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Advice on bullets, first time MZ hunting

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Advice on bullets, first time MZ hunting

Old 01-02-2014, 04:38 PM
  #1  
Typical Buck
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Default Advice on bullets, first time MZ hunting

Im going Muzzleloader hunting this weekend. I was given a older inline Traditions buckhunter pro 50.cal MZ. i plan on using the powder pellets. any advice on bullet grain, sabots or roundball?? thanks
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Old 01-02-2014, 04:51 PM
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Whatever combination you decide to try reds, I hope you plan to have a range session before the weekend to sight the load in. Not doing so would be a mistake. For a quick bullet selection I recommend the 240 grain XTP prepackaged with sabots. They are available in most Walmarts and sporting goods stores, and look like this - http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...productId/6858
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Semisane View Post
Whatever combination you decide to try reds, I hope you plan to have a range session before the weekend to sight the load in. Not doing so would be a mistake. For a quick bullet selection I recommend the 240 grain XTP prepackaged with sabots. They are available in most Walmarts and sporting goods stores, and look like this - http://www.grafs.com/retail/catalog/...productId/6858
I couldn't agree more. Muzzleloaders are finicky and the animal deserves a well placed shot to dispatch it quickly. It would be unethical to hunt with a rifle that you didn't first take to the range - even if it is only to ensure it is sighted in.
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:47 PM
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Definitely need to have a range session before you go out hunting, unless you plan on only shooting at deer that are less than 10 yards away.

If you want to go with pellets, you can get either Triple Seven or Pyrodex. Triple Seven is less corrosive and a little easier to clean up, but other than that they are fairly similar.

I would definitely use 2 pellets, not 3.

As for projectiles, try a prepackaged bullet/sabot combo. Depending on what is available at the store you are going to, some good options are the Hornady XTP 240 or 250 grain, the TC Shockwave or Barnes Expander/TEZ/TMZ. Any of these will do a good job with proper shot placement.
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Old 01-02-2014, 08:20 PM
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Powerbelt hollow point, and depending on your rifle 100 grains(2 pellets) or 150 grains(3 pellets) I would try both at the range you expect to shoot and if that isnt good you might want to use loose powder to get the exact measure for your gun, but 2 or 3 pellets should be good!
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:57 AM
  #6  
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These other guys are dancing around the issue, but I will be a little more direct. I am not sure you can have a load worked up by this weekend if you have never shot a muzzleloader. To do that you will need to spend a minimum of 3-4 hours at the range and that is if your first choice of bullet works out. Muzzleloaders are not like centerfire rifles where you can buy a box of shells, go to the range for an hour, tweek the scope, and you are good to go.

I would ask the person who used the gun last what they used and start there.

As far as actual advice, I would recommend to not exceed 100 gr of powder. My elk load is only 90-95 grains. In other words, 100 gr is plenty to kill a whitetail. Unless you don't have a problem with heavy recoil I would avoid 150 gr loads like the plague.

And as far a powerbelts, you can probably work up a decent load with them, but definately don't use over 100 gr with them. If pushed too hard they are likely to come apart when they hit anything harder than skin at that velocity.
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Old 01-03-2014, 04:55 AM
  #7  
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I use .429 Hornady XTPs in 300gr...I sight in and work up loads for my hunting buddies as well using this bullet in the green Harvester sabot...

Every rifle I have sighted in prefers 80-85grs FFF Goex...

Loose powder is the way to go, forget pellets, forget PowerBelts...
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:15 AM
  #8  
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I'm with TXHunter. I don't think you can do the animal justice without spending 3-4 hours at the range.
As others suggest, skip the pellets and go with loose powder. If you already have it bought, burn them up and use loose powder next time. Cheaper and more accurate. If you use speed loaders it isn't any more convenient to use pellets over powder.
Don't go over 100 grains. You don't need the abuse and it often decreases your accuracy.
There are a lot of good bullets on the market. The XTPs seem to shoot decent out of any rifle, have killed a ton of deer, and are readily accessible. As are the Shockwaves. Barnes are top of the line but expensive. But if you're buying pellets I'm guessing cost is not an issue

Personally, if I couldn't get to the range before this weekend I would skip the morning hunt and go to the range. Missing sucks but wounding one is the worst (or so I've heard, I've never lost a deer).

Good luck and have fun!
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:46 AM
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It's possible to work up a short range load in 3-4 hours, though not advisable.

The first year I bought a muzzy, it was right before the season started. I had 1 day to sight in/practice with the rifle. I had bought a box of T7 pellets and a box of XTP's. My groups that day were 2-3" at 50 yards. I shot a couple groups at 100 yards and was getting 6" groups. I had the scope boresighted, and it was actually close to being sighted in - I just had to do some minor adjustments.

I realized that I better not try shooting too far with the groups I was getting (though 6" groups will still cleanly take a deer on a broadside shot).

And I took a deer the 1st day of the season - the range wasn't too far, and the bullet hit within a few inches of where I was aiming.

I'm not suggesting all this as a good idea, I'm just saying that if you get to shoot a few hours you should know what your limitations are, and if you stick to that you should be fine.

Now if the first load or two you try is shooting shotgun patterns, then you may be out of luck.... no time to develop a new load.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:48 PM
  #10  
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Here are some things to find out before you will be comfortable shooting a muzzy accurately:

When, with what , and how to swab between shots at the range and in the field?

What will you carry in your possibles bag and how will you carry them?

How will you carry powder and bullets so they don't get broken/deformed?

What primers you use depend on your powder? Got that figured out?

That is only a start but the list goes on. I wish you luck
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