.58 smoothbore

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poker

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Would a .58 smoothbore flintlock with a 39” barrel length be effective for turkey or what would be its best use?
I dont think its choked at all. Has no rear sight, but sure looks good. I think Id call it a fowler, but the lack of choke makes me wonder about that too. What would you say?
 

lwscrim

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I have a cap lock in .58 smoothbore that I use to hunt squirrels with.
It will knock a squirrel out of a tree just as fast as my 20ga will.
And I use the same 7/8 oz shot and 60gr 2f powder load for both.
I can't answer for the turkey thing, but as tenngun said check your local game laws.
They will usually dictate what they think is a minimum bore size.
 

martin9

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It'll require you to try a bunch of different loads to get the pattern you need for turkey hunting but yes, it'll work great once you do that. I'm using my .54 smoothbore this year.
 

Zutt-man

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I second checking your game laws, however I’ve taken one with a .410 so it most certainly can be done.
 

poker

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I will do some checking on regulations here. I just wasnt sure how effective or accurate thats likely to be with no choke and a shorter than normal barrel.
 

tenngun

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I will do some checking on regulations here. I just wasnt sure how effective or accurate thats likely to be with no choke and a shorter than normal barrel.
With ball you can take deer sized and bigger game to fifty yards and perhaps beyond to sixty
Shot is reasonably out to twentyfive maybe thirty yards.
Mike Belive has a you tube video using a twenty bore at a Turkey target at forty yards. He got hits but not consistently.
With any cylinder bore get close
 

Harry

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Would a .58 smoothbore flintlock with a 39” barrel length be effective for turkey or what would be its best use?
I dont think its choked at all. Has no rear sight, but sure looks good. I think Id call it a fowler, but the lack of choke makes me wonder about that too. What would you say?
It will absolutely get the job done just check local laws. If it’s legal where you’re at play around until you get an acceptable load worked up and figure out max range.
 

bushytail

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My 58 cal (24 ga) trade gun is good out to 20 yrds. Anything beyond that your counting on luck for a BB to hit the head. That’s with my gun. I got 1 turkey and a lot of squirrels with shot.
 

Britsmoothy

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My 58 cal (24 ga) trade gun is good out to 20 yrds. Anything beyond that your counting on luck for a BB to hit the head. That’s with my gun. I got 1 turkey and a lot of squirrels with shot.
Don't use BB then, get smaller shot.
 

Loyalist Dave

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My favorite shot size for head shots on Turkey has always been #6. I've killed many birds with it. They can't survive the swarm of shot to the head/neck.
Yes, it depends on the weight of the shot load that you use,

Some folks use as much as 1½ ounces of of shot in a 24 gauge, and will use #4..., which should be about 255 pellets, while an ounce of #6 should give you about 270 pellets. Drop that #4 load down to an ounce and you have about 170 pellets, so 100 less than the similar weight of shot in #6.

There is lots of information on how to mitigate the shot spread, and so not to need so heavy a shot load and still get the results.

I have some #2 lead shot left over from the days pre-steel for waterfowl, and it's too large for turkey according to game laws, but legal for squirrels. An ounce from my 20 gauge trade gun launches about 100 pellets, but I've not worked up a load for it yet as #6 works fine for me on squirrels.

LD
 

bushytail

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I guess I should’ve gave more info on the load I use. I shoot 60 gr of goex 2f of powder with 1 cardboard wad and 1 1/ 2 cushion wad. Then 90 gr volume of mixed no 5 & 6 shot. Then top it off with a thin paper/cardboard/disc wad. I like to keep my shots 20 yrds and under. I have gotten squirrels a little beyond that. And 4f for the pan.
 

LongWalker

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With the right loads, a .58/24 gauge smoothbore should be adequate for most hunting--the only reason I went to a larger bore was that I kept running into bears. But to use the 24 gauge effectively, you may have to change how you hunt, and there may be conflicts with local laws (like minimum bore sizes or requirements for the use of buckshot). Bow hunters seem to do well with one, which sort of fits with the historical market for tradeguns. Getting close can be key.

For example, the 24 gauge tends to not work out well pass-shooting waterfowl. If you have the option of switching to puddle-jumping so shots tend to be closer, it can work fine. It isn't my first choice for quail hunting, but the little Ketland double I had worked ok when jumping a covey, and great when following up single birds once the covey broke.

IIRC, my shot load was 70-80 grains FFg/equal volume shot. For upland hunting I mostly used #7 1/2 or #6 shot, #4 for turkeys and puddle-jumping ducks and geese. Those loads gave me decent patterns to 30 yards, and I could actually find the shot locally. Shooting larger shot left holes in the pattern; #5 patterned beautifully, but at the time, my only source for #5s was salvaging the shot from loaded shells.

With ball, I mostly stuck with 80gr FFg and a patched ball. At the ranges I hunted, this load would shoot through a mule deer (or elk at the right angle) and had enough power to take the one moose I shot with it. None of my shots with ball at large game were taken past roughly 25 yards.
 
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