muzzle loader bullets

Discussion in 'Deer Hunting' started by IA Flatcatter, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. IA Flatcatter

    IA Flatcatter New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    SE IA. on the skunk river
    Have you found a muzzle loader bullet that works very well?
    I hunt with a group of guys and we are seeing a common thing with bullets, they just don't preform well. I think most are just pistol bullets that they put in a sabot and say there you go! most bullets go straight thru without much expansion or damage. A dbl lung shot deer may go 600 yrds. with no blood trail the first 200 yrds. and in some of the thick stuff we hunt , that makes for a tough trail to find. Then I have seen the opposite, the bullet expands like crazy but does not exit the other side, so you end up with a deer that is hit well but no blood trail.
    The best I have found so far is dead center 240 grn. .50 cal. but it is not perfect. I have been of the opinion that first I want to make a good shot second I want good preformance. The dead centers are awesome shooters. and they work pretty well in the animal.
    Shotgun sabots are similar and I really like the winchester partition gold sabot, wow, talk about a hammer! They really work for me.
    Well what do you think?
    Larry
     
  2. Poppa

    Poppa New Member

    Messages:
    1,233
    State:
    Pinson, Al
    I'm old school, I shoot a traditional cap lock .54. I have killed deer
    for thirty years with a muzzle loader using round balls and minnie
    balls and have never had a problem with blood trails. The trail will
    not be as heavy as a modern rifle because you don't have the muzzle
    velocity and the bullets will not mushroom. It kind of like just drilling
    a hole through him. I muzzle loader hunt a lot like I bow hunt, I pay
    close attention to the direction the deer runs if he does not go down
    and I listen for several minutes. Sometimes you can here him go
    down. Mark the last place you saw him and the last place heard him
    well before you ever come out of your stand. I give a black powder
    deer a little more time than I would a deer shot with a modern rifle
    because you don't have the shock effect of a modern rifle. My son
    hunts with an in-line and he has gotten away from the pistol bullets
    in favor of the maxi balls. He shoots a .50 also. One more thing I
    do is pick my shot like I was bow hunting. Broadside or quartering
    away are best and you aim not for the entrance but the exit. By
    this I mean you aim further back on the body for a quartering away
    shot than you would for a broadside. You want both lungs or heart.
    I never shoot a deer facing me or one walking away. A muzzle loader
    can not shoot through a deer long ways and you will not get much
    of a blood trail. I did not mean for this post to be so long but an old
    man will talk about something he loves to do. I hope I have helped
    you some. Poppa
     

  3. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    I used to have good luck with the 250 grain 45 caliber bullets that were used with sabots that Thompson Center recommended for their 209 x 50 cal. Encores. 100 grains of loose pyrodex. I think the TC bullets were shock waves or something like that. Very accurate and deadly out the encore. I know I shot close to 20 deer with it and all but one fell over dead or ran at most 20 yards. I have since switched to the 250 grain powerbelts. They are true 50 caliber. They load way easier than any sabot and shoot very true. I have also switched to the blackhorn 209 power, again 100 grains. So far I have shot 10 or so deer with the 250 grain power belts and all deer have died in their tracks except one that ran about 40 yards. My shots have been from 20-100 yards, no really long shots.
     
  4. calogan

    calogan New Member

    Messages:
    241
    State:
    Iowa
    I've only been muzzleloader hunting for the last 3 yrs or so and I know what you mean. I have been using the Powerbelts and they go straight through. I shot one through the heart a few years ago and it didn't hardly bleed at all, the chest cavity was full though. What I want to try, but haven't yet are the Barnes Expanders, don't know how well they work, but look like they should expand very well and create a lot of damage. Has any tried those? :confused2:
     
  5. Gotbuck

    Gotbuck New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,078
    State:
    Missouri
    All my inlines love the 250 grain Shockwaves with 100 grains of pyro pellets. I have taken deer from 5 yards out to 110 yards with that combo and they all have died within a few steps of where shot.

    If I hog hunt I use the 300 Bonded Shockwaves and have never had issues.
     
  6. IA Flatcatter

    IA Flatcatter New Member

    Messages:
    122
    State:
    SE IA. on the skunk river
    I used the barnes expanders in my shotgun, they do expand a ton and do a lot of damage but they very rarely had a complete pass thru. that is the only thing i would say i didn't like.
    We have seen enough heart shot deer not bleed and run so far that we will not look for that shot. and I mean we see the hole in the heart, not just think it looks like a heart shot. I am leaning towards looking for a shoulder shot to break em down.
    In re reading this it kinda sounds like all the deer I shoot with a front loader run away never to be found.... that's not the case either. I just hate to loose any. And if I can find A better bullet I want to use it.
    Larry
     
  7. way west

    way west New Member

    Messages:
    140
    State:
    Wisconsin
    I'm a big believer in the Barnes MZ. I've killed elk, buffalo, and several deer with them. They deliver great expansion, penetration & stopping power. I shoot the 300 gr. in my Knight with 2 Triple 7 pellets and a 209 primer. The only direction deer go when hit is DOWN.
     
  8. kyelkhunter3006

    kyelkhunter3006 New Member

    Messages:
    1,192
    State:
    Ky
    I've seen/heard good performance from the various Shockwaves and Hornady SST bullets, but I've also heard some horror stories too. I'll buy the Hornady SST box, as you get 20 vs 15 bullets, and they're cheaper to boot. I get pretty good accuracy from them too. I had a Knight Disc Elite that would shoot one hole groups with the 300gr SST and 150gr of loose 777 fffg (very hot load and it kicked like hell).

    I've had enough people that I trust tell me that the Barnes bullets are good stuff and accurate too, but I've not tried them out.

    The XTP's have shot very well with 100gr of powder in any gun that I've tried, whether is the 240, 250, or 300 gr bullets. If I was keeping shots under 150 yards, I probably wouldn't even use anything other than the XTP's. Good performance and good cost too.

    Lots of people like the Precision Rifle Company's bullets. They are all lead, custom machined, and very accurate. They are a bit on the expensive side too.

    I've tried various bullets from Buffalo Bore too, based on feedback from others, but they haven't shot worth a darn in any of my guns today (Knight and T/C guns).

    I bought some 300gr CVA Slick Load sabots to try, based on reviews on Cabela's (they're on clearance too).

    Power Belts suck performance wise (the less than 300gr ones), IMO. They load easy, and shoot decently in most guns, but I think that they are lacking in on-game performance. Might as well be shooting a patched round ball if you're going to shoot a Power Belt under 300 grains. I've heard more horror stories about the lighter weight Power Belts than any other bullet. They cost too much too, all it is a plain lead bullet, some with a very thin, useless, copper coating.

    Most sabot loads for ML are pistol bullets for the .44 Mag or the .45 Colt/ .454 Casull. They will work well at ML velocites for the most part, as loads of 80-100 grain of powder are very close to hot pistol loads, or factory loads out of a 20" rifle like the Marlin 1894.

    The site High Performance Muzzleloading has a lot of good bullet info, as does RandyWakeman.com.

    Food for thought, for those who like the Savage 10 smokeless ML rifle, the designer of the gun, Henry Ball, shot XTP bullets exclusively while developing the rifle and load info for it. They're his preferred bullet.
     
  9. tufffish

    tufffish New Member

    Messages:
    1,196
    State:
    Texas
    i have used the power belt bullets and they were good until i used the thompson/center sabots and they are always accurate. they were so good i bought a thompson 50cal to go with them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  10. Cutbait101

    Cutbait101 New Member

    Messages:
    281
    State:
    south carolina
    I have had very good luck with the t/c shockwaves.i have shot 7 deer with them and they seem to punch a good hole with complete pass throughs.i use the 250gr and my son uses the 200 gr.hope this helps
     
  11. cantstopgrandma

    cantstopgrandma New Member

    Messages:
    955
    State:
    MD
    I shoot T/C shockwave 250 gr. Never had trouble, even at close ranges.
     
  12. SGTREDNECK

    SGTREDNECK New Member

    Messages:
    1,522
    State:
    Tennessee
    I use 250 grain XTP from hornaday. Best bullet I have found. I should a MLII so I have to have precise bullets. I have not had to track a deer over 20 yards.
     
  13. irishangler

    irishangler New Member

    Messages:
    115
    State:
    Virginia
    I've settled on the Barnes tipped MZ sabot. It's accurate and with 100 grains of 777 pellets resulted in complete pass-throughs on two big does last year. Both were shot at distances of 25 to 30 yards. Where I hunt there aren't too many opportunities for shots beyond 50 yards.

    Mike
     
  14. flathead willie

    flathead willie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,241
    State:
    Virginia

    Paraguayguy got me sold on those powerbelts a few years ago and they have been working great for me out of a Ruger. I've killed deer at over 200 yards with them. Last year I dropped a buck in his tracks at about 175 yards and another one that was 15 FEET in front of me dropped where he stood.

    P.S. Thanks Kenneth. That was a great find.
     
  15. Arkansascatman777

    Arkansascatman777 New Member

    Messages:
    7,782
    State:
    AR
    Thats what I use also with 2 50/50 777 pellets. Great for accuracy and stopping power.
     
  16. Paraguayguy

    Paraguayguy New Member

    Messages:
    1,650
    State:
    Virginia
    You're welcome Billie. My brother turned me on to powerbelts. I liked the accuracy of the sabots but that junk of pushing your ramrod into a tree to load a second shot was getting old. Powerbelts load as easy as the old buffalo bullets I shot out of an old Hawkin I had 30 years ago.
     
  17. seokfisherman

    seokfisherman Member

    Messages:
    442
    State:
    Oklahoma
    I have been using the 250 grain Barnes Expander MZ on our small deer with a 150 grain powder charge. I have shot too many deer to count with them. They always pass through blowing big holes. A neck shot will almost blow the head off. I have recovered large petals from the mushroom inside the animal. I have had one deer go sixty yards but most either fall immediately, run around in a circle about ten yards wide, or run a few yards crashing into trees until they fall over. The blood trail is awesome. A shoulder shot will blow up both shoulders. I have also shot a deer with the 220 grain at about 165 yards. The shot was quartering away and the deer only went 60 yards. The 220 grain has a smaller hollowpoint opening than the 250. Due to bullet design the 220 does not open up as quickly as the 250 but has a better profile for long range shooting. My gun does not shoot the shockwaves as good as the Barnes. One of my friends has been using the same bullet and has had the same results.
     
  18. backwoodsman68geric

    backwoodsman68geric New Member

    Messages:
    943
    State:
    illinois
    For the price, accuracy and on game performance I like .45 pistol style bullets, all lead, either solids or hollowpoints in thick sabots. Those big Buffalo bullets are hard to beat inside of 100 yards too. I do most of my 'loader hunting with sidelocks and patched round balls again.
     
  19. phase5supply

    phase5supply New Member

    Messages:
    126
    State:
    Hope Mills, NC
    I shoot Powerbelt Platinum .45 cal / 223gr with 150 grains of Triple Seven out of 26" barrel. Our muzzleloading season is only 1 week, so I don't shoot it much. Like Robert said those Barnes Expander bullets are great , my gun just don't like them, I wish it did. If I hunted with a muzzleloader more I would get a gun that shoots them well. But the Powerbelts are doing fine for as little as I use it.