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Login Name Post: Max kill distance for PRB        (Topic#256550)
GoodCheer 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5990
GoodCheer
04-07-11 02:18 PM - Post#980148    

    In response to airmansteve

Can you imagine the hoorahs and back thumpin' after taking down a red coat rep of the Bank of England at three to four hundred yards? And then everybody else giving it a try because it was obvious it could be done. And they really, really wanted to.

 
airmansteve 
36 Cal.
Posts: 77
airmansteve
04-07-11 08:17 PM - Post#980262    

    In response to Jethro224

Thanks for the link Jethro! Excellent video of the Ferguson too!

I suppose the real, practical motivation behind this thread, for me anyway, is the question of how far a RB will travel and is it lethal when it gets there. This is mainly a concern for me when I am hunting and (god forbid) I miss. there are roads and other hunters to consider. I make sure of my backstop when I hunt, but, stuff sometimes happens. It hasn't happened to me yet and I want to make sure it never does.

I know this bit comes in a little late in the thread, but, I have been thinking that I should make that statement. Mainly to put to rest any notions that I will be attempting 300 yard shots at a white tail just because someone on the forum said it could be done. That and wondering if I really can ring the gong at 400 yards at the gun club! Just for bragging rights! BTW I ran the ballistics calculator and found out that to hit at 400 yards, I have to hold over approximately 64 feet! Still, I'm gonna try it!

 
Capper 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3545
04-07-11 10:19 PM - Post#980327    

    In response to airmansteve

I know I don't have to tell you this, but completely missing the animal should never happen.

We're all more careful than that. Hopefully.
Pete


 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17273
Stumpkiller
04-07-11 11:52 PM - Post#980358    

    In response to Capper

When you talk about a "longest confirmed kill" you have to factor in the "similar failed attempts".

I just read a book by Saxton Pope where he talks of killing animals over 100 yards out with wood longbows. And also his buddy using up a dozen or so arrows emptying his back quiver trying. Not too long ago game management was a bit fast and loose.

Can't help you with elk, but I have killed woodchucks near 200 yards with round balls. It was an unlucky woodchuck when it happened but maybe 1:10 connected. This was back in the 80's and the fellow I hunted with and I both were using iron (adjustable) sighted T/C percussion rifles and tried anything we spotted at 100 yards or better. We had a ball trying to dope the wind and drop and spotting for each other.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
marmotslayer 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4464
04-08-11 12:49 PM - Post#980485    

    In response to Norinco

  • Quote:
Thomas Plunket killed a French general at anywhere between 200-600 yards with a Baker Rifle (granted that is a belted ball). He followed up that shot with another one, showing it wasn't pure luck.



So, he killed the guy twice?

 
zimmerstutzen 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4720
04-08-11 12:55 PM - Post#980491    

    In response to tg

I have one plain original rifle. I have always wondered about the sights being so low and fine that it is hard to aim. Yet that front blade is so thin, that it is no problem sighting on a human at 200 to 300 yards. Some of the factory sights I have seen are thicker than a skate blade.

 
Norinco 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1169
04-08-11 02:11 PM - Post#980518    

    In response to marmotslayer

  • marmotslayer Said:
  • Quote:
Thomas Plunket killed a French general at anywhere between 200-600 yards with a Baker Rifle (granted that is a belted ball). He followed up that shot with another one, showing it wasn't pure luck.



So, he killed the guy twice?



Yeah, it was so far that the round ball simply bounced off of General Colbert, so he had to make a second shot.

 
cgg 
40 Cal.
Posts: 127
cgg
04-08-11 08:05 PM - Post#980620    

    In response to airmansteve

  • airmansteve Said:
I suppose the real, practical motivation behind this thread, for me anyway, is the question of how far a RB will travel and is it lethal when it gets there. This is mainly a concern for me when I am hunting and (god forbid) I miss. there are roads and other hunters to consider. I make sure of my backstop when I hunt, but, stuff sometimes happens. It hasn't happened to me yet and I want to make sure it never does.




I forget the details, but when I ran the ballistic calculator on a .54 round ball at around 17 or 1800 fps I remember that at 300 yds it had roughly the energy of a 230 grn .45 ACP round at the muzzle. I'd say that's pretty lethal.

I have shot a couple different flintlocks to 300 yds and it is hard to hold over enough to be accurate--hitting a man-size target is doable if you are not picky about where you hit it. Hitting targets at 200 is relatively easy from a rest and I am certain that British officers were in real danger if they were within 200 yards or so of enemy riflemen.

BTW While deer hunting I personally would not shoot past 75, or maybe 100 on a perfect broadside target--I want clean kills, not wounded, suffering, lost animals.

Here's an old thread from least year when we had a "Red Coat Shoot" at my local club.

http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fusionbb/showtopic.php?tid...

 
airmansteve 
36 Cal.
Posts: 77
airmansteve
04-09-11 08:42 AM - Post#980771    

    In response to cgg

Nice thread! That looks like it was a fun shoot! nice rifles too.

Up here in Northern Michigan shots ove 50 yards are a rarity. The woods are just too thick. A couple years ago I had one doe come in so close that when she urinated I heard the splash on the ground.
I haven't taken a deer with the ML yet, but this will be the year! Of course, I say that every year...

 
Walks Alone 
45 Cal.
Posts: 923
04-09-11 12:24 PM - Post#980848    

    In response to wattlebuster

  • wattlebuster Said:
Dont Know. I want to see how CLOSE I can kill a deer. If I can powder burn him then I figure thats close enough



A true sportsman and ethical hunter that respects the animal far more than about bragging rights.




 
GBG 
40 Cal.
Posts: 256
04-09-11 05:40 PM - Post#980942    

    In response to Walks Alone

A big RB will kill at long range and the closer you get the better it works. I prefer to hear someone brag "Knocked him flat!"

 
OneGun 
32 Cal.
Posts: 38
OneGun
04-16-11 01:39 AM - Post#983156    

    In response to airmansteve

This seems like a good place for a picture showing how the lowly, 100% lead roundball flattens out and gets really big as it travels through an unlucky animal (or Redcoat). The pictures below are of a 54 cal. ball that I shot into a big stack of telephone books at 40 yards. It turned into an .80 caliber pancake and traveled about 7 inches through that very dense medium. While they may not hold their velocity like a conical, a lead ball does turn into something that looks like a pregnant nickel when it hits flesh, and that makes a very big wound channel. I don't know how much a ball expands after it has traveled 400 yards, but pure lead is so soft that I imagine it still flattens out quite a bit.

 
paulvallandigham 
Passed On
Posts: 17538
paulvallandigham
04-16-11 12:03 PM - Post#983265    

    In response to OneGun

Yep! That's what those balls look like if you can recover them from an animal. This expansion in soft tissue is the main advantage of using a Lead BALL for shooting light boned, and soft-tissued game like deer, over using any bullet- even those made of pure lead, too. The soft tissue of a deer does not slow a bullet down fast enough to cause reliable expansion, and bullets tend to pass completely through a deer.(So do lead balls, for that matter, but they still expand more even at slower velocities).

I watched a Civil War archeology show( History Detectives) on the History Channel this past Week, and they showed a " Musket" ball found with metal detectors on one of the battlefields. It was round- obviously a Miss!, but that was not mentioned. In fact, it showed NO marks of rifling on it- altho there may have been some hidden under all the dirt that covered the ball. I am suspecting this was a ball that was Dropped, and not shot at all. A ball that hits dirt, when fired, at almost any range, will flatten out, too.

 
bdhutier 
45 Cal.
Posts: 696
bdhutier
04-16-11 12:45 PM - Post#983279    

    In response to Norinco

  • Norinco Said:
Thomas Plunket killed a French general at anywhere between 200-600 yards with a Baker Rifle (granted that is a belted ball). He followed up that shot with another one, showing it wasn't pure luck.


General Colbert... I remember the name because of that clueless moron on TV.

 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17273
Stumpkiller
04-16-11 05:05 PM - Post#983358    

    In response to bdhutier

I've only ever recovered one round ball. This is a 0.490" ball that was a 10 yard frontal shot on a deer and I found in beneath the skin on the backside of the hip. About 3 feet of penetration. Expanded all the way up to 0.520". Almost not at all. Load was 85 gr FFg. Note the weave pattern pressed into the lead - cotton is stronger than lead (at least when lubed).

Clipped the arteries off the top of the heart. The buck reared up on his hind legs and then fell in a heap. Absolutely perfect performance without expansion necessary.



"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
Anonymous 
04-16-11 07:07 PM - Post#983406    

    In response to OneGun

  • OneGun Said:
This seems like a good place for a picture showing how the lowly, 100% lead roundball flattens out and gets really big as it travels through an unlucky animal (or Redcoat). The pictures below are of a 54 cal. ball that I shot into a big stack of telephone books at 40 yards.


It's very hard to imagine that a ball would flatten as much when hitting flesh as it would when hitting a phone book. Doesn't make sense.

 
hanshi 
Cannon
Posts: 8160
hanshi
04-17-11 10:48 AM - Post#983612    

    In response to Stumpkiller

The few round balls I've managed to recover from deer (.45 & .50) had all expanded dramatically and were just under the off-side skin, both broadside and angled shots. One was also a frontal shot but I never was able to recover that one.
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.


 
GoodCheer 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5990
GoodCheer
04-17-11 08:13 PM - Post#983818    

    In response to hanshi

Use big as needed and enough powder to do the job.

Save some milk jugs and shoot them filled with water. It's worth seeing how your rifle performs.

 
Ray-Vigo 
40 Cal.
Posts: 470
Ray-Vigo
04-18-11 01:08 PM - Post#984000    

    In response to OneGun

They do flatten out... a lot, though it depends on what it hits. I shot a board at about 50 yards and the .50 ball made one hell of a mess out of it, especially the back side of the board. The board is probably more akin to bone than flesh. It's still a rough thing to think of though.

Though I will admit that in 1776-83, the doctor trying to treat you combined with bacteria are probably every bit as lethal as the lead ball that landed you in his care.

Edited by Ray-Vigo on 04-18-11 01:09 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
CoyoteJoe 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4994
CoyoteJoe
04-19-11 10:23 AM - Post#984368    

    In response to Ray-Vigo

Expansion of any bullet, even modern high velocity rifles, depends on the resistance of the material hit and on the velocity at impact. Velocity of roundballs will be greatly reduced at longer range. I've recovered balls from deer and elk which were extremely flattened. But I also took a doe with a frontal shot from my wife's little .50 caliber carbine loaded with only 50 grains of 3f and found the ball in a ham. Aside from rifling marks it could have been used again. Very much like Stumpkiller's example. At the time I attributed the lack of expansion to reduced velocity but stumpkiller was using a stout load at short range. So now I'm thinking that a frontal shot just offers less resistance, no bone and very little muscle.

 
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