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RoyB
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Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Oct 8th, 2019 at 7:41am
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I have a Sharps Carbine in 50-70. Last year I used it on a "meat" hunt. Shot a small doe with it at not more than 50 feet. Pure lead bullet went completely through her. No blood trail. She piled up about 150 yards away and bled like hit by a truck.
Bullet did not expand at all. A perfect 1/2" hole right through her.
I'm shocked that there was zero blood trail until she laid down.
Want to use the rifle again this year but concerned about the "knockdown" or lack of.
425G LEE pure lead cast / 70g FF
Here is an article I wrote about the rifle:
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Any advise on hunting with these lead bullets would be appreciated.

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Roy B
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RoyB
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #1 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 9:57am
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I might try a Hornady XTP in a 50 caliber Sabot....what do you think?
  

Roy B
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marlinguy
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #2 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 10:10am
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I'd consider sending a mold to Hollow Point Mold Co. and have them do their magic to convert it to a HP mold. That should give more expansion and result in a blood trail.

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svartkruttgris#369
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #3 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 2:41pm
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Get a bullet with much larger meplat and cast as near pure lead as possible -- maybe even try pure Pb bullets intended for muzzle loaders. Shot 7 or so "small"deer with 54" muzzle loader and wide flat point bullets and always had nice blood trails and exit holes with lung/heart shots. Never recovered any bullets, all were pass through at 20 to 80 or so yds.

Best grouping bullet in my 50-70 (actually a 12,7X44R) were pure lead, large flat point. NONE of the ancient 50-70 bullets grouped nearly as well. Never took that rifle deer hunting but shot a few groundhogs and bullets created nice exit holes.

Always thought those old design 50-70 bullets were intended to penetrate deep into/through American buffalos when shot by Buffalo Bill.
  
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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #4 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 5:55pm
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I would cast RB alloy, 50:1 and hollow point them if possible. 

Might try round balls for close range small deer if the 20" twist isn't too fast.

The deer I have taken with my .54 flintlock didn't leave a blood trail, they just dropped in their tracks.  RB passed right on through.
  

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craigd
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #5 - Oct 8th, 2019 at 9:26pm
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I don't think it's a bad thing to work on trying to get some bullet expansion or at least consider a flat point for hunting. There are so many high power, flat shooting, controlled expansion rifle, cartridge and bullet combinations, that I think the question might be that there was probably a reason the Sharps in 50-70 was chosen in the first place. My opinion would be that the experience was not unusual, and some would have looked at it as good shot placement and a success. It happens, but if it dropped in its track that might have been misleading. I'd vote for a decent flat point bullet and enjoy this season.
  
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Schuetzendave
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #6 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 8:32am
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A fifty caliber will punch a hole as large as mushrooming smaller caliber bullets.

While a hollow point or flatter nose bullet or a softer alloy may assist in the mushrooming of the bullet: a 1/2 inch hole through the animal is more than sufficient to cause severe blood lost.

Unless you do not hit the animal in the right spot.

If you do not damage major organs or sever an artery it is possible the animal will not discard much blood after it is hit.

Possible Solution: Shoot it in a more appropriate spot.
  
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RoyB
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #7 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 8:40am
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I didn't chronograph this load. But I bet it is under 1000fps. Modern bullets have huge HydroShock. This bullet at that speed might not have much....??
  

Roy B
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Schuetzendave
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #8 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 9:26am
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A 450 grain bullet in a .50-70 with 63 grains of FFg has a velocity of 1,195 fps so your lighter 425 grain bullet with 70 grains FFg will be at least 1,250 fps.

So your .50-70 had an energy of 1474 and a Taylor Knock Out of 38.

A .30-06 with a 180 grain bullet has an energy of 2913 but a Taylor Knock Out of only 21.

Heavy cast bullets with their high Kinetic Energy will cause more than sufficient damage to knock down animals even with lower hydro shock.

« Last Edit: Oct 9th, 2019 at 9:43am by Schuetzendave »  
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Yellowhouse
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #9 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 1:22pm
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The old timers and African hunters bust em through the shoulders to put them down first.  Those back of shoulder boiler room shots are generally for the modern needleblowers and their faddish smokeless powder. Grin
  
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RoyB
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #10 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 1:44pm
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Thank You Schuetzendave. Great info right there
  

Roy B
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craigd
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #11 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 2:33pm
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Itís not fresh on my mind, but I wouldnít overly worry about that knockout formula. I thinks itís significantly opposite to the hydrostatic(?) shock that youíre trying to compare it to in modern loads. If you get a pass through, which will probably happen again, the energy is being expended in the ground behind the deer, and it might show that quite a bit less energy was needed on the deer itself. Iíd agree with the shot placement thought.

Itís unrelated, but I recall watching one of those outdoor shows about an African hunt. The show host stumbled and on camera shot his professional hunter with a .458. It was a pass through and apparently didnít do as much damage as it might have and the story goes that the fellow turned out ok. That round had quite a bit of energy to expend, but luckily not in the fellow.
  
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Schuetzendave
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #12 - Oct 9th, 2019 at 7:36pm
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Custer's letter to Remington regarding his custom .50-70 Rolling Block:

" Dear Sirs,---Last year I ordered from your firm a sporting rifle, caliber .50. I received the rifle a short time prior to the departure of the Yellowstone Expedition. The Expedition left Fort Rice the 20th of June, 1873 and returned to Fort Abraham Lincoln, September 21, 1873. During the period of three months I carried the rifle referred to on every occasion and the following exhibits but a portion of the game killed by me: Antelope 41; buffalo 4; elk 4; blacktail deer 4; American deer 3; white wolf 2; geese, prairie chicken and other feathered game in large numbers. The number of animals killed is not so remarkable as the distance at which the shots were executed. The average distance at which the forty-one antelopes were killed was 250 yards by actual measurement. I rarely obtained a shot at an antelope under 150 yards, while the range extended from that distance up to 630 yardsÖ.."

I know he shot large animals with his .50-70 28" barrel with a 1:36 twist using 450 grain bullets; but also feathered game?
  
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svartkruttgris#369
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #13 - Oct 10th, 2019 at 4:22pm
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I have a somewhat different view of highly effective Pb and Pb alloy bullets for hunting than the "simplistic" comparisons from Taylor Knock Out equations, posted by Dave. My experience is based on a lifetime using very soft Pb alloy bullets (40-1 to pure Pb) with large meplats for hunting "small game" (turkeys, rabbits, foxes, etc.) and smallish white tail deer.  Most used were/are original 32-20 and 44-40 lead bullets, but some 50 and 54 caliber, similarily shaped, pure Pb bullets at about 1200 fps).

With edible and tasty critters, turkeys for example, it has long been obvious that really soft lead (typically 40-1 115-120gr) 32-20 bullets (Lyman/Ideal 31108) at 1300 fps are really destructive of edible parts and require careful shot placement to avoid that and to have turkeys "drop right there". The flip side is that they are excellent, one-shot killers. Ditto for original 44-40 205gr bullets (Ideal/Lyman 427098). On bigger game (whitetails) best eating parts are badly damaged when hit by such bullets from 44 to 54 caliber. Heart/lung shots resulted in deer running madly for 50-100M and collapsing, with abundant blood trail.

My only experience on bigger critters is elk, where 175 gr Nosler Partition bullets at original 7X57 Mauser velocities through heart and lungs has same effect as above for whitetails.

SKG



  
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JLouis
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Re: Hunting with 50-70 on Deer
Reply #14 - Oct 10th, 2019 at 4:45pm
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Shooting that Doe at only roughly 17 yards is what probably caused your concerns for the lack of your bullets performance. Any bullet no matter what the distance may be or the type used that travels completely through an animal simply expends all of its energy and shock value to whatever finaly stops its travel and not the animal itself. A bullet that travels completely through an animal is just not the proper bullet to use for the game being pursued.
  
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