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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello there, I am new to muzzleloader hunting and this past season was my first flintlock experience.

My dad and I have drawn MZ elk tags for Co. this year and I would like some advice. My dad will be using a T/C Encore and I will be using a Black Diamond. We plan on shooting Powerbelt bullets and were wondering what bullet weights any of you suggest for elk. We would also like to know what powder you recommend and how big a charge.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. Groupings, trajectory numbers, velocities, anything!!! Thanks again.
 

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The bigger the better.

I cast a 525 grain 50 caliber pure lead bullet for my elk medicine. And it knocks the snot out of them. I will admit that I shoot way to heavy of a load(powder wise). The load I shoot kills on both ends, but as I said it just knocks em silly. Shoot the big conicals.

Good luck in CO. This will be one of the most exciting hunts you will ever go on. CO elk MZ season is in the heart of the CO mountains rut. Tom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
HOGGHEAD said:
The bigger the better.

I cast a 525 grain 50 caliber pure lead bullet for my elk medicine. And it knocks the snot out of them. I will admit that I shoot way to heavy of a load(powder wise). The load I shoot kills on both ends, but as I said it just knocks em silly. Shoot the big conicals.

Good luck in CO. This will be one of the most exciting hunts you will ever go on. CO elk MZ season is in the heart of the CO mountains rut. Tom.
Thanks Tom. Was out there last year for archery at the end of muzzleloader season. We had many close encounters with bulls and unfortunately I misjudged a 6x6 for 50 yds when he was only 40 and went high. Oh well, maybe he'll be bigger this year and the old smoke pole can do the job.
 

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First don't make the mistake of thinking more powder will extend your range. It will but only a small increment. A longer heavier bullet will extend your range significantly, but with accordingly more trajectory. I would go with what frontier gander suggests. First what ranges do you intend to shoot? A 338 might be a bit light for in excess of 150 yrds. Keep your load of powder moderate and a heavy long bullet. Practice to the point that you know the drop at various ranges and also to judge your range. Some hunters know their guns enough to keep them sighted dead on for 200 or 250 yds and know exactly how much to compensate for shorter distance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies. We want to find a setup that will work out to 200 yds.

What type of powder do you use???
 

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I use loose 777, 90gr, but again that is in my flintlock.
 

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I have shot 2 elk with mz in co.I shot 348gr powerbelt with 120gr of 777 in my omerga.You must use loose powder in co.Powerbelt are legal but no scopes.I have a peep sight on my co.
 

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The big bullets these guys are telling you to use will drop like a rock past 75 yards...Get yourself some 250 grain Hornady SST or some Barnes 250 TMZ and buy some blackhorn 209 loose powder.Load it 120-150 grains to find the most accurate load but you can only use full power 209 shotshell primers for this powder,the lighter muzzleloader primers are not guaranteed to go off.I guarantee your bullets will be over 2000 and headed towards 2500 FPS. This is faster then alot of centerfire rifles.This loads will flatten them out to 200 yards.ALWAYS remember if you shoot up or down hill to aim low because of TBR.I shot at buck 2 times steep downhill and shot over its back twice.
 

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burk313 said:
The big bullets these guys are telling you to use will drop like a rock past 75 yards...Get yourself some 250 grain Hornady SST or some Barnes 250 TMZ and buy some blackhorn 209 loose powder.Load it 120-150 grains to find the most accurate load but you can only use full power 209 shotshell primers for this powder,the lighter muzzleloader primers are not guaranteed to go off.I guarantee your bullets will be over 2000 and headed towards 2500 FPS. This is faster then alot of centerfire rifles.This loads will flatten them out to 200 yards.ALWAYS remember if you shoot up or down hill to aim low because of TBR.I shot at buck 2 times steep downhill and shot over its back twice.
sabots are illegal
 

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Triple f burns a bit hotter and generally a little cleaner. Gives a bit more oomph in a short carbine barrel than 2fg. Some advise backing off by 10% when going from 2fg loads to 3fg loads. With a big heavy bullet however, 2 fg should perform comparable. (I loaded 65 grains of 2fg in my 1884 trapdoor 45-70 with a 500 grain slug and it was quite the shoulder bruiser I was also knocking down 30 inch high ram sillywets at 500 yds.)
 

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Last year I bought a bunch of different bullets trying to find a good elk load that was accurate, gave me at least 1000 ftlb of energy at 150yd, and loaded easy. Somewhere between 300-350gr I found a velocity inversion between FF and FFF powder. Below 300 gr the FFF always gave higher velocity for the same volume of powder, over 350 gr the FF gave higher velocity. Just like in a centerfire, heavier bullets fly faster with slower burning powders.

Another surprising little caveat I noticed was that some heavier bullets shot faster than their lighter weight counterparts. I believe this was due to being easy to load the lighter bullets may not provide enough pressure to be fully efficient.

An example: in my gun powerbelts are the smoothest and easiest to load of any bullets I tried. Using 100gr 777 3F, the 245PB averaged exactly 1600fps while the 295PB averaged 1636fps. To be safe because of the heavier weight of the platinum 338s I dropped the powder charge to 90 but they averaged 1637fps. Faster than the 245 and 295 even with 10gr less powder.

The 338s with a 100 yard zero are -6 at 150 and still over 1300 ftlb. Thought that was a fine enough 150yd elk load out of an iron sight flinter. They shot slightly less than 1" at 50, around 2.5" at 100, and about 4-6" at 150.
 

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"The big bullets these guys are telling you to use will drop like a rock past 75 yards...Get yourself some 250 grain Hornady SST or some Barnes 250 TMZ and buy some blackhorn 209 loose powder.Load it 120-150 grains" . ??????? Roadapples!

Actually, those little bullets slow down pretty fast past 150 yds due to air resistance and the bigger bullets buck the wind better and carry their enerrggy further with the ironic result that the lighter bullets can have a substantially shorter range. In addition, shorter bullets loose stability faster than long bullets. I guarantee you I can knock down 500 yard sillywets with 65 grains of powder and a 500 grain bullet. A puny little 240 grain bullet over 120 won't.

Some folks are all about ft per second. And there is some valid reasoning behind it. However, in black powder ballistics, Supersonic bullets almost always lose velocity faster than their sub sonic counterparts. It has to do with air piling up in front of the bullet and causing an even larger diameter obstruction in the air than a subsonic bullet. The shape of the bullet nose can substantially reduce this effect. As tundra griz found, you may well be better off with a longer bullet and less powder and still outperform the small bullets with more powder.
 

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I am not sure where you guys get your information about large conicals dropping out of the sky past 75 yards. If you knew anything about large conicals then you would realize what a ridiculous statement that is.

Heavy conicals can easily be shot at elk point blank range out to 150 yards with a dead on hold. Do a little research and understand trajectory before you make a comment like a heavy conical "drops out of the sky past 75 yards". Obviously anyone who says that has ZERO experience with heavy conicals. That is ridiculous. Tom.
 

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And not only is "drop out of the sky" a ridiculous thing to say. But if you actually believe your saboted bullets are a better killer at 150 yards over a heavy conical then you need to get out and shoot some game at 150 yards with the two types of projectiles. A 525 grain conical will knock the snot out of a bull elk at 150 yards. And alot of your saboted bullets will have a hard time doing any expanding at all at 150 yards. Then step it out another 100 yards and your sabots are worthless, while buffalo hunters were doing massive damage to bison with big conicals at distances of 250 yards, and much farther!! Just ridiculous!! Tom.
 

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HOGGHEAD said:
And not only is "drop out of the sky" a ridiculous thing to say. But if you actually believe your saboted bullets are a better killer at 150 yards over a heavy conical then you need to get out and shoot some game at 150 yards with the two types of projectiles. A 525 grain conical will knock the snot out of a bull elk at 150 yards. And alot of your saboted bullets will have a hard time doing any expanding at all at 150 yards. Then step it out another 100 yards and your sabots are worthless, while buffalo hunters were doing massive damage to bison with big conicals at distances of 250 yards, and much farther!! Just ridiculous!! Tom.
Yepper my friend...you nailed it & then some!!


Glad ya stepped up & posted some heavy conical reality here!!
I didn't wunt to dispute any of the prior posters so I refrained from entertaining such by not posting. Below is the Master of the heavyweights aka Doc White holding my custom White Rifle Super 91 .504 cal Inline w/150 yd target shot w/open sights which Doc built. My Super 91 .504 Cal throws custom cast .5035 "slip fit" designed 460/495 grainers (ignited w/No.1075 German Dynamit Nobel caps) further than you can see without falling from the sky ......with a just tad of accuracy too!!LOL

Doc White W/My Custom Built White Rifle Super 91 .504 Caliber At Range Test

 

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Ya know Burkie, the guy is going on a dream hunt. He needs solid advice. You want to ruin it by passing off road apples as ballistic truth. Cite some tables, sources and authority from verifiable published sources that back up your claim.

Do you even know what the Greenhill formula is? Name 4 19th century Ballistics experts and describe their contributions to the science. I'll bet you have no idea what the Creedmore Match was or how it was important to the world of target shooting. You spout off a load which takes no account for medium range bullet stability or shape. Look up some tables and tell us what energy difference there is, at 200 yds, between your load and lets say a 400 grain bullet over 80 grains of ffg. Explain to us, the point of dimishing returns for the length barrel you use vs the powder charge and granulation. What is the MRT for Tundra Griz's load sighted for 200 yrds? A whiz likie you ought to be able to figure out ballistic coefficient and rate of gravity and come up with the numbers in your sleep. Do you even know what happens when a rifle fires a bullet that is only as long as it is wide. What is the effect of pitch and yawl on such a bullet?

Per the Greenhill formula what is the optimum length bullet for his gun? What effect does rate of twist have on that? Do you have any idea how slow your bullet will be going at 200 yds, whether it will begin spinning end for end?

I am certainly no expert, but I have shot enough, read enough and studied enough to recognize spew.
 
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