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I'm thinking of getting a smokeless muzzleloader. I was thinking of building one off of a savage 10 action with a prefit Brux barrel but with the type of hunting that I do, a 12 lb rifle is alot considering last time I walked about 7 miles. Thinking of going more the route now of a CVA hunter or a Scout v2 with a hankins DIS ignition.

I was just curious if anyone here had any experience with any of all this. The smokeless MZ builders seem to have some pretty well built up divisions and cult followings. Its almost as bad as left vs right. I just want to spend my money in the best way possible. Thanks.
 

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Had 2 smokeless Savage 10ML's and experienced problems with premature breech plug ventliner erosion. One was a factory & the other a custom built Henry Ball. Also, with some of the hotter smokeless loads found sabots blowing(letting go). Both of these problems seriously impaired accuracy. For an inline I'm now happy with everything that BH209 does. It was fun dabbling with smokeless but concluded a lil swabbing ain't all that bad!!:smile2:
 

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I may be wrong here, so help me out guys; can't you shoot smokeless if you down load to the safe pressure of that particular gun? no different than original black powder cartridge guns, that is what most people shoot in them because they don't want to deal with the "problems" of black powder? or is the goal to get a more fps m/l?
 

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I may be wrong here, so help me out guys; can't you shoot smokeless if you down load to the safe pressure of that particular gun? no different than original black powder cartridge guns, that is what most people shoot in them because they don't want to deal with the "problems" of black powder? or is the goal to get a more fps m/l?
Yep...goal was to achieve high centerfire comparable velocity plus no swabbing as you were shooting smokeless powder. Never ever, ever shoot smokeless powder in a gun designed for black powder as pressures could cause firearm to let go and cause injury or death.. Most guns safety manuals contain this warning.

The Savage 10 ML smokeless muzzleloaders were specifically overbuilt to handle the higher pressures that smokeless powder generates. The weak points as I posted were in the ventliner which was a little tube(in breech plug) for the 209 charge to channel the fire to the powder. Sorta like the flash hole in a flinter but was it was a liner so it could be replaced. Only problem was some powders caused premature erosion & you never knew how many shots till it needed replaced. I experienced an early erosion with some of my pet loads so it became a hassle I didn't want to deal with...plus replacement liners were expensive. In addition, there was also issues of sabots letting go which also harmed accuracy.
 

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Yep...goal was to achieve high centerfire comparable velocity plus no swabbing as you were shooting smokeless powder. Never ever, ever shoot smokeless powder in a gun designed for black powder as pressures could cause firearm to let go and cause injury or death.. Most guns safety manuals contain this warning.

The Savage 10 ML smokeless muzzleloaders were specifically overbuilt to handle the higher pressures that smokeless powder generates. The weak points as I posted were in the ventliner which was a little tube(in breech plug) for the 209 charge to channer to the fire to the powder. Sorta like the flash hole in a flinter but was it was a liner so it could be replaced. Only problem was some powders caused premature erosion & you never knew how many shots till it needed replaced. I experienced an early erosion with some of my pet loads so it became a hassle I didn't want to deal with...plus replacement liners were expensive. In addition, there was also issues of sabots letting go which also harmed accuracy.

I understand the smokeless/black powder safety issues:wink2: now I understand the goal of the smokeless specific m/l better. what cal./bullet size and velocities are they capable of?
 

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Yes, I have 2 smokeless guns. One is a 700 Remington action with pacnor barrel and the other is a CVA scout 45/70 converted. The 700 is not a carry gun and that's why I did the scout. I size my bullets through a sizing die and with a 250 grain bullet 2700 fps is easy to achieve. I killed a beautiful buck this year at 297 yards. Soon as I can figure how to post pics I will post some of my smokeless guns. The good thing is you can shoot blackhorn powder if you want.
 

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I shot the 250 grain .452 Hornady XTP's with MMP High Pressure(HP) sabots loading IMR SR4759 and pushed 2,500 fps. AA5744 was also a good powder that provided comparable results.
 

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interesting info, how are they grouping compared to a cf?
No experience with any cf's with that heavier bullet weight. I know my 6.5 Swede would shooter better groups with a 140 grain bullet. The 250 XTP's would group very well though...exceeding what you would desire for good hunting accuracy.
 

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They shoot some pretty amazing groups. My brother actually went this route. His was done with a aftermarket encore barrel in 45/70. I don't think we will be going back anytime soon. I'm actually getting ready to do a .40 caliber build. Here is my CVA. I killed this deer on 6th shot out of gun first 5 were to sight in.
 

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They shoot some pretty amazing groups. My brother actually went this route. His was done with a aftermarket encore barrel in 45/70. I don't think we will be going back anytime soon. I'm actually getting ready to do a .40 caliber build. Here is my CVA. I killed this deer on 6th shot out of gun first 5 were to sight in.
this has peaked my attention. What exactly is done to convert a 45-70 barrel to muzzleloader? And then will it handle similar loads to 45.75 cartridge rifles? Can this be done to a contender?
 

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Contender frames are a no go I think. The conversion consist of choosing what type of Breech plug you want. There is one for 209 primers, one for large rifle primers and one is direct ignition. There is so much out there and I can’t type all of it. Basically once you decide it’s just find a builder to machine for plug. Go to either Hanks Message Boards or Doug’s message boards and read away. Arrowhead Sporting goods is where I’ve gotten my parts. I built my 700 and the barrel was already set for plug. The CVA I had a builder called Bestill Creations do the machine work.. you tube cva smokeless to get an idea. Jeff Hankins has amazing smokeless videos.

I won’t give to many load details but I’ve shot about everything between 60 and 72 grains of H-4198 with 250-275 grain bullets. Out of my 700. Break Actions aren’t capable of that. 55 to 65 grain tops.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Arrowhead Sporting goods is where I’ve gotten my parts. I built my 700 and the barrel was already set for plug. The CVA I had a builder called Bestill Creations do the machine work.. you tube cva smokeless to get an idea. Jeff Hankins has amazing smokeless videos.

I won’t give to many load details but I’ve shot about everything between 60 and 72 grains of H-4198 with 250-275 grain bullets. Out of my 700. Break Actions aren’t capable of that. 55 to 65 grain tops.
Awesome, did you build your 700 yourself? I have a lathe and a mill but I am just a hobby dude and my skills are not where i am comfortable making things go boom yet haha. I understand the complexities of headspacing a 700 with a cartridge but don't see that would really carry over to a smokeless build. I was looking at getting a hankins hunter. How much was your break action from fisk? You can PM that if you want. Hankins is the only one who publishes prices. Everyone else is hush hush about it which is weird. I looked at ASG stuff but from what I've read, he has his stuff made where hankins is an actual machinist and does all of the work in house. Like I said, there seems to be alot of drama and the camps are fairly divided except everyone seems to like bestill creations haha.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
this has peaked my attention. What exactly is done to convert a 45-70 barrel to muzzleloader? And then will it handle similar loads to 45.75 cartridge rifles? Can this be done to a contender?
Basically they thread the 45-70 chamber to accept a breech plug that a brass module that replicates a 45-70 brass base that holds a rifle primer. This ignites the smokeless powder. Almost everyone uses 4198. There is very little margin for error in these guns, just like reloading. The charges are weighed vs volume with BP or its subs.

I hunt early muzzleloader but I also hunt a local army base that only allows slug guns or muzzleloaders. I have an early optima pro that I bought used which is very shot out. I paid very little for it and it just does not group very well. 4 inches at 100 is the best I can do after shooting hundreds of rounds with variations on bullets and different sub powders. I missed a massive 10 pt this year at 200 yards and a doe at 150. The gun does not shoot worth a darn over 100 yards. I started researching a new muzzleloader and I believe a smokeless muzzleloader is the ticket. There are a some custom bullet makers that make .45 cal bullets from 250 to 300+ grains that have great ballistic coefficients vs traditional MZ bullets. Its not hard to get 2500 to 3000 fps out of these guns which is head and shoulders above a typical MZ. There are no sabots used, the bullets ride on the lands of the rifling and the bases obdurate or expand to engage the rifling kind of like powerbelts.
 

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Curious Mike & Burning...do your smokeless guns have a liner in their breech plugs similar to the Savage 10 ML's?
 

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Awesome, did you build your 700 yourself? I have a lathe and a mill but I am just a hobby dude and my skills are not where i am comfortable making things go boom yet haha. I understand the complexities of headspacing a 700 with a cartridge but don't see that would really carry over to a smokeless build. I was looking at getting a hankins hunter. How much was your break action from fisk? You can PM that if you want. Hankins is the only one who publishes prices. Everyone else is hush hush about it which is weird. I looked at ASG stuff but from what I've read, he has his stuff made where hankins is an actual machinist and does all of the work in house. Like I said, there seems to be alot of drama and the camps are fairly divided except everyone seems to like bestill creations haha.
Yes I built my 700. Boyd’s stock pillared and bedded. And yes headspace does play a factor. There is a slight crush factor for 209 primers. Rifle primer plug is head spaced also. Luke at arrowhead has prefix barrels and plugs available. And he will help you out. I’m gonna switch mine over to the module plugs. Jeff Fisk at bestill charged me 200 dollars to convert scout with 209 plug. If I had to do it over I’d of just did scout first, it’s a 300 yard gun all day once set up. If you go that route the scout comes with muzzle break. Have him or whoever bore it out for loadthrough funnel. The scout has a great trigger. I may get rid of the 700 to fund my .40 build but I need a Thompson center omega action. ( know of any ).
 

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Curious Mike & Burning...do your smokeless guns have a liner in their breech plugs similar to the Savage 10 ML's?
Laggy, no vent liner it’s a tungsten carbide bushing. They last pretty much forever depending on how heavy a load.
Arrowhead has replacement plugs for the Savage I’m pretty sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes I built my 700. Boyd’s stock pillared and bedded. And yes headspace does play a factor. There is a slight crush factor for 209 primers. Rifle primer plug is head spaced also. Luke at arrowhead has prefix barrels and plugs available. And he will help you out. I’m gonna switch mine over to the module plugs. Jeff Fisk at bestill charged me 200 dollars to convert scout with 209 plug. If I had to do it over I’d of just did scout first, it’s a 300 yard gun all day once set up. If you go that route the scout comes with muzzle break. Have him or whoever bore it out for loadthrough funnel. The scout has a great trigger. I may get rid of the 700 to fund my .40 build but I need a Thompson center omega action. ( know of any ).
So you did a remmage 700 build then? Did the $200 include the machine work and the plug? So basically you gave him the gun and $200 and you got a converted rifle back? Thats not too bad.
 

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I used a 700 muzzleloader receiver for the build. So not a Remage. Yes on plug and machine work. I only sent him the barrel.
 
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