View Full Version : For Inline's Loose powder vs. Pellets

January 23, 2012, 11:04 AM
I'm gonna start going through loads with the Traditions Buck Stalker as soon as I get the scope mounted. Do you guys see any difference using loose powder vs. Pellets. I was going to zero it in using 100gr (2 pellets). I was just wondering if loose powder was more accurate or held tighter more consistent groups. If so, what type of loose powder do you use and how much? And also with loose do you have to use a wad under the sabot?

January 23, 2012, 11:15 AM
It's not necessary to load a wad under the sabot.
Many folks think that loose powder is always more accurate but that's not necessarily true for all guns.
That's because some pellets are densely compressed which causes them to produce their own unique pressure curve and velocity.
And using pellets can help to negate the variable of how much compression is applied during ramming that's associated with loading loose powders.
I usually load about 90 grains of loose Pyrodex P or APP fffg.
However 777 is probably the most popular powder and the new Blackhorn 209 is probably the cleanest.
Loading 2 pellets is a good place to start and then later after sighting in you can compare the performance to similar loads of loose powder.

January 23, 2012, 12:16 PM
Do you guys see any difference using loose powder vs. Pellets.
By my measure, there is a difference and there have been a few documented issues with pellets that loose powder will not present. Your M/L has an optimum load that pellets may not cover. ... ;)
However, it's really your call and if indeed you want to use pellets, why not determine that optimum load and choose pellets that comes close.
It's not necessary to load a wad under the sabot.
Very true but my hunter's performance improves when I include these in my shot string. I had a 700ML that shot great with them. .... ;)
By the way, there is a difference in the quality of sabots and the cheap ones, don't perform well.
As Far as propellant, I'm just getting into the Blackhorn-209 and have mostly shot 777, as I still have a bunch of that.

Be Safe !!!

January 23, 2012, 12:38 PM
I agree with Pahoo. Loose powder generally gives a more consistant bang (and in muzzleloading consistency is everything).

For bullets, my favorite is the Hornady SST 250 grn. That is the exact same bullet as the T/C Shockwave (Hornady makes them for T/C) but it has a red tip instead of yellow and it cost much less.

Wild Bill Bucks
January 23, 2012, 12:49 PM
Articap & Pahoo are both right as rain. I have had rifles that shoot pellets better, than loose, and others that shot better with loose. Neither of them will shoot different enough to miss a deer under 100 yards. My biggest concern with the two was the cost. I like to shoot all year, and the difference in price is what changed my mind about what I use.
Around here, I have to give around $32.00 for a box of pyrodex select in pellet form, and I'm forced to use 100 grains per shot. 50 shots to a box is around .64 cents. With the loose, my cost is around $26.00 a pound, and I get to use the 90 grains that I prefer to shoot, and a pound yields around 78 shots per pound, or about .33 cents per shot. That's almost 1/2 price which means more shots for the money. With the cost of bulk sabots from MMP and Bulk bullets from Hornady, my cost per round is a little over a $1.00 a shot. If you buy the pre-packaged bullets and sabots from your local wally world, you can be spending $2.50 a shot according on what tickles your fancy.
I will shoot a couple of hundred rounds or so through the year at the range and a few more than that at a few hogs, deer, and the such. You can see quickly how much money can be saved by shooting the loose over the pellets.

My $.02:)

January 24, 2012, 12:37 AM
Great Info guys, Thanks alot, I was planning on getting the Hornady Low drag sabots with the SST bullets. So thats the plan, I'll zero it with the pellets and get some Black horn and try er out. I'm putting a Burris Fullfield II on this gun, I have this scope on all my rifles (I like it that much). Do you guys see a problem with this scope on a muzzleloader. I figure if it can take the abuse of the ADL it most certainly should stand up to the smoke pole.

January 24, 2012, 03:00 AM
The scope should work out okay as long as it provides enough eye relief for you to not receive scope eye.
If the eye relief range actually is 3.1 - 3.8 inches as some Burris Fullfield ll's are listed as having, then keep the magnification on the low to mid-power settings until you become familiar with shooting the new gun.


January 24, 2012, 11:52 PM
I use loose powder, but also have obtained some Pyrodex pellets because they look handier to use. Should a pellet be crushed under the ball and would a felt wad under the ball be necessary?

January 25, 2012, 01:41 AM
Pellets are intended to only be used with inline rifles unless a sidelock model was designed to use them. And even those models can often need a booster charge of loose powder to reliably ignite the pellet.
There's no need to crush a pellet that's loaded under a ball, but if it does get crushed during ramming then don't worry about it because I believe that's fairly common.

A wool wad can be used under a patched round ball, but whether using it will result in better accuracy or not would require some testing.
Wool wads act as a gas check to reduce blow by which can help to promote more consistent velocity, especially if the patch is thin, not staying intact during firing or getting damaged during loading.
But sometimes using wads can also change accuracy for the worse.

January 25, 2012, 09:11 AM
Haven't used pellets for many years. Actually, used them the first couple years Pyrodex came out with them so those with better memories then I will know how many years ago that's been.:o

At any rate, when I and the guys I shot/hunted with used them(pellets), on occasion, we would experience 'light' ignition problems...'light' as in the rifle would fire but you knew all the powder did not ignite. Some of us did a series of changes to our inlines going from #11 percussion caps to musket caps for hotter ignition. This seemed to help but did not cure the problem.

A call to Pyrodex ensued and this was the explanation:

" The pellet is designed to burn from the inside out via the hole in the center of the pellet. When two pellets are loaded, the holes in the pellets line up in the bbl and if one or both pellets are crushed or for whatever reason these holes don't line up, a squib or light ignition may occur regardless of type of ignition system used. "

We continued to use pellets till my buddy, after hunting hard for a couple days, pulled up on a deer and experienced another 'light ignition' and that was it. Back to the loose stuff.

Maybe things have changed since then. Don't know.

Not knocking the pellets or those that use them...to each their own.

This has been my experience.

January 27, 2012, 12:10 AM
hmmm, did wonder about those holes. learn something new everyday.