Author Topic: Smooth Rifles  (Read 43541 times)

SPG

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #75 on: May 06, 2011, 01:54:32 AM »
Gentlemen,

Last winter I finished a Peter Berry .56 smooth rifle and have been using it off and on. It is a very useful firearm but with some caveats.

For shooting small game I would much rather use a small caliber rifle. If I'm close enough to reliably kill with shot I can easily make the same shot with a rifle. I find that the smooth rifle shoots a single ball reliably out to fifty yards, but here in the West that can be a real disadvantage when hunting big game.

For carrying as protection against nasty varmints I load it with a single ball. The theory of using buckshot against bears is a fine theory but flawed in actual use. If one is close enough to a bear for buckshot to be effective, you can easily make the same shot with a ball which is much more of a "stopper". I think buckshot would be useful in dealing with bad folks...but not much good for anything in the game fields.

Where I find the smooth rifle to be useful is loaded with a single ball when on a scout, not necessarily hunting. It has good knock-down at close range, comes quickly to the shoulder, is quick to reload and very light to carry. I suspect that this was much of the attraction for smooth rifles in the old days. Folks went armed for many more reasons than just hunting...and still do.

Rather than the smooth rifle being an "all-around" utility firearm, I consider it to be a purpose-specific gun. I'll keep and use the .56 Berry but for general hunting I will rely on a rifle.

Steve

 

Daryl

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #76 on: May 06, 2011, 05:55:41 PM »
Taylor has a smoothrifle to make - 37 or 38 bore, I think - 56" bl. - should be fun to shoot.

northmn

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #77 on: May 06, 2011, 06:19:01 PM »
Taylor has a smoothrifle to make - 37 or 38 bore, I think - 56" bl. - should be fun to shoot.

The fun to shoot part is what counts.  If one has no use for shot loads then a rifle is better.  What gives a smoothbore its versatility is the ability to use either ball or shot.  The fun to shoot part is that I can shoot stuff that flies through the air with the smoothbore as well as on the ground.  Pheasants getting up in front of a bird dog or ducks decoying have an appeal to me.  More so than rifle hunting, but that does not mean I do not enjoy a good squirrel hunt or deer hunt, just that I enjoy wing shooting.  That makes a smooth rifle more versatile and not a "special purpose weapon"

DP

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #78 on: May 08, 2011, 07:45:56 AM »
How much shot would you use in an unchoked 38 to 50 caliber smooth rifle for ducks, or pheasants for that matter?  Given the fact that many smooth rifles were, naturally, stocked as rifles and generally had rifle weight barrels just how useful WERE these guns for flying birds where quick handling is important?

Most smooth rifles were rifle bore size and as such were not much over 50-52 caliber and often smaller, this is not a very good shotgun bore size.

The ONLY time a smooth bore can "out shoot" a rifle in a match is if the range is short, the targets are fairly large "hit or miss" and the rifle shooters are unskilled. If you shoot paper and MEASURE from center to get a score its simply not going to happen in a 10 shot match or even a 3 or 5 shot match. Its remotely possible that on a given day at 30-40 yards shooting three shots a smoothbore might accidentally shoot a group small enough to beat a rifle. But doing it consistently? Not going to happen.
The smoothbore is only economically feasible when shooting birds ON THE WATER where one shot will kill a number of birds. Other than than this its a massive waste of powder and lead for killing small game and useless for larger game with which it is less efficient than the rifle. Remember that they did not kill a massive number of rabbits, for example and freeze them. Game of this sort was shot as needed. Killing two rabbits aday with a rifle will take less powder and lead than a shotgun. Turkeys" they shot them with rifles too. Squirrels? Deer. Etc???? This economy, as I have noted a number of times, was noted in the 1750s-60s.
In the historical context the average American in the 18th or 19th century seldom hunted simply for sport. This was the recreation of the idle rich.
Now if one IS shooting for "sport" then the shotgun is a good gun. Its kinda like fly fishing.

We cannot get inside the heads of the people who used smooth rifles. We cannot even determine how many smooth rifles, as a percentage of the total survivors, were made as such.
My disagreement is not with the smooth rifles existence. Its with the myth that they are such wonderful multi-purpose guns when in reality they are actually less versatile than the rifle. Which is why the small bore ML rifle hung on far longer than the the ML shotgun did. The ML shotgun, as it was used the the time frame we generally concern ourselves with was not all that effective due to the lack of a choke or any kind.
If the smooth bore was the best option why did poor people in the western Colonial Frontier, who needed a firearm for personal protection and subsistence, apparently have more rifles per capita than the more affluent people farther east? Why did the rifle companies of the American Revolution come predominantly from the west?
The smoothbore was not even a particularly good weapon of war as it was waged by the Native Americans and Frontiersman. This was also known and noted by the middle of the 18th century.
But this has also be noted before with citations.
To this day the shotgun, the modern evolution of such, is inferior as a "survival" weapon to even a 22 RF pistol in the hands of a good shot.
The 22 rf took the place of the 28-36 caliber ML "squirrel" rifle of the 19h century. Effective and cheap to shoot.
In the earlier times the bore sizes were generally bigger average was likely in the high 40s, 48 maybe circa 1776. Still small enough to head shoot small game or easily take larger game. A 45 caliber rifle is an effective 50 yard deer rifle with one grain per caliber of powder. Probably farther but I KNOW its good at 50 yards. Find a smoothbore that has a bore large enough to be really useful as a shotgun, like for pheasants or ducks, then see if it will kill deer with 130 grains of lead and 45 grains of powder.

Dan
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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #79 on: May 08, 2011, 05:55:24 PM »
One factor that is often forgotten....not all settlers or anyone else for that matter, were decent shots.
If a fox is coming around after your chickens, you don't want to miss , especially since you've got only 1 shot !  That alone may account for some of the popularity of the " shot" rifle.    My Uncle's pick for foxes etc coming around the farm in Manitoba was a load of  BB's

SPG

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #80 on: May 08, 2011, 09:20:39 PM »
Gentlemen,

I will agree that if one is an indifferent shot with a rifle and the ranges are short, then a smooth rifle charged with BB's is probably a wise choice. Also, in heavily populated areas, where even a round ball has more range than is prudent, loading with shot would be good. Here in the West those situations are the exception, and not the rule. That being said, I am contemplating taking the Berry .56 to New Zealand on my next visit as where I would be hunting, 40 yards is a long shot. The lightness of the Berry would be welcome when making a long hunt in the New Zealand bush.

I wonder how many smooth rifles started out as true rifles and were reamed out the final time, after many re-cuttings, then handed to Ma loaded with shot for defense of the chickens? Those old Germans never threw anything away and this might explain many seemingly contradictory features of smooth rifles, especially those with set triggers.

Steve
 

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #81 on: May 09, 2011, 04:24:59 AM »
Well, here is a perfect example for us. My neighbor up the road a piece called to tell me I might hear a shot, but it's him, so not to worry.  Seems he has a varmint coming around, and he missed it  8 TIMES !  :o this evening with his .22
He's gonna " get serious " and get out the shotgun.  Back in the 118th C eyes didn't get better with age anymore than they do now, so I expect that more than a few rifles got bored out for just that same reason.
 :)

northmn

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #82 on: May 09, 2011, 07:50:35 PM »
A rifle caliber smoothbore as in 40 or larger can handle over 1/2 oz of shot, ala a modern 410.  while I do not use a 410 or own one, they have taken a lot of game.  Rilfe shots brag that they can shoot a grouses head off, yet get one walking through the brush and a smoothbore works better.  I have done both.  Same for a squirrel that will not sit to be shot with a rifle, where a quick snap shot is needed when it pauses to jump from one branch to another.  The rifle is a very specialized weapon for most.  My 58 is a deer rifle and gets used for that purpose.  I might pop a grouse in the head with it during deeer season  but would not carry it for that purpose.  My 25 is a specialized rifle.   The 45 was a good all around rifle for wmall game and deer in a way, but was kind of limiting.  A smaller bore smoothbore as in 45 caliber or so would permit a wider variety of uses and could use probably 5/8 oz of shot or so effectively, which will knock down a flyng grouse, permit head shooting one while they are walking away as to getting ready to fly, squirrels that do not want to set still and with round ball a deer.  For an Eastern hunter a rifle only is rather limiting.  And as been stated before, not all people are that great a rifle shot.  From what I saw at matches there would be 60 people shooting but only competition between about 4 shooters.

DP

SPG

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #83 on: May 09, 2011, 11:54:29 PM »
DP,

What ranges are you getting reliable patterns at with the smooth rifle, and at the risk of this being already done on another thread, what load? I'm seeing a lot of variation on technique for shot loads.

Thank you,

Steve

KHickam

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #84 on: May 10, 2011, 04:17:58 PM »
I have found this to be a great discussion and enlightening.  Why?  Because I am considering getting a 54 cal smooth rifle soon.

I already own a 50 cal rifle and a 62 cal fowler.  I can provide antedotes why the smoothbore is better or why the rifle is better.

Last year I killed a nice 4 x 5 whitetail with my rifle - however, I could have killed the deer with my smoothbore too - because he was about 20 yds away and I killed a deer the year before at 60+ yds with my smoothbore.  So, in this case whether it was a rifle or smoothbore would likely have been a moot point.

Last year I killed two turkeys in the span of a couple minutes (at the most) with my rifle - yes, it is legal to use a rifle here in TX in the fall season.  That I  may not  have killed with my smoothbore (because they were shot in the head and neck at 60+ yds).

 Here the rifle, was the only real choice - and although I may have taken the shot with my smoothbore (I was deer hunting so I would have loaded a PRB anyway) I am not sure the outcome would have been the same - and probably unlikely that I could have put a PRB on such a small target with no rear sight at 62 and 65 yds respectively - TWICE!

I have in the past held my own with rifles in trail walks and even in paper target shooting (before I had my rifle and all I shot was my smoothbore)  I was 2nd in a local shoot against some very good rifle shooters - my score and the score of the 1st place shooter were the same (except for he had an X and I didn't) and I was shooting out to 75 yds.

That all being said - I will probably still have a smooth rifle made - because I can and I think they are neat.

Daryl

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #85 on: May 10, 2011, 06:17:07 PM »
Heh, heh, heh - love it.

northmn

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #86 on: May 10, 2011, 07:03:14 PM »
My smooth rifle is a 20 bore and I only load it with about 70 grains measure of shot/powder.  It patterns reliably out to maybe 25-30 yards as it is a cylinder bore.  In the grouse woods of Northern MN 30 yards is a very long shot and most are taken somewhere at 20 or less, give or take.  I only carry overpowder card wads with me and load one over the powder and split one thin for over the shot.  If lubrication is needed for continued shooting I load a overshot thickness wad and then a thin lubricated fiber wad as in no more than 1/4 inch.  I also use #6 or #5 shot as I have had bad experiences with the fine stuff.  I played with BB shot once as  GGGGranddad used heavier shot and found it to be interesting and effective.  That is what they used to call "duck shot". 
With round ball I get very meticulous as I believe there is a mentality that says "good enough for a smooth bore" which should be "good enough for a rifle" as a rifle will perform with less meticulous loading fairly well.  I am talking about the ball/patch combo.  Powder can be measured.  The old trick on a walking grouse or a squirrel with a shotgun is to aim at the top knot of the head or the tip of the nose.  You get less shot in the body that way, kind of half pattern them. 


DP

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #87 on: May 10, 2011, 07:10:38 PM »
I have found this to be a great discussion and enlightening.  Why?  Because I am considering getting a 54 cal smooth rifle soon.

I already own a 50 cal rifle and a 62 cal fowler.  I can provide antedotes why the smoothbore is better or why the rifle is better.

Last year I killed a nice 4 x 5 whitetail with my rifle - however, I could have killed the deer with my smoothbore too - because he was about 20 yds away and I killed a deer the year before at 60+ yds with my smoothbore.  So, in this case whether it was a rifle or smoothbore would likely have been a moot point.

Last year I killed two turkeys in the span of a couple minutes (at the most) with my rifle - yes, it is legal to use a rifle here in TX in the fall season.  That I  may not  have killed with my smoothbore (because they were shot in the head and neck at 60+ yds).

 Here the rifle, was the only real choice - and although I may have taken the shot with my smoothbore (I was deer hunting so I would have loaded a PRB anyway) I am not sure the outcome would have been the same - and probably unlikely that I could have put a PRB on such a small target with no rear sight at 62 and 65 yds respectively - TWICE!

I have in the past held my own with rifles in trail walks and even in paper target shooting (before I had my rifle and all I shot was my smoothbore)  I was 2nd in a local shoot against some very good rifle shooters - my score and the score of the 1st place shooter were the same (except for he had an X and I didn't) and I was shooting out to 75 yds.

That all being said - I will probably still have a smooth rifle made - because I can and I think they are neat.

You are missing a key point here. Yes I kill deer at smooth bore ranges as well at times.  The SB can be made to work. BUT what is the ADVANTAGE to shooting deer with a SB? How is it better? These are the questions that need to be asked.
The smoothbore can to some extent be used as a rifle. But its poor choice for shooting solid shot.
The turkeys you shot are a classic. The smoothbore simply would not do this reliably with a ball and would not do it at all with small shot unless they are modern super tight choked shotguns.
The point being that unless shooting at flying birds or punt gunning waterfowl there is no technical advantage to the shotgun. The smoothbore to be truly useful as a shotgun needs to be a larger bore than the rifle. So no matter how its used it requires more powder and lead than a rifle for the same amount of food obtained. As previously stated one of the reasons given in the 1760s for NOT selling rifles to the natives was that they used less powder and lead and as a result reduced profits.
People use them now for a number of reasons. They are documented, though I believe smooth rifles  are over represented in surviving "rifles", people like being different and think its "cool". All these are valid reasons and I cannot disagree. My disagreement arises when the "superiority" of the smoothbore is claimed.
If shooting solid shot its still an unnecessary handicap that is a the shooters choice.
If you want to make "full use" of the SB then at least 2 different types of projectiles need to be carried. Shot, balls, wadding, patches... Then it will likely be loaded with the wrong projectile at any given time if foraging. I can shoot a grouse with a rifle but shooting  deer or elk with birdshot is pointless.

Being required by F&G laws for some uses is not a marker of superiority, its invariably a handiicap imposed to make hunting more "sporting"  or reduce the maximum range of projectiles. Its easy to pick off enough Sharptails for a family sized pot of grouse and noodles or dumplings with a pistol. But its not legal here. Spring turkey does not require a shotgun because its easier to kill birds this way, its a handicap that actually makes the hunting more difficult.
I keep thinking of an account from a Frenchman's Journal circa 1700 that was cited during a similar discussion on another board IIRC. They found turkeys roosted in a tree. Fired a number of shots with their SBs and were finally able to frighten the birds into flight. Never did down one. Now that the heck good did this do other than alert everyone in earshot and lighten their load of ammunition and miss a turkey supper.
One man with a rifle could have killed all the birds they needed... But they have the far more "useful and versatile" smooth bore... Heh heh heh!
ONLY HITS COUNT

Supper on the trail back when I packed horses and guided hunters. 50 caliber ball at low velocity from rifle or pistol just pokes a hole in a grouse with virtually no meat loss. What would I gain with a smoothbore? Other than biting into bird shot?



Dan
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Daryl

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #88 on: May 11, 2011, 06:23:54 PM »
 As for that grouse, a high velocity .32 is better, Dan - you don't have to clean the grouse after a hit in the middle - the ball does it for you - some meat might be lost, of course.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #89 on: May 11, 2011, 07:06:42 PM »
As for that grouse, a high velocity .32 is better, Dan - you don't have to clean the grouse after a hit in the middle - the ball does it for you - some meat might be lost, of course.

I used to hunt squirrels with 32-36-40 calibers.
With a load in the 30-40 grain range they will cut a fox squirrel in two with a body shot. Head shots decapitate.


Dan
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northmn

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #90 on: May 13, 2011, 06:01:55 PM »
I read an article on squirrel hunting where the author proposed that the "best" squirrel gun was a 20 bore single shot, full choked.  With that he stated he probably could get the most squirrels.  I cannot necessarily disagree as I could have gotten more squirrels with a smoothbore and shot, especially walking.  I use a rifle mostly because it is more sporting.  When I carry the squirrel rifle or deer rifle I also seem to get some gimme flying shots at grouse.  Having shot in the gun could make a difference between the economy of a rifle and no game or a little less economy and a grouse or squirrel.
There is also a difference in hunting styles that can make a difference.  Many Western hunters keep their feet firmly planted on the floor boards of their pickup (in the older days their feet firmly planted in stirrups) and drive till they see game and get out and stalk it or shoot it.  We have a lot of "road" hunting in Minnesota for grouse and pheasant.   The opportunites offered for this type of hunting are different than for someone walking the woods especially for birds.  I could have shot a lot of pheasant off the road with a 22 as well as grouse.  Walking trails or pheasant cover mostly they are flying.  Unfortunatley last season for grouse I would walk my tail off and then get a grouse while driving home, off the logging roads. 
Carrying a smoothbore loaded with shot is no different than carrying a 50 loaded light.  Neither is appropriate for a larger animal.  If you carry a pistol as an alternative then you can carry shot and a heavy loaded pistol.  Another issue. 
A true smooth rifle is not really a wing shooters gun but something more in the line of a squirrel, rabbit, grouse ground getter and a large game gun.  They would also work if one could get close to a duck pond and swat ducks.  Were I to pick a true all around gun it would be a 12or 16 bore fowler with rudimentary sights.  In my area, no rifle would be as versatile.  But a fowler is not a smooth rifle. 

DP

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #91 on: May 13, 2011, 07:05:49 PM »
I read an article on squirrel hunting where the author proposed that the "best" squirrel gun was a 20 bore single shot, full choked.  With that he stated he probably could get the most squirrels.  I cannot necessarily disagree as I could have gotten more squirrels with a smoothbore and shot, especially walking.  I use a rifle mostly because it is more sporting.  When I carry the squirrel rifle or deer rifle I also seem to get some gimme flying shots at grouse.  Having shot in the gun could make a difference between the economy of a rifle and no game or a little less economy and a grouse or squirrel.
There is also a difference in hunting styles that can make a difference.  Many Western hunters keep their feet firmly planted on the floor boards of their pickup (in the older days their feet firmly planted in stirrups) and drive till they see game and get out and stalk it or shoot it.  We have a lot of "road" hunting in Minnesota for grouse and pheasant.   The opportunites offered for this type of hunting are different than for someone walking the woods especially for birds.  I could have shot a lot of pheasant off the road with a 22 as well as grouse.  Walking trails or pheasant cover mostly they are flying.  Unfortunatley last season for grouse I would walk my tail off and then get a grouse while driving home, off the logging roads. 
Carrying a smoothbore loaded with shot is no different than carrying a 50 loaded light.  Neither is appropriate for a larger animal.  If you carry a pistol as an alternative then you can carry shot and a heavy loaded pistol.  Another issue. 
A true smooth rifle is not really a wing shooters gun but something more in the line of a squirrel, rabbit, grouse ground getter and a large game gun.  They would also work if one could get close to a duck pond and swat ducks.  Were I to pick a true all around gun it would be a 12or 16 bore fowler with rudimentary sights.  In my area, no rifle would be as versatile.  But a fowler is not a smooth rifle. 

DP

One does not HAVE to load the 50 light. The only time I shot grouse with a RIFLE I was in elk camp. I pulled the load and shot the grouse with light loads to REDUCE THE NOISE LEVEL. If I were simply feeding myself with no care for noise I could simply shoot the bird in the head with the full load. But its NOISY and with a camp full of paying elk hunters I did not want to make a lot of racket.
A 50 caliber rifle with 20 grains may not shoot well enough for head shots but it will not destroy the bird with body shots and is very low noise.
I had the same rifle with me when I shot the grouse in the photo but a rifle is harder to clean than a pistol.
I typically carry a FL pistol for back up and have shot a number of grouse with them over the years. I have actually tested a 54 rifled pistol with shot loads. Loaded right it will pattern well enough at 15 yards or so to kill grouse. BUT since I had previously killed grouse with the pistol with HEAD SHOTS at similar distance why would I screw around with shot? I carried it for a big game backup and "personal security" shot is useless in this context. Using shot wold convert the multi-use pistol that I could shoot anything with into a limited use "specialty" firearm good for only one thing. This is OBVIOUS to anyone who actually thinks past how "cool" smooth bore are.

The poor shot is better off with a shotgun. I used to hunt squirrels with a ML. Being a ML with one shot I never fired unless sure of my target and I figured 30-40 yards was about as far as I would shoot. I used to watch squirrels get way when they did not offer a head shot. I would still kill more squirrels than my 22 armed Cousins.
I could have killed more with a tightly choked 20 gauge I suppose but I have too much pride to shoot squirrels with a shotgun.

Dan
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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #92 on: May 14, 2011, 06:23:08 AM »
Dang, those squirrels look tasty! 

Leatherbelly

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #93 on: May 14, 2011, 07:55:21 PM »
You guys actually eat Brush Grizzlies?(tree rats?)
  Dan P, Come up to Heffley Creek this summer. There are several guys who shoot their trade guns and fowlers as good as any rifleman. These are all offhand shoots,on a trail. It is very hard to get in the top five with a smoothie here. Lots of practice. I got a third last year with a trade gun, an off hand paper shoot. (I hate shooting paper) Yes, we know the capabilities of a rifle far exceed the smoothie but...fowlers and their shooters are the most fun!
  Here's a full two thumbs up to the gents like Lorne,Phil,Les,Jim,Ken,Tom,Stan,DogWater,RePhil,Thor. Top drawer smoothie shooters and top notch gents.High 5 ,LOL, to ya all! et tu Fillburt!...what a nut!


northmn

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #94 on: May 14, 2011, 08:55:46 PM »
The locals where I live do not eat your brush grizzlies as much but my mothers side relation from Missouri went in for them big time.  They had the fox squirrels, but greys are also good.  I remember my father telling about pulling a piece of squirrel meat off the platter and it was looking back at him.  He traded the head for another piece with one of my uncles.  Squirrel head is a delicacy in some places and is another reason some take them with a scattergun.  I eat squirrel but waste the head when I clean them.

DP

blunderbuss

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #95 on: May 14, 2011, 09:19:04 PM »
Squirrels are best served with dumplins .I use a .25 flinter with 10 gr 3f It doesn't mess the meat up or make a loud noise. I don't like biting into pellets. I can shoot forever on a pound of powder and lead.Besides it's cute
I think at the distances one would shoot at a squirrel a smooth bore .25 would be interesting
« Last Edit: May 15, 2011, 02:38:46 AM by blunderbuss »

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #96 on: May 16, 2011, 08:18:26 AM »
You guys actually eat Brush Grizzlies?(tree rats?)
  Dan P, Come up to Heffley Creek this summer. There are several guys who shoot their trade guns and fowlers as good as any rifleman. These are all offhand shoots,on a trail. It is very hard to get in the top five with a smoothie here. Lots of practice. I got a third last year with a trade gun, an off hand paper shoot. (I hate shooting paper) Yes, we know the capabilities of a rifle far exceed the smoothie but...fowlers and their shooters are the most fun!
  Here's a full two thumbs up to the gents like Lorne,Phil,Les,Jim,Ken,Tom,Stan,DogWater,RePhil,Thor. Top drawer smoothie shooters and top notch gents.High 5 ,LOL, to ya all! et tu Fillburt!...what a nut!


I think about coming up but going through customs always gives me the creeps.

Smooth bores only work against rifles on large hit or miss targets. Try shooting string measure at 50-60 yards. It is a better measure of accuracy  than even a ring target but scoring is far slower. The rifle that shot the 11+ string this month shot a 3.5" 10 shot string last summer but the wind was more cooperative.
I understand steel plate targets. I shot BPCR silhouette for years. Its possible to shoot a 6-8" group on a ram at 500 meters and be tied with a guy that made 1/2 his hits scattered on edges from horn to hock but managed to tip the same number of targets. Under the rules one can even miss the target, skip a shot in or hit the stand. If it falls over before you shoot your next shot at the next target  it counts. I once spotted for a shooter (a future nat. champion who resided in Kansas) who got 3 pigs by hitting the pipe the stand was welded on and the pigs toppled "slow falls" they are called.

So I don't buy the steel target thing as a measure of how well the gun or shooter really performs.
BTDT too many times.  Shooting steel targets is an instant gratification,  feel good sport. Its fun. BTDT too.
As I have stated before the only reason to shoot solid shot from a smooth bore is because someone wants to. Its not because it shoots as good as a rifle. Its because its something some choose to do.
I don't care, people should shoot what they have fun with. I went through a "smooth bore" phase once but won't waste my time now. I got over the "its cool" thing after missing a couple of animals I could have killed with a rifle that I worked pretty hard for. Then there was the trade gun match at the Rendezvous ::)
I would bet that a good shot with a rifled pistol can do as well or very near it as the SBs on the trail targets.
But if you make a match too tough or shoot for too high a stakes only the hardcore shooters show up. I understand this as well. If you have a lot of SB shooters then they will have to be catered to. But this means acknowledging that a smooth bore will shoot groups about 4 times as large as a rifle at 50-60 yards.
Does this mean I denigrate the skills of the SB shooters, no. But we need to be real here. Its only possible for SB shooters to out shoot rifle shooters if the rifle shooters are unskilled or if the match is contrived to allow it. This is simple fact.

There is a standing invite for anyone to come to the Cody, WY ML match, 1st Saturday of the month. If its turkey you can shoot 60 yards rest or 35 OH. Chuck match is all rest at 60.
We shoot these because they are traditional rifle matches.
Its a way to keep the past alive.
So have the smooth bore shooters come down if they shoot as well as any rifle. Usually costs 15 bucks for 10 shots usually done by 2 pm of so. Start at 11AM.

Dan
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caddo

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #97 on: June 04, 2011, 01:00:03 AM »
Yo sold me...I'm getting a smoothbore ;D

blunderbuss

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #98 on: June 05, 2011, 10:58:54 PM »
Guns are tools use the tool that fits the purpose

Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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Re: Smooth Rifles
« Reply #99 on: June 06, 2011, 12:57:33 AM »
Don't force it...just get a bigger hammer!!
De Oppresso Liber
Marietta, GA

Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others. William Allen White

Learning is not compulsory...........neither is survival! - W. Edwards Deming