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Old October 2, 2011, 04:08 PM   #1
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Muzzleloader for Small Game

From what I could find it seems people typically use something 30 caliberish for small game (if not a shotgun).
In the modern day realm of rifles that is for medium and large game. Head shots?
I read how someone likes to gut theirs with their shot...saves time. Hmmm...
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Old October 2, 2011, 06:21 PM   #2
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In the old days, the mountaineers used a technique called "barking a squirrel". The idea was to shoot the tree bark just underneath the squirrel and the shock would either kill it outright or at least hurt it bad enough to make it drop to the ground.
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Old October 3, 2011, 06:07 AM   #3
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I find it more convenient to use 45 cal and get proficient with small powder loads. 30gr ffg in a 45 cal rifle is a good small game load. Punches a hole right through a rabbit without much damage.
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Old October 3, 2011, 02:49 PM   #4
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A .32cal frontstuffer has about the same power as a .22LR.

I switched from a .32 to a .36 simply because the .36 I stumbles across weighs about half what my .32 did (I sold the .32)

Some states, like mine, mandate different bore sizes for Big (deer) or Small (Squills) Game.

ex:In my state, a .45 or larger = deer only; a .40 or smaller = small game.

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Old October 3, 2011, 05:27 PM   #5
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I have a 36 caliber flintlock that's more than accurate enough for rabbits & squirrels to 50 yards or so
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Old October 3, 2011, 06:47 PM   #6
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Smaller is better !!!

Currently I'm using one of my sweet .36's. Prior to that, i used a .45 and way back when, A .50. I also "Barked" them using my .50, only I'd aim under their chin. Very few got away. ....

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Old October 3, 2011, 08:03 PM   #7
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We use .40 cal for small game. Like it more than a .32 or .36, just a little weirder and not as common, thats what I like. You never know when you might run acrossed a turkey, and a .40 would be alittle better suited.

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Old October 23, 2011, 09:55 AM   #8
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I have made a lot of small game front stuffers for customers over the years, as small as 25 cal and up to 40. 45s are used a lot on small game, but they start to get into the "deer rifle" category.
The 2 most popular calibers have been 40 and 36, but 32 is asked for a lot too.
Most of them are zeroed dead on at 25 yards. It's common to have them shoot 5 balls through a hold as big as a dime at that range, so any small game animal is in real danger from one of these rifles if the person holding it can shoot.
The advantage of the 40 over the other calibers is that it shoots balls that weigh about 98 grains and therefore do not drift as much in the wind as the smaller balls, and also that a 3/8" rod will load a 40 cal, but is too big to enter the bore of a 36 cal or anything smaller. For 32 and 36 cals you can use a 5/16" rod. A 30 or smaller needs a 1/4" rod.
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