Thoughts on smooth bore rifle.

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boker

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I am thinking about getting a smooth bore rifle built. My thoughts are a do it all gun for deer,turkey and small game. Like to hear y’all’s thoughts.

Couple questions

What type of performance ranges can I realistically expected from such gun and What is the best overall bore size in your opinion?
 

Brokennock

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I am thinking about getting a smooth bore rifle built. My thoughts are a do it all gun for deer,turkey and small game. Like to hear y’all’s thoughts.

Couple questions

What type of performance ranges can I realistically expected from such gun and What is the best overall bore size in your opinion?
Love mine, for exactly the purposes you stated.
Most of my hunting involves shooting in a rifle style, even with shot, not a lot of wing shooting anymore. So, a rifle architecture gun that can shoot shot, and roundball for deer is ideal.

What kind of effective range you have will depend on load development, gauge, and practice.

I like my 20 gauge, I have 2, it is legal for everything I hunt in my state.
I wouldn't mind something smaller for squirrel hunting, but then I would still need another gun for turkey and deer. Personally I also really like a 16 gauge. If you will be hunting a lot of waterfowl a bigger gauge will serve you better.
Check your game regulations and work from there.
 
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Some folk can get deer killing accuracy to a hundred yards. I can’t. Fifty is my limit with ball.
A HBC officer wrote in 1847 that a smoothbore will shoot as well as a rifle to sixty yards. ‘Well as’ need to be thought of a deer killer not pin point.
Shot?
Well you might get a turkey hit at forty, but to be consistent 25-30 yards tops.
I’ve a fusil de chase and a Lancaster style smooth rifle in 28 bore
 
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I am thinking about getting a smooth bore rifle built. My thoughts are a do it all gun for deer,turkey and small game. Like to hear y’all’s thoughts.

Couple questions

What type of performance ranges can I realistically expected from such gun and What is the best overall bore size in your opinion?
The use of a smooth bored rifles is good for short-range all-around hunting. One of the first items to check on is the hunting regulations for the game you will be hunting. The most restrictive is likely to be turkey. Many states' regulations require a minimum of 20 gauge loads for turkey. A 20 gauge smooth bored gun will certainly be adequate for all the hunting you have listed. The 54/56 caliber (28 gauge) smooth gun offers effective round ball performance on deer and good shot performance on squirrel, rabbit and upland birds. Where allowed, it can be effective on turkey at 25 or less yards. You do want the barrel to be sized for the gauge/caliber being shot. A smooth rifle in 28 gauge with a barrel sized for a 20 gauge will be heavy and awkward to handle. A 20 gauge with the appropriately dimensioned barrel will be a joy to shoot. The 20 gauge components will be a little easier to find. The 58 caliber / 24 gauge is an in between bore size.

My order of preference would be based on the gauge allowed for the game being hunted.

Then I would be looking to see what is available in that gauge and what time frame would be required to get that smooth bored rifle sighted gun.

Then I would choose the bore based on the dimensions of the barrel. A lighter overall weight will be better.
 

rich pierce

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Just remember that getting turkeys within 25 yards is tough. If turkeys are really in the plans you may want a 16 gauge. Then you’re slinging huge balls down range when shooting round ball. And turkey choke barrels cannot handle round balls.
 
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I have a .54/28ga flint. Small game up to and including turkey with #6 shot is good. Patched round ball out to 50 yards for deer and hogs is a sure thing. Two thing to consider. I put a rear sight on mine, and it helps a lot. Load development is a big thing. you don't want to use your spring turkey load for grouse. Good luck with your purchase!

IMG_0032.JPG
 

hanshi

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My 20 ga smoothbore has a rear sight and I shoot it like a rifle. It is very accurate up to at least 50 yds but the groups are not quite as small as a rifle would give. It works great for deer but I'd still hesitate shooting at one much farther than 50 yds. I don't wing shoot, never did, but it gives turkey-worthy patterns with shot. In the places I've always hunted that one gun does everything I ask of it.
 

Ballshooter

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This is my Kibler colonial smoothbore 58 cal first 5 shot group @ 50 yards. The steel gong is 8×9 shot at 60 yards. I think it's more than capable for the hunting I do. I have not tried past 60 yards yet but feel if the conditions where good I would attempt to push it farther depends on size of game.
 

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This is my Kibler colonial smoothbore 58 cal first 5 shot group @ 50 yards. The steel gong is 8×9 shot at 60 yards. I think it's more than capable for the hunting I do. I have not tried past 60 yards yet but feel if the conditions where good I would attempt to push it farther depends on size of game.
I think that group at 50 yds is called "dead deer" IMHO!!
 

Nuthatch

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I have a .50 and a 20 ga in smoothbore. So far, I've only chased turkeys and small game with them and only managed to take 1 dove on the wing. So I'm hardly a wealth of knowledge here. But the 20 ga trade gun is definitely the most versatile and the easiest to carry around. If I had to have only 1 and give up the other, I'd keep the 20 ga. I wonder about the handling of the Kibler Colonial for wingshooting. Seems that one in .58 would be ideal, as shown above.
 

wattlebuster

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Keep your ranges 50 maybe 60 tops an put a back sight on it an if I were you I would get it jug choked full. If you jug choke it you can have a 35 or so turkey gun with shot an it will also reach up into the tallest hickory tree to knock a tree rat out plus you have a excellent medium range deer thumper with ball. Gauge is a personal choice. I prefer 12s but that is just me. As time goes on I find im grabbing the smoothbores more than my rifles
 

smoothshooter

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Some folk can get deer killing accuracy to a hundred yards. I can’t. Fifty is my limit with ball.
A HBC officer wrote in 1847 that a smoothbore will shoot as well as a rifle to sixty yards. ‘Well as’ need to be thought of a deer killer not pin point.
Shot?
Well you might get a turkey hit at forty, but to be consistent 25-30 yards tops.
I’ve a fusil de chase and a Lancaster style smooth rifle in 28 bore

Interesting.
I have one of each of those guns too!
CenterMark 2” gauge and Isaac Haines smooth rifle in .54.
 

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