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Blackpowder elk

4522 Views 6 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  leadbutt
I've got a good one for you. A friend has the chance to hunt elk in Co. next year with a muzzleloader. His choice of muzzleloader still hasn't been made, but it will be a .50 cal. capable of using 150 grains of powder, we do know that he can't use Pyrodex Pellets, no scopes, and no sabot loads. The pellets aren't any big deal, neither is the scope. The bullets are the big issue. Obviously, they must be cast, they must also be full bore diameter. I have a 375 gr. maxi ball mould, which may work, but wonder if there are any better bullets available for elk. I imagine they'll need to be properly sized, lube could also be an issue. Can anyone recommend some starting info??
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Hi, Pourboy:
  The Maxi-Ball is often critized for being too pointed and penetrating without doing much damage. That's why Thompson/Center brought out the Maxi-Hunter. At least that what folks say, but some of them might just be blowing smoke.

  Lot's of folks, including Dr. Sam Fadala and myself, like the Buffalo Bullets and the similar Hornady Great Plains bullets. I've just used the hollow points, but Hornadys come in a solid point too. I'd test them before buying any moulds.

The bullets come prelubed, but try packing lube into the hollow base, on the ones that have it, and seating the bullet on a Wonder Wad. Sometimes it helps.

  Lyman has a 395 gr. mould (#508656) with a wide flat nose. It looks about .335", compared to the .275" nose on the Hornady. It's a tapered design, so you size them in the barrel. It's not the Shocker bullet that Lyman sells. The Shocker is from the discontinued #508668 mould and has a smaller meplat, about .190".

A fellow smokepoler gave me some 467 grain bullets out of a Knight mould, IIRC. They have a .275" nose too.

  The best lube I've used is Young Country Lube 103. Trouble is, we can't get it anymore <!--emo&:(--><img src="" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':('><!--endemo-->  Avoid any lube like Wonder Lube that promises to condition your bore. Eventually the conditioning builds up and accuracy goes to "broad side of a barn".  If that happens, buy two new bore brushes and a can of carburator cleaner. You can guess the rest. <!--emo&:angry:--><img src="" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=':angry:'><!--endemo-->

  I've got a bit of Young Country left, but I'm going to try Emmert's home brew lube when I run out. You could try SPG or Lyman Black Powder Gold.

  I've got a flinter, so I haven't used Pyrodex powder or pellets. Going over a 100 grains of black doesn't gain you much. The extra powder just blows out the barrel. I've heard good things about the Swiss and German powders, but haven't tried them. Apparently they perform better than Goex or Elephant, much like the 19th century Curtis & Harvey powder Ross Seyfried talks about.  

  Another new non black powder is Clearshot. Apparently it doesn't build up like black and doesn't rot barrels like Pyrodex. Don't confuse it with Cleanshot, which isn't as good, from what I've heard.

  Always shoot downwind. :biggrin:

Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year.

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I shot a wild boar with a .50 Cal. Lyman Great Plains bullet over 90 grains of BP. It's home cast pure lead weighing 395 grains with SPG lube.
It struck the shoulder at about 60 yards, mushroomed to double diameter and stopped just under the hide. The hog did a 180 and ran, but my partner got him with his .45-70.
I thought I'd hit him, but couldn't sure be until we skinned him. I still have the bullet.
Maybe it was a fluke so I'm going to try some penetration tests to find out.
pourboy - Try out, or investgate, the bullets from Big Bore Express in Boise, Id. 800-376-4010. I've been using the 405 grainers w/ the copper skin on them in my 50 cal. CVA inline, with 100 gr. Goex FFG. These bullets are slightly undersized, but don't let that scare you. You do not need a short starter at all. I get excellent accuracy with them at 100 yds. They have an oversized plastic "skirt" on the base which checks gases, and upon ignition the bullet obturates and fills the rifling. Check 'em out, and good luck to your friend.  BTW, I've always gotten quick and friendly service on my orders.
Howdy from Colorado-

I'm a regular for the muzzle loading Elk season here in CO and use a .50 TC Renegade or Hawken.

FWIW - I strongly recommend that you try a variety of the bullets available. I have personally observed that different rifles even of the same persuassion have markedly different preferences about what they'll shoot accurately.

Case in point - my TC Hawken. I have a good friend who also hunts elk with muzzleloader and he had recommended that I try the Buffalo Bullets. I grabbed a box and headed to the range for sight in. Another friend joined us - he had a new in-line and had bought the Hornady Great Plains bullets. Each of us were trying to sight in at 50 yds but we were getting patterns - 6" to 8" range. We're both better shots than that. We tried adjusting powder charges up and down but to no avail.

Before calling it quits - we (both shooting .50's) decided to try the other guy's bullet. SHAZAM!!! In a real quirk - each of our rifles did an about-face and started shooting decent groups (1" to 2" at 50 yds.) I have since worked with my TC Renegade which also likes the Hornady Great Plains, and a TC Thunderhawk which shos its preference for the TC Maxi-Hunter. Before my experience - I would not have guessed that these rifles would show such strong preferences between bullets but I can assure you that now - I try a variety of bullets.

Best regards-

Sky C.
Longmont, CO
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Make sure you check the Colorado regulations. It seesm that both Colorado and Oregon have some strict rules concerning the use of conicals. I love shooting the Bufflalo Bore Express in my gun, but they aren't legal due top that polymer skirt on the base.

They have a rule that the slug's length cannot be more than two times the diameter of the bore. I know some companies made some really heavy slugs for muzzleloading and they by regulation prohibited them.
I with mainer on the Black Belts they are great bullets,if you can't use those in Co. Look at the Parker Conical bullets they have no polymer base at all.

If you can get ahold of a "Black Powder Hunting" Magizine there are al kind of companys that offer bullets to fit just about any need.

Don't worry about not using pellets,try the new triple-7 it is working realy well in my in-lines
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