Hunting & Defense. Which Tools Are Best?
My .22 caliber BRNO Rifle.
Some people will disagree with what I am going to say here, so it is up to you the reader to use common sense & decide for yourself, based on what I say here, which is the best tool/s for hunting & defence.
Many people recommend the modern firearm for long term wilderness living/survival, & if they were just recommending this firearm for defence only, I would agree. What I disagree with is the fact that if a modern firearm is used for both defence & hunting, you will have to carry a lot of ammunition with you. When this ammunition runs out, you are left with a club.
The .22 is a reasonable choice for defence, but in a fire fight you can go through a lot of ammo unless you only choose targets that you stand a reasonable chance of hitting. Even then, you will need a lot of ammo. Modern firearms on the whole are reliable, but they can malfunction. I have had a rifle fail due to cold weather, the firing pin was sticking in the bolt. Another .22 had a duff firing pin & it had to be replaced. I could not replace this firing pin in a wilderness situation.
The .22 LR has it’s limitations in hunting. It is very good for small game such as rabbits, geese, ducks etc & a good shot will bring down a goat. Anything tougher or larger than this, shot with a .22 LR, may get away wounded. So what I am saying is, I recommend that if you are travelling with a companion or in a group, someone should be carrying a modern firearm, but keep it for defence purposes only.
Once the caliber of a breech-loader goes over .22, then the weight also increases, & there is a limit to how much weight you can carry in ammo without compromising your survival supplies in other areas. Water, food, & medical supplies should NEVER be compromised by carrying large amounts of ammo. With a muzzle-loading arm this is not such a problem, because (A) you can retrieve spent lead from shot game & easily remould it, & (B) gunpowder (black powder) is not as heavy as lead (or modern cartridges) & you can carry a lot of it in gunpowder wallets without compromising other survival supplies.
My .32 caliber flintlock muzzle-loading rifle with double set triggers. This rifle has more killing power than the .22 rimfire.
For hunting in a long term wilderness living/survival situation I think the primitive/traditional bow & arrows or the flintlock muzzle-loading firearm are superior tools. The compound bow is not a good option in my opinion because (A) there are too many bits to go wrong, & (B) it requires special arrows & bow string, neither of which can be replaced in a primitive situation. Whilst I think the bow is an excellent choice for hunting providing you are skilled in archery, they are a poor back-up for defence against firearms.
The flintlock muzzle-loading gun or rifle is an excellent tool to use for hunting, & it is a reasonable back-up for defence against other firearms. It is a little slower to load than a breech-loading firearm, but is still a viable option. Ideally if you are a member of a group, there would be modern firearms, muzzle-loaders & bows in the group. This would be the case in the group I belong to. BUT, if I was travelling alone, & could only carry one tool (breech-loader, muzzle-loader or bow), my choice is the flintlock muzzle-loader.
Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.
1) Ammo is less expensive than a modern equivalent caliber firearm.
2) The smoothbore is very versatile, being able to digest round ball, bird shot, & buckshot, or any combination of two of these (can also use minies).
3) The fusil is lighter to carry than a modern equivalent sized gun.
4) You can vary the load if needs be.
5) The smoothbore will digest other projectiles besides lead.
6) Lead can be retrieved from downed game & remoulded with a simple mould & lead ladle. This means that you can carry less lead, & more of the lighter gunpowder.
7) You can make your own gunpowder.
8) You can use the lock to make fire without the need for gunpowder.
9) You can use gunpowder for gunpowder tinder fire lighting if needs be.
10) IF the lock should malfunction (these are very robust & it is not likely) you can easily repair it if you are carrying a few spare springs & a few simple tools.
11) If you do not have any spare parts & the lock malfunctions, you can easily convert it to a tinderlock or matchlock & continue using it.
12) You do not need a reloader, brass shells, caps, or primers. The latter have been known to break down in damp conditions or if they are stored for too long.
13) Wadding for ball or shot is available from natural plant materials or homemade leather or rawhide.
14) Less chance of being affected by future ammunition control legislation.
15) Gunpowder is easily obtainable providing you have a muzzle-loader registered in your name regardless of caliber (only NSW is looking at this legislation at present).
16) A .32 caliber flintlock rifle is more powerful than a .22 rimfire, less expensive to feed, more accurate over a greater distance, able to take small & medium sized game, & other than not being able to use shot (unless it is smoothbore), it has all the attributes of the other flintlocks.
17) Damage from a .62 caliber-.75 caliber pistol or long arm is in the extreme. Wounded prey is unlikely to escape.
18) By using buck & ball you are unlikely to miss your target. This load is capable of taking out more than one target.
19) There is less kick-back to a muzzle-loading gun.
20) Antique Flintlock muzzle-loading guns do not require a license, registration, or a permit to purchase in NSW Australia.
My .62 caliber flintlock muzzle-loader fusil.
My .70 caliber flintlock smoothbore muzzle-loading pistol. I carry this for self defense, but it can also be used for hunting if needs be.