Muzzleloader hunting is new to me, and I was wondering how close of groups are realistic for my gun. I have a CVA Optima with 3x9x40 Nikon Prostaff scope, shooting 295 gr. Power Belt and 100 grains of pellet 777. I do not have a bench for shooting that has a vise for the gun, so my shooting is off of a wooden bench and sandbags. This is what I have always used for the 30-06 and had no problem grouping. I am not sure with a muzzleloader if this would be considered an acceptable group for a new muzzleloader shooter or not. I was told that muzzleloaders have more factors to account for such as cleaning. I was cleaning between every 3 shots with a wet patch followed by two dry ones, and after about every 6 I would take the breech plug out and clean that a bit as well. Also if this is not considered grouping, how do I know if it is my shooting ability or possibly something with the gun or scope?
Here is the target I was shooting at today. Every shot hit in the black rings except the first shot which was high just at the top of the paper. Thanks to all who reply in advance Well I tried to link to the photo, but it doesnt seem to bw working, so I any input is still appreciated and if you have a second and want to check out the i mage I was trying to post you can copy the link into to your browser address bar. Thanks
Personally I would be pretty content with that group. A few factors to consider though is approx. 100 yards or under going to be the range that your comfortable shooting? Also try running a wet patch followed by 2 dry after every shot see if that changes anything. The gun itself is capable of holding much tighter groups then that. I would also try backing down on the grain of bullet. I would try 250 grain shockwaves. Never had any luck with powerbelts personally. But always remember every muzzleloader likes a different load combo. My encore shoots better groups then my buddys with the same load in it. Good luck and good shooting. Don't be ashamed of that group at all brother!
I am using the 777 209 primers, and it the old optima so it has the older style breech plug that must be removed with the provided tool. Most of my shots will be under 100 yards becasue I mostly hunt in wooded areas as well. Thanks agian for all the suggestions
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Get a #32 or 3mm drill bit and clean the breech plugs flash channel. This would be the primer end of the plug. It fills up with carbon pretty fast and should be cleaned every 10 shots or so. Give it a try, you will be surprised. And yes, it can affect your accuracy.
Start using Blackhorn 209 powder and you won't have to clean your barrel hardly at all.Your 20th shot will be just as accurate as your first.I do suggest starting at 50 yds first.Good Luck and let's see a 50yd target