Author Topic: Caliber  (Read 18160 times)

Offline gumboman

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #25 on: June 29, 2016, 03:03:17 PM »
I gave up on 50 caliber balls years ago due to the lack of knock down power. In the nearly impenetrable pine thickets of the south trailing a deer shot with a 50 caliber ball is not fun is my reason.  I have had several perfectly shot deer run 80 to 100 yards with zero blood trail and no exit wound. I began using the Buffalo bullet years ago and the difference in knock down performance is huge. Once I started using heavy bullets in a 50 caliber, every deer I have hit has either dropped on the spot or bolted only a few yards.

In my nearly 40 years of hunting deer with muzzleloaders, I have found the .54 caliber ball is only beginning to gain my respect. Have taken deer with a 230 grain ball but they still run a long distance. I like a 62 best. With 120 grains of 2f and a 330 grain ball my underhammer percussion will hammer down on a deer.

I understand others have had different experiences with 50 caliber balls and like them. But my experience has been negative with them.

Offline Sweeney

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #26 on: June 29, 2016, 04:15:11 PM »
I have helped track dozens of deer shot with either shotgun slugs, traditional round ball, conicals, modern rifle bullets, or broadheads....some of them - even when fatally hit, left little if any blood trail. Talking muzzleloader calibers is fun and educational but the need for disciplined shot selection and bullet placement can not be overemphasized. So long as it is legal, shoot what you are most accurate with.

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #27 on: June 29, 2016, 04:43:30 PM »
 In Northern California where I live, I would suspect that more heart shot deer go unretreaved that those shot through the lungs. Most folks have no idea how far a deer can run after a heart shot.
 A hunter came back to the hunting camp several of us muzzleloader hunters shared one season, and told us the deer he shot at "jumped the bullet" and after a search of around forty yards, he declared it a miss. Several of us in camp suspected it was not a miss, and went to the sight of the encounter,  to try to track the deer. We found him down the hill about a hundred yards under a manzanita bush where he had slid after dropping dead on the run.

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Offline hanshi

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #28 on: June 29, 2016, 10:39:31 PM »
First off it should be understood that "knockdown" power does not exist if one means a projectile actually does "knock" an animal down.  Laws of physics tell us that if a firearm knocks a critter down then it would also knock the shooter - equal and opposite reaction - down.  Building a shoulder fired weapon of that power would be counter productive; after each shot the hunter would have to pick himself up off the gravel.  Animals sometimes seem to get knocked down but that is only a reaction to the shot.  If "knockdown" were fact a hit anywhere would do the trick.  I believe we all probably know this already.

IMHO a conical is a poor solution to a problem that doesn't exist.  They rarely offer any advantage over a prb; and the situations where they might be preferable are uncommon.  I like the .50 and have killed quite a few deer with several rifles in that caliber.  My two longest deer kills, 100 yards or a little more, were accomplished with two different .50s.  I like the .45 even more and two rifles in that caliber have taken more deer than all the .50s put together.  Just for my purposes, the .45 is perfect for deer; the .50 is a good step up and provides (maybe) insurance on a hit and the .54 is the "can all", "do all".  The idea of going to a bigger caliber ball rather than a conical in something smaller makes sense to me. 
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #29 on: June 30, 2016, 02:17:58 PM »
First off it should be understood that "knockdown" power does not exist if one means a projectile actually does "knock" an animal down.  Laws of physics tell us that if a firearm knocks a critter down then it would also knock the shooter - equal and opposite reaction - down.  Building a shoulder fired weapon of that power would be counter productive; after each shot the hunter would have to pick himself up off the gravel.  Animals sometimes seem to get knocked down but that is only a reaction to the shot.  If "knockdown" were fact a hit anywhere would do the trick.  I believe we all probably know this already.

IMHO a conical is a poor solution to a problem that doesn't exist.  They rarely offer any advantage over a prb; and the situations where they might be preferable are uncommon.  I like the .50 and have killed quite a few deer with several rifles in that caliber.  My two longest deer kills, 100 yards or a little more, were accomplished with two different .50s.  I like the .45 even more and two rifles in that caliber have taken more deer than all the .50s put together.  Just for my purposes, the .45 is perfect for deer; the .50 is a good step up and provides (maybe) insurance on a hit and the .54 is the "can all", "do all".  The idea of going to a bigger caliber ball rather than a conical in something smaller makes sense to me. 
Well, I ain't very smart so bear with me. So, if you put a .50 cal ball between your shoulder and your buttplate and shot your gun the ball would go through your shoulder just like the one you fired from the barrel?
 I have spun deer clear around with a .62, but I didn't spin around when I shot the gun...... ???
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Online Stoner creek

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #30 on: June 30, 2016, 02:55:32 PM »
First off it should be understood that "knockdown" power does not exist if one means a projectile actually does "knock" an animal down.  Laws of physics tell us that if a firearm knocks a critter down then it would also knock the shooter - equal and opposite reaction - down.  Building a shoulder fired weapon of that power would be counter productive; after each shot the hunter would have to pick himself up off the gravel.  Animals sometimes seem to get knocked down but that is only a reaction to the shot.  If "knockdown" were fact a hit anywhere would do the trick.  I believe we all probably know this already.

IMHO a conical is a poor solution to a problem that doesn't exist.  They rarely offer any advantage over a prb; and the situations where they might be preferable are uncommon.  I like the .50 and have killed quite a few deer with several rifles in that caliber.  My two longest deer kills, 100 yards or a little more, were accomplished with two different .50s.  I like the .45 even more and two rifles in that caliber have taken more deer than all the .50s put together.  Just for my purposes, the .45 is perfect for deer; the .50 is a good step up and provides (maybe) insurance on a hit and the .54 is the "can all", "do all".  The idea of going to a bigger caliber ball rather than a conical in something smaller makes sense to me. 
SHOT PLACEMENT!! A .32 will do the job on Bullwinkle if you put it in the right place!!
I know a fellow who killed a whitetail stone dead with a .17. Ya won't catch me doing that though ;D
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Online oldtravler61

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Re: Calibert
« Reply #31 on: June 30, 2016, 03:00:37 PM »
This is all interesting. But it still boils down to what the projectile hits  while passing threw or into the animal. After nearly fifty years of hunting deer an checking the wound damage. Can pretty much tell why said animal dropped dead an why they ran as far as they did. None the less it boils down to shot placement. Could discuss the difference in p.r.b. compared to modern ammo. But not here. This is a traditional site dealing with round ball ammo. Imho

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #32 on: June 30, 2016, 03:24:20 PM »
Whilst I've killed a number of deer over the years, only 2 have fallen to my flintlock-a 54.  Both were large bucks and fell quickly.  One at 17 yards, quartering away, ball stopped under the hide after penetrating far shoulder.  He ran 40 yards maybe.  The other at ~100 yards (an unusually long shot in those woods), hit high and dropped in his tracks. Ball stopped under the skin.  Same load, which isn't a "stout" one.

I've been impressed.

I knocked down a buck with a 50 a long time ago (a short-bbled production cap gun).  He got up and got away after being knocked flat.  Saw him years later with the injury-easy to identify with the non-typical rack and limp.  Never did catch him in season again.  That's the only deer I ever injured and left in the woods, with a gun.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 03:26:34 PM by WadePatton »
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galudwig

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #33 on: June 30, 2016, 05:46:02 PM »
First off it should be understood that "knockdown" power does not exist if one means a projectile actually does "knock" an animal down.  Laws of physics tell us that if a firearm knocks a critter down then it would also knock the shooter - equal and opposite reaction - down.  Building a shoulder fired weapon of that power would be counter productive; after each shot the hunter would have to pick himself up off the gravel.  Animals sometimes seem to get knocked down but that is only a reaction to the shot.  If "knockdown" were fact a hit anywhere would do the trick.  I believe we all probably know this already.

IMHO a conical is a poor solution to a problem that doesn't exist.  They rarely offer any advantage over a prb; and the situations where they might be preferable are uncommon.  I like the .50 and have killed quite a few deer with several rifles in that caliber.  My two longest deer kills, 100 yards or a little more, were accomplished with two different .50s.  I like the .45 even more and two rifles in that caliber have taken more deer than all the .50s put together.  Just for my purposes, the .45 is perfect for deer; the .50 is a good step up and provides (maybe) insurance on a hit and the .54 is the "can all", "do all".  The idea of going to a bigger caliber ball rather than a conical in something smaller makes sense to me.  
Well, I ain't very smart so bear with me. So, if you put a .50 cal ball between your shoulder and your buttplate and shot your gun the ball would go through your shoulder just like the one you fired from the barrel?

No it wouldn't.  The force generated by the charge going off propels the ball forward.  The force generated by the charge going off also propels the gun rearward with the same amount of force.  The forward force of the charge going off is concentrated on the small surface area of the ball.  The ball being smaller, lighter and unobstructed retains most of that force and leaves the muzzle at great velocity.  The gun itself moves backwards with the same amount of force.  However, the gun moves rearward at a lower velocity because the force is distributed over a much, much wider and heavier area (the gun, butt stock and your shoulder).

The amount of "felt recoil" to your shoulder is a function of all those factors combined.  Caliber/load being the same, what feels more comfortable on your shoulder when it goes off, a wide butt early Virginia or a Vincent with a narrow crescent butt?  A round ball between the butt and shoulder might leave a welt.  Place something sharp there though and yes, it might draw some blood.  If you want an apples to apples comparison, in the exact center of an unbreached barrel, place a powder charge between two balls of the same weight and set it off.  I wouldn't want to place either end of the barrel against my shoulder.  

As for knockdown power, the ball starts slowing down the instant it leaves the muzzle.  By the time it reaches the target, the force that propelled the ball down the barrel and gun into your shoulder is ancient history.  You hope that the initial energy that force imparted on the ball is retained long enough and high enough to penetrate the target once it gets there.  In this case, Newton's 3rd Law of Motion really applies to the firing of the gun, not to the terminal ballistics of the ball on the deer.

Here's a link if you're interested.  Question #3 applies.  I didn't make this stuff up!

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/newtlaws/Lesson-4/Newton-s-Third-Law
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 06:08:25 PM by galudwig »

Offline hanshi

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #34 on: July 01, 2016, 12:40:45 AM »
I can only add that the ball, being small, PENETRATES  and does not knock the animal down.  Any creature hit by a projectile will often react i.e. jerk, twitch, jump or run; that's what happens when a live target is hit.  Notice how you can shoot one deer and it simply "drops" and shoot another with the same caliber, same powder charge and same distance and it DOESN'T react at all but just runs away giving the impression the shot was a miss?  There are too many cases where humans have been hit by high power rifle fire, handgun fire and, yes, even big round ball (long time ago for that) and kept right on going.  A cannon ball would knock a man/deer down but they're illegal for hunting.  Believe me, a shot doesn't kill by "knocking" something down; it kills by penetrating to the vitals or beyond.  It's physics, that's all.
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mparker762

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #35 on: July 01, 2016, 04:46:53 PM »
Well, I ain't very smart so bear with me. So, if you put a .50 cal ball between your shoulder and your buttplate and shot your gun the ball would go through your shoulder just like the one you fired from the barrel?
 I have spun deer clear around with a .62, but I didn't spin around when I shot the gun...... ???

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newton%27s_laws_of_motion, specifically the 3rd law is the important one here.  It says that for the action of the ball + patch + powder ejecta going out the barrel, there is an equal reaction going the opposite way.  But just as the business-end action is dispersed over *everything* going forward, the equal reaction is dispersed over *everything* going backwards.  Which is (a) the gun and (b) you.  So while the energy going forward is mostly (but not entirely) concentrated in the ball, simply because that's the heaviest bit, whereas the energy going backwards is dumped into the rifle (then dumped into you).  You're familiar with how a heavier bullet has a lower muzzle velocity than a ball for the same charge?  Well imagine how slow a bullet would fly if it weighted as much as the gun!  That's essentially why the gun doesn't fly through your shoulder, it's so heavy that the "butt velocity" is too low, and the impact area is so much larger than a bullet. This is why light rifles feel like they kick more (they don't kick *more* but they kick *faster*), and why narrow butt plates hurt more.

You can use Newton's third law to calculate the free recoil of a rifle/shotgun/pistol (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_recoil).  Free recoil is the recoil of the gun if you're holding it loosely, where it's basically free to recoil without resistance. Usually you want to solve for the recoil speed, not the recoil energy or momentum, since the recoil speed is what causes the  "pain".  This is useful if you're trying to design a rifle for someone who is recoil sensitive (or a load for their existing rifle).

But the upshot is that yes, the energy dumped into that deer by the .62 ball is *less* than the energy dumped into you when you shot it - less, because some of the energy went into making the powder and patch fly downrange, and because the air slowed the ball down some before it hit.  It's possible that the ball really did spin the deer around, if the deer were much lighter than yourself and the rifle was loaded pretty heavily - certainly a .62 is getting to the point where a heavy load will thump you pretty severely..  In my part of the country the deer are very small (frequently  70-90 lbs).   But this sort of thing can also happen because the deer flinched or jumped crookedly because of a damaged leg or ribs, causing him to spin himself around.

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #36 on: July 01, 2016, 08:23:27 PM »
Mauser06:  I have a .50,and .62  I have yet to take a deer with the .62 but it is my favorite it's a custom and it fits me a lot better thus less notable recoil even though I have shot it with up to 140 grin of fff

Offline sqrldog

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #37 on: July 01, 2016, 09:49:36 PM »
I finally shot a good boar hog this am I'm sure EC121 will post pictures either here or on his blog. Used 100 grs. FFFG and patched .535 round ball. Hog was broadside 75 yds at the impact of the ball he flipped over feet leaving the ground. Hit was slightly high and went through lower spine. While probably not necessary put the settling shot into his brain. Have to admit he flopped at the time I pulled the trigger and misplaced a couple of shots. Hardly any adrenaline running through me. The hog weighed over 250 #. The bullet went all the way through broadside tough hide and all. Killed a lot of hogs and deer with a .54 always seemed to work fine if I did my part. Tim

Offline hanshi

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #38 on: July 01, 2016, 10:39:32 PM »
Just to reiterate, If a ML ball "knocks" an animal down - rather than causing an extreme reaction to the hit - NO shot deer would run; it couldn't because you "knocked" it down.  But most DO run because you didn't "knock" them down.  As mentioned previously, according to the "knock" down theory, if shot, all deer would be knocked  to the ground every time they got hit; but they don't.  In the movies a close range hit from a shotgun is portrayed having the "shootee" fly backwards.  This doesn't happen in the real world at all.  A projectile doesn't "push" anything; it goes "through" the critter and does all kinds of internal damage which will either cause said critter to give up and expire DRT or cause it to run until it realizes that it is dead. 

This, of course, is merely academic exercise and has no bearing on our hunting.  So go out and shoot those critters because they never studied physics.     
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Online bob in the woods

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #39 on: July 01, 2016, 11:00:51 PM »
The only time I "knocked a deer down" is when I hit the spine with my .735 ball.

Offline EC121

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2016, 12:32:45 AM »
I knocked one down with my Ford Edge.  Tim's hog pictures are posted.  www.bricestultzhisblog.blogspot.com
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Offline hanshi

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2016, 12:45:56 AM »
Great pictures and fine hogs.
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Offline Mike Brooks

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2016, 01:05:56 AM »
I finally shot a good boar hog this am I'm sure EC121 will post pictures either here or on his blog. Used 100 grs. FFFG and patched .535 round ball. Hog was broadside 75 yds at the impact of the ball he flipped over feet leaving the ground. Hit was slightly high and went through lower spine. While probably not necessary put the settling shot into his brain. Have to admit he flopped at the time I pulled the trigger and misplaced a couple of shots. Hardly any adrenaline running through me. The hog weighed over 250 #. The bullet went all the way through broadside tough hide and all. Killed a lot of hogs and deer with a .54 always seemed to work fine if I did my part. Tim
So, now I'm confused....was it you or the hog that flipped over feet leaving the ground...... This is why I have a flip phone instead of a smart phone, I'm too stupid to figure complicated stuff out. :P
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Re: Caliber
« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2016, 01:09:46 AM »
Quote
Laws of physics tell us that if a firearm knocks a critter down then it would also knock the shooter - equal and opposite reaction - down

Yup.  That's exactly what my gun does to me.  Every time.  Makes me wonder why I shoot the dang thing.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2016, 01:13:07 AM by Chuck Walla »

Offline sqrldog

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2016, 03:04:46 AM »
Funny  Mike fortunate for me I defied the laws of physics and didn't flip. The hog however may have just been showboating. It was his last opportunity.😊

Offline JohnnyFM

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2016, 08:05:14 PM »
I am enjoying this!  Love listening to other's experiences and opinions.  All I can humbly add from my own ongoing lessons from hunting and life is:
Never say "never".
Never say "always".
There's two "nevers" I never should've said.
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Online rich pierce

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2016, 01:47:05 AM »
I'd get a different gun.

Each caliber has its situations. When I started shooting muzzleloaders folks thought a .45 round ball was a good deer killer, and it worked for me.  Once made a bad kidney shot on a whitetail and knocked it right down.  Got to the deer before it could get up. I also misjudged distance over snow and wounded a deer with that .45 at over 120 yards, rib and single lung angling back.  Big blood trail and deer went down after a hundred yards, needing a finishing shot.  Switched to a .50 mostly and it was ok.  Deer will still run when lung shot but if I can't find a deer that ran 30-60 yards I need to stop hunting.  Little experience with the .54 but seems to go through deer with a bigger hole.

All of them seem better than a rifled slug, even a 12 ga.
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Offline Ezra

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #47 on: July 03, 2016, 05:13:42 AM »
I have an early style Lancaster made from a Chambers kit.  Beautiful flintlock rifle.  But when I bought it, all Barbie had in stock were .58 caliber barrels.  So that's what I went with.  I have shot that rifle ALOT in the past couple of years.  Never been thrilled with the caliber.  Does it hit with authority?  Absolutely.  Does it use alot of powder?  Absolutely.  I'm not really bothered by recoil, but it will thump you.  Trajectory is morter like compared to some of the smaller calibers.  I recently pulled the barrel and sent it to Bobby Hoyt to be sleeved to .50 with a 1:60 twist.  I know I will enjoy it more.  Larger bore diameter will not compensate for poor round placement.  I have always loved the .50 caliber.  It is the big side of small and the small side of big.  And it works very well for me.


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« Last Edit: July 03, 2016, 05:17:18 AM by Ezra »
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Offline Mauser06

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #48 on: July 03, 2016, 07:16:48 AM »
Thanx all!    Good discussion...


I know different weapons kill via different means...

I don't expect the shock and trauma a modern bullet delivers...i don't expect the blood a 4 blade broadheads produces...

Ive killed a few deer ...I've killed a few with my 50cal flintlock...a few with roundballs...a few with Ball-ets...

I've been apart of several deer kills...modern guns...archery...flintlocks of various calibers and projectiles...


I tried to pull pics of flintlock kills and shot placement...but you can't see the holes in my pics..


I typically try to put my hole across the top of the heart..and I'm usually pretty successful in that...I've found that to leave the best trails...heart still seems to pump but when you put holes through all the parts connected to the top of the heart and the lungs that usually spills the most blood...


Even with the ball-ets that exit I don't get a ton of blood... sometimes none...or enough I have a slow track job...I've never had any go real far and haven't lost any...but I don't want to...


If I don't like the 58cal boohoo...i build another gun or buy another barrel...not a big deal..i can experience it and see if it does what I'm looking for or not...


I know many guys love the 45 and 50cal and have great results with it...many many critters have fallen to smaller calibers...


I'm not looking to go big to compensate for poor shooting in any way...I'm no expert flintlock shooter...but i wouldn't say I am bad..and my deer kills would agree I can do my part...I'm just looking for a little more performance... especially now that I'm going to start hunting primarily with the flintlock even in modern gun seasons...


Offline frogwalking

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Re: Caliber
« Reply #49 on: July 04, 2016, 05:18:05 AM »
I used to hunt with a C .50.  It was accurate and deadly with their Maxi-balls even though they did not feel tight enough going down the bore.  My brother-in-law had a .54 and it worked fine too, but it dropped more at range.  I never fired at a deer with that rifle that did not fall pretty quickly.  With a fast twist barrel, you have some nice, heavy unmentionable type bullets to select from.
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