On the question of .50 vs. .54 caliber (or more), the opinion is mixed. My feeling is that a deer doesn't know the difference, and doesn't care, because if he's hit fairly with either one he's steaks, and if he's hit around the edges, no gun is big enough. To put the notion of the 'fifty as a smallbore' in perspective: a friend of mine who has built more rifles than most of us will ever shoot, and brought home more game than most will ever see, chose a neat .50 flintlock to fill his moose permit. Shot clear through and dropped on the spot, the moose thought this was enough gun. I have told this story in other forums and had it scoffed at as a 'stunt'. It was no stunt, just a good man with a good gun who knew how to stalk close and aim carefully. On the other hand, if the quarry is something that can bite, maybe a bigger bore would be reassuring. I have seen a hefty bear folded up like yesterday's newspaper with a Renegade .54, and I had no arguement to give that hunter. slabsides
An armed man is a citizen; an unarmed man is a subject; a disarmed man is a slave.