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Old 10-20-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
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Default Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

I ordered a 54 cal Lyman Plains pistol. I am planning on increasing the challenge of deer hunting by using it. I was thinking that it should have enough knock down power for a 20 to 25 yard shot . What do you think?. I was planning on using 30 gr. fffg triple 7 with a 530.prb and a .018 patch. Of course after i get it and experiment then I will probably know if it shoots well with that load. Does anyone have experience with BP pistols? If so do you think that load would be sufficient for a deer?. I was unable to find ballistic info for only 30 grains of powder and a 54 cal. round ball. Anyway it should arrive by the end of the week and the fun begins . My wife said I had enough rifles[&o] she never said anything about a pistol LOL
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:02 PM   #2
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Default RE: Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

I would think it would do the job IF you limit yourself to 25 yards as you stated. That pistol should be able to do what a bow can do. But I think your powder charge of 30 grains is too low - I'd push it up to 50. Remember, theold 44-40 Winchester cartridge used inlever action riflesand pistols has killed afair number of deer over the years. That load was typically a 200 grain lead bullet over 40 grains black powder.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:07 PM   #3
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Default RE: Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

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ORIGINAL: Semisane

I would think it would do the job IF you limit yourself to 25 yards as you stated. That pistol should be able to do what a bow can do. But I think your powder charge of 30 grains is too low - I'd push it up to 50. Remember, theold 44-40 Winchester cartridge used inlever action riflesand pistols has killed afair number of deer over the years. That load was typically a 200 grain lead bullet over 40 grains black powder.
Thanks. I wasn't sure how much powder it would handle. I just saw it listed in my Lyman handbook though. It recommends 50 gr as maximum charge. So I can go higher than 30 after all.I didn't know how much powder could actually be burned in an 8" barrel.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:31 PM   #4
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Default RE: Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

Guess I should have checked first. DUH!! I just found out that SD says muzzle loader pistols are not legal for deer. There goes that plan out the window.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:54 PM   #5
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Default RE: Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

Well, back it down to 30 grains then and go bust some bunnies.
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:04 PM   #6
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Default RE: Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

I live in Virigina and we can't hunt with a handgun durig BP season. You must have a minimum load of 50 grs. in our rifles. I hope your state allows BP handgun hunting. If not you will still be able to have a bunch of fun with that handgun though.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:12 AM   #7
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Default RE: Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

CT doesn't allow any pistol hunting for deer either.
But we do have a loophole.
According toour state law, a gun with a barrel of 12 inches or more is considered to be a rifle.
So a pistol with a 12 inch barrel can theoreticallybe used for deer hunting here.
Butif Virginia is likemost states thatfollow the federaldefinition of a rifle, theneven a pistol with a 12 inch barrel wouldn't be legal to hunt deerthere.
You can alwaysinquire witha state conservation enforcement officerabout what thelegal barrel length requirementsof a rifle are in Virginia even if it's just for haha's.
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Old 10-21-2008, 11:29 AM   #8
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Default RE: Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

I shot black powder pistols both for compitition and hunting, if when you get the gun the patch and ball are tight enough [ you will have to use a short starter] and you use a minimum of 60 gr [thats a 54 not a 45] preferably of Pyrodex P then it will do just fine I have taken deer out to 40 yds with that load but if you use less you will have several kinds of problems. Lee
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Old 10-21-2008, 12:59 PM   #9
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Default RE: Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

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ORIGINAL: arcticap

CT doesn't allow any pistol hunting for deer either.
But we do have a loophole.
According toour state law, a gun with a barrel of 12 inches or more is considered to be a rifle.
So a pistol with a 12 inch barrel can theoreticallybe used for deer hunting here.
Butif Virginia is likemost states thatfollow the federaldefinition of a rifle, theneven a pistol with a 12 inch barrel wouldn't be legal to hunt deerthere.
You can alwaysinquire witha state conservation enforcement officerabout what thelegal barrel length requirementsof a rifle are in Virginia even if it's just for haha's.
Hey Articap, only BP pistols are notallowed. I have a S&W 629 and a Ruger SBH Hunter in .45 Colt that I hunt deer and bear. We have a 50 grs of BP charge restriction for our muzzle stuffers. Iguess they feelthat thelowercharge levelsin pistols is not enough to killa deer humanely.

So by your standards in CT, you should be able to use a TC Encore or Contender with 12" or more barrels for hunting.
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Old 10-21-2008, 04:47 PM   #10
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Default RE: Lyman 54 cal. pistol for deer ?

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I shot black powder pistols both for compitition and hunting, if when you get the gun the patch and ball are tight enough [ you will have to use a short starter] and you use a minimum of 60 gr [thats a 54 not a 45] preferably of Pyrodex P then it will do just fine I have taken deer out to 40 yds with that load but if you use less you will have several kinds of problems. Lee
Thanks for the info. I was wondering how much powder would actually burn. It calls for a 50 gr load, which seemed like a lot for an 8" barrel.So if it handles 50gr then it should handle 60gr. I guess it will be fun to experiment when it gets here the end of the week.
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