Which Flintlock Deer Rifle

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shaman

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I'm all done with Chemo, but the aftermath is becoming a real bore. I've been stuck day after day getting blood products and other stuff through the IV to get me out of the hole that the Chemo dug. Honorable #2 Son, Moose, has been carting me around. He's the one that just scored a .32 cal squirrel gun.

We were talking yesterday about deer and flintlocks. First off, a quick question about the .32 cal squirrel gun. It's legal to take deer with this flinter, but is it advisable? I've not had any experience, so I didn't know the answer.

Now for the big question: Moose wanted to know what my thoughts were on a dedicated flintlock deer rifle. My previous experience has been with a .54 TC Hawken caplock. It did the job, and back in the early 80's the common wisdom seemed to be .54 being an optimal bore for deer with patched round ball. We already have 2 Hawken-style caplocks in the family. Probably the next one ought to be a fullstock if practicable.

What are your thoughts on a flintlock deer rifle?
 
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Personally, I am a big caliber guy. My deer / elk rifle is a custom full stock mountain rifle in 58 caliber. Does the job every time. Again, just my opinion but I would not use a 32. As I hunt whitetails in New York a 32 is not legal for deer to my knowledge but I would not use a 32 if it were legal. Just my humble opinion. Hope you recover completely. Dave
 

hanshi

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IMHO, deer-worthy calibers start at .45 and end at maybe a 6 pounder. I preferred the .45 (still do) back in my hunting days. I've killed deer with the .45, .50, .54 and .62 and love the .45 with the .50 a close second. Just me but nothing under .40 is at all suitable. I would use a .40 if that was all I had and was legal but that's it.
 
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Great Plains flintlock, or flint Trade rifle. A .45 with ball will do white tails well. A longer shot at a mule deer may need a .50.
A .54 was very popular in the old days
A longer barreled gun such as the Hatfield rifle is high quality sure shot gun.
Sometimes a gun like Traditions has a poor working flint lock that can be frustrating to try to use
You can shop sights such a Track of the wolf or Sitting Fox for a gun made with good lock.
If your range can be kept less then 50 yards a fusil de chase or north west trade gun from Loyalist arms will keep your freezer full.
A more custom used smoothie may be your thing, but higher cost
 

Rock Home Isle

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I'm all done with Chemo, but the aftermath is becoming a real bore. I've been stuck day after day getting blood products and other stuff through the IV to get me out of the hole that the Chemo dug. Honorable #2 Son, Moose, has been carting me around. He's the one that just scored a .32 cal squirrel gun.

We were talking yesterday about deer and flintlocks. First off, a quick question about the .32 cal squirrel gun. It's legal to take deer with this flinter, but is it advisable? I've not had any experience, so I didn't know the answer.

Now for the big question: Moose wanted to know what my thoughts were on a dedicated flintlock deer rifle. My previous experience has been with a .54 TC Hawken caplock. It did the job, and back in the early 80's the common wisdom seemed to be .54 being an optimal bore for deer with patched round ball. We already have 2 Hawken-style caplocks in the family. Probably the next one ought to be a fullstock if practicable.

What are your thoughts on a flintlock deer rifle?
For the .32 calibre & deer…use a Maxi-Ball. A .32 calibre shooting a Maxi-Ball would be fine for deer sized big game. Limit your distances to under 50 yrds…molds are readily available.

For flintlocks and deer sized big game, if you wish to use a .40 calibre, I’d recommend, again, that you use some sort of a Conical Bullet. From .45 calibre and above, a PRB is fine.

My personal GOTO is a .54 calibre, but that is because I use primarily one rifle to hunt with…and I like to hunt elk.
 
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It all depends on how your hunting. Inside of 25 yards (which most woods walking is) I wouldn’t hesitate with a .40 although most of my rifles run .45-.50. If your sitting in a stand looking over a 100 acre field it’s .54-.58
 

Zutt-man

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My first muzzleloader was a .40 percussion poor boy. I took multiple deer with it. I think the farthest shot was around 60-70 yards and happened to be the biggest deer that rifle took.
97540122-35DB-44F5-93AD-8ADDBA57BE86.jpeg


I’ve heard great things on the .45, but don’t own one. My father has shot several and had tremendous luck with his .54’s. One of those took this elk 2 years ago.
5048CA9A-21ED-485D-89D4-CFA5BA2B45ED.jpeg


I ultimately made the decision to go with a .58 last fall. I go elk hunting every other year and some states call for a minimum of .54 caliber and having a little extra punch never hurts. It had no problem taking this healthy doe at 72 yards.
59CDFFFA-FB3F-4364-AE0A-1BE3542D184A.jpeg


I think it ultimately depends on what your intentions are with it and in what environment. Open or wooded terrain? What’s your farthest shot going to realistically be? Still hunting, spot & stalk or from a stand? Are you going to use it for larger game or just deer? How big are the deer in your area?

Just some things that to consider. Good luck and welcome to the flintlock obsession!
 

shaman

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I think it ultimately depends on what your intentions are with it and in what environment. Open or wooded terrain? What’s your farthest shot going to realistically be? Still hunting, spot & stalk or from a stand? Are you going to use it for larger game or just deer? How big are the deer in your area?

Just some things that to consider. Good luck and welcome to the flintlock obsession!

Any deer rifle we get is probably going to be used on our 200 acre farm in SW Bracken County, KY. It's a mix of oak/hickory savannah, pasture, and cedar thicket. Farthest shot? The farthest I've taken with ML is 65 yards. In the woods, it's a stretch to see 100 yards. We don't do much stalking. Most of the hunting we do is from static blinds and stands.

It's all eastern whitetail and they tend towards the larger end of the spectrum. The largest buck we've taken was 275 lbs live weight. The largest doe was 174 lbs. I've seen deer on the pole that went 300 lbs.
 

Bushfire

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Personally, I am a big caliber guy. My deer / elk rifle is a custom full stock mountain rifle in 58 caliber. Does the job every time. Again, just my opinion but I would not use a 32. As I hunt whitetails in New York a 32 is not legal for deer to my knowledge but I would not use a 32 if it were legal. Just my humble opinion. Hope you recover completely. Dave
Don't suppose we could see a photo of said gun?
 
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Go too in U.K. was .451/451. The powers that Now Be say we can't use B.P. on Deer.Not enough MV or Kinetic. No one seems to have told them of the number of them that were taken in Victorian times -- Includind H.M & Pr.Albert, but I suppose they were consided different.. My answer is the Unmentionable 6.5 Swede.
 

Sidney Smith

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Here in Pa, a muzzleloader has to be .44 caliber or larger to hunt big game. A .32 is allowed only during small game season for squirrels and rabbits.

If legal in your state, and you plan to use a .32 caliber gun, then go with the suggestion by a previous poster who mentioned a conical. You will get a much heavier projectile with a much more potential punch.
 
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IIRC, that .32 Moose has is the Dixie TMR? If so, it has a 1:66 twist, which might not spin a conical fast enough to stabilize it.

You mentioned a .54 cal. To me, this is the best caliber for hogs on up to elk sized game. I, personally, wouldn't hunt deer with a .32. Usually my shot placement is where it needs to be, but I would be too afraid I would just wound one with a .32. Since we don't have the velocity of the unmentionables, we need the kinetic energy of big projectiles for a good knockdown.
 
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No a debate on the 32 for deer, but seems a bit light to me. I am a big bore type of shooter and 50 cal. is the smallest I would consider a adequate, humane deer cal. I use a 54 cal and a 62 cal which is the main go to rifle. Big hole lots of blood and a short trail if a trail at all.
 
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In Pa. , .44 cal. or better is legal for deer. Deer here are from 120 lb. to 250 lb's. + A .50 cal. round ball with 80 gr. FFFG will drive a ball diagonally through a 140 lb. buck , from breaking the left front shoulder , to finding the r/b under the hide in the right rear aspect of the rump. That's a lot of bones , and organs to penetrate. I killed 20 + deer , using this longrifle. Used this same custom built longrifle in competition for 12 years , due to its accuracy , and its ability to knock down any steel target , out to 200 yds.. The reason I sold that .50 , was a desire to try other calibers for deer. My hunting buddy , had used a custom built.58 longrifle the same number of years , I had used my .50 , so I jumped to the .62. Years back , Dick Getz told me the .62 was an accurate caliber , and a real power house for any big game. I did a scratch built long rifle with a 38 in. long by 1" straight oct . w/a weight of around 7 3/4 lb.. From the beginning , 90 Gr. of FFG was the most accurate. Killed several Pa. flintlock deer with it , one shot in an open farm field was 175 + yds. . That .62 was my overall favorite deer rifle until my health began to fail about 10 yrs. ago. Now , I use a scratch built long rifle in the reliable .50 round ball. The flint gun weighs in at about 6 3/4 lbs. . I hunt from ladder stands now , where shooting is around 50 Yds. I cobbled up a tang mounted peep sight which allows for seeing the target , and front sight , making the rifle scary good , accurate out to 100 yds, It's Good to know , I might have a fine chance to hit a deer at that distance , once again. That's most of my history about trying different calibers for deer. ..........Oh , one thing , the .62 , with a regular muzzle crown , is near impossible to load w/o a short starter. .................oldwood :thumb:
 
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Rock Home Isle

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In Pa. , .44 cal. or better is legal for deer. Deer here are from 120 lb. to 250 lb's. + A .50 cal. round ball with 80 gr. FFFG will drive a ball diagonally through a 140 lb. buck , from breaking the left front shoulder , to finding the r/b under the hide in the right rear aspect of the rump. That's a lot of bones , and organs to penetrate. I killed 20 + deer , using this longrifle. Used this same custom built longrifle in competition for 12 years , due to its accuracy , and its ability to knock down any steel target , out to 200 yds.. The reason I sold that .50 , was a desire to try other calibers for deer. My hunting buddy , had used a custom built.58 longrifle the same number of years , I had used my .50 , so I jumped to the .62. Years back , Dick Getz told me the .62 was an accurate caliber , and a real power house for any big game. I did a scratch built long rifle with a 38 in. long by 1" straight oct . w/a weight of around 7 3/4 lb.. From the beginning , 90 Gr. of FFG was the most accurate. Killed several Pa. flintlock deer with it , one shot in an open farm field was 175 + yds. . That .62 was my overall favorite deer rifle until my health began to fail about 10 yrs. ago. Now , I use a scratch built long rifle in the reliable .50 round ball. The flint gun weighs in at about 6 3/4 lbs. . I hunt from ladder stands now , where shooting is around 50 Yds. I cobbled up a tang mounted peep sight which allows for seeing the target , and front sight , making the rifle scary good , accurate out to 100 yds, It's Good to know , I might have a fine chance to hit a deer at that distance , once again. That's most of my history about trying different calibers for deer. ..........Oh , one thing ,the .62 with a regular muzzle crown is near impossible to load w/o a short starter. .................oldwood :thumb:
That .62 sounds like it would’ve been amazing on elk.
 
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The .62's I had , were both very efficient killers. The only rifle like it for killing , was an early 1970's era .58 flint lock Harpers Ferry rifle copy , I had for a while. The problem with it wasn't killing power , it was the rainbow in the trajectory at 100 meters. The Minnie ball I used , was the around 400 gr. Lee Target minnie , due to it's excellent accuracy. It would do 3" off a rest at 125 Yds.. I , being young and dumb , sighted the rifle in for 125 Yds. , making accuracy dependent on an "on the fly" , aiming point decision , due to the 8 inch trajectory rainbow , the thin skirted minnie possessed. I shot over a nice bucks back due to the bad decision of using the 125 meter sightin. I couldn't just , use more powder than 80 Gr. FFG. to flatten the trajectory , as the minnie's skirt would split open , and accuracy was ruined. SO , the flat shooting round ball , became the choice for the years of shooting that followed...........oldwood
 
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