Anyone use Powerbelts? Anyone else have problems?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by JmacD, Dec 30, 2021.

  1. JmacD

    JmacD Member

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    Shot a deer this morning. Unless my shooting has really got bad I’m suspicious of bullet failing. Found patch of hair, and scoured the area for a big radius for several hours. No blood. No deer. The sportsman worst nightmare. 250 gr with 100 gr pyrodex behind it. Does great at the range. 73BF52A7-70FB-4065-9D6D-90629556ED8B.jpeg
     
  2. bear166

    bear166 Member

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    Full disclosure, I've never tried Powerbelts myself (just patched round ball for me) but my dad and at least one other person I know do use them exclusively for muzzleloading season with good success. However, there was a thread posted here not too long ago where a user posted about having issues with the bullets fragmenting upon impact (https://www.thehighroad.org/index.php?threads/power-belt-295-blow-up.898544/#post-12153127) and other users seemed to echo the sentiment that they are prone to that issue. I can't really help much beyond that but maybe you'll find that thread interesting.

    Sorry about the deer... Nothing hurts more than that as a hunter.
     
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  3. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    Too bad you didn't have snow on the ground.
    I've passed on shots at the last several minutes of legal shooting because my old eyes can't see sign like they used to.
    Tracking in even a couple inches of snow or less is 100% easier.

    My guess would be that optimal performance would be somewhat less than 100 grains of powder, but every rifle will have it's own story.
     
  4. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    Hornady SST 250 grain (or T/C Shockwave 250, same thing) over 100gr 777 is all I shoot in my inlines. I know several friends who use powerbelts with good success, but not sure which particular variety. Normally they don't get around to running off, but 1 did. Same situation as you. Found some hair and a bit of blood splatter, but nothing else. I eventually found the deer by following tracks in the leaves, and remembering where she was when last I saw her. I hit her high, under the spine but over the lungs. Pretty much all bleeding was slow and internal. Might be what happened to you.
     
  5. stringnut

    stringnut Member

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    As bear166 said see my thread about them coming apart. Have have shot 5 deer with them. 295 gr will not pass through on broadside shots. Under the hide and weighing less than 100 grains. Put 2 into bone for the first time this year. One spine, one shoulder. Recovered both deer, but, the bullets shattered. Trailed one almost 300 yards. Very little blood. Was finding specs and drops on grass stalks at shoulder height. Going to try something different.
     
  6. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    I have always had pass through shots with SST and Shockwave bullets. Leaves a big exit wound. Lots of blood. Shockwave bonded bullets are supposed to work better if shooting 100 or more grains equivalent of black powder, but I haven't noticed a difference actually.

    Midway USA has a good sale on the Hornady SST 250 with sabots right now. I got two boxes for next season. https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1002232695?pid=278052
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2021
  7. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Maybe the new Hornady alternative that looks suspiciously like a powerbelt? From the description it sounded like they were paying close attention to terminal performance.

    Then again, there are the plains bullets, maxi balls, and other cast offerings. Never heard of one fragmenting.
     
  8. TwistingInTheWind

    TwistingInTheWind Member

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    Powerbelts work well out of my Wolf but my Optima likes sabots.
    Powerbelts are very soft, lots of info out there on that. You can probably see it yourself because they dent easily even with the copper jacket.
    A drop on the floor can dent them, they can even dent each other in the packaging.

    I have taken 2 deer with Powerbelts: one spinal and one head shot, both dropped right there.
    I gotta figure that a full bore .50 is going to work even if it fragments, maybe sometimes better.

    I know you didn't recover the deer but do you have any suspicions on where you may have hit it?
    Did you feel it was a good shot?
     
  9. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    What's wrong with round ball or traditional conical? They seem to work well.
     
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  10. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Round ball can be a problem in a fast twist barrel. Cast conical should be fine. If I ever bother playing with an inline, I will be using maxis or REALs.
     
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  11. Telum Pisces

    Telum Pisces Member

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    Powerbelts are the worst performing ML bullet for me. I switched over to Barnes Expander MZ bullets and not only did my groupings get better, I have yet to loose another deer with a ML. The all copper Barnes penetrate much better and they expand with sharp petals to cause massive damage!
     
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  12. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    Yes. A traditional conical like the Minne, Maxi or REAL is all that is necessary. Good performance, no gimmicks.
     
  13. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    My two hunting buddies use the Federal all copper bullets and they seem to perform very well. One guy's smallish deer this year he shot at maybe 20 yards and hit the spine. The bullet held together even at that range and continued to parts unknown. Due to shot placement he ended up slitting her throat to finish her off, but that doe was going nowhere.
     
  14. BillTell

    BillTell Member

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    When I got my first BP Rifle, the mfr. recommended Powerbelts. That's all I used for the first couple years, and while they performed well on deer, were a pain to get multiple shots with. (at the range) They were just too tight in my barrel. Fast forward to a couple years ago, I found a company called MMP Sabots, who just made quality sabots for .50 Cals that held .44 mag bullets of your choice. (mine being Hornady XTP, FTX) I shoot anywhere from a 200 gr. to 300 gr. All with good results. The Sabots load easily and perform great. I don't even think about switching now.
     
  15. AK Hunter

    AK Hunter Member

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    Did you clean your gun after you checked zero?
    Have you ever checked if your muzzleloader is capable of making a good clean cold shot?
    Mine has to be a fowled barrel to hit a good zero at 100yds. If I try to shoot it with a clean barrel it will shoot about 18" low.
    I don't understand why it does this but I know it does.
    I shoot the 295gr power belts with 150gr behind them.
     
  16. JmacD

    JmacD Member

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    First, my apologies for (I guess) breaking the rules by asking the same question in two different places. I was unaware of an issue with it, or I wouldn’t have done so.
    Thanks for the input from everyone. Im seriously thinking of moving on to a different bullet for next year, and likely a different muzzleloader. This one, a traditions buckstalker, was borrowed from a family member. It performed well at the range, but the field can be different. It had a fouling shot fired, and punched dead center(ok .25” to the left) at 50 yards and about 1” left at 100. I was in the area (this time with a 270 win during late firearm antlerless) and I found a pine sapling with a 50 caliber wound. I believe that might solve a large portion of the mystery.
    Thanks again. Better luck next year, or later this year i guess it is now. Haha
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2022
  17. ACES&8S

    ACES&8S Member

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    Take a caliper and measure the brass, a friend of mine had one drop out of his barrel while
    sighting it in this past year.
     
  18. frontiergander

    frontiergander Member

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    A different bullet doesnt solve a misplaced shot. No blood, gore, notta... You missed.
     
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  19. Hugger-4641

    Hugger-4641 Member

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    20211106_133922.jpg I also used the 250gr Aerolite Power Belt on this buck I took this year. These do not have a copper jacket. This was behind 110gr of Pyrodex RS in my CVA Wolf. It lodged under the hide, but did not exit, sure did a lot of damage.





    20211106_140031.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2022
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  20. Telum Pisces

    Telum Pisces Member

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    I have to have a good clean bore on mine for it to shoot well. Every gun is different. I prefer it this way. But I have a buddy that will always pop a primer off before going on a ML hunt to foul his barrel because he says it will not shoot well out all out of a clean bore.
     
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  21. donparadowski

    donparadowski Member

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    I used them. Shot at a deer at 125 yards. I already knew it was a long shot for what I had loaded. It went between the deer's legs and put a big divot in the ground. I got some good advice and switched to of BH 209 powder and a CCI 209 primer to propel a Harvester 300 grain PT gold bullet with their black crushed rib sabot. Suddenly I had a solid 200 yard shooter.
     
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