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8 bore percussion woes - revisited!!
First, I have no experience of 8 bores.   Or anything quite that big.   But as an observation it may have similar characteristics to a large bore rifle.  The experience of likely excessive fouling with a lighter load suggests to me an inefficient burn of the main charge.    The result of a short powder column spread over too wide a diameter.  With a slower burning powder.   And limited resistance from the projectile in a smoothbore.    I suspect a faster powder may help some.   As the column cannot be made narrower it may be there is no perfect solution other than the larger charge.
I wish you luck.
Thanks for your thoughts B P Pete, what you say makes a lot of sense. I will try the gun with big loads only and see what happens, taking care not to compress the powder as Feltwad suggests. At the end of the day, it's probably too much to expect of a big bore fowling gun to perform with light loads, they were not designed for it and probably not designed to fire 40-50 shots at clay pigeons in one session either!! If it goes well, I will respect those thoughts and keep it for big-bore comps and geese only.
You might try making a couple of Nipple Prickers with a loop for handling.Insert The Pricker through the Nipple into the Chamber prior and during  loading this should give a clear path for the ignition.Top Hat military Caps usualy do the trick.attatch the Prickers to the Gun on a cord.
Thanks Mainspring, I was thinking along those lines but only every 5 shots or so. But maybe every time will ensure a clear path. I do use musket caps which always go off ok.

Light loads and the number of shots should  not make any difference.I have shot big bore guns for many decades  and misfires are  few . Enclosed is a image of  one of my 4 bore  fowlers  which at game fairs will fire 100+ shot with no misfires.

[Image: 4%20bore_zpsfgahldle.jpg]
Feltwad, for those of us with far less muzzle loading experience than yourself, would you kindly explain fully how you go about achieving:-
100+ shot reliability with variable loads of any old powder with complete combustion and no fouling and no inbetween shot maintenance all from a big bore fowling gun.
Nice picture by the way.

I have already explained the loading  proceedure  which should be trouble free, when it continues it is not the loading it most likely  is the  hammer to nipple  contact or even the lock mechanism.
Has for 100+ shots with out a misfire is the same loading has I have descibed ,a coked shotgun always shoots better , if wads become difficult to ram home then use a greased felt wad but  a bit of spittle in the bore will do just the same.I use home made card  from 1/8 and 1/16  card bought card and felt are too hard and are for cartridge loading and not muzzle loading
I use bores from 4   to small bores using the same procedure and misfire are rare
So, the National ML Clay Pigeon championships were held at Stoke Orchard, Gloucestershire yesterday. Great venue and hosts, the weather was a bit grim at times due to the rain though. Pleased to report that the 8 bore behaved itself throughout the big bore comp, even with the damp conditions, and won me the trophy, happy days!! Big loads, felt wads and half cock loading seem to suit this gun. 
Congratulatios on winning the trophy,so your gun worked ok with your  load described which is the same has you described before .If it was ok this time it should be ok all the time ,so it is not the gun it is you I have too say.
There was a difference, this time I only used the gun with big loads from the start, not small then large. So the human factor is not the issue here methinks...

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