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Thread: Black Powder for bear...can it be done?

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    Default Black Powder for bear...can it be done?

    My girlfriend wants to shoot a black bear with her black powder. She has an old TC .54 cal. We picked up some 375 grain bullets (the ones with what looks like shotgun shell wads around them) for it and we are shooting 90 grains of FFg powder. I talked to an older guy about it and her swears that not enough to take down a black bear at 100 yards. I had never given it a second thought after she told be she wanted to try it. We will be stalking bears on the beach in southeast so 100 yards is a pretty common shot. Just wondering everyones opinion.
    Thanks
    Carl

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    I think it's kind of edgy. One problem is seeing the result of the shot and the other is no follow up shot. You will need to stay far enough away from her to spot the shot and carry a backup rifle to track or finish it.
    It would be more doable over bait if you can get that option. You could get closer shots.
    Hhounds

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I took my first black bear (cinnamon color phase) with that same setup. I shot him at 50 yards, he ran 20' and dropped. It's quite duable.

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    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    The good old round ball will do wonderfully. My hunting partner hunts almost exclusively with it in his 54 and has killed everything from moose and caribou down to grouse with it. He probably hunts POW more than anyone else I know of and almost all of it is with his muzzle loader. Jim

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    My brother shot a blackie last fall using his smoke pole. Just because I had to finish it off with my pistol as it jumped up from his death bed and charged at 10 feet doesnt mean that the smoke pole is ineffective. Just need better shot placement than he had.

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    I think we will probably try it. I will be right beside her and if needed I can produce a follow up shot if needed. We are hunting in unit 1c so bait is not an option. I looked at ballistics on it and at 100 yard the bullet still has 1200 foot pounds. Should be enough to penetrate deep. She is a real good shot so I think we should be good.
    Any further comments would be appreciated.
    Thanks
    Carl

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    I will be right beside her and if needed I can produce a follow up shot if needed.

    Stay far enough away so you can see the shot. My guide learned that leson when I shot an elk with one a few years ago. Smoke obscured his view so much he was no good as a spotter.
    Hhounds

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    Wow, I cant believe i haden't thought of that. With the cloud those guns put out i bet you cant see a thing. That makes a lot of sense. Never even though about that as being a factor. Shows how much I know about muzzle loading. Thats for the heads up. Makes a lot of sense. I will try to get to a vantage point and get set up for a follow up shot. Thanks
    Carl

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    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Id do it with that load your talking about. 100 yards is about the max though that Id want to try. But I bet if you get a good shot, that bear wont go far.

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    Talking

    Ak carl i'm going black hunting here in two week out of homer. i'm going to shoot my frist blacky with a 50.Cal i'm going to use 300 grain Hornady XTP sabot bullets with 150 grains of tripple 7 pellets. I'll let you know how it turns outs. i have shot a bear out Homer the last 3 years so we'll see how it goes.But this is my frist year shooting black power and this will be my frist kill with Black powder. I'm hoping that a back up shot wIll not be needed.

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    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Black Powder for bear...can it be done?

    If it couldn't, the Indians, grizzly bears and bison would still own the North American continent.
    Now what ?

  12. #12

    Default Surely

    I've never hunted with a BP rifle using a saboted bullet. I own a Johnathan Browning Mountain Rifle in 54 cal it was designed for round balls and has never failed me yet. The balls I've seen retrieved look live they hit a solid wood wall. They will be .800 or so in diameter.
    I personally have never retrieved a ball, all of mine have been pass throughs. I have however never lost an animal, black bear or deer; all of my shots have been at 85 yds or less(from stands). None of the animals harvested ran more than 20 yds.ALL one shot kills.
    My load is 80 grns of Pyrodex P with a Hornaday 535 swagged and patched round ball.
    Maybe next year, I'll get to hunt SE.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

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    Default yes

    Akcarl yes it can be done, very well in fact. a couple years ago i had a big grizzly at my trapline stealing meat from the meatpole. he was getting nasty, charged a couple times. So i got up early, took my knight 50 cal. (my wife thought i was nuts) but it was the most accurate gun i had, the bear charged and at 30 yards had to go around this tree, so i got a broadside, i was useing a 495 grain no excuse bullet, it absolutly flattened him, you can see the picture of this bear on the no excuse bullet website he was over 8 ft!! the recovered bullet was as perfect as you could want. I was useing 90 grns of 777. with this load im getting 1300 fps thats like a 45/70 and no one denies thats a good bear round, just be sure to break the bear down with the first shot! after useing these bullets you will become a fan of big slow bullets!!good luck

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    yukon,

    That's a nice bear.

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    Default BP Black Bear Loads

    A .54 ML rifle will work just fine on Black Bears. I would recomend a heavier charge, My big game load in my .54 rifle is 110gr 3F and a 425gr Hornady Great Plains Bullets, HBHP. it will shoot 1.5 to 2" groups at 100 yards from a solid sitting position. All my big game has needed only one shot to go down. If you can keep your shots on a 8" pie plate at 100yards you will be ok, if not shorten the range untill you can.

  16. #16

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    It's done regularly around the country, particularly in the NE and Great Lakes. Most folks report easy kills, and among the reports I've seen a round ball over 80-90 grains of black powder is the load of choice. Your load and gun should be fine.

    I haven't shot any with a ML, but they died pretty easy with anything else I tried. A relaxed black bear hit broadside through the lungs is pretty easy to kill. It only gets tough with upset bears, shots at difficult angles, or downright bad shooting and poor hits.

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