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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A friend I hunt with over the years has used 2 50-gr. pellets behind a saboted .240gr. 44 mag bullet for years in his .50 cal. He's dropped a few, but had some knocked down and then run off. He was beginning to doubt himself some, and was thinking of moving to a heavier bullet.

Anyway, he was going to experiment, and planned on using a 50 and a 30 to reduce his load from 100 to 80gr. still with the 240. He'd practiced some in the off season to verify the zero. We were hunting last week, and I heard him shoot, and noted there was far less report from his shot than I was used to hearing. When I got to his stand, he said he felt he'd made a good shot (at about 20 yds.), but saw the deer run, hop a creek and turn left. When I asked him about the shot, he said it felt like a good squeeze, but noted there was less recoil and smoke than usual. It had rained all morning, and there was no blood trail to be seen, but we found the deer piled up not far away. He had made a really good shot - in one shoulder, busted a rib, out the other a little lower and farther back.

Later, we figured out he'd loaded 2 30's instead of a 50 and 30; so instead of 100 to 80, he went from 100 gr. to 60. No wonder there was less smoke and recoil!. This was a medium deer, but the Hornaday 240 XTP still went completely through, and by the looks of the exit wound had expanded some.

He's always favored higher velocity, but maybe he accidently convinced himself that a fairly heavy, larger caliber bullet doesn't really need all that much velocity for medium sized deer, at least not at short to medium ranges.
 

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I have found, HEAVY and mild loads to be more than adequate, for most of my needs.

I have been shooting 250 grain cast lead from my 45acp for awhile now, After doing a penetration test, it went through two and a half 2x4's (3.75"),... and they were many years old, dessert dried, and weathered 2x4's!!!

After shooting these loads up, I am going to an even lighter Trail Boss load, without any worry of getting the performing as I wish.

I think your friend learned a good lesson. When I hunted with a a 50cal Hawkens, back in my twenties,... I loaded 110 grains of BP,... not something I would do now. :sneaky:
 

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I have found, HEAVY and mild loads to be more than adequate, for most of my needs.

I have been shooting 250 grain cast lead from my 45acp for awhile now, After doing a penetration test, it went through two and a half 2x4's (3.75"),... and they were many years old, dessert dried, and weathered 2x4's!!!

After shooting these loads up, I am going to an even lighter Trail Boss load, without any worry of getting the performing as I wish.

I think your friend learned a good lesson. When I hunted with a a 50cal Hawkens, back in my twenties,... I loaded 110 grains of BP,... not something I would do now. :sneaky:
About the “next” loads with the 255 gr. bullet and Trail Boss. Sounds interesting.
What is your OAL with the 255? How much TB do you expect to be able to use?
I am assuming that the gun is a 1911. Yes??
Pete
 

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About the “next” loads with the 255 gr. bullet and Trail Boss. Sounds interesting.
What is your OAL with the 255? How much TB do you expect to be able to use?
I am assuming that the gun is a 1911. Yes??
Pete

Hi Pete,, yup, 1911, and a M&P Shield,... my 250grn cast function without resetting my die much, so I never really measured. My goal is to slow them down, and, lighten the recoil, just to the point of half the penetration I get now. I have also been wanting to develop a better double tap muscle memory, for a while now. Less recoil should help me, for that.

Pete, I try not to publish load data on the internet, but, there are plenty who do,... sorry.
 

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I'm curious about the velocity with the 60 grain charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The more deer I shoot or see shot, the more I'm convinced that a larger diameter heavy bullet at moderate velocity is an affective killer at short to medium range. I sort of had to talk my friend into considering dropping his powder charge a little after he'd had several experiences where he'd hit a deer and knocked it down, but it got up and ran off and he wasn't able to recover it. I think it was mostly less-than-optimal placement brought on by a rushed shot or maybe a little trigger jerk. (I wondered if he was driving the bullets faster than they were designed for) But when you add in a bunch of smoke and muzzle blast, and you don't see where the deer ran, unless you've got a good blood trail, you risk losing the animal. And when you lose a couple it messes with your head, which affects your shooting. His accidentally lowering his charge more than he intended, making a great shot, and still having the bullet pass through and perform well was a good thing. I knew a 44 at moderate velocity would kill because I've shot several deer with the .44 mag revolver. A muzzleloader with a 44 saboted bullet and 60-80 grs. of BP or a substitute is just a 44 super mag rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Mike, I'm curious, too, but I'd guess somewhere in the 12-1300 fps range. But from the absence of the "crack" when I heard his shot, he may have been subsonic (?) The Hodgdon web site has data on Pyrodex and 777, both loose and pellets, but only for 80 or 100 gr. charges. They say the 240 XTP can go 1700 with 80 gr., that seems high to me, except maybe in a longer barrel.
 

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When you think about it a 240 grain bullet is still on the light side. So 80 grains and 1700 might pretty close for a 26" barrel.
 

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My "normal" everyday load with my muzzle loader is about 55 to 60 grains with a .490 round ball. I say "about" because I throw it with a hand held powder measure and dump it in with the wind blowing and such inconsistencies as that and it never seems to matter. Shoots about the same no matter what and has taken a few deer. At 100 yards it doesn't mean much to be a little slow or fast the deer still fall dead.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Mecanik, My Hawken "liked" 55-60 grs. and a .490 round ball, too - 1" groups at 50 yds. if you were doing everything right. I've only shot 3 deer with it, but 2 were pass-through kills, and the 3rd penetrated nearly the whole deer diagonally end-to-end, though it wasn't a big deer. I've gotten spoiled by my scoped and slightly more compact inline, though.
 

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I'm confused, I thought that shoulder shots anchored them on the spot, isn't that why a shoulder shot is "really good"?
 

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I'm confused, I thought that shoulder shots anchored them on the spot, isn't that why a shoulder shot is "really good"?
IMO, yes,... but it has to be a true shoulder blade/scapula/shoulder bone hit, ... whatever you wish to call it. If the shot doesn't break bones, you may not get the desired results.
 

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He's always favored higher velocity, but maybe he accidently convinced himself that a fairly heavy, larger caliber bullet doesn't really need all that much velocity for medium sized deer, at least not at short to medium ranges.
Well, larger caliber and relatively slow velocity has worked for a long time (45-70, 50-90, 30-30 and many more). I'm headed back in that direction myself, I'm still keeping my small and fast calibers but I mainly hunt with big and slow these days.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Montmac, it was shoulder area, just above the scapula. Didn't actually break any of the shoulder bones.
 
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