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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

My buddy/mentor has a freind who'd like to accompany us when we go out for pig next time. I've got a 454C, my b/m has got an Annaconda 44mag he's dying to try out.

The other guy, Anza Bob we call him, because his name is Bob and he's from Anza (so we're not overly creative, big deal), wants to hunt with a handgun too, rather than being the only guy carrying around a big ol' rifle (8mm). He's got a .45 Vaquero that he doesn't really want to use, and a Ruger Old Army in .45. I think the Ruger would be really cool just so long as it'll provide enough punch for a medium-sized boar. I don't have any load data for the Old Army, so I thought I'd ask. I think if he can push a 260 grainer to 1000 fps muzzle he'll have a shot at close range with the thing. Even then it'll have to be a pretty fair shot at 20 yards or so.

I'd love to get an Old Army for myself as well, so this info would be useful to me in the future. Thanks in advance.
 

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I like the Ruger Old Army, shot one for several years and have no complaint about it's strength or quaility of construction. Howeverm 260gr. at 1000fps just ins't in the cards.

The only "crimp" is the friction of seating the ball or bullet, so if one could load to the 260/1000 level, recoil would unseat the other cylinders. Using a tight fitting bullet and an arbor press comes to mind, but the Ruger's cylinder throats are alrger than most cap-and-ball .45's (which is OK as the barrel is also larger) and finding a .456" bullet tht would work isn't all that easy. While the Ruger is strong, there just isn't enough powder room, even with a bunch of compression, to launch 260 at 1000fps. Can get a round ball up to about that speed.

Tried a Colt Walker replica...which has .451" throats, so normal 255gr. .45 colt bullets were tried. With an arbor press, could seat the bullets over 40gr. of FFFg black. that load locked out at 980, which is close to what you ask for...but that Wqalker has a bunch more powder room (even if the long bullet takes up most of it). With the Ruger, would guess that about 35gr. of powder could be used (if you could find a 260gr. bullet large enough to stay put in the cylinder during recoil)...that should earn about 750fps.
 

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Back about 20 or 25 years ago, Nonte would write about hunting Bear with a .45acp...and once Hogs with cap and ball revolvers (using ball). Think we've become a bit more aware of what it takes to be a reasonable hunting handgun...but if I were hunting with a partner with a .44 or .454 (or name your +1000fpe+ favorite), maight take a crack at it with that cap-and-ball.

Not a giant hog-handgun hunter, but have done it a few times (usually not seeking hogs...they were targets of oportunity). Of all the atributes of a handgun, #1 would be placement and #2 would be penetration, with expansion trailing in 3rd place. The Ruger would have #1 but would be a bit lacking in #2.

As far as the Vaquero, even in 44/40 or 45 LC with factory loads, will beat the penetration of the Old Army.
(as you can tell, I'm a believer in exit holes).
 

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When I was stationed in TX that was my back up while hunting -though I never got the chance to see if it would work on hogs. I had a decent load worked up using 250gr RN cast bullet that was very accurate, don't know what the FPS was I didn't have a chrony then. But I wouldn't have doupted its ablity to penertrate a hog. Now you said your friend has a 45 LC- he should use it definately a better choice, get some Buffalo Bore rounds and it will go end to end on the biggest hogs!! If he insists on using the Old Army have that Casull close by. Just in case.:D
 

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For what it may be worth, this data came from a test published in The American Rifleman Dec. 1972 p. 20 for 0.457" round ball 142 grain in a Ruger Old Army:
LOAD, FFFg Muzzle vel fps E ft-lb
20 800 200
25 840 221
30 985 307
40 1150 402

My Old Army will just barely swallow 42 gr and have room to seat the ball without having it bind as the cylinder turns, so I think 40+ grain charges with a big 240 gr slug is not likely. It thunders so much and makes a big flash with a huge puff of blackpowder to match that it would scare any reasonable critter to death. Or you could do what one old coot did up in NJ and use rancid bacon grease as the bullet lube. Poor varmints would pass out from the stench, but so would you.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I want to thank everyone for their responses so far. You've provided me some guidance and I've passed it along to Anza Bob. He's looking into a 140 grain lead ball with 41 grains FFFG to see if he likes how it handles, hits and sounds. I don't know if he's got a chrony or not.

Found out he's also got a .50cal black powder pistol of some kind, but I don't know details (as well as a .57 Sharps, not a handgun, but oh well). He's searching for some loading data for that sucker as well. I think it shoots a 205 grain ball, and if he can manage a 250 grain RNFP he will. It's several weeks before we go anywhere, so we've all got time to test and tune. That in itself is a lot of fun.

Being a Vaquero with crude sights at best, Bob is hesitant to use it for the trip, but agreed to practice with it and sight it in just in case.

And yeah, we'll likely all have a bead on the poor pig each time one of us steps up to the plate, so that if porky tries to get up and run off we'll be ready for him. Wish I had a .480 Ruger or a .500 Linebaugh to share.

Bob is the most experienced hunter of us all, but has never tried pig or pistol hunting. I'm grateful just for the woodland experience he brings, as much as the comraderie.

Username Gatofeo also gave some good information over in the Blackpowder forum. He mentioned Lyman's Blackpowder loadbook saying the ehaviest bullet listed was a 190 grain conical with 40 grains Pyrodex for 1150 fps muzzle. That holds promise if Bob can put it off the shoulder.
 

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Searoy
Tell ANZO to forget that .50 cal pistol-it can't be loaded to any sort of power level required for Hogs-if it's the Flint/cap style. MAx load is like 25 gr!!! Now if it one of those NEW heavy barrel inline type 's that would be a big improvement over the Old Army- these things can be loaded almost as hot a BP rifle. :D
 

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Think the hard thing in any hunt is knowing when NOT to pull the trigger. We all know when to, but some of use lose that little voice that tells us "no...this one isn't quite right".

Hard not to shoot, the pressure to come home with meat is pretty intense, esp. when hunting with buddies...but if he's going to use a light-powered gun, he's going to have to strength to pass anything but a perfect shot. If he can't do that, then by all means beg/borrow a more potent handgun.
He'd have to pass on shots you could take with a round that would reach vitals from odd angles (or from the rear), and some people just don't have the ability to pass.

If he can shoot that old Army well, will pass on anything but a "text book" shot, he can take it hunting..

As for the Vaquero's sights...if they are 'on', don't see a problem. Fixed sights are a royal pain to get shoting on, many need a file to get elevation or even to build up one side or the other with weld and dress it down to fix windage (or weld it higher to fix elevation). Once "on" are married to that one load...but given those limits, a sight that puts the bullet right at the top of the front post is going to work just as well if it's fixed or if it adjusts.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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I'd suggest your friend treat the Old Army like it's a bow, keep shots close (say 25 yards or a bit more) and shoot only when you have the perfect shot placement. If he's experienced hunting hogs, he'll know how to kill them and should not have a problem. Unlike the bow, he's got a fast second shot in case piggie runs right at him.

Sounds like fun to me! Good luck, have contemplated the same thing myself.
 

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Fred,
Old Army's are designed for .457 roundballs, Are you sure you were shooting .454? And why?
Also, looking at John Taffin's book, it looks like fff is good for about 100-150 ft/sec more than ff.
Humpty
 

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Since I do hunt hogs and have killed them with my Ruger Old Army....Buy a Lee Conical (two cavity) mold for the Old Army (#458-220-1R)....mold your bullets out of wheelweights....size @ .457" and lube....more lube on top of seated bullets....38 grs of Clean Shot FFFg....CCI Mag #11 caps.....go hunting (assuming you know hog hunting)
Best Regards, James
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks everyone for your helpful comments, and especially James with your experienced words.

Until payday I've been dong map scouting of our area. The link is here:

http://www.topozone.com/map.asp?z=11&n=3764818&e=511667&s=25&size=l

We'll stalk Banning Canyon between the power houses, direction dependant upon prevailing winds. Max distance to see a hog is likely under 200 yards, and then only if the hog is dumb enough to get a drink of water during the day. Hopefully we can stalk him closer after that. I'm the only one likely to be able to take a pig at that distance, regardless of size. I've got the youngest eyes and tend to be the best shot. Even so I'd prefer to keep it under 100. Bob will have to keep it under 30 I'm sure.

Ol' Anza Bob has hunted lots before, but never with a handgun, and never hogs. This will be an experience for us all. I'll tell Bob about the load, though I don't know if he casts or not.

Not to get off topic, but those of you who have successfully hunted hog, where would YOU prefer to hit the hog? I've got 3 different opinions from 2 different hog hunting books plus my own. They're not drastically different, but enough that I thought I should ask.

Thanks again.
 

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The Hog Whisperer (Administrator)
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See attached picture. This from www.texasboars.com - lots of good information there.

Thing to remember, hogs are mostly guts behind the front shoulder, don't have big lungs like a deer. With a a handgun and cast bullet, I like to break the shoulder. With a scoped rifle, I shoot for head or neck (but we're almost always hunting over bait in TX.
 

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You may be right, Humpty, maybe it was .457" rb. I was working from handwritten notes. I'll have to poke thru my shed to uncover the old bullet mold I used. May take awile as its not on my wifes list of to-do's for this week.
 

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James Gates
What kind of penetration did you get with that load? Distance of the shot? Cureous minds want to know. that would be my only worry in using the Old Army could it get past the Armor? A shot angaling forward from behind the ribs into the heart /lung would be a good shot -but hard to do even close.
 

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Well, I thought that post might get some flack, especially from the hand cannon boys. First, let me say, I don't read the "hog" mags. Second, I have friends that kill over a hundred deer (and or) hogs a year on crop damage control. My brother, Clay, wiped out (or brought under control) as a govt project hogs on one major wildlife management area. Therefore, my posts are based on actual results.
As far as distance....I consider hog hunting with a handgun strictly a close in deal....under 50 yards. It doesn't matter if the load is in a case or in the cylinder.....it's all the same! The load I mentioned compares with a 45 Long Colt (yes, I know that's not the correct name) with about 1000 fps. I have seen hogs killed with the same load in a 1st generation Colt SA. Controlibily (most important!)is well within the average shooters ability.
Now, anyone that has killed many real wild hogs (not feral pigs)should know a lung shot is worst of all unless hunting with dogs to keep them off your fanny. The hole will seal up and leave no blood signs. It certainly is asking for cut up legs if one is dealing with a prime boar. The only shots taken should be head and shoulder shots that will break the animal down...quick! On an incoming boar hog....shots aimed just over the ears into the top of the neck, angled down is best. With that bullet molded from wheelweights, or salvaged BTB bullet alloy, gives ample penetration within resonable handgun distance. Seating the bullet will be hard without a handgun stand. JCG
 

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Old Army Hunting Loads

I've hunted deer, hogs and wild turkey successfully with my Old Army and it does fine if you keep the range within 25 yards. I TIG welded .10" onto my front sight to enable a good zero with heavier bullets. I shoot either the Lee 250-gr. R.E.A.L. or the Saeco 230-gr. Maxi-Ball with an Ox Yoke Originals wad and either 30 grs. of Goex FFFg or Pyrodex P, for about 900 f.p.s. It's equal to a .45 Colt. A .457 roundball with the same charge is about 1050 and makes a nice small game load.
 

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Haven't used it in a .44 (yet) but have been getting some high velocity readings from Triple Seven. When using the same volume of Triple Seven and FFFg, Triple Seven is running way ahead...hav to back down 10percent to equal FFFg.

Could be a slow lot of FFFg and a fast lot of Triple Seven...but figuring there "ain't no free lunch" have to assume more velocity equals nor pressure. Given a good strong Ruger, could be worth 75fps more.

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On the other hand, if I blow the old .36 Navy to ****, will let you know.
 
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