54 Cal Lyman GPR RB deer performance

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Deer hit with a well placed .54 round ball can and do sometimes run off and disappear.
I've seen it, south Texas 1991.
Nothing is 100%.
That interesting it’s almost like bow hunting, when you think you made a knock out shot and then recovery is tough!
 
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I believe a top of the heart/bottom of the lungs is best with a RB. Make those holes low in the body cavity so it doesn't take much time for blood to fill and start leaking out of them.
I shot one high lungs a couple of years ago with a .54 cal 425 grain conical on top of 100 grns of 2f. The deer went about 80 yards and was done, but the blood trail was non existent. A little at the sight of impact, but then nothing. Shoot them a quarter of the way up if you want a better blood trail.
I’ll keep that in mind!
 

Darkhorse

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I must be the anomaly in this crowd as I’ve had very dismal blood trails resulting from my 54. I’ve never lost a deer, but I’ve had to crawl on my knees looking for drops of blood. Like previous posts, I’ve never seen a deer catch a 54 prb. But I have had several double lunged deer make it approx. 100 yds with a faint, if not barely existing blood trail. I’ve found the best shot is one that disrupted the central nervous system. That’s where a successful bang flop comes from.
This sounds like a man who's taken his share of deer with a muzzle loader. I couldn't agree more. I started ML hunting in 1976 with a .54 Renegade. I now hunt with a .54 flintlock that I built. We can take 12 does a year and for the last 10 or so years I've usually taken at least 2 a year. That means I've killed a lot of deer in my 65+ years and here is how I see it.
The only DRT deer I've ever shot was hit in the spine. A shot in the central nervous system drops them.
To get a halfway decent blood trail requires a shot in the heart or very close by in the major arterys and veins surrounding the heart. Most deer shot through the heart travels less than 50 yards.
A double lung shot will kill your deer but he might run 100 yards and leave a scant blood trail. Sometimes just a few drops a time the entire distance.
An arrow cuts blood vessels on it's way through. A centerfire bullet causes a lot of tissue destruction. Both result in a lot of blood loss and good blood trails.
A round ball pushes stuff out of the way and expands little to none. I've never recovered a ball from a deer I shot.
In order to become a consistent deer harvester you must attempt to master the skills of tracking. Sometimes with no blood at all just scuffed up leaves where he stumbled.
I only deer hunt with a .54 round ball. I've taken deer with 120 grains of 2F, down to 70 grains of 3F. My load now is 75 grains of 3F and that's enough for complete penetration past 50 yards. I've never seen an iota of difference in the killing effectiveness between a light load and heavy.
I don't remember the last time I failed to recover a deer. Understanding what happens after you pull the trigger will help you recover more deer.
 

Loyalist Dave

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Deer hit with a well placed .54 round ball can and do sometimes run off and disappear.
I've seen it, south Texas 1991.
Nothing is 100%.
True.., while I had a buck go 80 yards due to an adrenalin dump by being pushed over to where I was hunting, by fox hunters with hounds, the deer went 80 yards..., I, on the other hand, went about 1000 yards looking for him, and finally found him. After finding him I looked for blood along his back trail, and didn't find any.

LD
 

lyman54

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I really like it! The recoil doesn’t bother me too bad with a round ball, I have a friend that has the hunter version that can shoot conicals, and that sucker just hurts!
I shot .54 minie balls also which were painful but accurate. I shoot a .58 now but have a shoulder pad. Great gun you have, enjoy and good hunting. Ian
 

josie wales

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Well you don't need much of a blood trail if they fall within sight of the spot where they were standing when they were hit. 😊

Pass through? Yeah you'll probably get pass through using a 120 grain load, alright. 😳

Granted deer down here are about 30%-50% smaller than you might encounter up where you live, but I get pass-through with 70 grains of 3Fg at 100 yards or less.

As I'm sure you know shot placement on the deer is the key. Here are the two places that I will aim and take a shot on a deer,...
View attachment 31733

And...,

View attachment 31734

The only tracking trouble that I had was once when the buck had been flushed from his mid-day hideout by some fox hunters, and he had just slowed down to a walk but was still jazzed-up with adrenalin when I shot him. So he went about 80 yards and then fell over. No blood trail. Pass through, though.

The only two tips I have for you, is a) hunt all day; no break from the woods for lunch. This rings true the best on public hunting areas and places which adjoin public hunting land, and b) Mark where you stood when you took the shot with a cheap, easily replace, polyester blaze orange knit hat. Being able to look back and see where you stood when you shot is valuable in finding where the deer actually was standing when hit.

LD
I would rethink the shot from the tree stand....very bad advice for a novice hunter. Do some research and then get some field time shooting from a tree stand.
 

nkbj

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I shot .54 minie balls also which were painful but accurate. I shoot a .58 now but have a shoulder pad. Great gun you have, enjoy and good hunting. Ian
For the .54 minies, which mold number are you using?
 

John Frederick

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I shoot 90 grains 2F behind hand cast round balls. I'm always wait for shots like Loyalist Dave's #2 pic and try to keep shots under 60 yards. Probably most round balls pass through, but a few are stopped by the hide on the exit side. I treat flintlock shots the same as shooting deer with a longbow---I expect them to run from 50 to even 125 yards with a good hit and perhaps little blood. Longest runs I've had have been shots through the heart. Go figure. I've read where some people claim their deer just drop where they're hit, but that's not been my usual experience.
 

Loyalist Dave

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I would rethink the shot from the tree stand....very bad advice for a novice hunter. Do some research and then get some field time shooting from a tree stand.
Sorry if the photo wasn't precise. The treestand placement means you're looking downwards at the animal, not the same angle as the broadside shot.

DEER SKELETON SHOTS ML.jpg

LD
 

F.G. Ford

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" slid down the trail halfway to my waiting pickup" next time lay a skateboard on the trail and the deer will self load 😏
 

pab1

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I recovered a ball from this big whitetail doe taken with a GPR. The load I used was 95 grains of FFF Goex with a .530 round ball and a .018 pillow ticking patch lubed with Bumblin' Bear Grease. The shot was about 50 yards. Though I aimed for my preferred lung shot, I pulled a little forward and high as the trigger broke (completely my fault).

The ball passed through the shoulder blade and a rib on entry. The ball angled up and clipped the spine removing a large part of the impacted vertebrae. Then it deflected down and broke another rib on the opposite side behind the shoulder and traveled forward, under the hide, to the base of the neck. With the CNS/spine impact the doe dropped on the spot. Even with the high shot placement there was serious damage to both lungs.

2015 Doe Lyman GPR and Roundball 001.JPG

The ball expanded to .851 inches at its widest. Even if it hadn't clipped the spine, she wouldn't have gone far with a hole that size through the lungs.

2015 Doe Lyman GPR and Roundball 023.JPG

Back side of the ball.

2015 Doe Lyman GPR and Roundball 020.JPG
 
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