BP handgun for hunting

Discussion in 'Handguns' started by jaxenro, Sep 6, 2013.

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  1. Nov 2, 2013 #61

    don hepler

    don hepler

    don hepler

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    Gun laws for hunting can be different for different parts of the deer hunting season. For example in Virginia, you could not hunt with a muzzle loading pistol,(during early and late muzzle loading season, because of the way the law is written. But, during the general firearms season, you could, hunt with a bow, a flintlock, a crossbow, shotgun, pistol (as long as it is .38 caliber, with 350 foot lbs. or more), but early and late muzzle loading season, say it must be a single shot rifle, at least 45 cal. loaded from the muzzle. And, then there are areas, where only shotguns are allowed. There's a lot in the game law descriptions. Even reading the law, I would be uncertain, because of the words, "manufacturers rating".
     
  2. Nov 2, 2013 #62

    Alden

    Alden

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    I was about to put a deposit on a like-new, big, .41 Mag Ruger Redhawk I guess it was back in the day. Just before I handed over the cash I told the clerk I just wanted to make a quick phone call.

    I went into the little vestibule and called a whole BIL.

    "OK, we drove two counties away and I'm here at The Big Gun Shop."

    "Yeah."

    "I'm about to put a big deposit on a [see above]."

    "Sounds good!"

    "Now your not gonna back out of this?"

    "What?"

    "You're still gonna do this, right?"

    "Do what?"

    "Go bear hunting with handguns."

    "Are you outta your mind!?"


    Yup, a whole BIL. I'd certainly consider deer with a big BP pistol...
     
  3. Nov 2, 2013 #63

    M. De Land

    M. De Land

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    Well a properly loaded 41 Mag will kill the biggest black bear that ever lived with great aplomb.
    A cap-n-ball .44 will too if you get close and can hit what you need to.If hunted over bait or with hounds you can get plenty close enough with either if you can shoot well enough to take advantage of the killing power. Mike D.
     
  4. Nov 2, 2013 #64

    jaxenro

    jaxenro

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    Hunting with anything you are not capable of accurately hitting with is not ethical, pistol or rifle. Plenty of people get in the woods once a year with something they haven't practiced with
     
  5. Nov 2, 2013 #65

    mossie

    mossie

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    I hunted deer here in PA with a revolver for years and took at least one deer per year with one. I could hit well with them but again I practiced with them alot. Ammo was a bunch cheaper in those days.

    I have never fired a flint pistol and I don't know how accurate I would be with one either. Probably a lot of practice to get decent. They wouldn't carry that well and would be a pain to load in the field. I have a 21" .50 carbine rifle that I load with 60-80 grains; it's sighted in at 60 yards and don't really intend to ever push the distance.

    I suppose that the power would be ok if you could get it to shoot with 50 grains; the twist would have to be pretty fast to get good accuracy. I think if you could hit well with it under 50 yards it could handle deer ok.
     
  6. Nov 2, 2013 #66

    zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen

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    One of the things that always seems to feed the opinion of those who say no to black powder pistol hunting is the myths about killing power and accuracy. Not all black powder pistols are 45 cal CVA derringers pistols with their stubby 3 inch barrels. Most production guns are geared toward occasional shooting. The sights are terrible and the trigger pulls horrendous, the inertia of the hammer fall pulls the shot inches off.

    If this is a person's sole view of muzzleloader pistols, doubting their hunting capability is natural.

    I just picked up a 20 ga pistol (62 cal) with a 10 inch barrel that has one of the nicest trigger pulls of any pistol I ever owned. In addition, it has decent front and rear sights. It doesn't have to be fired with 100 grains to be lethal on whitetail with that huge ball.

    I recently went to a range with a friend, who had never fired a pistol before. he shot his 357 and I drug along an old 36 caliber cap and ball gun. The posture of most shooters was terrible, their stances were way off. Many flinched in anticipation of the recoil from their 460's Only one guy seemed to have a real handle on shooting a pistol for accuracy. I am not a great pistol shot, but out of a dozen shooters there, most were just yahoos burning up ammo. A little coaching had my buddy keeping his shots on the paper at 50 ft and after another 20 rounds, he was keeping most shots in the black. The fellow next to us had a bad flinch, but kept adjusting his sights. I fired a few cylinder loads from my old cap and ball gun and had my buddy try the colt repro. He shot four in the black and one dropped to the left. Better than super mag dude next to us. Our shooting session was cut short when super dude blew the upper cross rail off the uprights and the whole target board fell back wards.

    You can't simply pick up and old CVA or Lyman and hit deer in the kill zone at 30 yds. But then again, not many good pistol shooters could do that with an out of the box production black powder gun. A gun that has been tweaked and tuned, yes by all means. I think too much of the attitude toward deer hunting with black powder guns has been shaped by the inherent problems in the cheaper production guns.
     
  7. Nov 2, 2013 #67

    Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776

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    I noticed you used IF three times.
    When hunting situations do not always present themselves the way one wishes. I'll repeat, IMHO, pistol hunting is not ethical for 99.999% of the population. When my shoulders were working properly I did take my red dot sighted Ruger Redhawk .44 magnum hunting several times. But a shot I was willing to take never presented itself. Yes, dissapointed I never got a deer or black bear. But, I would have been much more dissapointed if I had just wounded and lost an animal.
     
  8. Nov 2, 2013 #68

    crockett

    crockett

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    My view is this; the rifle is generally the best tool. The handgun can of course be used in all situations but maybe to poor effect. The handgun really is best for unusual situations. I had two large black bears walk under my tree stand last Sunday. In Florida the deer are small but the black bears are sometimes large. 350 is common, I've seen one that was close to 500 and 600 pounders show up maybe once every 5 years. I probably could have shot either with a handgun but a rifle would have served just as well and been more powerful. I was in a stand with a clear shooting lane and plenty of time. Black bears are not legal in this area so all I got was the enjoyment of watching them. Too bad- really good quality bears- the type some "sports" pay $4,000-$5,000 to hunt.
    But let's say I am a hog hunter with dogs and in the thickets and I need two hands to push branches aside and then I'm in, right on top of the dogs and I could either stab the hog with a knife or shoot it. A handgun carried in a shoulder rig then become a really easier thing to tote around than a rifle.
    A handgun can be practical on a trap line.
    You could also carry a light handgun for rabbits, spruce grouse, squirrel "pot meat" type animals. On the accuracy, I agree, you need to limit yourself to what is ethical. By and large- very close range.
     
  9. Nov 2, 2013 #69

    Billnpatti

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    I just cannot recommend a black powder handgun for hunting for the vast majority of hunters. There are very few, and I mean very few people whom I consider good enough hunters and pistol shots to hunt with a black powder pistol. You have to remember that a black powder pistol just does not have anywhere near the power of a black powder rifle. To hunt ethically with a black powder pistol you have to have a powerful enough pistol and be able to do two things, stalk close enough (archery range) to your prey to kill it with a pistol and secondly be a good shot with your pistol. Unless you have those three things "in spades", do not try hunting with a black powder pistol.
     
  10. Nov 2, 2013 #70

    crockett

    crockett

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    I think that's good advise. I know the guys in the Florida group after hogs shot at maybe 10-20 yards but for most folks point blank range is about it. I don't have a problem with someone using a handgun but it is a special situation tool.
     
  11. Nov 2, 2013 #71

    rodwha

    rodwha

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    I agree. It's certainly capable as long as you are.

    There may be some guys who can take some very long shots that I'd want a rifle for, and if you can do that without error that's great.

    I found that I am not. I'm not a great shot. I may have groups smaller at 15 yds than many have with their guns at 7 yds, but my groups aren't small enough for me to feel comfortable every time. I may get 5 shots all within a couple of inches, but I often end up with a flier that can open it up much wider, and that's just not acceptable to me.

    I am using a ROA, and I know this gun is more than capable of great shooting as I've seen too many better shots than me with stock Ruger's doing exceptionally well. And the original owner was my father's best friend, and I know the gun was well taken care of. That leaves just me and my loads. I'm betting it's 95% me.

    But I keep practicing and trying things because I'd like to, one day, find myself capable of using it as a primary hunting weapon. Until then it's a sidearm mostly for backup, especially for hogs! But don't allow 'em to get too close since I know I'm proficient enough if they're willing to come sit at my feet!
     
  12. Nov 2, 2013 #72

    Wes/Tex

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    Yeah, Bill, I'm with you. Have stayed out of this so far because I didn't want to step on toes but I've seen too many bad results with muzzleloading hand guns and hunters to support the idea.
     
  13. Nov 2, 2013 #73

    Dave Rosenthal

    Dave Rosenthal

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    I am a black powder hand gun hunter. I had to tell my Guide that I wanted to work in-close due to the terrain of heavy brush. A one shot stop through both lungs with a Lee 225 grain conical launched via a 52 grain charge of Goex 3Fg in my Uberti Walker did the trick.

    That all being said, I would have NEVER contemplated using the Walker (or any hand gun for that matter) if not for having paid my dues by using the same gun in competitions (and placing in the top 3 positions) for YEARS! No matter the length of the barrel, there are idiots that walk among us that never practice and just buy a muzzleloader to "extend the season", and most of these hunters are using the modern ml's. These same idiots give black powder sports a bad representation, and this is magnified when they take their arms into the field.

    So I agree with everyone's comments here about having to be a crack shot and be able to wait for the right moment to use a hand gun to make a good stop. I think we see more "Buck Fever" than we should and the inexperience factor makes for more misses and/or bad shots. And the myth of "missing" is more like the fact of inexperience with the chosen platform to harvest. When that percussion cap ignites, you should already KNOW where the animal will be struck--it shouldn't be a GUESS! If it is a guess, then please leave the woods and go to the store and buy what you can't HIT!

    Dave
     
  14. Nov 2, 2013 #74

    Wes/Tex

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    Well said. Even the best muzzleloading handgun will be marginal compared to a long gun, that's my major concern. I even had one of the big M.1855 horse pistols for years and worked up PRB and Minie loads for it that should have done the trick, but always talked myself out of it after having to trail and put-down wounded deer due to too little experience or caliber size.
     
  15. Nov 2, 2013 #75

    jaxenro

    jaxenro

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    All this advice is excellent but it applys to more than just handguns. At a certain distance I know what I can do, and what my accuracy is, because I shoot it often. I have a new Walker coming I know I won't take it hunting this year because I haven't shot it enough. I am comfortable with the accuracy of my 36's but not the power for this application.

    A handgun is a tool just like a rifle but the extra power, range, and ease of accurate shooting of the rifle minimizes the shortcomings of the user. If I keep all my shots within a 2" circle at 25 yards with a 44 caliber cap and ball using adequate powder and a heavy enough bullet I know, within an inch or two, where I am going to hit as long as I stay within 25 yards.

    As much as a lot of practice, knowing your gun inside and out, BP pistol hunting means knowing your limitations and when not to shoot as much as when to shoot
     
  16. Nov 2, 2013 #76

    dickydalton

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    "knowing your limitations" Tells the whole story.
    But don't ever forget to "follow the law" also.
     
  17. Nov 2, 2013 #77

    zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen

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    Here in PA's woods, most deer are shot at less than 30 yds. Of course there are long shots and rifles are better suited for open fields shots and certainly hunting across the country differs vastly. But for the brushy ravines and close shots we generally have, the difference between a rifle and pistol is only determined by the load. We have those who think they need fancy 300 grain 50 caliber bullets launched over 150 grains of old whupbutt, but frankly, white tail are not elephants or even buffalo. Many of us harvest deer just fine with 50 or 70 grains of Goex. Now, a 36 cal cap and ball revolvers is perhaps ok as a coup de grace shot, but a 10 inch barrel 62 caliber fired with 50 grains will kill a deer at 25 or 30 yards. We have different vegetation and different terrain. Don't apply western wide open tactics to you opinion and then assume our conditions are the same.
     
  18. Nov 3, 2013 #78

    Kylongrifle

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    Ive meet Tim in person..Hes a good guy and does a lot of good for the outdoors in Kentucky. He has certainly not let his disability slow him down. You boys ought' to watch him bowhunt drawing with his teeth..
     
  19. Nov 3, 2013 #79

    Kylongrifle

    Kylongrifle

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    In fact Im almost positive that the pistol on that video has a post about it on this forum and the guy who owns it is a member..
     
  20. Nov 3, 2013 #80

    Dave Rosenthal

    Dave Rosenthal

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    Thanks for the kudos, and I believe that only a real Hunter knows his or her limitations....all the others are sufferin' from "the FEVER", and will wound more animals than they harvest, which is a shame.

    I think that if you can get your shots to with a 3" area, and work in-close, that you may find hunting with a favorite hand gun to be very rewarding. You are of sound mind and realize when NOT to shoot, so I believe you could talk yourself back into trying if you really wanted to.
     
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