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Old November 25, 2007, 12:21 PM   #1
Join Date: January 10, 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 61
Smooth-bore vs. rifled

I'm curious about round ball accuracy in a smooth bore vs. a rifled barrel at 100 to 150 yards. While I've read some accounts claiming a smooth bore can't keep a ball in a 20" circle at 100 yards, I've also read others that say they are capable of adequate accuracy for deer hunting out to 150 yards.

Anyone have experience in comparing them?
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Old November 25, 2007, 04:15 PM   #2
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
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No first hand experience, but a smooth bore (I've read) can consistently hit a man sized target at 75 yards if the ball is tightly patched and the shooter learns how his smoothbore shoots. The guys at Colonial Williamsburg benchrested their Brown Bess muskets and with practice, were all able to hit a man sized target that was painted to represent a redcoat at 100 yards.

For deer, I wouldn't go beyond 50 yards with a smoothbore. Remember, the deer is a smaller target and because he's on all fours, you've got windage, but not elevation (over/under shooting) to contend with. BTW, historically the New England solution to accuracy was buck 'n ball (one big ball and three buckshots). They didn't have too many rifles in New England at the start of the Revolution.
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Old November 25, 2007, 07:56 PM   #3
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I have been hunting with smoothbores for the last couple of years. I would not attempt a shot of over 50 yards. I would limit to 100 yards with a muzzleloading rifle. Accuracy is definitely up to rifle standards but they sure are more fun!
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Old November 25, 2007, 08:12 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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Smoothbore matches are normally at 50 yards or metres.
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Old November 26, 2007, 08:42 AM   #5
Join Date: January 10, 2007
Location: Wisconsin
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Thanks for clearing this up for me, I appreciate the information.
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