40 cal. Muzzleloader for small game??

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by chromey, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. Does anyone have experience hunting with this caliber versus the smaller 32 cal advantages or disadvantages????

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  2. You might call Anson Morgan at Kenockee Trading Post. Anson has been muzzleloading and building/selling muzzleloaders and black powder supplies for a long time. He'll probably have an informed opinion based on his years of experience.

    Kenockee Trading Post Anson and Judy Morgan 1-8OO-492-0123
    7530 Beard Road PO Box 370 Kenockee, MI., 48006

  3. The larger caliber shoots a heavier ball that will be less impacted (relatively speaking) by the wind than a smaller, lighter ball. i.e. you are more likely to get a slightly longer practical range out of a 40 than the smaller calibers.

    The smaller calibers use less lead and powder. Per shot they are slightly cheaper to shoot.

    The bore of the smaller calibers tend to foul faster than the bore of larger calibers. YMMV.

    Some states have a cut off point as far as caliber for what can be used in deer season or small game seasons. Michigan doesn't.

  4. I use the .32 and .36 cal muzzle loaders for rabbit, squirrel and paper punching out to 25 yds. I prefer the .40 cal out to 50 yd paper punching and small game. Deer hunting anything above a nominal .44 will suffice but the .50 and larger are much superior. Beyond 50 yds for paper punching use the .50 cal or larger.

    The above refers to patched round ball not mini, maxi or saboted as the ballastics are much different.
  5. There are quite a few .40 cal converted Savage muzzle loaders shooting sabotless with .40 cal bullets like the Shockwave.

    These are however set up for deer hunting and at 2700 - 2900 FPS have way too much get up and go for small game.

    I have thought about getting a more traditional MZ, shooting black powder, in a smaller caliber to play with, sounds like fun
  6. Thats what I have planned is a side lock traditional muzzleloader in 32 or 40 round ball for small game I'm just worried a 40 is way to big a ball for squirrel wich is primaraly what I'd be hunting with my son.
  7. Nominal Weights of roundballs by caliber
    32 ... 45 gr
    36 ... 65 gr

    40 ... 92 gr
    45 .. 128 gr

    50 .. 177 gr
    54 .. 231 gr
    58 .. 286 gr

    32 and 36 are dedicated small game guns; the equivalent of 22lr to 22 mag performance.
    40 and 45 are crossover, small game and close range medium game guns.
    50 caliber and up are medium to big game guns.

    Using 40 or 45 on small game is simply a matter of loading them down a bit.

  8. explain loading down 40,50,60 grains I don't want squirell soup and only need 50 yard head shot accuracy I am looking at green mountains 32inch barrel drop in for TC hawkin
  9. Work up a load using less powder for less velocity. 30gr FFFg for ~1200 fps rather than 85gr FFFg for ~1900 fps, using my 45 as an example.


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