and push your 45cal ball hunting projectile at 2066 fps from the muzzle. A bit of a stretch, but it wont matter much compared to a modern projectile regardless.

That projectile will have a static G1 ballistic coefficient of .185......but lets stretch it to a flat .200 just for giggles.

Using a 6 inch kill zone, you end up with a maximum point blank range of 175 yards.

My AK pistol utilizing cheap metal cased 125gr JSP in 7.62x39mm will do better than that, but this is about " fancy" apparently, so lets use something more on the modern end. 308 perhaps?

Anywhoos.......throw in a full value 10mph breeze and that 45 caliber projectile gets push by as little as 10 inches when it gets to that 175yard MPBR.
So much for MPBR huh?

Wanna take a guess at what it does out at 400 yards? With a 100 yard zero, it drops to over 7 feet. To hell with that....Lets utilize modern fancy equipment to get it on paper at 400 yards. Then all that is needed is to compensate for that pesky full value 10mph breeze that pushes our 45cal ball off target by over 4 feet.

Should I print the numbers my 308 chambered rifle can produce, or skip right to actual achievements utilizing a middle of the road cartridge, but also the most popular hunting cartridge in America for around the last 3 years or so?

In skipping ahead, but can produce them if asked. ...

All critters below taken at distances exceeding 400 yards using a rifle I built ( documented round count well over 30k when these critters were all shot), and can use several different 168gr loads to get it done with. Plain old M852 , reloads, or fancy 168gr TTSX.

Tip of the iceberg indeed.








11B
I think you are missing the point, the point is that a bow or a muzzle-loading gun is just as efficient at killing game as a modern rifle providing it is is experienced hands. You may shoot game at 400 yards, but I can get close enough to actually touch wild game, so I tend to hunt from point blank to 25 yards with my smoothbore fusil.
Now if you say that a modern rifle or shotgun is better in a firefight, I will agree with you, & if I were travelling in company, then I would certainly be taking my modern arms along with me, but if I am travelling alone, & can only carry one firearm, then I choose to carry my smoothbore fusil.

With respect & regards, Keith.
 

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Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.

Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.
1) Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent caliber firearm.
2) The smoothbore is very versatile, being able to digest round ball, bird shot, & buckshot, or any combination of two of these (can also use minies/conical slugs).
3) The fusil is lighter to carry than a modern equivalent sized gun.
4) You can vary the load if needs be.
5) The smoothbore will digest other projectiles besides lead.
6) Lead can be retrieved from downed game & remoulded with a simple mould & lead ladle. This means that you can carry less lead, & more of the lighter gunpowder.
7) You can make your own gunpowder.
8) You can use the lock to make fire without using gunpowder.
9) You can use gunpowder for gunpowder tinder fire lighting if needs be.
10) IF the lock should malfunction (these are very robust & it is not likely) you can easily repair it if you are carrying a few spare springs & a few simple tools.
11) If you do not have any spare parts & the lock malfunctions, you can easily convert it to a tinderlock or matchlock & continue using it.
12) You do not need a reloader, brass shells, caps, or primers. The latter have been known to break down in damp conditions or if they are stored for too long.
13) Wadding for ball or shot is available from natural plant materials or homemade leather or rawhide.
14) Less chance of being affected by future ammunition control legislation.
15) Gunpowder is easily obtainable providing you have a muzzle-loader registered in your name regardless of caliber (NSW).
16) A .32 caliber flintlock rifle is more powerful than a .22 rimfire, less expensive to feed, more accurate over a greater distance, able to take small & medium sized game, & other than not being able to use shot (unless it is smoothbore), it has all the attributes of the other flintlocks. For larger game you can load with conical slugs, which of course you can make yourself in the field.
17) Damage from a .62 caliber or .70 caliber pistol or long arm is in the extreme. Wounded prey is unlikely to escape.
18) By using buck & ball you are unlikely to miss your target. This load is capable of taking out more than one target.
19) There is less kick-back to a muzzle-loading gun.
20) Antique Flintlock muzzle-loading guns do not require a license, registration, or a permit to purchase in NSW Australia.
Keith.
 

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I totally forgot, you can make everything you need to operate it.
By the time Ive gone though the 10lbs of 3f I have, a cake press should have already made more (or blown up)

Also forgot the entire tool kit is a Pickering tool, and a spring vise.

Pickering tool




spring vise

 

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Tools & Spare parts I carry in my Knapsack & shot pouch.

I totally forgot, you can make everything you need to operate it.
By the time Ive gone though the 10lbs of 3f I have, a cake press should have already made more (or blown up)

Also forgot the entire tool kit is a Pickering tool, and a spring vise.

Pickering tool




spring vise


In my knapsack.

In my shot pouch.

Swan shot mould (buckshot) carried in the bottom of my knapsack.

.60 caliber ball mould & lead ladle carried in the bottom of my shot pouch.
Keith.
 
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