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PRB vs Maxi ball

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Grimord

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For years I hunted with a .54 and PRB, but where I hunt the cover is so thick that even a mortally hurt deer that can travel 50 yards would take hours to track down. So now I use a .58 with PRB, and take shoulder shots to break down the deer in place so ther is no tracking involved. The last 4 deer I shot this way never took another step after being hit. Most were shot within 50 yards. The .54 will do the job, but I like the having a little extra.
 

Hanshi

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While many swear by conicals I'm not one of them. I started off my BP journey nearly 55 years ago shooting prb exclusively; I've never hunted anything with a conical. That's not to say there is anything wrong with them as rifles with shallower rifling and faster twists shoot them very accurately. And although I've yet to hunt hogs quite a number of deer have dropped from prb fired in my rifles. And one shot from any caliber I use is all it ever took. Conicals hit hard and penetrate well; but prb does a pretty good job, too.

I've killed deer with .45s, .50s, a .54 and a .62. But my go-to deer rifle has been a .45 flintlock longrifle, the bigger bores are fun but not at all necessary. I know a prb will take deer down quickly at least a bit beyond 100 yards because I've been there, done that. So to get to my observation of prb vs maxi it will depend on the barrel and whether it has a bore rifled for patched ball or for conicals. I'm confident a prb will take large game, including hogs, with no trouble. Just hit the machinery with the shot. I know of at least one hunter who kills hogs with a .32 prb!
 

falcon

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Most of my hogs are shot from stands and blinds. Range is usually <60 yards. The only thing that .50 and .54 caliber conicals did that a round ball cannot was badly lead the bores.
 

muzzleloader48

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Most of my hogs are shot from stands and blinds. Range is usually <60 yards. The only thing that .50 and .54 caliber conicals did that a round ball cannot was badly lead the bores.
As you know. The CPW in Comierado changed the caliber for PRB from.50 to .54 caliber for hunting elk. I know .04 cal. isn't going to make a damned bit of differenece, however we have the fools from Comiefornia running this state.
Anyway, Jon rebarreled my sidelock and his to .54 cal. And a huntin' elk we will go with prb's!
 

Hanshi

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The .54 is probably the best caliber for hunting deer and larger game; I like and have killed deer with it. IMHO, a .45 prb is plenty for deer and black bear. After using the .50 for deer I'm convinced, that while it is a bit bigger smack than a .45, any "superiority" it has over the .45 is only noticeable at the longer ranges; say beyond 75 yards. The .54 does hit really hard and the .62 even harder. I've had DRTs with both.
 

Hanshi

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Those are pretty good size deer! I once had a .50 deer kill that was, well, sorta gruesome yet very enlightening. I'll have to relate it befor too long.
 

newtire

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As you know. The CPW in Comierado changed the caliber for PRB from.50 to .54 caliber for hunting elk. I know .04 cal. isn't going to make a damned bit of differenece, however we have the fools from Comiefornia running this state.
Anyway, Jon rebarreled my sidelock and his to .54 cal. And a huntin' elk we will go with prb's!
If you are going to insult California, at least get the name right; Kalifornistan. For cryin' out loud!
 

falcon

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I once had a .50 deer kill that was, well, sorta gruesome yet very enlightening. I'll have to relate it befor too long.
Please do.

After hunting with conventional muzzle loaders for about ten years i gave it up after the 1976 season in Maryland. Maryland has some huge deer, 150-175 pound does are common.

In 2012 or 2013 Fort Sill declared the first week of muzzleloader deer season sidelocks only. Bought a NIB .50 caliber New Englander from a friend. First deer i killed was nearly under the 20 foot tree stand; ball hit the doe at top front of the shoulder, bang flop. Ball broke into two pieces.

This boar hog was looking at me from about 60 yards away. .50 caliber round ball hit hog in the snout and exited the right shoulder:

 

muzzleloader48

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i've had several bang flops with the .50 caliber and patched round balls. Both these deer flopped with spine hits.







Nice deer Floyd. Keep up the good work. Me, Jon, and Stan Jr. have taken most elk and deer with .50 cal.
If you are going to insult California, at least get the name right; Kalifornistan. For cryin' out loud!
Sorry newtire will try to remember that in the future.
 

muzzleloader48

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Mule deer around here are pretty darn good size and never had a problem taking them down with a .50 cal prb.
The .04 difference between cal. is not going to be a factor, the hardness of the lead ball is.
 

Silent Walker

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Well not hunting this year but with a camera... the last deer I photographed would make you drool. But if and when I do hunt with my muzzleloader it will be with a .54 PRB
 

Dusty hunter

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Mule deer around here are pretty darn good size and never had a problem taking them down with a .50 cal prb.
The .04 difference between cal. is not going to be a factor, the hardness of the lead ball is.
Not trying to be picky but actually the math is .1257 not .04. Try this web site chuck hawks.com/54_caliber_muzzleloader.htm
 

Silent Walker

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Mule deer around here are pretty darn good size and never had a problem taking them down with a .50 cal prb.
The .04 difference between cal. is not going to be a factor, the hardness of the lead ball is.
Never use anything but pure lead round ball with PRB's... it makes a difference and that's the .54 has been successful on large bull elk as well as moose and grizzly bears in Alaska. Don't over think what you believe about the .530" patched round ball.. it's been very successful since first carried by the trappers and explorers.
 

N.Y. Yankee

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Jan 11, 2019
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I have been hunting with a .54/PRB but last winter, came across a T/C .50 Hawken that made a nice fixer-upper and I thought it would be fun to try some conicals like I used to shoot in a T/C Renegade. I got good accuracy with the renegade and Maxi-Hunters. I have not been able to wring out the Hawken yet but I do have her fixed up nicely. Hopeful...
 

Dusty hunter

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Aug 9, 2019
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Hello fellow NY er I also have a 54 cal TC Renedgade. I was given a dozen maxie hunters. Do you have any suggestions on powder charge and type of lube I have only shot permanent round ball. Thank you for any help.
 

muzzleloader48

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Boncarbo, CO.
Hello fellow NY er I also have a 54 cal TC Renedgade. I was given a dozen maxie hunters. Do you have any suggestions on powder charge and type of lube I have only shot permanent round ball. Thank you for any help.
PM Idaholewis.....he has mucho knowledge on these things. He experiments with just about anything you can think of concerning muzzleloaders.
 

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