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View Full Version : Small game with big bore blackpowder?


abrahamsmith
June 1, 2001, 01:42 PM
So, I now have a .50 cal blackpowder rifle. However, the deer season is "only" about three weeks long (including special extended seasons), and it's in the all-too distant future.

Does anyone hunt small game with a .50? for meat or just varminting?

I've heard that frontiersmen used to hunt squirrel with their regular rifles, often shooting the branch below the squirrel to send shards of lead and wood through it. Is this a practical or effective meathod?

CD1
June 1, 2001, 06:44 PM
I wouldn't think it would be practical at all. If you hit a squirrel with a .50 cal round you'd destroy it. The branch thing sounds like a novel trick or a desperate move. I'd get a smaller caliber black powder gun for small game. I saw a guy squirrel hunting with a .32 or .38 caliber blackpowder one time, good enough to get head shots.

labgrade
June 1, 2001, 11:35 PM
Actually it's called "barking" & the idea was to hit the tree right next to the critter & stun (or outright kill) said critter with the displaced (& fairly high speed) wood/bark - kinda like a bank shot in pool. The bark doesn't tear it up like a body shot with a bullet would.

Head shots with anything won't waste meat.

CD1
June 2, 2001, 08:48 AM
True head shots with a .50 won't waste meat, but think about trying to get a bag full of squirrels shooting a .50 cal. Not very cost effective given the alternatives, and probably not very realistic given the marksmanship of your average hunter.

labgrade
June 2, 2001, 09:47 PM
You're correct, CD1, re "average hunter," but we're talkin' us ;)

CD1
June 2, 2001, 11:39 PM
What was I thinkin'? :)

ronin308
June 3, 2001, 09:17 PM
I've entertained thoughts of using my T/C Hawken on some groundhogs...but haven't yet. Its not that I decided not to, its just that I haven't had the opportunity. I don't think I would use my .50 cal on squirrel though. If I hunt woodchucks I'm planning on using a round ball with 70-80 grains of FFg

Dan