.58 for Squirrel?

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hanshi

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While deer hunting with my .45 and a prb I noticed a squirrel off to my right. He was sitting on a limb less than 40 yards away. I aimed at his head/neck area but the .440" ball hit an inch or two back. The thing literally exploded. I also shot another one that was a good bit farther away. Again the tiny target disappeared. I later went looking for the first one and didn't find all of him; but what I did find wasn't that identifiable. The second one was not in as bad shape but still not worthy of taking home.
 

user 53860

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I bought my first ml at Woolco stores back in 1972. It was a Navy Arms 58 cal Zouave, I still have it. Since I didn't have any money to buy a smaller cal I used this rifle for everything from Deer hunting, target shooting and my fav squirrel hunting. I don't know how many squirrels lost their heads to that rifle over the years but I tied a leather shoe string to the front swivel and when a squirrel was bagged I tied a knot in the string. One year I almost ran out of string there were so many knots. Most all head shot and all ended up in the pan. Now I use a 36 cal long rifle which will still take the head off.
 
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I bought my first ml at Woolco stores back in 1972. It was a Navy Arms 58 cal Zouave, I still have it. Since I didn't have any money to buy a smaller cal I used this rifle for everything from Deer hunting, target shooting and my fav squirrel hunting. I don't know how many squirrels lost their heads to that rifle over the years but I tied a leather shoe string to the front swivel and when a squirrel was bagged I tied a knot in the string. One year I almost ran out of string there were so many knots. Most all head shot and all ended up in the pan. Now I use a 36 cal long rifle which will still take the head off.
I have always enjoyed hunting and shooting with my smoothbores; however, I learned many years back that rabbits and squirrels taken with shot pellets have much more hair embedded in the meat than critters taken by a headshot using a single ball). just sayin' :)
 
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Shoot him in the head. If you miss and hit the body then you can still make "squirrel goo" out of what is left lol. You always here about the "barking" tactic but I have never tried it. I want someone to convince me that it works first. I am not a doubter, just that I don't get enough squirrels to risk not shooting one that I could have otherwise hit.
 
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I apologize. I somehow missed that you were talking about a smoothbore. My smoothbore is .58 caliber and it is a squirrel and bunny getting machine. I am not recommending this but I rarely even measure the shot. I grab a handful that looks like it is between "not enough" and "too much" and throw it down the barrel. If I was shooting anything other than squirrels or rabbits I would be more precise about it. I love the felt and paper wads. I haven't patterned the wad combo but it certainly works.
 
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It's all good - and Barking isn't too difficult,but you will need to be mindful about the angle of your shooting. Sometimes the belly and legs sustain collateral damage from flying tree debris. If you aim too low it's not uncommon to for the bushytail to land nearby very much alive and angry! Just be ready to followup in that case...for my part nowadays, just try for headshots.
 

Steel Hayes

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Details on the gun in the picture?
Never saw one off those before.
Shown it many times, always happy to do it again.
It’s a .58 cal smoothbore made in 1858 by W,D. Carlton.
Barrel started out as a rejected Springfield rifled barrel, the maker rebored it smooth, attached it to his breech(under government contract) and sold to freedmen and former slaves in Vermont for virtual nothing.
Still shoots great.
 
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Thanks, gang.

I’ve never used shot against squirrels and am thankful and interested in your advice on a good starter load that will get him but won’t rip him up to bad.

Dillon
I have found that aiming at the nose generally puts a good number of bbs in the head while limiting what hits the body. I use a .62 but can't imagine the loads would be that much different. For squirrel I use 50 grs of 2fg, two 1/8" lubed felt wads, 1 1/4 oz of #6 chilled lead shot, and over shot card. Same load for turkey but I up the powder to 75 grs. I limit my shots to 25 yds and under.

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.58 caliber PRB for squirrels? What kind of cheese do you use on your squirrel burger?

Reminds me of a guy I worked with who showed me a photo of a couple of buck deer he and a buddy killed. All that was in the picture was a couple of heads left hanging after they'd quartered up the animals. He asked what I though about the deer, I told him it looked to me like he'd used too much gun.
 
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I believe the discussion for PRB was trending toward head-shots only. That way, you end up with clean meat or else a clean miss...in the unfortunate event of a body hit, the head is still available for mount! ( but I'd recommend Limburger cheese if you seriously want a squirrel burger :) )
 

Mustang65

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Thinking about using my .58 caliber smoothbore trade gun to try and get some squirrels.

Anyone think it’s possible in this role? If so, what shot loads do you recommend? I’d prefer to use tow wadding for historical correctness. Thank you!

Dillon
You certainly can use a .58 for squirrel, however, you most likely will never it.
Shot a rabbit at about 25yds. with my .44 magnum, only found the tail:dunno:
 
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I wouldn't mind using a rifle on rabbits, bur around here the brush where rabbits hang out is so thick that even if you spot them sitting the ball would be most likely deflected by the brush. Most of the rabbits I come across are in high gear.
 

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