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Thread: How many shots did they carry with them in the 1700's for a hunting trip?

  1. #1

    How many shots did they carry with them in the 1700's for a hunting trip?

    I was just wondering how many shots did they take with them in the 1700's?
    yes I know its a matter of how much powder and lead and if they were able to recover their lead but I just want a guestimate for my personal curiosity is all...

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    The 'cartridge box' of the day a infantry trooper had carried the makings for 25 rounds and a spare flint.
    Most units were also horribly under supplied.


    Opps, just noticed the hunting trip part.
    I'd been reading some stuff on the Revolutionary war, and didn't notice it.

    But, to the op-
    In the day, people had their powder horn and usually a leather bag for other stuff like Lead balls.
    I'd figure they would have several in it, just to keep them in one or two places.
    Enough not to run out, maybe 6-10, but not so many the bag would be heavy.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 05-02-2020 at 10:49 PM.
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    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    I'd say would depend on the hunting trip or who they were hunting for , if it were just for himself and wife and kids might just take a few ball(5 -10) and small day horn . If he was going out with the guys to supply meat for the village or small town I'd assume he take more ammo. All speculation of course . When I go out hunting with my flintlock I take 3 pre measured loads along with a loaded rifle so 4 shots total if I need more than that I deserve to go home empty handed .
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

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    An eastern Long Hunter had what he had in in pouch to procure meat for the settlement! His load were gaged for penetration to the exterior of the hide.... Recovering his lead ball
    Later to be remelted by the evening fire!
    A missed shot was a loss of lead!
    This info was based on a large amount of research in to the 18th Century Eastern Long humter!
    " Associate with men of good quality, if you esteem your own reputation: for it is better to be alone than in bad company. " George Washington

  5. #5
    I was just wondering since they take a powder horn with them I would assume that they can take as many shots that a powder horn could produce I have no idea what that would have been..

  6. #6
    In the book Undaunted Courage (Lewis and Clark) they have the provisions list for their trip. Granted this was a much larger scale trip but it might give you some idea. One cool tidbit was that the powder was purchased in lead barrels. The lead barrel being of sufficient weight to provide enough shots for the quantity of powder.
    Now that’s some crafty thinking.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master RU shooter's Avatar
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    That would be one heavy full barrel of powder ! But very clever idea
    If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck!

  8. #8
    I always found this stuff interesting, when I read your question I recalled this in “armed America”

    “that every house keeper or housekeepers within this Province shall have ready continually upon all occasions within his her or their house for him or themselves and for every person within his her or their house able to bear armes one Serviceable fixed gunne of bastard muskett boare” along with a pound of gunpowder, four pounds of pistol or musket shot, “match for matchlocks and of flints for firelocks.”34 At least two colonies required immigrants to bring guns with them to the New World or required gun ownership as a condition of receiving land title. Lord Baltimore's instructions to settlers immigrating to Maryland provided a detailed list of tools, clothing, and food to bring. For each man, “one musket . . . 10 pound of Powder . . . 40 pound of Lead, Bullets, Pistoll and Goose shot, of each sort some.”35

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    I'm sure that, just like hunters of today, some carried a handful of balls and some carried 100.......

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  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    In the 1700s hunting was a main food supply and while a few balls for game would be fine there were also other issues to contend with when out and about in the woods. Dangerous animals, Indians, and thieves to be considered also. I suspect that in some areas a medium sized horn and 25-30 balls and patches was the norm. Another was the length of the hunt. For some variety Im sure some traveled a day or two for game not where they were and the hunt might last a week or two with game cleaned and salted down in the evenings or by help brought along for that job. Hunting was a business in that era and hunters supplied meat for several families towns and settlements.

    In this time period most families meat was more than likely taken by snares or traps by the older children rather than a firearm. Rabbits turkey most small game can be easily taken by traps set by the older children leaving adults to farm and other chores that weren't suitable for the children

  11. #11
    Townsends has some great info on this also.
    In one of the FAQs he talks about a short hunting trip. In a few other videos he describes a long hunter and some of their kits etc.

    https://youtu.be/4e2kLTAUozw

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Garyshome's Avatar
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    Good reading

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    Boolit Master Drm50's Avatar
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    I’ve seen articles that early hunters that first crossed into Ohio would dig stashes to store powder and lead so they didn’t have to carry all of it. They lined hole with stones smeared with clay. Put this in locations that water drained away from. Another thing is that they didn’t use large caliber guns. They didn’t start that until further west where animals encountered need big bores to put them down. The Ohio country had game shot out almost to extinction with ML of 40cal or smaller.
    The added BS of Indian lead mines is just that, no lead deposits have ever been found in the region.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drm50 View Post
    I

    The added BS of Indian lead mines is just that, no lead deposits have ever been found in the region.
    Lead was traded, as any other item was at the time. The Indians did use it. I was involved in an archaeological dig on burial mounds that were going to be inundated by a new reservoir back in the mid 70's. We found several lead artifacts, along with copper, bone and stone. Lead is very widespread in the central US. The Mines of Spain along the Mississippi was a major producer. There are very few places that lead isn't found, with the least being in the great plains region.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael J. Spangler View Post
    In the book Undaunted Courage (Lewis and Clark) they have the provisions list for their trip. Granted this was a much larger scale trip but it might give you some idea. One cool tidbit was that the powder was purchased in lead barrels. The lead barrel being of sufficient weight to provide enough shots for the quantity of powder.
    Now that’s some crafty thinking.
    Don't remember where I read it but went down the rabbit hole researching BP and found a site that talked about those lead powder kegs with pictures as well. They did look to be quite heavy. Probably a pain to carry but past generations seem to have been a lot tougher than we are and more likely to put up with more hardships. YMMV

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Biggin View Post
    Don't remember where I read it but went down the rabbit hole researching BP and found a site that talked about those lead powder kegs with pictures as well. They did look to be quite heavy. Probably a pain to carry but past generations seem to have been a lot tougher than we are and more likely to put up with more hardships. YMMV
    I would imagine they didn’t make them too big. As to not have too big of a grenade if something went wrong. Also easier to move. I just searched for some images and saw an 8# keg with 4# of powder inside. That seems easy to manage. Seems that would give a great ratio of round ball to powder charge. 175 grain ball to 87.5 grains of powder. Seems a good hunting load.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Dan'l Boon was once asked if he was ever lost. This was when he was in Congress. No, he said but he allowed that he had been 'turned around' for a couple of weeks one time. I would assume he was equipped for a month or more - and the threat of Indians was always present.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    "they didn’t use large caliber guns. They didn’t start that until further west where animals encountered need big bores to put them down"

    I read this all the time.
    Until the early-mid 1800's elk & bison were found as far east as the Appalachian Mountains.
    What critter was bigger in the west? Griz maybe?
    ..

  19. #19
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    Lewis and Clark noted on the first grizzly encounter listed now many times they had to shoot it with the smaller caliber rifles. Don't remember exactly how many, but it was a lot.
    Daniel No one's rifle is said to have been 25 caliber.
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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Powder Horns and People loading with them was a Figment of Hollywoods imagination. Old drawing and painting of people waring them i believe were also faked . they were never used only for show. all cartridges were made as Paper Cartridges and carries In pouches Or cartridge Boxes similar to military style. most hunter were fast to load and fast to shoot. Most if not all Horns and Flasks were only used to Prime with priming Powder with Flint . Since priming Powder was like dust, it did not handle well. Horns and Flasks went Out with the introduction of percussion cap
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