What are you shooting in your muzzleloader?


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riddleofsteel
November 10, 2004, 10:36 AM
I guess the title says it all. I have been around a lot of muzzleloader shooters this season and there seems to be a LOT of different loads out there. One guy swears by the new Power Belt projectiles and I saw the damage a .50 245 grain Power Belt did to a big 8 point buck he had hanging up, another fellow uses the .50 180 grain ball and patch. He had a prong horn buck hanging as well but the trauma damage difference between the two deer was very evident.
When I started out I was shooting a T/C Renegade with the compromise 1/48 twist. Patched balls were shooting pretty well but much past 50 yards I could tell they were not tack drivers. I started using the T/C 255 grain Maxi-Hunter and found that my groups tighted up. The performance on deer sized game was pretty good with .50 holes going all the way thru in most cases. Then a friend of mine showed me sabots one afternoon at the range. He was shooting the .44 200 grain Nosler semi-jacketed hollow point in a one piece green sabot. His CVA side hammer was putting them into 2 inch groups at 100 yards. I was also hunting with a .44 Mag 6" S&W at the time and the kills using the similar 200 grain Hornady XTP hollow point were spectacular out to 150 yards. A quick visit to the gun store for a bag of sabots and I went to the range. The chrono revealed my Renegade was pushing the 200 grain XTP a good bit faster than my 6" .44 Mag so I thought why not change over.
Of course the one piece plastic sabots started melting to the inside of my barrel. Pushing a load down the barrel was next to impossible ect. ect. I bought some T/C break away sabots with the felt washer soaked in Wonder Lube. That solved the plastic residue in the barrel but you still had to almost drive the load down the barrel. Smearing some Wonder Lube on the plastic part of the sabot helped some and it helps conditon the barrel but loadeing was still difficult. Accuracy was fantastic hovering around MOA out to 75 yards and around 1.5" after that. Then there was the damage a .44 200 grain XTP hollow point does to a deer when it hits at 1700 FPS+. Even a marginal shot results in massive trauma.
Eventually I bought a replacement barrel that had a slow enough twist to handle patched balls. Accuracy is great now but you have to shot center for maximum damage to the animal or you will be tracking for a while. My son still shoots that Renegade because it is so easy to load. I picked up a used Renegade for a song at a gun store when the current inline craze first started. I am back to forcing my old load of a T/C breakaway sabot and a 200 grain Hornady XTP hollow point down the barrel. I killed two deer so far this season and the damge this combo did was the talk of our deer camp.
Well enough of me.......what are you shooting?

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Sistema1927
November 10, 2004, 10:55 AM
Spit patched round ball on top of 60 gr. of FFg in my flinter. Patch is pillow ticking, cut with a patch knife.

I figure if I am going to shoot an old weapon I am going to shoot it the old way, and wear period clothing as well. :)

RCL
November 10, 2004, 12:21 PM
Well, right now I have six different muzzleloaders, and six different "best shooting" loads.
My T/C Pennsylvania Hunter likes a .490 ball in a .015 pillow ticking patch, over 100 grains of Goex 3F.
T/C New Englander .54 likes 425 grain Hornady Great Plains Bullet on top of 100 grains of Goex 2F.
Knight T-Bolt .50 cal inline - 300 grain Hornady XTP (.45 cal.) over 100 grains of Pyrodex.
T/C Omega .50 inline - 298 copper Power Belt HP over 100 grains of Pyrodex Select. (Still playing with this one).
T/C Hawkin .50 - Hornady 385 grain Great Plains Bullet over 90 grains of Goex 2F.
T/C Treehawk .50 - Hornady sabot with any .44 cal bullet over 60-70 grains of Pyrodex (got this one for a range gun).

Dr.Rob
November 10, 2004, 03:24 PM
T/C .54 Renegade, Remington pre-lubed 400gr hollow base hollow point, on 90 gr of Pyrodex RS.

That seems to be the most accurate load... though I've tried Buffalo Bore bullets too... the lead is softer, but the lube is so soft it melts in sunlight.. makes a mess on the reloading bench.

I've never fired roundballs out of this rifle.

mtnbkr
November 10, 2004, 03:35 PM
300gr, 45 Cal Saboted XTP with 100gr worth of Pyrodex Pellets, lit by a standard #11 cap in my Remington ML700.

Or at least that's what I was shooting two years ago, the last time I shot BP.

Chris

papoe
November 10, 2004, 09:07 PM
TC Hawken percssion 54 Green Mountain Barrel, .530 cast roundball(lee mould), .018 pillowticking with homemade lube(beeswax and olive oil), 70gr. goex fff

Same TC percussion 32 Green Mountain Barrel, .32 Buffalo Ballet, 35gr. goex ffff.
(have some cast 32 maxiballs coming from Blue Grouse)

Pedersoli Frontier Flint 50 caliber .490 cast roundball(lee mould), .018 pillowticking with homemade lube(beeswax and olive oil), 70gr. goex fff

Ruger Old Army, .457 cast round ball(lee mould), sagebrush felt wad with homemade lube, 20 to 35 goex fff or ffff

mcneill
November 10, 2004, 10:07 PM
TC Hawken (caplock and flintlock) - .490 ball w/ pillow ticking patch over 80 grains FFg.

1851 and 1861 Navies - .375 (I think) ball, lubed wad, 20 grains FFFg, and sealed w/ Bore Butter.

Jim

Stickjockey
November 10, 2004, 11:50 PM
Lyman Great Plains Rifle, .54 cal percussion. .530 round ball, .015 spit-lubed patch, over 80 gr. FF Goex. Tried Pyrodex, but black powder tastes better. :neener:

bp_cowboy
November 10, 2004, 11:54 PM
that most traditional front stuffers I have had shoot exceptionally well with a Patched Roundball. My .50 TC Hawkin likes a patched .495 RB with 80gr FFg. I also like the 385gr Hornady Great Plains Bullet for less than 100 yards, but with a RB I can do pretty good out to 150 yards.

stevelyn
November 11, 2004, 07:20 AM
.54 caliber caplock Lyman GPR. Pillow ticking patched round ball launched with 80 grain dose of Hodgdon Triple 7.

Iggy
November 11, 2004, 09:01 AM
Amen, Brudda!!

smokemaker
November 11, 2004, 05:50 PM
My 54. GPR gets a patched round ball and a cut denim patch, lubed with T/C natural lube 1000+, and 80 grains 777 FFg. Accurate, almost recoilless.
The 50. Omega gets a 300 grain Hornady SST, and 130 grains of 777 FFG. Very accurate, but a real kicker.
I have a T/C Firehawk in .58, but I haven't found a load that produces good groups consistently yet.
My Zouave musket gets a 505 grain minie and 70 grains of Pyrodex, when I shoot it, which ain't much these days.

socomcen
November 14, 2004, 09:50 PM
Rem 700ML
295gr HP Powerbelt
2-777 pellets (equals 100gr)
lit off my a Winchester 209 primer.

Gatofeo
November 16, 2004, 12:38 PM
In my CVA Mountain rifle, in .50-caliber:

From Gatofeo Enterprises: The NEW, totally awesome Xtreme Titanium Belted Copper Core X-Max Turbo Dino-Slayer Semiwadcutter Hollow Point Belted Magnum Nylon Driving Banded X-300 Modern 21st Century Spitzer Ridiculously Short SSM Incendiary Tracer Armor-Piercing Saboted Leviathan Crumpler! :what:

Sheesh! Can't stand this whole inline craze and its plethora of plastic, copper and saboted bullets ... :scrutiny: Can't help it, Imma grumpy ol' desert cat.

But seriously:
.490 Speer lead ball
80 grs. Goex FFG
.015 patch
Lubricant made of 1 part canning paraffin, 1 part mutton tallow, 1/2 part beeswax (all parts by weight, not volume)
Wonder Wad, .50-caliber, greased with above lubricant and seated firmly on powder before seating patched ball.
Remington No. 11 percussion cap

Ho-hum. But at least I don't get all drooly and wild-eyed with fantasies about making 400 yard shots from some plastic-stocked abomination with glow-in-the-dark sights. :neener:
Give me wood, steel, soft lead and black powder --- as God and the Game Departments intended. :evil:

papoe
November 16, 2004, 05:35 PM
Sheesh! Can't stand this whole inline craze and its plethora of plastic, copper and saboted bullets

Just another passing fad, like percussion caps and smokeless powder!

smokemaker
November 16, 2004, 05:44 PM
Just a passing fad, like compound bows, and self contained cartridges...

I wonder if guys way back when argued about the merits of the good ol' wheel lock.
"I'm not gonna shoot one of them newfangled flintlock guns. They're not traditional!"
"I can't believe them guys using percussian caps, thats not traditional!"

Swamprabbit
November 16, 2004, 05:58 PM
In my .45 Kentucky rifle, a patched round ball over 60-80 grains FF. I used to have a .54 T/C that liked a heavy charge underneath the, I believe, 530 grain Hornade Great Plains hollow point bullet. That load kicked like a mule but it sure turned white tails inside-out.

Tinker
November 17, 2004, 12:03 PM
Gatofeo,

"The NEW, totally awesome Xtreme Titanium Belted Copper Core X-Max Turbo Dino-Slayer Semiwadcutter Hollow Point Belted Magnum Nylon Driving Banded X-300 Modern 21st Century Spitzer Ridiculously Short SSM Incendiary Tracer Armor-Piercing Saboted Leviathan Crumpler!"

When will those be available in Reatree camo? ;)

Flinter
November 28, 2004, 11:26 AM
Roundballs have always worked for me. I buy pillow ticking by the bolt, use real black powder and lube with a combo of olive oil and bees wax.

Poodleshooter
December 1, 2004, 10:12 PM
.50 Lyman GPR flinter: home cast .490 roundball, Walmart pillow ticking patches, 60-100grs of FFg Goex or 60-75grs of FFFg. Lube is crisco, but I'll be switching to a wetter lube to get more shots (can't get more than 3 w/o wet wiping)
.50 T/C Greyhawk: Cast Lee REAL 320gr conicals, cast 360gr minies or 180gr roundball as above. I shoot mostly pyrodex in the Greyhawk. Lube is also crisco,even for the conicals. Fouling is no problem with the pyrodex/conical/crisco combination.

rick_reno
December 3, 2004, 03:31 AM
.54 TC Hawken, 90 gr. FFG, 530 gr. maxi ball. I only use it for elk - it works if do my part. Rifle is just like it came out of the box, nothing added. I just wish it were lighter or had wheels - I carried it today for about 7 hours and it's tiring.

BTM
December 6, 2004, 11:04 AM
.50 NEF Huntsman w/ 4X Leupold shotgun scope
295gr Powerbelt w/ 2 777 pellets=100grs 209 Primer
Son killed 3yr old doe first season- high lung shot with rib and then spine dropped right there 65 yards. We had to finish her. No exit wound and we recovered the bullet.

2nd season I shot a 5 yr old doe in the am at 45 yards. Just behind front leg double lung and broke offside shouder, no exit. She ran 150 yards, then piled up dead, no bloodtrail.
On the same day in the pm I shot a 9 pt buck at 50 yards. Lung/ heart shot, he ran about 80 yards. No exit & no blood trail. I recovered the bullet stopped in the offside hide. The bullet expanded alot and shed some of its jacket.
I would like full penetration with a good blood trail from exit wound, to aid in tracking if needed. I am thinking about going up to the next heavier Powerbelt, I think it is 348 gr to see if I get my desired results.

redneck2
December 7, 2004, 05:53 AM
I use 300 grain Nosler HP 44 mag bullets in my Knight. Makes an impressive hole and gives full penetration. Actually shoot flatter at longer ranges than 240's.

IMO, XTP's are made to expand (violently) at pistol velocities. I know of cases where they've broken apart pretty bad. Makes an impressive wound channel, but I strongly suspect if you hit a shoulder they may break up.

I think deer leak twice as much if they've got two holes. I've always been in the "thru & out" camp. After 30+ years of deer hunting, I've figured out that a bullet that's long and heavy gives the best real world performance in the widest variety of situations. Many times there's very little blood trail from the entry hole. YMMV

Win75
December 8, 2004, 09:30 AM
CVA Optima Pro with 300 gr. Hornady SST's and two 50 gr. 777 pellets. Little over one inch groups at 100.

David.

4v50 Gary
December 8, 2004, 11:41 PM
Out of any of my Parker Hale Enfields (Civil War rifle muskets), I shoot a PH minie ball (mold made by RCBS on behalf of P-H). Out of any flintlock, patched roundball. Come to think of it, save for the Whitworth, I don't have anything that will take a conical.

Alex
December 13, 2004, 07:55 PM
I shot my doe this weekend with a Browning Mountain Rifle in 54 caliber. My load was 110 grains behind a patched .530 round ball. It was a 90 yard shot and I was a touch higher than I should have been, but the ball completely severed her spine dropping her on the spot. I doubt any other projectile would have done a better job. The other people I was hunting with were using Cabela's Hawkens all in 54 caliber and all with the same load. My group got 4 does on Saturday with this load, they were all clean one shot kills. I've used roundball loads for target shooting for many years and find them remarkably accurate, so don't rule out this option. It's cheap, effective, and once you find the right load capable of target accuracy.

HiWayMan
December 14, 2004, 02:26 PM
364gr Cast Maxi-Ball (10% Tin, 90% Lead) over 90gr Pyrodex RS out of my .50 cal. Knight Wolverine. Dropped a buck at 100yds with it last year. Broke both shoulders.

30Cal
December 14, 2004, 02:26 PM
Lancaster Co pattern Flintlock in .50Cal. I shot a .490" patched RB (0.015") on top of 60grs ff blackpowder (80 for hunting).

Ty

cookhj
December 14, 2004, 04:41 PM
i shoot a 300 gr hornady red tip with 150 grs of goex clear shot powder out of my .45 omega. groups wonderfully at 100 yds

Gatofeo
December 16, 2004, 11:25 AM
Tinker:
The NEW, totally awesome Xtreme Titanium Belted Copper Core X-Max Turbo Dino-Slayer Semiwadcutter Hollow Point Belted Magnum Nylon Driving Banded X-300 Modern 21st Century Spitzer Ridiculously Short SSM Incendiary Tracer Armor-Piercing Saboted Leviathan Crumpler will be available in RealTree pattern next summer.
The makers of the NEW, totally awesome Xtreme Titanium Belted Copper Core X-Max Turbo Dino-Slayer Semiwadcutter Hollow Point Belted Magnum Nylon Driving Banded X-300 Modern 21st Century Spitzer Ridiculously Short SSM Incendiary Tracer Armor-Piercing Saboted Leviathan Crumpler recognize that not only should firearms and the shooter be camouflaged, but the projectile as well.
After all, the glint of sun upon a NEW, totally awesome Xtreme Titanium Belted Copper Core X-Max Turbo Dino-Slayer Semiwadcutter Hollow Point Belted Magnum Nylon Driving Banded X-300 Modern 21st Century Spitzer Ridiculously Short SSM Incendiary Tracer Armor-Piercing Saboted Leviathan Crumpler might very well spook game as it passed through the air at its magnificent, testosteronic velocity.
The developers of the NEW, totally awesome Xtreme Titanium Belted Copper Core X-Max Turbo Dino-Slayer Semiwadcutter Hollow Point Belted Magnum Nylon Driving Banded X-300 Modern 21st Century Spitzer Ridiculously Short SSM Incendiary Tracer Armor-Piercing Saboted Leviathan Crumpler have finally perfected a system whereby RealTree camouflage encircles the entire projectile, without affecting its aerodynamic, hydrodynamic, pinetreedynamic and biggamedynamic attributes.
Initially, there were ignition problems with launching the NEW, totally awesome Xtreme Titanium Belted Copper Core X-Max Turbo Dino-Slayer Semiwadcutter Hollow Point Belted Magnum Nylon Driving Banded X-300 Modern 21st Century Spitzer Ridiculously Short SSM Incendiary Tracer Armor-Piercing Saboted Leviathan Crumpler but the newer rifles have a newly designed ignition system that employs a .44 Magnum case loaded with 40 grains of Bullseye smokeless powder and a few Rosebud Strike-Anywhere matchheads for good measure.
These new .44 Magnum ignitors are sold in convenient, triple-sealed-in-plastic packs of five ignitors, in RealTree camouflage, of course.
The good ol', yer buddy, ol' pal, folks at Gatofeo Demented & Bonkers Firearms look forward to serving the (pathologically imagined) needs of sportsmen, semi-sportsmen and game hogs in the great outdoors of game farms, leased farmland and snooty hunting clubs.
Thank you very much. That'll be $5. No checks. :evil: :neener:

birddog
December 16, 2004, 12:08 PM
CVA Optima, shooting 2 Pyrodex Pellets (50 gr each) behind a Powerbelt 245gr Aerotip. Accuracy-wise, it's great out to 100 (perhaps further, but untested) and the Powerbelts I've dug out of the sand bank had massive expansion.

I have as yet to field-test it on a whitetail, but I am hopeful. Our NY muzzleloader season is open right now & for the next few days.

smokemaker
December 16, 2004, 09:36 PM
Hey Joel,
How do you like that Optima, anyways? I've heard mixed reports on those guns.

And just how do I get a box of them new bullets from Gatofeo?? They sound awesome! As awesome as the concept of spinning a round ball to make it fly true... Ya' know, when they introduced rifling, so many years ago? And I'm sure there was some grumpy "traditionalists" out there carryin' about it then.
That being said, I still love my round ball shootin', smoke belchin' walnut stocked .54. :neener:

birddog
December 17, 2004, 10:44 AM
Smokemaker,
I like the Optima a LOT. I won't lie to you and tell you I'm a die-hard muzzleloader guy, and only get out a few days each year (rifle, shotgun and bow take most of my time up) with the frontloader, but I've owned 4 of them, two older CVA's, a Traditions In-Line, and now this Optima. By far it's my favorite of the bunch. It's topped with a Tasco World Class 4X scope (dirt cheap closeout at Johnson's) and it's dead on accurate. Good trigger, and it's also very ergonomically designed, and pleasant to shoot. Best of all, that break-open action is very easy to clean. And you can't beat the price.
Joel

Tinker
December 17, 2004, 02:37 PM
Gatofeo,

You cannot imagine the relief I felt when you told me that the NEW, totally awesome Xtreme Titanium Belted Copper Core X-Max Turbo Dino-Slayer Semiwadcutter Hollow Point Belted Magnum Nylon Driving Banded X-300 Modern 21st Century Spitzer Ridiculously Short SSM Incendiary Tracer Armor-Piercing Saboted Leviathan Crumpler will be available in RealTree pattern next summer. Now, by God, they'll never see what's a'comin'. For sure.

I shoot an ol'timey style sidelock and it's less-than-instantaneous ignition between trigger pull and hammer drop is causing the deer to "jump the trigger" on me. I would suggest adding a "precognitive" fuse igniter system to the NEW, totally awesome Xtreme Titanium Belted Copper Core X-Max Turbo Dino-Slayer Semiwadcutter Hollow Point Belted Magnum Nylon Driving Banded X-300 Modern 21st Century Spitzer Ridiculously Short SSM Incendiary Tracer Armor-Piercing Saboted Leviathan Crumpler to counter-act this ignition delay in traditional styled smokepoles? Shouldn't add much to retooling costs at Gatofeo, Inc. Amertization and poplarity of this new product with have you sippin' Margueritas on your own private hunting reserve island in no time. :)

mohican
December 17, 2004, 06:00 PM
Even though T/C has touted the maxi hunter as the deer bullet and the maxiball for max penetration, I have had more success with the maxiball.

I shot several does with maxihunters, and I figured at the time that even with a bullet designed to mushroom a bit, with 430 grains it would punch both sides on a broadside shot. Not the case. Then I tracked a doe to a gut pile, *@#$@! :cuss: :cuss: road hunting poachers, anyway. Maxi Hunters punch through and through.

IMO, expansion may be important when you are hunting deer with a 25-06, but when you are shooting deer with bullets say 40 cal and up at pistol or traditional muzzleloader velocities, then expansion is not as important.

Similar to some of the new shotgun sabot slugs or attached was slugs. I don't need a 12 guage slug to expand, it already has a big hole. It needs to make two holes. I don't buy into the "dumps all energy into the animal" theory :banghead: . If it dumped all it's energy into the critter, maybe it needed a bit more energy?

T/C .54 Renegade - 110 grains 777, 430 grain maxihunter (I still have the molds that T/C used to sell) The heavy powerbelt bullets work well, also.
I use the musket cap nipples.

Knight .50 DISC - 150 grains pyrodex pellet load or 150 grain loose 777 load, 348 grain powerbelt (is this overmax?) It shoots well.

T/C .50 scout - 370 gr maxihunter, 80-90 grains 777

T/C .45 Hawken - 275 gr maxiball, 90 grains 777, has a 209 ignition system

smokemaker
December 18, 2004, 02:22 PM
The DISC rifles can take 150 grains of 777, with no problems.

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