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Old October 20, 2013, 11:39 AM   #26
Rifleman1776
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cdmcane, the reference was to killing power, not numbers and ballistics. I am primarily a traditional muzzle loading hunter. The only deer I have ever had to trail more than 50 yards (most were less than 20 yards) was a friends bow kill in Kansas.
I know many shooter/hunters are completely hung up on the numbers thing but many of us believe that arithmetic is not what brings down game.
A big, fat, slow moving projectile is often the most effective killer.
Those who are enamored with the 'bigger is better' obsession will never accept that traditional muzzle loading rifle enthusiasts use those guns for reasons more than harvesting animals.
I have about six more paragraphs in me on this subject but will stop before it becomes a long sermon/rant.
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Old October 20, 2013, 12:30 PM   #27
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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 first got into muzzleloading in the early 60s in southern MD. i met an old man who was dragging a huge buck deer and carrying an old muzzleloader. Dragged the deer out for him and helped load it on his truck. Chatted with him for awhile and drank his coffee.

He said i should be hunting with a muzzleloader instead of my shotgun and slugs. "Uncle" Joe was nearly 80 years old when i met him. He had killed hundreds of deer with patched round balls. "Uncle" Joe tutored me in muzzleloaders and gave me a couple original guns. We often hunted together until about 1975.

This year i killed my first deer in decades using patched round ball. The gun is a .50 caliber TC New Englander rifle. The deer was about 35 yards from my tree stand: At the shot she bang flopped. The ball was found under the skin on the off side.



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Old October 20, 2013, 01:28 PM   #28
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Best I've ever seen?....

Patched round balls.


I've seen everything from sabots with 200 gr HPs to 750 gr (.54 cal) "Sledgehammer" bullets used for deer. Round balls with a moderate powder charge (such as 70-90 gr FFg in .54 cal) kicked their butts. Round balls with a heavy charge (such as 100-130 gr FFg or 90+ gr FFFg in .54 cal) were brutal and unnecessary.
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Old October 20, 2013, 01:35 PM   #29
shortwave
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Fine looking doe thallub.

While I do enjoy the PRB shot out of one of my trusty sidelocks, I also enjoy taking deer with my inlines.

Started out shooting BP in the late 60's when the 'ole' flinters cussed the caplock'ers the same way a few caplock'ers of today cuss the inliners.
Too, the longbow archers back then cussed the compound bow archers much the same way the compound bow archers of today currently cuss the crossbow users.

Funny how that works isn't it.

But back on topic...far as deer sized animals are concerned , they just aren't that hard to kill with anything from a .22 on up with the proper shot placement. And certainly not with a roundball, conical or sabot out of a bp rifle the size of 45cal.and up. Again, with proper shot placement.

IMO, the answer to the OP's question is simply the projectile that flies best out of his bp rifle. And the only way to tell which is the best 'killer' is to pull some range time shooting different bullets/loads and finding his rifle's 'sweet spot' for a hunting load at the probable max. distance he is going to shoot to.
If he can consistently put that chunk of lead through the paper plate at that distance with a respectable hunting charge , it's a dead deer.

In other words...my 'ultimate, jump back, 'best in the world' bullet' may not fly worth squat in your rifle.

Too, seems to me, to advise the OP of choices to use out of his m/l'er would require a bit more info from him.
What rifle and bbl. twist rate for example.

Last edited by shortwave; October 20, 2013 at 01:44 PM.
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Old October 20, 2013, 02:26 PM   #30
thallub
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"This year i killed my first deer in decades using patched round ball."

Meant to say this is the first deer i have killed using patched round ball in decades.

Got back into muzzleloader hunting in 1999 with the purchase of a .50 inline. Since then i've killed about 40 whitetail deer and oodles of wild hogs using the Hornady 240 grain .430 XTP bullet and the .45 SST bullet. Both are very deadly on deer and wild hogs.

Those bullets were chosen for their accuracy when fired from my guns. Lots of other bullets will perform just as well; when put in the right place.

Then Ft. Sill mandated the use of conventional muzzleloaders during the first week of their primitive season. No sabots, scopes or fiber optic sights allowed: PRB or old style conicals only. i chose the patched round ball.

Shot placement is critical. No bullet will magically transform a gut shot into a bang flop.

Last edited by thallub; October 20, 2013 at 02:32 PM.
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Old October 20, 2013, 04:10 PM   #31
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I'm kind of surprised at holdover at 75yds for a .45(?) Hawken.

I wouldn't expect significant drop at that distance for any type of projectile with a muzzle velocity greater than 1000fps.

Not surprised that a .54 ball out preforms a .45 bullet or sabot. I'm skeptical about it out preforming a .54 conical. That seems to break the laws of physics.

Wouldn't a .54 minie(or other conical) have greater mass than the same caliber ball and at the same velocity have greater energy at impact? Given the same alloy wouldn't they have the same tendency to deform?
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Old October 20, 2013, 06:25 PM   #32
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Muzzleloading

Some of you guys need to relax...all I asked is what works best for you..not for you to argue and discuss how one another are wrong....everyone has their own opinion just as every gun has a different bullet that works well in it...stop insulting each other's methods.
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Old October 20, 2013, 06:35 PM   #33
eastbank
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last seasons flintlock deer,.50 cal pedersoli blue ridge rifle 80grs fff with rounld ball. 65 yds standing. it ran about 35-40 yrds and fell over
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Old October 20, 2013, 06:52 PM   #34
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Nice job east bank but...shouldn't your mule have four legs instead of four tires?
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Old October 20, 2013, 07:34 PM   #35
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Wyosmith I have to agree with you about round balls and I love the rules of muzzleloading Tad T wrote about in Idaho. No way one of those Zip guns will end up in my arsenal. Sidelocks, round balls, and real black powder...yahoo!
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Old October 20, 2013, 08:14 PM   #36
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i just don,t want a animal smarter than i am. eastbank.
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Old October 21, 2013, 09:39 AM   #37
Rifleman1776
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Final thought from me.
The traditional muzzle loading rifle using a patched round ball and black powder is a throwback to an obsolete style of shooting.
It is not a modern gun.
Those of us who use such do so because we love preserving history.
The round ball ml is, unarguably, an inferior gun compared to modern big bangers. But, it is a highly effective game killer WITHIN IT'S EFFECTIVE RANGE and in the hands of an ethical, practiced shooter.
You don't like it? Then do what pleases you, not me. I'm sticking with my .45 cal. prb flintlock rifle thank you.
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Old October 21, 2013, 05:33 PM   #38
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Final thought from me.
The traditional muzzle loading rifle using a patched round ball and black powder is a throwback to an obsolete style of shooting.
It is not a modern gun.
Those of us who use such do so because we love preserving history.
The round ball ml is, unarguably, an inferior gun compared to modern big bangers. But, it is a highly effective game killer WITHIN IT'S EFFECTIVE RANGE and in the hands of an ethical, practiced shooter.
You don't like it? Then do what pleases you, not me. I'm sticking with my .45 cal. prb flintlock rifle thank you.
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Well said! We all get out for different reasons. The whole point of hunting after all is not killing something but experiencing all there is out in the woods (where most of us belong).
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Old October 21, 2013, 06:23 PM   #39
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The round ball is actually a throwback to the musket. I am not being critical, I am just asking a question I do not know the answer to: What is the point of shooting a round ball from a rifled barrel?
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Old October 21, 2013, 08:25 PM   #40
thallub
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Quote:
What is the point of shooting a round ball from a rifled barrel?
1. Patched round balls are cheap to shoot.
2. Patched round balls are accurate.
3. Patched round balls are effective on big game when put in the right place.
4. Shooting patched round balls is fun.

BTW: My ball patches are lubed with Go Jo hand cleaner.
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Old October 22, 2013, 05:21 AM   #41
Old Stony
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Reynolds357...A roundball is much more accurate from a rifled barrel than a smoothbore. The spin is necessary to stabilize it.
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Old October 22, 2013, 08:28 AM   #42
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maxiballs and maxi hunters have been pretty good in mine so far.
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Old October 22, 2013, 09:56 AM   #43
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My Midwest Shooting

Quote:
What is the best bullet that you have found in a muzzleloader for hunting game like deer?
What the best, is subjective. There are may excellent non-RB projectiles out there and you have listed one of them. Most can get very expensive to practice with. ....

Lately, in my non-traditionals, I have been using a hard-cast pistol bullets in .44, 240gr. with Sabots. I am also use a .45 hard-cast. I buy them in bulk and cost is kept reasonable.They are an effective round, for my Midwest shooting. ...

Be Safe !!!
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Old October 22, 2013, 12:14 PM   #44
Mike Irwin
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"What is the point of shooting a round ball from a rifled barrel?"

In some areas, it's the law.

Ultimately, the point is the same as shooting a blackpowder gun in the age of modern rifles.

It's interesting and it's fun.
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Old October 22, 2013, 01:28 PM   #45
eastbank
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if you think a round ball is not accurcete, look up(mr. flintlock) that shooter can hit a charcoal brickett hanging from a string fron 100yds with a .58 cal rifle useing a round ball OFF HAND. and he just looks like a old fat guy. eastbank.
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Old October 22, 2013, 01:47 PM   #46
Mike Irwin
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One of the big problems with roundballs today is that many rifles have fast twist rifling designed to stabilize the big, heavy conicals.

Round balls stabilize best with a slow twist. IIRC the twist for .45 to .50 caliber is about 1 turn in 66 inches, where as with a conical in those calibers is around 1 turn in 24 to 32 inches.

Thompson Center rifles used to have a compromise twist, generally 1 turn in 48 inches, that would adequately stabilize both round balls and conicals, but which generally woudln't give the best accuracy with either.

After Pennsylvania adopted the round ball only, flintlock only rules for what they called the primitive season (designated muzzleloader season) T/C came out with the Pennsylvania Hunter rifle, a flintlock with a barrel that had the twist opitmized for round ball.

At my old club in Pennsylvania years ago I saw one guy land 3 of 5 shots from his .45 Pennsylvania Long Rifle on a 12" gong at 500 yards, and judging by the dust puffs the other two didn't miss by much. He was shooting a patched round ball and IIRC about 55 grains of 3 Fg.
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Old October 22, 2013, 06:00 PM   #47
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My .54 Caliber Thompson Center Renegade has a 1:48 twist and is accurate with patched rounds balls, Maxi-balls, Maxi-Hunters, and PowerBelts 405 gr lead conicals and 90 gr of Pyrodex or 777.

I have killed deer with all of them.

I wish TC hadn't stopped making the .54 Maxi-balls and Maxi-hunters.

I plan on using the PowerBelts for elk hunting in November in Island Park, ID.
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Old October 22, 2013, 06:10 PM   #48
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Quote:
1. Patched round balls are cheap to shoot.
2. Patched round balls are accurate.
3. Patched round balls are effective on big game when put in the right place.
4. Shooting patched round balls is fun.
5. Patched round balls are easier to load than conicals.
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Old October 22, 2013, 06:18 PM   #49
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You can find them !!!

Quote:
I wish TC hadn't stopped making the .54 Maxi-balls and Maxi-hunters
.
You can still find some old/new stock on the Maxi's as well as molds. A very good sub or even better than the MaxiHunter, is the Hornady Great Plaines and still, there are better than those. .....

Be Safe !!!
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Old October 22, 2013, 06:52 PM   #50
flintlock.50
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I killed a 6x6 elk in Wyoming last year with a .50 cal patched round ball. I used a traditional flintlock with balls cast from wheel weight lead, which is harder than pure lead. Wyosmith advised me to use wheel weight lead to get better penetration than with pure lead. The ball performed exactly as he predicted. From 40 yds it passed diagonally through the elk's chest cavity, lodging under the skin on the far side. Had it not hit bone on its entry, I believe it would have passed all the way through. Oh, the elk stumbled only 40 yards before dropping.

The wheel weight balls are accurate too. I have a 50 yd target with 9 shots in a 1.65 inch group, shot from my flintlock with iron sights. Balls can definitely get the job done.
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