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Thread: small game hunting with a muzzeloader?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Outta Big Lake

    Default small game hunting with a muzzeloader?

    any body do it? me and my friend do a bit of it, we alternate taking shotgun or 22's and hte muzzeloader but we never seem to see any grouse when we have the ML.

    he made some "shot cups" that fit somewhat loose so as not to "spin" with the rifleings, but so far we havn's had a chance to test it.

    Anybody have any expereince with it? what would the max range be? his little shot cups hold about the same as a 410, and I think he is gonna load it with 40 grains of powder. its a 45 caliber presussion lock.
    Eccleasties 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed quickly, There for the hearts of the sons of men among them are given fully to do evil.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    NorthWest Alaska


    I have used my .69 Charlottville French Musket with #2 lead shot to great effect on rabbits and Ptarmigan. Was frustrating to see other animals walk off as I reloaded....but fun, none the less.
    If you can't Kill it with a 30-06, you should Hide.

    "Dam it all", The Beaver told me.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    In my RV on the road less traveled...


    I've had a few muzzle loader SXS's. The first was a mid 1850's vintage 10/9 gauge Manton, then a little 36 gauge Belgium "guild gun", and finally a 1973 12 gauge Pedersoli. I've since sold the Manton and the guild gun, but still have the Pedersoli. I've used all three of these guns for pheasant hunting in IL and IA. I also have my great grandads .58 cal 1863 Springfield Civil War musket. I recently obtained mini balls for it and have been shooting it at the range in preperation for hunting feral hogs with it.
    I've found the SXS's are great for pheasant hunting where your dog and you go search out your quarry, rather than having it just fly over (like ducks) while you're struggling to get it reloaded quickly. The best part about the Pedersoli is that it's super light, weighing only 5.5 lbs. Where else can you get a 5.5 lb 12 gauge capable of shooting 1.25 ounce shot loads? It's just a pain to reload is all.
    The Civil War musket is cool, state of the art rapid fire technology in it's day. The 1.25 ounce mini balls it shoots have deeply cupped bases that expand into the rifling grooves upon firing. Not having to mess with patches and such really increased the soldiers fire-power.
    Tomorrow's a mystery, yesterday's history, today is a gift, that's why it's called the present!
    Approach life like you do a yellow light - RUN IT! (Gail T.)

  4. #4


    I do lots- ptarmigan and snowshoe hare, as well as ducks. Ptarmigan and ducks are mostly with a SxS 12, lead shot for the ptarmies and ITX shot for the ducks. Works so well I haven't pulled out my modern shotgun this year.

    I use the 12 for snowshoes too when conditions put them on the run, but have a lot more fun with rifles and head shooting. I shoot a 75 cal smoothbore flinter (Bess) sometimes with shot or a 62 cal smoothie, but they're not as much fun for me as the SxS on airborn ptarmies or snowshoes on the run.

    I have been using a 32 and 36 cals until last year when I got a custom 30 cal flinter (.290" ball). Haven't fired the 32 or 36 since. I also use reduced loads in my big bores a lot, popping heads for more field time with the big guns. Those include 50, 54, 58 and 62 cal, both flint and cap.

    As for shot with a shot cup in the rifled bore, let us know how it shoots. I had very poor results when I tried it, but maybe didn't spend enough time sorting out the details.

  5. #5


    man alive, wish I had seen this sooner, been itching to take the double out. It's a 10, kinda big. Got a couple 10ga flinter fowlers I'm working on building.

    really wish I had a 40ca cleland hawkin for bunnies, talk about fun!

    We should get a group hunt together sometime.

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by TradBow View Post
    We should get a group hunt together sometime.
    Do it! That's a mainstay in our neighborhood.

    As for the 10 being heavy, yeah, weight-wise. But one of the best things for me about muzzleloading shotguns is the ability to shoot reduced loads. Most of the time for snowshoe hare I'm shooting a "20 gauge" load in my 12 SxS- 7/8 oz of shot on top of the same measure of 2f. I've even shot 3/4 oz in it. Both pattern as well or better than my 20.

    This chart shows how much shot is dropped by a powder measure at various settings. It's nice that most of the time you get pretty close to the best patterns with equal volumes of shot and powder. Some guns actually prefer the next bigger charge of shot for any powder volume.

    Enjoy those 10's!

  7. #7


    BB, I love my 10, its a sweet turkey double. Took awhile to get loads worked up and get the missfire problem figured out (poor nipples) since than its been a great piece. Looking forward to trying out the new nontoxic on geese this fall. Forget the name of it, replaces bismuth.

    Hoping to have the fowlers done by fall. if I can ever get the carving done on them lol. So much to do sooooo little time!

    We should get a group together somewhere in between if there's enough interest next fall early winter. Looks like bunnies is going to get tough for a little while though. Always wondered how ptarmigan/grouse hunting would be south of the cantwell a ways up in the hills......


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