Patched roundball for deer


.333 Nitro Express
December 27, 2002, 04:24 PM
I own several muzzleloaders, all of which are designed to shoot patched roundball. They are all .54 caliber or larger.

Now, I have always been a dyed-in-the-cordite smokeless-rifle hunter. Of late, however, I have been increasingly tempted to take advantage of the extra-season and of the undeniable allure of muzzleloading in the hunting field.

Am I really handicapping myself with one of those patched-roundball rifles? For some reason, I absolutely abhor in-lines (sorry all of you disc-fans! No offense meant.)

In particular, I am greatly tempted to take my Pedersoli Mortimer flintlock in .54 caliber, which is very accurate for what it is, making me confident out to 100 yards or so.

How poor a choice would it be?

Thank you


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December 27, 2002, 06:40 PM
I hunted with a sidehammer .54 caliber ml for several years. It could not be counted on to shoot conicals accurately so I shot patched round balls. It was VERY accurate with them. You may have to limit your range to 75-100 yds or so (check accuracy and poi at those ranges with your gun/load). At those ranges, a big ole patched round ball will reliably and consistantly kill deer IF you put the ball where it should go.

Warning. Remember that any ml with any bullet will have MUCH LESS knock down than a modern, high velocity high powered rifle. Expect to have to track the deer for a short ways. You may not have to if you hit neck, backbone, shoulders, etc., BUT PLAN ON IT ANYWAY so you won't be disappointed. With the .54 caliber hole, you will have GOOD blood to follow!

Good luck, get out there and use that ml and round balls. It's FUN!

December 27, 2002, 07:43 PM
I've shot them out to 60 yards or so very accurately. Once they start to veer things go awry in a hurry! At 25 I've had nice clover leaf groups.

They work good for deer but you can't drive them too fast so you lose some of the shock of shooting a faster bullet, such as the guys using sabot rounds. They are also a good bit lighter so you don't get the penetration of a heavy buffalo bullet.

Make the shot and then sit back and wait a bit before collecting your deer. Give it time to bleed out and expire.

Good Shooting

December 27, 2002, 07:47 PM
A 54 caliber round ball is more than enough for deer as long as you hit them properly. Same story with a .458 Win Magnum, a bad shot will not be effective or humane.
If you can make a heart/lung type hit at 100 yards or less, I would say that you AREN'T handicaped at all. Of the five deer I've shot with muzzleloading (50 cal) rifles, only one didn't fall on the spot. The one exception covered maybe 300 yard while leaking blood like a garden hose before collapsing.
In short, Go for it!

Don in Ohio

December 28, 2002, 12:09 PM
I shot a doe at 75 yards, in the left side, out the right. She ran about 50 yards and dropped. I have shot other deer in the same spot with 12 ga slugs and a 30-06 and had them run 50-100 yards and drop. No disadvantage with power. If you are comfortable with your accuracy at 100 yards, the bullet is more than capable.

December 28, 2002, 01:38 PM
333, dont think of going to a more primitive weapon, as "handicapping" yourself. (HP rifle-to handgun-to BP-to bow and arrow) You are just enjoying the "hunt" more, and not fixating on the assurance of a definate kill. You are coming full circle, thats all. (Fred Bear ended with a camera)

December 30, 2002, 11:56 AM
The only handicap is that you can't fire a second if you don't miss ;)

Just make sure that you spend some time at the range to build your confidence up. Also, I wouldn't try a shot further than 125 yards.

December 30, 2002, 12:07 PM
Sounds like you got a winner, .333!

December 31, 2002, 04:51 PM
I remember seeing some data a few years ago that showed the foot pounds of energy between a roundball,sabot and buffalo bullet.Does anyopne have this data?

January 1, 2003, 05:04 PM
A patched .535 roundball with 90gr FFG is enough for Elk.

I had a video of a buffalo hunt. The running buffalo was taken cleanly at 125yds with a .54 caliber flintlock rifle using patched roundball.

Dave McCracken
January 2, 2003, 08:20 PM
I used a 58 caliber roundball on my first ML doe, she didn't move 5 feet after the shot.

Within the range limits, very effective...

January 4, 2003, 09:37 AM
I'm hunting that way too. No handicap as I see it. People hunted for hundreds of years with them and killed more deer and bear than I ever will. Just know your limits. I guess the only handicap is you can't shoot at 300 yards. But here you don't do that anyways...

January 5, 2003, 06:40 AM
i dont own a muzzle loader but was wondering why you woud buy it instead of a cartirdge rifle? surely your range/accuracy can be as good?

Dave McCracken
January 6, 2003, 05:44 AM
Sas, many places have special seasons that are limited to M/Ls. And, the weapon is a fun way to increase the challenge, as well as tapping into our traditions.

IMO, most of us view M/Ls as an adjunct to modern arms, not a replacement.

January 16, 2003, 12:09 PM
People buy muzzle-loaders for a number of reasons: curiousity,
enjoyment, re-enactment, no paperwork trail, self-defense, etc.
Apparently G. Gordon Liddy carries a Ruger muzzle-loading revolver because as a convicted felon he cannot own a firearm.
(His wife owns lots however).

January 16, 2003, 12:29 PM
A historical note: The Hawken out of St. Louis, IIRC, was produced in the larger calibers .50 and up for the opening of the West when the early mountain men found their Kentucky squirrel rifles just warn't enuff fer bar an buffler. The Hawken was considered powerful medicine on the frontier.

Deer? Tarnation, .54 RB was Grizz medicine in them days! :cool:

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