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Old October 18, 2013, 12:47 AM   #1
hogheaven
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Muzzleloading

What is the best bullet that you have found in a muzzleloader for hunting game like deer? I used to use nosler partitions 250gr but they no longer make those. I thought about using the Sierra .44 cal powder jackets in a sabot. Your thoughts? Thanks.
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Old October 18, 2013, 05:40 AM   #2
cdmckane
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Re: Muzzleloading

I'm using the 300 gr Hornady XTP in a 3 petal ez load MMP sabot ahead of 100 gr of loose 777.
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Old October 18, 2013, 08:53 AM   #3
Rifleman1776
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What do you mean "muzzle loading"?
Do you mean one of those plastic stocked things that come in a shrink wrap at Walmart or a traditional muzzle loading rifle?
For a real, meaning traditional style, ml rifle, a patched round ball is highly effective on deer.
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Old October 18, 2013, 09:16 AM   #4
myfriendis410
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The Barnes TMZ and TEZ in either 250 or 290 gr. are great bullets. Deep penetration, accuracy and good expansion. I've shot sub m.o.a. groups with my Omega and Blackhorn powder.

The Shokwave is a great bullet and I would probably use it if I were allowed to here (Condor zone).
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Old October 18, 2013, 09:18 AM   #5
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250 grn Hornady SST. That is the exact same bullet as the T/C Shockwave but with a different color tip and a lower price. Hornady makes the Shockwaves for T/C but T/C thinks they are worth more.

I get 3 holes almost touching at 100 yds.
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Old October 18, 2013, 01:11 PM   #6
.284
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This is what I tried.

I gave my own combo a whirl last year. See my thread:

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=507378
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Old October 18, 2013, 01:52 PM   #7
rockinrandy
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Personally I use 265 grain powerbelts and 85gr blackhorn 209 or 100gr pyrodex (depending on what ML I'm shooting). I switched to them from sabots in my Traditions rifle and have shot considerably better than with the sabots. I also do not notice as much cleaning needed from them either.
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Old October 18, 2013, 02:58 PM   #8
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Well this is not going to please anyone trying to sell "new and improved" but the absolute BEST killers I have ever used from Muzzleloaders have been ROUND BALLS.

I was the CEO of Cast Performance Bullet Company for a while, and I was also the head ballistician there for years. I have used a LOT of those bullets as well as all the competitors’ offerings in many many tests.

For muzzleloaders of 50 caliber to 58 caliber and larger I have never seen any bullets that killed better out to about 150 yards than the old fashioned BALLS.

In muzzleloaders of 62 caliber and up, there were no other offerings anyway, but I did use cast bullets of our own manufacture in 62 and 66 cal as well as 12 bore (72 cal) and they were all very good, but honestly none were better than balls.

Those that are in marketing will scream at this, but it's the honest truth.

(We should all go back to our childhood days and re-read the story of the Emperors New Cloths. That's what 99.9% of the "new and improved muzzleloading gizmos" are based in these days.)

When you finish that story, read The Sporting Rifle and it’s Projectiles by James Forsyth, from 1863. Bullets are not “new”.

Last edited by Wyosmith; October 19, 2013 at 02:23 AM.
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Old October 18, 2013, 06:12 PM   #9
cdmckane
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There's no way a round ball, fired out of a slow twist barrel, can even come close to the ballistics of a saboted pistol bullet or a bore-sized conical at any range at all. I have and shoot a hawken with round balls just for fun. The amount of holdover I have to have just to even hit a 75 yard target is amazing, and when it gets there, it doesn't have the energy to punch through the 3 3/4" sheets of plywood I have my targets stapled to. The load I mentioned above hit's 3" high of the bullseye when I aim at the bull and easily punches through the plywood.
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Last edited by Brian Pfleuger; October 22, 2013 at 10:04 AM. Reason: Noise
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Old October 18, 2013, 07:03 PM   #10
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Well, another can of worms is open .... OOPS

Quote:
There's no way a round ball, fired out of a slow twist barrel, can even come close to the ballistics of a saboted pistol bullet or a bore-sized conical at any range at all
May not agree with "every" word but have to agree with it's spirit. This statement is mostly true, even though my SideLocks touch my heart and those others, don't. ....

Comes down to one's expectations on performance. ....

Be Safe !!!
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Old October 18, 2013, 08:14 PM   #11
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65 yard behind the ear head shot, no holdover. .530 round ball, 90 grains of powder. Yeah, I know my truck is a catch all.

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Old October 18, 2013, 08:22 PM   #12
reynolds357
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The 50 cal 300 grain FPB has cured my addiction to sabots. It is basically a modern, jacketed/plated, expanding, incarnation of the Minie Ball.
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Old October 18, 2013, 08:27 PM   #13
reynolds357
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Roashooter. I have several traditional muzzleloaders. I used to hunt with them. I have slain a lot of critters with them. Now, I like my Savage. It has relegated the traditionals to wall hangers. I had an antique car that I used to cruise around on Saturday night in. It was nice. It had is function, but when I want to strike out on an 800 mile trip, it's staying in the shed and my modern vehicle will make the journey. Just because someone chooses to hunt in a manner different from you does not mean they are an inept idiot. I can kill a deer with a recurve, never cared for long bows. I can also rain death from over 1k. The latter does not make me a poor hunter. The former does not make me an expert hunter. People can do things differently than you without it making them wrong.
My Cherokee ancestors as one of their methods of hunting ran deer down on foot and killed them. Maybe, if dont catch deer by hand you are a poor hunter.

Last edited by reynolds357; October 18, 2013 at 08:47 PM.
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Old October 18, 2013, 08:31 PM   #14
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Never had a problem with patched round balls out of my .50 or .54 taken multiple deer with each.
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Old October 18, 2013, 09:25 PM   #15
lefteye
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We are hunters. That fact should unite us, not divide us, regardless of our individual choice of muzzle loaders, center fire rifles, hand guns, shot guns or archery gear.
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Old October 18, 2013, 10:16 PM   #16
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Sometimes it depends on where you live and/or where you hunt.

In Idaho:

LEGAL IN MUZZLELOADER-ONLY SEASONS

A muzzle loading rifle or musket which:

Is capable of being loaded ONLY from the muzzle.

Is equipped with a single or double-barrel.

Is loaded ONLY with loose black powder OR other loose synthetic black powder. Pelletized powders are prohibited.

Is loaded with a patched round ball OR a conical, unjacketed projectile comprised wholly of lead or lead alloy. No sabots.

Is loaded with a projectile that is within .010 of an inch of the bore diameter.

Is equipped ONLY with a flint OR a percussion cap OR a musket cap. 209 primers are prohibited. Pelletized powders are prohibited.

Is equipped with an ignition system in which any portion of the cap is clearly exposed and visible when the hammer of the weapon is cocked and ready to fire.

Has no scope, only open or peep sights. Fiber optic open sites are permitted.

Is free of any electronic devices.

Is at least forty-five (.45) caliber for deer, antelope, or mountain lion.

Is at least fifty (.50) caliber for elk, moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goat, or black bear.

Last edited by Tad_T; October 18, 2013 at 11:50 PM.
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Old October 18, 2013, 10:26 PM   #17
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Gee's Hawg Haggen ain't you ate that doe yet? {been laying in the back of your truck a l~ong time!!_ lol} Anyway check this link out for your needs hogheaven. I found their products to be the best shooting out of my quick twist barrel. I'm sure you'll be satisfied with their products too.

http://www.prbullet.com/index.htm

http://www.prbullet.com/ee.htm <I have use these with great success. A family owned business and they use what they sell. Fellows there can answer any questions or concerns you may have too.
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Old October 18, 2013, 11:03 PM   #18
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Quote:
Gee's Hawg Haggen ain't you ate that doe yet?
Yea Sure Shot, I figured the buzzards woulda picked that doe cleaned by now and quenched their thirst on them 2-6 yr. old beverages that's been laying in the bed.

Those are some fine lookin bullets on the site you gave.
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Old October 19, 2013, 02:20 AM   #19
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Well gentlemen, I’d suggest you go back and read my post above again.
Read every word and read carefully.

While I would not say I am the “foremost authority” on the subject, I would say I know a great deal about it.

My background includes shooting and hunting with muzzleloader in 1971, and I have killed a lot of game, from rabbits to moose with them. I am fairly well known within the muzzleloading field, and have the attention of many shooters in both the target and hunting interests.
My guns are well known all over the world and I don’t get many complaints about my work, or my advice in the use of the guns I make.

Here are some to look at.
http://s90.photobucket.com/albums/k2...erican%20guns/

http://s90.photobucket.com/albums/k2...hurch%20rifle/

http://s90.photobucket.com/albums/k2...German%20guns/

http://s90.photobucket.com/albums/k2...nglish%20guns/

http://s90.photobucket.com/albums/k2...ie%20Harrison/

http://s90.photobucket.com/albums/k255/szihn/pistols/

I also was the CEO of a bullet company, (See my post above) and we made enough bullets to need 60-100 TONS of lead alloy a month. We made bullets by the hundreds of thousands and over a few years time, by millions.

I was responsible for probably about 80% of all the tests done with our bullets, and about 70% of all the tests done with our competitor’s bullets. I did that for several years.

We made a line of 45 caliber bullets for sabots to use in muzzleloaders of 50 and 54 cal. I did the work on them from drawing board to marketing.

So I know a lot about shooting modern bullets in muzzleloaders and I have a LOT of information on kills made with them over many years in many countries and on 5 continents. Not just deer and deer sized game. I am talking about animals from 50 pound antelope to 8,000 pound elephants.

If I count only the muzzleloader kills I have made, and the ones that were made while I watched, the number will be around 100. If I count the ones that were shown to me on video, and those that were mailed in to my office in letter form, the count would be many times more.

We made high-performance bullets for hunting with handguns and some rifles too.

So I can say without reservation, I know a LOT about this subject.



If you are shooting a round ball rifle in 45 caliber, and you compare that performance to a sabot-patched 45 cal revolver bullet at the same speed (about 1800 FPS was common for best accuracy, but some rifles will go a little faster) the 45 bullet will out perform the ball. That's 100% true.

In a 50 cal rifle made for bullet shooting (1-22 twist) compared to a 50 cal ball rifle, the performance of the two is pretty close on game. The 45 bullet from the sabot driven 50 cal rifle bore is usually a bit slower out of the muzzle, but the bullet retains velocity better than the ball, so again the bullet does a bit better, but not as much as you might think when you really see the kills (Not 5-10 kills either. I am talking about many hundreds, so the comparison has some real substance to it)

When you compare the 54 caliber balls to the 45 cal revolver bullets the performance is in favor of the balls as a rule.

In 58 cal the balls kill notably faster. In watching several buffalo shot with 58 cal rifles I have seen this myself. 45 cal revolver bullets don’t come close to 58 cal balls in most cases.
In 62, 66, 69 and 72 cals there is no comparison. The bullets don’t even come close.

In fact, my old 50-140 Sharps firing 650 grain bullets was not even close to as good a killer as a good 12 bore ball gun on ANY animal, from planes game to elephants. And the 50-140 shot a real rifle bullet, not a pistol bullet.

Yes I know, the 50-140 is not a muzzleloader, but a 650 grain .512” bullet at 1450 FPS is very formidable, and yet a 66 cal 430 grain ball at 1850 was better by far at killing game.

In the fields of Africa the 8 bore BALL gun is still far ahead of the 45 or 50 cal muzzleloading bullet rifles in their overall effectiveness, even though it’s been considered obsolete for over 100 years. You need 45 cal smokeless breach loaders shooting 500 grain bullets at about 2000 fps to get near the effectiveness of an 8 bore. (In other words, a 450 Nitro or a 458 Winchester)

We got thousands of letters every year from all over the world telling of results from hunters shooting our bullets from revolvers, from 32 all the way up to 454 Casulls, and also from 45-70s 45-90s 45-120s, 458 Winchesters and so on. Our bullets were VERY well spoken of.

But when it comes to killing game with muzzleloaders I can tell you faithfully, at ranges of 200 yards and less from muzzleloaders, in guns of 54 caliber and larger, overall nothing beat a hard round ball in killing game.

I sincerely wish it had been different because I was making a lot of money for my company on the products I made and designed, but in the field of hunting and killing game with front-stuffers, nothing ever beat the round ball for overall performance.

The long 40, 44 and 45 cal bullets (that means rifle bullets! Not revolver bullets) shoot better at long range. “Long” being over 200 yards.
A good hit with any 370 to 550 grain bullet is better than a poor hit (or miss ) with any bullet. That’s true,-- but at regular ranges for hunting, 200 yards and closer, the .54 and bigger ball kill better than the bullets.

You see, at 1800 FPS the HP bullets will expand and they do so, down to about 1100 FPS. When they do, they become about 54 caliber. If they leave the muzzle at even 2000 FPS it may impress you, but you need to look at the velocity of the bullet on impact and just an inch after impact.

At 150 yards it’s going about 1100 FPS. The Ball comes out the barrel at about the same speed as the bullet. The most common muzzle velocity for patched round balls is about 1850 for good accuracy. Faster is not accurate in most cases.

The ball sheds velocity even faster than the bullet, but a 54 cal ball hits at 54 caliber and if it doesn’t expand at all, it’s as big around as your best HP revolver bullets when it expands. If the 54 cal ball does expand, it’s bigger around than your best 45 cal hollow point will get.

If the ball is cast hard (only about 14 BN is good enough) it will not expand much but it doesn’t need to.

Another myth is that you should only use pure lead for your patched round balls. Not so. Pure lead balls do not penetrate much better then a jacketed hollow point revolver bullet, and in a few cases, not as well.

But cast from 12-14 BN alloy, they out penetrate any hollow point revolver bullet or soft point revolver bullet I have ever tested, and they do it by over 2X.

Another thing that most hunters are unaware of is the fact (which is a FACT) is an expanding revolver bullet striking flesh at 1500 FPS slows down to only about 750 FPS in it’s first 1-2 inches of penetration. That energy is converted into the expanding of the cavity to make it come up to about 9/16inch. (which is about 54 cal incidentally)

Now when you start to look at the 58 caliber 14 BN balls (really, 562 to 575”) the revolver bullets can’t compare. Yes they will shoot a bit flatter, but they don’t kill as well.

Again, I wish that it was not true, because I would have made more money, but I can’t wish the facts into changing. These are the facts.

Just to illustrate---- I hunt with a 62 cal flintlock. I have killed 4 moose in my life.
One with a 348 Winchester. 1 shot. Moose went about 30 yards and fell and the bullet was against the ribs on the off-side.
Two moose with 375H&H. Both stayed on their feet for about 10-15 seconds. One was shot a second time. Neither moose kept a bullet in the body.

The last one was with my 62 cal flintlock. One shot, moose hit the ground before the recoil was over. The ball broke both upper shoulder bones and went off through the trees on the other side.

Now I am sure a double shoulder break would have done just as well if I’d have done it with a 375, or a 338 or a 30-06, or a 454 Casull, but I can tell you the likelihood of that happening with a jacketed 45 cal revolver bullet is very slim. A good hard cast revolver can do it, but I know of no hollow points that can do this and still exit a 1600 pound bull moose and keep going.

In my life I have hunted and killed game with muzzleloaders firing 50 cal balls, 54 cal balls, 58 cal balls, 58 cal R.E.A.L bullets, 58 caliber Minie bullets, 45 cal bullets from 400 to 550 grains in my Rigby style rifle, 62 cal balls and 62 cal bullets (900 grains) In addition to these muzzleloading kills, I have seen many many others, ranging from 45 cal flintlocks to 8 bore rifles. What I am writing here is not a repeat of something I read. It’s all from real-world experience, mine and my customers and clients.

So, to come back to the original question about what is “best” ----I have to dogmatically say, the patched round ball is still the best overall for hunting.

Bullets fly better. But they don’t kill as well. (unless you are comparing them to 45 cal balls.) In comparing a 50 cal ball to a 45 cal HP revolver bullet, it’s pretty close. The bullet may edge out the ball by a small margin, but that’s a “maybe”. I have not seen any dramatic advantage of such bullet over the 50 cal balls, but to be honest they were not a lot worse either.

In comparing a 54 cal ball to a 45 cal HP Revolver bullet the bullet will do as well out to about 75 yards and after that the ball will kill better, all other things being equal.

If we look at a 58, 62 66, 69 or 72 cal balls there is NO 45 revolver bullet that can even come close to killing as well.

Many who have the experience of reading advertisements, and might have even killed 1-10 deer might disagree.

But as I said, I have a lot of real knowledge in this area, and I don’t just believe what I am saying here. I know!

If I were wrong, I would have made a lot more money. I wish this was wrong, but it's not!

I AM NOT SAYING that the modern HP and soft nose bullets are BAD!
I am saying as a rule they are not better.

Not much has changed.
As I said in my first post,

You gents need to read Forsyth's book. He killed more animals in 1 year then any of us will kill in a lifetime, and he did use both bullet rifles and ball rifles.
He is 100% dogmatic in his stand.
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Old October 19, 2013, 03:17 AM   #20
TennJed
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Muzzleloading

Quote:
Originally Posted by lefteye View Post
We are hunters. That fact should unite us, not divide us, regardless of our individual choice of muzzle loaders, center fire rifles, hand guns, shot guns or archery gear.
Well Said
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Old October 19, 2013, 09:42 AM   #21
Sure Shot Mc Gee
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Interesting write Wyosmith. Learned a little today from your experiences. {Looks like I'll have to tweak my lead casting recipe from now on concerning its BHN.} Appreciate your time & effort Sir.
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Old October 19, 2013, 10:10 AM   #22
Hawg
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Gee's Hawg Haggen ain't you ate that doe yet? {been laying in the back of your truck a l~ong time!!_ lol}
Pretty close to a year now. She was mighty tasty but long gone. Almost time to get another one.
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Old October 19, 2013, 10:32 AM   #23
redneck
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I've got nothing against conicals, sabots or inlines but I get along just fine with a .54 patch and ball. I don't have the notches in my gun some of you guys do but every deer shot with it has been a complete pass through and haven't required any tracking. Doesn't require any holdover at 75 yards either.

Our muzzle loading season is in january and the weather is usually not great. There have been times I've thought it would be nice to have an inline that I don't have to worry about getting wet, banging it up if I take a spill on ice etc. and a scope would be nice for those end of the day low light shots you sometimes get. If i get one you can bet I will shoot whatever load is accurate and cheap. I don't think deer are THAT hard to kill and pretty much any slug out there should be able to poke a half inch hole clear through one.
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Old October 19, 2013, 01:42 PM   #24
reynolds357
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I have always wanted a .54 I have one .45 and a pile of .50's.
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Old October 19, 2013, 07:58 PM   #25
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Great right up Wyosmith.

A lot of wisdom and truth in what you speak. Especially in that of the 54 cal. and up.
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