Black Powder Ask opinions of other hunters on new technology, gear, and the methods of blackpowder hunting.

powerbelt bullet penetration

Reply

Old 10-14-2007, 08:57 AM
  #1  
Spike
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 98
Default powerbelt bullet penetration

Has any one had penetration issues with powerbelt bullets ? I shot a 115lb Georgia doe yesterday on openind day. She was at about 30 yards broadside. I was shooting 150grs of Pyrodex pellets and a 245gr 50 cal hollowpoint bullet. I shot her right behind the front shoulder. Blew a hole about the size of your fist on the entrance side and fragmented on the ribs taking out the heart with a few pieces laying under the skin on the opposite side. She dropped in her tracks so I have no problem with the performance I was just thinking at that distance it should have went completely through her. Do you think that the 150gr powder charge was what caused the problem with penetration at that close of a distance and yes I know i don't need all that powder but i shoot it without any problems and i shoot it very accurately. Any opinions ?
gregorybraswell is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2007, 09:11 AM
  #2  
 
Rock Lock's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location:
Posts: 61
Default RE: powerbelt bullet penetration

That seems like an awful heavy load for a .50 caliber especially at that close a range. I would consider dropping the charge to 70-80 grains if you are hunting in an area where your shots are under 100 yards. A lot easier on the shoulder too. Congrats on the kill.
Rock Lock
Rock Lock is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2007, 09:17 AM
  #3  
Dominant Buck
 
cayugad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 21,193
Default RE: powerbelt bullet penetration

gregorybraswell - this is the same thing I read too often about powerbelts. They will kill deer without doubt. Still it seems there are a lot of posts of the bullet hitting and fragmenting as yours did. I agree, it should have passed through like you also felt. I think as it has been mentioned and tested by other forum members, you were pushing the powerbelt too fast. When it hit, it simply exploded for better words. You're luck it blew such a large entry hole and passed through the heart.

The more I read of these projectiles, I start to believe that they should not be pushed more then say 80 grains of Pyrodex RS type powder. I shoot and have hunted with 245 grain powerbelts, but never had an opportunity to harvest anything with them. I think since my CVA Staghorn Magnum that shoots powerbelts so well also shoots XTP's and other projectiles, I might change over. I also am tired of paying a dollar a pop for those things.

I think I will try some of the Nosler Partition I bought in it. From Sabotloader's and others experiences with them, they are a true tested bullet that will do exactly what I want it to do. Granted they are expensive, but for hunting.. when I want to anchor a deer, a extra .50 cents worth of bullet means little to me.

Let me congratulate you on the taking of a doe. I am glad that you had the opportunity to test the powerbelt, and thanks for your report. You changed my mind in their use.. Nice shooting and good hunting in the future. My sister used to live near Statesboro and if I remember, her husband said they could shoot 6 deer a year down there, so your work has just started....
cayugad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2007, 09:26 AM
  #4  
Giant Nontypical
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,557
Default RE: powerbelt bullet penetration

I dont use them[in my Omega]for that reason if you dont have a good broadside shot the lack of penatration is a problem. My Omega shoots them very accurate but only with max loads so I dont use them when I E-mailed the co abot it the responce was that they are designed to be use with 70 to 90 gr but they say you can use the new Platinium up to 120 RS.
If you feel the need for that much powder try 250 gr 0r 300 gr Speer Gold Dots or one of the Shock Waves their are some others like the Nosler or Barns but they are priced high. Lee
lemoyne is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2007, 09:37 AM
  #5  
Dominant Buck
 
cayugad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 21,193
Default RE: powerbelt bullet penetration

I wonder why (for sales and marketing reasons) that the company does not warn consumers of this little fact that 70-90 grains is the recommended load?

I think our forum members have tested and shown those very facts. While the powerbelt when used properly is a great projectile, when pushed to hard they become a rather iffy choice. Especially if not a broadside shot.

Speaking of conicals,I have a listing from REAL conicals that suggests they should be used with 70 grains of powder. So maybe what we need to consider is, big conicals do not need big powder charges.

Although yesterday when shooting the new White Bison, I discovered that it really likes 90 grains of Pyrodex P and the .503 460 grain conical. I looked that up on Doc White's web site and he lists the velocity at only around 1380 fps I believe. Its the energy that I found most impressive. Even out to 200 yards these things still have it.
cayugad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2007, 09:39 AM
  #6  
Boone & Crockett
 
sabotloader's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Idaho
Posts: 11,575
Default RE: powerbelt bullet penetration

gregorybraswell

Really trying not to be real critical, Power Belts are not and will never be my choice of ML projectiles. They are a very questionable bullet - sometimes they perform sometimes they do not. I do think part of your problem might have been shooting to light of a PB with a really heavy charge. Remember a PB is nothing more than soft lead formed into a modern looking projectile - in fact is marketed as a conical. Add the polymere tip and I beleive you are creating another problem @ close range.

I am really not the best conical shooter in the world but it has always been my understanding if you are going to shoot a soft all lead projectile - heavier is better and speed (velocity)is not the criticalfactor.

If you want to use that heavy charge, and remember 150 grains of Pryro, is still comparable to 150 grains of BP you might want to look into a physically stronger bullet. Of course I am going to tell you that the Nosler Partitions (260 grain for Deer) is the best and the most time proven bullet out there, but really there are some other great bullets out there, Swift A-Frames, Barnes X-bullets, and others. Even the less expensive Speer Bonded Gold Dots will hold together better than the PB.

The most common reason for using Power Belts is for ease of loading, and they really are, but today with all the different sized sabots available for 50 ML's - difficult loading does not need to be a problem + you can shoot a wide variety of projectiles. Another thought, if you like oading and shooting big conicals there are conicals out there that are desgned to be "slip fit" and load very easily as compared to the old standby conicals. Bull Shop has a great selection of these slip fit conicals.

If you want to continue shooting PB's - I would suggest that you go to a 295 minimum and as much as you do not want reduce your charge to 100 grains of Pyro. If you use T7 you will need to reduce even more.

Hope you find what will really work well for you through all ranges... short to long..




sabotloader is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2007, 10:24 AM
  #7  
Nontypical Buck
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Illinois
Posts: 2,828
Default RE: powerbelt bullet penetration

I have tried the 245gr Areo Tips out of my CVA and they shoot excellent "on paper"....But, I am concerned of the fragmenting too I've read about. Some folks believe they are the best out there. I've choosen the Barnes MZ Expanders to use this fall. I'll agree with the 150gr being too much, seems everything I've read bad about the Powerbelts were due to a hot load. Glad you got your deer. Try backing off to 100gr or less and try different bullets.
sjsfire is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2007, 11:57 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location:
Posts: 5,180
Default RE: powerbelt bullet penetration

They do perfect when shooting between 80 to 100 grains of powder. 150 grains is over kill.
frontier gander is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2007, 12:15 PM
  #9  
Nontypical Buck
 
driftrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Coralville, IA. USA
Posts: 3,802
Default RE: powerbelt bullet penetration

I was just thinking at that distance it should have went completely through her. Do you think that the 150gr powder charge was what caused the problem with penetration at that close of a distance and yes I know i don't need all that powder but i shoot it without any problems and i shoot it very accurately. Any opinions ?
It may seen counterintuitive, but less range and therefore more velocity does not necessarily mean greater penetration. In fact, the opposite can often be the case, as you've observed with your deer.

With the wide range of performance capabilities (and shooter preferences) today, muzzleloader bullet design is often a compromise. The problem is that the same bullet that is designed to expand perfectly at lower velocities with standard loads (75-100gr BP equiv.), will overperform at the much higher velocities of the "magnum" loads. Like you saw, the bullet overexpanded and disintegrated, causeing reduced penetration (but undoubtably massive internal damage to whatever depth is did manage to penetrate to). The opposite can also be true. If the bullet is tough enough to expand correctly at high velocity, it may not expand at all at lower velocity. The unexpanded bullet may (and probably will) go straight through, but the wound channel won't be as dramatic. It'll just punch a nice clean hole.

The problem for the designers and manufacturers of ML bullets is that they have no idea what charge level the end user intends to load their rifle at, and "one size" doesn't fit all. And unfortunately they don't often truthfully market their bullets for the perfomance level they're meant for. Which is a shame, since while the PB you used may have fragmented it was still able to do the job on a small deer, but if you'd taken the same shot at a 600lb elk there's a good chance there'd be a wounded elk out there with you back at camp wondering what went wrong through no real fault of your own. I wish ML bulet makers would be more upfront about the velocity range their bullets are meant to perform at.

Mike
driftrider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-2007, 02:10 PM
  #10  
Giant Nontypical
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,557
Default RE: powerbelt bullet penetration

There are some bullets that will work well at any normal MZ velocity,but only a limited number. The nosler copper bullet, Swift A-Frames, Barnes X-bullets all unecessarily expensive; the Shock Waves especally the 200gr 50/40 [thats 50cal. bore 40cal bullet with the blue sabot to the newer people] and the same blue sabot with a 200gr XTP they have worked well for me close and far from 90 gr of 777 to 150 gr RS they are thebest long range while still working well at close range MZ projectile that I know of, and the Gold Dot also works well at all speeds and is the best bullet dollar for dollar that I have seen I just wish the made a 200gr 40 Gold Dot I would use them in my pistoland MZ both. Lee
lemoyne is offline  
Reply With Quote

Quick Reply: powerbelt bullet penetration


Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service