Author Topic: Go Figure  (Read 2272 times)

Offline MuskratMike

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Go Figure
« on: April 07, 2022, 01:36:23 AM »
I am preparing for a hunt in late May to Colorado to shoot giant Russian Boars (400-650 lbs.) I will be shooting my Don Bruton built .54 caliber traditional flintlock (see the August 2021 issue of Muzzleblasts Magazine for the story on this fine rifle). It has has a 44-inch Colerain barrel with a 1 in 56-inch twist with radius bottom rifling and is swamped and coned. In doing my load development for the perfect patched round ball load for my hunt with this rifle I found 1 box of Buffalo Bullet Company solid nose, hollow base bullets in .54 caliber weighing 310 grains. These haven not been made in years. Hornady makes virtually the same bullet but only in .50 caliber (go figure). I ran through all but 26 of them doing load development. I asked here on ALR if anyone had some extra I could buy in .54 caliber. Low and behold a nice guy from Utah had almost two boxes but they were just a bit longer and hollow point, hollow base in 338 grain. I bought them and found it hard to believe both of these "conical" bullets shoot as well as my tried and true patch ball load. Today I went to the range and shot groups on paper at 50 yards with all 3 ball/bullet combinations and a large 24x36-inch paper pig at 75 yards. The solid nose conical out shot both the others but by such a close margin as to be negligible. On the 75 yard "pig" target the heavier hollow point out shot each of the others. Go figure!
The "gut shot"  on the pig was a called miss. The barrel started to slip on the pad just as I let off the shot. The slightly high shot I purposefully held a little higher to see where it would strike.
so which of the 3 would you use?











« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 03:26:49 AM by MuskratMike »
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2022, 03:26:18 AM »
So how much powder were you shooting in each of the three loads and how thick were the patches and ball size on the RB loads?

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2022, 04:13:16 AM »
All 3 got 75 grains of Goex 3F. The round ball used a .018 ticking patch, a .530 round ball, & patch was lubed with a 50/50 mixture of T.O.T.W. monk oil & pure neatsfoot oil.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2022, 07:25:21 PM by MuskratMike »
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
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Offline Daryl

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2022, 08:09:54 AM »
About slugs in RB twists.  I made a mould many years ago to cast slugs in my .69. About the lightest was 588gr. and they would actually cloverleaf
at 50yards from a rest.  The mould, being adjustable, could cast slugs up to 1,200gr. weight. This rifle has .012" deep rifling rate of 66 in. to a full turn.
The barrel is 31" including the chamber area, so about 29" of actual usable barrel length.
I only used up to 85gr. 2F GOEX with the lightest slugs, due to the increased recoil of these over the normal 482gr. ball weight.  At the time I tested these
slugs, my Rb groups were as tight or tighter than the slugs did. Even though the slug weight was only 25% higher than the RB's, the felt recoil seemed
a LOT more. Shooting these slugs actually cracked the stock through the lock bolt, & I repaired it with thin CA model airplane glue. The crack has not reappeared
& I've shot it a large number of times with up to 165gr. and a few with up to 330gr., an accidental double powder charge with 160gr. 3F all with patched round balls.
So - it seems a lot of round ball twists will actually shoot conicals with decent accuracy on paper. We found the .54 and .50ca. TC Maxiballs worked poorly on moose
as they were dreadfully unstable after impact. Perhaps this was only due to the larger size of moose, compared with deer or hogs. My use of patched round balls on
moose, has shown me the surplus nature of slugs in RB rifles. They just aren't needed & on a heavy tough animal, cannot be trusted to maintain their accuracy after
impact.  I am talking about poor straight line penetration with slugs in RB twists as the shallow 48" ROT TC's just happene0d to be.
Those Ball-etts you've pictured, might work just fine, Mike, due to their short length.



Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline alacran

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2022, 03:15:20 PM »
On a hog You are better off shooting right in front and above the elbow. The only shot that looks to have hit the vitals is the high one. the heart is above the elbow, and a little forward.
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Offline Robby

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2022, 05:37:13 PM »
I'd be reluctant to use a hollow point on wild boar with that armor they have on their flanks, It would probably perform alright but having no experience with giant wild boar, it would leave me with some doubt, something I don't like to carry into a hunt.
Robby
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Offline Dphariss

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2022, 07:09:32 PM »
YEARS ago. It was proven in India and Africa that a HARD cast RB would work better on “hard” targets than soft conical bullets. All these things, for the most part are modern constructs to be sold to people who think their ML ought to shoot a bullet that is more like what their 270 shoots. Ignorant gun writers in the 60s and later did not help. The drivel they started writing about the RB was just that. People that were already hunting with the round ball and had for some time were like “#$! over?”  Reading Forythe, Selous and Baker all tells the same story.
Soft lead is not a good idea on this critter of this size IMO.
Further, in slow twists they may not track straight it they encounter something “hard”. The really blunt ones might be OK. But I have “trust issues”.  Expansion is irrelevant in this case and in most cases with calibers 50 and over.
If I were going after something capable of great bodily harm I would make something like this in a caliber over 20 bore. But I already have one for a one ounce ball.
Works as well with wheel weight alloy as with pure lead. But it has very wide and fairly shallow grooves. .008 or so 80” twist. Forsythe states that in his opinion was the minimum for large game in India.  Finally John Taylor in “Pondoro” tells of killing a number of African Elephant and some Rhino with a 10 bore smooth gun using (IIRC) 6 drams of powder and hard RB.
And I am very familiar with elongated lead bullets of various shapes, types and alloys on deer and elk just not from MLs. BP velocity and otherwise.



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Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2022, 07:12:30 PM »
Alacran:
How right you are on the height of the shots. At that distance the heavier bullet dropped slightly. The "high" shot would have taken out the lungs, if the 3 shot cluster (which I was most amazed by) had been 2 inches higher on this target they would have gotten the heart. Even the "called flyer" got a rib so might have done some more damage. The beauty of this target is on the opposite is the same pig in the same location but you see the skeleton and organs. Thanks for your wisdom. Round ball, solid nose or hollow point?
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
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Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2022, 07:32:21 PM »
I will echo Dan's thoughts on what to use. I would trust the wisdom and experience of those old African hunters over the armchair wisdom of most of the current crop of "experts".

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2022, 07:42:17 PM »
I had some of those Buffalo Bullets . I tried them in my .54 over 25 years ago and ended up throwing what I had in my melting pot.  Nothing has performed as well as a round ball for hunting at the ranges I do.  With the charge you are using , velocity and performance overall will be best with the RB.   For large game that might fight back, my go to is my 10 bore with a wheel weight ball, and 140 gr FFg. 

Offline Daryl

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2022, 07:45:29 PM »
Conicals did not "catch on" in India and Africa until the advent of breech loaders that could effectively use hardened conical balls.

Until that time, only round ball guns using patched 1 bore size smaller hardened balls were effective on animals that needed deep penetration.
Daryl

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Offline JHeath

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2022, 08:38:56 PM »
YEARS ago. It was proven in India and Africa that a HARD cast RB would work better on “hard” targets than soft conical bullets. All these things, for the most part are modern constructs to be sold to people who think their ML ought to shoot a bullet that is more like what their 270 shoots. Ignorant gun writers in the 60s and later did not help. The drivel they started writing about the RB was just that. People that were already hunting with the round ball and had for some time were like “#$! over?”  Reading Forythe, Selous and Baker all tells the same story.
Soft lead is not a good idea on this critter of this size IMO.
Further, in slow twists they may not track straight it they encounter something “hard”. The really blunt ones might be OK. But I have “trust issues”.  Expansion is irrelevant in this case and in most cases with calibers 50 and over.
If I were going after something capable of great bodily harm I would make something like this in a caliber over 20 bore. But I already have one for a one ounce ball.
Works as well with wheel weight alloy as with pure lead. But it has very wide and fairly shallow grooves. .008 or so 80” twist. Forsythe states that in his opinion was the minimum for large game in India.  Finally John Taylor in “Pondoro” tells of killing a number of African Elephant and some Rhino with a 10 bore smooth gun using (IIRC) 6 drams of powder and hard RB.
And I am very familiar with elongated lead bullets of various shapes, types and alloys on deer and elk just not from MLs. BP velocity and otherwise.




Well that's delicious. Bbl diameter/ swamped? Designed after any particular maker?

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2022, 09:31:00 PM »
If you haven't tried a 535 ball yet with that current patch/lube combo it might be worth your time. I'm thinking you will get a better bore seal and maybe more accuracy.

Offline smylee grouch

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2022, 10:51:15 PM »


This just an example of round ball penetration/performance. This was lung material, about two double handfuls from a 250 lb. bear shot out of a ladderstand. A 610 ball ( 6 lbs. lead/ 2 oz. tin mix ) Not real hard but still enuf for total pass through and a very vivid 15 to 20 yard blood trail.

Offline longcruise

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2022, 03:10:01 AM »
Where will you find those hogs in Colorado?  I'm not aware of any hog opportunities here and would like to know how I can save a long drive to TX.
Mike Lee

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2022, 04:41:16 AM »
Collbran, Colorado. Search Pete Severson hunts. I will post a full report when I get back. If you contact Pete let him know how you heard about him from me please.
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
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Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2022, 04:43:49 AM »
I have shot hogs at ranges from 10 yards out to about 50 yards using a 50 caliber, round ball and 105 grains of 2f.  None of the shots penetrated the hide on the off side.  They were in the 150 to 200 pound range.  A boar of 4-500 pounds is going to have pretty thick armor on the shoulders so straight line penetration is important.  You might consider using a hardened round ball with a stronger powder charge.  Yours seems pretty light for a 54 caliber for game of that size.  A large hog can absorb more punishment than you expect and still keep going, hopefully not in your direction.

Offline Badenpowell

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2022, 02:39:23 PM »
Dan, I like your reply regarding hardened balls and heavy charges. I have had books by Selous, Baker and Forsythe, but I need to grab a copy of "Pondoro" as all I have by Taylor is his "African Rifles and Cartridges."
And along with Mr. Heath, I am "greatly pleased" with that English sporting-style flintlock rifle in your photo!
 Mike, look forward to your report and what you settled on for a load.

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2022, 12:46:32 AM »
Another follow-up on some of the above comments.  Looking back through some older hunting articles from the "wizards" of the 70's (I bought them young) they tout some pretty heavy loads.  Gary White used 140 grains of 2f in his 58 caliber rifle for elk.  (Dixie Gun Works Muzzleloader's Annual 1977),  Val Forget and George Nonte went to Africa in the 70's and used a 58 caliber Hawken style rifle with a 610 grain, custom made wad cutter slug over 180 grains of 3f. His recommendation on elk size game was a 58 loaded as heavily as you can handle. (Home Guide to Muzzleloaders - George Nonte 1974).  In Africa, they were hunting critters that will hunt you back.  I guess their message was the bigger and meaner the game, the bigger your load should be.  On a recent hog hunt with friends, the only hog that went down immediately was one shot at very close range with a 58 caliber round ball over 120 grains of 2f.  The others still had enough life in them to run a ways, even with good shot placement.  The hunt sounds like a blast.

Offline bob in the woods

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2022, 02:08:44 AM »
Using a Hawken style rifle with that kind of load would screw up my shooting for the rest of my life.   An English style rifle....sure. The Hawken ?   OUCH !!!!

Offline Daryl

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #20 on: April 11, 2022, 03:37:12 AM »
A 2" wide shotgun butt is a pleasure to shoot with any load when compared to the hooked Hawken plates.
I got rid of a Hawken Taylor built me back in the 70's because it beat me up with the loads it shot best. Mind
you I was also shooting 675gr. bullets in it. Even with round balls it needed 140gr. 2F to shoot decently at
100yards, the range I shot the most.
My 14 bore rifle, while not particularly pleasant, is still shootable with 165gr. 2F or 3F and a 482gr. ball.
Daryl

"a gun without hammers is like a spaniel without ears" King George V

Offline Darkhorse

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #21 on: April 11, 2022, 05:21:22 AM »
Years ago I hunted some properties that had boars up to 400 or so pounds. I used only patched round balls and 110 to 120 grains of 2fg. When shot through the shield none made a mark on the far ribs and none exited. Also none dropped dead right there, instead they ran 200 or 300 yards with the heart shot out. That's plenty of time to mess a man up bad. Luckily no wounded boars came my way.
I have shot a couple of big ones with 80 grains of 3fg with about the same results.
Best shot is through the ear if they hold still enough.
BTW The rifle was a .54 caliber.
The vitals on a hog are more compact and forward than on a deer. Hold tight to the front shoulder and just above the knuckle. Those 3 shots in a tight group would probably have busted the heart and left good blood sign.
Safety first. I mostly hunted alone and after a few encounters down in the thick palmettos I started carrying my .44 Magnum just in case. Also plenty of gauze, cotton wrap and athletic tape. Plus a good staple gun.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2022, 10:10:01 AM by Darkhorse »
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Offline Bull Shannon

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2022, 12:40:42 AM »
Years ago I hunted some properties that had boars up to 400 or so pounds. I used only patched round balls and 110 to 120 grains of 2fg. When shot through the shield none made a mark on the far ribs and none exited. Also none dropped dead right there, instead they ran 200 or 300 yards with the heart shot out. That's plenty of time to mess a man up bad. Luckily no wounded boars came my way.
I have shot a couple of big ones with 80 grains of 3fg with about the same results.
Best shot is through the ear if they hold still enough.
BTW The rifle was a .54 caliber.
The vitals on a hog are more compact and forward than on a deer. Hold tight to the front shoulder and just above the knuckle. Those 3 shots in a tight group would probably have busted the heart and left good blood sign.
Safety first. I mostly hunted alone and after a few encounters down in the thick palmettos I started carrying my .44 Magnum just in case. Also plenty of gauze, cotton wrap and athletic tape. Plus a good staple gun.

I agree, a shot in or just behind the ear is an instant "off" button.  Here is a good diagram showing where a hogs vitals are.
https://sen842cova.blogspot.com/2016/07/hog-anatomy.html

Just FYI, as of about 20 years ago there were only two places in the US that had 100%, genetically certified Russian boar. Both were high fenced with the fencing going beneath the surface to prevent burrowing out and had maintained a separate population for many years. The reason I say this is that I've seen too many places advertise that they have Russian boars when all they have are large, feral European hogs with only a small percentage, if any, of actual Russian. The fact is that most of the hogs brought to the new world were domesticated European variety. Russia boar were not introduced until much later and though the two breed freely, the Russian genes just haven't had enough time to be dispersed into the feral hog population.
You absolutely cannot identify how much Russian boar is in a pig by sight.

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Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2022, 02:45:31 AM »
Some comments on Bull Shannon's observations.  If you are going for meat, the large hogs are tough to chew.  You almost can't eat enough vegetables to get a chunk chewed up. (sausage is an option)  You might also check on whether the boars have cutters.  Most of the hogs on ranches today do not have tusks if that matters to you.  The ones we hunted recently did not.  The Russian boar that I shot years ago in Tennessee had some nice ones.  The other thing I remember about that hunt is that trees are your friend.  We hunted in a sleet storm and had some ignition issues.  Became temporary tree huggers when we blocked the escape route while sneaking up on a bunch sleeping in a cave.  Even a small boar will make you scramble if he is PO'd enough.

Offline Darkhorse

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Re: Go Figure
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2022, 09:28:01 AM »
Even a very large boar is really good depending on how it's cooked. Example; We have a roasting oven sized to roast large turkeys, it has a tray with holes that sits on the bottom and meat sits on top. I would take either a front shoulder or ham, clean it up good, remove as much fat as possible, rub with seasoning and place in roaster, cut carrots, onions, potatoes, celery etc. into the roaster, add water or broth and slow roast for 4 or 5 hours.  The meat just falls apart. Tastes excellent. Frying can be a gamble. Don't allow the hog to lay undressed as the fat holds the heat in and spoils the meat.

Hogs with high amounts of european (russian) boar have piglets that are striped like a chipmunk.

30 or so years ago a group of hunters bought around 50 so called russian boars and females from a preserve and penned them up on private property in the Ocmulgee river swamp south of Macon Ga. All of which promptly escaped. Eventually groups of the descendants roamed up every creek and stream that emptied into the Ocmulgee. Distance didn't matter they just kept on going until some of the best habitat was occupied.
I first hunted these hogs less than 10 years after they escaped with Bow and Arrow on a nearby WMA. I hunted other areas for several years then leased property down the road. First 2 years I had no hogs, then a couple, then I was covered up. I killed most of the really large ones here. Finally they ran all the deer off and I dropped the lease. Later I started hunting family land again and found it ate up with hogs. I trapped and shot them for 2 years without making a dent. Now we have hardly any. Nearby farmers with chicken houses have somehow killed most of them. I don't know how and they are not talking.

This is a large boar I caught 10 years ago. He's trying his best to bust out of the trap by slamming into the wire. Look at how the feeder is swinging. This one I call a piney woods rooter but he doesn't have much if any russian blood. I sold him alive to a preserve in the NE. After this the hog population started drying up.


He's doesn't know it but he's going for a long ride.
American horses of Arabian descent.