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So, I blunder around with an old traditions pursuit LT during inline season very seldom but I am planning on taking this season a bit more serious now that bear is included. I have only shot 2 does with powerbelts that were broadside lung shots so have little real world experience to go on. Not my usual season for hunting. Thinking of filling my doe tags early and going for the wishful thinking of getting a shot at a bear now the regs have changed.
Just ordered a Traditions Vortek StrikerFire with a 28" barrel and 1:28" twist because it was on sale at midway....
I reload pistol calibers and trying to decide on what bullet to use since I have them on hand....if the gun likes it.
Given:
Pyrodex pellets because I have a bunch (2 or 3? prefer 2)
Harvester crush rib sabots as have them in both .44 and .45 for .50 cal
Choice:
.430 xtp 240 gr
.430 xtp 300 gr
.452 xtp 250 gr
.452 xtp 300 gr (not mag)
Interested in opinions about the 4 bullets listed as far as were there exit wounds that were not "pencil hole in and out" and what you would choose for a bear\deer bullet?
 

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which ever combo shoots the best for you and the gun. shot placement is the most important thing to worry about, they all look like they would work fine.
 

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which ever combo shoots the best for you and the gun. shot placement is the most important thing to worry about, they all look like they would work fine.
Either of the 300gr.

I use the .430 and love them on both deer and bear. Never a failure to exit, and definitely adequate expansion.

Use whichever of the 300's your gun prefers.
 

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I've used hornady SST's and FTX bullets for the last couple of years but I've never been super happy about their performance. I switched to a bullet made by a small business. The company is called fury bullets and I shoot the star tips. I shoot them in sabots in my cva optima and sabotless in my smokeless muzzleloader.
 

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burning soul,please tell us about the performance on your ftx bullets you used??? What gun used and did you measure velocity on them???
 

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burning soul,please tell us about the performance on your ftx bullets you used??? What gun used and did you measure velocity on them???
Burk, I never measured velocity on them but I was shooting them with 105 grs of 777 out of a CVA Optima Pro. This was the most accurate load out of this rifle which was right around 2 inches or so at 100 yards. I've shot 4 does and 1 buck with that load and they never seemed to expand just kind of pencil through them.

My new muzzleloader is smokeless and its just kind of echelons above normal muzzleloading in every way so its probably not fair to compare them. I have a load worked up for the cheaper FTX's in my smokeless MZ and maybe it will perform better now thats its being pushed around 2700 FPS but I dunno. I really like the fury bullets though.
 

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Those Fury's sure look nice, but I question if they kill 'em that much deader to justify the $1+ a piece price... I suppose if you're pushing the envelope, sure, but for most muzzleloader hunters?

The FTX bullets really need a muzzle velocity of 1800+ fps to expand reliably, so I'm not surprised they tended to pencil...

The XTPs have expanded nicely in my experience. An exception would be using a lighter XTP over a "magnum" load, then over-expansion could be a concern. But if you stick to a standard XTP with "normal" charges, you won't have any issue. At $15/50, they're a bargain.

My personal preference is to go heavy, even if it's on the slower end of the spectrum. 300gr .430 XTP out of my Optima V2 chrono's an average of 1620 fps pushed by 100gr 777.
100% pass through rate on every deer taken (9 for 9 to date with it) All double-lung/heart shots, 60-150 yards. Blood trails Ray Charles could follow, but none made it more than 60', half didn't make it 15'. Never recovered a bullet, but exits were typically close to 1" in diameter.
 

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The above load was used on my longest flintlock kill....105 yards. Gun was a TC PA Hunter fitted with a Green Mountain 1-28 twist barrel with L&R lock. I must give Gunmaker Brad Emig credit in his fine tuning of this rig. The .452 300 XTP is one hard hitter!!

 

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I've been using 240 gr XTP's out of a TC Omega and RMC accusport.They shoot good enough and pass through every time so I never felt a need to try anything else.Terminal performance wise,they do a good bit of damage,exit and the deer is always down within sight,if it runs at all.
 

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Those Fury's sure look nice, but I question if they kill 'em that much deader to justify the $1+ a piece price... I suppose if you're pushing the envelope,
yes they are also Pittman areomax and Leigh hammers and few other are worth that money people talking 2” groups at hundred. More like sub moa at hundred and 1.5 “ at 200 with my omega on top of bh209 85 by weight. Or out of my sml using smokeless. As always what is safe in mine may not be safe in yours.
 

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I would suggest if you use the XTP that you test fire them at the range in the coldest weather you may hunt with them.
I used them years ago when the first became legal to use in PA.
I have used XTP in handguns and rifles ....and like the which is what led me to the saboted loads.... although someone once told me from Hornady that the ones they sell with the sabots have thicker jackets than the pistol bullets...... true or not , I dunno.
Anyhow , I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the problem was.
VERY Long story short .... the sabots would break a 1/2 a petal , 1 petal or even 2 in the cold ...... and I don't mean it had to be real cold either.
Chilly October morning was enough.
I assume the plastic got brittle.
The bullets then went all over the country side.

I know this sounds like a long stretch ...... I understand that.
But there's not any doubt what it was ...... again this was when they were first legal in PA , so maybe it's different now.
I also told someone about this who thought I had to be nuts and they went on and had the same troubles the following year.
Test them in the cold , save yourself a possible headache ..... I'd actually test any saboted load after what I went threw.
 

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I would suggest if you use the XTP that you test fire them at the range in the coldest weather you may hunt with them.
I used them years ago when the first became legal to use in PA.
I have used XTP in handguns and rifles ....and like the which is what led me to the saboted loads.... although someone once told me from Hornady that the ones they sell with the sabots have thicker jackets than the pistol bullets...... true or not , I dunno.
Anyhow , I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what the problem was.
VERY Long story short .... the sabots would break a 1/2 a petal , 1 petal or even 2 in the cold ...... and I don't mean it had to be real cold either.
Chilly October morning was enough.
I assume the plastic got brittle.
The bullets then went all over the country side.

I know this sounds like a long stretch ...... I understand that.
But there's not any doubt what it was ...... again this was when they were first legal in PA , so maybe it's different now.
I also told someone about this who thought I had to be nuts and they went on and had the same troubles the following year.
Test them in the cold , save yourself a possible headache ..... I'd actually test any saboted load after what I went threw.
It's always good to test your load in conditions matching what you expect during the hunt. There's even some significant changes in velocity for the same load at wide temperature differences.

As for the sabots, I'd never use the ones packaged with bullets. Two reasons, usually they're lower quality, and you can get more for your dollar buying separate sabots and bulk bullets.
My pet load is the .430 300gr XTP with the 44/50 (green) Harvester Sabots. I've used both the slick ones and the crush-rib and found no difference in impact, so I normally use the crush ribs. They have performed equally well for me at temps from 5F to 90F with no signs of slippage or petal breakage.
The old MMPs that came with a box of 250gr 45 cal XTPs I bought many years ago were junk and sheared petals in deep cold like you experienced. I grabbed a pack of Harvesters and was able to use the rest of the 45XTPs without issue. Since then I've changes rifles twice and settled in on the current loading.
 

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I'll footnote my above statements to say that my experience with MMP was from ~20 years ago, about when they'd just hit the market. Since it seems everyone has been reformulating their polymer and tweaking their molds over the years, I'm sure all of the manufacturers with longevity are putting out a decent product these days.
And, of course, I can only speak to what I experienced in 1 particular barrel. (first run CVA Optima Pro Magnum, and yes, I was among the foolish who actually shot 150gr/3 pellet charges at the time.)
 

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It's always good to test your load in conditions matching what you expect during the hunt. There's even some significant changes in velocity for the same load at wide temperature differences.

As for the sabots, I'd never use the ones packaged with bullets. Two reasons, usually they're lower quality, and you can get more for your dollar buying separate sabots and bulk bullets.
My pet load is the .430 300gr XTP with the 44/50 (green) Harvester Sabots. I've used both the slick ones and the crush-rib and found no difference in impact, so I normally use the crush ribs. They have performed equally well for me at temps from 5F to 90F with no signs of slippage or petal breakage.
The old MMPs that came with a box of 250gr 45 cal XTPs I bought many years ago were junk and sheared petals in deep cold like you experienced. I grabbed a pack of Harvesters and was able to use the rest of the 45XTPs without issue. Since then I've changes rifles twice and settled in on the current loading.

To be honest , I can not discuss brands of sabots.

All I know is I used the ones that came in the 30 round claim pack Hornady put out years ago. I believe they were black in color.
I never considered looking for a "better" sabot.
After the failure of the XTP loads in the cold , I switched to the powerbelts.
That is what everyone else was using and claimed loved for them........ no one ever mentioned they never shoot anything with them.
And I ended up with the well known bullet exploding on impact as so many others did at that time.
After that ,I went back to the tried but true T/C maxi-hunters and a few other lead conicals.
They aren't fancy , none of the kool kids are using them ..... but they are reliable and predictable.
 

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I know MMP improved sabot formulation back when the Savage 10ML's(smokeless) hit the market as many were experiencing blown sabots(including me).
 
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