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Traditions Trapper Thanksgiving Doe

Muzzleloading Forum

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45 Cal.
Feb 2, 2021
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I was able to take a doe Friday after Thanksgiving with my Traditions Trapper .50 caliber pistol. The load was a .490 ball, .015 patch lubed with TOTW Mink Oil, 35 grains of Goex 2F, and a Winchester Magnum percussion cap. She was approximately 18 - 20 yards and broadside when I shot. I was very excited to know I can take deer with this gun and load, hopefully there will be more in the future.

View attachment 179775

Notchy Bob

62 Cal.
Apr 6, 2014
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That's Awesome and congrats! I've wanted to do the same, but we need a 12 inch barrel to hunt with one. I wish it was legal here.
Most of us who shoot these guns think of barrel length as from the muzzle to the point where the tang meets the end of the barrel. However, I have read that some of the people who write and enforce these rules about barrel length for hunting measure barrel length on muzzleloaders the same way as with breechloaders, i.e. from muzzle to breech face, in the bore. The threaded part of your breechplug will take up 1/2” to 3/4”, and if you have a gun with a patent breech, the difference between external barrel length and bore depth may be even greater.

Mr. Chambers’ website indicates this is why they have a 13” barrel on their Colonial Pistol. The breechplug takes up about 1/2”, but the bore depth will still be over 12”.

The OP has shown us that a shorter barrel will certainly get the job done, but rules are rules.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob
Jan 20, 2021
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Washougal, Wa.
Very nice what was your shot placement? Looks like it was right in the shoulder in the picture. In my state it has to be a min of 8 inches and capable of firing 45 grains of powder. I picked up a Traditions kentucky pistol , so far it has been very accurate. I would not hesitate to use it.


40 Cal
Jan 13, 2021
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Congratulations! That's an awesome achievement.

Just out curiosity...how much penetration did the ball get? You made a great shot, but a lot of "mass" right in that area to penetrate. Clearly it was enough, but wondering if it passed through or made it to hide on opposing side or stopped in the internals.

I have had a .54 Chambers Colonial pistol on the bench for far too long. My intent is to use that for some whitetail hunts in the future. So I'd like to learn from these real-life and fairly rare muzzleloading pistol big game kills.
@Spikebuck Thanks for the compliments, I did not get complete pass through. When we quartered the deer both lungs were hit (basically destroyed) but we did not recover the ball. I’m sure your .54 caliber will do a good (better) job but in my opinion you have to wait for the perfect shot or be willing to let the deer walk. Twenty yards is my limit with this pistol and I wait for a broadside shot.

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