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What are you shooting in your muzzleloader?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by riddleofsteel, Nov 10, 2004.

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  1. riddleofsteel

    riddleofsteel Member

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    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?
     
  2. Sistema1927

    Sistema1927 Member

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    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. :)
     
  3. RCL

    RCL Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
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    Location:
    Western New York
    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).
     
  4. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
  5. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    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
     
  6. papoe

    papoe Member

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    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
     
  7. mcneill

    mcneill Member

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    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    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
     
  8. Stickjockey

    Stickjockey Member

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    Location:
    Happy Valley, Oregon
    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:
     
  9. bp_cowboy

    bp_cowboy Member

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    I have come to the conclusion

    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.
     
  10. stevelyn

    stevelyn Member

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    Fairbanksan in Aleutian Hell
    .54 caliber caplock Lyman GPR. Pillow ticking patched round ball launched with 80 grain dose of Hodgdon Triple 7.
     
  11. Iggy

    Iggy Member

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    Sistema1927

    Amen, Brudda!!
     
  12. smokemaker

    smokemaker Member

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    511
    Location:
    Western NY...yes, The Peoples Republic of New York
    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.
     
  13. socomcen

    socomcen Member

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    Jun 8, 2003
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    Rem 700ML
    295gr HP Powerbelt
    2-777 pellets (equals 100gr)
    lit off my a Winchester 209 primer.
     
  14. Gatofeo

    Gatofeo Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2004
    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    Remote Utah desert
    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:
     
  15. papoe

    papoe Member

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

    smokemaker Member

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    Location:
    Western NY...yes, The Peoples Republic of New York
    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!"
     
  17. Swamprabbit

    Swamprabbit Member

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    Location:
    Kentucky
    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.
     
  18. Tinker

    Tinker Member

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    Apr 20, 2004
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    Location:
    Alabama
    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? ;)
     
  19. Flinter

    Flinter Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2004
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    28
    Location:
    WV
    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.
     
  20. Poodleshooter

    Poodleshooter Member

    Joined:
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    1,237
    Location:
    Mr. Jefferson's country
    .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.
     
  21. rick_reno

    rick_reno member

    Joined:
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    .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.
     
  22. BTM

    BTM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2003
    Messages:
    47
    Location:
    Central IL
    .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.
     
  23. redneck2

    redneck2 Member

    Joined:
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    FWIW

    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
     
  24. Win75

    Win75 Member

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    Sep 8, 2003
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    Location:
    SouthEast Missouri
    CVA Optima Pro with 300 gr. Hornady SST's and two 50 gr. 777 pellets. Little over one inch groups at 100.

    David.
     
  25. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    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.
     
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