Author Topic: 40 cal  (Read 23615 times)

olgreenhead

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40 cal
« on: December 14, 2009, 05:20:47 AM »
Well probably been beat to death but whats your squirrel load?

roundball

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2009, 05:24:34 AM »
In my 33" GM barrel, I have settled on 40grns Goex 3F, .018" pillow ticking, Hornady .390" ball...haven't dropped the hammer on a squirrel with it yet, but it'll pick off empty .12ga hulls at 25 yards consistently so that's good enough for me

Mike R

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2009, 05:15:12 PM »
I used to use 40 gr fffg and a .395 ball in my longrifle--very accurate and plenty stout for squirrels--unfortunately where I live now a .40 is illegal to hunt with so I gave it to my son who lives where it is legal...
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 05:15:54 PM by Mike R »

Offline FL-Flintlock

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2009, 05:35:38 PM »
Mike,

Does the law say "under .40" or how exactly does it read?

Mark
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Daryl

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2009, 05:39:53 PM »
My .32 uses 35gr. 3F, and the .40 prefers 55gr. 3F with a spit or water based lube. With grease or an oil, the .32 stillshotos 35gr., however the .40 wants more- 65gr. for it's accuracy load.  If I was shooting small animals at close range, it: out to 25 yards, almost any charge will cut a single hole for 5 with almost any load in either rifle.  Accuracy at 50 yards and beyond requires more powder.

northmn

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2009, 06:05:47 PM »
At close range I used a 45 ACP case in my 40 for squirrels and it worked ok.  Actually did less damage than the 32's I used to use.  Still best to head shoot them. I think it runs about 35 grains of 3f.  Almost all muzzleloaders are best with head shots.

DP

Daryl

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2009, 06:38:47 PM »
I've killed red (Pine) squirrels with my .69, loaded with 165gr. of 2F - couldn't tell if it killed them or not, they just disappear- gone, but a bit of mung hanging in the branches and against the trunks showed hits. ;D

Mike R

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2009, 08:19:25 PM »
Mike,

Does the law say "under .40" or how exactly does it read?

Mark

The law says .36 or under for small game and .44 or over for big game--thus ruling out the .40 both ways.  I was told this was so that 'they' could control poaching better by eliminating the .40 which some use for both big and small game. You are not allowed in the woods with a big game rifle in small game season--nor any buckshot loads on you when shotgunning for small game.

Offline Darkhorse

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2009, 08:52:38 PM »
Mine likes 30 gr. 3F for squirrels. 40 gr. 3F for turkeys in the woods. If on a powerline or field I'll bump up the turkey load to 50 or 60 gr.
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northmn

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2009, 04:33:36 PM »
[/quote]

The law says .36 or under for small game and .44 or over for big game--thus ruling out the .40 both ways.  I was told this was so that 'they' could control poaching better by eliminating the .40 which some use for both big and small game. You are not allowed in the woods with a big game rifle in small game season--nor any buckshot loads on you when shotgunning for small game.
[/quote]


I never cease to be amazed at the fool laws we are burdened with.  Most poachers do not use BP rifles, and a 36 will do for poaching as well as anything.  On that note the 40 is kind of a dual purpose rifle, but is likely loaded a little heavier for deer.  Since a 40 is legal for deer in MN I did carry mine for that purpose with a 45 grain load of 3f which I felt was adequate for up close deer (especially smaller ones) and head shots on squirrels.  Can't report success on either, but I suspect it would be a little dramatic for squirrel but still not really ruin anything with a head shot.  Been wanting to try one on deer.  In a worse case situation I do have a four legged tracker to help, but on a good shot reasonably close I suspect I would not need one.  The concept of dual purpose is interesting but usually results in something too big for one use and too small for another, although I do consider a 40 a good small game getter if one also is including coyotes or similar varmints in the bag.

DP

JBlk

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2009, 04:41:08 PM »
I agree about the crazy laws that are passed.How can someone look at a hole and tell how big the projectile was that made it, especially when we are talking in thousants of an inch.I'll bet you could take a forty five and stamp it thirty six and the majority couldn't tell the difference.

Offline hanshi

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2009, 11:35:40 PM »
Well, in my .40 both 30 and 40 grains of 3f make one hole at 25 yards which is a typical squirrel distance.  This being the case I've settled on 30 grains (mostly) and use a .390 ball from a Lee mold and .018 patch lubed with Hoppes #9 Plus.  For my .32 & .36 I like either 20 grains or 30 grains for both.  The 25 yard & under load is 20 grains and the accuracy load for over 25 yards is 30 grains for both.  These loads don't seem particularly destructive on tiny critters.  To be fair, about any reasonable load is going to be accurate at 25 yards given a good gun.  Sixty grains of 3f is my "everything else" load for my .40 and is what I use when anticipating a deer in my sights.
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Mike R

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2009, 01:04:29 AM »
The maker of my old .40 here in Lousyanna fully intended to hunt deer with it--he is an old backwoodsman/gunsmith and takes little heed of laws.  He has been known to kill deer on his property with .22s--even a doe with a .22CB.  I am more cautious [and law abiding] so I bought his rifle and gave it to my son after deciding I had plenty others for hunting various game...P.S. he was a Marine sniper in his youth...
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 01:05:57 AM by Mike R »

northmn

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2009, 04:25:30 PM »
I am very well acquainted with an individual, who in his youth was less law abiding.  22's worked well for poaching, especially with head shots.  But if one misses a crippled deer can result which will die a slow death as they cannot eat.  To avoid this some took them looking away from them to get the back of the head That works for heavy birdshot as well, so I have heard. 
I am in the process of getting the parts together for a future build.  Was considering a 32 but am leaning to a 40.  I can use a 5/16 ramrod (already have the thimbles from stuff I bought back when) and have molds and other stuff.  When I looked at swag ed balls, which are very economical for small bores, TOW lists 395 Hornady at $9.15/100 and 315 at $8.15.  Not a real major difference.  Also a 40 shoots well with 35-45 grains of powder and a 32 with 25 to 35.  Priming is the same.  We are looking at slightly over a dollar difference for 100 shots, and less if you cast.   32's are fun and lots of folks like them for good reason, but after shooting my current 40 this fall, I am starting to appreciate the little caliber. 40 grains is not that hard to shoot,  I can legally hunt deer with it and it really does not do any more damage to small game than an accurate load in a 32.  About the only drawback is that a 40 will carry farther.  There are better deer rifles, but one can if bored during deer season with about a 45-50 grain load in a 40 and hunt both small game and deer.  For me if I do both then I can see neither as I went squirrel hunting yesterday and saw 2 deer and no squirrels.  During deer season I saw lots of squirrels and no deer.


DP

Daryl

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2009, 06:22:48 PM »
It's rather amazing how one's perspective changes with the guns he shoots.  Back when I did a lot of shooting with a .50, anything bigger seemed way to overpowered. Then I started shooting the .58's and everything smaller was a pipsqueak.  The .69 (14 bore) showed me almost everything else was of lower cast - not worth while, and the 14's amazing long range accuracy really made me appreciate big heavy balls travelling at a descent speed.  Then, even the .58 seemed rather  quaint.

  When I started shooting the .45 Longrifle, it seemed a little tiny squirrel rifle in comparrison, although I felt it might be OK for deer and that a .50 then seemed quite powerful.  The .40, with it's 94gr. ball enhanced that feeling of adequacy for the .45's deer prowess and now that I'm shooting a .32 (42gr.), even the .40 appears powerful in comparrison.  I'm looking forward to the day when Taylor gets around to making his .25 - WOW- what a squirt!  Will the .32 then look 'big"?  I don't think so - still prefer something called 'bore' and less than 18 in it's number for big game.  Those are big game rifles - however, maybe even the little .40 (75 bore) would work.

northmn

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2009, 08:22:51 PM »
The concept of a "dual purpose" rifle is an interesting one.  The 32-20 was said to be one which could be used for both small game and deer.  Its not really good for either, but it was a favorite "trappers" gun in its day.  In MLs we see the 32-40s that may have been used in that manner.  Personally I do not care to hunt deer much with a smaller bore.  One of my winter projects is to finish the 58 I started for a deer rifle.  Got sidetracked making the 25.  However in certain circumstances where I expect the shots to be close and I can pick my shot, as in some tree stands, a smaller caliber is not all bad.  Also, we have intensive harvest permits to take antlerless deer.  I like to take the 1 1/2 year olds for meat which are not large deer.  I might feel a little undergunned if a 200+ pound buck shows, but I think the 40 would be ok for the 125-150 pounders.  I shot a red squirrel (pine) with the 25 and it pretty well tore it up.  We have to load the little ones a little hot for accuracy, and then they require head shots.  A 40 loaded lighter is not to gross for head shots.  The bigger bores take a different discipline to shoot accurately over the smaller ones.

DP

Daryl

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2009, 08:26:01 PM »
 ;D I found the .69 would kill a squirrel, if you hit him right. :D

Mike R

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2009, 10:34:53 PM »
;D I found the .69 would kill a squirrel, if you hit him right. :D

So will a pickup truck, but it takes skill to save any meat...I have always liked the challenge of head shots with a small bore, but around here I get flack 'cause the locals eat squirrels brains!

Daryl

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2009, 11:50:23 PM »
HA! - with our little pine squirrels, that's almost like eating hummingbird tongues.

Offline hanshi

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2009, 01:49:45 AM »
;D I found the .69 would kill a squirrel, if you hit him right. :D

Wound him, though, and you might not make it back home!  :'(
!Jozai Senjo! "always present on the battlefield"
Young guys should hang out with old guys; old guys know stuff.

Leatherbelly

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2009, 09:04:24 AM »
 Believe it or not, but my Tenn. .40 likes 50 grains of 2F Goex. Yep that's not a typo, FFg Goex.

dannybb55

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #21 on: December 19, 2009, 02:13:30 PM »

The law says .36 or under for small game and .44 or over for big game--thus ruling out the .40 both ways.  I was told this was so that 'they' could control poaching better by eliminating the .40 which some use for both big and small game. You are not allowed in the woods with a big game rifle in small game season--nor any buckshot loads on you when shotgunning for small game.
[/quote][/sup]

I never cease to be amazed at the fool laws we are burdened with.  Most poachers do not use BP rifles, and a 36 will do for poaching as well as anything.  On that note the 40 is kind of a dual purpose rifle, but is likely loaded a little heavier for deer.  Since a 40 is legal for deer in MN I did carry mine for that purpose with a 45 grain load of 3f which I felt was adequate for up close deer (especially smaller ones) and head shots on squirrels.  Can't report success on either, but I suspect it would be a little dramatic for squirrel but still not really ruin anything with a head shot.  Been wanting to try one on deer.  In a worse case situation I do have a four legged tracker to help, but on a good shot reasonably close I suspect I would not need one.  The concept of dual purpose is interesting but usually results in something too big for one use and too small for another, although I do consider a 40 a good small game getter if one also is including coyotes or similar varmints in the bag.

DP
[/quote]
 How do you cook the little wolves?

ottawa

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #22 on: December 19, 2009, 04:19:51 PM »
with sage butter and garlic ;D

northmn

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #23 on: December 19, 2009, 06:50:48 PM »
with sage butter and garlic ;D

Don't hurt to go a little heavy on the garlic.

DP

Offline Dphariss

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Re: 40 cal
« Reply #24 on: December 19, 2009, 07:19:56 PM »
;D I found the .69 would kill a squirrel, if you hit him right. :D

So will a pickup truck, but it takes skill to save any meat...I have always liked the challenge of head shots with a small bore, but around here I get flack 'cause the locals eat squirrels brains!

Ain't that how "mad squirrel disease" gets its start?
 ;D

Dan
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