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#5535378 - 01/11/15 02:43 PM Getting the most from my muzzy
Booner1 Online   content
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Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 1574
Loc: Terrell
Not having a lease and having to hunt public, I want to get the most out of my muzzle loader as rifles are not allowed. I am currently shooting powerbelt bullets and powder pellets and the gun shots where it is aimed. So with that being said, should I just hunt it like it is or try to search for something to improve my odds. I have only ever shot at and killed one deer and dropped her in her tracks from about 75 yards.
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#5537533 - 01/12/15 11:02 AM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
TonyinVA Offline
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Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 1856
Loc: Virginia, USA
Booner1,
I hate to be a buzz kill but I hate the thought of you or anyone else using Powerbelt bullets. They may be easy to load, but they really are a poor choice for game animals especially if you hit bone. I'd find a good sabot that your gun likes (I am partial to the 250 grain Barnes Tipped Expander Easy Load). They are very accurate and they have great muzzle velocity. I personally use 3 50gr pellets (WhiteHots but Tripple 7 are also great) in a TC ProHunter and get velocities of 2200 fps. I sight in at 100 yds and I am about 4 inches low at 150....and I have no problem taking a 200 yard shot.

Before anyone questions my post, 3 years ago while hunting out of state we had a big name TV celebrity in camp...one of his sponsors was Powerbelt. He and his wife were hunting using Powerbelt bullets. He shot two deer in the chest and never recovered either one. The Outfitter told him he was done hunting unless he switched bullets.... so he did and used the outfitters Barnes bullets. He killed his buck but in the recovery footage he made it sound like he was using the Powerbelts. His wife killed a deer with the powerbelts ...hardly any blood, no pass through...fortunately we had snow.

Do a lot of reading on the powerbelts..you will find a lot of "I love them" and "I hate them." There is no reason not to use a sabot and a premium bullet.

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#5537606 - 01/12/15 11:41 AM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
Booner1 Online   content
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Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 1574
Loc: Terrell
No buzz kill at all, hence the reason for my question. Since I have only actually shot one deer with this gun, I need to know things for better performance and such. This is going to be my go to weapon during gun season and any advantage that I can obtain is a plus. Powders, bullets, sabots and such are all something that I don't really have the experience with. As far as the mount of powder, I do not believe that my Traditions is a magnum muzzy so I will be restricted to no more than 100 grains. I am open to any and all suggestions at this point to help me better understand and have the best experience possible.

In most cases, public land hunting offers very few opportunities and I need to capitalize on the ones that I do get.
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#5537693 - 01/12/15 12:34 PM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
bcranch Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 180
Loc: Ft. Benning, GA
From my experience, and it is somewhat limited, I like the Harvester Scorpion PT Gold bullets with their crush rib sabots. I shoot them with a load of 110 gr of Blackhorn 209. My son and I both shoot the 300 gr bullet out of our Encore's and they are very accurate. We have had great terminal results on game also. They also make 240 and 260 gr versions that would be all you would need for deer.
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#5537757 - 01/12/15 01:10 PM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
BayouGuy Online   content
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Registered: 03/27/13
Posts: 1210
Loc: S.E. Louisiana
Boomer, what is the gun?

I agree with TonyinVA, Powerbelts would be waayyy down on the list of bullet choices for me.

A sure deer killer is the 300 grain Hornady XTP in Harvester sabots. That bullet is well suited to guns with barrels that have a 1:28" rate of twist. Although I pretty much use only GOEX black powder these days, I have used Pyrodes RS loose powder in the past and got good accuracy with loads ranging from 75 to 95 grains, depending on what the gun likes. The XTPs have plenty of killing power out to 150 yards and pretty much guarantee a pass through on broadside shots.
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#5537820 - 01/12/15 01:41 PM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
TonyinVA Offline
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Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 1856
Loc: Virginia, USA
Boomer1,
Check what your Traditions will handle load wise.....that said I'd try 100gr and 150 if the gun will handle 150 grs of powder...see which one your gun likes. I use my muzzleloader for 90% of my hunts since most of the areas I hunt are shotgun or muzzleloader only.

Are few other points:

1. Loose powder will always burn more completely/better than pellets....That said I use pellets because they are convenient and my TC ProHunter loves them. When I was shooting a Knight years ago the gun was rated for 100 grains. I had an elk hunt and spoke to the folks at Knight...they said the gun would handle 120 grains of loose powder. I used that load and a 300 gr Barnes Expander ...killed a huge bull pic below (point is you probably can shoot more than 100 grains)



2. I use WhiteHots because my outfitter in Iowa uses them and when I travel by plane you cannot bring that type of propellant. That said I have heard great things about the Buckhorn 209 and how it makes reloading after a shot easy (keeps the barrel cleaner than other propellants) so it may be worth looking at if you are going the loose powder route.

3. Harvester sabots are great......but the Barnes Easy Loads are about comparable. If I had to buy a sabot separately Harvester is the way to go.

4. The only thing that will touch the game is the bullet..... go with the best bullet you can get your gun to shoot accurately. Off a bench I can do clover leafs at 100 yards.

5. Shoot a lot.....at 50 yds...at 100 yds and at 150 yards. know what your gun/ammo will do...DO NOT rely on the ballistics on the box.

6. Invest in a good 3x9 variable scope. The Mikon BDC is what I use, but there are other good ones. Don't use a cheap scope.....at low light you will want the best optics you can get.

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#5537886 - 01/12/15 02:02 PM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: BayouGuy]
Booner1 Online   content
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Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 1574
Loc: Terrell
Originally Posted By: BayouGuy
Boomer, what is the gun?

I agree with TonyinVA, Powerbelts would be waayyy down on the list of bullet choices for me.

A sure deer killer is the 300 grain Hornady XTP in Harvester sabots. That bullet is well suited to guns with barrels that have a 1:28" rate of twist. Although I pretty much use only GOEX black powder these days, I have used Pyrodes RS loose powder in the past and got good accuracy with loads ranging from 75 to 95 grains, depending on what the gun likes. The XTPs have plenty of killing power out to 150 yards and pretty much guarantee a pass through on broadside shots.


I have a Traditions Persuit XL in-line 209 primer gun with a Nikon 3 x 9 scope. Not top of the line by any means but it is all I have. My only other option would be my trusty 12 ga. with a slug barrel.

I bought the Powerbelt bullets because they are easy to load and the same for the powder pellets. I have some loose powder but haven't tried it yet. I just want to learn and research what will work best in my gun for my situation. A 200 yard shot could be possible where I will be hunting but I don't think that I should attempt one at that range until I learn what my rifle is capable of. I appreciate the input, as you all have more experience than I do.
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#5538208 - 01/12/15 04:23 PM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
bcranch Offline
Woodsman

Registered: 09/30/12
Posts: 180
Loc: Ft. Benning, GA
Fully agree with Tony, especially the comment on shoot a lot and don't rely on the charts. I have the Nikon BDC scope and my real world range results are 3 aiming points off of where they should be from the ballistics tables. I just started hunting with a muzzy this year and they sure are fun. I am finding myself taking it on most of my hunts, not just the shotgun/muzzleloader only areas.
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#5539396 - 01/12/15 11:41 PM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
_Scooter_ Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 1661
Loc: NoDux, Texas
I have tried all sorts of combinations over the years... True, Powerbelts are easy to load and very accurate bullets- but by design their terminal performance is sketchy. If you are punching holes in paper- Powerbelts are fine...

Like the others above, I am a big fan of sabots, in particular, the T/C Mag Express Sabot with the 240gr or the 300gr XTP bullet. Those consistently print very tight groups if I brush and swab after every 5 or so shots.

As far as powder charges, I have used regular Pyrodex RS pellets, Triple Se7en pellets, Triple Se7en magnums, Triple Se7en FFg loose, and White Hot pellets. In my inline muzzleloader, I really do like using two White Hots. Very consistent, you don't have to swab between shots very often, and the velocity is up there with Triple Se7en. In my side lock T/C Tree Hawk, the Triple Se7en FFg is king, with a 95gr load and a 320gr T/C Maxi-Ball. It's a kicker, but that Maxi Ball is one heavy hitter!
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#5544540 - 01/15/15 10:23 AM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
TonyinVA Offline
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Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 1856
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Booner1
[quote=BayouGuy]Boomer, what is the gun?

I have a Traditions Persuit XL in-line 209 primer gun with a Nikon 3 x 9 scope. Not top of the line by any means but it is all I have. My only other option would be my trusty 12 ga. with a slug barrel.


Booner, Don't overlook the shotgun as an option. I bought a 20gauge shotgun barrel for my TC ProHunter and love it. Using a federal 20g 3" magnum 275gr Barnes tipped Expander I get great groups at 100 yds and have shot great out to 150 yds. The velocity is 1900 fps so it's comparable to most muzzleloaders. for your 12 gauge there are numerous slugs that are 300gr and have a velocity of 2000 fps. So the slug gun (I assume it has a rifled barrel) is an option.

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#5544604 - 01/15/15 10:56 AM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
Booner1 Online   content
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Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 1574
Loc: Terrell
Planning on making the slug gun my second weapon of choice, heck I might take them both when I go. I going to do some testing and see what I come up with for the M/L and the slugger. Going to try and get the best from hunting public in the coming season. Thank you all for your advice, I need all I can get.
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#5545972 - 01/15/15 09:28 PM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
TonyinVA Offline
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Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 1856
Loc: Virginia, USA
Booner,
My bet is that you are going to see ALOT of variability with various brands of shotgun slugs. So try a few and see which one groups best with your gun.

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#5546163 - 01/16/15 12:01 AM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: TonyinVA]
Booner1 Online   content
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Registered: 09/16/12
Posts: 1574
Loc: Terrell
Originally Posted By: TonyinVA
Booner,
My bet is that you are going to see ALOT of variability with various brands of shotgun slugs. So try a few and see which one groups best with your gun.


I've been burning up the internet reading up on sabot type slugs and everyone claims to have the fastest, hardest hitting, flattest shooting, best expanding, best weight retention, take down power, blah, blah, blah. Obviously they can't all be the best, so I suppose I will buy and shoot most to see what my monster likes to eat the best. Should I try variations of 2 3/4" & 3"?
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#5546308 - 01/16/15 07:01 AM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: Booner1]
_Scooter_ Offline
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Registered: 09/06/08
Posts: 1661
Loc: NoDux, Texas
My Rifled barrel 835 (trophy slugster cantilever scoped with a 3-9x40 bushnell banner) likes the faster slugs AND slower sabots. I did test out the 2000fps Hornady and Winchesters this year and I can print about 2.5" at 100 with both. I do not consider them a 200yd option though. I think 125yds or maybe 150yds as a maximum on my slug gun. My inline muzzleloader can get me a little farther.
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Wasn't born in Texas, but I got there as fast as I could.

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#5546460 - 01/16/15 08:39 AM Re: Getting the most from my muzzy [Re: _Scooter_]
TonyinVA Offline
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Registered: 03/24/14
Posts: 1856
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: _Scooter_
My Rifled barrel 835 (trophy slugster cantilever scoped with a 3-9x40 bushnell banner) likes the faster slugs AND slower sabots. I did test out the 2000fps Hornady and Winchesters this year and I can print about 2.5" at 100 with both. I do not consider them a 200yd option though. I think 125yds or maybe 150yds as a maximum on my slug gun. My inline muzzleloader can get me a little farther.


Scooter, The right slug barrel and ammo can get you out to 200 yds. I see it all the time in Iowa. That said, not all barrels/ammo will give you that range and most hunters do not shoot that well.

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