Author Topic: Differences between modern and BP  (Read 9351 times)

northmn

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Differences between modern and BP
« on: December 29, 2009, 03:32:00 PM »
Sometimes I do not think one really understands the differences between hunting using a modern and a BP gun, especially a flintlock.  Any deer with a BP firearm is a trophy, a buck is icing on the cake. 
1. Range.  With a scoped rifle a good shot can humanely take a deer at over 200 yards, with a BP rifle and open sights 100 yards or so is a good limit.
2. Morning and evening shooting.  Open sights cannot permit shooting as early or as late in the evening.  We are allowed to legally shoot 1/2 hr after sunset, which can get a little dark on an overcast day.  Scopes peermit longer shooting hours.
3. Reliability.  Even if they do not misfire, flintlocks can hangfire.  Lost a deer becasue of that a year ago. While more reliable, cap locks can also act up on occasion.
4.  More weather proof.  Hunt after a rfresh snow with a flintlock and you have to really work to keep the stuff out of the pan.
5. More common second shot capability.  While I am sure someone out there has been able to reload to get a second shot at a deer with a ML I found usually about the time I pulled out the ramrod they were gone.  Even my Remington Rolling block 45-70 can permit a better possiblity.  Sometimes a missed deer will go a ways and stop and look back to see what the racket was all about.
6. Noise.  The clicks of cocking a ML can scare a deer where most safetys are pretty quiet.  Single triggers can quiet this but with DST's ?
7. Handiness in a blind or stand.  My 30-30 is shorter and easier to move around in either.
Just thought I would mention this as those that have been successful with their ML's have made an accomplishment we tend to overlook.  There may also be a lot of ways to overcome some of these issues.

DP

roundball

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2009, 04:45:04 PM »

There may also be a lot of ways to overcome some of these issues.


All good points...#6 seems to be the easiest to overcome...holding the trigger all the way back while cocking, then releasing the trigger, then easing the hammer forward onto the full cock notch...100% quiet.
But to be honest, before I started doing that there were a few instances where a deer was walking through at 25-35 yards and either never heard the sear clicking, or stopped walking to listen harder for what it heard...and a standing deer broadside at 25-35yds is a good thing.  So while I've gotten in the habit of using the quiet trigger/hammer cocking method over the years and will continue to, I have to say the few times that I didn't apparently never made enough noise that it cost me a deer.

Agree no question that a short 20" barreled gun is easier in tight confined quarters.
But even a T/C Hawken with a 32" barrel is like using a Remington 1100 in the blind...after years of using Remington 1100's with 28" or 30" barrels PLUS the 3" long receiver to contain the loading & ejection action cycle, long barreled Remington 1100s weren't bad in a blind...so my transition to 32" barreled Hawken style MLs was easy.

What really surprised me though, was the longer 38" barreled Virginia...haven't noticed any differences in carrying / handling it at all ...the main differnce / adjustment has been using a ramrod at the range.  Otherwise, considering where I hold to carry and/or operate the rifle, the Virginia's 6" longer barrel is not 6" longer out front...its only 3" longer out front and the other 3" of overall length is out the back...pleasantly surprised by its ease of use in woods and hunting conditions.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009, 04:52:08 PM by roundball »

IRONSIGHT

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2009, 05:43:31 PM »
The hardest thing I found in hunting with a flintlock in PA's late season isn't the limitations of the firearm itself, but fighting the weather an the ability to find game.
Our deer herds have already been reduced to the bare minimum following archery, and regular deer season. I'm finding out that I must return to tactics I used back in archery season. I know we are limited compared to using a modern firearm, but we do have a advantage over those using a bow in late season. Now there's a challenge.

Offline Pete Allan

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2009, 07:19:43 PM »
I must agree with the thoughts in item 7. I personally hunt with short barreled muzzeloaders usually around 30" barrels. If you take a look at chronograph charts you will see that you are not gaining much with barrels 12" to15" longer than what I carry in fact  in some cases  you are actually loosing velosity with the longer barrels using the same loads as with the short barrels.
If you hunt from a tree stand you know how awkward any length of rifle can be and all the Deer I have shot from a stand were well in side of pistol range ;D

Black Jaque Janaviac

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2009, 07:29:29 PM »
As with any kind of achievement - the less "help" you get the greater the achievement.

People often scoff at my enthusiasm for primitive hunting, and will question me by asking, "Why don't you use a spear or tomahawk?"  As if that somehow show how foolish the idea of using old fashioned guns is.

My answer to their question, "Because I'm not that good."

A display of humility stops 'em in their tracks.  It realigns their thinking and brings them back to the "sport" in hunting.  Excessive technology tends to take the sport out of hunting.   I suppose I could answer their question with another question, "why don't you just go to the grocery store to get meat?"

But the amount of "sport" is different for each man.  If I ever went after sheep in the mountains I'd probably leave the flintlock behind.  Why?  Because the pursuit of sheep in rugged terrain would be enough sport all by itself, I don't need to take on more than I could handle.

For whitetail in the Wisconsin woods however, a flintlock works nicely.  It makes even shooting does and fawns fun. 

Daryl

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2009, 09:45:19 PM »
People often scoff at my enthusiasm for primitive hunting, and will question me by asking, "Why don't you use a spear or tomahawk?"  As if that somehow show how foolish the idea of using old fashioned guns is.

Now yer tallking - I've wanted to hunt bears with a spear and a broadsword for years - alas, too many years have passed without getting to accomplish that goal, now I'm a bit too old and lack the physical strength and stamina to do such - oh well.  Maybe some younger hunter here will find the fire and do just that. The way I've got it figured, you impale the charging bear on the spear to the cross-tree, then jump up and lop it's head off with the sword.

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2009, 11:37:50 PM »
You'd better back off on the Vitamin E Daryl...your imagination is getting away on you.  Truth is...I've had these fantasies m'self, occasionally after a sip or two of Appleton's.
D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com

Art is not an object.  It is the excitement inspired by the object.

roundball

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2009, 12:02:34 AM »

"...The way I've got it figured, you impale the charging bear on the spear to the cross-tree, then jump up and lop it's head off with the sword..."


Oh yeah.....there's a plan !
 ;D

Black Jaque Janaviac

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2009, 01:12:58 AM »
Quote
I've wanted to hunt bears with a spear and a broadsword for years.

I recon the hunter and the bait pile would be one and the same!

northmn

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2009, 02:00:47 AM »
Sasha Siemel used to claim that the spear he used to impale eltigre was safer than a firearm.  The spear had a stop on it and he could keep the cat away until it died. a firearm might permit the cat to get him.  Germans used a boar spear and sword on the European boar.  The sword was I believe used when the dogs had them cornered and occupied.  Were I to get involved with dangerous game I prefer Jim Corbet's method of sitting up in a treestand and using a very large gun.  I think I read about every book Corbet wrote on tiger hunting.  There are some that think "fair chase" ends with a self bow and flint arrowheads.  I kind of enjoy the more modern flintlock, but I have taken deer with a longbow and steel arrowheads on wooden arrows.  Have to try the all wood bow this year.  AS Black Jaque stated these make any deer a trophy.  Hunting squirrels with a scoped 22 lost its attraction some time ago for me.

DP

Offline Jerry V Lape

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2009, 09:34:07 AM »
You are all way behind Davey Crockett - who killed a bear with a grin! 
 ;D

Offline Dan

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2010, 01:45:38 AM »
Sasha Siemel used to claim that the spear he used to impale eltigre was safer than a firearm.  The spear had a stop on it and he could keep the cat away until it died. a firearm might permit the cat to get him.  Germans used a boar spear and sword on the European boar.  The sword was I believe used when the dogs had them cornered and occupied.  Were I to get involved with dangerous game I prefer Jim Corbet's method of sitting up in a treestand and using a very large gun.  I think I read about every book Corbet wrote on tiger hunting.  There are some that think "fair chase" ends with a self bow and flint arrowheads.  I kind of enjoy the more modern flintlock, but I have taken deer with a longbow and steel arrowheads on wooden arrows.  Have to try the all wood bow this year.  AS Black Jaque stated these make any deer a trophy.  Hunting squirrels with a scoped 22 lost its attraction some time ago for me.

DP

Willing to bet Sasha never really came face to face with a tyger.  Would'a had that spear stuffed where the sun never shines I'm guessin'.  One does not "hold" a tyger while it dies.   Hogs would be  a different story...probably.

On to other points, I've not found the clackety klatch of a flint lock to be an issue.  Mine is not that loud, certainly quieter than the old Renegade I had.  Nor has moisture in the pan been a problem.  100 yards is a bit long for me and mine, but it beats a long bow and that's why the Indians liked guns.

Maybe another way of looking at it is that each arm, regardless of format, carries it's own constraints.  The challenge isn't found in pushing the envelope, but rather in learning to operate within those parameters.  Flinters are a lot more fun than Garands, spears and swords though, just my opinion.

northmn

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2010, 05:11:39 AM »
Sasha was a very famous old time hunter of jaguar and even had some of his kills on film.  He was famous for his techniques and is said to ahve killed 300 Jaguar.  Used the bow and spear mostly in the Matto grosso jungles.  Most of his work was up close and dirty.  He was as afamous as Howard Hill.  As to moisture in the pan, have you ever carried a flinter after a fresh snow with the snow hanging on everything?  I can think of no advantage a muzzleloader would have over my 30-30.

DP
« Last Edit: January 01, 2010, 05:19:54 AM by northmn »

Offline Dan

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2010, 06:49:19 AM »
Oh, didn't know about him.  Different sort of cat than I referred to as well. Still of the opinion that tygers and spears are a bad mix, but then I shoot hogs with CB Shorts, so what do I know? Tygers tend to be a lot bigger than jaguars.  Not sure what's true and legend regarding Sasha at this point...

http://latviansonline.com/site/print/375/

Tygers - Reaching up to 3.3 metres (11 ft) in total length and weighing up to 300 kilograms (660 pounds)

Jaguars - There are significant variations in size: weights are normally in the range of 5696 kilograms (124211 lb). Larger males have been recorded at 159 kilograms (350 lb)[26] (roughly matching a tigress or lioness), and smaller ones have extremely low weights of 36 kilograms (80 lb). Females are typically 1020% smaller than males. The length of the cat varies from 1.621.83 meters (5.36 ft), and its tail may add a further 75 centimeters (30 in). It stands about 6776 centimeters (2730 in) tall at the shoulders

Howard Hill the bow hunter? Never heard of him either...until now.

Snow?  In Florida?  Once a decade or less.  Rain we got, and lots of very humid mornings with persistent fog and dripping in the woods is best I can do.  No problem yet...probably some day.  Heard once about mule ears and grease, although I prefer wax of the bee variety.

Kids think flint locks are cool.  Long rifles balance better than lever guns for offhand shooting.  They don't hurt your ears. They smell better after they fire.  You don't have to deprime the brass or use dies to reload.  They work better with bayonets. 

How am I doing? ;D

Happy New Year to all!

northmn

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2010, 04:54:25 PM »
I can date myself referring to some of these figures.  While Howard Hill was a little before my time,  I even read some of Jack O'Connor's original writing (he influenced me a lot).  Used a 270 for many years.  I also have many of the classical books, one by Hill on "Doing it the Hard Way"  About bowhunting, Fred Bears videos, and Popes book on archery as well as the Thompson brothers book "The Witchery of Archery" I remembered articles about Sasha in Outdoor life or F&S.  One of the things when you read articles by these individuals was that they were not as stuck selling something from advertisers in their magazines like writers are today.  A more modern writer that died recently that seemed to be squared away was Don Zutz and his articles on shotgunning.  These individuals were able to hunt when we had game to hunt with less competition.  Young had a silent movie out about his hunting trip to Alaska where he shot large moose and a Brown Bear.  While not Longrifle related, these writers and individuals have become classics.  I also remember some writers that started to write muzzle loading articles in the 1970's.  These were individuals were modern gun writers that picked up a ML and hunted with them.  While none stand out as exceptional a few stood out as incompetent.  If you want to hunt deer with a flintlock, a little bowhunting experience goes a long way.  While a flintlock has advantages over a bow, the close hunting style and techniques really help.  I have had to change my techniques along this line the last couple of years, as I was used to hunting openings and shooting a ways.

DP

Offline Dan

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2010, 06:46:37 PM »
DP, I hear ya.  Still have many magazines from the 60's with Keith and O'Conner articles.  Different times for sure.

Sort of backed into my perspective about hunting, how guns shape the way you do it.  Raised a bird shooter from youth, I didn't own a rifle other than a Benjamen 312 until after I separated from the service.  What hunting I did for larger game was done with a shotgun and mostly buck shot.  Later on I went thru the CF rifle phase, beginning with a Model 94.  Came to a fork in the road about the time I started working with rifles having serious long range capability and wound up a dedicated still hunter in the southern bottoms and swamps.  As a result it has come to my attention that virtually any gun or load will work in that circumstance.  Or bow, sometimes a spear if one is wacky enough. 

Still do it today and have several rifles specifically sighted at 10 yards for that purpose.  I do use a red dot on two of them, but no optical glass.  Otherwise, it's iron sights and I don't see great difference in what rifle I use to tell the truth.  Close takes a lot of variables out of the equation.  My .45 has a 42" barrel and I don't find it awkward or inconvenient, cover or weather notwithstanding. 

From the mid 90s when I abandoned stands and blinds, to present, the longest shot I've taken on a deer was 70 yards.  The shortest was about 10', average probably around 40' and that would include something around 25-30 deer.  Hogs....longest shot 38 yards, measured, shortest about 5', average close to 30 feet I'd guess. Total to date, 177 by my records, size ranging from 10-300#.  Close is what I do, choice of gun driven more by circumstance that anything else.  Anybody can do it if so inclined.

I'm not the least unmindful of what you said in your first post and agree with it in general terms.  It is my opinion, nothing more, that attention to detail in a comprehensive sense levels the field when it comes to advantage or disadvantage normally ascribed to different tools of the hunt.  When the range gets very short the differences largely evaporate.

northmn

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2010, 04:46:42 PM »
I have shot at least 3 deer over 200 yards with the scoped 270, one closer to 300.  Several over 100 and many over 50 yards.  Attention to detail as with a flintlock is one of the big differences between the two.  With a flintlock, you have to pay attention to the sharpness of the flint, how it is installed, as in whether it is loose in the jaws, are we leaking primer and other little automatic details that are absent with a gun where you slap in a few cartridges and check the safety.  As my eye sight changes with age, I appreciate even the red dot sights more.  The red dot is actually an improvement (as in more efficient) over the scope at closer range and has been adopted by the military.  Some even consider peep sights on a flintock sacriledge.  There are a few things within their limitations that ML's do as well as modern guns, but I cannot think of anything they really do better.

DP

Daryl

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #17 on: January 02, 2010, 06:40:06 PM »
  There are a few things within their limitations that ML's do as well as modern guns, but I cannot think of anything they really do better.
DP

I can- ML's are very much superior for offhand shooting at any range used as well as pointability, depending on design.  My hunting rifle, the 14 bore, points like a bird gun - albeit a 9 1/2 pound shotgun, but tht's how it points. Snap it to your shoulder and the sights are aligned on the 'target' be it paper or animal, perfectly, right where you were looking. Jaegers are almost as good as a late percussion English design, but not quite.

northmn

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #18 on: January 02, 2010, 07:32:42 PM »
I ahve appreciated the pointability of ML's, but most modern guns do not weigh in a 9.5 pounds.  While I think that is a point in their favor generally, a "modern" gun can be made into a good offhand gun.  Most of the ML's are custom while most modern are off the shelf.  Actually I appreciate some of the older or classic modern rilfes better than some of the newer ones.  My Marlin CB has a 24 inch barrel, the originals 26", my rolling block has a 32" barrel and a couple of the old milsurps I have, have longer barrels and hold nicer.  I just picked up a 99 Savage in 300 Savage that has a 24 inch barrel.  None of them shoot too bad offhand.  Some of the more modern designs are not so well designed.  They make the owneers happy off of benchrest but I never found a portable enough benchrest to carry hunting.

DP

Offline Pete Allan

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #19 on: January 03, 2010, 05:41:12 AM »
I don't think I would downplay the modern rifles as in NRA competitive match shooting more than 80% of the rifles now used are based on the AR platform and have broken ALL of the national records. And I also see on the NRA sportsman shows that these same type of rifles are gaining in popularity with modern hunters. One reason for the rise in popularity is that these type rifles are available in such a wide range of calibers and the ease of switching to a different caliber is simply by changing the upper assembly and pushing in a different clip.
Some of us may think the AR platform rifles are just a passing fad but they have been our service rifle for more than 50 years now and that is longer than any other rifle the U.S. has used.

westerner

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2010, 06:54:48 AM »
Sorry guys, cant help myself. Someone stuck this AR 15 in my hands and snapped a picture. .50 percussion I think. The wiper is alongside the barrel.






                      Joe.

northmn

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2010, 03:31:09 PM »
The M-16 or AR15 had its growing pains and I know of one Viet Nam vet that thought they were pretty poor.  But that style of rifle is the most "ergonomically" designed rifle ever built and its growing popularity is reflected in that.  It has perfectly straight recoil with the action and barrel directly in line with the shoulder and the pistol grip has been designed to fit normal hand position.  Its one drawback is that at very close range it may shoot low due to the high sight plane above the bore.   We have been using the basic ML designs and have considered them "proper" for so long that accepting something as radical as the AR is hard.  Some of the collectors have mentioned that certain original MLs must have been built for contortionists as they cannot get down on the sights.  One of the more ergonomically designed firearms of the period were the English sporting rifles both in flint and percussion, straight comb, wide buttplates and proper drop.  Early Revolutionary war period American firearms were also more "user friendly". While I am sure they had a purpose for them, some of the worst were the later "Golden Age" flintlocks with their artistic curves and plains type percussions with their small hooked buttplates.  We can adapt to about anything, but some of these take considerable adaptation.  While I do not have pictures of early French fusils, the curves and slanted buttplates on them almost scare me.  I swear that pictures of originals fusils Had a little straighter buttplate than the repos.  Modern builders are making some of these designs more shootable.  I wonder if some of the surviving originals haven't survived because they were built for special uses like chunk shooting?  Also the barrel weight on many originals would not lead to off hand shooting for me as they are far too heavy.   We have done considerable adaptation from the originals to make our current ML's more shootable.

DP

roundball

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2010, 03:42:21 PM »
As an aside to the cresent shaped buttplates, which I happen to really like both from an astetic and hunting functional point of view.....I understood that their design had something to do with be able to securely place them in the stirrup of a saddle for reloading on horseback...can't point to any official document making that claim, just read / heard about that a few times over the years

Offline Dan

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2010, 05:49:45 PM »
I have shot at least 3 deer over 200 yards with the scoped 270, one closer to 300.  Several over 100 and many over 50 yards.  Attention to detail as with a flintlock is one of the big differences between the two.  With a flintlock, you have to pay attention to the sharpness of the flint, how it is installed, as in whether it is loose in the jaws, are we leaking primer and other little automatic details that are absent with a gun where you slap in a few cartridges and check the safety.  As my eye sight changes with age, I appreciate even the red dot sights more.  The red dot is actually an improvement (as in more efficient) over the scope at closer range and has been adopted by the military.  Some even consider peep sights on a flintock sacriledge.  There are a few things within their limitations that ML's do as well as modern guns, but I cannot think of anything they really do better.

DP

I hope you'll forgive the following ricochet:  

When I load my flinter, it's powder down, ball to follow, tap-tap, prime the pan and go. The long radius sights work for my eyes...for now.

When I "load" my CF guns....deprime, clean, trim, size, expand, reprime, charge, seat, pull out the concentricity gauge, log the info in my load book.....geesh, I'm so over that....

I will grant statistical superiority to CF rifles at long range.  Wouldn't ever try to argue that...well...I wouldn't put any of my CFs up against a Billinghurst slug gun.  I digress...in general, I would not argue the point.  The place where muzzle loaders have great advantage is the "fun index".  Simple as they are, it's a whole new world and will no doubt be my focus to my dying day.  BP does not mean inaccurate.  Accurate guns are interesting, I don't care if they are nitro or charcoal fueled.  Interesting guns are accurate.  Mostly. If you persist.

PS:  I liked the M-16 and CAR-15 in combat.  A lot. Long story not to be told here, but I've probably fired more ammo thru one of those than anyone you know. No FTF, FTE, ever. Also liked the Model 12 and the M3, but did not take them too seriously.
« Last Edit: January 03, 2010, 05:53:52 PM by Dan »

Daryl

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Re: Differences between modern and BP
« Reply #24 on: January 03, 2010, 08:22:15 PM »
Please - no more pictures of those modern thingies.