Texas Hogs with Traditions’ Flintlock and Horton Scout Crossbow

The Dahlstrom Ranch near Austin provides hunts for both exotic and domestic game animals.

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  A December hunt on the Dahlstrom Ranch near Austin, Texas, provided the opportunity to use Traditions’ PA Pellet Hunter .50-caliber flintlock rifle and Horton’s Scout crossbow.  Both are specialized instruments with limited applications, but both downed their animals.

Hovey Smith and Sharon Henson with TX hogs, Traditions PA Pellet flintlock rifle and Horton Scout Crossbow.

  The Traditions’ rifle is synthetic stocked, a flintlock and is designed to be used with either Hodgdon’s Pyrodex or Triple Seven pellets or loose powder. I used a two-pellet load (about 110 grains FFg equivalent) and a 240-grain saboted hollow point bullet. The lock is a more recent Traditions’ design and features a  larger pan along with a wider frizzen for better ignition. I used a fresh agate flint and had no ignition problems during load development or hunting. Loading techniques are different in that about 5-grains of FFFFg priming powder needs to be trickled through the touch hole into the barrel to insure pellet ignition. 

  The bullet hit high in the neck, passed into the spine and broke into two fragments. One exited  the right shoulder and the other penetrated the liver. The 200 lb. sow dropped on the spot.

  Sharon Henson took a smaller hog with the Horton Scout. The Grim Reaper point went through both shoulders. Instead of dimming the Red-Dot sight to compensate for the fading light, Henson turned it to a higher power and near-blinded herself with the glare from the red bulb. (A classic problem with Red Dot sights that is easy to do in the excitement of shooting game.) Ideally, the shot should have been placed behind the shoulder and forward, rather than straight through both shoulder blades.

  The flintlock is light weight, and I added a pound of lead shot suspended in the middle of the hollow buttstock with compressed plastic bags to help balance the gun and reduce recoil. This added weight gave the gun a better “feel” and improved handling.

  The Scout crossbow is designed for women and younger shooters. It has a relatively short stock, a short barrel, 125 pound pull and is easier to cock than “standard” 150-pound-pull crossbows. This is also a relatively light-weight crossbow. It is accurate and can be depended upon to kill deer at 25 yards (and further with proper shot placement and hold-over). When zeroed at 20 yards its “point-blank” range is about 25 yards before arrow drop becomes noticable.

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