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How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly

Old 12-13-2007, 02:53 PM
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Default How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly

There have been Way to many "What happened to my bullet And Or,My deer ran off with no blood trail" Posts lately who post about using powerbelts with 150 grain magnum charges and then poor results when shooting a deer from 30 yards or less. Or even not so great accuracy.

I have used these bullets for almost 6 years and have learned the correct way of shooting these bullets to perform the best on not only paper, But most importantly on game. Now some rifles such as my Winchester, CVA hawken, cva bobcat and Cabelas hawken, Love these bullets and shoot them accuratley. Rifles such as Knight, TC and others report not so great accuracy. Wheather the bullet will shoot accurately is up to the rifle and yourself on finding the right bullet/powder combo.

Powerbelts are all we use in our hunting group. That group being Myself, father and my brother.

My brother and father prefer the 295 grain aerotip powerbelts over 90 grains Pyrodex RS and both have had excellent pass through results that dropped the deer " Lung shots".

I shoot a .45 powerbelt in 225 grain and after testing, 80 grains pyrodex or triple 7 offer the best expansion and devestating performance on the deer i shot.

The ONLY way you can use 150 grain magnum charges with the powerbelt is if the deer you are shooting is 140+ yards away. Anything under and you'll more than likely not get good performance. If you do so, You'll more than likely end up the the entrance hole and exit hole the same diameter as the bullet it self.

A couple stories from when i used to use Mag charges with powerbelts. Anyone who has used mag charges and a 245 or 295 powerbelt and shot the deer through the lungs should reconize the results.

146 Yard shot with 150 grains pyrodex rs, 295 grain powerbelt aerotip. Bullet went right behind the shoulder, Exited and the deer ran maybe 10-15 yards before dropping well within easy sight. After gutting, the entrance wound and exit were the size of the bullets diameter. Body cavity filled up with blood but did not leave a trail due to no bullet expansion. Lungs were destroyed.

The next year,
148 yard shot, 120 grains pyrodex RS, 245 grain hollow point powerbelt. Bullet weight through the front of the neck, exited in front of the shoulder. Deer dropped. Exit hole again, size of the bullets diameter. No blood, But then again, the deer dropped in its track from the neck shot.

Next year, Brothers cva hawken, 90 grains pyrodex rs, 295 powerbelt. 90 yard shot, Bullet hit the deer in the spine, She dropped but the bullet just nicked the spine and she stood back up. Another shot from his rifle hit the deer through the lungs and exited and the deer dropped in its tracks with an exit hole you could stick 2 fingers into and lots of blood on the ground.

Dads cabelas Hawken, 295 grain powerbelt, 90 grains RS, Frontal shot through the chest that broke the collar bone and shoulder and exited behind the deers last rib. Deer went apox. 30 yards. Fair blood trail. The exit wound was high so it really didnt offer much blood due to the angle it exited.

Now this is where the Powerbelt VS low powder charge starts to really get good and is one of my best hunts ever.

This years hunt, Deer Creek .45 sidelock, 225 grain powerbelt aerotip Over 80 grains FFFg Triple 7 " loose". Shot distance, 80 yards. Bullet hit the deer squarely in the shoulder, I saw the deer hunch forward and she staggered off and once i got to where i shot her, i followed a short 5 yard, massive blood trail to where she dropped and then rolled/slide 20-30 feet, dead. The shot took out her heart, sucked one lung, high into her chest cavity and just shredded it into mush. Exit wound hit her in the actual Bone and busted it. Bullet was recovered just under the hide in a perfect mushroom and no loss of bullet weight.

Later on that evening my dad is carrying my deer creek .45, same load as above. Shoots a decent sized doe, 50 yard broadside shot, Bullet enters perfectly behind the shoulder and exits out of opposite shoulder and breaks bone/exits cleanly. After searching for a couple minutes to find where she was standing, " deer was in thick forage" I found where she stood when my dad shot her and there was a 5-6" dia Aspen tree with one side covered and dripping with bright red blood. Looking on the ground, we found a big splatter here, couple feet later, more blood, thicker and getting heavier. Got into some really thick foliage and the hill slanted steep and after that we found where she died and slid down the bank and into some fallen timber. It was only a 15 yard tracking job, but the heavy timber and foliage made it tricky and you had to take your time so you wouldnt miss any sign.

Any of you that have hunted in thick aspen/pine groves know the sticker bushes, thick grasses and plants quite well and know its quite a trick to track in that stuff
Exit wound took out the entire front shoulder. Coyotes ate good that night.
The entrance shot is confusing. When i lifted the deer up, the bullet passing through the body cavity SUCKED the stomach into the chest cavity and pushed a 4-5" dia. baloon sized part of the stomach out of the entrance wound. How, i have no clue to this day.

Powerbelts perform BEST with a charge of 80 grains of powder, This is based on my testings that ive done on items such as rocks, Thick logs And most importantly, The actual game i am hunting.. Anything over that and they will start to lack. Now keep in mind that i recommend 80 grain charges maximum when using a lighter weight 225-245-295-300 grain powerbelt. A 338+ grain powerbelt i would use a maximum of 90 grain powder charge. These charges are what i find to perform best on big game.

If you are using a powder charge thats either higher or lower than what i recommend and are having good success and are happy with what you have, By all means, Please continue to use it.

Im no expert, Im just a guy who has spent $$$ on these bullets, shot game and found a perfect load "For me anyways" which offers the best performance for the powerbelt bullet.

Todays modern inline and their 150 grain mag charges is over kill, and is not needed. Its surprising to see how many people use 150 grain charges and find out that they usually only shoot their deer at 50 to 75 yards. When using the powerbelt, a 150 grain charge and a target being only 20 feet to 75 yards out there, You are asking for trouble.

Some may read this and say, He only used 80 grains triple7? No way! Thats not enough. Sorry gents but you do not need 150 mag charges to kill game. My rifle shooting a 225 grain powerbelt is only 4" low @ 150 yards and still carrys over 900 some odd Ftlbs of energy at that distance.

Shot placement, Knowledge of the bullet and how it could act, all come into account of how quickly the game goes down.

If using a lighter weight powerbelt, Do yourself a huge favor, drop your charges down to 80 grains. I dont care if its T7, pyrodex, APP. Whichever powder you are using, Keep it at 80 grains! You will love the results when you pull that trigger.

Again, I USE these bullets, Ive learned what powder charge it takes to get excellent performance.

This is just my advice for the powerbelt "Newbie" Or the Hunter who has been left scratching his head after shooting the game he was aiming at" who was unaware on how to correctly shoot these bullets to get the best performance out of them.

Some may say, Man why should i even bother with these when there are other Conicals out there that can handle more powder? Thats very true and why should you pay the price for them when you have to keep your charges lower than you normally would?
My reasons and why i use them:
#1. Easy loading " No bullet starter needed " In my rifle"
#2. They shoot excellent out of my rifle and hold tight groups even after 5 shots on a dirty barrel.
#3. They perform excellent and leave my game within easy tracking distance.
#4.They are the only conical i can find in lower weights that allow me to shoot 150 yards. I use a .45cal and want the extra range.
#5. They have proven to be worth every cent i have spent on these and will continue.

Such states as Colorado, Where i live, Is a Conical Only state during muzzle loading season.

Lets keep this thread clean. You all know who you are This is for those who love the easy loading, accurate powerbelt but who lack the experience or were unaware on how to use them properly to avoid an unhappy hunt.

I hope those who use these bullets will take my info seriously and consider giving my recommended loads a try on their next hunt. Ive had nothing but great success with these bullets and lower powder charges.

The picture below, Take note to the shot placement. I really prefer this shot when using a powerbelt. It puts them down quickly and as you'll see, Leaves a really easy to follow, short blood trail.

Good Luck and Happy Hunting to everyone.

This is my doe i shot at 80 grains with a 225 grain powerbelt, 80 grains T7.
Entrance shot,
Take note to blood all over the ground above the deers rear end and above its head

Bullet exited here but is still under the hide. Which was fine with me! The shoulder bone to the left of my finger was broken by the bullet.

Recoverd 225 grain powerbelt. No weight loss.

Part of the short 5 yard blood trail i followed.

Entrance shot.
I was able to fit 3 fingers into this hole

Exit wound,
Able to fit 2 fingers into this one, Along with the broken shoulder bone.

A good sized 120-130 lb mule deer doe and the little .45 that could.

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Old 12-13-2007, 03:32 PM
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Default RE: How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly


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Old 12-13-2007, 03:34 PM
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Default RE: How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly

That bottom pic looks like an area or two I hunt, except they are covered in pines and weed thickets about seven feet tall.

I've been shooting 100grs of Pyrodex pellets and 245 hollowpoint Powerbelts. I recently bought two packs of 245gr Aerotips and noticed that the accuracy improved greatly. I was actually considering buying a box of 30gr Pyrodex pellets and using 80grs per shot load. I've read many posts and much information about how Powerbelts react to different powder loads and all seem to reflect that the bullets perform best with lighter loads and at slower speeds. The ease of loading is the main reason I'll continue using them whether it's hunting or just shooting. But info from someone with experience helps everyone get the best out of the equipment, thanks.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:38 PM
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Default RE: How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly

You posted your opinion.
I posted mine. In my opinion, they are junk.
You see a few deer killed every year using them.
So far this year I have killed four, my kids have each killed one and on the reservation I am responsible for, we have killed over 40. I personally have seen most of these deer brought in and cleaned. The two game wardens work for me, if I didn't see the deer come in they did. We also have had to track several this year that were maimed with these things. Less this year than in years past because the word is finally getting out. Too often we find deer two to five hundred yards away, sometimes the next day with dogs, with holes going in that are in a perfect kill shot and no hole going out. Even seen twice bullets blow up on shoulders and not penetrate into the chest cavity.

So, you may consider yourself a pro and me an amature, I could care less.

But, in my amatureish experience, they are junk.

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Old 12-13-2007, 03:45 PM
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:16 PM
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Default RE: How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly

They may work ok when used "properly" by pros, but are way overpriced (list price) and too problematic for me.
I am glad they work for you.

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Old 12-13-2007, 04:17 PM
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Default RE: How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly

I tried them and were just not that accurate out of my Knight Disc. My brother uses them in his Knight Wolverine and they shoot just fine. I think shot placement is more important that bullet performance on deer. A 50 cal hole thru the lungs/heart will kill any deer. I personally use Lightfield 300grain lead bullets because my gun shoots them the best.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:20 PM
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Default RE: How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly

Good post Gander. I've never used Powerbelts and probably never will - just like my Gold Bonds. But if I ever did have occasion to use PBs I would certainly listen to the voice of experience and use your recommended load. The manufacturer should copy your post and package it with their bullets.

Little story here: We had a new guy in camp this year who hadn't hunted with his CVA magbolt in four or five years, and had never killed a deer with it. On the range before the season I was watching him sight in. He dropped three Pyrodex pellets then a 245 PB down the barrel. He then proceeded to bounce his ramrod as hard as he could on top of the loaded bullet abour a half dozen times. He was shooting a nice eight inch group at fifty yards. After a while I asked him why he was loading the way he did and he said "that's the way 'they' told me to". I suggested he try two pellets and seat the bullet firmly - no bouncing rod. He did, and was amazed at theaccuracy he got.Killed a nice doe at 60 yards two weeks later. Some guys just don't know - gotta' help them along.
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:25 PM
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Default RE: How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly

Dad used them along with his buddies too, they had great results with them on paper and on game but they shot lighter loads as mentioned by gander.......muzzleloading don't always have to be a power and long range game!

Great post!!!
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Old 12-13-2007, 04:26 PM
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Default RE: How to use a Powerbelt Bullet Correctly

BTW you ever try the 444 grain flat nose, to me that one sounds like the true cats meow of a hunting bullet.
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