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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  Special Interests - Groups & Societies  |  BROW (Moderator: Delmonico)  |  Topic: Hunting caliber question 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Hunting caliber question  (Read 2929 times)
Fazer
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« on: December 04, 2016, 07:01:54 pm »


Hel/*lo,

I am seeking help with picking a rifle for a future hunt. I want to get a big bear, hopefully with black powder.I was hoping that someone can guide me in the right direction.

I have several rifles to choose from, all single shot. They are 45-90, 45-125, 50-70 and 50-95. As you know the 45-125 and the 50-95 shoot lighter bullets than many of the same caliber. I am conversant with using this type of gun in a hunting situation . I have taken deer and a black bear. On the bear I used a trapdoor.

These rifles took bear for years, don'rt see why they shouldn't still do it. Just wondering if anyone had suggestions or could pass on their experience on this.

Thanks
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pony express
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 08:49:39 pm »

All the calibers you listed will do the job-but which ones do you shoot the best, and which ones might be heavy for carrying while hunting?
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Forty Rod
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2016, 09:41:26 pm »

How confident are you, with half-frozen fingers, a missed or flubbed shot, a p----d-off bear and other associated stressful items, that you can reload that single shot rifle in time to keep from getting mauled?

I'd be inclined to go with a Winchester / Browning 1886 or one of the big Marlins in .45-70 or larger.
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Kent Shootwell
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2016, 11:57:46 pm »

Having hunted with single shots of various kinds for about 50 years I wouldn't hesitate to use any of your rifles on bear. A well placed shot with any will do the job. This one was at 30 steps with a 50 X 2 1/2" Sharps 473 grain bullet and 105 grains of 2 f black powder.
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Galen
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« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 11:13:22 am »

Civilize them with a Krag. If not stick with 45-70. Ammunition availability.
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 07:11:40 pm »

Kent - nice rifle, nice bear!

In conversation with the late Dave Higginbotham of "Lonestar Rifles" re: hunting rifle calibres, he advised me to go with the 50-70.

Why? The same weight of lead and powder in a 50-70 recoils less than it would in a 45-70 of similar weight.

I have both a Shiloh (Farmingdale) Military Rifle in 50-70 and a current (B) carbine in 50-70. I shoot the Lyman 515141 and 65 grs FFg in both. The Military Rifle has taken two 400+ lb black bears for me and one 6 point Mule Deer.

The bears were taken at 100 yds using a tree and a rail fence for support. In one case, it was one shot - bear down. In the other, I hit him at 100 yds, aiming for a heart shot.
I got within 75 yds and he stood up. I hit him again and he went down. At 25 yds, he was up again!

I broke his shoulder with the next shot and he was still trying to drag himself away with his undamaged front leg and I was out of ammo! I picked up a stout stick and hit him in the back of the head. That did him in.

The post mortem revealed that my first shot only put a bruise on his heart. The 2nd shot perforated a lung which would have killed him eventually. The 3rd shot just broke a shoulder.

Lessons learned:

- Don't miss the heart with the 1st shot!
- Carry more than three rds!

I now were a belt slide for both my 45-70 and 50-70s that carry 6 rds each.

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Ranch 13
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« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 07:50:53 pm »

45-90 loaded with a 500 gr paper patch bullet of the original sharps/remington style would be a sure killer.
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Fazer
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« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 08:49:59 pm »

Thanks for the information. I guess I am trying to decide if light weight going fast, like the 45/125 and 50/95, 300-350 gr, same can be done in the 45/90. Or do I go for more weight in the bullet.

I do have an 1885 in 30-40, but that's moving away from what I am after. Only other option is to get the one of the old hammered doubles shooting well.
Thanks again
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« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 08:59:19 pm »

Depends on the twist of the 45-90, an 18 twist may or may not shoot bullets under 1.1 inches long worth a poop.
But no need to chance it, that long 500 gr bullet will penetrate in a straight line thru a bunch of hide, flesh and bone.
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Forty Rod
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2016, 12:25:35 am »

Thanks for the information. I guess I am trying to decide if light weight going fast, like the 45/125 and 50/95, 300-350 gr, same can be done in the 45/90. Or do I go for more weight in the bullet.

I do have an 1885 in 30-40, but that's moving away from what I am after. Only other option is to get the one of the old hammered doubles shooting well.
Thanks again

I have a 95 Browning in .30-40 Krag.  While I love the gun and the round I'm not sure I'd be comfortable using it as a primary gun against bear.  Besides, that isn't a BP round.

Mighty fine for deer or elk though.
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2016, 11:34:09 am »

I'm sure it would do just fine busting a can of beer! Bit much, some would say .... ;>)


I have a 95 Browning in .30-40 Krag.  Mighty fine for beer or elk though.
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Forty Rod
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« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2016, 11:59:26 am »

Damn dyslexic keyboard!  Shocked   Cheesy
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2016, 08:38:33 pm »

I've managed to have good coffee in both camps.  Smaller bore, Hi-Speed bullets and big bore loafers.  In some instances, the quary were in a position to shoot back.  When in those type of circumstances and when the "game" may well look upon me as .... "food" my preference runs to the biggest, heaviest nastiest bullet I can shoot accurately.  There are those nabobs who will quote you pounds feet,  down range velocity and other statistics add-nauseam.

I believe in "been there ..... done that" and survived the experience.  Based on some past nasty surprises (similar to a fart with a lump in it), I will never limit myself to any quest for dangerous game to a single shot.  I want to be able to hit whatever it is at least twice quickly.
Understand, that's just my personal opine.  I don't fault those who go afield with a single shot rifle.  I just suggest they be accompanied by someone else with at least a "two shooter" just in case.

I do not mess in the affairs of Dragons.  They find us crunchy and taste good with catsup.  Same same for some kind of large bear with a strange hump on it's back.  They can move very very fast.  (don't ask how I acquired personal knowledge of this FACT)

Coffinmaker

PS:  Would that I could have afforded a Kodiak Double in 45-70
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2016, 08:58:01 pm »

The only rifle that really makes sense against a critter with teeth, claws and an attitude is a British double rifle in a calibre that starts with the number "4" minimum. OK - maybe a 375 H&H.

Two single shot rifles regulated to hit point of aim at 50 yds. No jamming, no short stroking.

I'd consider my Browning '86 with a heavy load, but only after a lot of practice with it speed shooting.
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Fazer
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« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2016, 10:37:03 pm »

Quote
The only rifle that really makes sense against a critter with teeth, claws and an attitude is a British double rifle in a calibre that starts with the number "4" minimum. OK - maybe a 375 H&H.

Well I do have English double black powder doubles in .577 -3 inch, .577-2 inch and .500 -3 inch.

I have shot them and played around with them, but haven't seriously worked up best loads. Maybe I should
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Kent Shootwell
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« Reply #15 on: December 07, 2016, 11:21:41 pm »

But what's the point of hunting a big nasty beast with a 155mm at 4 miles? Dangerous game should involve a bit of danger don't you think. Or stick with bunnies or doves to be as safe as staying home. All of your single shots are up to the task and if you do want less excitement you can hunt at longer range and or set up in a tree. It's your hunt and I hope you enjoy it how ever you go about it.
Good hunting to you!
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Fazer
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« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2016, 11:36:52 pm »

Trust me a 577 black powder round is not a long range round by any stretch of the imagination.

The problem is the old hammer guns are far too heavy to lug around.
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The Trinity Kid
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2016, 11:00:06 am »

I'm not the most experienced with this, but this season I was helping a friend/ coworker track and pack out a decent size black bear that he'd shot.  He used a 30-30 for the first shot, but had hit pretty far back and the bear ran into the underbrush.  When he called me, we both tooled up with the biggest repeating guns we had: for me, that was a 30-30, and for him that was a 45-70 with 350 grain hard casts, backed up by .44 magnums.
We found the bear before it found us, and one shot from that 45-70 put him belly up.

I'm not sure where I was going with that...

I's say use whatever single shot you are best with, and have a buddy with a 45-70 repeater.

--TK
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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2016, 11:12:17 am »

Myself i find it more important to be sure of where that first shot goes, and never mind how many rounds you have in the magazine to miss with. Often times I think a multi shot repeater leads to poor first shot placement.
 If a person has confidence in their shooting, the second shot likely not needed.
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PJ Hardtack
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« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2016, 11:58:38 am »

I agree. The only two moose I've shot fell to single rds from my '86 45-70. A nice 6 point Mule Deer fell to my Shiloh 50-70 Military Rifle as did two 400+lb black bears.

The only deer I've shot and wounded, requiring hours of hard tracking were two Mule Deer hit with a scoped .308. One bolted as I fired and the other was further away than estimated. I only found the one, the other likely surviving as a three legged deer.

BPCRs cause me to shoot carefully to ensure bullet placement.
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"I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on.
I don't do these things to others and I require the same from them."  John Wayne
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