View Full Version : Small game with big bore blackpowder?

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?

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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