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Old June 1, 2009, 12:57 AM   #1
cloud8a
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Hunting bunnies with a Hawken .50

Read on another BP forum that if you wanted to hunt rabbits with your .50 that 30 grains would be ideal. They said 50 grains for target and 80-90 for large game.

Does this sound right? Can you even hunt rabbit with a .50? I believe this was a head shot discussion.
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Old June 1, 2009, 06:33 AM   #2
mykeal
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Sure, you can, if you don't have a .40 or a .36.
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Old June 1, 2009, 06:44 AM   #3
SamStafford
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How big are these rabbits you have over there?
I wouldn't hunt rabbits with a .50 unless I was sure that I could hit the head. I mean, if you hit the body...not much is going to be left.
Also, they do make sabots...you could use a .38 cal bullet.
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Old June 1, 2009, 08:12 AM   #4
Hawg
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You could do it but I'd prefer something smaller or a shotgun.

Sam, not all Hawkens will shoot sabots worth a flip. Some of us wouldn't use them if they did.
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Old June 1, 2009, 08:40 AM   #5
Ricky
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Maybe the idea of using 30 grains of BP will be like hitting the wabbits with an accurate, fast moving rock?
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Old June 1, 2009, 08:49 AM   #6
Hawg
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Quote:
Maybe the idea of using 30 grains of BP will be like hitting the wabbits with an accurate, fast moving rock?
Don't matter if you use 30 or 100 if you hit it in the body there ain't gonna be much left that's edible.
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Old June 1, 2009, 09:24 AM   #7
SamStafford
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Thanks Hawg Haggen. I only have one CVA Buckhorn .50 cal...I thought all .50 cals were the same.
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Old June 1, 2009, 09:46 AM   #8
noelf2
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I know the rifling could be troublesome, but rabbits are easy enough to get close to that maybe some shot instead of a .50 ball would work..??
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Old June 1, 2009, 10:05 AM   #9
Hawg
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Quote:
I only have one CVA Buckhorn .50 cal...I thought all .50 cals were the same
Your rifle has a fast twist barrel that was made for conicals and sabots. Most of the "Hawken's" have a slower twist, 1:48 that generally does well with both conicals and round balls but isn't the best for either. Some of these will shoot sabots just fine, some won't. Then you have the round ball only barrels which CVA used a good many of which have a 1:66 twist. These won't shoot conicals or sabots with anything remotely resembling accuracy.
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Old June 1, 2009, 10:32 AM   #10
Pahoo
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Not saying that I would not hunt rabbits with one of my 50's but don't have that interest. In preparation for the deer season, I have hunted squirrels with my .50. My way of a dress rehearsal for the season, in order to work out my hunting details and bugs. Because of this, I stay with my target load of 70grns of loose. My deer hunting load is 90 to 95 depending on which 50, I'm using. I'd be real careful loading 30grns. as this is getting a little bit low. I truly enjoy hunting squirrels with my .36 side-cocker and if I ever went out just for rabbits, that is what I would use.

By the way, not all 50's are the same but just as much fun !! ...

Be Safe !!!!
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Old June 1, 2009, 11:20 AM   #11
simonkenton
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That is an intriguing idea, to shoot a bunny with a .50 muzzleloader, and 30 grains of powder.
Thirty grains is what you load a cap and ball pistol with, that is with a .45 ball.
So, 30 grains would be plenty of power with the bigger ball in a rifle.
It certainly would do the job on a head shot.
The ball would be moving so slowly, you might even get away with a lung shot, you would just have to experiment and see.
First you would have to see if you had any accuracy with that load.
You might try 25 grains, or even 20. I don't know, the smallest load I have shot in a rifle is 50 grains, I get good accuracy with that.

You certainly could load it up with some number 6 shot and kill the bunny.
The problem with that is, the shot grips the rifling, and it sprays out in a circle.
That is, all the shot is on the perimeter of the circle, and nothing in the middle.
Shot would only work at close range, there again, you would need to experiment before you went out into the field.
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Old June 1, 2009, 01:25 PM   #12
arcticap
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30 grains of Pyrodex will shoot accurately to 25-30 yards, maybe a tad more.
40 grains of Pyrodex will shoot fairly well to at least 50 yards.
This may have been Pyrodex P that was loaded for my very young son at the time.
If it's APP being loaded, I'd try 40 grains to be good out to at least 40 yards.
Do you have jackrabbits where you're at?
For them, I'd load with at least 50 grains (and maybe load with 2 balls!).

Last edited by arcticap; June 1, 2009 at 01:30 PM. Reason: That is if 2 balls are legal to hunt with!
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Old June 8, 2009, 06:08 AM   #13
aussiemaletuber
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Gooday, this is my first post.

I do vermin destruction on my particular friends property (in NSW) every chance I get. If load my .50 Hawken to wander outside with,I use my standard load for accuracy, which is 75gr 2F. I always hope to corner a fox, pig, dog or cat, but "wrabbits" are equally destructive vermin here, and I get satisfaction from 'running what I brung' on them and aiming for the kill zone.

In my experience, destruction is the first priority but freezing meat to feed the farm dog is also important.

Funnily enough whenever I have shot a rabbit with the Hawken, our .30-30 '94 or the AIA No4 Mk4 7.62x51 and hit them low (in the abdo), clearing their guts out has been easy and the carcass has been just as as clean as a head shot.

Probably not the best attitude for someone shooting bunnies for their table however, Cloud8a!
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