Home Forums Hunting General Hunting Muzzleloader questions

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  • TeamAsgrow
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    This past week I bought my first muzzle loader, it is a CVA optima. After reading through the manual it said that it was capable of 150 gr charges, then after reading through the card that came with the triple 7 pellets it said to only use 2. I am confused a little, any thoughts? are 3 pellets needed? I do not plan to do any long distance shooting with this thing.

    Next the gun came with a starter kit and came with 295 gr power belts. If i plan to only shoot a 2 pellet charge would it be adivised to go with a lighter bullet?

    Any help would be appreciated since this is my first experience with a muzzle loader and I am looking for a reliable load combo to knock down a deer this fall.
    Thanks
    BW

    Ret58 1
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    I use the 295 out of my CVA with only 90 grains of 7. It hits right on at 50yrds, with some elevation adjustments for longer shots. I think you need to experiment with what you will feel comfortable with. Oh ya, turn your hat around or take it off for that first shot 😯

    drof99
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    I used to shoot 3 pellets in my muzzy. It makes quite the kick. Sure the gun will handle it but I don’t need the extra range or knock down power that comes with that. I shot one 2 years ago using about the same setup you are talking about. Upon finding my doe I shot with it I found that I had and exit wound that I could literally put my fist through. That’s a little overkill in my opinion. I have since stepped down to two pellets, 100 grains, and a sabot around 240 grains. I’m accurate out past 100 yards and have never lost a deer that I shot. I believe with good shot placement you could even step down more in the bullet. Becareful with that thing. Once you start shooting it more your shotgun might start getting some rust on it if you don’t keep it well oiled while sitting in the cabinet all the time. I’ve got better range and accuracy from my muzzy by far. Good luck, its fun.

    hoytarcher
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    Quote by: drof99

    I used to shoot 3 pellets in my muzzy. It makes quite the kick. Sure the gun will handle it but I don’t need the extra range or knock down power that comes with that. I shot one 2 years ago using about the same setup you are talking about. Upon finding my doe I shot with it I found that I had and exit wound that I could literally put my fist through. That’s a little overkill in my opinion. I have since stepped down to two pellets, 100 grains, and a sabot around 240 grains. I’m accurate out past 100 yards and have never lost a deer that I shot. I believe with good shot placement you could even step down more in the bullet. Becareful with that thing. Once you start shooting it more your shotgun might start getting some rust on it if you don’t keep it well oiled while sitting in the cabinet all the time. I’ve got better range and accuracy from my muzzy by far. Good luck, its fun.

    I think you nailed that on the head! The black powder rifles are a lot of fun. They are amazingly accurate, and have plenty of punch, no matter what bullet you use. If you place your shot in the boiler room, they will fall. I use loose black powder, have neve dropped a pellet in one of my rifles. You should be fine with two, especially with the money those things cost.

    have fun, clean often, be safe.

    larry

    younghunter_86
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    TeamAsgrow-

    You’ve gotten some good advice, but I’ll throw my opinion in as well. Have you bought the pellets already? If you did, no worries. You can safely 2 or 3 50 grain pellets. If they are the “magnum” pellets or whatever they’re called, 2 of them is the max. If you haven’t already bought the pellets, I suggest using loose powder. It gives you the abillity to shoot any amount of powder that you want and your accuracy will likely be improved over the pellets. Either Triple Seven FFG or Blackhorn 209 would work very well.

    I’m not a Powerbelt user or fan for that matter. To start with I suggest buying some .452 pistol bullets and a sabot made for shooting .45 bullets out of a .50 cal muzzleloader. There are lots of choices, I don’t know what is available locally for you and so can’t really say what would work the best. If you plan on ordering components online I would probably go with 250 gr xtp’s. Match them up with either a harvestor short black sabot or the short black mmp sabot and you should find a good load.

    iowavf
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    I have a 45 Encore and use 3 pellots, but I’m shooting out to 250 yards. 2 pellots will be fine up to 100 to 125 yards with no problems. I like the new platimuns that power belts have out, used the 223 grain last couple years but will try the 300 grain depending on the dropbtween 100 and 200 yards. Lots of bullet choices out there and you’ll get mixed reviews about power belts not leaving exit wounds. I tried other bullets but found if I didn’t clean the barrel between each shot I couldn’t get a second bullet down the barrel and I didn’t want to have to do that while hunting. I can shoot 7 or 8 power belts without cleaning the barrel and no differance in accuracy, but then again it seems like every ML shoots a little differant so try some differant stuff this summer before hunting season. I also have mine sighted in with a dirty barrel because it shoots a little differant with a clean barrel and if it was sighted in with a clean barrel, you can’t reload and shoot again without a wet patch, then dry patch. I agree with drof99, shot placement and being able to put the bullet where you’re aming is the key. Lot of the post I read seems like the person blames the bullet for a poor shot placement. I’ve lost a couple deer with my ML, but I know I shot too far forward on the shoulder, my mistake because the same load took a buck at 230 yards last year with complete pass through and went 10 yards. I take my shotgun, but it stays in the truck and is only there incase something happens to my ML or someone elses gun, I cleaned it a couple years ago and haven’t put a slug through it since.

    TeamAsgrow
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    Thanks a bunch, this has been helpful. I have decided that I am no longer going to hunt either of the shotgun seasons. I bought this pretty much on an impluse and I like to sit in my tree stands just to see what walks by instead of pushing them all over.

    I have decided that I will do some experimenting this summer and most likely stick to 2 pellets just to keep it slightly more affordable and managable with the recoil.
    Well it is off to the range now thanks guys

    4 Buck
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    Depend on which pellets you use to achieve your 150 grs. 777 makes magnum pellets and all you have to use is 2 to get 150 instead of 3 50’s. I use loose 777. You can adjust your load accordingly to your bullet. I personally think you get more of a consistant burn with loose also…..

    Try them all and see what works best out of your gun. Dont forget to try bullets also. Some barrels are pretty picky!

    oxymoron
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    Here’s what works for me. Two of the 50 gr 777 pellets and 250 gr. shockwave bullet.

    flyfishr
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    I have a New England Firearms Sidekick and a New England Firearms Heritage. I like my plain old wood and blue barrel sidekick over the heritage best. That said I shoot 70 to 90 gr by volume of FFG T-7 behind 260 to 300 gr Dead Center sabots. (My guns like the 300 gr better than the lighter ones) The sidekick has not missed yet the last 2 seasons. Between dad and I we have taken 11 deer in 2007 and 9 deer in 2008. Most shots were taken @ 75 to 100 yds. The longest was 135 to 140 yds. All of these shot were pass through. I think by using a loose powder you can better fine tune your gun to what it likes and be deadly accurate with out punishing yourself needlessly.

    iowavf
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    I get a doe tag for 1st season shotgun, but I hunt with my brothers and the nephews and since you can party hunt during shotgun season, we have an understanding if the oppertunity for a big buck is there, one of them will tag the deer. I finally convinced them to sit most of the time and wait for the deer and other groups around us to move the deer. Now we all have blinds and that’s where we stay. I also like the late season ML season. I tried the loose but for myself liked the pellets better and my groups are pretty tight with the pellets. I also found that with loose I couldn’t get the power belts to seat the same each time. I have my rod marked so I know I’m seating the bullet the same each time. I think the loose powder wouldn’t always get pushed into the hollow plastic sabot on the end of the bullet, but that’s just MOP. The mark on the rod was off about the distance of the hollow area so that’s why I was thinking that might have caused it. Don’t know where you live, but I have an almost full bottle of loose 777 you can try if you wanted.

    WapelloMark
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    I like 90 gr 777 loose and a 240 grain Win bullet.

    hls57
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    I have the optima and after a long trial and error process i came up with 100 grains of 777 in the loose form and 240 gr hornady sst muzzle loader sabots,
    zero at 150 yards,2 inches high at 100 yards,2 inches low at 200 yards,every deer shot either fell dead or went just a few yards,no wandering around timber looking,just my 2 cents.
    I have power belt bullets and 777 pellets if someone want to buy them cheap

    iowavf
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    One thing to remember when using loose 777, it takes 20% less to equal the same amount of pyrodex, or 120 grains of loose 777 is equal to 150 grains of loose pyrodex.

    TeamAsgrow
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    sounds like I have some experimenting to do this summer good thing I have the time off, I am going to the range today after work. Thanks guys

    speedy
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    I am reading good things about Blackhorn 209 powder. I haven’t tried it yet myself, but plan to do so this year. Right now my Encore likes 250gr TC Shockwaves and 2 50gr. pellets of 777. I plan on trying the Blackhorn powder and the new Barnes TEZ bullets.

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