Muzzleloader bullets for hunting

Discussion in 'Big Game Hunting' started by Dutch, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

    I've never taken an animal with black powder, but I've been with people when they have. Some folks opt for store bought conical bullets. Some use a cast ball. I plan on using cast Lee REAL bullets in my inline.

    I haven't seen much of a difference in the animals hit with a ball vs a conical. What has your experience shown? What is the consensus on the "proper" bullet to use when muzzleloader hunting big game?

    Colorado restrictions restrict me to iron sights (no scopes of any kind allowed), and I can not use a Sabot bullet (a patch for the ball is allowed). I drew muzzleloader for both Mule Deer and Pronghorn.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  2. PaleHawkDown

    PaleHawkDown G&G Evangelist

    I really like the Traditions Smackdowns or XTP bullets in inlines. If you are using a traditional muzzleloader the ultimate conicals work really well
    Dutch likes this.

  3. I use LEE REAL Bullets out of my Knight Wolverine in 54 caliber and none have complained, they have all fell on the spot and never took another step
    Dutch likes this.
  4. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

    I have a friend who took his pronghorn with an XTP last year.

    I really like those Lee REAL bullets. I have a .50 inline.
  5. austinjoe13

    austinjoe13 <------------<<<-

    A lot of the trauma caused by a muzzle load is because of the size of the hole going through it. I have not hunted with a ML, but I wouldn't shy away from using a ball or cast bullet.
    Dutch likes this.
  6. writerinmo

    writerinmo G&G Evangelist

    I too use the REAL cast bullets in my .50 inline. I tried the sabots but it seemed like I got plastic fouling after every shot so had a buddy cast me up enough of the REAL to last me the rest of my life. I'd have to weigh one but if I recall they were 325 grains, that puts a wallop on a whitetail you can hear in the next county.
    Big Dog, austinjoe13 and Dutch like this.
  7. runfiverun

    runfiverun G&G Evangelist

    I use a round ball and a patch.

    I get about 44 magnum 'lite' [from my lever gun] performance out of my 50 cal black powder rifle.
    I keep my shots to about 100 yds or so and just let the soft lead do it's job.

    I use the same sight set up as I use on the one lever gun and get to practice a lot more by using it, so making the shots are pretty easy.
    getting within 100ish yds is the harder part sometimes.
  8. Jaison

    Jaison G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Used Hornady round ball in a .45 flintlock. Linen and spit patch.

    Loved the punch that thing had.
    rando and Dutch like this.
  9. austinjoe13

    austinjoe13 <------------<<<-

    You guys are making my want to go out and buy a ML... I've handled Blue Ridge rifles and really like them. I'd get on of those, or a Kentucky rifle. Maybe a lead conical or flat point bullet for hunting.
    Dutch and Jaison like this.
  10. Junction15

    Junction15 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    I have not yet taken game with my ML so I can't comment on terminal performance. But I can relate an experience. I use 45 cal, 350 gr XTP sabot bullets in my 50 Cal ML with 125 grains of pyrodex. TC Encore 24" rifle.
    At the range, there were some dead cedar trees in a blow-down about 300 yards away that appeared to make a cross. I didn't know the range so I guesstimated holdover and nailed it (no skill, pure luck, couldn't have done that again if you paid me). On checking it out, the trees were actually about 10 feet apart. The first one was about 12" diameter and the second was about 8 " dia. The bullet went through both and the 8" tree had an exit hole about 3" diameter. I couldn't find the bullet in a mud clod behind it all.

    The bullet blasted through about 16" of solid, dried cedar trunks and had stayed on course from one tree to the other. Dead cedar wood is not as tough as other trees but I have no doubt that the XTP bullet would take a bull moose with no trouble. If anything, my combination is overkill (if there is such a thing) on deer.
    Dutch and austinjoe13 like this.
  11. I experiment a lot, so I just use what ever I feel like using at the time !........
    Dutch likes this.
  12. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

    I've got the molds for both the 250 and 320 grain .50 caliber REAL bullets. Both are legal for hunting, I haven't decided which to use. I am reasonably sure that both of them were providing excellent accuracy last time I had the rifle out.

    I'd been using Bore Butter to lube the bullets, and had found that a felt wad increased accuracy. I think I had found that 90 grains of whatever powder substitute seemed to work well with both bullets. I need to check my notes to be sure.
    writerinmo and austinjoe13 like this.
  13. austinjoe13

    austinjoe13 <------------<<<-

    Well now you guys have me thinking... If I had to hunt in the MN shotgun zone every year, I'd probably buy a really nice muzzle loader like a TC Encore or Remington 700UM for the firearms season. I could use a scope, sabots, and a big charge of powder to accurately reach farther than any slug gun... Good thing I built that 300blk pistol for a fraction of the price of either of those combos!
    blaster and Dutch like this.
  14. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

    I went back and found an old thread talking about getting the barrel replaced on my TC triumph. It's got pictures of my old targets using the 250 grain Lee REAL bullets and 70 grains of pyrodex, with iron sites. I also posted chrono results that are informative.

    Dropping the link here if you are interested. The Chrono results are on the second page.
    Jaison likes this.
  15. SafetyFirst

    SafetyFirst G&G Evangelist

    I practice and hunt with TC Cheap Shot Sabot with 240 grain lead hollow point. These are inexpensive and shoot accurately out of my CVA Accura.
  16. cooker300

    cooker300 G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    NW PA
    for my inline I only use powerbelts,
    flintlock and percussion cap I use a .490dia round ball with a patch.
  17. I've been using the Hornady SST-ML (250 gr bullet) in my Knight Bighorn 50 cal. for years. I had to play with the powder charge to find the sweet spot for accuracy which turned out to be 110 grains of Pyrodex 777. Each ML is different and you need to try several bullets and powder charges to find out what works best in yours.
    This combination has been taking deer for the better part of 20 years.