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.36 Cal and Medium Game

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by rodwha, Sep 6, 2019.

  1. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    So I’ve read many times the praises of (Kaido’s conicals in particular) bullets in .36 caliber, and I see no real benefit to using those over a ball for anything but medium game.

    I’m of a mind to feel, especially where expansion is questionable, that larger calibers are better (I’ve felt this way regardless), though I also know that a wide meplat creates a nice sized over caliber hole. And so I’ve wondered as to the effectiveness of a bullet for such things as deer and average sized hogs (I’d still want a .44/.45 cal for that), and the same goes for those who use a ball.

    Who uses such and what have been your results? Bullet, powder type, load, distance, trauma, penetration, etc.
     
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  2. Fyrstyk

    Fyrstyk Member

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    I have to agree with you. The .36 is a small to medium game caliber. I shoot only patched round ball, and the biggest game I will attempt to shoot with a .36 is a coyote. I've taken several with the .36, and our coyotes run between 35-55# and sometimes even heavier. The largest one I have taken is 53#. If planing to shoot larger game, then a bigger caliber is called for. The .36 round ball (at 65 grains) is a small to medium game round only. A conical in .36 won't be pushed fast enough to qualify as a big game round in my opinion, of course I am talking of traditional side lock muzzle loaders only and not the modern in-line types.
     
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  3. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I was speaking towards handguns, revolvers in particular.

    I feel a .375” ball wouldn’t be adequate whatsoever, but then it seems to have killed men well enough. Unless it expands then it seems they generate roughly caliber sized holes and to me that’s not all that great. However a .375” bullet with a wide meplat will create a much larger hole even at slow speeds.

    According to Beartooth Bullets who specialize in wide meplat bullets for handgun hunting show that a bullet with a meplat at .280” (74.7% of .375”) would create a fair sized hole. With that meplat at 978 FPS, which is what 22 grns of 3F Swiss showed for a 125 grn bullet, creates a .630” permanent wound track at 900 FPS and .700” at 1000 FPS.

    While those numbers look fair I look at what the .45 cal offers. My current bullet I made to be the length of a ball so as not to take up powder capacity, but also because I thought my Pietta NMA would have the slow 1:30” twist. In my old adjustable rifle powder measure the NMA was found to like 30 grns (weighed 33 grns) of 3F Olde E, and my ROA likes 35 grns (weighed 38). Numbers with energetic powders show some impressive velocities. In the Lyman handbook 40 grn of P pushes a 190 grn bullet at 1157 FPS. Even at a lowly 800 FPS a .370” meplat produces a channel .740” wide.

    Ultimately a .44/.45 cal pistol ball does what standard .45 ball ammo does, a caliber sized hole with good penetration. It didn’t put a serious whack but it was effective.

    I see a .375” ball being too anemic. But what of a bullet? I see it as marginal but doable, but wanted to hear from those who have done so.
     
  4. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    A .375" ball being shot at a man is being shot at a man because he intends harm to you, so if he suffers for days until he dies it's on him. We're sportsmen and our goal when hunting an animal is to make the suffering as minimal as possible.

    I wouldn't use a .36 conical on deer unless it was a life or death situation in regards to feeding myself or others. I've been touting .327 Mag in the Henry rifle for small game and up to deer, but it's not my intention to use the .327 on deer unless it's necessary.

    So, a .36 conical being effective on deer... yes, I think it can be, but you would have to be close and put the bullet exactly where it needs to go and use something like Triple 7 and the Kaido bullet. Then on top of all that, I would only do so if it's all you had.

    I think you're sensible enough to know that a .44 is a much better option and there are better guns like the Pietta Buffalo with good, adjustable sights and a long barrel that will put down deer with ease and precision compared to what's out there for .36 caliber. Also, I don't think any of the .36 reproduction revolvers that have been made were ever made with the intention of deer hunting.

    Can't say the same for most .44's either, but the Ruger Old Army and Pietta Buffalo were clearly meant for hunting.
     
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  5. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I've heard recently that there were accounts of Yankee officers shooting running hogs behind the ear, killing the quickly, with their 1851, '60, and '61 Colt revolvers. How many of us have cultivated that skill level and that level of mechanical accuracy of the loads?

    I've also recently heard the opinion that you can shoot deer with a cap&ball revolver... I assumed a .44... but you need to think within bowhunting distances... real short range, like in thick brush.
     
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  6. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Those officers were using conical bullets because those were standard issue bullets at the time and those Colt revolvers made back then were much better made weapons than the Italian repros made today, i.e. more accurate. Progressive twist rifling is never a bad thing to have.
     
  7. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I recall Elmer Keith's writing about conversations with veterans of the American wars between 1861 and 1892. By those accounts, ball is superior to conicals. Shoot something smaller like a prairie chicken or groundhog with those pointy conicals and they'll get away. Shoot them with ball and it'll stop them. Same thing applies as a manstopper.

    Trying to hit a hog behind the ear, I'm not saying the conicals wouldn't make a difference in accuracy. But, we're talking placement in the brain rather than damage to a game animal's vitals as we usually talk about the kill zone.

    The OP, I believe, is talking about a different bullet to the conicals available during the 1860's and '70's. The wide meplat is going make it a different story for terminal effect. For all I know, it may be more accurate in these Italian pistols, too. Might be worth getting a box or two for testing.
     
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  8. david58

    david58 Member

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    Not much diff between .36 and .40, I have killed, cleanly, mule deer with a flintlock .40. Would not hesitate to use a .40 on deer.
     
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  9. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    I’ve read of a couple of fellows using a .40 cal rifle for medium game quite effectively and out to 75 yds. I’d like to hear what you see in the form of trauma and the effect on game.

    I’ve always thought the .45 cal was marginal for medium game from a rifle (patched ball), but have read of smaller calibers being used effectively by a few (good shots?). This is part of what sparked my curiosity with what I’ve read regarding .36 cal revolvers and medium game.
     
  10. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    I love the .36....its all i own in revolvers. Very underestimated. I know that someone in kaidos circled killed a hog using his .36 conical. I have also had a custom mold made for a tapered 130 grain .36 cal REAL bullet and it works great...hits hard and very accurate, and holds tons of lube due to its wide lube grooves . If u trust a 141 grain .44 round ball and dont feel undergunned touting it...then i highly recommend the .36 using a wide meplat conical with a weight thats similar...such as the kaido conical which is 140 grains...or up to 143 grains if using pure lead as i do. Murphy from Murphy's muskets channel did a gel test and it did great. Had a shoulder bone in a block of gel and the kaido went straight through the bone and gel block using the kaido bullet...also shot a very thick part of bone and it went through it and shattered the bone. He was also using 25 grains of regular goex...so you would get even better performance using OE or swiss...or even triple 7. I get better than round ball accuracy using kaido bullets and my custom conicals, as did mr. Bellevue in his video of his 1861 navy where he comoared round ball vs kaido vs pointed conical paper cartidges....the best by far was kaido conicals. Heres Murphy's video doing bone in balistic gel test


    And heres Mr.Bellevue's video of his 1861 navy using kaido conicals..
     
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  11. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    Come on over to a North South Skirmish Association match and see just how accurate the guns and loads can be. My Parker Hale 2 band is a sub 2moa musket.
     
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  12. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    What caliber? What diameter ball, patch thickness, powder charge? And to what distance?

    I used to read claims of 4MOA with a .45cal smoothbore and a tightly patched ball at 100yds. Well, .45's the legal minimum for GA muzzleloader deer season and, so far, nobody I've heard from stipulated it had to be a rifle with a conical.

    Knowing or disbelieving it can be done is not the same as questioning what nominal percentage of shooters have worked out the recipe to do it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019
  13. rodwha

    rodwha Member

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    Interesting video. Thanks for sharing.

    One thing I noted was his comparing a .36 cal cap n ball with a bullet to a 9mm. It’s much more akin to a .38 Spl and +P if you use an energetic powder. I’ve yet to see any chronographed results that hit 300 ft/lbs.

    Knowing that the mass from a bullet will increase the penetration, and knowing a wide meplat can create a nice sized hole, I’ve wondered at their capabilities with the proper powder on deer. I’ve not crossed paths with but a couple of people who claim to use them. I’m hoping to hear from any that have/do as it seems to my thinking that it’s just barely enough for a less than stellar hit. Clearly it will break a heavy bone and keep going which was one question I had.

    I’ve yet to use either of my revolvers on game, but can easily associate their potential to common modern stuff as the numbers are similar. But with a .36 I’m looking at who hunts with a .38 Spl +P and medium weight bullets.
     
  14. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    Ok Mustang since you asked for it. Here's a shot of my competition load v a test load in my 42 Macon- a smoothbore. Load is bare ball, no dimples, no fuzzing, sprue left on. Charge is 65g 3f Old Eynsford. Bore measures .690, ball is just over .685 cast from range scrap. No wad. No card. No filler. Just powder and ball. Both of the groups you see in the picture were shot offhand at 25yds with the 42 Macon. The top one is my main competition load and is 7 shots. The hit on the dot was for sight picture confirmation for competition purposes. The bottom one was an experiment where I removed the sprue and dimpled the ball and is 5 shots. Other than that, nothing changed. BTW, we're not allowed to shoot patches in NSSA competition.

    69smoothbore.jpg


    The following group was shot from my Parker Hale musketoon. There are also some 50cal hits and one of them is on the left edge of the group. Load is 58cal RCBS Hogdon Minie, 43g 3f Old Eynsford. Lard/beeswax lube. No patches, no wiping between shots. My 58 Parker Hale shoots the same with the same load.
    20180708_130243.jpg

    And here's a pic of the 42 Macon. There are 6 shots in the picture. The hits on the bottom "slice" were intentional and part of a bet. The one on the slice to the right was a flinch on my part. Distance was 25yd. No wiping, no patches, no filler. Just load and shoot. Welcome to the NSSA, and I'm just a decent shot with a smoothbore in our competition.

    42macon.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  15. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    Here's a shot of a test group shot during load work up with the 58 Parker Hale (a two band).

    20180420_122543.jpg
     
  16. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Well, dave951, if your guns are giving you that kind of performance at 25yds, are they still good for minute of deer's vitals at 100yds? If it's good for a clay bird or a 4-8" steel plate at 100yds, I'd say carry it hunting.

    Now, back to these Kaido bullets, having watched the videos, I'd be interested to see how they work. Thing is, as I mentioned earlier, .45cal is GA DNR's stated minimum requirement for deer. So last I understood, I'm not in a state where I could legally use a .36 for deer. A .44cal revolver such as the Colt-type 1860 and sorta'51 uses a .454" ball, so when you figure the bore size, I wonder whether it's still legal or just that little bit too small.
     
  17. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Since there's a lot of talk about the Kaido bullets, has anyone here ever tried to use them in paper cartridges for .36 or .44?
     
  18. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Yes i have. They make great paper carts.
    Heres a pic... 20190811_213314.jpg 20190811_213324.jpg
    This is how i make my cartridges..some with a bullet and some with just powder and lube. You cant really tell but the cartridges are made with 21 grains black powder, wax paper disc, thin lube disc, wax paper, then bullet. I had used a larger lube disc in the pic for the cartridges that have no bullet attached..i no longer use that much lube as its not needed. Now when i make my cartridges without a bullet i put powder, wax paper disc, thin lube disc, wax paper, and top it off with cereal box cardboard disc. Works great as a seal to prevent gas cutting.
     
  19. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    ...also the bottom of the cartridges is just a single layer of thin rice paper that is easy for the percussion cap to bust through. I never have ignition problems. Its the thin rice paper they use as filler for gift bags etc. Very inexpensive.
     
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  20. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Also no taper is needed for these cartridges..they are straight walled. They slip in very easily into the chamber with no air gaps or crumbling/smashing up of paper. I noticed with some tapered designs the cartdige is basically smashed up in the cylinder and u may not get a complete burn of the cartridge paper...with the straight walled design you get virtually a complete combustion of the paper. I also only use Deco cement glue...its a flamable nitrocellulose glue that burns clean. Its the same glue i use when i make my homemade percussion caps.
     
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  21. TheOutlawKid

    TheOutlawKid Member

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    Speaking of wide meplats (mr.rodwha mentioned it earlier in his post) i have designed a .36 cal conical for navy revolvers. Its a tapered bullet for easy loading and weighs in at 130 grains...although the design can be tweaked to make it 140-150 grains easy by just adjusting the size of the large wide and deep lube grooves to smaller narrower shallower lube grooves. Although it weighs 10 grains less than kaidos bullet design it is a tad bit shorter and takes up less space in the cylinder so more powder can be used...but for some reason you can tell its harder hitting than kaidos bullet. Its just as accurate as kaidos and round balls...but me and others who tried it can visually see that its a harder hitting bullet...those with navy caliber guns should check it out if you are interested in a hard hitting navy caliber bullet. Its basically a custom tapered REAL type of bullet. Here it is next to kaido bullets. 20190126_105509.jpg
     
  22. dave951

    dave951 Member

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    Obviously you've never seen the sights on a 42 Springfield. There's no rear sight and the front is nothing more than nub for a blade cast into the front barrel band. Using that on ANY game animal past about 30yds is nothing more than wishful thinking and cruelty to the animal if you hit it. As for one of my rifled muskets, that's a different matter. Both my Parker Hales are sub 2moa guns and I wouldn't hesitate to shoot a deer if the lighting is such that I can see the sights out to 100yds.
     
  23. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    It's true there are some models I'm not familiar with. Appearantly the 42 Springfield is not an arm I'd have a use for... unless a turkey load were worked out. As for your other rifled muskets, have you compared round ball to Minie ball? IIRC, I've seen a Lyman mold listed for it.

    Hey, I know... not about hunting, though... I saw a video... Hickok45 was shooting a Mississippi rifle... with patched ball. He hit everything with it. Cool rifle.
     
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