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  1. I grew up hunting with traditional self-made bows and occasionally a 22, but today I stalked and took a wild boar in central FL using my miroku 1866 in 44-40 and self-cast lead. Land was private, and hog season is year round in FL (they are considered a pest out here). Harvesting meat for me is bittersweet, there is a quote by NY Times writer David Joy that I've always thought describes the process best, "There is a sadness that only hunters know, a moment when lament overshadows any desire for celebration. Life is sustained by death, and though going to the field is an act of taking responsibility for that fact, the killing is not easy, nor should it be." If I'm being honest, as a friend of animals, hunting is a bit hard on my spirit. But I know that if I buy a pork shoulder at the grocery store without a second thought as to where it came from, that is the biggest form of disrespect to the animal. By hunting my meat, I can take responsibility for my dietary needs and walk away with a deeper appreciation of the life that was given to sustain me. I've pretty much sworn off of grocery meats (unless I'm a guest somewhere, or occasionally at a restaurant) and this lifestyle change has been rewarding to me. This was my first hunt without using a scope of any kind, and since making a single well placed ethical shot is critical, I practiced with my new 1866 for around 12 hours over the course of a month. I made some good progress with the buckhorns and black powder at 50 and 100 yards, but even still, acquisition wasn't instinctive and my groups with black powder (OE 3F droptubed 3' and compressed) were 3x larger than with RL7 at the same velocities (using chronograph). So I didn't think I was good enough yet to hunt with them, still have lots of load development/casting work to do to make BP work like it should. So I decided to cheat on this front for the sake of the animal and installed a skinner aperture rear sight just for the hunt (much, much easier to acquire a fast sight picture on a moving target) and used the RL7 load. Maybe by the next hunt I'll have mastered the buckhorns with BP to make it extra authentic. Rifle: Miroku 1866 24" octagonal 44-40, Skinner aperture rear sight Lead: self-cast 43-215c from 1:20, sized to 0.430. Lube: 40% beeswax, 40% tallow, 10% paraffin, 10% lanolin (and a touch of green crayon for style ) Load: the late John Kort's load for RL7 Data: avg 1423 fps, 217gr bullet Primer: Federal LPM (the photo looks like there are wrinkles, but its just residual lube from pan lube process) Two 3-shot groups at 25 yards before hunt: my groups at 50 yards were within 3". After a bit of exploring, I had a clear shot of a boar at about 40 yards away. I steadied and hit dead on at the shoulder, one shot. It ran about 10 yards before collapsing. It was clear I hit the vitals but I wanted to give it a quick exit so I placed a swift follow-up shot at the earhole. It ended right there. As the boar was quartered, I noticed that the 44/40 did exactly what it was supposed to. The entry shoulder was completely shattered. It passed through the lungs, and then exited through the other shoulder, shattering that as well. Right now I'm bleeding out all the meat under ice for about 4 days then processing. Total bone-in meat yield was 37 pounds. It's going to be three months of good eating for me and my wife. I'll come back to post more pictures of the processed meat and some recipes I make that the misses likes. I personally like it, and so do my dogs but boar has a strong flavor, needs to be treated right for those more discerning of flavor. So many local hunters told me the 44-40 cartridge was too weak to hunt a big bad hog with, and my 'grandpas gun' won't do what a modern AR could. But here's some more proof that they don't know what they're talking about. I couldn't imagine the hog being any more dead, and it happening any faster. Sure beats using my wooden traditional bows, and I sure feel like more of a marksman using a miroku 1866 with open sights vs an AR and scope.
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