Musket Ball

Will a flintlock pistol kill a bear?

Will a flintlock pistol or percussion cap pistol in .54 caliber kill a bear? Will a .54 caliber musket ball coming out of flintlock pistol kill a bear efficiently?

Yes it could be done and has been done. But then there are those who died in the process.
Here is a page from the Complete Blackpowder book;
http://books.google.com/books?id=Dzxyneq43AEC&pg=PA92&lpg=PA92&dq=foot+pounds+energy+of+a+.54+cal+pistol&source=bl&ots=6hi1QhxioQ&sig=Hp13C1jvfj0zYqX7_yqGMDvV0oQ&hl=en&ei=RIk6SoKzG5HiswPM3-y2Bw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1
You see those pistols had from 300 ft lbs of energy to over 600 depending on the load.
This would work at very close range with a perfect shot. However there were bears that didn’t go down until they were hit with several black powder rifle rounds. There are many historical accounts of encounters with bears and men armed with black powder guns.

You didn’t specify what kind of bear. A black bear is much easier to kill than his big brothers like the grizzly, brown bear and polar bear. Against such larger bears that pistol would be a death wish. If a brown bear can take a several rounds from a 500 S&W before expiring would you really want to be up against one with that black powder pistol? Not me! Read this story, it took 12 rounds to kill the bear;
http://www.biggamehunt.net/sections/Alaska/Handgun_Hunting_the_Alaskan_Brown_Bear_02050401.html

I like these sort of questions. The only problem is its hard to describe their tenacity and how really tough they are, its something you have to witness. You may get a good shot and drop it on the spot or get a good shot and have the thing go into super bear mode and crap your pants as round after round is not stopping that bear! Let me tell you when the bear finally drops only10 feet from you, you’re heart rate is off the scale, and you will be traumatized.

So the honest answer is; a big maybe.

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