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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Shippensburg, Michaux and 4B
Finally got my smokeless muzzleloader dialed in...
So this past spring I bought a Hankins converted smokeless muzzleloader using the DIS for ignition. All summer I had been practicing with it and testing out loads. I had been shooting 58 grs of 4198 under a 275 gr Fury Star Tip with a wool wad in between. The gun starts out as a single shot CVA hunter in 45/70 and Jeff Hankins installs a threaded breechplug that takes large rifle magnum primers.
Basically with these guns there are no sabots, you use an adjustable sizing die to smooth form the bullets down to fit the barrel. The bullets start out at .452 and my gun shoots very well just a touch over .451. I check each bullet with a mic after sizing them. I've found my gun shoots best with a firm one handed loading pressure. This can be kind of subjective to the shooter as far as to how tight you load the bullet but one thing to keep in mind is that the tighter the fit the higher the pressure which is a huge consideration with these guns.
Most people shoot between 55 and 65 grains of 4198 in these guns. With my new load work up, I bought new Fury Star Tip 2 bullets which have an aluminum point on them. I sized them a touch over .451 and I upped by powder charge to 60 grs. The wad helps the bullet obdurate into the rifling which helps with accuracy. With this load I shot a group at 100 yards of .5". All three shots could be covered by a nickel. By far my best so far, normally this gun was shooting right around an inch or so. Tomorrow I am going to the range and shoot it at 200 and 300 yards and see how this load does. My previous load shoots about a 3" group at 200 yards.
Where I hunt I can take longer shots across fields and firebreaks out to 300 yards. I can easily make that shot with my rifle and am comfortable shooting that distance at a deer. But my CVA Optima Pro just was not up to the task. My smokeless MZ shoots very accurately and has an average muzzle velocity of about 2600 FPS with a 275 grain bullet.
I can't wait until Saturday...
It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.