View Full Version : Just bought my first inline muzzleloader, would like advice on getting started.

Ooge E. Bawawa
November 21, 2009, 01:15 PM
Hello. I'm new to this site and I could use some advice about getting started. I have hunted the last few black powder seasons with my old Thompson Center Renegade .54 using maxi balls and 70 grain pyrodex. I just recently bought a new Thompson Center Omega Z5 and I'm wondering what works well with it. I have already purchased 245g. powerbelts. I'm wondering if I can still use the Pyrodex that I already have and how much of it I should use. I think most guys with the inlines shoot the preformed pellets like tripple7 but it’s kind of expensive and if there is no significant difference I would like to use what I have. I am hunting Ohio farmland for whitetail deer. Also at what yardage should I sight in at? I am shooting it in tomorrow for the first time. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this. I'm looking forward to reading your comments.

November 21, 2009, 03:45 PM
If you haven't opened them, I would take back the Powerbelts. There are much better bullets on the market. I know a ton of people who have tried them and haven't been able to hold a group. The lone exception is with CVA muzzle loaders, the PB's were designed for their barrels. I would look at Thompson or Hornadys. As far as the pyrodex, heck yeah you can use it. I would think your gun would excel using 100-110 grains. I know that gun is capable of 150 grains but, I have read, been told by my local gun shop, and proved to myslef that if you don't have a t least a 28" barrel you are not going to burn up 150 grains. Sighting in, I would start at 25 yards to ensure that you're on paper and then move back to 100 yards. Your new gun should stretch out to 150 yards effective killing range no problem.

Good luck, Jeff.

Ooge E. Bawawa
November 21, 2009, 04:38 PM
Thank you Jeff. I appreciate your advice. Now that I don't have to spend $40 on the pellets I have more money to experiment with the different sabbots you have recomended. Thanks again

November 21, 2009, 04:39 PM
powerbelts suck for t/c guns.

try loads for 90gr-130gr.

use either .44, or .45 sabots with what ever pistol bullet you prefer. t/c makes some good ones, as does hornady.

i just use a 300gr .44 rainier ballistics fp. it punches thru both lungs, the same bullet but hollow point opens real well.

irrc, with a 300gr .44 bullet, and 2 50gr pyrodex pellets if i zero at 100yd i am 4" high at 50yd, and 8" low at 150yd.

you are up in the flat lands right? i would definately sight in at 100yd, and know your 150yd-200yd drops.

i used to hunt up by Akron, and killed lots of does between 100yd-200yd with my inline.

November 21, 2009, 07:49 PM
I used Hornady sabots with 240 gr. XTP bullets for years over 100 grains of loose Pyrodex in a TC White Mountain carbine. It was a great combo for me. I also have a Knight Disc rifle that shoots the same load really well. For open country I switch to a Hornady lock-n-load sabot with three 777 pellets and SST ML bullet. I was told by the Knight technical dept. not to use PowerBelts. The guy said that they have a habit of sliding toward the muzzle during normal carrying, hunting, etc. Then they act like an obstruction when the powder is lit :eek:

November 21, 2009, 09:33 PM
Welcome fellow Ohioan! The Powerbelts may or may not fly out of your Omega. The only way to tell is try them. They shoot great and I like them out of my Rem 700 but not at all out of my Encore. Although the Omega and Encore have the same barrel a guy I know shoots them in his Omega just fine. Its what your rifle likes. My experience with Powerbelts is if your gun can shoot them, accuracy starts to go south using a powder charge greater than 110grns. FWIW, I use 250 grn. SST`s. Try starting with a powder charge of 85grns. loose powder and work up in 5grn. increments. Also remember if you opt for the saboted boolits, they like it dry so don`t lube between shots. You can do a search on seasoning the barrel and make your mind up on that as there is alot of opinions on the topic. I like mine seasoned.YMMV.

November 22, 2009, 01:24 AM
Powerbelts wernt designed for only CVA rifles, thats a huge myth. Powerbelts were originally called Blackbelts, before CVA bought the company and renamed it the Powerbelt. Even Knight used to market the Powerbelt bullets for their rifles.

My advice with those 245's is not to exceed 90gr Volume Pyrodex RS. Start off with 70, take 3 shots, up it to 80gr, take 3 shots and so on, but do not go over 90gr!

My omega was an earlier model but it performed awesome with 70gr Pyrodex P and Winchester 777 primers or Winchester W209 primers.

295 aerotip with 70gr Pyrodex P @ 100 yards,

Another target with the same loads. The very top center were with 777 Primers, the others were with Winchester W209. And i take that back, the lowest group to the left was 3 shots with the 348gr aerotips.

Do primers make a difference?
3 shots with CCI 209m Primers,

November 22, 2009, 08:39 AM
Powerbelts wernt designed for only CVA... Your absolutely correct FrontierGander. Also thats a nice shooting partner you have there.;) Been messing with Powerbelts many years. Powerbelts were once known as Blackbelts and were patented/ made by Big Bore Express out of Boise, Idaho. An all lead, prelubed bullet coming in either hp or fp. in gr. weights for the 50cal. of 295,348,405,444. Used to pay $8.99 for 20ea. 50 cal. 348gr.:rolleyes:. Talk about inflation! O.E Bawawa, again try your Powerbelts out of your Omega using your loose Pyrodex and following Fontiers advice. It won`t take long to find out. You may get lucky. Also,I found that running a very light,coated patch of Wonder Lube between shots slightly improved accuracy with the Powerbelts in my Rem.

Ooge E. Bawawa
November 22, 2009, 11:47 AM
Awsome, Thank you all for your advice. This helped a lot. I'm going off in a coulple of hours to shoot and I'm getting excited. I like shooting anything but muzzleloaders are especialy fun. Thanks again guys.

November 22, 2009, 02:06 PM
Experienced hard core inline shooters use loose powder.
The pellets were designed for convenience. They are much more expensive than loose powder. Also they may not be as accurate. In other words if your rifle needs a 90 gr load for max accuracy, you can't get that with pellets.

I am not saying if you use pellets you are an inexperienced rookie, but a lot of inexperienced rookies do use the pellets.

Try the Hornady 250 SST, what a deer killer! Readily available and not too expensive.

November 22, 2009, 03:23 PM
I shoot the 150grn. charge of pellets and the powerbelts in 2 different rifles and 3 shot groups the size of a quarter is an everyday thing. There are no set rules, it is all up to what the rifle likes.

Now just to mess up all the tales that everyone seems to repeat. I load a Hawkens with 20grns of loose powder, then drop 2ea. 50grn. pellets, then load a 348grn. powerbelt. It will shoot 3 holes touching at 100yds. any day I can hold it still. I have the targets to prove it.

You hear, the loose powder is more accurate, you can't mix loose powder and pellets, the powerbelts aren't as accurate as a certain sabot load and on and on. You just have to test your rifle to see what it likes unless you have access to some technical information about your barrel and a certain sabot or bullet size. You can buy sabots that are made a couple of thousanths smaller or larger to fit your rifling better. But there again it will come down to testing different loads to see what your rifle likes.

The powerbelts work in mine so I'm not looking to fix what is not broke. I've shot deer with them from 20yds. out to 150yds., never lost one yet.

November 23, 2009, 06:22 AM
Experienced hard core inline shooters use loose powder.
The pellets were designed for convenience. They are much more expensive than loose powder. Also they may not be as accurate. In other words if your rifle needs a 90 gr load for max accuracy, you can't get that with pellets.

I am not saying if you use pellets you are an inexperienced rookie, but a lot of inexperienced rookies do use the pellets.

Try the Hornady 250 SST, what a deer killer! Readily available and not too expensive.

all kinds of bad info here!

i probably have 1,000-1,200 rounds thru my knight wolverine. and my dad has a bit more. i tried black powder, pyrodex, etc...

both of us get best performance from pellets, i use 90gr, my dad uses 100gr.

you can buy 40gr pellets, and 50gr pellets.

and if you wait till after black powder season you can regularly get boxes of pellets for <$10 at wallyworld.

as said in another post, try different powders, pellets, bullets, sabbots, primers, etc...

November 23, 2009, 08:35 AM
both of us get best performance from pellets,

I think you are the only person I've heard gets better performance from pellets. Most every one else finds just the opposite. The poster was correct. Pellets were designed for convenience not performance.

November 23, 2009, 09:42 AM
In other words if your rifle needs a 90 gr load for max accuracy, you can't get that with pellets.
Your example doesn't work, because 30 grain pellets are also available.

So... 30, 50, 60, 80, and every ten grain increment thereafter is achievable with pellets.

you can buy 40gr pellets, and 50gr pellets.
I don't think I've ever seen 40 grain 50 cal pellets, and I don't see them listed on Hodgdon's Web site...?

November 24, 2009, 08:35 AM
They must be getting better and more exact on making the pellets. When I tried shooting them some years ago I could never obtain the accuracy with them I could with loose. Could I kill deer out to say 125 yds? Yep. Could I bust golfballs at the same range? Nope. For those shooting pellets today, if you have a set of scales, weigh each pellet. Again haven`t done this in quite a few yrs and pellets may be better made today but used to be you just had to much difference when weighing pellets of same grn. amount. Maybe I need to get with the times:o. Since we all know the secret to bp shooting is consistency, the exact same amount of powder per shot would be crucial for best accuracy. That would be the reason some serious shooters using bp substitutes use a volume measurer to work up their fav. load then weigh that fav. volume amount and use scales thereafter when shooting. Unless the pellets of today are more accurately made, although accurate enough for say deer hunting out to a certain distance, I don`t understand how they can be as accurate as loose:confused: Maybe the question should be: are pellets accurate enough for the individual?

November 25, 2009, 09:38 AM
Tell that to all the deer I have killed with my T/C Omega and the most recent 8 point that went down on NOV. 10 2009. Shot it behind the shoulder, it ran maybe 60 feet or so and had lots of damage to the vitals. I recovered the powerbelt bullet on the opposite side of entry against the hide. I have been using the 295 GR. HP Powerbelts in my Omega for years with great success. Just this year I switched to the Blackhorn 209 powder and I must say at 50 yards the T/C almost put the first 2 shots through the same hole. Blackhorn 209 is for real with very little smoke and build up. I am sold on it for sure. I sighted it in at 1 inch high at 50 yards because thats about the only distance I get to shoot in thick woods where I hunt. Oh yes I have taken a couple of whitetails in the field at 100 yards with no problem. I must add that in years past I have had great sucess with the 240 GR. XTP bullets with the sabots. They will also drop them where they stand if the shooter does his or her part.
Powerbelts may not work well in your smokepole but one dang for sure, if they don't then use something else. Kind of like Fords, chevies and Toyotas if one does not work for you then use something else.