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Login Name Post: PRB Long Range?        (Topic#273429)
Trooper 
32 Cal.
Posts: 6
10-09-12 08:56 PM - Post#1199834    


Is there a concensus on the more accurate long range PRB caliber for target and or hunting? Let's say two hundred plus.

 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17175
Stumpkiller
10-09-12 09:30 PM - Post#1199851    

    In response to Trooper

NO!

No, no, no.

For hunting I wouldn't push a round ball past 120 yards on large to medium game even under ideal conditions. I limit myself to 100 yards with a .54 & fairly good loads (85 gr FFFg) with a solid rest. 85 yards most field conditions. Round balls shed energy very quickly.

That's why God put open iron sights on muzzleloaders. To make you get closer.

Paper targets? Knock yourself out. 300 yards or further. Paper doesn't suffer.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
Jethro224 
Moderator
Posts: 7428
Jethro224
10-09-12 09:52 PM - Post#1199861    

    In response to Trooper

You'll get different opinions from different folks on which caliber is more accurate at long range. Somewhere between .40 and .58 most likely.
The smaller balls will be more affected by wind and the larger balls will take lots more powder to flatten the trajectory. IMHO it all boils down to the shooter more than the caliber of ball, assuming the rifle shoots accurate.

While I will shoot deer a bit farther out than Stumpkiller limits himself to, hunting with PRB is not a long-range type of sport. After 125-150 yards the ball is dropping like a rock. Any crosswind will also have a dramatic effect on where the ball hits even at 100 yards.



 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 25659
Zonie
10-09-12 11:08 PM - Post#1199885    

    In response to Jethro224

Just my opinion but I don't think a patched roundball should be used for hunting beyond 120 yards.

Roundballs are pretty poor aerodynamically and really loose their velocity and energy beyond that range.

I think a good way to look at it is traditional muzzleloading rifles shooting traditional roundballs fit in between archery and modern rifle hunting.

The larger calibers (.50 and up) offer good killing power out to 120 yards that a bow doesn't give but because of their limited power at long ranges it forces the hunter to limit his shots much more often than a modern cartridge rifle does.
That of course forces him to actually hunt and stalk rather than take long range sniper shots.

This isn't usually a hardship for a good hunter.
Truth be known, most deer are shot at ranges less than 100 yards anyway (although the modern cartridge hunter will swear that it was a 230 yards shot when he's telling his friends about it).
Just Jim...



 
Matt85 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1538
10-10-12 02:29 AM - Post#1199932    

    In response to Zonie

as the others have said, keep it under 120 yards.

i personally dont shoot over 100 yards with my 50 cal. at 100 yards i have a 4-5 inch bullet drop with a PRB and thats with 90 grains of 3F powder.


 
Many Klatch 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3245
Many Klatch
10-10-12 05:08 AM - Post#1199940    

    In response to Trooper

I was practicing long range shooting on the 500 meter silhouette range at Friendship with my Rolling Block.

I decided to haul out my .54 flintlock to see how I could do at 200 meters. After 3 or 4 shots I was finally able to get close to the gong. But I was holding about 6 feet high and 4 feet to the right to account for the cross wind. Hitting an animal at 200 yards with a roundball would be difficult in my opinion. An ethical one shot kill would not be something you can count on.

Many Klatch

 
Lonegun1894 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1520
10-10-12 05:48 AM - Post#1199945    

    In response to Trooper

Just shooting at paper at longer ranges, I will take my .54 over my .50 for longer shots, but that's paper and not game. I trust myself with my .50 to 100 or just over, and my .54 to 125 or just over, but that is under perfect conditions. Now I used to shoot my .50 to 200 and 300 yds regularly when I had access to a range that allowed those ranges, but am limited to 200yds now, and the drop on either caliber with my loads is enough that I will not take a 150yd shot with either on game. Most of the time, when I try, I can get inside 50yds, and often inside 20, so I dont have a need for the long shots in my area. Back when I shot instead of hunted, I would take much longer shots with modern stuff, and I still can take those shots with a modern, but to me it comes down to this... Do I want to shop with a modern, or hunt with a ML? Because with the heavy .308 I used to "hunt" with, if I could see it, I could take it, and with that kind of performance, I may as well go buy a steak becasue that is about as challenging as it was. I knew how to hunt, but used that .308 for everything back then. The last deer I took with it, I snuck up to a deer and took him at 12 yards with a 26" heavy barreled .308 bolt action with a 10X scope on it. Did I mention this was at 12 yards? I think it is almost always possible to get to around 100yds, and actually hunt. Now I know there are exceptions, and there's a few members here who have said repeatedly that long shots are the rule where they hunt, but even they usually seem to report 150yd shots, IIRC.

Having said that, I do completely agree with practicing at longer ranges as it will make the 100yd shots seem like childs play when you have fur in your sights, but please dont take long shots on game as any slight mistake in range estimation on your part can make the difference between a clean kill and a long lingering very painful death.

 
Loyalist Dave 
Cannon
Posts: 6029
Loyalist Dave
10-10-12 07:18 AM - Post#1199962    

    In response to Lonegun1894

Personally, the logest shot that I have taken with my .54 was 110 yards. The doe was bigger than most that I had seen in the area, and I thought she was under 100 yards when I fired. I have a friend who killed a large doe at 120 yards. In both cases the load was 70 grains of 3Fg, and in both cases the ball went through broadside on the animals.

I prefer though, to be closer to the 70-80 yard mark for what I call "long range shots", and really like it when the deer are more like 50 yards away. The rifle has enough energy out to 150 yards especially if you use an 80-90 grain load. The ball went right where it was aimed, but choosing the proper spot on the deer past 100 yards can be difficult depending on the background.

There are recorded shots of .50 and .54 caliber rifles that were lethal past 200 yards. Timothy Murphy is reported to have killed General Frasier at a distance of 300 yards..., but it took three shots to finally hit the guy, who was mounted on a horse, and the first shot missed the guy and the horse, while the second nicked the horse. So that gives you a pretty good idea of the range and accuracy limits as demonstrated by such a large target. Murphy is credited as being an excellent shot as well.

LD

 
Mike Brines 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5845
Mike Brines
10-10-12 08:28 AM - Post#1199977    

    In response to Trooper

Like some of the others, I went to bp because it was no sport to kill elk and deer with my cf anymore. If I could see it, I could kill it. And I would hunt in the areas where I knew I would see game at longer ranges.
With bp, I have become a better hunter, and would not take shots beyond 120 yards.

 
BrownBear 
Cannon
Posts: 13739
BrownBear
10-10-12 11:51 AM - Post#1200066    

    In response to Mike Brines

Out of simple curiosity, I tried it on the range at a measured 300 yards. What a chump. I could get close enough to worry a man, but it took three or four shots to get there. And the bigger the caliber, the easier it was.

More informally, we shoot at kelp balls in the ocean to very long range. Fun in an "artillery" sort of way, but it would take exploding shells and lotsa shrapnel to do anything meaningful.

More practical for your question, for me 100 yards, much less 120 yards, is pretty theoretical. My benchrest performance has absolutely nothing to do with field accuracy. I've made one shot at a deer at 100 yards, steeply downhill. Had a good rest, and from the bench I've been able to do 2-3" with that rig and load. Clean miss on a shot I was convinced was a sure thing. Enuff for me. Anyone else who can do it reliably is more than welcome to do so, but I won't be trying again.
"Lay in the weeds and wait, and when you get your chance to say something, say something good."
Merle Haggard


 
wattlebuster 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3504
wattlebuster
10-10-12 04:03 PM - Post#1200140    

    In response to Trooper

I dont get into the "how far game". Sign me up on the "Just how close game"
Nothing beats the feel of a handmade southern iron mounted flintlock on a fine frosty morning


 
Trooper 
32 Cal.
Posts: 6
10-10-12 05:39 PM - Post#1200178    

    In response to wattlebuster

Thanks for the responses. I guess I could have been more specific. I was really just interested in target work and just threw the hunting part in just in case something was different about the two. After more thought, the yardage is not a factor. Is there a caliber for target work, that has the most potential for consistent accuracy?
Thanks, again.

 
wulf 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1588
10-10-12 07:32 PM - Post#1200208    

    In response to Trooper

Check out "Muzzle Blasts" 1999. interesting article about shooting ML's out 800 to 1000yds.
quite a long read starting with part 1...I would
have to re-read the article to tell you more details...which doesn't sound lke fun...


 
Zonie 
Moderator
Posts: 25659
Zonie
10-10-12 08:46 PM - Post#1200242    

    In response to wulf

For a while, the .40 was considered the "cat's meow" for target shooting out to 100 yards.

It has won a lot of NMLRA competitions.

As others mentioned, the larger diameter heavier balls seem to buck cross winds better than the smaller calibers.
For instance a .36 shot at 2100 fps with a 8 mph cross wind will drift 12.7 inches off target at 100 yards.

A .54 shot at 1500 fps with a 8 mph cross wind will drift 9 inches off target at 100 yards.

This is why you will see shooters setting out little wind flags at competitions.
They use these flags to help them figure out how much windage they need to use to keep the shots in the bulls eye.

Bullet drift isn't everything and the heavy recoil of the bigger bored guns can wear a shooter out over the course of a few days.

Any info from you competitive shooters would be more than welcome.
Just Jim...



 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17175
Stumpkiller
10-10-12 09:55 PM - Post#1200267    

    In response to Zonie

as an example:

I shoot NFAA style field archery with targets out to 80 yards with my recurves . . . but on deer I will not shoot past 25 yards; and much prefer 20 yards.

Similar for muzzleloaders. I have a ball trying to pop milk jugs at 250 yards but that is MUCH different than a live target. If your sights are set for extreme range have at it. But hitting a deer with a ball carrying 243 ft pounds of energy may be a disappointment for you and an agonizing slow death for the deer.

I strongly encourage long range target shooting as long as you understand the distinction. I shoot flat torso sized rocks at 200 yards with a .38 Special pistol for jollies. Nothing helps you with proper form and loads better. Just know a round ball has the worst sectional density and ability to carry energy to distant targets. It's up to you to hunt instead of rely on target success and the projectile to make up for stalking skill.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
jdkerstetter 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3029
jdkerstetter
10-10-12 10:17 PM - Post#1200278    

    In response to wattlebuster

  • wattlebuster Said:
I dont get into the "how far game". Sign me up on the "Just how close game"



You said a mouth full there. That's what hunting should be all about. Get close and be one with the game.

Enjoy, J.D.

 
In The Ten Ring 
40 Cal.
Posts: 332
10-10-12 10:57 PM - Post#1200290    

    In response to jdkerstetter

In WV any shot over 50 yards is pretty rare. I want a .54 so I can get good power and penetration with PRB and to be different.

Greg

 
Captjoel 
45 Cal.
Posts: 921
10-11-12 04:28 AM - Post#1200316    

    In response to In The Ten Ring

In the thick woods where I hunt, I sometimes have to wait for the deer to move out a bit before I take the shot. Don't want to ruin a good skin with powder burns ya know!

 
Mike Brines 
75 Cal.
Posts: 5845
Mike Brines
10-11-12 10:19 AM - Post#1200386    

    In response to Mike Brines

Just to qualify my statement, I have what I call my "magic meadow", where I have killed most of my 22 elk. At it's narrowest part, it is approximately 60 yards. But the elk don't have a regular schedule, and will enter that meadow at any point. So one must be ready to have a short or long shot. The last bull I killed was at approximately 110 yards, took about 10 steps and piled up.
By the way, it is so "magic", that if you sit there quietly long enough, I guarantee you will see elk.
I have yet to shoot long distance with my rifle, just haven't had the targets or gear with me when I'm up in the mountains.

 
Idaho Ron 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2105
10-11-12 07:23 PM - Post#1200567    

    In response to Mike Brines

Here in the desert in southern Idaho it is very difficult to get under 100 yards. Water holes and fence crossings are a couple of possibility's to get closer. Rocks and knee high brush are mostly what we work with. Being able to shoot to 150 is needed. We try to close the gap farther but sometimes you just can't We just don't have trees in a lot of our areas to hunt. Ron

 
Old Ford 
58 Cal.
Posts: 2293
10-12-12 07:22 AM - Post#1200667    

    In response to Trooper

I can't really say how many muzzleloaders I have had.
In excess of 200.
However, long distance shooting with round ball is limited to 125 yds. for hunting purposes.
Target shooting at distances like that is just a past time, because you will never have a really good group anyway.
If you want to hunt or target shoot at distances longer than 125 yds., you will need a gun like a Whitworth, Gibbs, or a gun of that type.
You will need a gun that shoots a projectile that is about three times bore diameter or better, and you will need the appropriate barrel twist.
The Whitworth will reliably shoot 4" at 200 yds. with good sights.
"BUT" the down side is, after shooting a 450 grain bullet all day long, you will be walking sideways for three days after, due to recoil.
Old Ford

 
Ron T. 
40 Cal.
Posts: 290
10-12-12 07:24 AM - Post#1200668    

    In response to Mike Brines

I've set MY range limit at 80 yards or less... preferably "LESS" with the iron sights on my older .50 caliber CVA percussion cap, Hawken Carbine (24" barrel, 6½ lbs).

Would I "pass" on a 100 yard shot on a whitetail buck? Yep, definitely... and not because the little CVA Carbine isn't accurate 'cause it is VERY accurate loaded with 70 grains of FFFg Swiss black powder and a Hornady swagged round ball.

If it had a longer barrel, I'd designate it my "target" rifle, but with the short 24-inch barrel, it's a bit "barrel-light" for good off-hand target shooting.

For me, the "limiting factors" are BOTH the poor ballistic coefficiency (.068) of the patched, round ball which rapidly sheds velocity and, thus, bullet energy along with a considerable bullet drop beyond reasonable ranges plus the very limiting factor of using IRON SIGHTS rather than telescopic sights which ALL of my center-fire rifles carry.

Yes, I could mount a 'scope on the muzzle loading carbine, but... again... that's just NOT something most traditional muzzle-loader shooters do in the vast majority of cases.

I am very confident to take a shot at a deer at 50 yards, but at 100 yards, that deer is growing pretty small and my iron sights plus the ballistic inefficiency of the PRB are making accurate bullet placement more of a "guess" than a "sure thing" (at least, for me).

Make GOOD smoke...


Strength & Honor...

Ron T.

 
petew 
40 Cal.
Posts: 176
petew
10-19-12 08:28 PM - Post#1203605    

    In response to Ron T.

I am new to ML's and my take is this is a short range hunting weapon.Both from a balistic and a sight aspect.
I will not shoot over 100 yards with a 30-30/94 win, and with the ML's it is a 70 yard MAX game for me. Heck this is more than double the range I will shoot with a longbow.
Holding over to make long shots is just not a thing I suport.If you want to shoot far go with a scope and a good centerfire. If you want to hunt, use a longbow or a Muzzle loader and get close. Save the Hail Marry's for church.

Edited by petew on 10-19-12 08:29 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Stumpkiller 
Moderator
Posts: 17175
Stumpkiller
10-19-12 09:09 PM - Post#1203620    

    In response to petew

  • petew Said:
I will not shoot over 100 yards with a 30-30/94 win, and with the ML's it is a 70 yard MAX game for me. Heck this is more than double the range I will shoot with a longbow.





Nothing like hunting with a traditional bow to make a flintlock with round balls seem like a futuristic killing machine.
"Don't take life too serious - it ain't nohow permanent."


 
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