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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking about getting back into black powder hunting. I am considering a smooth bore fowler for all my hunting. Probably a flinter.

Anyone use one as your main hunting gun? Whats your thoughts on hunting with a fowler as opposed to a rifle?

Regards,
 

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Well, it's a "do it all" gun, what with the ability to shoot patched balls and shot. I would consider it a good selection so long as you're realistic about the range/accuracy limitations of a smoothie and are willing to live with that. You sure won't have to worry about the effectiveness of a .62 ball well placed on a deer. And using the same gun with a load of shot for birds, bunnies and squirrels will only add to the pleasure. I agree - if you're going to do it, do it in flint. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I hunted with caplock muzzleloaders for years but got away from them and into bowhunting. When I muzzleloader hunted before I always used round ball guns. They shed their energy pretty fast anyway. I figure the smooth bore would be a 50-60yd gun with the patched RB and a rifle with a patched RB is really only a 100 yd gun.

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pastorp said:
. I figure the smooth bore would be a 50-60yd gun with the patched RB and a rifle with a patched RB is really only a 100 yd gun.

Regards,
You've got that about right but there is a lot of difference between 50 and 100 yards. Where I hunt that is the majority of opportunities I encounter, between 50 and 100 yards. I know there is lots of hunting in areas where 50 yards is an unusually long shot but here in the Rockies 50 yards would be an unusually short one.
People seem to wax poetic about the fowler as "one gun does it all" but few of those same folks would be caught dead with an NEF Partner break open singleshot as their only gun. Really, the NEF Partner is the modern day equivalent of a flint fowler and is in almost ever way a superior hunting tool, it just don't look as neat nor cost as much.
 

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coyotejoe said:
pastorp said:
. I figure the smooth bore would be a 50-60yd gun with the patched RB and a rifle with a patched RB is really only a 100 yd gun.

Regards,
You've got that about right but there is a lot of difference between 50 and 100 yards. Where I hunt that is the majority of opportunities I encounter, between 50 and 100 yards. I know there is lots of hunting in areas where 50 yards is an unusually long shot but here in the Rockies 50 yards would be an unusually short one.
People seem to wax poetic about the fowler as "one gun does it all" but few of those same folks would be caught dead with an NEF Partner break open singleshot as their only gun. Really, the NEF Partner is the modern day equivalent of a flint fowler and is in almost ever way a superior hunting tool, it just don't look as neat nor cost as much.
With ,410 , 20 ga., 16ga., 12 ga, singleshots..i've took about everything legal to take here inna Ozarks..Might park my .270, 30-30, .22 hornet,,but I ain't gonna be without one of my single shot shotguns..or one uh my SS .22s..One of them ole SS shotguns really shines at night when a varmit is causin trouble inna chicken house...
Used to have to spit squirrel shot out of venison when i was a kid..was an old timer friend of Dads that hunted with an old single barrel Stevens 16ga an if a deer happened to get to close whilst he was squirrel hunting he would take it :-X..Used to give us the side that it was shot on..we learned to chew carefully and spit the shot out in our hand..When he passed they found him setting under a tree with that old 16ga. Stevens across his lap :(
 

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Funny you should mention "varmint causing trouble in the chicken house". For the past three nights I've had something trying to dig into my pigeon coop. So last night, after the dogs were in for the night, I set a pair of my old Montgomery number three coil spring traps where the varmint had last been digging. This morning I had a fat **** and put it away with a subsonic .22 short from my Savage M24. Now that .22/20 gauge is a really versatile gun. But it ain't a muzzleloader. ;D Which brings up a muzzleloader I built with .45 rifle barrel over a 32 gauge smoothbore but I guess that's a bit off topic too. ;D
 

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Whoops! My ole mind strayed a lil bit there :-[. I wished some one would make a good single barrel muzzle loading 20 or 16 ga Caplock, Not really a trade gun but about a 30" barrel,kinda a Modified Canoe type. :-\
 

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I'm sure they're out there if you look around. I fitted a 30" half octagon half round barrel to a T/C Pensylvania Hunter and restyled the stock a bit to look like a "half stock trade gun". It's a 28 gauge and weighs 6 1/4 pounds, points like a fine bird gun. It doesn't bother me that no one ever made such a thing "back in the day", after all, no one ever made anything like any of T/C's guns. ;D
 

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coyotejoe said:
pastorp said:
. I figure the smooth bore would be a 50-60yd gun with the patched RB and a rifle with a patched RB is really only a 100 yd gun.

Regards,
You've got that about right but there is a lot of difference between 50 and 100 yards. Where I hunt that is the majority of opportunities I encounter, between 50 and 100 yards. I know there is lots of hunting in areas where 50 yards is an unusually long shot but here in the Rockies 50 yards would be an unusually short one.
People seem to wax poetic about the fowler as "one gun does it all" but few of those same folks would be caught dead with an NEF Partner break open singleshot as their only gun. Really, the NEF Partner is the modern day equivalent of a flint fowler and is in almost ever way a superior hunting tool, it just don't look as neat nor cost as much.


"Is in almost ever way a superior hunting tool"...............REALLY! Would you elaborate on that?
 

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nw_hunter said:
coyotejoe said:
pastorp said:
. I figure the smooth bore would be a 50-60yd gun with the patched RB and a rifle with a patched RB is really only a 100 yd gun.

Regards,
You've got that about right but there is a lot of difference between 50 and 100 yards. Where I hunt that is the majority of opportunities I encounter, between 50 and 100 yards. I know there is lots of hunting in areas where 50 yards is an unusually long shot but here in the Rockies 50 yards would be an unusually short one.
People seem to wax poetic about the fowler as "one gun does it all" but few of those same folks would be caught dead with an NEF Partner break open singleshot as their only gun. Really, the NEF Partner is the modern day equivalent of a flint fowler and is in almost ever way a superior hunting tool, it just don't look as neat nor cost as much.


"Is in almost ever way a superior hunting tool"...............REALLY! Would you elaborate on that?
Superior to the flint fowler, is what I think he meant. And of course it is. Better ignition (weatherproof), faster to load, easier to clean....
simpler in operation, safer (no flash in the eyes), etc.
Every soldier and hunter who used flintlocks would have traded them in a minute for an NEF single-shot 12 gauge and a few boxes of shells :).
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow I didn't realize I'd strayed over into the nef ss forum I thought I was in the traditional muzzleloader forum. ::)

Regards,
 

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pastorp said:
Wow I didn't realize I'd strayed over into the nef ss forum I thought I was in the traditional muzzleloader forum. ::)

Regards,
Well, yes, but nw_hunter DID ask for elaboration.
But I apologize, because even though the I felt the poster who wrote about the "superior hunting tool" was right and was being picked on... I'd just love to own a Flint Fowler, they are most elegant and fine-looking firearms! And, I offer this in the flinter's defense - "it'll shoot as long as there are rocks!".
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Coyotejoe,

I hunted in the Gila river area of NM. Thats in the southern rockys. Used several muzzloaders for deer and elk. You can get closer if your a hunter. Or you can shoot long if you want, because you can see a far piece.

Hunting out west dosen't require long shooting, just ask a bowhunter. ;D

Regards,
 

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I do apologize for taking this thread off track. I'd be the first to say that no firearm ever matched the graceful beauty of a flint flower. But when people start talking up the practical aspect of versatility I have to say that in 50+ years of muzzleloading I've never seen any that could match the practicality and versatility of a breech loading shotgun. Just the fact that one can change loads in a second makes versatility real.
And Pastorp, yes you can find thick stuff anywhere but a short range weapon certainly does reduce one's options and possibilities. That's why bow hunters are given the first season and four times as long as the rifle seasons and they still have a lower success rate.
I can take a rifle into the thick stuff and not be the least bit handicapped but take a smooth bore into the open and you might as well stay home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I agree the breach loader allows ease of changing loads or you can do what I prefer is hunt with a double and have shot & ball both available by just pulling the other trigger. ;D My charles daily SXS shot the right barrel to point of aim with a slug and worked perfectly for this application.

However, I wanted to try something different, hense the fowler idea came to mind. I'm old enought and have killed enough game that I like the idea of close renge and with the weapon of my choice, if I don't kill anything I can always hunt at the market. ;)

Regards,
 

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Your original post asked "what are your thoughts on a fowler versus a rifle" and that is what I was replying to. To elaborate on that question, I think that if you want primarily a shotgun with some utility as a short range deer gun then by all means get a fowler. If deer hunting is your primary interest you will be much better served with a rifle. There are no shots too close for a rifle but plenty too far for a smoothbore. That answer would be the same whether we were talking flintlocks or breechloaders. If that's not the answer you wanted to hear, I'm sorry but that IS the question you asked.

We all draw the line as to "how primitive" we choose to go. I have hunted the Colorado muzzleloading season since '71 and hunting with a traditional sidelock rifle, flint or percussion, with patched round ball is primitive enough for me, I see no reason to further handicap myself by trying to make do with a smoothbore.
For the past three muzzleloading seasons I have been camping with five people and all together we have taken nine elk, only two of which might have been in range of a smoothbore. Again, there is quite a difference between 50 and 100 yards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm not offended by your response just trying to make out the sence to the range issue with the fowler versus SS shotgun. A shotgun will not really give me anymore range. I agree it is easier to change the loads.

I have no experience with smoothbore muzzleloaders but I do with the traditional muzzleloader rifles. I've never used a in-line or one that is scoped, and don't think I ever shot a deer or elk over 75-80 yards with the sidelocks I used. I started out with a 50 went to a 54 and then to a 58 all with patched round balls.

Here in Alaska where I live & hunt now, with the exception of a few special hunts, it dosen't matter what your weapon choice is. If it's hunting season you can hunt with any legal weapon. So if you just want to kill game it makes sence to use a scoped high powder rifle. However I just thought something new might be fun. Thats what promped the fowler question.
 

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It's obvious you had decided before you asked the question and you don't want to hear anything but "Yeah, Yeah, Raw, Raw, Go For It. The fact remains that "Fowlers" were called fowlers because the were made for hunting fowl. The fact that they can also fire a single ball as a short range substitute for a rifle is a nice fringe benefit. But if firing a single ball is your intended purpose, why settle for a substitute?
As I said, you obviously have your heart set on a fowler so I certainly hope you will enjoy it, and as long as you stick to thick cover it probably will do fine but when you find yourself saying "Dang, I wish I'd brought a rifle", well, don't say I didn't warn you. ;D
 

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PastorP,

Go over to P.O.W., to the liquor store in Thorne Bay, and ask for Jim Baichtal. He has quite a lot of experience with smoothbore muzzleloaders. He has a story of going up North on a hunting trip. He went out with his Fusil Fin loaded with birdshot, looking for ptarmigan. Came up over a rise and saw a caribou bedded down on the other side. Steps back, runs a patched round ball on top of the bird shot, steps forward again to where can see the 'bou and shoots it. He and his hunting partner were spitting out bird shot from backstrap later on that evening!

Anyway, call him up and see what he says about a fowler.

-Winter Hawk-
 
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