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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I am to a point where I need to purchase more bullets for a Traditions Pursuit LT. There are many different choices, and being a novice to blackpowder, I'm lost. How do I know what to choice grain wise: 245, 295, 223. What is the thought process when choicing?
 

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Personaly, I think heavy is good when it comes to muzzleloader bullets. Muzzleloaders are not high velocity centerfire rifles, even if the marketing folks want us to believe it! They are moderate to low velocity rigs even with magnum powder charges. Moderate velocity and heavy bullets are wickedly effective on game animals like deer. Personaly, in a .50 cal sabot, I prefer to stay as close to 300 grains as possible. 250 grains is fine and many people have great luck at that weight but I still think it's a bit light. However, it is hard to argue with the success many have with bullets in that weight class....so it's just a personal preferance. I have found in my two inlines, that they tend to like heavier bullets but each gun will have its preferances so let the gun help choose. No sense throwing a heavy bullet if accuracy is not up to standards or vice versa. Range time and experimentation is really your only option. Buy a handfull of different bullets and hit the range for some quality time behind the stock. Me personaly, I like Barnes bullets the best and Horandy XTP's are right there. After bad experiences with powerbelts, I've never ever consider them (the wiehgts you mentioned sounded like powerbelt choices)...neither would a lot of other people. Search powerbelts on here and you'll have a couple hours worth of reading. Their consistancy is just not up to industry standards.
 

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Personaly, I think heavy is good when it comes to muzzleloader bullets. Muzzleloaders are not high velocity centerfire rifles, even if the marketing folks want us to believe it! They are moderate to low velocity rigs even with magnum powder charges. Moderate velocity and heavy bullets are wickedly effective on game animals like deer. Personaly, in a .50 cal sabot, I prefer to stay as close to 300 grains as possible. 250 grains is fine and many people have great luck at that weight but I still think it's a bit light. However, it is hard to argue with the success many have with bullets in that weight class....so it's just a personal preferance. I have found in my two inlines, that they tend to like heavier bullets but each gun will have its preferances so let the gun help choose. No sense throwing a heavy bullet if accuracy is not up to standards or vice versa. Range time and experimentation is really your only option. Buy a handfull of different bullets and hit the range for some quality time behind the stock. Me personaly, I like Barnes bullets the best and Horandy XTP's are right there. After bad experiences with powerbelts, I've never ever consider them (the wiehgts you mentioned sounded like powerbelt choices)...neither would a lot of other people. Search powerbelts on here and you'll have a couple hours worth of reading. Their consistancy is just not up to industry standards.
This is the very reason that it sort of bothers me to hear someone asking for recommendations for this gun or that, and to hear all the responses. There is nothing that will short-cut the range time for muzzleloading. There really is no shortcut. You HAVE to shoot the gun with different bullets and loads to see which one or ones are the most ACCURATE. I repeat, ACCURATE!
 

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I certainly agree with the heavier 300 gr bullets. I haven't shot the packaged sabot bullets much but what I did proved they were no better then Hornadays. Whats really important is to find the right powder charge for your gun. While most in lines will take 150 grains safely that may not give you the most accurate charge. A couple years ago I did testing with 300 gr Hornadays over a chronograph and much to my surprise I found that there we no actual velocty increase from 105 grains to 150 grains, and accuracy also was not as good as the lighter charges.

A friend whom I used to work with shot black powder in competition and he confirmed what my resulst shown, in fact he shot lighter charges. What I would recommend is buying a box or 2 of Hornadays and testing them at various powder charges and actually recording your results on paper carefully noting group size and any drop or rise in trajectory.

If you would take the time a wind flag would also be be very beneficial, in addition to a good solid bench and gag set up to shoot of of. For a quick and efficient take piece of construction warning tape and fasten it to any kind of pole stuck in the groun in line with your target, and carefully watch the tape tail for changes in wind direction and velocity change. You can also pay attention to the way the wind sounds vary in your ears, even if wearing hearing protection, which I of course recommend as being deaf is no fun. :eek:

I have professional shooting rests costing more then $400 but I have also made a shooting rest out of raw materials and works fine for home bench testing.

Here is a pic of some basic rests and bags for an idea,





this rest is actually not bad if used with a decent bench. I've made my own, if you want an idea what it looks like shoot me a PM (I don't have a pic of it at the moment) :)

(below) The narrower bag 1-1/2" (not pictured, is better) (the one shown is 3"
the wide bag shown is all but worthless for standard hunting equipment. You can use a sand bag for the rear if raised to the proper height and will work fine. You can also use a sand bag for the front, but it must be raised about 7-9 inches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I guess my next question is where can you get 6 bullets of a particular weight versus a package of 20. Experimenting can get VERY costly if that's the case.

And prior to my original post, I did realize that accuracy is the only factor that counts, and each gun will vary. I was just trying to narrow the field from 10 options to a handful.
 

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I guess my next question is where can you get 6 bullets of a particular weight versus a package of 20. Experimenting can get VERY costly if that's the case.

And prior to my original post, I did realize that accuracy is the only factor that counts, and each gun will vary. I was just trying to narrow the field from 10 options to a handful.
I don't think you are going to find anyplace that offers sells 6-packs unless you can find someone that has some stuff they are willing to donate... and usually when someone wants to give ML projectiles away it's because they didn't work in some way for them.

Best I can figure to recommend to you is to buy some middle of the road stuff (in terms of quality) as a starting point. Hornady puts out a decent line of pre-packaged ML bullets that work very well in my in-line ML. Give some in the 44 or 45 caliber, 300 grain class XTP's a shot to start and see how they do on paper for you.

Here's a couple I would think about starting with:
300gr Hornady XTP w/sabot
300gr Barnes Expander w/sabot

Accuracy IS NOT the only factor that counts. There are at least a couple very popular ML bullets out there that I wouldn't even consider shooting at a whitetail. One of them has already been mentioned in this thread - it is somewhat comical (and unfortunate) how the first page or 2 on at least a couple of the big online sites seem to default to that product line when you search their ML projectile offerings...
 

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Check out Barnes Expander MZ available in 250 or 300 gr. Not cheap, but one of the best performing bullets out there. Also always start sabots with a loading jag/starter.

Don't mean to hi-jack the thread, but has anyone tried the new Hornaday FPB's yet?
 

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I guess my next question is where can you get 6 bullets of a particular weight versus a package of 20. Experimenting can get VERY costly if that's the case.

.

Unfortunately, finding a good load can indeed be both time consuming and expensive. It's all part of muzzleloading however and you'll likely find that you will enjoy the ability to build loads that meet your specific needs. This also makes it tough to buy a muzzleloader late in the year, but it is doable.

On a side note, I remember being at Bass Pro in Cinci Ohio the day before their muzzleloader season started and guys were lined up 6 deep at the muzzleloader counter. They had a limited inventory so the guys behind the counter were holding up models and telling folks how many they had in stock. How many of those guys went hunting the next day with little or no range time? Pretty scary to say the least!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, it wasn't too expensive today getting to a point where I am very happy. I guess I was expecting bullets to be way more pricey than what they were. All said and done, ended up with Hornady's 300gr. sst-ml. Unbelievable grouping. I can't believe the difference from powerbelts.

Thanks to all for the input and advice.
 

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Muzzleloading and finding the right load and powder quantity is often gun specific, meaning two identical model guns might have best results with different set ups. To someone new to muzzleloading, or working to learn what their gun likes best I would suggest hitting the range with some established muzzleloader shooters that know their preferred load. Shoot with a few guys and you might get the chance to shoot a couple projectiles you haven't tried without having the sting of buying your way to the right set up. If you find a good combo you can buy at that time.
 

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I bought a traditions Vortek this year and the shock waves 200 grn , 100 grns of pyrodex pellets ,shot out of it unbelievable. at 100 yrds I can put a bullet in a 1.5 inch circle. Shot three deer with it and my son used it to take his biggest buck too .So I think the shock waves and the Vortek is shooting 4 out of 4 shots.I dropped my big buck in it`s tracks. It was a monster weighing in at 290lbs.I can`t be happier with the gun or bullets.
 

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I bought a traditions Vortek this year and the shock waves 200 grn , 100 grns of pyrodex pellets ,shot out of it unbelievable. at 100 yrds I can put a bullet in a 1.5 inch circle. Shot three deer with it and my son used it to take his biggest buck too .So I think the shock waves and the Vortek is shooting 4 out of 4 shots.I dropped my big buck in it`s tracks. It was a monster weighing in at 290lbs.I can`t be happier with the gun or bullets.
X3

I would like to see a pic also, thats twice as big as the deer I kill

MI88
 

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Okay, I am to a point where I need to purchase more bullets for a Traditions Pursuit LT. There are many different choices, and being a novice to blackpowder, I'm lost. How do I know what to choice grain wise: 245, 295, 223. What is the thought process when choicing?
My thought process is do I want a flat trajectory, a heavy hitter or something in between? My second thought is do I want an easy loading bullet or a hard one? Do I want to be able to shoot multiple rounds without cleaning or not?

If you think about this then the choices will be more limited and then you can buy three or so differnet ones and see what "you" like best or what shoots best in your gun with whatever amount or type of powder you're using.

You can also do a search on the internet for your specific rifle and find out what people are using in it on other forums, blogs and such.
 
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