Handgun Hunting?

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rodwha

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Rod, You might try shooting .50 Maxi Balls in the Great Plains. They surely will penetrate just fine, even at handgun velocity and recoil with a 50 grain load of fffg isn’t objectionable at all.
I’ve wondered how the heavier (longer) projectiles would perform from that twist. The reason I bought the shorter 250 REAL.

A Plains Pistol is honestly a bit low on my list though, but I do feel I need one. But then I have irons in many different fires and BP has barley been smoldering these past few years as the one outdoor range is a bit over an hour one way since I moved.
 
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The old timers had what was called a “bear pistol” which was a long-barrel flintlock. The additional barrel not only adds velocity and killing power, but a longer sighting plain for accurate shooting.
 

zimmerstutzen

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For many years I used a Ruger Old Army for pests, like groundhogs, raccoons, skunks, etc. Probably 20 -30 ground hogs, a dozen raccoons and a half dozen skunks. Not all hunting is for deer. I recently acquired a little 32 caliber Kentucky style flintlock that seems accurate enough for small game. I have been hitting a 4 inch circle consistently at about 50 ft
When i was a kid, we held shooting contests by each starting at 20 feet and backing off 3 feet for each successive shot until a miss and mark your spot with a piece of wood or a rock. The winner was the one who got the farthest from the target before the first miss. Now when I reach that miss, then I practice at that distance until I get five consecutive hits and start backing up again with each hit. Not a bad way to learn a new gun. I can do this at my little range here at the farm.
 

Boom Stick

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I have hunted with modern handguns in the past, but I think that with black powder the single shot pistols would yield best results. Next hunting season, I am planning to take my Lyman Plains pistol (.50") with me when I call bear and cougar, and if a shot presents it's self to me off to my right, use the pistol rather than trying to swing around way to the right with my rifle or musket. (I am right handed)

That is why, for the last year or so, I've been shooting/practicing with my pistol with some heavy loads. 70 grains fffg with the round ball, and 60 grains with the 240 grain "PA" bullet. Those loads are the limit of my recoil tolerance, but they are accurate and I feel confident in them out to 50 yards under absolutely perfect conditions, and up to 35 yards for sure otherwise.

You might start quite a conversation as to whether a BP revolver is a good choice. I think the single barrel/single shot pistols are a great choice, and with heavy loads will rival many modern revolvers.View attachment 6352
Rat,

I've been thinking about purchasing a 50 caliber Great Plains Pistol to match my 50 Plains Rifle and was wondering about the ability to use the Hornady PA Conical bullet in the pistol - looking to use them in both pistol and rifle for primitive hunting seasons. Yours is the only post that I have run across where anyone has loaded the PA Conical in the Plains Pistol. I was concerned that the barrel twist in the pistol would not stabilize the bullet. How is the accuracy in yours?

Also, was wondering / concerned about the load that you listed as using in yours - 70gr if 3F with PRB - as the literature on the Lyman site lists 40grs as the max load. With that high of a load, especially with the conical bullet, have you been experiencing any 'hammer bounce' after firing such stiff loads?
 

rodwha

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Rat,

I've been thinking about purchasing a 50 caliber Great Plains Pistol to match my 50 Plains Rifle and was wondering about the ability to use the Hornady PA Conical bullet in the pistol - looking to use them in both pistol and rifle for primitive hunting seasons. Yours is the only post that I have run across where anyone has loaded the PA Conical in the Plains Pistol. I was concerned that the barrel twist in the pistol would not stabilize the bullet. How is the accuracy in yours?

Also, was wondering / concerned about the load that you listed as using in yours - 70gr if 3F with PRB - as the literature on the Lyman site lists 40grs as the max load. With that high of a load, especially with the conical bullet, have you been experiencing any 'hammer bounce' after firing such stiff loads?
My understanding is that both the PA conical and shorter REAL were designed for medium to slow twist firearms.
 

arcticap

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Has anyone looked at the 12ga Howdah from American Gun Crafters?

Seems 12ga X 2 w/11" barrels would be an awesome little gun. Could load one side for small game and the other for large. What is a 12ga PRB? 550 grains?

https://americanguncraft.com/product/bulldog-12-ga-pistol-wallnut/
There may be a production delay with those percussion models since no one has reported seeing one or firing one, not even in videos or on the company website.
A lot of people have asked for and received refunds for another model that the company advertises.
 

8 BORE

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12ga patched round ball that weighs 550 grains.
I have a Pedersoli Howdah in 20x20
It is a fine shooter on clay targets
 

DevilsLuck

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Never underestimate the power of the spear. !!! I am, a fan of the spear.View attachment 6443
So true! It’s been a primary issue weapon in common usage since time immemorial. Only waning in prominence toward the end of WW1. Though still in use today. But man! You’d have to be having a real bad day to resort to it. Even so... modern troops still have the option. Bayonets anyone?
 

DevilsLuck

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If a pistol like the walker was designed to drop a horse at distances of 75 yards plus... Seems It’d be more than adequate for dropping a deer...
 

FishDFly

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When I read about hand gun hunting, I read them with curiosity and wonder how proficient of a pistol shooter the poster is.

The 25 yard slow fire pistol target has a black area of 5 1/2". To be in the High Master you need to be able to shoot 95 consistently. The 50 yard target has a black area of 8" and you need to be able to shoot 85 consistently. There are very few High Master shooters.

What is the minute of deer/hog wobble area size at each yardage to make a killing shot?

"If a pistol like the walker was designed to drop a horse at distances of 75 yards plus... Seems It’d be more than adequate for dropping a deer..."

First you have to hit the horse.
 

DevilsLuck

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When I read about hand gun hunting, I read them with curiosity and wonder how proficient of a pistol shooter the poster is.

The 25 yard slow fire pistol target has a black area of 5 1/2". To be in the High Master you need to be able to shoot 95 consistently. The 50 yard target has a black area of 8" and you need to be able to shoot 85 consistently. There are very few High Master shooters.

What is the minute of deer/hog wobble area size at each yardage to make a killing shot?

"If a pistol like the walker was designed to drop a horse at distances of 75 yards plus... Seems It’d be more than adequate for dropping a deer..."

First you have to hit the horse.
Hitting ones target is no doubt a must. But call me skeptical; to envision a cavalryman at full gallop, reigns in one hand, walker in the other, closing with another cavalryman, being able to hit either horse, or rider at any serious distance... Seems so unlikely as to write off the occurrences as mere chance. As for the walker being able to drop the horse? Even with the shooter firing from a rested position at a still horse, from 75 yards..? Well... I’d have to see it to believe it. Seems that nothing but a brain pan shot, or one directly to the heart could achieve such an effect. But I’m naturally skeptical.
 

rodwha

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When I read about hand gun hunting, I read them with curiosity and wonder how proficient of a pistol shooter the poster is.

The 25 yard slow fire pistol target has a black area of 5 1/2". To be in the High Master you need to be able to shoot 95 consistently. The 50 yard target has a black area of 8" and you need to be able to shoot 85 consistently. There are very few High Master shooters.

What is the minute of deer/hog wobble area size at each yardage to make a killing shot?

"If a pistol like the walker was designed to drop a horse at distances of 75 yards plus... Seems It’d be more than adequate for dropping a deer..."

First you have to hit the horse.
When I was shooting regularly, which I haven’t been, I was able to get ~3.5” at 15 yds off hand with my Ruger. My goal for being able to handgun hunt has been <6” at 25 yds. I’m no pistolero by any means but with practice, and from a solid rest, I think that it easily in reach.

But I was thinking more along the lines of a .50 or .54 cal muzzle loader handgun. A bit more sight radius if nothing else.
 

theoldredneck

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Several of us have hunted with several different types of handguns over the years in both modern cartridge and blackpowder. Have taken game standing shooting offhand but usually from shooting sticks or rest if at all possible. Do a lot of shooting woods walking, plinking or small game. Being able to reliably take small game makes it much easier to place shot where needed on larger game. Some frown on using sights other than the traditional muzzleloader sights. I will use both traditional and a more modern fiber rod type front sight that is easier to see in some situations. For deer I usually try for lung shots because they don't go far. Like bow hunting I just sit and wait a little while making mental note of direction last seen. Most are within 70 yards or less of where hit. The more you shoot the load you will hunt with the better. With a handgun I shoot off shooting sticks a lot year round. Shoot at chipmunks when I can because they are a really small target. If you can hit them deer are easy.
 

BrownBear

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I have over 30 years of dedicated handgun hunting behind me for deer, moose, elk and small game. All modern with the exception of some small game with a C&B revolver. Kinda being familiar with all that's involved in the sport, I've never crossed over to a muzzleloader for large game. My concern is the question of backup shots, if needed. Never needed one with modern guns, but the extra shot was always there and waiting if the need arose. Finally determined that if I was to take up blackpowder handgun hunting it would either be with a Ruger revolver, or I'd be packing two front stuffers. Not that big of a deal to do either if I decided to lean that way.
 

rodwha

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The way I see it is that the Remington NMA and Colt 1860, loaded with energetic powder and a WFN conical is akin to the .45 Schofield/.45 ACP and can easily penetrate cleanly through the shoulders. 20-something inches isn’t unusual, which is plenty. My NMA, loaded with my 195 grn WFN (.460” long) takes a weighed 33 grns of 3F Olde Eynsford powder with a bit of additional room that one day I’ll fill with more lead by modifying my design as 33 grns is its sweet spot, it’s more accurate charge that I’ve tried, though I have a new powder measure. Is more power better? Sure. Who wouldn’t want more? But for medium game I don’t see it as being necessary, though the higher velocity would certainly increase the permanent wound channel. According to Beartooth Bullets, who specializes in WFN non expanding projectiles, a .452” with a meplat of .370” (mine is .375”) at 900 fps will produce about a .833” permanent wound channel. That’s a pretty big hole!

https://beartoothbullets.com/tech_notes/archive_tech_notes.htm/61
 

rodwha

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rodwha, thanks for the interesting link.
I’ve seen something much like it but concerning much older wide meplat bullet designs and predominantly the .45-70 Gov’t, which had the same type of results.

Funny that the few ball loads in ballistics gels from revolvers always seem to produce roughly caliber sized permanent wound tracks. Apparently it’s not blunt enough.
 
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