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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What do you guys use to take birds? I've tried virtually everything under the sun, but I'm always open to new ideas. This summer I plan on hunting with a Rufus Hussey inspired setup: natural fork, gum rubber (shot against the ties, naturally) - *& of course - rocks for ammo. I'm frankly super excited, I've been collecting particularly smooth round rocks that I find on my walks. Where could a guy source a good mess of round stones? I have a feeling my homemade clay ammo (.50 × .22 round ball core) will be very effective, I've used it on starlings and grackles before with devastating effect. Now I'm also partial to some nice hex nuts lol.

So, what say you bird hunters of the forum - what do you prefer for punching feathers? :)

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Nuts work quite well.

Stones can be a mixed bag as they can be inaccurate at times (though I did grow up using them) - so not the most ideal ammo - also weights can be inconsistent - so increase the potentials for inhumane injuries.

We get a starling here which is a tough bird to take - stones won't cut it.

For me its steel or better lead balls (or beans) 9.5-10mm - know some guys swear by .36 lead
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nuts work quite well.

Stones can be a mixed bag as they can be inaccurate at times (though I did grow up using them) - so not the most ideal ammo - also weights can be inconsistent - so increase the potentials for inhumane injuries.

We get a starling here which is a tough bird to take - stones won't cut it.

For me its steel or better lead balls (or beans) 9.5-10mm - know some guys swear by .36 lead
I hear that, curious if Rufus used lead shot much. I imagine he would have, given his country background reloading components were likely something he either had on hand or could easily get. I'm thinking I'm just going to roll with .44 leads to keep things consistent and keep my setup the same otherwise. Can't wait to whip some slugs with the ole' gum rubber lol.

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I feel like the answer is dependent on the size of the bird and the range. A sparrow ten feet away is vastly different than a pheasant or duck at twenty yards away.

You have more experience hunting with a slingshot than I do though, using a shotgun, I have shot many hundreds of ducks, geese and pheasants through the years and I am very cognizant of what it can take to kill a bird with lead or steel in that arena. Many years ago they outlawed lead for waterfowl and so we all had to switch to steel. Those of us who are old enough to remember lead still rue the day the switch was made.

Having so said, I'm inclined to favor lead over anything else for hunting, though a stone of sufficient size will do the job on smaller birds.

If it's a head shot on a bird I don't suppose it matters what you shoot - but head shots ain't easy on birds. A couple of years ago I was with a buddy and I took a clean shot at a pheasant. Twenty yards - and as my shiny 7/16 steel ball reached the bird it simply ducked it's head and the ball went by.

Hex nuts sound great. Filled with lead - even better. 3/8 in lead cubes (3/8 inch silicone ice-cube trays will handle molten lead) are my favorite for larger birds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I feel like the answer is dependent on the size of the bird and the range. A sparrow ten feet away is vastly different than a pheasant or duck at twenty yards away.

You have more experience hunting with a slingshot than I do though, using a shotgun, I have shot many hundreds of ducks, geese and pheasants through the years and I am very cognizant of what it can take to kill a bird with lead or steel in that arena. Many years ago they outlawed lead for waterfowl and so we all had to switch to steel. Those of us who are old enough to remember lead still rue the day the switch was made.

Having so said, I'm inclined to favor lead over anything else for hunting, though a stone of sufficient size will do the job on smaller birds.

If it's a head shot on a bird I don't suppose it matters what you shoot - but head shots ain't easy on birds. A couple of years ago I was with a buddy and I took a clean shot at a pheasant. Twenty yards - and as my shiny 7/16 steel ball reached the bird it simply ducked it's head and the ball went by.

Hex nuts sound great. Filled with lead - even better. 3/8 in lead cubes (3/8 inch silicone ice-cube trays will handle molten lead) are my favorite for larger birds.
Thatnks for the input Winnie, I too find lead to be the king. My dad still tells stories of the hammer lead would drop versus steel, and the first time hunting with steel feeling as if he'd been suddenly handicapped in terms of range and stopping power.

Damn bureaucrats.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So the consensus seems to be medium weight ammo, traveling at about 200-250 fps, & going for head shots as often as possible.

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Don't listen to these guys......follow through on your plan to do it like Rufus did it. If you have a landscape supply place in your area just buy a bunch of good size pea gravel. or small river rock gravel. I agree that lead is best and steel would be more accurate but, if you want to do it OLD SCHOOL do it with sticks and stones.

GP
 

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Don't listen to these guys......follow through on your plan to do it like Rufus did it. If you have a landscape supply place in your area just buy a bunch of good size pea gravel. or small river rock gravel. I agree that lead is best and steel would be more accurate but, if you want to do it OLD SCHOOL do it with sticks and stones.
GP
Yeah, Sticks-n-stones baby!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Don't listen to these guys......follow through on your plan to do it like Rufus did it. If you have a landscape supply place in your area just buy a bunch of good size pea gravel. or small river rock gravel. I agree that lead is best and steel would be more accurate but, if you want to do it OLD SCHOOL do it with sticks and stones.
GP
Will do GP!

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Don't listen to these guys......follow through on your plan to do it like Rufus did it. If you have a landscape supply place in your area just buy a bunch of good size pea gravel. or small river rock gravel. I agree that lead is best and steel would be more accurate but, if you want to do it OLD SCHOOL do it with sticks and stones.
GP
Thanks GP, Will do & report back! There's a landscaping company down the street from me conveniently enough lol!

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My thoughts on the type of ammo: Rocks, steel, and lead are all the same with slingshots as long as they are the same shape and size. Lead out of a shotgun or rifle is completely different than with a slinger. The reason lead is more lethal out of a gun is because it's traveling extremely fast and it's soft, so on impact it deforms, expands, and deflects, causing much more damage to the tissue it passes through, steel on the other hand is hard and maintains it's shape and size and follows a straight path, leaving a clean and straight wound channel that does far less damage to the tissue on it's way through. Slingshot ammo doesn't kill by penetrating and destroying tissue on it's way through the body, it kills by blunt force trauma. Head shots crush skulls, and on smaller critters, body shots break bones and rip vital organs apart strictly by the force of impact. Out of a slingshot a rock, steel ball, or lead ball, will do exactly the same damage as long as the size, mass, shape, and speed is the same. The only issue with stones is if they are not a uniform shape they may not fly on a predictable path. Round, or at least mostly round stones are just as deadly as lead or steel. I've killed far more critters with stones than anything else.
 
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