Deer hunting with a cap & ball revolver question


PDA






Smokepole14
August 3, 2011, 11:53 PM
Ever since I got my 58 remmy I've been dieing to kill a deer with it. Today I picked up a regulation book and it states for whitetail deer as "muzzleloaders and black powder handguns .40 caliber or larger". My pietta remmy is .44 so i'm assuming that it is large enough and legal by Alabama state law. Is this correct or am I missing somethin?

If you enjoyed reading about "Deer hunting with a cap & ball revolver question" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Hellgate
August 4, 2011, 01:49 AM
You need to verify if REVOLVERS are legal vs a single shot 40+ caliber ML. Also I hope you are a good tracker because a deer could run quite some distance if hit in the chest. I've had running deer go quite a long way when shot through the heart with a .30-06 and darned near didn't find them. If U had to, I would use my Walker but not my Remington. You are basically hunting deer with the equivalent of a 38 special. The BOOOM!, smoke, & sparks really don't add to the killing power.

4v50 Gary
August 4, 2011, 02:48 AM
Stalking followed by shot placement is everything. The disadvantage of a SA revolver is the audible click that follows when the hammer is cocked. It will cause a deer to bolt.

mykeal
August 4, 2011, 07:16 AM
It appears your .44 caliber Remington is legal in Alabama, but you're asking the question in the wrong place. You should be talking to your state game management enforcement officials.

Assuming the gun is legal per the regulations, you now have to deal with the practical matter of how to make the shot. The issue with a black powder handgun isn't caliber, it's range. Revolvers cannot generate the energy needed to make a clean kill at long ranges, of course, so you need to be close - generally less than 40 yards. You also need to be very accurate. Shot placement must be precise so as to place the limited energy in a vital location (arcticap is absolutely right - shot placement is everything with a revolver).

Do you have the hunting skills to place yourself within 40 yards of a deer, draw, cock and aim without spooking it, and then do you have the shooting skills with that gun to reliably put one round in a six inch circle at that range? The majority of us do not possess those abilities; it takes years of experience to gain the hunting skills and years of practice with the gun to gain the shooting skills necessary.

The down side of failing to execute the above is a wounded animal left to die a slow, painful death.

junkman_01
August 4, 2011, 10:43 AM
arcticap is absolutely right - shot placement is everything with a revolver

Mykeal,
As strange as it may seem, arcticap has not responded to THIS post......yet! But 4V50 Gary is correct

Loyalist Dave
August 4, 2011, 11:12 AM
It would be legal in Maryland, but for the fact that a handgun for deer requires 40 grains of powder, so a Walker or a single shot are all that are available in this state, as an example.

The problem with the Alabama guide is that it does not list the legal definitions for what they consider a "Black Powder Handgun". I mean can I load my .454 Casull with a cartridge with BP instead of smokeless and qualify?

So as stated you may want to check the local laws, as simply because it's shooting black powder doesn't necessarily make it legal. It's possible that the ML regs may define a "black powder handgun" as a single shot, or having a certain amount of muzzle energy, or the gun must be loaded from the muzzle..., now a revolver isn't loaded from the "muzzle" right? The cylinders are loaded from the "face" of the cylinder, and nothing is loaded from the muzzle in a BP revolver..., unless you used a .40 caliber pepper box. So check the definitions first. You might be fine.

LD

mykeal
August 4, 2011, 11:32 AM
Sorry, Gary. Not enough coffee at that point in the morning.

Smokepole14
August 4, 2011, 12:03 PM
Shot placement is key for any caliber gun you hunt with. The only difference with a revolver is lack of energy so yes I would not shoot unless it was a doe at maybe 25 to 30 yards. I do believe the hardest part of the equation would be the shot placement but at 25 yards I feel pretty confident in myself. Now that I know that by law my gun is large enough I'll check in on whether if you can use a revolver or just a single shot. Preciate the info guys

zimmerstutzen
August 4, 2011, 10:32 PM
In PA a cap and ball rev is not legal for deer. They do not load from the muzzle.

On top of that muzzleloader pistols must be 50 cal or larger for deer, 54 for elk.

Getting sufficient killing power is another problem. In states with a minimum ft lbs muzzle energy for pistols, you would probably never comply.

People have tried all kinds of things to increase power. From enlarging the chambers toward the breech, to duplex loads, (dangerous) Switching to a hot substitute powder such as trip 7 may boost energy by 10 % given the bore and cylinder length, there is only so much than can be done to boost energy. So perhaps a walker is the best choice because of cylinder length.

Early English cap and ball revs were available in up to 54 or 58 caliber. I think there would be a fair demand for a HUNTING power cap and ball revolver designed for the extra oomph. Perhaps up the bore to 50 cal and lengthen the cylinder to accomodate charges of about 60 to 70 grains.

mykeal
August 4, 2011, 11:13 PM
That gun exists: the Clements Custom Guns .50 cal ROA conversion (http://www.clementscustomguns.com/rugerrevolvers.html). $900 on your gun. Availability is limited. Demand is sufficient to fill his available production spots but not enough to make it worth increasing capacity.

Legionnaire
August 5, 2011, 11:04 AM
In PA a cap and ball rev is not legal for deer. They do not load from the muzzle.
I thought cap and ball revolvers were considered muzzleloaders regardless of the fact that one doesn't load the chambers through the muzzle. The .50 caliber requirement seems to be what makes most cap and ball revolvers impracticable in PA.

dprice3844444
August 5, 2011, 11:21 AM
get a t/c contender barrel in 50/54/58
http://sskindustries.com/?page_id=13

zimmerstutzen
August 5, 2011, 02:43 PM
Legionairre: the PGC regional offices were giving conflicting advise about cap and ball revolvers. So a buddy of mine sent an e-mail and was told that they had been telling folks that c&b revs were acceptable as muzzleloaders, when I wrote the same to the pgc, they wrote back saying that since they don't load from the muzzle, they were not muzzleloaders. In PA's regular firearms seasons, , even a .54 caliber percussion Sharps breechloader is illegal for big game.

darkerx
August 5, 2011, 05:32 PM
What is the level of ft.lbs required? (I would be very surprised a
.44 with swiss not being enough)

zimmerstutzen
August 5, 2011, 06:01 PM
In maryland DNR requires that modern handguns for big game be loaded to 700 ft lbs of muzzle energy That is a hefty load for a cap and ball revolver. However, as luck would have it, Maryland (at least in 2008) included c7b revs as muzzleloaders, madating a single round ball and at least 40 grains of powder.

handguns may be used to hunt deer only in those counties where the use of a breech-loading rifle for deer hunting is permitted with the exception that modern handguns may be used to hunt deer throughout Frederick County. Any modern handgun used for deer hunting must have a barrel length of 6 inches or more and use ammunition which produces a muzzle energy of 700 foot-pounds or more. Muzzleloading handguns (both single shot and revolvers) may be used to hunt deer in all counties. Muzzleloading handguns used for deer hunting must be at least .40 caliber in size with a barrel length of at least 6 inches and use not less than 40 grains of black powder (or a black powder equivalent) and propel one all-lead, lead alloy or copper soft-nosed or xpanding bullet or ball at a single discharge. Contact the Maryland State Police for information about handgun purchase, possession, transport and use in non-hunting activities...

ACCORDING TO THE Lyman black powder Handbook, Even the Ruger old army with 40 grains of 4fg (dangerous) only produces half of that required ft lbs.

Loyalist Dave
August 5, 2011, 07:25 PM
Except that a cap-n-ball revolver is not limited to the same requirements as it is not defined as a "modern handgun" under MD law. There are two standards, one for "modern handguns" and one for "muzzleloading handguns". Which again is why I suggested that the fellow in Alabama get the list of definitions as to what is a "black powder handgun" for his state. It's possible that he couldn't use a Walker if they define a "black powder handgun" as a "single shot".

LD

darkerx
August 5, 2011, 08:11 PM
Ouch... 700 ft lbs... my rem58 makes 443... and even my walker doesn't deliver higher than 649 ft lbs... only my rem58 18" (carbine) reaches 703 ft lbs...
And with cylinders full of Swiss powder...

As far as I'm concerned, deer will be safe... :)

Busyhands94
August 7, 2011, 04:55 PM
what about a Buntline Special? if i were to go deer hunting i would use a hefty load of Triple Seven and a heavy conical, and go for a head shot or a heart shot. maybe cut an X on the nose of the bullet to make it expand better (if legal to do so of course) if i were to choose a revolver for deer hunting i would go with a 58 Remmy with a steel frame or a Walker. i would suggest heavy conical bullets, they will carry more energy than just your standard balls under the same charge.

Smokepole14
August 8, 2011, 06:19 PM
I e-mailed the distric officer in Alabama and this is what they said. "As the digest states "handguns" are legal. Yes a .44 is larger than a .40 caliber so the black powder .44 caliber revolver is legal to hunt deer with during the hunting season in Alabama". So I guess that means a cap/ball revolver is legal to hunt with.

BP pistol hunter
August 8, 2011, 11:29 PM
Gentlemen,

I have been hunting wild hogs and deer in Florida for many years. I use a Pietta stainless 1858 Buffalo revolver with a 12 inch barrel. My typical loads are 37 to 40gr 0f 777 3fg, a wad and a .454 ball. This combo chronograhs at 1250fps/450ftlbs. It will get into the 600ftlbs range if using 255gr conical bullets. You can check out my kills at the Hovey Smith site featuring an article on my last hunting trip at the link below:

http://hoveysmith.wordpress.com/2011...-bounty-pisto/

Serious hunters, Hovey Smith the black powder editor for Gun Digest magazine just finished testing the Pietta 1858 and the Ruger old army and is convinced they will have no problem taking big game using a brand new 240gr VKV BG 456 cast flat nosed bullet with a universal design that allows it to fit all 45 cal percussion revolvers including the ruger with just one projectile for them all made by Kaido. He is so convinced that he will be filming several hunts with this gun/ammo combo. Please see the results of his tests below:

"The 1858 Pietta with a load of 32 gr. by volume (26.1 gr. by weight) of Hodgdon's Triple Seven, the 240 grain Kaido bullet produced a velocity of 995 fps. and a 10-yard energy of 527.31 ft./lbs".

"Through the 7 1/2-inch barrel of the Stainless Steel version of the Old Army, a 40 grain load of Triple Seven was used with Remington's no. 10 caps. This load produced an average velocity of 1041 fps, averaging 6 shots. This produced 10-yard energy figures of 578 ft./lbs"

Mind you he tested the bullet at 10 yards and not the normal 15ft, so theoretically the muzzle energy is actually greater than he documents.

This new projectile coupled with triple 7 powder makes these old timers very good big game handguns and brings their power up to the 41magnum level with better penetration and bigger wound cavities. Kaido is in the process of creating a 255gr version of his bullet and will be selling the molds soon. If you wish to place an order contact Kaido Ojamaa at kaido93@hotmail.com. It will be worth it.

junkman_01
August 8, 2011, 11:33 PM
Your link doesn't work.

zimmerstutzen
August 8, 2011, 11:36 PM
Busy hands, I agree with your premise, but depending on the gun, the larger and longer bullet takes up more space that could be used for powder under a round ball. I have to wonder if the trade off in powder capacity is worth the difference. Yes a bullet carries it's energy further than a round ball, BUT, we are talking about a revolver with velocity limited by powder capacity. it is no long range proposition in either load. More powder under a round ball vs. less under a bullet. Now if a bullet can take up little or no extra space, then maybe you are correct. I have a 456 dia wad cutter bullet that is only .45 inches long. Basically as tall as wide like a short squat cylinder. I load them into my Ruger Old Army. They are somewhat similar to the old 45-70 collar button bullets. In fact the collar button bullets may work well, with slight alteration.

BP pistol hunter
August 9, 2011, 05:54 PM
Ok guys here is the url below to some of my hunting pics with the 1858 revolver. You may see more kill pics by visiting the yahoo percussion revolver group and looking at the photo albums.

This is the corrected url that I incorrectly typed above. Scroll down and look for me, Rudy Betancourt.

http://hoveysmith.wordpress.com/2011/05/13/wild-hog-killing-with-black-powder-pistols-hunting-with-percussion-revolvers-muzzleloading-revolver-hunting-pietta-1858-revolver-muzzleloading-pistols-for-wild-hogs-wild-hog-hunting-bounty-pisto/

darkerx
August 9, 2011, 07:45 PM
You forgot this link: http://hoveysmith.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/modern-percussion-revolvers-cap-and-ball-revolvers-deer-loads-for-percussion-revolvers-kill-deer-with-percussion-revolver-kill-hog-with-percussion-revolver-triple-seven-in-percussion-revolvers-k/

Which shows I'm not the only one liking high pressures... and barrel lenghts are king... as I have 703ft-lbs with rem1858 with 18" barrel...(and a precise enough .457 round ball).

Busyhands94
August 9, 2011, 10:48 PM
what about an ROA? i think an ROA with a hefty dose of Triple Seven would probably do it, especially with a head shot.

Loyalist Dave
August 10, 2011, 08:34 AM
I e-mailed the distric officer in Alabama and this is what they said. "As the digest states "handguns" are legal. Yes a .44 is larger than a .40 caliber so the black powder .44 caliber revolver is legal to hunt deer with during the hunting season in Alabama". So I guess that means a cap/ball revolver is legal to hunt with.

Alabama is probably more civilized than Maryland, but what you have is this fellow's opinion, not the actual law...., or he may be quoting the law..., he doesn't tell you, and as you correctly point out..., you guess that means you can hunt with the cap-n-ball. In Maryland if you were charged by another DNR officer for the violation, the fact that you produced the email, or had the actual officer who wrote the email summoned to court, would not trump the actual law. The judge might cut you a break..., or he might not. I think in AL you'd have a better chance of being infront of a judge who is friendly to hunting, so you'd probably be OK.

LD

DeepSouth
August 10, 2011, 10:12 AM
Shot placement is key for any caliber gun you hunt with. The only difference with a revolver is lack of energy so yes I would not shoot unless it was a doe at maybe 25 to 30 yards. I do believe the hardest part of the equation would be the shot placement but at 25 yards I feel pretty confident in myself. Now that I know that by law my gun is large enough I'll check in on whether if you can use a revolver or just a single shot. Preciate the info guys

You might also want to ask about ammo as well. I know here in AL we have to use "Expanding ammo" I'm not sure if the law would apply to BP or not. I would be surprised if anything would expand much out of a BP Revolver, but you may legally have to use something other than a ball or rounded conical.

I've considered trying to take a deer with my 58, but I've never tried it. I recently got a 45 acp conversion cylinder for mine so I'll probably try it this year with the 45 cylinder.

the Black Spot
August 10, 2011, 10:42 AM
I shot a doe at SIX yards with an 1860 army. 30 grains of powder under a .457 rb. Heart shot,she ran 30 yards. NO EXIT WOUND.

zimmerstutzen
August 10, 2011, 11:38 AM
Just to expand on what Loyalist Dave said. In PA the "digest" says right in it that the digest is NOT the law. (Every time a WCO cites the digest in court as the law, I get the judge to throw it out as hearsay) That actual law is found in your statutes and hunting regulations. Here in PA, only centerfire guns, archery equip and muzzleloaders may be used for deer. Some Game Commission employees were telling folks that C&B revolvers were muzzleloaders and other were saying they don't load from the muzzle, so are not legal. Obviously they don't load from the muzzle, and when the conflicts were pointed out they ruled against such revolvers.

When some game officials are unsure of the answer, they will read the digest to you and let you interpret it. As LD said, your interpretation might ultimately be wrong.

Game violations here were just raised to misdemeanor and felony level. It would be unfortunate to get a criminal record over something so trivial as whether the digest is worded kind of "fuzzy." Nearly every game agency in the country has a legal department in their main state capital office. Ask them for a cite to chapter and verse of the actual statute and regs. Then read the actual laws and regs for yourself.

Legionnaire
August 10, 2011, 01:43 PM
zimmerstutzen, are you aware of an online source for PA game law? I'd like to see what's there.

Edit (1)- just found the following: http://www.pacode.com/secure/data/058/chapter141/subchapCtoc.html

Interesting that the code (at least in this section) doesn't clearly define a muzzleloader.

Edit (2)- I'm still playing with this. The PA Code (§ 141.43. Deer.) states:
(c) Muzzloading deer season.
(1) Permitted devices. It is lawful to hunt deer during the muzzleloading deer season with a muzzleloading firearm. The firearm’s ignition mechanism must consist of a percussion cap, primer or flintlock fired design. The firearm must be a .44 caliber or larger single-barrel long gun or a .50 caliber or larger single-barrel handgun that propels single-projectile ammunition. From this construction, "muzzleloading" seems to be a label rather than a functional definition, as the functional definition contained herein reflects the ignition system, legal caliber, and single barrel (interesting that it does not exclude smokeless powder). I'm puzzled as to how this necessarily excludes cap and ball revolvers of .50 caliber or greater. I would think the law would state explicitly, "The firearm must have a single chamber that is loaded through the muzzle of the barrel." That would be clear.

Maybe a letter to the AG is in order ...

arcticap
August 10, 2011, 02:25 PM
While you've been editing, I've been typing. :)
The game/conservation dept. law enforcement divisions generally have written policy regarding how they interpret their laws. Inquiring with a higher up CLEO should provide honest & useful information about their established policies.
When there's a gray area they usually go to their legal division (or AG's Office) for clarification. In part that's how they decide to make recommendations about which laws need to be fixed or amended. If there's ambiguity, an internal dispute or legal complaint, a court decision or something new and not already covered by policy or law then they react. And they probably also follow any relevant federal definitions unless there's a state law that's in conflict.


Under 141.44 Bear, (b)(1) permitted devices, it states:

(iv) A muzzleloading firearm. The firearm’s ignition mechanism must consist of a percussion cap, primer or flintlock fired design. The firearm must be a .44 caliber or larger single-barrel long gun or a .50 caliber or larger single-barrel handgun that propels single-projectile ammunition.

Under 141.41 Deer, it states:

(b) Flintlock muzzleloading deer season.

(1) Permitted devices. It is lawful to hunt deer during the flintlock muzzleloading deer season with a flintlock muzzleloading firearm. The firearm must be an original or similar reproduction of muzzleloading firearm manufactured prior to 1800. The firearm’s ignition mechanism must consist of a hammer containing a naturally occurring stone that is spring propelled onto an iron or steel frizzen which, in turn, creates sparks to ignite a priming powder. The firearm must have open sights and be a .44 caliber or larger single-barrel long gun or a .50 caliber or larger single-barrel handgun that propels single-projectile ammunition.

Legionnaire
August 10, 2011, 03:31 PM
And §141.22.(a)(3) Small game, reads: (3) A muzzleloading rifle or handgun. The firearm must be .40 caliber or less, that projects single-projectile ammunition.
What seems to be missing from the code is a clear statement of whether cap and ball revolvers, regardless of caliber, qualify as muzzleloaders. They clearly are not centerfires, so they are either muzzleloaders, or an undefined/non-permitted class. zimmerstutzen's posts would suggest that the Game Commission hasn't been entirely clear on this, either.

Edit: I just sent the following to the AG; it will be interesting to see what kind of a reply I get, if any.

Dear Attorney General Kelly,

I am writing to request clarification of the Pennsylvania Code as it applies to the definition of a muzzleloading firearm permissible for hunting. Specifically, are cap and ball revolvers permitted under the game laws that allow muzzleloading handguns?

For example, §141.22(a)(3) of the PA Code lists “A muzzleloading rifle or handgun” as permitted devices for the hunting of small game, further specifying that “The firearm must be .40 caliber or less, that projects single-projectile ammunition.” Thus, is a .36 caliber cap and ball revolver, in which each chamber of the cylinder is loaded with powder and ball from the front or “muzzle” of the chamber (albeit not through the muzzle of the barrel), and ignited by a percussion cap, permitted under the law?

I have attempted unsuccessfully to find in the code a definition of a “muzzleloading handgun” that clearly either permits or excludes the class of cap and ball revolvers. If such a definition exists, I would welcome the specific citation. If such does not exist, I respectfully ask you to issue an opinion that defines cap and ball revolvers as muzzloading handguns for hunting purposes. Otherwise, these traditional and capable firearms are effectively excluded from use by Pennsylvania sportsmen and women.

Thank you very much for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Etc.

Busyhands94
August 10, 2011, 04:53 PM
Deep South, what if you took a razor blade and cut an X on the nose of the bullet? i do that in my Super Companion, it delivers explosive results even with the tiny .22 bullet. you can rip a pop can filled with water top to bottom, aimed COM of course. i bet that would be pretty decent damage with a .44 shot into game. you can also do this with a hollow point bullet, you wouldn't believe what kind of damage you can get.

BP pistol hunter
August 10, 2011, 06:48 PM
This is to the Black Spot who claims shot a deer with 30gr and a ball and it ran 30 yards with no pass thru. What wimpy powder were you using?? Never use Goex or any of the Holy Blacks for hunting they just do not develop the necessary energy needed for big game the only exception is Swiss powder this is the only real black powder than produces sufficient power for big game hunting If you are serious about hunting. If you wish to hunt big game you must only use 777 or Swiss any other powder just does not develop the pressures needed. Only use steel frame revolvers no brass models please as these cannot handle the high pressure created by these powders. I am getting 1250fps/450ftlbs with 37gr of 777, a wad and a .454 ball out of my 12 in stainless Pietta 1858. I get an honest 1000fps with 32gr of 777 and a 240 flat nosed conical which translates to over 530ftlbs of energy. This my friends is in the 41 magnum ballistic territory but with a bigger diameter and harder hitting projectile. I have been hunting with this gun for over a decade and have taken many deer and hogs out to 50 yards. The black powder editor for Gun Digest magazine, Mr. Hovey Smith has come up with even better ballistics. Hovey and I have been closely working up loads and sharing the info for hunting. Hovey just informed me that he is getting over 578ftlbs of energy in his Ruger old army with 40gr of 777 and the same 240gr projectile that I have been using. He will film several hunts with it this year and has his tests available on youtube. You know my link you can see some of my kills and you may visit the yahoo percussion revolver group and check out my hunting album depicting a small fraction of my kills. All my shots are thru and thru complete penetration and the animals are either bang flops or run a very short distance before expiring.

junkman_01
August 10, 2011, 07:07 PM
30 yards is a short distance and a projectile that exits is just wasting it's energy! :neener:

darkerx
August 10, 2011, 08:46 PM
@BP Pistol Hunter: I respectfully disagree with your appraisal of Holy Blacks... The Swiss 1 black powder I use has been made this way since 1848... and it is one of the very few REAL BLACK POWDER still on the market... AND it gives 1430ft/s and 649ft-lbs in my walker (with a tight .457 / 143gr round ball), or 1488ft/s and 703,6ft-lbs in my 18" remington 58...

Long Live the Holy Black!!! :P

BP pistol hunter
August 10, 2011, 09:42 PM
Darkerx if you would have read my previous post CAREFULLY you would have seen that the only two powders that will produce these high energy levels are 777 and SWISS! So in effect you are in agreement with me! Keep your powder dry! :banghead:

BP pistol hunter
August 10, 2011, 09:50 PM
Junkman, you are partially right, a projectile that exits is expending it's energy some where else, but you also have to remember that if the projectile enters and exits the body cavity with sufficient force it will disrupt more tissue and create a more devastating entrance and exit wound especially if it a broad 45 caliber bullet in the 240 to 300gr class with a flat point which will in effect cause massive bleeding from not one but two holes killing much faster.

darkerx
August 10, 2011, 10:03 PM
Darkerx if you would have read my previous post CAREFULLY you would have seen that the only two powders that will produce these high energy levels are 777 and SWISS! So in effect you are in agreement with me! Keep your powder dry! :banghead:

I read your" post CAREFULLY, but you wrote that "goex or ANY" black powder shouldn't be used for hunting... then 777 or Swiss were possible... I infered that you were seeing Swiss as some kind of substitute (like 777). I'm pleased to see I was wrong... ;)

BP pistol hunter
August 10, 2011, 10:43 PM
Good now that thats settled, good choice of gun and powder combo. You should really check out the new 240gr and 255gr VKV BG 456 universal flat nosed projectiles made by Kaido. This will give you a substantial boost in power and effective range in your Walker.These new projectiles work on every cap and ball revolver including the Ruger old army. They are accurate and hit harder down range. You can get more info on this projectile by contacting it's creator at the following email: kaido93@hotmail.com

Legionnaire
November 10, 2011, 09:56 AM
Kicking this thread to report on the reply I finally got from the AG's office (see post #32). I don't have it in front of me, but will reproduce it when I do. In short, the letter said the AG only advises the Governor, and will not issue opinions otherwise. Remarkably UNhelpful response.


Oh, and rereading the code again, it would appear that a cap-and-ball revolver that has been fitted with a conversion cylinder to fire centerfire ammunition would be legal in the regular season. Guess I could hunt deer with my ROA with the Howell's/R&D cylinder installed.

Smokepole14
November 10, 2011, 10:47 AM
That's not very helpful if they only advise the governor. But I also have a Howells cartridge conversion so I might give it a try. I load it up with the bullets that bp pistol hunter was refering to, thery are made by kaido and they are excellent bullets.

Legionnaire
November 10, 2011, 08:11 PM
Here is what I got back from the PA Attorney General's office:

Dear ...

Your recent correspondence to the Office of the Attorney General has been forwarded to me for a response.

Under Pennsylvania law and the Commonwealth Attorneys Act, the Attorney General is empowered to give legal advice and opinions only to the Governor or to the head of a state government agency. The Attorney General has no authority to advise local government, public officials or private citizens. Accordingly, the Office of the Attorney General is not able to give you an opinion on the matter you have presented in your letter.

We recommend that you consult with a private attorney who would be able to research this matter for you.

Sincerely,

Frank G. Fina
Chief Deputy Attorney General
Criminal Prosecutions Section

As you can see, completely unhelpful. Kind of silly that one can't ask the highest law enforcement official in the commonwealth for an opinion. Guess I could write to the Governor. :banghead:

Smokepole14
November 10, 2011, 11:26 PM
I'd go a head and hunt. If they ain't willing to help it's their fault. Stupidty never pays off and there's more of it every day.:banghead:

Omnivore
November 11, 2011, 07:04 PM
My Pietta Remington loaded with 30 grains Goex FFF and a Buffalo 180 grain conical yeilds an average of 1047 fps. That's 40 S&W territory, but with a bigger bullet. Write-up with photos here;
http://blog.joehuffman.org/2010/02/16/PlayingWithFire.aspx

At close range with good shot placement it's more than good enough. In WA State however, though you can hunt deer legally with a .380 auto, they specify minimum barrel length and powder charge for ML handguns, making the Remington illegal. A Colt Walker would fit their requirements as I read them.

So it's all about the local regs.

Lunie
November 12, 2011, 02:57 PM
Missouri is much more clear on such things... http://mdc.mo.gov/hunting-trapping/regulations/deer-regulations/2011-firearms-deer-hunting

(With some of my emphasis added)

"Methods allowed
Methods allowed during all portions of the firearms deer season, except the muzzleloader portion.
Centerfire pistol, revolver or rifle using expanding-type bullets. Legal ammunition includes lead bullets, copper bullets and bullets made of other material designed to expand.
Shotgun (including .410) with slugs only
Air-powered gun, .40 caliber or larger, charged only from an external high compression power source (external hand pump, air tank, or air compressor)
A muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearm .40 caliber or larger and capable of firing only a single projectile at one discharge; in-lines and scopes are allowed
Multiple-barreled muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearms and/or muzzleloading or cap-and-ball handguns, including revolvers, .40 caliber or larger are allowed and may be carried in addition to a muzzleloading or cap-and-ball rifle
A longbow, compound bow or recurve bow of any draw weight; hand-held string releasing devices, illuminated sights, scopes and quick point sights are allowed
Crossbow
Atlatl, which is defined as a rod or narrow board-like device used to launch, through a throwing motion of the arm, a dart 5 to 8 feet in length.
Methods prohibited (in use or in possession)
Self-loading firearms with capacity of more than 11 cartridges in magazine and chamber combined
Ammunition propelling more than one projectile at a single discharge (such as buckshot)
Full hard metal case projectiles
Fully automatic firearms
Any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game
Electronic calls or electronically activated calls"

And

"Muzzleloader portion
This portion of the firearms season allows hunters additional time to hunt using muzzleloaders.

Season dates
Dec. 17–27 statewide
Methods
a muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearm .40 caliber or larger and capable of firing only a single projectile at one discharge; in-lines and scopes are allowed
multiple-barreled muzzleloading or cap-and-ball firearms and/or muzzleloading or cap-and-ball handguns, including revolvers, .40 caliber or larger are allowed and may be carried in addition to a muzzleloading or cap-and-ball rifle"

zimmerstutzen
November 13, 2011, 09:18 AM
When a term is not defined under PA law, the courts look to the plain english term. Muzzle loader ie loads from the muzzle. Cap and Ball revs do not load from the muzzle. A Ferguson breech loading flint lock, does not load from the muzzle and is therefore not legal in PA for deer. Nor is the breech loading percussion Sharps, the Burnside, etc.

I once asked if a Pope centerfire muzzle loader rifle would be legal and the WCO's were unanimous in saying no. ( a bullet is loaded through the muzzle through a false muzzle and a centerfire case full of powder is put in the breech.)

Yet there is no definition of muzzleloader to go by. (Nor is there a definition of center fire or rim fire in PA) Rules are that rimfire rifles are not legal for deer. What if the gun is both rim fire AND centerfire, like my Wesson rifle (38 Extra long ammo was available in rim fire or centerfire)

72coupe
November 13, 2011, 11:33 AM
I would think if there is not a satisfactory definition of muzzle loaders in the game law there may be a better one in other parts of the law.

Legionnaire
November 13, 2011, 12:46 PM
72coupe, my thought, too, but haven't been able to find anything as yet.

If you enjoyed reading about "Deer hunting with a cap & ball revolver question" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!