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Old July 30, 2013, 08:46 AM   #1
aprubio
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Hornady SST Ballistics Question

Just purchased a T/C Omega (.50) and picked up a couple boxes of Hornady 250gr SST sabots. Hornady's ballistics chart has the round paired up with 150gr of 777. Seems like overkill. Will be shooting out to 200 yards. Anyone have any suggestions / experience regarding how much powder / pellets with this round?

Thanks
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Old July 30, 2013, 09:39 AM   #2
noelf2
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I recommend using the 150gr 777. I know for fact that the 250gr SST will expand nicely with 100gr of bp equivalent, but accuracy may suffer a bit in your omega. A friend of mine has an omega and tried lighter loads. He went back to the recommended load for best accuracy. On the contrary, I have better accuracy with the 250gr SSTs with 100gr 777 from my T/C Impact. Go figure!
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Old July 30, 2013, 09:43 AM   #3
Doyle
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Yes, overkill on the powder charge. I shoot that bullet out of my Encore (and the Omega before it) using 100 grn of loose 777 with a 777 primer. When you start going over 100 grn, you get relatively little extra velocity but you increase the kick and you also generally get much poorer grouping.

Here are my foolproof tips for good ML shooting.

1. Use loose powder. Pellets are notoriously inconsistent.
2. At the range, remove your breech plug and do a wet swab of your bore after EVERY shot. Shooting on a fouled bore WILL change your POI and the first shot on a deer will always be on a clean bore. Therefore, sight in with a clean bore with every shot. It also prevents the dreaded crud ring that forms with 777 and pyrodex if you shoot more than a few times without cleaning around the edge of the breech plug.
3. Use the exact same tamping pressure with every shot. The key to good ML groups is consistency. Different tamping pressure results in inconsistent powder burning.
4. NEVER measure a charge out in the field. When hunting, use those plastic quick loads that hold a pre-measured charge, bullet, and primer. I usually carry 3 in my shirt pocket in addition to the charge in my gun. I use a piece of masking tape to keep the lid from coming off in my pocket.
5. If you are going to be hunting in the rain, put a piece of masking tape over your muzzle. It won't affect your shot but it will prevent rain from running down your bore.

Good luck. Both my current Encore and the previous Omega would shoot a 3-shot group almost touching using that Hornady 250grn SST and the charge I mentioned.
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Old July 30, 2013, 09:45 AM   #4
wap41
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I have an austin halleck 50cal and I shoot 150grs of 777 with sst's.If your going to shoot at 200 yds youir trajectory will be flatter.
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Old July 30, 2013, 09:58 AM   #5
noelf2
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^^^ Yep.

I was with my friend for over an hour trying different loads, powders, bullets and sabots (after we lapped the barrel with about 50 flitz'd patches). We swabbed the bore after each shot. When we were done, the factory recommendation did the job the best. YMMV

By the way, I find the 777 pellets to be VERY consistent, and I recommend at least trying them.

I do NOT recommend taking out the breech plug after each shot, but do use a good ML bore cleaner on a patched jag after each shot. Open the breech when you swab, and ensure to give a good solid push to blow any crud out of the breech plug hole. You should be able to see light through the breech plug hole from the muzzle. If you don't, swab it again. Follow with a dry patch.
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Old July 30, 2013, 12:06 PM   #6
Doyle
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There is a very good reason for removing the plug when cleaning between shots. Simply swabbing the bore (even with a good cleaner) will not get the ring of partially burned powder that forms where the plug meets the barrel. If you don't remove that, then subsequent shots start to burn that ring into a semi-permanent cement that takes an act of Congress to remove.
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Old July 30, 2013, 02:10 PM   #7
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Doyle, I'm not trying to question your experience as I'm sure you have plenty. From my experience, the crud ring is a small issue when compared to removing the breech plug, after which, you should always clean and re-grease the threads. You are suggesting to remove the breech plug, swab out the bore, brush out the crud ring (if there is one), clean the breech plug threads on the plug and in the bore, re-grease the threads, and reinsert the breech plug after each shot... No thanks! I brush out the crud ring (I don't always get one mind you) when I clean the gun before putting it back in my safe, and not before. IMHO, doing that every shot is more overkill than using 150gr 777. The crud ring (if present) hasn't created an accuracy issue for me at all. Just sayin'
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Old July 30, 2013, 02:45 PM   #8
Wild Bill Bucks
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The sabot you use has more to do with whether or not you can shoot over 100 grains of anything. If your sabot doesn't have enough stiffy in it, then it's not going to give you the accuracy you want.

I have found that most sabots (not all, but most) will start breaking apart at about 120 grains, and will lose every petal by 130 grains resulting in very wide groups. I recommend 100 grains, and practice if you are going to be shooting 200 yards. It's not as easy as some would think. There is still enough juice left on the round at that range to get the job done, and the trajectory will become easier to judge with practice. The trajectory difference isn't enough to put up with the extra re-coil to me.

As far as a crude ring goes, I have found that at the range, if you will break the breech plug loose after the first couple of shots, you can shoot for quite a while before the crude ring will re-seize. You don't have to take it out, just break it loose, and for some reason it doesn't build back as quick.

I am like Doyle with his procedure and cleaning out between shots, as the shot you will take at a deer will be over a clean bore, it should be the one you sight in with. If you are using 777 or Black powder take a bottle of windex with you to the range and use it to clean between shots. It will take out the residue from your shot, and it dries very quickly. You don't need a solvent for 777 or Black Powder as both of them are easily cleaned out with water.

Just my thoughts
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Old July 30, 2013, 03:00 PM   #9
noelf2
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T/C Shockwaves are actually Hornady SST with a sabot that holds up over 150gr charges. I was amazed at how devastating they are on a deer.

Believe me, I understand the desire to use lower charges and work your way up looking for accuracy perfection and lowest recoil. That's why my buddy and I didn't follow the T/C recommendation for 150gr 777 with his Omega. What you say makes perfect sense. However, after a wasted hour (and a bit), the recommended load for the Omega worked perfectly. Not saying everyone else will have the same results. But you just might save some time by using the recommended load if you can handle a little more recoil and you get 2" 3 shot groups at 150 yards like we did (good scope highly recommended).
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Old July 30, 2013, 05:02 PM   #10
Doyle
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Quote:
You are suggesting to remove the breech plug, swab out the bore, brush out the crud ring (if there is one), clean the breech plug threads on the plug and in the bore, re-grease the threads, and reinsert the breech plug after each shot
Yea, it is a pain in the butt (and a slow one at that). I don't clean/regrease the threads at the range. They don't get that dirty. Also, I only screw the breech plug in finger tight - that's good enough for me.

However, like I said earlier, I get consistent 3-shot groups the almost touch.

For swabbing between shots, I don't find it necessary to use any special cleaner. When I'm loading, I take a patch and just stick it in my mouth. By the time I'm ready to swab, it's nice and wet with spit. I put it through one direction, flip it over and run it through again. If the 2nd pass still comes out really dirty, I'll do another wet patch. Then I do one dry patch (again flip it over to make a 2nd pass).

I don't mind doing this because a range session getting sighted in only takes me about half an hour (normally, only about 6 shots) and I'm done. Sometimes, a new scope will take a little more. A subsequent season with the same scope even less.
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Old July 31, 2013, 12:54 PM   #11
aprubio
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Thanks for the insight. Very much appreciated. Have been shooting with the same CVA percussion cap M/L for about 20 years. Absolutely dead on with 90gr and a lead ball up to 100 yds. After that, starts turning into a pumpkin. Missed too many opportunities hunting wide open spaces in the last couple of years, figured I'd upgrade.

You guys find any difference between the "black powder" scopes and non-M/L good glass?
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Old July 31, 2013, 01:01 PM   #12
Doyle
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You guys find any difference between the "black powder" scopes and non-M/L good glass?
ML scopes usually have pre-set parallax at about 100 yds. Non-ML scopes will either have parallax set at about 200 yds or will have adjustable parallax. Also, some ML scopes boast longer eye relief. That is not an issue for me because I mostly use Leupold scopes which have decent eye relief anyway.

My ML wears a Leupold VX-1 2-7. Plenty strong enough for ML distances and it is the lightest scope in its class.
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Old July 31, 2013, 01:18 PM   #13
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Been using the 250 grain Hornady SST/TC Shockqave bullet since 2006. Have killed about 20 deer and 150-200 hogs with that bullet. i've never used more than 120 grains of powder with the 250 grain SST bullet while hunting. Have made three long shots under ideal conditions: A big buck deer at 172 yards, a sow at 192 yards and a big sow at 226 yards. The two hogs were bang flops.

This big boar hog ran about 90 yards after being shot with my Encore using the 250 grain SST bullet and 100 grains of 2F Goex Pinnacle powder. The bullet took out one rib going in and two ribs going out. It was found just under the skin. That hog measured 19 inches through the shoulders.



As for scopes, buy the best one you can afford. There's a box in our attic with 15-20 cheap trashed scopes. The scope on the Encore pictured is a 4X Zeiss. It's been on the gun for five years.

Last edited by thallub; July 31, 2013 at 01:28 PM.
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Old July 31, 2013, 01:38 PM   #14
noelf2
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Quote:
My ML wears a Leupold VX-1 2-7. Plenty strong enough for ML distances and it is the lightest scope in its class.
+1 !!! Got a Leupold VX-1 3-9 on mine.
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Old August 1, 2013, 03:17 PM   #15
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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A friend of mine did once shoot those SST's out of his Wolf with 150 grs of Triple777 pellets. After a good half dozen shots or more. Later in the day I took notice upon He showing me his shoulder. His shoulder appeared to behave like a chameleon taking on the same color of his pick-ups hood {dark blue} Which he chose as his bench rest to sight in his rifle with. I asked him why the need for such a heavy powder charge. {As his most distant shooting is no further than 50-60 feet out of his above ground stand.} He answered: His hunting buddy's suggested the charge as being optimum for that sabot projectiles weight._
My advice OP. Drop the charge some and use a granular Triple 777 powder to find the sweet spot your rifle will in time exhibit. I can't see the reason why someone would subject his shoulder to 150 gr. kind of recoil on purpose. But those willing or wanting too use that 150 gr charge. Do as you like. I wish you well.
BTW I shoot PRB out of a 45 Hawken with 2-FF Gorex and consider 78 grs having to much recoil. I would like to get down under 50 grs. if I could. But bouncing a 128 gr pellet of the chest of a nice size buck 50 yards away later this Fall would be difficult to experience let alone observe._

S/S
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Old August 1, 2013, 09:43 PM   #16
Doyle
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Quote:
Encore using the 250 grain SST bullet and 100 grains of 2F Goex Pinnacle powder
If I recall my conversion right, that equates to about 80 gr of 777.

For the OP, remember that the 150grn load max for your ML is not using 777. It is 150 grn of "normal" black powder. 777 is quite a bit hotter than normal black powder.
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Old August 3, 2013, 07:31 AM   #17
noelf2
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Doyle, Goex pinnacle was a sub, like 777, and is also a bit hotter than real BP.
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Old August 3, 2013, 03:33 PM   #18
Doyle
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Thanks. I've neve tried Goex Pinnacle. If I ever got a chance to buy Blackhorn 209, I'd switch to it in a heartbeat and wouldn't have to swab between shots. It's that clean.

However, this will probably be my last season shooting a ML. I'm in the process of moving to MS and their primitive weapon season allows you to use an Encore with a centerfire of .35 and larger. 45-70 here I come.
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