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Have always wanted to own and shoot a flinter. Would a 45 caliber Kentucky long rifle be ok for Moose and Elk at ranges less than 100 yds if I do my part? If so what powder load and bullet combo do you folks recommend. I live in Canada and can not find a website in country that sells a 50 cal in Kentuck long rifle.

Cheers and tight groups: Eaglesnester
 

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If it were me, I wouldn't consider anything less than a .50 for moose and elk and a .54 would be better. The powder charge I'd use would be around 90-100 grains of FFg.
 

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I'd use at least a .54 and 100-120grs FF...Frankly for moose and elk, a .62 would be even better...That is, using the traditional round ball...

If you were going to go with a maxi-ball, a .50 and 100grs FF would be stout enough for moose and elk...
 

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I'd feel better with a .50 or .54 but the .45 worked back in the days of the mountain men and the early pioneers but then that was before they grew the armor plate they now wear that makes super duper magnum party poopers necessary to kill them.
 

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Grey beard is right . I could be wrong here but if I recall correctly doesn’t the Lewis and Clark journals record accounts of lewis taking even grizzly bear with his 36 cal ?
The point of the mater is it can be done but the margin for error is very ,very small
I would not recommend the 45 cal for moose or elk unless you are very close and can place the shot exactly to the hart and lung area .
You would be best to go with a 50 or bigger for elk . 54 or greater is better IMO especially when you get to moose .
But even with these its best to keep your range as close as you can and then place your shot correctly
 

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I shot a white tailed deer with my GPR .54, using 85 grains of goex 3f. She still traveled 60 to 70 yards in thick brush. This was a complete pass through, that took out both lungs. So unless you want to do a lot of tracking and drag your kill a long ways, go with at least a .54.
beerbelly
 

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No, Lewis did NOT kill a grizzly with his "small" rifle...In fact they had problems killing them with their .54 calibers...In one case they even jumped off a cliff and into the water after a grizzly, hit several times with their .54s came after them, someone finally hit him in the head and killed him...

One fact we all don't want to admit, we can not track game as our fore fathers could, and they were much more likely to take close head shots on their game then we do...There are also many cases, when they shot and did not retrieve game, just read Osborn Russell's account on shooting a buffalo...

My first flintlock was a .45, I bought it back in the 70s and killed several deer with...In about 1985, I had a very large black bear walk up on me...
Right then, I decided I needed a .54...
 

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In long gone days most used round balls and hoped the bullet did not pass thru. They wanted to recover that precious lead so they could remelt it into another bullet to use again. Their lives depended on killing game and indians with those mostly flintlocks they used back then. The same will work just as well today as then.

I'd recommend not a round ball but a heavy for caliber Buffalo Bullet or Hornady Great Plains bullet. Those are the ONLY two muzzle loader projectiles I use for hunting game. They are fully the equal of today's modern magnum handguns and no one questions the adequacy of them. I think it so much rubbish that folks feel only super magnums are capable of taking game today considering what others have used in the past and even continue to use today.

So many say you can't get close and MUST use super magnums for those 400-600 yard shots that game now forces on you. I say to this BS. Folks use bow and arrow and iron sighted handguns to take the same game every single year. Those who think you can only get shots at such outrageous ranges need to learn to hunt I say.
 

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flintlock said:
No, Lewis did NOT kill a grizzly with his "small" rifle...In fact they had problems killing them with their .54 calibers...In one case they even jumped off a cliff and into the water after a grizzly, hit several times with their .54s came after them, someone finally hit him in the head and killed him...

One fact we all don't want to admit, we can not track game as our fore fathers could, and they were much more likely to take close head shots on their game then we do...There are also many cases, when they shot and did not retrieve game, just read Osborn Russell's account on shooting a buffalo...

My first flintlock was a .45, I bought it back in the 70s and killed several deer with...In about 1985, I had a very large black bear walk up on me...
Right then, I decided I needed a .54...
ahhhno i distinctly remember reading of Lewis using his small rifle a lot only setting it aside when they came into more regular contact with the bears . Give me some time I ill find the section in the diaries
 

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One thing to remember is that a 45 might not be legal. I know that here in Idaho it would not be. That kind of stinks in one way that my 45 would be plenty for a moose or an elk. Ron
 

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somewhere i have also a entry about shoot bear with this rifle . im still looking , its been along time since i looked through these
but this will do in the mean time .
now that im thinking and looking it may have been a mention of shooting a bear with this rifle so it may not have been a grizzly




http://www.lewis-clark.org/content/content-article.asp?ArticleID=2355

Another experience recounted in the journals emphasizes that Clark’s favorite rifle had too small a bore to make it reliable for big game shooting. August 8,1804 (from the diary of John Ordway): "the Capt. [Clark] Shot Several times at one [elk] but his rifle carried a Small Ball, took 2 men went to hunt it and he did not Git it." Again, on August 24, 1804, Clark mentioned that in addition to killing two bull elk that evening he wounded two others, but could not track them by blood drops because "my ball was So [too] Small to bleed them well."
I would also add to this that Clark provided an entry on Dec 1oth 1805 here he state the rifle to be the size of 100 to the pound .
This would put this rifle .36 cal as a 45 cal is 60 to the lb

Another thing on these rifles that only a small % were Harpers ferry “15” the rest were muskets fusils and rifles .
We also know That the men from Kentucky brought their own rifles which were long rifles .

If we are to then believe Charles Edward Chapple “fire arms historian “
These rifles would be 45 cal or less , carrying barrels of 40 inches with 6 to 8 groves

Also if we understand the C of D historians the only heavy caliber weapons carried would have been muskets the rest being 54 or smaller and were prefered for hunting over the muskets

So I think we must accept that most likely the rifles used were of much smaller calibers then we think

myself regularly shooting a 54 flintlock , i wouldnt want to take a shot at a real bear even with my 54 unless i was very , very close and had someone who good back me up .
however the facts still remain that the most common rifles of this time frame would be in 45 cal and smaller with the heavier calibers coming in later with the plains rifles .
this isnt to say that 50 and 54 didnt exsist , the did but simply were not as common but in military applications or smooth bores

but one thing we cannot discount is that clarks rifle was used by him so much that the rifling was being shot out and in need of freshining by the time the corps reached the cascades .
 

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I would not suggest a 45 for more than deer with a round ball. I have shot a good bit of game and if you are looking at the bigger stuff its .54 and above.

Additionally, I must make a general comment, early guns on the "Eastern Frontier" were quite varied. Post Rev there were still a number of Yeager guns in existence as well as big smooth rifle guns (yes, I said smooth rifle) being produce by the PA and Southern (Carolina) makers. As we started moving West (still in the East) guns were made lighter and of smaller calibers as needed by those frontiersman who traveled long distances on foot. Then comes the expansion and early fur trade era and the need for shorter more stoutly built larger caliber guns.

I, for one example, shoot a .62 smooth flint rifle I built with a Goetz "Golden Age" profile barrel that is a copy of an early PA gun. It is capable of amazing stuff out to perhaps 150 yds. Deer drop in their tracks with this gun. I also have a .40, 1:66 rifled bbl from Goetz that I built a Southern gun with (this is not a TN gun but rather a fully iron fixture Carolina type gun) This thing will shoot a RB with 90gr of 3fffg and tear up a hardened disk blade. Needless to say it is a deer killer.

John Beard, then of Big Timber, Montana and publisher of the now defunct Buckskin Report, had a Green River Rifle works flint Hawken in either .69 or .72. As I remember it did some fine work on Elk in the Paradise Valley. Blue Jacket Sanders with GRRW shot a .54 that was sweet.

By the way, the end of my old Hornady .54 cal box of round balls says 180gr.

I am an old guy with this ML stuff. My wife and I were really into it back in the 70's. Terripan Ridge Lean To' and Tipi Co. Kinda been there and done that. Just my humble opinion.
 

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Eaglesnester,

Obviously a lot of good feedback. The only thing I would add, is get your .45 flinter, then if you want to go after elk and moose, get something larger. Nothing wrong with having a nice black powder collection.

Good luck

Flinter54
 

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I have to agree with GB. More hunters should learn how to "hunt", rather than using bigger guns as a substitute for poor hunting skills.

.45 is adequate if you are comfortable with your shot and know your gun.

Dan
 

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AS mentioned, check first what your minimum caliber requirements are where you will be hunting. Alaska minimums are .45 with a 250 gr. bullet for big game except deer, and you can used round ball for them. If you want to use patched round ball for other than deer you need at least .54. When I was in Wyoming and Oregon, 20+ years ago, the minimum was .50 caliber.

I have always liked the versatility of the .45 as with PRB it works great on small game, but it still has the oomph to put down the larger animals.

-WH-
 
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