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cayugad 07-29-2012 12:42 PM

Flip this question
We always talk about what bullet we would use for hunting and why. Lets flip this conversation. What bullet would you NOT WANT TO USE and why? Now we are talking muzzleloaders of course. So that means roundball, powerbelts, FPB's and the countless brands of pistol and rifle bullets out there .. are all fair game.

The other thing is.. did you ever use this bullet you DON'T like? And under what circumstances did the bullet fail you, or make you feel it was not the best bullet for the job? Or was this a bullet that you heard did not work and so you avoided it?


I will start this off with a couple. First on my hate parade was the T/C MAXI HUNTER. This bullet just would not shoot well. I am sure some use it and its an accurate bullet. But I have tried this thing in a number of rifles, with all kinds of powder charges.. and it just is not hunting accurate.

The next is the Minnie Ball. Again, for the same reasons. Just not accurate enough for me.

Last is a Buffalo Bullet full bore conical hollow point. I found the bullet very accurate or at least hunting accurate for me. I shot the .54 caliber out of my Renegade. But I refused to use it after killing two deer with it. Not because it did not kill the deer. Oh no.. not at all. It killed them too good. I never seen a bullet do so much damage to the meat of a deer as that conical bullet.

The first deer I shot was a moderate to small doe. We had doe tags that year and we always saved them for muzzleloader season as there was a preserve down where I lived and we used to get in there to reduce the doe population. I used to shoot 80 grains of Pyrodex RS with this bullet. And this doe came out broadside. I shot behind the front shoulder into the off shoulder. When I butchered that doe, she was so blood shot, I ended up throwing out one quarter and part of another. It was not even fit for hamburger.

But I wrote that off to just one of those things. So back out in the woods I go, same load. Doe walks in and all I had was a dead on shoulder shot. And I took it. When I butchered her, we might as well have cut the front end of the deer off. Just ruined. I can remember my father chewing me out for using a cannon on the deer.

After that, I went back to roundball and never shot a deer with that conical bullet again. It was a 426 grain as I remember.


So what bullets do you avoid? And why?

Muley Hunter 07-29-2012 12:49 PM

I wouldn't use a .54 PRB past 100yds on an elk.

Even if this whole forum says they've done it. I wouldn't.

The reason is I shot one at 70 yds, and feel it just got the job done.

cayugad 07-29-2012 12:58 PM

Originally Posted by Muley Hunter (Post 3955761)
I wouldn't use a .54 PRB past 100yds on an elk.

Even if this whole forum says they've done it. I wouldn't.

The reason is I shot one at 70 yds, and feel it just got the job done.

I guess I could agree with that. But other then that, you feel it is a good projectile? Were there any projectiles you have hunted with that you would not use no matter what the situation?

Muley Hunter 07-29-2012 01:02 PM

Not that i've used. I was always careful to choose proven bullets.

I think a PRB is great. I just respect it's limits.

falcon 07-29-2012 01:47 PM

iagree with Cayugad on the Maxi-Hunters; never got them to shoot well.

i will never use the the TC PTX bullet. In 2003 A 300 grain PTX bullet cost me a huge elk cow. The elk was hit solidly in one lung and the other lung was nicked. The bullet exited without expanding. The blood trail just went away. Four of us looked for that elk for eight hours. At dark another hunter found the elk as he was leaving the woods: He took her out. That was the last animal i ever lost.

Planned on using the excellent Hornady 300 grain .430 XTP bullet but i read a propaganda piece on the PTX and switched. That 300 grain XTP bullet would have shredded the animals lungs. i did get consolation prize; two good hogs.

Blackelk 07-29-2012 02:07 PM

I couldn't get FPB's to begin to group. Power Belts are mediocre in my guns and TC Maxi although the have decent groups are too soft for decent penetration on elk I won't submit an elk to that punishment ever again. Oddly enough my own cast bullets in my .50 and .54 shoot the best in my hawkens and great plains rifles. I have a new .45 cal hawken that I'm about to play with. Conicals are a tough game with a full charge in some of the more traditional muzzle loaders with slow twist barrels. I for one have never shot an animal with a round ball. Not above giving it a try though.

nchawkeye 07-29-2012 02:23 PM

Hate to say it, but PowerBelts...My two brothers and two hunting buddies used them a few years, they lost some and recovered some...I've had better luck with saboted type bullets...I just feel like there are better options out there vs a bullet that loads easy...

In traditional muzzleloaders, I've killed a few dozen deer with a .45 caliber round ball in front of 75grs of FFF Goex...I went to a .54 when bears showed up a few years back on our farms...They work equally well with 80grs of FFF Goex...

pluckit 07-29-2012 03:19 PM

I will never use a .50 caliber round ball for hunting deer with again. I shot the first deer I ever shot with one and it scared me away from them for hunting forever. The deer was hit at about 15 yards shooting from ground level and dead broadside. after being hit the deer turned and walked straight away from me and headed down a hill. As the deer was about to disappear down the hill and all I could see was the antlers, I saw the antlers sway from left to right and then go down and disappear from sight. The deer went no more than 25 yards but it had not left a drop of blood on the ground from the point where it was sot to the point where it fell. I honestly feel that if the shot had not been placed so well and the deer had run 50 to 100 yards or more I certainly would have never found it due to a lack of a blood trail. The reason for the lack of a blood trail was due to the fact that the round ball never exited the other side of the deer. The round ball was found just under the hide on the opposite side of the entrance wound. The next thing I did was to buy some Maxi Balls and never used a round ball to hunt with again. I always get a pass through with them and there is always an easy to follow blood trail.

Muley Hunter 07-29-2012 03:44 PM

Use a .54 PRB with the proper load of powder. You'll get a pass through everytime, and won't have the recoil of that slug you're using.

flounder33 07-29-2012 04:00 PM

When I got my first muzzleloader I used what the salesman recommended, a 295 grain hollow point powerbelt and 2 50 grain triple 7 pellets. I practiced with that load for a few months before season and it shot really well.
About 2 hours into black powder season I shot a really nice doe at 85 yards. The powerbelt disintegrated upon hitting the rib cage. Luckily a few pieces hit the vitals and I found her about 75 yards away. After that I found the forums and found some bullets I like better. I think if I were to use a powerbelt now I would use the heaviest one I could get and reduce the charge.

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