Author Topic: Firearm Effectiveness  (Read 31091 times)

northmn

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Firearm Effectiveness
« on: July 17, 2008, 10:45:21 PM »
The shooting of Frasier topic got so way off course that I thought I would start this one to explore some of the issues brought up.  I started to do so a few days ago talking about KE but deleted due to the fact that it was not really what I meant to pursue.  This is a traditional ML forum, however when talking about calibers for hunting, and other issues of effectiveness it is for comparison purposes necessary to bring in more modern calibers and examples as we are really more familiar with the arms we grew up with.
First I think we can accept the fact that there are some calibers better suited to say deer hunting than others.  Deer have been killed with 22 long rifles, even shot behind the shoulder.  yet I really do not think we would want to hunt deer with a 22.  In the past their have been some interesting calibers such as the 25-20 and 32 20 that are fun but died off because for most uses they are either too big or too little.  I hear some claim they would hunt deer with 32's, 36's and 40's just like great granddad did.  I take the stand that they should not be used for that purpose as better ones are available and they leave poor trails for tracking.   Likewise one can hunt elk with a 45 roundball but may be handicapped for the same reason.  The 50 and 54 have proven very popular today with roundball for bigger game I think for the same reason they were carried out West by a lot adventurers.  They are effective and satisfy our needs.  Many hunt deer in my neck of the woods with a 50 and many have bought the 54's for that dream elk hunt.  Few use a 45 and yet I would have no hesitation using one.  However the bigger bores also hit harder at longer range which is another factor. 
Hopefully we can pursue this issue in its own thread instead of stealing a thread on long range shooting.

DP

Mike R

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2008, 12:45:22 AM »
I personally consider the .44 a minimum deer caliber for clean kills [with the knowledge that .22s can kill a deer--my buddy killed a doe for meat last winter with a .22CB short].  The .54 is my minimum for elk.  It is not legal to hunt big game in my state with .40 or under [ML].  Alot of us have been conditioned to consider the .30-30 the minimum deer round--and it is head and shoulders beyond most MLs ballistically [if not in performance].  I think most MLs ought to keep their shots under 100 yds.  Those comments ought to start the arguments going---BYE!  I am off for a few days!

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2008, 01:18:47 AM »
The shooting of Frasier topic got so way off course that I thought I would start this one to explore some of the issues brought up.  I started to do so a few days ago talking about KE but deleted due to the fact that it was not really what I meant to pursue.  This is a traditional ML forum, however when talking about calibers for hunting, and other issues of effectiveness it is for comparison purposes necessary to bring in more modern calibers and examples as we are really more familiar with the arms we grew up with.
First I think we can accept the fact that there are some calibers better suited to say deer hunting than others.  Deer have been killed with 22 long rifles, even shot behind the shoulder.  yet I really do not think we would want to hunt deer with a 22.  In the past their have been some interesting calibers such as the 25-20 and 32 20 that are fun but died off because for most uses they are either too big or too little.  I hear some claim they would hunt deer with 32's, 36's and 40's just like great granddad did.  I take the stand that they should not be used for that purpose as better ones are available and they leave poor trails for tracking.   Likewise one can hunt elk with a 45 roundball but may be handicapped for the same reason.  The 50 and 54 have proven very popular today with roundball for bigger game I think for the same reason they were carried out West by a lot adventurers.  They are effective and satisfy our needs.  Many hunt deer in my neck of the woods with a 50 and many have bought the 54's for that dream elk hunt.  Few use a 45 and yet I would have no hesitation using one.  However the bigger bores also hit harder at longer range which is another factor. 
Hopefully we can pursue this issue in its own thread instead of stealing a thread on long range shooting.

DP

With perfect shot placement a 45 will kill elk. But if you screw up the shot and hit a big bone there will be "problems".
38 or 40s will obviously kill deer, lots of people have meat hunted with 22s years ago including a friend of mine.
For where I live a 50 is near perfect for deer. But I think the 54 is light for elk. 54 WILL work just fine but again if you hit a major bone penetration may be reduced. The upper leg bone on a large elk is pretty tough. A 535 Rb will break it but it takes a lot out of the ball in the process and penetration suffers.
However, a friend saw a norther BC Moose killed with a 54 RB at 170 yards with lung shot and the ball went to the far side hide.
The RB needs more careful shot placement than a Sharps or a .338. Alaska moose, for example, are HUGE and you don't want to get one of these in the way of a 54 RB.

The oldtimers knew the RB would have problems with heavy bones and used head/neck/lung shots.
Forsythe reported that a hardened 15 ga ball would penetrate completely through an Indian Elephants head from side to side. So if of sufficient weight and hardness the RB will work for almost anything.

Dan
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Offline Roger Fisher

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2008, 03:05:33 AM »
I built and use a .54 Jaeger for deer hunting and a .45 (now nearer to a .46) for competition walks and 'line' shoots.  The .45 is a pleasure to shoot and has been shot thousands of times and at times hits the 'target'; but I love the old girl just the same! ::)

I built and shoot a .47 (don't ask it's a long story) chunk gun.  I like her a lot also.

My trade gun is a 28 gauge and she gets pounded a lot also! ;D

jim m

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2008, 03:27:04 AM »
Toby Bridges, says a round ball is not efficent enough for hunting big game, and only an in line with a scope should be used. guess the 5 deer I've taken with a round ball didn't know that. the furthest that any of them went after being hit was 50yds.

tg

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2008, 03:54:30 AM »
I think the whole issue is placement and distance if you master these then the game will fall be it an Elk with a .50 ball or a deer with a .40 and many other combos, energy size of ball  can be detrmining factors, I heard one state allows conicals because of a lot of lostanimals with ball, my guess is that the same hunters would likley have lost the animal with a modern bullet as well, you can kill an Elk with a sharp 3/8" rod slowly run thru the heart or both lungs, a .50 or larger ball will give similar results. ML hunting with ball is a limited range venture, based on the individuals own limitations more so than the projectiles.

Leatherbelly

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2008, 04:08:16 AM »
 Myself,I don't aim for the point of the shoulder on anything except bears.What for? to ruin a ton of meat? Nope. The lungs are just back of the shoulder,presents the biggest target and ruins little or no meat.And,if hit low in the lungs,the animal doesn't go far. A fifty four will punch right thru the boiler room of any moose,Shiras, Yukon, Alaska or the Canada variety.Just get that moose within your firearms effective kill range and no problem.
 Speaking of .22's, an Indian I knew shot two moose with three shots. Reaching in his pocket,he pulls out a mixed handfull of shells,first shot,with a longrifle thru the lungs of the bull.It wobbles off,the next a short,shoots the cow,she just stands there,so a follow up with a long thru the ear and down she goes ,dead as a turnip.The bull went forty yards and piled up.Dead as a stone. Both moose were close,mind you. It just goes to show ya,shot placement is what it's all about!

Candle Snuffer

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2008, 04:34:25 AM »
I like my .45 for hunting deer and antelope.  The patched .445 round ball works as good as my .50 and .54's...  Shot placement is everything.  I like the lungs.  It's a good target area on the game and one who is willing to practice good marksmanship and achieve good marksmanship before going into the field to hunt should have no problem taking game from 100 yards.

Just my opinion that I've found has worked for me for 30 years.

Offline alex e.

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2008, 04:47:40 AM »
I agree that shot placement is EVERYTHING. Ive been hunting with ML's since i was twelve. Not to brag, but i stopped counting deer taken with a ML at about 50. Ive taken deer,bear & buffalo cleanly ,you just need to poke the hole in the right place.

If I could just take a decent elk with one I could die happy :)
My two cents, Alex...
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Offline Pete Allan

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2008, 05:16:51 AM »
Personally I like my English style 62 RB gun. It is light to carry and they "leak" real bad after getting hit with that thing ;D

Steve-In

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2008, 05:49:17 AM »
I agree with the shot placement statements.  Put in the right place any animal will fall.  As yardage grows the chances of a bad hit increase.  A bad hit with any caliber is going to be trouble.  I have finished off 3 deer shot with 12 gauge slug that would have been lost if I did not put them down.  The big calibers do have a larger area where a smaller bore would not do the job, but not much.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2008, 08:22:44 AM »
Myself,I don't aim for the point of the shoulder on anything except bears.What for? to ruin a ton of meat? Nope. The lungs are just back of the shoulder,presents the biggest target and ruins little or no meat.And,if hit low in the lungs,the animal doesn't go far. A fifty four will punch right thru the boiler room of any moose,Shiras, Yukon, Alaska or the Canada variety.Just get that moose within your firearms effective kill range and no problem.
 Speaking of .22's, an Indian I knew shot two moose with three shots. Reaching in his pocket,he pulls out a mixed handfull of shells,first shot,with a longrifle thru the lungs of the bull.It wobbles off,the next a short,shoots the cow,she just stands there,so a follow up with a long thru the ear and down she goes ,dead as a turnip.The bull went forty yards and piled up.Dead as a stone. Both moose were close,mind you. It just goes to show ya,shot placement is what it's all about!


According the Daryl who I have no reason to doubt the 54 will do well to at least 170 yards on large moose.
The problems arise when things don't go just right. It is possible due to animal stance or being just a little "off" that large leg bones can get in the way. I have had it happen twice. Once on a 54 on an elk, still a one shot kill and with a 54 pistol on a deer, also one shot kill. But had the shot at the elk missed the aorta it might have been different. I was using a tree for a rest my "excuse" is in resting the right side of the rifle against the tree put the ball about 4-6" left. Shooting in the field at game sometimes is more taxing than shooting rocks or paper.
The moose with the 22 is a hoot. As you state its where you put it.

Dan
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northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2008, 02:31:23 PM »
After 40+ years of hunting I definitely agree with the shot placement theory, but like Dpharsis more or lessstated, feel that if anything can go wrong sooner or later it will.  Shots out in the field are often taken under some rather tough conditions.  I have seen times when trying too shoot was difficult because I was cold and shaking like the proverbial dog passing razor blades.  I have had them take a step during the time between the mind saying pull the trigger and the finger reacting.  I have also misjudged the angle as well as just plain screwed up.  We used to butcher beef by shooting them in the head with a 22.  They would go down and lay on their knees so that you would have to kick them over.  You see few opportunities to take a front on forehead shot in the woods.  Also don't always get that close.  That why I like the 50 and 54 for deer.
Many people talk about deer running a ways.  Most run no matter what they are shot with.  An old timer told me once that if you shoot a deer in the lungs out in a field it will run to cover whether the cover is 20 yards away or 120 and drop in the cover.  Upon reflection and after he told me that I found he was more or less correct.  The deer I have dropped in place with lung hits were in the woods and very unaware.  I always liked the 30-30 for deer and thought the gun writers running it down were basically rather ignorant individuals that have more experience in front of their word processor than in the field. The same individual that told me about deer running off a field went 26 straight one shot kills with his carbine.  He party hunted, which in MN permitted a person to shoot more than one deer.  He would get 4-6 a year.   He also knew when one was well hit and did not saturate them with further shots.  I bring the 30-30 up because it is a very successful cartridge.  If one looks at the offerings in the 94 Winchester or the marlin 336, the 30-30 has always remained the one to stay with.  Many of the other calibers, such as the 25-35 went by the wayside, as wel as the Big Bore 94 line.  It is hard to compare a jacketed rifle bullet to a ML, but it is a comment on a good hunting load.
As a parting comment, a friend my son grew up with bought a 50BMG rifle.  They taped a doe being shot on a field with it, using a soft nose.  It blew out almost the whole off side of the rib cage.  He told me I was wrong about making it off the field to cover, the deer only went 70 yards before it totally bled out and didn't make the woods.

DP

Leatherbelly

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #13 on: July 18, 2008, 04:23:45 PM »
 Just one more story, OK? 8)
After a days hunt in sheep camp,the banter turned to "what is the best caliber for sheep?" The chatter went on and on about caliber,bullets,trajectory,expansion,bullet weight,etc,etc... When the argument came to a stalemate,the "good old boys" asked their Indian wrangler to show them his rifle.He goes over to his horse,pulls out a beat-up .243 lever action,and says in a thick accent"Sheep Don't Care!"
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 04:27:33 PM by Leatherbelly »

Offline FL-Flintlock

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #14 on: July 18, 2008, 04:31:52 PM »
DP,

From the previous posting ....

I was trying to be a snob, seeing your last posting containing
Quote
for instance compare a 50 round ball to a 54 (apples to apples)
that is exactly what I was trying to get at since it's the point most often ignored.

Likewise I take issue with discussion of "caliber alone" since a 0.535" PRB can be less effective on say a deer than a 0.315" PRB if the velocity isn't behind it.  A well placed 0.315" PRB with some fire behind it will drop a deer where it stands yet a 0.535" PRB barely limping along or poorly placed will send an animal off to suffer.

My whole issue with the previous post and to some extent this post, is that one cannot suggest any answer of any kind when one does not have complete information.  Person A claims his .50 will drop a moose where it stands and person B claims at minimum a .58 is needed to obtain the same results.  Both persons are correct yet both persons are wrong since neither has the complete information of the other nor does either present their complete information - it ends up being all chatter with no means by which to make any kind of determination or comparison.

Now, if we dig a little, we find that person A is running a long rifle w/ 42" bbl, and seating a 0.495" over 120gr of 3F Swiss ... on the other hand, person B is running a 26" bbl Jaeger seating his 0.570" ball over 50gr of 2F Goex.  Only now that complete information is known can one begin to understand the reasoning for the variation within their initial statements.  This is the very same gripe I have when I see comments such as those you presented in the last post about the .45 colt being no better than the .38 spl because there is not even a hint of the information required to make such a statement.  That's not a dig/flame on you, it's just something that really torques me because make such empty statements lacking information is the same as me saying the sun is shining at my house in and it's 92F so how can Daryl be complaining about sub-zero temps and snow?  Omitting the critical information that my house is in Florida and Daryl's is in Canada makes all the difference - the same applies to ballistics!

If one is going to compare a 0.495" to a 0.535" PRB then one must have all other things equal - the muzzle velocity must be the same, distance to target must be the same and rotation RPM of the ball must be the same because if any one thing is different, there can be no manner of comparison and it's no longer "apples to apples".  The same applies to cartridge rounds as well.  How can one compare a .45 colt to a .38 spl or a .50 BMG to a .22LR?  Just take the amount of variation in one round like the .45x2.1 one loading may have you running a 250gr hollow point while another is pushing a 525gr Postell and yet another is using a 450gr FN - in this instance one cannot even compare loads within the same cartridge let alone compare that cartridge to any other.  Not only is the bullet weight and load important, one must know the exact bullet shape as well because it alone can make the difference between "excellent" and "useless".  

While I'm at it, I may as well throw these things out too....

Since you mentioned the .375 Win big bore, I had one and it sucked, it was no better than the .35 Rem which isn't bad but they are neither powerhouse rounds nor extremely effective yet the .35 Rem has killed a pile of deer.  The .375 was marketed with good hype and yep, I allowed myself to be suckered into it which is likely why ever since I pay attention to what I'm spending my money on.  Don't get me wrong, it worked but it died for the simple fact that it was destined to from the beginning since the Win engineers tried to make it a woodchuck round instead of a big game round.  a 200gr bullet in that diameter bore is like running 300gr bullet in the .45x2.1  Not only was the bullet weight an issue but so was the bullet design where it's mass-limited energy retention was further taxed by the required expansion losses.   Some other issues as well like the case not having enough taper on it to keep it from sticking in the chamber with a full throttle load.... just poor excuse of a round that did nothing but duplicate the .35 Rem.  Yes, I knocked the fire out of some hogs with it but it didn't do any better than it's twin sister in .30-30

The 6.5x52R (.25-35) is a dandy little round and had Winchester chosen this cartridge to work on rather than trying to re-invent the .38-55, perhaps the sign over the door would still say Winchester instead of Marlin now.  This is yet another gripe I have where one tried to re-invent the wheel rather than simply making a better wheel based on the historical experience of the existing wheel.  The major downfall, if you can call it that, of the .38-55 was it's lack of sufficient case capacity to get the additional horsepower needed to drive a heavier bullet.  The .375 could have worked out perfectly for Win if they would have just stretched the .38-55 out about 0.500" and put a 330gr FN on top of it.  Not only would it have been a winner with the smokeless folks but it would have made for a dandy BP round as well.  Ignorance won out and they wanted big numbers on paper as opposed to big results in the field.

The same hype is killing the in-lines, lighter bullets means bigger numbers on paper yet in the field the results are not showing as they do in the full-page gun rag ads.  The hype is not winning out when a fellow with an in-line requires 40 minutes and a pouch full of special tools for cleaning when the guy standing next to him with a traditional rifle is all done cleaning in ten minutes and doesn't need anything more than a jag and rag.  The hype isn't winning out when the targets on the range show shotgun patterns and not the pretty little groups pictured in the gun rags.  Nor is there any favor being won when the little pistol bullet hits the shoulder and the deer takes off on three legs with no terminal organ damage.  

Sorry, I didn't mean to go that far astray .......  Point is, before we can discuss anything, all the facts must be presented in a manner so as to make the discussion worth having.  Saying that bullet placement is "everything" is only part of it as one must account for all those times when the bullet doesn't place where you want it to.  The pure lead 0.495" ball launched at 2400 fps doesn't do any good at 130 yards if it strikes bone and doesn't make it to the boiler room yet at the same range a 0.575" pure lead ball with sufficient MV will make up for the incorrect placement for whatever reason and continue through the bone and into the vitals.

Last thing before I go for today - I don't buy into "transferred energy" either.  All that counts is the size and type of wound channel created and the amount of energy lost in the process of making the wound means nothing.  Example:  Projectile A weighs 220gr and looses 900ftlbs of energy punching a 0.750" permanent hole through a moose side to side.  Projectile B creates the same 0.750" permanent hole through the same moose but only looses 400ftlbs of energy because it has a mass of 500gr.  The resulting wound channel being exactly the same and in the exact same spot will have the exact same results.  Just because projectile B did the job and exited with enough retained energy to inflict a second terminal wound channel does not make it any less effective on the intended victim.  Likewise, projectile C has a 200gr mass and comes to a stop under the hide on the opposite side it entered yet it created an egg shaped wound channel 2" in diameter at its widest point while projectile D also with a 200gr mass creates a wound channel only 0.200" in diameter and also stops under the hide, which wound channel is going to be more effective?  Thus is why one must have complete information.  :)
The answers you seek are found in the Word, not the world.

Leatherbelly

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2008, 04:55:55 PM »
 Got a moose draw this year Mark. Wanna go hunting? I'll try the .62 smoothie if I can call him into my effective kill range.(40-75 yards) If not,well,you know what will happen,I'll make meat with the little .338 inline suppository gun.Jeez,it's barely a .34 caliber! LOL!! puney little thang!

northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2008, 06:24:46 PM »
Flinter. I read the studies by Marshall and Sanow and the 38 special lead bullet out of a pistol was very close to as effective to their one shot as a 45 stopping power at about 65% in police shooting situations.  You can think the 45 will knock someone off his feet with a hit to the little finger as some preach and you are welcome to your opinions but the studies show it just ain't so. They are well documented studies and have enough data to be convincing and all include enough hits to the torso to be the same shot placement. Hits to the head and other obvious one shot stops with anything were excluded. Today most police use either the 40 S&W or +p+ 9mm, both with hollow points as they are more effective.
As to transfer of energy, the damage done to the target is dependent upon the durability of what you shoot and the power or energy level of the gun and the durability of the bullet.  Extreme case.  If I shoot a paper bullseye with my 32 long it do as much damage to the paper target as a 300 magnum.  The paper will not transfer that much energy.  Milk jugs full of water are often shot.  At a certain point it doesn't much matter what you shoot them with as the weak seams have been ruptured and the water splashed all over.  The milk jug only takes about so much energy to erupt.  I bet If I showed you 10 milk jugs, 5 shot by my daughters 300 Savage and 5 by a 300 mag you could not pick out with significant certainty which was shot with which.  Varmits shot by varmit bullets blow up because the bullets practically explode transferring more energy into the varmit and less into the landscape.  Shoot a coyote with a 30-06 and 220 grain bullet or a 303 and 215 and you will see little difference in damage between the two.  Shoot a moose with a hot 22 and if the bullet explodes on the rib you may lose him becasue there was no transfer to the vitals.  Shoot a moose with a 215 grain bullet from a 303 and you will eat moose as a heck of a lot of Canadians can tell you.  Its all high school physics.  Low velocity loads from a ML are also low energy loads, therefore theres less energy to transfer if a 50 is used up close at 120 grains and a 54 using 50 grains.  However I will comment that I shot a deer with a 50 and 90 grains of 3f and hit the neck.  While I ate vensison and teh deer dropped there was no exit hole as the round ball flattened out like a 50 cent piece.  had it been driven slower it may have exited and not flattened so much.  We cannot "Magnumize" round ball loads in a muzzle loader and get a 50 to perform like a 58.  If both are driven with say 100 grains of powder the 58 will penetrate deepr.  I used to shoot my 12 with 100 grains of 2f at gongs.  It would destroy them.  The 50's would only make them swing.  The 50 ball would disentegrate on the gong and not transfer as much energy as the very durable 540 grain 715 ball  which wrapped one gong three times.   That is why Taylor liked big bores.  While his theories are based on unusual premises they likely tend to work OK as he favored big bores.  The newer development in bullets, such as the Nosler or Swift are based on the fact that you have to increase bullet durability to increase tissue damage or energy trasnfer if you increase energy to the point to where the standard bullets blow up.  Standard bullets work fine in my daughters 300 Savage, and the 300 mag users have to use expensive bullets to get 300 magnums to perform the same.  Again the magnums were not designed to shoot bigger game than the 30-06, they were designed to give the same performance further away on the same game animals.  It used to be if you felt the 30-06 was too small you used a 375 H & H.  The old BP hunters used biiger bores.  The English were famous for their "gauge" rifles in Africa where they shot 8 and 10 gauges on the big stuff.  Bell used a 4 gauge but some claimed he may have been little better off shooting it than being gored by the elephant as it kicked that much.  A large number of BP hunters shoot big bores with modest charges and like them.  The local Anishnaabe killed a lot of moose and other big game with a flintlock 58 (24 gauge) smoothbore and lighter powder charges.  That gun was preferred by the Natives for about 100 years for living off the land.  Had they wanted something different they would have gotten it.

DP

northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2008, 11:35:15 PM »
I think I should regress a little.  I have always been something of an egghead and have a degree in mathematics.   The use of KE I knew didn't work but when the pistol shooters started using momentum I knew that was even less workable.  About the only place momentum will work is with an arrow penetrating soft tissue.  That was stated by an astrophysicist.  When Marshall published his data in the Hangunner I took the data to the computer lab because his presentation had holes in it and ran a multivariance regression anylysis on the data as a whole.  The model I ran predicted beautifully his laterfindings for the 40 S&W.  One of the things that I feel applies to any discussion of effieciency is that we often see a curved or step up line if graphed.  The effectiveness of the least powerful cartridges was at plateau and of course as you approach 100% you get another plateau.  At the lower level it is kind of like arguing which is more effective on deer a 36 ML or a 32-20 rifle with its heavier bullet.  As neither may be particularly effective nor desirable to use it is a moot arguement, so why bother?  I also restudied my old college physics texts.

DP
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 11:40:40 PM by northmn »

BuffaloGun

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #18 on: July 19, 2008, 12:46:06 AM »
I think people tend to over think these things.
The shooters who opened the territories didn't study KE or ballistics they just learned what worked.
Bullet placement is every bit as critical with a cartridge gun as it is with a M/L.
I've hunted deer in PA and ME, elk out west and caribou in Alaska with flinters.
.45 is the minimum you can reasonable expect to work on a deer/antelope size animal. If you are going for elk and such the minimum is .54.
A lot of guys like bigger bores and I took a Pedersoli .72 percussion on my trip to Alaska. It was more gun than I really needed but I kept thinking about meeting bears.
The key to an effective rifle is being able to make the shot under crappy conditions and knowing when NOT to pull the trigger.

northmn

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #19 on: July 19, 2008, 01:53:12 AM »
I think people tend to over think these things.
The shooters who opened the territories didn't study KE or ballistics they just learned what worked.
Bullet placement is every bit as critical with a cartridge gun as it is with a M/L.
I've hunted deer in PA and ME, elk out west and caribou in Alaska with flinters.
.45 is the minimum you can reasonable expect to work on a deer/antelope size animal. If you are going for elk and such the minimum is .54.
  Can't argue with that.  As I said I am a bit of an egghead.  The final thing is that you cannot use any simple math formula to pick a caliber, you have to know people that have used what works and have the experience to back it up if you are going into new territory.

DP

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2008, 02:40:40 AM »
I have used my .50 cal flinter on most of the deer I have shot. It worked very well. The .54 is great, and a bear taken with a .62 cal flinter went down with a squeel and a spinning motion. Took about 4 or 5 seconds. However, I have said it before and will repeat it here..nothing has ever walked away from my
"Bess"  A patched .735 ball over 140 gr of FFG is absolutely nothing like any of my other muzzleloaders, when it comes to performance on game. Bears, moose, or anything. Bess is not a long range gun, but ,
"though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil " when Bess is with me. ;D

wireman

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #21 on: July 19, 2008, 09:05:42 AM »
Bob i have 73cal and with 150 2f and 715 ball it does not stop it keeps on going bone and all ;D

Offline alex e.

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #22 on: July 19, 2008, 03:34:41 PM »
I imagine it packs a wallop on either end of the gun with that charge. :)

Alex..
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tg

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #23 on: July 19, 2008, 04:48:05 PM »
"45 is the minimum you can reasonable expect to work on a deer/antelope size animal. If you are going for elk and such the minimum is .54"

You will have a hard time convincing a lot of people who use a .40 regularly on deer and a .50 on Elk....

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Firearm Effectiveness
« Reply #24 on: July 19, 2008, 06:27:14 PM »
I am not saying anything against someone useing a .40 on deer etc. I know they work.  But...I'll give you some of my hunting history. I have 35 acres behind the house. It's crown land behind me, and someone elses property on either side. In deer season, it is not unusual to find other hunters on watch along my property lines. If shoot a deer and it runs over the line, I might just have to kiss it goodbye.
So far, when deer are hit by"Bess",  she has snatched their life away and dropped them within feet, not yards.  That is exactly what I like about her. I have shot deer with a 40-70 Sharps, a 45-100 Sharps,
and a 50-70 Sharps. Unless I hit bone, they were not as effective as my round ball flinters, but nothing compares to that .735 ball. Nothing.