Author Topic: Caliber  (Read 18162 times)

Offline Mauser06

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Caliber
« on: June 27, 2016, 07:39:16 PM »
As I am finishing up a half stock rifle I am debating on which caliber I want it to be....


Right now it's a 1" Green Mountain LRH fast twist 50cal...I didn't spend an arm and a leg for the barrel...so having it bored out wouldn't bother me...

At first I wanted to shoot a heavy conical or possibly a sabot...I'm not a fan of 50cal roundball performance..ive shot several deer with them...killed them..but just never happy with the results..


I'm thinking of 58, 60 or 62cal. (not certain I can take it clear to 62cal or not..i THINK I can..).



I don't shoot a million balls a year so cost isn't an issue...i don't cast lead (yet..lol) so I'd be buying them...


Mostly only deer hunt and shots are usually 30yd average if I had to guess..some closer...farthest has been 75yds or so...


Mainly looking for solid performance.....also don't like the weight of a 1" 50cal barrel... sucker is plain ole HEAVY and having it bored out will reduce the weight a bit....


Any thoughts on caliber???   

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2016, 08:18:36 PM »
I had a 1 in  .62 barrel, so I know they are out there. If you don't cast your own yet, perhaps you'd be better off with a .58.   Lots of choice for ammo with a .58

Offline moleeyes36

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2016, 08:43:50 PM »
If you're shooting whitetail deer at the ranges you mention, a .54 is more than enough and might be something to consider.  You don't say what length that barrel is, but a 1" ATF barrel isn't too heavy in most half stocks unless the barrel is unusually long.  At those distances, rifles in larger calibers than that would seem to be serious overkill for whitetail deer.

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Offline Mauser06

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2016, 09:10:42 PM »
The barrel is 28"..

I'm not worried about overkill...lol. I don't believe it's possible...

I have terrible results with 50cal balls and blood trails.. perfectly hit behind the shoulder and only finding deer because I knew I didn't miss...i know a ton of factors go into a blood trail or drop on the spot shots...but a bigger ball means a bigger hole and that should mean more blood on the ground...


Actually wasn't even getting pass throughs with the 50...I've been shooting ball-ets in it a while now...they pass through but blood is still pretty minimal at best...

Offline bigsmoke

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2016, 09:53:53 PM »
For some reason, I also do not like a .50.  I know, it is the most popular caliber, but I just never cared for them.  For the "smaller" calibers, I always liked the .54.  They just worked for me.
I did a re-barrel one time on a 1" T/C Renegade and put a slow twist (1:104) .62 cal barrel on it.  It worked fine, but the recoil with heavy charges was not pleasant.  The shape of the Renegade stock and my body don't go together very well for heavy powder charges.  Up to 125 grains was pleasant, but over that - ouch.
So, yes you can do .62 probably as a maximum, and anything smaller.
Don't forget, for optimum results, you might want to get some advise on what rate of twist you should utilize for round ball performance.  I like 1:66 or 1:72 for the .54.  Anything slower than 1:90 for the .62.
You can order almost any size round ball that you can think of from various vendors on line.
John

Offline Dennis Glazener

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2016, 11:25:28 PM »
Quote
For some reason, I also do not like a .50.  I know, it is the most popular caliber, but I just never cared for them.  For the "smaller" calibers, I always liked the .54.  They just worked for me.
I have the same problem, I just never liked a .50. I think it comes from the first one that I ever owned would hardly hit the back-stop at 100 yards much less "group". Always felt that the .45's and the .54's shot better for me. Probably in my head but I shy away from them in a for a personal rifle.
Dennis
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2016, 11:41:15 PM »
IMO, it's pretty much all up to you, personal choice type of thing. The biggest deer I ever shot was with a .50 RB, SMACKDOWN at around 125 yards, 227 lb field dressed. I don't think that deer would have been any deader with a .62.
I personally don't care for the recoil of the larger calibers, it doesn't bother other folks much.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2016, 11:41:37 PM by Mike Brooks »
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Offline ScottH

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2016, 12:51:06 AM »
I would bet that if your fast twist LRH barrel is like new you could sell it for about enough to get a replacement barrel in the size bore of your choice. Those haven't been made for a few years now and there are people out there looking for them.

Offline bigsmoke

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2016, 01:11:37 AM »
Scott, you seem to know from what you talk.
I would personally take that thought to heart and not mess around modifying things.
John

Online hanshi

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2016, 01:13:31 AM »
I've had tremendous results and great blood trails with .45s but that's obviously not a solution that you're looking for.  Just me but I particularly like the .54.  It definitely packs a wallop leagues above a .50.  And it doesn't take all that much powder to get the same velocities as you can get with a .50.  Ball and conicals are quite available, too.
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Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2016, 03:29:56 AM »
Either you aren't driving that .50 cal. Hard enough, or you're not hitting the sweet spot. I made a poor hit on a 115 pound blacktail ( above the lungs, and below the spine) and still knocked the bad boy flat long enough to get a second shot before he found his feet.

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Offline Mauser06

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2016, 05:15:11 AM »
I considered getting barrel.. Colerain makes one and TOTW makes a breech plug that SHOULD fit my tang...Oregon Barrel Co makes a "drop in" as well but they ant me to send them my stock...thanx but no thanx...

With the Colerain I'd need to put an underlug in the exact spot my key hole is cut.. probably not a huge deal...and I'd have to attach an under rib and thimbles.. probably not a huge deal...and put sights on it...again.. probably not a huge deal...I'd like to learn....then o could finish the furniture and barrel to match...and really an aged dark steel would probably look awesome with my stock since I gave it a kinda aged look...

I don't know...seems easier to send it out and have it bored out and even for $100 or so more I think a new barrel will cost me more than I will have wrapped into the current barrel..



I've killed 15 or so deer with my 50cal...i know atleast 3.. probably a few more were with a roundball and 90gr of 3f...they didn't exit..ive killed the rest with ball-ets...I've killed deer with rifles and my bow as well...i know where to shoot em...I've never had one go an absurd distance...the ball-ets exited but blood trail and holes were not much...

I shot more than one that I just knew I didn't miss...clean lung shot..no spray..no blood... nothing to follow...cavity full...i understand how deer die and how blood comes out of the holes etc..i just feel a bigger caliber will give me what I am wanting to see....

Offline Curt Lyles

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2016, 06:34:17 AM »
Quote
I shot more than one that I just knew I didn't miss...clean lung shot..no spray..no blood... nothing to follow...cavity full...i understand how deer die and how blood comes out of the holes etc..i just feel a bigger caliber will give me what I am wanting to see....

   From what you said above it sounds like your shootin too high.you might want to study the anatomy of Whitetail a little bit before you go huntin again.I know it helps me alot .BTW I would go with a new  54 barrel and sell the old one as was suggested.,but its your call.  Curt
« Last Edit: July 06, 2016, 08:18:25 PM by Ky-Flinter »

Offline Dave Marsh

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2016, 02:59:39 PM »
I am not a fan of the.50 either.  I prefer my .58 or the .62.  I do  not use any more than 90 grains in either and get good results.  I have a 1" .62 Green Mountain on my TC Renegade and she shoots great.  Personally I would go the re-bore route with Bobby Hoyt.  It is simple and  reasonably priced.  In my opinion the best you will do is break even if you sell the fast twist and then go out and buy a drop in.  I like simple and cost effective.  Good luck whichever way you go.

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Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2016, 03:16:26 PM »
I have other hunters here that always seem to be stationed around my property, just outside the fence lines.  I don't want deer running off my land.  Since the distances are usually short, I often hunt with my 10 bore and a round ball, or my .54  or even .62 cal rifles   Since switching to these, I've never had a deer go more than a few yards...never out of sight. Haven't lost one. My friend hunts with a .45 I built for him and has good luck with it, but I prefer the larger calibers.

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2016, 03:56:40 PM »


I shot more than one that I just knew I didn't miss...clean lung shot..no spray..no blood... nothing to follow...cavity full...i understand how deer die and how blood comes out of the holes etc..i just feel a bigger caliber will give me what I am wanting to see....

A bigger ball won't help you much if you're shooting them in the lungs.  Lungs just don't bleed well - most of the blood vessels there are small, and most of the blood lost just pools in the chest cavity.  Lungs are not part of the CNS, and there's too much air for effective hydroshock damage.   A deer can survive long enough with a perforated lung to get a mile away and into hiding before laying down to die.  Unless you lucked out and broke a leg on the way in or out you're likely to lose it.  Gotta aim lower, the heart is very low in a deer's chest.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 03:59:24 PM by mparker762 »

Offline Daryl

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2016, 06:42:31 PM »
Never shot a deer with my .69 - however on moose, the norm is a 3" to 4" hole through both lungs - bleed-out is within seconds. Boom WHACK! a shakey step or 2 - DRT. works for me.
As to slugs, I also had that desire, many years ago, wanted a fast twist .50 - then read about the necessity of platinum nipples, joined the NAPR, bought Forsyth's book, had a 14 bore rifle made up in '86- never thought about a fast twist slug rifle since. I do have a couple conical moulds for that rifle, fired a few shots with a 2 ounce conical, cracked the stock - never fired another. The light, in comparison 484gr. round balls or the even lighter & smaller 15 bore 460gr. balls do the job just fine. Slugs are not
necessary.

 On a 1" barrel, .54 would be good and still have enough weight to hold & shoot well. A .58 might be OK, but will be lighter will have more recoil with hunting or accuracy loads. Up to you. Recoil of 110gr. to 130gr. in .54 to .58's is not usually bothersome - much - depending on stock design.
Daryl

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Offline tddeangelo

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2016, 07:22:11 PM »
Lots of opinions on how to kill deer.... Lol.

I've killed closing in on 100 whitetails. I've lost count anymore but it's somewhere around 80, maybe a few more.

The only consistent thing I've seen is that a spine or brain hit is DRT. Otherwise, weird stuff can happen.

That said, I often heard about the "gap" between the lungs and spine. I started looking at deer. Not diagrams, not drawings. At deer. Dead ones. I went looking for a gap and couldn't find one. What I did find was that lungs by need and design fill the thoracic cavity. The top of the thoracic cavity is...... drumroll.... Ribs and their attachment to the spinal column.

The spinal column does dip down between the shoulders, however, and the spinous process.... the "wing" off the top of the vertebral body...projects up to where we see the top of the deer's back. A hit above the lungs is very possible, but it will also be above the spinal column, too. Not under it. Next time you guys dress or butcher a deer, give it a good look-see.

I'm sort of perplexed to see people saying not to shoot at the lungs. Yeah, the heart is lethal but the lungs are big and also lethal.

I've had deer shot with marginal shots simply die on the spot and I can't explain it. I've also had deer hit with beautiful shots and hard hitting projectiles run. Critters are critters. Sometimes they just don't know they're dead.

That said, I hunt in PA too and I use a 62-cal happily. :)
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 07:24:51 PM by tddeangelo »

Offline Mauser06

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #18 on: June 28, 2016, 07:26:10 PM »
Thanx all!!!  


I know lead from a flintlock kills in a different way than a jacketed rifle bullet or a broadhead...best blood trails in my experiece come from broadheads....


I know lots of hunters love 45s and 50s...and many many animals have died due to them...

I've always wanted to go bigger..."just because".  Figure this is a good time to try it...60cal is kinda ruled out...balls are a little harder to find...I'm leaning towards the 58....i know the 54 is a great caliber..but I am the guy that likes to have something different lol...there are plenty of 45-50-54cals st camp...sick of those guys bumming loads from me! Lol



Tdd...i agree 100%....there's no "void" and  the lungs are an excellent target...i do agree lower lung is better...i always strive to put a hole right in the pocket behind the shoulder and above the leg..i usually rip the top of the heart off...

Offline KentSmith

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #19 on: June 28, 2016, 07:33:36 PM »
Never had a problem dropping a whitetail with a patched round ball, either 45, 50 or 54.  I have had to track whitetails using a 30-30 or 6.8mm SPC (270) shot through at 125 yards.  Must be lucky my smokepole dropped them in their tracks.

Offline tddeangelo

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #20 on: June 28, 2016, 08:14:27 PM »
In my personal experience, heart shots from any projectile (arrow, bullet, or ball) tend to give me the worst blood trails of any solid vital hit. They don't go far, but they're sometimes a bugger to find.


Offline Mauser06

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2016, 09:19:13 PM »
I agree tdd...if you blow the heart up its not pumping blood...my best are always when I am take a hunk off the very top end of the heart...


I've never had well hit deer go far...but I'd like to see a little more of a hole...a little more blood...hunting in PA is a bit different lol... especially in rifle season...i jumped a buck and sent it to my buddy the last day a few years ago...he put 2 rounds in it..one solid chest hit..the 2nd was low and back and literally gutted the thing...it went 30yds or so and piled up next to a road...POW!  Someone shot...figured they shot at tje doe he was with...nope...they hot the buck...I'm 99% certain that buck was dead or at the very least on the ground.. evidence at the scene suggest so...rather than start the confrontation we left...but that wasn't cool...and sadly it happens...

Now that I'm gunna primarily flintlock hunt even in rifle season I'd like a little more than what the 50 has shown me...

Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #22 on: June 29, 2016, 12:16:12 AM »
Hmmmm Here I am gathering up the parts for a .45 for my personal deer gun.  Oh well.... ;D I'm pretty sure I could put them down with my .36, but it's not a legal deer gun in Iowa.  I have seen several deer that were "shot out of season" with a 22 mag. The shooter reported they dropped like a stone.
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Offline Daryl

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2016, 12:57:02 AM »
I agree tdd...if you blow the heart up its not pumping blood...my best are always when I am take a hunk off the very top end of the heart...


I've never had well hit deer go far...but I'd like to see a little more of a hole...a little more blood...hunting in PA is a bit different lol... especially in rifle season...i jumped a buck and sent it to my buddy the last day a few years ago...he put 2 rounds in it..one solid chest hit..the 2nd was low and back and literally gutted the thing...it went 30yds or so and piled up next to a road...POW!  Someone shot...figured they shot at tje doe he was with...nope...they hot the buck...I'm 99% certain that buck was dead or at the very least on the ground.. evidence at the scene suggest so...rather than start the confrontation we left...but that wasn't cool...and sadly it happens...

Now that I'm gunna primarily flintlock hunt even in rifle season I'd like a little more than what the 50 has shown me...

A .58 will deal a $#*! of a blow!
Daryl

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galudwig

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2016, 02:24:46 AM »
I'm really surprised at all the "lack of love" for the .50.  In my main hunting rifle I shoot a home-cast 182 gr., .495 round ball over 75 grains of 2F powder.  Back on the last day of MZ season in 2005, I had a doe & two fawns in front of me at about 60 yards.  I concentrated on getting a chest shot on the doe and lost track of where the fawns were standing.  When I shot, the doe went down and the fawns took off running.  After running about 50 yards, one of the fawns did a barrel role in mid-jump and piled up, dead.  :o  Best I can tell, one fawn had been standing behind and beside the doe when I shot because the ball went in & out the doe's chest and went almost through the chest of the fawn (I found the ball flattened out against the hide on the far side of the fawns chest).  Fortunately, I had two deer tags needing filled.   ;D

Up until that point, I was kind of worried that my load may have been a bit light.  I never changed that load and so far I have killed eleven deer with that gun and load.  Two of those deer were killed in their beds at 70+ yards.  My other deer gun is a .50 cal T/C Renegade with a Green Mountain LRH barrel.  I shoot various conicals over 90 grains of 2F out of that one.  I never feel under-gunned when I go to the woods with either of my .50's.  I wait for good, clear chest shots and strive to keep my shots under 80 yards.