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Thread: Deer hunting with an original 1873 44-40

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Deer hunting with an original 1873 44-40

    Hi

    I'm going to spend a little of my whitetail hunting time this year with an original (1884 mfg ) 1873 .

    Using a 30-1 cast 220 gr roundnose/flatpoint bullet Black powder load ,chrono around 1300 fps .

    Just a curiosity question , if you had that perfect broadside shot , would you go for a shoulder shot . or place the shot
    behind the shoulder just through the lungs ?

    (Meat damage is not going to be an issue with a shoulder shot , not using a 300 Win mag ).

    Given the velocity , expansion ,( or lack of ? ) with the 30-1 bullet , how do you think it will perform on a double lung shot ..

    I know it will be a dead deer regardless , but in heavy cover with no tracking snow, and most times not that far to the neighbors property , just wondering .

    thanks

    Joe

    PS this is not my first year hunting , that was over 50 years ago

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    The 30:1 bullet will expand fine at woods ranges, but in heavy cover with no tracking snow I would do the shoulder shot to anchor the deer where it stands.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy 444ttd's Avatar
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    a perfect broadside shot, i would go for the shoulder. but(always but...) since deer are uncooperative, i go behind the shoulder shot. i have killed many deer with both(behind and shoulder) and the shoulders shot (i say both of the shoulders) are rare. i know only of guy(my dad) who killed a doe with both shoulders shot out(tc contender 14" muzzle brake in 7x30 waters with 115gr speer hp). we hunt in close cover were a 60 yard shot is long range. 30ish yards is more like it. half the time the deer only runs after the shot about 20-40 yards. the other half is drt. this goes for both behind or shoulder shot.

    i only do bubba-up scientfik reeseerch.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    I'm an old man & seen a lot of deer shot but only recall 1 deer making it 200 yds. with with a properly placed shot behind the shoulders in & out. That's pretty good odds to me & I don't like ANY wasted meat if I can help it. Anything can happen while hunting, rarely is everything the way you prefer it to be especially if a runner is a situation. I think Outpost gave a good opinion depending on your situation at the moment of the shot.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy
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    444ttd; I wasn't duplicating your thoughts which I agree with, I was hunt'n & pek'n while you were post'n.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


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    I only once shot a small buck in the shoulder with a fast paced cartridge and honestly can't remember the caliber and if it was a boolit or j-words projectile. But I do remember it was a mess to deal with. It was a DRT alright, but I usually go for a behind the shoulder shot and expect the deer to make a mad dash for 35-45 yards before the oxygen and blood are pumped from the heart/lung area. Since I am a meat hunter, I greatly prefer the shoulder to remain intact and go for maximum meat. My hunting is on the home range and close in and tracking has not been an issue for me unless I bungle the shot.
    Mark 5:34 And He said to her (Jesus speaking), "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Castaway's Avatar
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    I’d do the double lung/heart shot. You do that and the tracking job should be easy and short. Even if only halfway through, the boiler room is disrupted. I’d be afraid a shoulder shot would have limited penetration after expansion of such a soft bullet and not provide a clean kill.

  8. #8
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    Mk42gunner's Avatar
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    I'd personally go for the shoulder and try to break bone to anchor the deer.

    Yes you might loose a little bit of meat, probably not much with your stated ballistics, but I would rather loose a few pounds of shoulder meat than the whole deer.

    Robert

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    I’ll side with the behind the shoulder, double lung shot. Better chance for a pass through and finding it in short order shouldn’t be a problem. I guess my long career as a bow hunter has influenced my thinking.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Keep us posted. A 240 gr. 44 mag at 1600 FPS makes a “whomp” sound when it hits the deer. Yours should do the same with enough range to hear both the boom and “whomp”. Your bullet will most likely completely penetrate the deer. Dead is dead.

  11. #11
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    My first buck was a heart shot, he dropped SO fast where he was standing he bounced when he hit the ground. Then he stuck his head up and looked around trying to figure out what that loud noise was.

    If I had a broadside shot with a 73, I would take a heart shot.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master Savvy Jack's Avatar
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    25gr Reloder 7, 240gr Hornady LSW HP, 1,200fps. 10% to 20% more power than a 200gr bullet at the same velocity....a bit over-kill at 65 yards

    As soon as the full shoulder was in view, I squeezed off the shot. The buck was hit just above mid shoulder and dropped straight down...he never took a step.

    By now it is dark. It was time to drag him out and get him to the processor. Over the next few days the processor gave up looking for the bullet. It was obvious that it did not pass through but it could not be found. Finally, while processing the hind quarters, it was found lodged in one of them. The bullet had penetrated the shoulder, turned 90 degrees (from a broadside shot) and traveled down the spinal cord to lodge in the hind quarters....travailing about 24"...obliterating everything in it's path.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    You said if you had a perfect broadside shot, When I have that I aim for a golf ball sized spot where the top of the heart is. I know that sounds stupid but I can picture where that point is when looking at a deer at fairly close range and I have had many drop on the spot and some that went a short distance but it is a double lung shot plus sometimes complete destruction of all the plumbing going in to the heart. It has never let me down and if you have a calm deer and aim small for that spot you will have a clean quick kill.

    Jedman

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master



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    Good morning
    Been firing off pre 1899 Winchesters in 44WCF with 220 grain 40-1 pushed with 3F for near half my life. Those slugs will go through alot of tough stuff and keep on going. 10 inches of live cactus root will not protect a 50 pound wild dog hiding behind it.
    I still am a believer in busting the heart and taking a lung or both. But there is alot to write about being over 70 and not much enjoying crawling about on hands and knees looking under leaves for red squirts.
    Bust a shoulder then take out the heart lungs and there is not much scouting work needed. Your load will handle it all very well
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Like stated in previous posts above, I am very partial to lung shots, due to being a die hard bowhunter of 30+ years. I have shot the hear out of a deer, and had them run 250 yds on adrenaline. Never had a deer make it over 60 yds, with a lung shot. I dont like to mess meat up either. Either one will do the job, but I would take a lung shot behind the shoulder.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I'm in the broadside group. When I can, I like to wait for the deer to start to take a stride, thus exposing the heart side of the chest. I've been lucky to have this present several times and my shots have been on the mark. Shoulder isn't wrecked, heart hit and both lungs deflated. I don't usually track too far. Day before yesterday in western Maryland, I took this shot and the deer didn't go 15 yards.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master



    missionary5155's Avatar
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    Of course it might also depend on what that corn cruncher was hit with.
    "Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
    Male Guanaco out in dry lakebed at 10,800 feet south of Arequipa.

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    FWIW, an old timer once told me that the perfect broads de shot on deer type game is to shoot just behind the shoulder, aiming for the off-side shoulder. Admittedly you are not exactly broadside but the animal is facing slightly away from you.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Savvy Jack's Avatar
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    Like this Jim22?



  20. #20
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    skeettx's Avatar
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    GREAT footage, the bullet sure did zip on through !!

    You can even see the bullet/blast heading towards the deer

    Mike
    Last edited by skeettx; 10-29-2020 at 10:58 AM.
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

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