The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 32 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just curious as to what experiences others have had with powerbelts on deer. I have shot 3 deer with them and have NOT been impressed. First 2 were with my traditions inline. Both were using 295gr aerotips. First was over a 100gr Pyrodex charge (2 pellets). Shot was 60 yards at broadside doe. Deer showed no reaction to hit and slowly kept walking. Bullet entered just behind shoulder and was complete pass through double lung hit. Deer went only about 15 yards, however there was no blood trail, I mean NONE, not even blood on hide of deer. Exam of carcass showed equal size entry/exit meaning no expansion.
2nd deer with inline was also a medium sized doe. This time charge was 80grs loose pyrodex. 70yd shot broadside double lung hit complete passthrough. Deer ran away and went about 60 yards before piling up in sight of stand. Walked right to deer but then noticed like first deer there was no blood on deers sides so I backtracked along its path and was unable to find even a drop of blood. Equal entry/exit holes.
3rd deer was a 30yd shot out of my firestorm flinter. Load was a 245gr aerotip over 80grs of goex 2f. Broadside shot that caught 1 lung and broke a few ribs. Deer ran and went about 40yds and piled up and once again I was unable to find a drop of blood and this time there was snow on the ground.once again equal sized entry/exit holes.

In all 3 combinations these bullets were deadly accurate at the range. All 3 quickly killed the deer, BUT showed no signs of expansion and made a near zero blood trail and if the deer hadnt dropped in sight or if I had been hunting in thicker terrain I may have thought I missed or had a time finding the deer.
Needless to say I switched bullets.
Anyone else had problems like this or good experience with powerbelts
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,849 Posts
I use the 295 hollow points and have zero issues. If I killed three deer and none were lost or went more than 60 yards, I think I'd be happy with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
As I noted in the post the deer didnt go far, but there was literally no blood trail on any and this was with basically perfect broadside shots in sparse cover areas. Had they been less than ideal hits where the deer would have went farther or been In thicker cover with no blood trail I may have assumed a miss after tracking 50-60 yds with no sign of a hit.also on the first deer I really thought I missed as the deer showed no reaction and I was pretty shocked when it dropped after walking a few steps. Also on the one I hit with the flinter I was beginning to think miss as I was able to track exactly where the deer ran due to snow and had no blood yet when I literally walked up on it laying dead.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,757 Posts
Over the years i have read a lot of stories such as yours .
I would say it comes down to how convenient the bullet is to load down the barrel not how if actually does its job.
A lot of folks don't have the time to go play with their guns so they use what is the quickest and easiest to get to work for them. I have no problem with this but i often wonder how many deer have been lost due to this lack of blood trail with some bullets .
I am guilty of laziness also. We use Cheap Shots in our in lines and Flint locks! These seem to put a decent size hole in the targeted game and a blood trial.
I set our guns up using loose powder. 2FF black powder.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,746 Posts
I shot three deer with the 245gr hollow points when I first got my inline a few years ago. All three behind the shoulder broadside shots, all three dropped in their tracks. The only reason I stopped using them was that I wasn't happy with their accuracy beyond 100 yards.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,426 Posts
I have killed deer with muzzys in 45,50,54,and 58.Killed them with Powerbelts,TC Maxis,and RB's.Killed them with 120grs of powder to 45grs.
Conclusion: Hit them in the heart or lungs and they don't live or go far with anything.
From what I understand a deer will not live longer than 7 seconds hit in the heart or lungs.Some drop,some run.Understand also that drop or run was determined if they had just taken a breath or just exhaled.
Shoot and use what you can hit the EXACT spot you are aiming at with the 1st shot.Thats the one that counts!
It ain't gonna live with a 1/2" hole in the heart or lungs!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,776 Posts
Started as a 50cal 295gr Powerbelt Aerotip (est. velocity 1600fps). Recovered from just under the far side hide of deer that was shot behind the shoulder at 30yds. Deer traveled 50 to 60 yards after being shot, leaving a good blood trail. This was the tenth deer I have shot with the 295gr Powerbelt and the first bullet I was able to recover, three deer ran (all under 75yds) the rest dropped when hit. I have complete faith in the 295gr Powerbelts.

Good luck, Tony

1.2" 288.6gr.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
410-er I understand what your saying and agree but im sure you will agree that under hunting conditions we dont always hit exactly where we are aiming for one reason or another and this is where a blood trail is very important.
If you google this subject you will find volumes of stories like mine with these powerbelts as well as stories of them completely blowing up and fragmenting when hitting light bone. Agree with willyp when he says that these bullets are so popular because they are easy to load,dont require alot of load development to be range accurate and are stocked in most stores, and the shooters are blissfully unaware of their often reported issues on game(as I was prior to these incidents)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,914 Posts
i use the 295 grain copperclad hollow points. excellent accuracy at 100 yards and the deer are DRT. none have traveled very far and all left excellent blood trails. never needed to track any of them, watched them fall. i use two 50grain pyrodex pellets to send them to where ever deer go when they die.
 
  • Like
Reactions: kudu58

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,426 Posts
I don't depend on blood trails as much as I do scuffed up leaves and bent grasses.Try it sometime.Squat down where the deer stood.You can see the direction of travel.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
966 Posts
I've killed them with power belts out of my flintlock. That being said I like to tinker with stuff so I tried hornady pa conicals and really like their performance. As mentioned if you hit em in the Pumphouse they ain't going far. You'll find em!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,541 Posts
I only shot one doe with them and she flipped over and died when the 295 hollow point smacked her behind shoulder. Looked lie a happy dog lying on her back with 4 feet in the air.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,776 Posts
410-er I understand what your saying and agree but im sure you will agree that under hunting conditions we dont always hit exactly where we are aiming for one reason or another and this is where a blood trail is very important.
If you google this subject you will find volumes of stories like mine with these powerbelts as well as stories of them completely blowing up and fragmenting when hitting light bone. Agree with willyp when he says that these bullets are so popular because they are easy to load,dont require alot of load development to be range accurate and are stocked in most stores, and the shooters are blissfully unaware of their often reported issues on game(as I was prior to these incidents)
If you look up any bullet on the internet you will find lots of poor reviews and lots of great reviews. If you dont feel confident in Powerbelt performance then I would not use them. There are to many other options available to limit yourself to using something that you dont have confidence in.

Good luck, Tony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,369 Posts
You can't use powerbelts for deer. They disintegrate on impact, start tumbling about 10 yds downrange, and usually hit the ground by 50 yds.

I started using powerbelts about when they came out maybe 20 yrs ago. Taken deer with either a 50 Renegade or a Lyman GPH using 245HP, 245AT, 295AT, 348AT, 300 plat, and 338 plat. Longest kill was a doe at a ranged 197 yds with the GPH and 338 plat. With my GPH any version from 295-348 for practical purposes has the same point of impact at 100yds. I like the 300 and 338 plat for their long range performance.

Haven't tried them yet as I still have plenty of previous mentioned versions but the 270 Plat and 300 Aerolite seem like interesting choices for deer. For me powerbelts last a long time. My typical routine is to fire one of some other bullet I have to clear out the storage bore butter from last year, fire either a 300 or 338 plat at 100 yds to confirm everything is still good, and then it is 1 bullet for a deer. I can't recall the last time I changed my sights, more than 5 years.

They are like any other bullet, you need to choose appropriately. If you don't know than test for impact and penetration before you use them on an animal. If they are coming apart, then slow them down or use a heavier version. It's just a soft lead conical, drive them too fast and they will splat, slow it down or use one with a higher sectional density or a controlled expansion version.

So I definitely wouldn't recommend them for Pa deer, save them for softer game like elk and moose.
 

Attachments

  • Like
Reactions: Dogface

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,209 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Awesome animals tundragriz. Glad others have had success with Powerbelts, but after 3 deer with no bloodtrails, I tried other bullets and have had performance more to my liking so ill keep using them. Think part of my problem(as well as many of the other internet people having issues with them) was that I was pushing them too fast. Seems they arent the 2 pellets and done that many think they are.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,369 Posts
Never linked to anything on Vimeo before but I'll give it a try, if they don't show let me know. But below are video links showing the full gamut of powerbelt performance. First video is the 245HP at 1530fps, bullet exploded into small fragments in the 2nd jug. I've killed deer with the 245HP, 1st powerbelt I ever used, and if it exits it leaves a gaping hole like a high velocity bullet, lots of shock factor.
https://vimeo.com/145543075

Next is the other end of the spectrum, 444 Flat Point at 1253 fps. Went completely through 8 jugs, 16 layers of plastic. On that moose above it went thru both shoulder bones at 114 yds.
https://vimeo.com/145534941

And for comparison, an all copper barnes 30 cal 168TSX at 06 velocity, 2833 fps. 6 jugs, 12 layers of plastic. I killed a LOT of animals with this bullet, never recovered one.
https://vimeo.com/149729505
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
295 Posts
I haven't shot a lot of powerbelts. They don't seem to be very accurate out of my T/C Omegas. My brother knocked a button buck right over with a 245 powerbelt, 100 gr 777, at close range. The lack of blood trail is really strange though. A .54 round ball makes a huge blood trail, from what I have seen.

In the two Omegas I shoot, I use the all copper Barnes bullets with a black sabot. MZ Expanders? They are a really tight fit but they shoot better than I can and I have a method for getting them in so I'll stick to it. They create a thoroughly impressive blood trail and put such a wollop on deer that I have considered finding a 45-70 for rifle season and shooting the same type bullet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,713 Posts
Glad to hear many on here have had good luck with them, but I'll add my two cents, as minimal as it is.

My first year hunting Va blackpowder season I have an 8 point chasing a doe right underneath me. I take a slightly quartering to me shot, but put it far enough forward to catch at least the liver.

Well hours later and 400 yards later with almost no blood trail, and having resorted to a grid search due to lack of blood, we find my buck stiff as a board. The shot was lethal and mostly liver. When I say there was maybe 4 tiny drops of blood total after the shot, that would not be an exaggeration.

I switched to Barnes bullets after that and never looked back. Great blood trails and dead deer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bigguy54
1 - 20 of 32 Posts
Top