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Old December 16, 2018, 09:56 PM   #1
Righthawk44
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Just got my traditions trapper .50 cal percussion.

I only hunt with handguns, and I wanted to do something different and more difficult, so I ordered a black powder pistol. Has anyone here killed a deer with a black powder pistol, and if so how effective was it power wise? Im curious because it only takes 30grs of FFF, and wounding a deer is the last thing I want to do.
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Old December 16, 2018, 10:38 PM   #2
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Lets do some BP ballistics math to figure out what kind of muzzle energy you would be getting out of the pistol:

Assuming you use round balls: .50 swaged roundball .490 diameter = 175 grains.

30 grains of an energetic powder such as Olde Eynsford and H777 would clock around 900 feet/sec with a 175 grainer.

900 X 900 X 175 = 141,750,000 divided by the ballistics constant 450240 would give you roughly 314 foot/pounds of muzzle energy. Similar to a standard factory .45 Long Colt and .45 ACP loading.

For deer-sized game that would certainly be enough at traditional handgun hunting ranges. The key here, and to any form of hunting is shot placement. ESPECIALLY important when you are using a single-shot black powder pistol because you only got that one shot and you want it to be as perfect as possible.

I have hunted with pistols all the time. I use an 1858 Remington in both cap and ball and cartridge conversion to take deer and hogs. It is VERY effective. And in China I have shot jackals with a 9mm MAK.
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Old December 17, 2018, 07:31 AM   #3
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Sorry... but no way would I be shooting deer with that one. I shoot a lot of black powder and love shooting the pistols, but they just don't have the energy necessary for a clean kill and using one would just not be fair to the deer. Your chances of a wounded/lost deer is very high in this situation.
The only option I can see if you want to use a black powder pistol for big game, is using one of the zip guns...like maybe a TC that will use a lot stronger load with an entirely different bullet. I have never used one of those and never will, but I do feel they would be the only option in this situation.
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Old December 17, 2018, 09:57 AM   #4
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Never hunted deer with a B/P pistol or revolver. Than again I don't know if {doing} is legal here in MN. I'm sure like everything else {activity} there are likely State Restrictions to abide by.

If I were to B/P pistol hunt. My preference of handgun would be a T/c Scout. Sorry> not a Traditions Trapper.
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Old December 17, 2018, 10:50 AM   #5
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That's what I was afraid of. Im confident in my shooting abilities, but the power of the gun was my main concern. Thank you guys for the input.
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Old December 17, 2018, 11:34 AM   #6
Hawg
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Check your local game laws. You can't hunt with a pistol in MS period.
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Old December 17, 2018, 04:24 PM   #7
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I looked up Maryland's BP pistol and revolver deer hunting regulations and thought that they would serve as a good reference since the state has a wide variety of deer sizes.

Muzzle Loader Pistols and C&B Revolvers require a 6 inch barrel or more of at least .40 caliber, must use 40 grains of black powder or equivalent:--->>> http://www.eregulations.com/maryland...earms-airguns/

The Traditions Trapper can certainly be loaded with more than 30 grains of 3F powder.
Their sidelock rifle/pistol manual clearly states that it can be loaded with 45 grains of 3F which is a conservative load:--->>>[SEE PAGE 48]
https://www.traditionsfirearms.com/d...1477335832.pdf

Many owner's manuals intentionally recommend much smaller than safe maximum powder charges.
I think it's because some people will load double powder charges in their gun and not realize it.
The Trapper has the same basic construction of their sidelock rifles except with a shorter barrel.
IMO the maximum powder charge that's listed is significantly under the actual safety threshold for that pistol.

Where did you read 30 grains 3F maximum, in their revolver manual?
That's quite understandable if you clicked on the wrong link to download it from their website.

Last edited by arcticap; December 17, 2018 at 06:59 PM.
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Old December 17, 2018, 08:14 PM   #8
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Assuming a gun that is of sufficient strength, hypothetically, a person could use more powder and load two balls for increased lethality. However, that prompts the question, " Is this gun strong enough to be safely loaded like this?".
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Old December 17, 2018, 08:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Assuming a gun that is of sufficient strength, hypothetically, a person could use more powder and load two balls for increased lethality. However, that prompts the question, " Is this gun strong enough to be safely loaded like this?".
Mike E. Cumpston in his book Percussion Pistols and Revolvers warns against attempting to load "magnum" charges in the old sidelock single-shot pistols because the recoil would produce a piston effect that would ruin the stocks.

Quote:
The Traditions Trapper can certainly be loaded with more than 30 grains of 3F powder.
Their sidelock rifle/pistol manual clearly states that it can be loaded with 45 grains of 3F which is a conservative load:--->>>[SEE PAGE 48]
So, assuming that is a maximum load for the pistol that could be fired without putting too much stress on the stock, an extra 15 grains of powder would place the muzzle energy of the 175-grain ball at over 450 foot-pounds of energy. That would definitely be able to whack a deer with ethical results.

Most of the deer I have shot with maximum power loads from .45 cap and ball and cartridges were pretty up and close anyway. If the animal is more than 30 yards away, I would most often give up the shot and wait for another opportunity. With only iron sights, you got only a small margin of error. It is a more of a game of patience than anything. The real challenge lies in making the approach without being detected.
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Old December 17, 2018, 10:01 PM   #10
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In Missouri you can use any center fire pistol with a mag capacity of 10 or less, or muzzle loading firearm, or a spear, crossbow, really about anything. I killed a deer with my xds 3.3 9mm last year, was it a good idea.... not really, did it work....... you bet cha.
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Old December 17, 2018, 10:09 PM   #11
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I'm an idiot, I read online that 30grs of FFF was the max load, however my manual clearly states 45grs. Thank you guys for pointing that out. Sometimes I act before thinking, and this is my first BP firearm. I'm going to go shoot a deer with this bad boy Saturday morning now. Muhahahaha.
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Old December 18, 2018, 04:12 AM   #12
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I have a dead doe floating in a lake I monitor...and I have a sneaky feeling that if I were to get her out and do a search, I would find a bullet or bullet hole in her somewhere. I am not a fan of just shooting animals like that with whatever to just see if they would die. I do wish you luck though...and the deer as well.
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Old December 30, 2018, 11:37 PM   #13
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Youtube has several hunting vids with BP handguns. This is one of the better ones. The guy uses a T/C Patriot in 45 caliber to kill a deer. He is in Michigan where the deer are a little bigger than they are here where I live. I would do it as long as the range was short. Like no more than 30 yards and I would want at least a 50 caliber and a 54 might be even better.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6lJ0RgJcis

And the Lyman guns have a small reputation of breaking stocks with heavy loads. I haven't heard of that problem with the Traditions trapper pistols.
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Old December 31, 2018, 08:44 AM   #14
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About 15 years ago I shot a 8 point here in Michigan with a 50 cal single shot pistol I made using a RB and 50grs of 3F - GOEX. It was a 20 yard shot and the deer took two leaps and crumpled up. It had a 8" barrel and I'm not sure if that was long enough to burn all the powder. Good luck. Paul
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