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Old December 12, 2018, 07:20 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: December 29, 2010
Location: Shoshoni Wyoming
Posts: 2,714
"I would favor at least a conical bullet over a patched black powder round ball for deer hunting; because a round ball --- when it hits bone --- will tend to expand into a approx. 2 inch diameter pie plate size, thus lacking in penetration ability."

This is only true of very soft lead. If cast from Wheel Weights and just air cooled you have no such problems with them. If you water drop and roll them on files to give them a texture they shoot as well as soft balls and penetrate quite well. Well enough to kill large African game. I have killed a large moose with a round ball and it broke BOTH front shoulder bones and still exited the animal. Dropped him instantly. I have also used hard balls on elk and never recovered a ball. All had exits.

I have made several rifles that were sold at Safari Club that have been used to take the "big 5" and I have many reports on how well they work. As for myself the largest animals I have personally killed with muzzleloaders were horses, cattle and Bison. Nearly all my kills have been made with round balls, but I have killed a few animals (deer horses and cattle) with conicals. I have seen both types kill and I learned what to expect.

I earn about 90% of my living making muzzle-loaders and have been using and making them for about 1/2 a century. I have learned a few things about how they work and how to build them.
Reading the writings of the old timers is eye opening. Start with "Sporting Rifles and their Projectiles" by Forsyth. Soft lead is fine for game up to about 150 pounds, but anything larger should be shot with harder projectiles.
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