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Old August 29, 2013, 05:42 PM   #1
BoogieMan
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BP bullets for deer

I havent shot BP for anything in many years because I normally only hunt in PA where my 30-06 or 460 are the way to go. But, I got into a land lease in NJ so I picked up a CVA Optima V2. They recommend powerbelt style bullets. Which are 50cal with a plastic gas ring at the base. They come from several brands in solid copper, all lead, jacketed HP and jacketed plastic tip.
Am I better off with one of that style or using the 250gr hornady XTP hp's in a sabot?
I would tend to think that virtually anything over 150gr flying around 2000fps will take a deer when properly placed. Does it make much difference wich bullet im shooting as long as its a soft point or HP?
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Old August 29, 2013, 07:06 PM   #2
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I don't need the high priced spread !!!

Quote:
Am I better off with one of that style or using the 250gr hornady XTP hp's in a sabot?
I don't think you have to use PowerBelts and feel there are some just as good, if not better out there and save yourself some bucks, to boot. ...
The Hornady XTP were my premier bullets in 240grn. These did give me good performance. Have not shot these in a long time as I now shoot a 240grn. hard-cast .44 pistol bullet and has put a lot of meat on the table. Don't know if it makes a difference but most of my shots are under 60yds. I have take one at about 125yds. When you have to practice with what you hunt with, it can get very pricey. ....

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Old August 29, 2013, 08:30 PM   #3
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We have shot deer with two bullets which performed well. Sabot with 240 grain XTP HP and sabot with Barnes copper HP(the one with the huge hollow point).
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Old August 29, 2013, 09:21 PM   #4
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I've shot a lot of deer with muzzle loaders. I've shot about eight or nine with PowerBelts and I can report first hand that the performance of this bullet is not satisfactory. I have killed all the deer I shot with them but several required second and third shots. On some of the deer the bullet fully penetrated the animal and then fragmented into a thousand small pieces. On a couple of the deer the bullet blew a large crater in the outer skin and did not penetrate into the animal at all. In both of those cases this was a follow up shot to another hit and the deer were eventually recovered. They shot well so accuracy wasn't an issue. Fragmentation to an extreme was an issue. I've shot quite a few deer with Hornady XTP in different sabots and the performance was absolutely outstanding for both penetration and expansion. These also shot well but required experimenting with different sabots in different guns to find which one worked best with the different bullets tried (Barnes, Hornady, Speer, and some older Winchester Silver Tips). The Hornady shot the best and as stated, performance was outstanding. Now I expect about a dozen posts stating how extrordinary the PowerBelts were in their guns but I'm just reporting my documented observations. FYI: I've been hunting with muzzle loading rifles for over 40 years and have taken a lot of deer with them. Most were front loaders but for the last 10-12 years I've used a number of inlines. My favorite is my Savage Smokeless ML2. Easily 1.5moa at 100yds and sometimes better.
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Old August 29, 2013, 09:42 PM   #5
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As usual Pahoo gives some excellent advice.

My Optima slings the Hornady XTP's just as good as the Powerbelts.

FWIW: It's been my experience that when experimenting with different charges out of the inlines I have that will shoot Powerbelts with any kind of consistency, that in all of them, any charges north of about 110grns, accuracy starts going south and fliers start to increase.
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Old August 29, 2013, 10:21 PM   #6
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Power belts shoot, load and pattern great out of my inline. Dont know how they do on deer.

FFor all my BP Hunting/shooing though, inline and traditional rifles....I like the Horandy FTPs (little temperamental to load without a false muzzle), Solid lead lubed conical bullets and patched heavy roundballs.

Last edited by BerdanSS; August 30, 2013 at 06:56 AM.
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Old August 30, 2013, 12:33 AM   #7
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XTPs
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Old August 30, 2013, 07:22 AM   #8
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I am glad to hear these replies. I bought a box of the 250gr XTP's to load in my 460xvr. Found out the tend to fragment very badly at those velocities. I am planning on wrapping them in the sabot and launching them with 100gr of pyro pellet. I will also try with 150gr. Ill let you know what I come up with at the range. Hopefully the whitetail population in my area will also have some feedback.
FYI I am using the Hodgdon 50/50 pellets.
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Old August 30, 2013, 07:45 AM   #9
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I guess some people are lucky but I've yet to see any ML other than a CVA that shoots PowerBelts worth a crap. I use Hornady 250gr SSTs (same exact bullet as a T/C Shockwave but with a different color tip). I can get 3 holes almost touching at 100 yds.
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Old August 30, 2013, 08:21 AM   #10
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All of those are way-way overkills.
All my deer have been taken with a .45 cal. using patched soft lead roundballs and a 65 grains charge of real black powder.
You can't kill them any deader than these were even if you use a cannon.
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Old August 30, 2013, 08:49 AM   #11
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Out of the two different choices I also like XTPs but I'd get SSTs and use with sabots.
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Old August 30, 2013, 10:04 AM   #12
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Any of those will absolutely flatten a deer. I use a 54 call with a round ball and 80 grains of pyrodex. with a well placed shot it will kill a deer before it hits the ground.

My suggestion would be to sell that abomination and pick get a man's BP rifle
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Old August 30, 2013, 10:10 AM   #13
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@rifleman- I dont disagree about the ability to drop a deer. But my rifle isnt even rated for BP or patch and ball. As long as I get good accuracy out of the 250xtp in a sabot I will be using them. Im not really into the primitive hunting aspect as much as I am putting meat on the table.
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Old August 30, 2013, 10:10 AM   #14
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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I have a friend that shot power-belt's for a while at the behast of the dealer who sold him his rifle. (Omega) My friend commented a year or two later he was kind of disappointed with the power-belts penetration seen in/on the deer my friend harvested. So like many here he too chose to use some other projectile. I'm sure there are much better bullet combo's in the market place than just PowerBelt. I'd take the advice of some member here and give those other brand/s a try. Or even the one's you already know of.
As far a hollow points, plastic tipped, and alike bullets. If you don't have good shot placement. It all becomes a moot point which bullet is considered the best.
When it comes to CVA. If I'm not mistaken. Doesn't CVA own PowerBelt manufacturing? If they do. I can see why CVA would be a strong advocate for PowerBelt usage in their rifles.
I wish you luck this coming deer season with that new Optima V2 Sir. {But you probably won't need it.} I'm already aware. "You fellows from So. Jersey can shoot."
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Old August 30, 2013, 10:23 AM   #15
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Yes, CVA owns PowerBelt.
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Old August 30, 2013, 01:52 PM   #16
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It's not a SideLock

Quote:
All my deer have been taken with a .45 cal. using patched soft lead roundballs
I'm with you on this but only when shooting one of my SideLocks. Have to admit that I personally get more satisfaction killing a deer with my SideLocks than my in-line. In the stated CVA Optima V2, it's pistol bullets with Sabots and in my case, musket caps. Oh, forgot to include my scope. Would never insult my SideLocks, by mounting a scope on them. ....


Be Safe !!!
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Old August 30, 2013, 02:24 PM   #17
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many states have very specific black powder requirements.
first you need to make sure it's legal to hunt with in the first place. you would think Idaho would be one of the most lenient states there is about hunting but they don't allow electronic ignites or caps that are not exposed to the elements.

then you need to make sure the caliber is legal. Idaho requires a minimum of 45 caliber for deer and 50 for elk but NJ may be completely different. they may allow anything or ban anything smaller than 54.

then you need to make sure that the bullets are legal. in idaho, no sabots. must use roundball or other non saboted projectiles. I'm not sure if the plastic base counts as a sabot or not but you'll have to check with NJ fish and game to verify eligibility.
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Old August 30, 2013, 04:48 PM   #18
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Hooray for Idaho....a muzzleload hunt should involve a patched round ball and open sights. I guess it's obvious I have no love for the muzzleloading zip guns.
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Old August 30, 2013, 05:26 PM   #19
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Quote:
Hooray for Idaho....a muzzleload hunt should involve a patched round ball and open sights. I guess it's obvious I have no love for the muzzleloading zip guns.
Isn't a patch just a fabric sabot? I appreciate your respect for the traditions of muzzleloading, but does that mean we all have to shoot cast lead rounds and black powder in our cartridge guns, because that's how it started?

I started ML hunting because it meant an extra tag, and another 100 pounds of meat in my freezer. I liked it and now I hunt with my ML exclusively, and I want the absolute best performance I can get. If that's a patched round ball, great, but I've yet to see a patched round ball take a deer at 100 yards cleanly. I much prefer the 300 gr XTP in the MMP 3-Petal sabot ahead of 80 gr of BH 209.
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Old August 30, 2013, 05:50 PM   #20
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CDMcKane,
Idaho has it's own muzzle loader season. if you want the priviledge of your own private season that most other hunters can't attend(because lets face it most hunters are strictly centerfire) then you should be willing to accept the added challenge. weather exposed caps, black powder, cast bullets, open sights(not sure if that's a requirement here or not but a scope is pointless IMHO anyways), all are a means of challenging youself and if you are willing to do all that then by all means you should get your own season so that there's at least something working in your favor.

if you are out with all those limitations and everyone else is using electronicly ignited guns with scopes and sabots and getting 300 yards out their rifles then you are at a huge disadvantage over everyone else. if you are going to have a primitive weapons season like muzzle loading and archery then everyone should have to be primitive, not just the ones that do it for the challenge or for the nostalgia.

otherwise, stick to centerfire(like I do most of the time). I will say that I like casting my own bullets and 460gr maxiballs are sure fun to shoot out of my .54. I don't need a sabot to shoot it and I don't patch unless I'm using round balls. do you really think a 300gr XTP can do better within 100 yards with 100gr of powder behind it?
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Old August 30, 2013, 06:32 PM   #21
cdmckane
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We have a dedicated ML season here in NY as well. And, by definition, if it loads through the muzzle, it's legal to use. It's not a "primitive" weapon season, it's a "muzzleloader" season.
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Old August 30, 2013, 07:25 PM   #22
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Something about having an extra season to accommodate muzzleloaders being taken over by souped up scoped zip guns just doesn't seem right to me.
Where I live, we don't have a separate muzzleloader season, so only us old guys that appreciate the challenge normally use the sidelock traditional guns.
Using an inline with imitation black powder, modern jacketed bullets, scopes, electronic ignition and whatever modern stuff a person can think up just seems an abomination of the whole concept of muzzleloader hunting.
Maybe it's all legal, but just because a person stuffs a propellant down the muzzle doesn't make the whole thing palatable to me.
Just my opinion for what it's worth, I hope I'm not stepping on too many toes.
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Old August 30, 2013, 08:07 PM   #23
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250 gr Barnes Spitfire TMZ's are the way to go IMO. I don't know how your CVA would like them but my T/C Impact groups them better than the groups from some bolt action rifles I've owned. I load them over 100 gr of Blackhorn 209 and Federal 209A magnum shotgun primers. Easily the most accurate BP rifle I've ever owned and the best part is it was only $250 new
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Old August 30, 2013, 09:48 PM   #24
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I much prefer taking a deer with one of the caplocks stuffed with real bp and a round ball over taking one with an inline any day but in all fairness I can remember the day when the 'flinters' cussed us caplock users as well and didn't think we should be using our souped up caplocks during ml season either.

I just wish they would extend Ohio's ml season to at least two weeks.
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Old August 30, 2013, 09:52 PM   #25
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Yep. And I wished the county I live in (TX) had a ML season.
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