Author Topic: Early style Buffalo rifles..  (Read 206 times)

Offline Big Goose

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Early style Buffalo rifles..
« on: December 17, 2022, 05:55:16 PM »

Hey folks I posted this earlier on the BROW page,  it was mentioned that it might be appreciated here...  I reckon I'm a plainsman at heart.. hunt with an 1819 Hall rifle and carry an 1836 Waters contract pistol...


 Howdy all,
 figure maybe some folks might enjoy hearing about a couple old style buffalo guns...
 My older son, Zac and I used a couple vintage muzzleloaders for a recent buffalo hunt- here's his perspective and my own:


Here is Zac's perspective-
Cold, deep snow, some places waist deep snow in the coolies. Mostly between ankle and knee. Flurries and blowing snow most of the day. We were prepared, except honestly we could have used snowshoes. We were out in the cold from sunrise until 11pm. Never been more sore and tired coming off the prairie. Really a good hunt though. Many exciting moments. Full stories we can relay later , but for me it was the best hunt ever. I was extremely pleased, my '61 Springfield musket at about 80 yards on one  of the biggest cows I've seen taken out there. Hit her just above the heart, she onlymade it about 60 yards and stopped broadside to me. I dropped my musket in the snow and cross drawed my rolling block pistol with those 180gr 1400fps hard cast 357s, she was way over 100 yards, 120-135 yards out and teed up slightly more than halfway up her body with a level bead and touched it off. I heard the bullet slap her and snow poof off her hide right in the kill zone. She staggered a bit and I had extra 357 in my heavy choppers so I shot her 2 more times in quick succession. Each time slapped her hard and the last one she tumbled over. Upon examining the body, my musket shot and all 3 shots with the pistol were less than 2 inch spread up and down, and perhaps 7 or 8 inch spread laterally spread, the musket shot was directly above her heart, one of the pistol shots an inch away from that hit, one pistol hit 3 inches further back, and one another 2 or three inches further yet. Every bullet broke a rib, and every one was in the lungs or plumbing above the heart. Could not be more pleased, I felt good with the musket but I knew that would be good. I felt ok with the pistol but now I feel supremely confident after slapping 3 shots in a row at 120 yards in the wind, standing on a snow covered slope and all into the kill zone on a bison. None of the shots went through both sides, all the bullets were in the heart lungs or far side. Very interesting forensic investigation

Dad hit one just a little while ago with the Hall rifle, I handed him my Springfield musket and he was gonna hit her again but my musket misfired. The cap went off but didn't set off the main charge. Then she was out of sight, he and Bronc are tracking it now, I made my way back to Colton's truck and am warming up right now
I'm sure dad hit her, she was running almost full tilt and, I don't know know maybe 60 or 70 yards. He thought he may have hit her a little far back but all I know is I heard his ball hit her good.
Just recovered Dad's buffalo--
And my perspective-
  I finally got an opportunity just before dark, same snowy coulee, a big cow was leading out a couple lengths from the ones behind her.( It didn't seem like they were running so fast, but Zac said they were really moving and maybe a bit surprised I took the shot.. it was kind of like the one I got with the trade gun way back in 05.)  The 1819 Hall rifle fired instantly and as  she was moving pretty fast,  I figured the hit might have been a bit far back... but she left the herd right away , and slowly walked about a mile before we could get  around her. Bronc dropped me and Beans off and we slogged through more deep snow a few hundred yards to the backside of the old reservoir dam and sure enough she was slowly walking towards me. At about fifty yards I partially stood up and she turned just a bit. She was almost straight on, just quartering slightly and I held a good bead just left of her sternum. The Hall cracked again and she stumbled sideways, that ball went through her right lung and pierced her heart. .  She was literally dead on her feet but still slowly turning and started wobbling  up the rise- she didn't make it more than a few more yards.
 The first shot was a bit far back,( I like to put the ball right behind the elbow for a heart shot) but went through both lungs, broke a rib on the way out and exited, the second, as noted,went through part of the right lung and through the right side of her heart, and into the liver.
Some folks may be critical of shooting running animals, but these are wild bison on over 30,000 acres. We select older cull cows and have to be careful not to shoot through one and hit another. The opportunities are fleeting at best, and sometimes - maybe most of the time you need to be skilled at hitting moving animals. We shoot a lot, and practice from every conceivable position at stationary and moving targets
 Bison are remarkably tough animals, with enormous lungs, able to run 20 miles without stopping, yet the Hall rifle at 191 years old did just fine. I make paper cartridge similar to the ones for the 1861 Springfield, only with 75 grains of 2 f and .530 roundball with a single wrap of wax paper.
 The Springfield gets 65 grains of 1 & 1/2 f and a 510 grain  .575 Minie boolet.
 Both have been absolute devastators on whitetail deer, and I guess on the largest land mammals in North America...


Offline Tsalagidave

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Re: Early style Buffalo rifles..
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2022, 01:42:32 AM »
I have always loved the Hall Rifle for its historic value but would not have thought it to be the best tool of the trade when compared to heavy-barreled plains rifle. Yet, here is the proof that it will harvest meat all the same and dropping two cows in short order. That is really good work. Thank you for sharing the vivid descriptive and photos. Very impressive.

-Dave
Guns don't kill people; fathers with pretty daughters do.

 

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