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Deer hunting with a cap & ball revolver question

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Smokepole14, Aug 3, 2011.

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  1. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    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?
     
  2. Hellgate

    Hellgate Member

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    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.
     
  3. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  4. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    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.
     
  5. junkman_01

    junkman_01 member

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

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    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
     
  7. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    Sorry, Gary. Not enough coffee at that point in the morning.
     
  8. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    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
     
  9. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    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.
     
  10. mykeal

    mykeal Member

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    That gun exists: the Clements Custom Guns .50 cal ROA conversion. $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.
     
  11. Legionnaire

    Legionnaire Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  12. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    se fla i love claymores 01/sot
  13. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    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.
     
  14. darkerx

    darkerx Member

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    What is the level of ft.lbs required? (I would be very surprised a
    .44 with swiss not being enough)
     
  15. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011
  16. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    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
     
  17. darkerx

    darkerx Member

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    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... :)
     
  18. Busyhands94

    Busyhands94 Member

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    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.
     
  19. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    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.
     
  20. BP pistol hunter

    BP pistol hunter Member

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    New bullet and load makes them suitable for big game!

    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.
     
  21. junkman_01

    junkman_01 member

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    Your link doesn't work.
     
  22. zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen Member

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    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.
     
  23. BP pistol hunter

    BP pistol hunter Member

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    Corrected link to my hunting pics

    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/201...-for-wild-hogs-wild-hog-hunting-bounty-pisto/
     
  24. darkerx

    darkerx Member

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  25. Busyhands94

    Busyhands94 Member

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    what about an ROA? i think an ROA with a hefty dose of Triple Seven would probably do it, especially with a head shot.
     
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