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Old August 18, 2008, 08:25 AM   #1
skydiver3346
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Muzzleloading question?

I just purchase a T/C Encore Pro Hunter .50 cal muzzleloader.
Placed a nice 3x9x36 Zeiss scope on it and am ready to take to the range to zero. My question is, what else do I need (regarding accessories) to complete my system? Also, from your experience, what propellent, 209 primer and sabot bullet would be best to shoot out of this gun?

I do have the following:
1. Brass range cleaning rod
2. Patches/lube, etc.
3. Carry bag
4. Lead Sled for zeroing rifles

Thanks for your help.
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Old August 18, 2008, 08:41 AM   #2
sundance44s
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Looks like all ya need is someone to help carry the equipment .
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Old August 18, 2008, 09:40 AM   #3
Pahoo
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Once again, you are not going to get a consensus on what your shot-string should be. Only opinions based mostly on experience. Most of my hunting is in deep woods with most shots in the 50yd. or less range. I would have to assume you are going to get set-up for hunting big game. You will have to put in some range time in order to find out what works best for you. Here are my recommendations:
  • 777 in ffg or fffg, I only use loose powder. (My Choice)
    • Bore Button or Wonder Wads .50 cal. (optional but sure work for me)
  • A good boat-tail solid lead conical in a Sabot, like Cheap-Shot.. Power-Belt have shot well for me as well as Buffalo lubricated conicals without the sabot. Boy, there are just a bunch of choices here!!???
  • You have no choice on primers as you are stuck with the 209. Currently I'm using Winchesters but that is only because I have a bunch of these. You will also need a good 209 capper to support these. You might also consider the reduced power 209's.

Then there is equipment that you will need in support of your shot-string. By the way, I sure like your choice of scopes. Great luck and :


Be Safe !!!
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Old August 18, 2008, 09:52 AM   #4
skydiver3346
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Thanks Pahoo

Is loose powder better than buying the 50 grain pellets? Does it function better or more dependable? Was wondering about that new powder that Jim Shockey has out "Gold"?
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Old August 18, 2008, 10:18 AM   #5
Pahoo
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Yes, I feel that loose powder works better and is more consistant. Personally, I consider myself as being frugal. That's a Liberal Word for "Cheap". You get more bang for your buck with loose powder as well. My loads don't fit within the constraints of the pellets. I have shot Jim Shockey, "Gold" and it's good powder as well. The only powder that I have not shot, is the new "Blackhorn" but the Specs. look good for it as well. There are other posts on here from good folks that can tell you more about loose powder vs pellets. If you find it handier, I would not have a problem with pellets at close range but that is your call.

Check out Wild Bill Bucks on this post:
http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=305852


Be Safe !!!

Last edited by Pahoo; August 18, 2008 at 10:43 AM. Reason: More Info
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Old August 18, 2008, 10:46 AM   #6
W. C. Quantrill
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TC Encore
Zeiss Scope
Fake powder
Shotgun primers

Cant hardly call it a muzzleloader can you? Might as well just take the plug out and stick a .375 Ruger shell in it and be done with it.
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Old August 18, 2008, 02:14 PM   #7
mykeal
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Add a powder flask and a powder measure to your list.

Assuming your patch lube does not double as a cleaning solvent, you should have something to clean the bore between shots and dry patches to clean with.

Spotting scope?

I went to the local rug merchant and bought/begged a few obsolete samples (the 2'x3' hemmed kind) and use those on the bench AND on the ground to protect the butt when I reload.

My experience with pellets vs loose powder is that the pellets are inconsistent. You just can't count on them to be the same shot to shot - the issue is compression. Some are looser than others, and even the natural skin oil from your fingers can contaminate the surface. All in allm, loose is much better.

Other than that, Pahoo nailed it. Ignore the whiners.
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Old August 18, 2008, 02:48 PM   #8
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I own several encore rifles, and almost all of them shoot better with different stuff. If it were me I would start by getting some black short sabots from MMP
and some Hornady 250 grain .45 caliber pistol bullets. You can buy them in bulk a LOT cheaper than buying them in the shooter packs. All of my encores shoot this bullet and sabot combo very well. Your powder choice is going to depend on what your rifle likes to shoot better than the others. I have 1 encore that like plain old Black powder better than anything else, but my other 2 would rather have 777. (I tried pyrodex and it shoots well also)
Black Powder seems to shoot better in a bore that isn't as tight on the sabot, but the 777 likes a good tight barrel to sabot fit.
Primers are of no real concern as long as they put good groups together, but I prefer the weaker 777 primers from Winchester.

I wouldn't have any problems hunting with the pellets ( Under 100 yards)but I think if you want to pin point shots, you will want to use measured loads of loose powder. Some guys own guns that will shoot really good groups with pellets, but most of the guys I know, will tell you their rifles shoot better groups with loose.

As far as 777 or Black, or pyrodex. One isn't really much cleaner than the other. All will require you to clean your rifle very well after every shooting session. They will all draw moisture, so you must keep them very dry. By taking a very small amount of all three, and putting them on a piece of glass, and burning each one with a match, you will notice that the Black, and the Pyrodex, will leave a gritty residue, on the glass. The 777 leaves a residue, but it feels like face powder. Very soft and slick. I think this slick residue is why you can shoot more shots between clean out, before it starts to put your sabots in a bind. If you clean out between every shot, as I do, then it really doesn't make much difference.

The main thing with any ML, is consistency in loading. Do the same thing at the same time with the same pressure, every time, and before long you will find the right way to make your rifle perform like you expect it to.
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Old August 18, 2008, 02:59 PM   #9
scottycoyote
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i like the pellets. I shoot my 50 with 2 50 grain pellets and i use the barnes sabot'd bullets. Ive never done any kind of range time with the gun, but i can put my shots within a couple inches at 100 yards and thats really all i ask for. The pellets are easier to me, and im not really looking for the "blackpowder experience", just want more time in the woods hunting and this is the way to do it.

but like the others said, you need to buy several different bullets and powders and just see what your gun (and you) like best.
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Old August 18, 2008, 04:41 PM   #10
thallub
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Quote:
Cant hardly call it a muzzleloader can you?
The man asked a sincere question that deserves a sincere answer.
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Old August 18, 2008, 07:15 PM   #11
Pahoo
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Quote:
The man asked a sincere question that deserves a sincere answer.
It was not even his post and provided no support to Skydiver3346 I don't see that anyone who has, owes him and his sincere question, anything. Perhaps he should make a new post and if it bothers you that much, you answer him.



Be Safe !!!
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Old August 18, 2008, 08:12 PM   #12
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looks like you have all but a few things and others have already suggested them. they are important. i don't have the solvent yet i may buy some. i just ran 2 or 3 dry patches down the barrel after 3 shots at each target. try the loose powder and the pellets, see which works the best for your rifle. so many options. and try a few different brands and types of sabots. i tried the loose pyrodex and the 777 pellets,using the same sabot (.50 cal. t/c cheap shots 240 gr.) the loose powder i shot was a lesser charge than the pellets. did not get back to the range yet and try the full 100 grain load of pyrodex. will soon hopefully and post results. a muzzleloader is a muzzleloader if you load the powder and projectile at the muzzle. whether its a rifle,shotgun or a pistol. regardless of powder,projectile or source of ignition.
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Old August 19, 2008, 07:26 AM   #13
skydiver3346
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Thanks so much for all the fine advice:

Very helpful and appreciate your advice on muzzleloading. It is new to me and I don't know much about it but am eager to learn.
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Old August 19, 2008, 02:44 PM   #14
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Pick up a couple books on the subject. You can learn more in an afternoon of reading than you'll ever get in fragments here. Sam Fadala's blackpowder book would be a good start.
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Old August 19, 2008, 07:02 PM   #15
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Be nice People. We all have to start somewhere. At THR, there's a picture of a Billinghurst in-line gun from the late 19th Century. I don't own any in-lines myself but I don't want to look down my nose on other people. We buy what we can afford.
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Old August 19, 2008, 07:12 PM   #16
skydiver3346
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Thank you Gary

Just trying to pick something up from you guys is all. Really am not too familiar with the Blackpowder scene as I have bowhunted most of my life. Of course I love to shoot a rilfe too but the Muzzleloader guns have always interested me and I see that the big names on TV shoot T/C Encores most of the time, so I decided to buy an Encore as well. Thanks again for all your help.

Last edited by skydiver3346; August 20, 2008 at 08:40 AM.
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Old August 20, 2008, 01:54 PM   #17
W. C. Quantrill
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Many of us are deeply into muzzleloading. Muzzleloaders are guns of an era past that used black powder and round lead balls. We who shoot the smoothebores and rifles of that era worked very hard to get muzzleloading events and muzzleloading hunting seasons. It was us traditional muzzleloaders who worked and lobbied for the muzzleloading seasons that gets some of you extra hunting tags.

Now, the X and Y generation is being tempted into buying the stainless steeled barrelled bolt action, primer ignited, fake powder and smokless powder, copper jacketed and saboted slugs guns that technically load from the front and calling them muzzleloaders.

Those of us who really do use muzzleloaders build and shoot our own guns. We use real black powder. We use cast round balls in patches, the way they were originally done. These cheatlines have been developed for one reason, so that the dood that lives in the city can get another hunting license, that's all. A guy I evicted from my farm was bragging about his Savage bolt action that used smokeless powder and jacketed bullets at 2400 fps and with his scope he could make 200 yard shots. I have to compete with that? No, he lost his hunting privileges that day.

The "modern" muzzleloader is nothing but a cartridge gun without the shell casing. It is designed to take advantage of the primitive early hunt. My take is, that if you want to shoot a muzzleloader, then get a muzzleloader and shoot it like it was intended to be shot. If you want to use a modern stainless steel rifle with fake powder and jacketed bullets and scopes, then do it in the regular hunting season with the regular rifles. Join a local muzzleloader club and hunt fair chase with a fair gun. Hows that for my contribution?

True information and support? I invite you to join the real muzzleloaders at
muzzleloadingforum dot com, or at traditionalmuzzleloadingassociation dot com and learn from the best. These sites are all about traditional muzzleloading and you can learn about the guns, the history, gunsmiting and everything that goes along with black powder.
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Old August 20, 2008, 07:55 PM   #18
Smithy145
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Nmlra

Or join the National MuzzelLoading Rifle Asso. I love the old front loaders too. Have two, one caplock and one flinter. Both .50cal. and both shoot round ball only.
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Old August 20, 2008, 08:09 PM   #19
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If you want to know what real muzzleloader shooters think of the NMLRA check it out. http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/fu...d/223127/tp/1/
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Old August 20, 2008, 11:29 PM   #20
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As unpopular as it may be, I have to completely agree with Quantrill, 110%. Couldn't have said it better. Although I do use 777 in my Lyman GPR.
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Old August 21, 2008, 06:50 AM   #21
skydiver3346
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Sorry folks, no offense intended:

I guess I see your position Mr. Quantrill and did not mean to offend any of the real muzzleloaders out there. Just asking questions on equip I would need to begin hunting with my new T/C Encore. To me it was considered a muzzleloader and that is why I bought it. Guess I have some learning to do.
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Old August 21, 2008, 09:08 AM   #22
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WC's post is perhaps the best written dialog for his point of view that I've seen. It should be posted in it's own thread instead of hiding away in this one - please give some thought to doing that.

That said, I'm afraid I must, in the end, come down on the other side of the issue. I no longer hunt due to physical disabilities, but I do own one inline rifle, in which I exclusively shoot 777 and sabot rounds. I also own seven sidelock percussion rifles and one flintlock rifle, in which I exclusively shoot real black powder and either patched round balls or mini balls.

I appreciate and fully support the traditional shooting sports in every way, but I cannot expand my love of the traditional to include a dislike of the inline disciplines. The primary, and perhaps only real reason is that we need all the help we can get in providing real, effective wild game management. That may seem like a big leap, so let me outline my thoughts.

We the human race have necessarily expanded our presence on the planet to the detriment of the wild animal population - notice I said necessarily. It's necessary for our own survival. We've virtually eliminated the natural predation of large game animals near the top of the food chain.

One of our traits is the innate intelligence to be able to mitigate the impact of that expansion (game management), and we therefore, in my opinion have an obligation to do so. The most effective tool that we have in managing our wildlife resources is the hunter. I think we are therefore required by our humanity to educate and preserve, in fact expand, the number of hunters in this country.

WC's argument that the implementation of the muzzleloding season as an exclusive privilege for the users of traditional weapons has been diminished by the proliferation of modern design inline guns is accurate and compelling. However, we don't have the luxury of limiting the hunting population for aesthetic reasons. Unfortunately, we need them. It's a sad fact that the hunting population is decreasing, and I'm afraid that someday we're going to lament policies that limit the use of some weapons for reasons other than humane game management.

Sir, your argument is well written. I wish I could be on your side; I'd be much happier about it. But at this point in time, I'm afraid my concern for the future of the hunting sports overrides my desire to be more traditional.
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Old August 21, 2008, 10:08 AM   #23
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1st week - Slingshots, spears & knives, rocks

2nd week - Long bows

3rd week- Cross Bows

4th week- Compound bows

5th week- Traditional muzzleloader ( Flintlock & Black Powder only)

6th week- Traditional muzzleloader ( percussion cap & Black Powder only)

7th week- Traditional muzzleloader ( open primer & Any Powder)

8th week- Inline muzzleloader ( percussion cap & Black Powder only)

9th week- Inline muzzleloader ( 209 primers & Pellet Powder only)

10th week-Inline muzzleloader ( any primer& any Powder)

11th week-Inline muzzleloader ( Smokeless Powder & any Primer)

12th week- Single Shot Hi- Powered rifles (Breakdown or Bolt Action)

13th week- Semi-Automatic Hi-Powered Rifles

14th week- Fully automatic weapons

Scopes are only allowed with special permit from Optometrist.


If this would solve the problems we seem to have with our different individual hunting problems, then I might run for president next time around. Can I count on you guys vote?

Any of you have a better Idea?
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Old August 21, 2008, 10:14 AM   #24
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By extension, why not just eliminate special seasons altogether and allow all weapons through the whole season?


Quote:
Any of you have a better Idea?
Yep, even simpler. Modern guns for the modern gun season. That includes "modern" inlines.
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Old August 21, 2008, 01:11 PM   #25
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When do we get to the M1A1 Abrams?
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