Buffalo Bore "Ball-ets" ?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Duster340, Sep 7, 2021.

  1. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Hey Folks,

    Gonna dust off my old CVA .50 cal Mountain Stalker to take advantage of the WI muzzleloader deer season this year. While going through all my BP stuff I came across an unopened box of Buffalo Bore .50 cal Ball-ets. 245 grain, round nose conicals. Never tried them and am wondering if anyone has any experience hunting with them? Assuming I find an accurate load, I'd think they'd be just as effective as a round ball. In theory lol!

    Thank in advance for any input you may be able to share.
     
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  2. .38 Special

    .38 Special Member

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    No first hand experience - I personally have had better results from round balls than any sort of conical so now hunt only with roundballs.

    I did have a long conversation, a few years back, with a fellow who had done some significant experimentation with .54 caliber Ball-ets. He said he'd had good results in one gun and lousy results in another. He had a rifle with 1-48 twist which was accurate with the Ball-et, and he figured he couldn't see significant differences in terminal effect between them and the roundball. He also said that that he had a slower twist gun - I think he said it was 1-68 - which barely stabilized the Ball-et in the air but maybe not enough after impact - he shot one smallish deer with it and said it "dropped like lightning" but that the wound channel was shallow and made him think the bullet might have turned sideways soon after it struck. He had decided to give it another chance but gave up when the Ball-et actually fell out of the muzzle while walking in the field. Apparently the slow twist gun also had shallower, smaller-diameter lands.

    So if I was serious about it, I would try them for accuracy, paying close attention for any sign of keyholing, and also deciding for myself whether ramrod pressure indicated an adequately tight fit for bullet retention in the bore.
     
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  3. .455_Hunter

    .455_Hunter Member

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    They were very useful for the Remington 1858, but I think .the 44 cal examples have been unfortunately out of production for a long time.
     
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  4. woodnbow
    • Contributing Member

    woodnbow Contributing Member

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    Hornady makes the only version of that bullet currently on offer. They call it the Pennsylvania Hunter or something like that. I’ve used them a bit but I don’t think I’ve killed anything with them. They shot well from a Renegade .54 but the plains bullet shot better and is a proven elk killer so the ballets were all shot up on the target range.
     
  5. Roverguy

    Roverguy Member

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    I loved those things in 44 cal cap and ball revolvers. Really performed well. As a variation on the Minie Ball, they should be great out of a rifle, especially if it’s a slow twist as it gives added weight without adding much length. Sadly, as noted above, it seems the outfit that made them has gone under.
     
  6. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Thanks for the input all. My rifle is 1:48, so should, hopefully stabilize them. I'll give them a try and post up results when I sight in next month.

    Be well all
     
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  7. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    Mysterious disappearing post again

    I've used the ball ets in 50 and 54
    1 in 60 and 1 in 48 just fine
    Works great for deer and hogs

    20210907_144804.jpg
     
  8. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    I've shot quite a few elk with my .50" H&K Underhammer using round balls but a few years ago Colorado determined that RBs weren't sufficiently powerful to kill elk so I investigated Hornady Plaines bullets to satisfy the CPW. They shoot as well as RB of the 50-70 rounds I've shot in the Underhammer with a 1/66" twist so I imagine you'll be happy with them.
     
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  9. Ranger99

    Ranger99 Member

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    20210907_150728.jpg
     
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  10. huntsman

    huntsman Member

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    I used to use ballets for plinking mostly, the few times I carried them while hunting I found that after walking to my stand I had to reseat because ball would work up off the powder.
     
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  11. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Excellent! Thanks for the response.
     
  12. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    Duster, my 48" twist TCs shoot maxi balls extremely well, so if the ball-ets don't work out you could try those.
     
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  13. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Thanks for all the responses folks!
     
  14. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Thanks brewer. I have used the TC Maxi in the past with good results. Down to just a handful which led me to look through my stash and find the Ball-ets. Completely forgot buying them like 20 years ago lol.

    Thanks again
     
  15. brewer12345

    brewer12345 Member

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    What is maxi ball performance like on deer? I have only used 54 round ball which penetrates like crazy and kills them just fine.
     
  16. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    One can expect full penetration on broad side shots.
     
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  17. AntiqueSledMan

    AntiqueSledMan Member

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    Hello Duster340,

    My brother shot them in his Zuove, he loved them.
    Unfortunately no longer available.
    The web page lists Dixie Gun Works as a distributor,
    I contacted Dixie but they said they have not seen anything.

    If anyone has some 380gr 58cal for sale, contact me please.

    AntiqueSledMan.
     
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  18. Ironhand54

    Ironhand54 Member

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    I used them a lot before they became unavailable. My 54 Great Plains would shoot 1 hole groups at 50 yards with them. They worked fine on Michigan whitetails.

    Ironhand
     
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  19. noelf2

    noelf2 Member

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    I have some of those. I didn't have much luck with them until I bumped up the powder charge. They are hollow base and have quite a thick skirt. I usually shoot 80gr 3f and a patched round ball in my .50 Hawken for best accuracy, but ball-ets need more powder, at least 100gr, to expand that base and engage the rifling.
     
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  20. Big20

    Big20 Member

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    I have a TC Seneca in .45 cal. and have used Maxi on deer since I bought the gun in the late 70’s. At about 1500 FPS with a nominal 220 gr. Maxi you’re hunting with essentially a 44 magnum handgun equivalent. Works great if you do your part.
     
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  21. robhof

    robhof Member

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    I use the Lee REAL bullets in both my 50 and 54 with 1 in 48 twist with great accuracy, these are a cast yourself with Lee molds, easy to load and stay in place when tamped down!
     
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  22. Duster340

    Duster340 Member

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    Good to know! I'm already casting for my centerfires. Can always use 1 more mold...right?! Lol
     
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  23. Darth-Vang

    Darth-Vang Member

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    I was told that the Buffalo “Ball-et” bullet should work just as well as the roundball bullets, due to the shorter bullet.
     
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