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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to bear hunt with the flintlock. I have a .50 caliber traditions flintlock. I've only used round balls in my rifle and have killed more deer with it than any other weapon in my arsenal (have yet to harvest a buck with it). My question to the more experienced smoke-stickers: what would be your recommendation for bullet choice? And is my .50 too light for penetration? I believe if I waited for a shot within 25 yards I would have adequate penetration, given proper shot placement on an average size bear (150lbs). I want to use my .50 cal, so any suggestions of double barrels and larger caliber guns will not be useful. Looking for anyone experienced in this area to comment.
 

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your 50 prb should be fine. i would work up a little heavier load and see how it shoots. other wise shoot as is. everyone will tell you, shot placement. a half inch hole in the boiler room and its over. good luck!
 

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i shot a bear 5 years ago with my 50 flinter at roughly 70 yards i nicked the heart but got both lungs she ran about 600 yards and died i did bump my powder up to 90 grs with a .490 rb and a .20patch
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Feeling confident in my abilities to wait for a proper shot. I'm wondering if I should be experimenting with sabots instead of round balls in my flintlock? Any penetration/expansion tests and recommendations in this area?
 

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To those guys who drive bears, how would you feel if a hunter showed up to do some drives toting the flintlock?
 

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I would welcome it. I would like to know that the person toating the FL was a very competent shot, capable of quick reloads under pressure and did not have an issue with another member of the party delivering a finishing shot(s) if things go "bad" relative to his smoke pole. Also, I'd like to see this person with a .54 or large on the drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a Lyman Deerstalker .50 cal (my main flinter) and a Traditions PA Pellet .50. Both have a 1:48 twist. I was considering using the PA Pellet for the added grain. Thoughts?
 

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I killed my bear in maine this year with my 50cal rocklock. Hit it high on the shoulder fell where I shot it.
 

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i think alot of it depends on what you want to do. do you want to stay traditional? if so, your 180 grain RB will work just fine. if tradition doesn't matter, then you could use some of the modern bullets and powders.
 

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I shot a 120lb bear at 30yds in Maine in 2011.

Disclaimer***** The following load is my own and has been worked up by me and for me. Anyone who does not like it please don't use it. (that was for the BP purists) Lol!!

I was using a 245gr. Aeroptip Powerbelt, 5gr 3f black powder in front of 90gr. 2F Triple 7. The shot was from a tree stand with the bear at the bait barrel standing with his head and paws in the barrel. It entered just behind the right front shoulder about mid body. Proceeded in a downward angle through the heart, fragmented, with some of the bullet exiting in front of the left shoulder. The bear went about 40yds and died within 2 minutes.

My gun is a Left handed Lyman Great Plains with a modified right handed "hunter" barrel (faster twist) with peeps. This load has taken numerous deer and a 200lb russian boar (pig) with no issues. My distances have ranged from 8yds to 140yds.. If my shot is placed well ...it performs well.

Tundragriz is a guy who seems to have shot many different species with his Great plains and is a good source of info here on the site. I have seen him answer a few questions about loads and projectiles and have perused his photos a few times. I would pick his brain (as I did) and I'm sure you will come to some conclusions of your own.

Me and the bear


The shot from the tree, 30 yds.


The boar, 70yds


7pt, 22" spread, 8yds

Good luck to you and if I can help in anyway shoot me a PM or email.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks guys, great info and stories! I'll be contacting some of you as I dig into some literature and do some testing of my own. I'll keep updating on this ambitious goal of mine.
 
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