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Old 09-25-2007, 07:39 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: West Virginia
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Default Small game with a muzzleloader

I was thinking, is it possible to load a muzzleloader withshotgun pelletsinstead of ball ammo to hunt small game such as squirrels or rabbits? If so, what caliber would you suggest?Does the pellets pattern well?I was thinking about in the future buying a blackpowder rifle, preferably a.50 calHawken.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:51 PM   #2
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Default RE: Small game with a muzzleloader

Yes it is possible but do not expect too much in the pattern department. The shot, moving up a rifled barrel will bounce against the rifling and makes kind of a mess of lead in the barrel. You will not get a consistant pattern at all. If you want to shoot small game, use a ball and load the rifle light. They normally shoot real well. I squirrel hunt with a .50 caliber loaded light and have shot many red squirrels.

If you want to shoot shot, then get a smoothbore, musket, or shotgun for black powder. Then you can shoot with a good pattern.

If you want to buy a Hawkins, get a T/C Hawkins in .54 caliber or a Renegade in .50 or .54 caliber. You can then purchase a Green Mountain .62 caliber smoothbore barrel that will fit right into the stock. All you do is dump 80 grains of powder down it, a plastic 20 gauge wad, and 100 grains of shot with an over the shot card to hold it all together. This load will kill rabbits, squirrels, and even turkey out to 25 yards. I even shoot roundball out of the .62 caliber smoothbore with good accuracy out to 35-40 yards. Next time out I want to try dumping a .58 caliber ball in a 20 gauge wad and see if that shoots better out of the smoothbore over the .610 ball I normally shoot.
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:52 PM   #3
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Default RE: Small game with a muzzleloader

For small game, you can pick up a cva .36 small game rifle for $180
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Old 09-25-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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Default RE: Small game with a muzzleloader

Thanks, that was a very informative reply. Appreciate it
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