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muzzleloader question

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Camping' started by rfb45colt, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

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    Anybody hunt with an in-line muzzleloader? How about a NEF "Huntsman"? I just bought one of those. I've been hunting with a Tradtions Hawken .50 cal percussion rifle for the past few muzzleloader seasons. I picked up a New England Firearms Huntsman S.S. .50cal inline yesterday. I got some pyrodex pellets too, for use with my Hornady 300 gr XTP saboted bullets. My question is, how much is the maximum charge? I've got both 30 & 50 gr pellets. The instructions with the pellets say never exceed 100grs. The rifle's manual merely says "refer to powder manufacturer's instructions for loads".

    I know several guys who use 150grs (3 pellets) behind 240 or 260 gr bullets in their inlines with no problems, but none use the bigger 300 gr bullets. And none have the NEF brand rifle. Unlike reloading standard smokeless powder cartridges, you can't look for the signs of too much pressure when building up a load in a muzzleloader.

    I haven't fired it yet (I will tomorrow). I think I'll bring my chronograph, and see what velocity I get with 100 grs. I may increase gradually to see if there is an appreciable increase in velocity, and check accuracy as well. I can go to 110 by using two 30s and one 50. Then 120, by using four 30s. Then 130, by using two 50s and one 30.

    I've been reloading smokeless rifle, handgun, and shotgun ammo for years... but I'm kinda in the dark on the front-stuffers. Any suggestions?

    BTW, I got the NEF because every NEF I've ever owned was trouble free, very accurate, and priced right. And I'm a lefty, and NEFs are totally ambi.
    This rifle seems a perfect fit for me, too.
     
  2. RJ Schuknecht

    RJ Schuknecht

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    The 150grn powder charge is for Magnums. I have the Winchester Apex Magnum 209. It will take a maximum charge of 150grns. If your muzzleloader is not classified as a magnum, I would not shoot it with more than two 50grn pellets.
     

  3. DWavs

    DWavs Moderator Moderator

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    I agree.
     
  4. mudfootball

    mudfootball

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    Sure its pyrodex? I know the triple seven cannot be loaded to volumes as high as pyrodex. But you say you have the 30gr pellets so it must be pyrodex. Perhaps its not a magnum gun. My t/c omega is capable of up to 150. I have found though that with powerbelt bullets, which i love, 100 grns does quite nicely on deer out to 150 yds. good luck
    kt
     
  5. rfb45colt

    rfb45colt safe-cracker

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    Good point about the "magnum" designation. Thanks.

    I'm using it to hunt whitetail deer at close to medium range (150yds max, more than likely about 50yds), so 90-100grs behind a 300 gr bullet is more than adequate. I used 90 grs of loose pyrodex "select", behind a 240gr saboted XTP in my Traditions Hawken, and it did just fine. And I've killed 8 deer using the 300gr bullets (at a muzzle velocity of about 1300fps) with my Ruger Blackhawk. I'm sure that with the extra 16.5" of barrel length that the rifle gives me, the muzzle velocity with 100grs will be more than the 1300fps I got from a 7.5" barreled handgun... which was extremely deadly on deer up close.

    Maybe I'll just stick with the same 240gr bullets I used in my Hawken (but with two 50gr pellets), and save all the 300gr bullets for loading in my pistol. I thought about buying some "powerbelt" bullets, but they were darned expensive, and I've already got about 1,000 or so of both 240gr and 300gr pistol bullets designed for handgun hunting... including Hornady XTP, Nosler, Barnes, and Cast Performance LBTs. So I just bought more Hornady sabots, less-bullets.

    BTW... there was some triple seven pellets available, but I didn't look at them very closely to see how many grains they were. I've been using pyrodex Select for years, so I went with the pyrodex pellets, instead of triple seven.
     
  6. mudfootball

    mudfootball

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    yeah you hit that nail on the head they are darn expensive. I will say this though. They are easy to load, cleaning the gun after a day of shooting is half the chore and what they do to deer is just gross. From the two deer that i have seen opened up by them it is like nothing i have ever seen. I will say this, they dont go far after getting hit. As for you chrono test. 100gr pellets send a power belt 245gr 1900fps at the muzzle and a 295gr 1650.
    kt