Bullet Recommendation

Osprey

Member
Messages
72
Anyone have a bullet recommendation for a T/C Pro Hunter? Going on a bull elk hunt in CO. No sabots allowed. Planning on using Blackhorn 209 if I can find some. Have some but not sure I have enough. Barrel has the QLA so I'm fishing for some info from someone that has had luck shooting a conical out of a barrel with a QLA. Thanks
 

diablo

Active Member
Messages
489
I would try the Federal Premium B.O.R. Lock MZ Trophy Copper Muzzleloader Bullets. They shoot pretty well for me out of my TC rifles with 110 gr of BH209.

Or the Thor bullets. I haven’t tried them but guys have good things to say about them.

You’ll just have to give them a try and see how they shoot.

Oh, and don’t let anyone talk you into Powerbelts. Anyone with an informed opinion will tell you they’re garbage, IMHO.
 

Joe2Kool

Very Active Member
Messages
1,792
Sabots are legal where I ML hunt so I can't help on the bullet selection, but I agree with Daiblo on the Powerbelts. Some people swear by them. Lots of people cuss them. Too many negative comments for me to consider then.

Good luck and post pics!
 

Katoom

Active Member
Messages
288
No Excuses bullets, 420 or 460 grain. Shoot great out of my Omega. Dial back your charge and then work back up to the sweet spot.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
No excuses are great bullets. But they hit the target sideways out of my Omega (QLA issue) even at low powder charges.

Stick with something that has an expandable rear skirt. If you can get them, the new Hornady Boredriver bullets deserve a look. I used and loved their FPB bullets before they discontinued them. This appears to be an upgrade and easier to load.

BOR bullets would be good to try too but in would choose the 350 gr lead version for elk. It is a lead alloy so tougher than pure lead.
 

Cahunter805

Very Active Member
Messages
2,991
Thor bullets would definitely be one to try. Order their sample pack for sizing and find what works best for your rifle.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
Thor’s are definitely a great bullet. If you can get the right size for your gun. And with since they have a rear expandable base, they may work OK with a QLA. But they run out sometimes in a normal year. Not sure about their availability this year.
 

Servehim

Very Active Member
Messages
1,492
I'm very happy with the 300 gr Thor using 100 gr 777. No misfires and < 2" group at 100. Great elk medicine, harvested the bull to the left with that combo .
 

Tackdriver

Active Member
Messages
122
I shot 2 deer and an elk last year. From 205yds to 355 yds. All 1 shot, double lung kills with unbelievable damage. Im pushing the 275gr .45 cal XLDs about 2500fps. Highly recommended.
 

Tackdriver

Active Member
Messages
122
I was mistaken, it's 2400fps out of my encore pro hunter, that is an open sight set up.

20200704_090141.jpg
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,479
get some lead, a casting pot and some bullet molds. You can buy a lot of different Lee molds and lead for the price of todays muzzy bullets.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
The gun he is shooting may not shoot lead bullets well. Because it has a QLA. That is why he is asking for alternatives.
 

diablo

Active Member
Messages
489
And…………………..there are much better (terminally performing) choices than plain lead bullets for elk.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,479
And…………………..there are much better (terminally performing) choices than plain lead bullets for elk.
Sorry if I wasn't clear about that. I didn't mean pure lead but a heavy, hardcast lead alloy, with a wide, flat meplat. They are absolutely devastating in terminal performance and will penetrate as well as any muzzleloading specific bullet. Put a gascheck on them and you can easily exceed 2,000fps with no loss in accuracy (with the caveat that some rifles prefer one bullet over another). Some rifles do better with a paper patch while I just put most of mine thru a lubrisizer. I don't hunt in areas where I can't use sabots so I use .452-.458 diameter bullets in .50 caliber rifles.

I've tried most muzzy bullets on the market since '93 (not as long as some but long enough to figure it out) and haven't found better. I've killed many animals with hardcast bullets in both handguns and muzzleloaders. There is not a better handgun hunting bullet out there and they work just as well in muzzys.

Lots of boutique ammo manufacturers like Buffalo bore use these in their handgun ammo. If you aren't familiar with or never made/used these then castboolits.com is a good place to get an idea for it.

Back in the day I did use pure lead but I was shooting .54 caliber rifles and they dropped like a rock after about 125 yards and they worked great on elk to those distances. The type of bullets I use today are very precise and a totally different animal.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
Then you are lucky. My Omega shot no excuses bullets (a good conical) with an 8” group at 25 yards. Some went thru target sideways. Sent the barrel to T/C and they said “shoot sabots”

It’s a fact that many guns with a QLA have issues with conicals. I had to cut mine off.

That said, my brothers Omega shoots conical ok. But T/C will not back it for shooting conicals if it won’t. If you don’t believe me call T/C and ask. They will tell you the same thing.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,479
Then you are lucky. My Omega shot no excuses bullets (a good conical) with an 8” group at 25 yards. Some went thru target sideways. Sent the barrel to T/C and they said “shoot sabots”

It’s a fact that many guns with a QLA have issues with conicals. I had to cut mine off.

That said, my brothers Omega shoots conical ok. But T/C will not back it for shooting conicals if it won’t. If you don’t believe me call T/C and ask. They will tell you the same thing.
I know what T/C says about their rifles I sold them for a long time. I did also state with the caveat that some rifles just prefer one particular bullet over another. That is the same whether it's a muzzy or a modern cartridge hunting rifle. I tried no excuses bullets as well and they didn't shoot well for me either but just because they won't shoot well doesn't mean another style/weight bullet won't. I believe I still have a partial pack or two in my obsolete muzzy gear bag.

Some molds that I tried didn't shoot for crap but others did and that's why I have quite a few different ones. Lee molds are only about $25 (if you can find them right now). Yes it's a bit more work than buying a couple different types of bullets in the store and trying them but if you already cast bullets it isn't a big deal and being able to whip out a couple hundred at a time so you can shoot for awhile is a nice thing too.
 

diablo

Active Member
Messages
489
Sorry if I wasn't clear about that. I didn't mean pure lead but a heavy, hardcast lead alloy, with a wide, flat meplat. They are absolutely devastating in terminal performance and will penetrate as well as any muzzleloading specific bullet. Put a gascheck on them and you can easily exceed 2,000fps with no loss in accuracy (with the caveat that some rifles prefer one bullet over another). Some rifles do better with a paper patch while I just put most of mine thru a lubrisizer. I don't hunt in areas where I can't use sabots so I use .452-.458 diameter bullets in .50 caliber rifles.

I've tried most muzzy bullets on the market since '93 (not as long as some but long enough to figure it out) and haven't found better. I've killed many animals with hardcast bullets in both handguns and muzzleloaders. There is not a better handgun hunting bullet out there and they work just as well in muzzys.

Lots of boutique ammo manufacturers like Buffalo bore use these in their handgun ammo. If you aren't familiar with or never made/used these then castboolits.com is a good place to get an idea for it.

Back in the day I did use pure lead but I was shooting .54 caliber rifles and they dropped like a rock after about 125 yards and they worked great on elk to those distances. The type of bullets I use today are very precise and a totally different animal.

Sounds as through you have a lot of experience with them. I say use what you have confidence in. I too started out in the mid ‘80s shooting lead full-bore bullets. And, although I do appreciate the nostalgia of casting your own, I certainly would argue with anyone who would say they compare in accuracy, trajectory and terminal performance with modern offerings (especially sabot combos or monometal conicals). Now, I would use a super heavy conical on something like Cape buffalo or elephant at very close range. But that would be about it for me.
 

diablo

Active Member
Messages
489
But I’m open to persuasion. Give us some specifics of your ideal elk rifle: caliber, twist, bullet weight and design, composition, powder type and charge, velocity, accuracy at 100 yards, trajectory, etc. Now you’ve got me curious.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,479
My go to load with cast bullets is a Lee .452 bullet mold 300 gn. designed for the .454 Casull, .45 Long colt, and .460 S&W (flat nose gas check). Rifles are .50 cal. using the shorter black harvester crush rib sabots. 1-28" twist. 2,050-2,150 fps average varies a bit by temperature and the gun being used. I chrono all my loads that I'm working up; 1-1.5moa is average depending on my day, sometimes better, some days worse. 🙂110 grains blackhorn 209 by volume but I prefer weighing my charges which is 77 grains weight. When I jump to 120 grains volume my groups start to open up. CCI 209m magnum primers (with an o-ring in the breech plug to prevent blow back). I usually pre-measure 30-40 charges before I hit the range. I would have to go to my load data folders to check my drop data (I use ballistic plex type reticles and just make a chart and tape it to the buttstock for reference). I'm going to switch a couple scopes this year and try dialing. The bullets don't expand, (they will ding up on bones) but when they start at .45 caliber they don't need to, besides opening up reduces penetration. So far all my HUNTING loads with cast bullets have been with sabots.

I've also had good luck using basically the same load as above but with Hornady XTP .452" 300 grain bullets instead of cast, both the magnum and non-magnum flavors. If I haven't got a batch of bullets ready to go or no time to cast them this is what I use.

I have played with the .475 400 grain Lee mold bullets that I shoot out of a .480 ruger and a Harvester sabot but haven't found a good enough load to use (I think the sabots are too thin).

Some of the lighter .458" cast bullets designed for rifles have shot fine using the .458" specific sabots but I would like to try a faster twist barrel on the heavies.
I got rid of my .45 caliber guns. I usually shot powerbelts in them because they were accurate. I would like to get another .45" in a fast twist and try heavy .40 cal bullets in .45 sabots along with bore size slugs.

One thing that made a big difference in whether a gun would shoot non-saboted actual bore diameter bullets accurately was the sized bullet diameter. Some worked good at .452" and some needed to go up or down .001"; .001" in sizing made a big difference at times. It was the same way with .458" bullets. It even effected accuracy in sabots to a lesser degree. Personally I haven't found a better easier to load sabot than the Harvester crush ribs.

I like to shoot a lot but I don't like spending a few hundred bucks each year on muzzy bullets, blackhorn is costly enough and right now I'm down to only a couple bottles.
 
Last edited:

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,479
I missed your post talking about Cape buffalo and elephant until just now. I still plan to hunt elephant one day even though they aren't importable anymore. I've hunted Africa a couple times but always with a rifle. I know a few who have used muzzle loaders but sourcing powder there seemed to be an issue because you can't fly with it. For elephant I wouldn't mess around with a front loader, I'd probably use my .375 h&h Ackley or a .416; The BMG would be enough gun but I can't get that into Africa🙂

I had a lot of fun there with a .223 rem but it's a little small for elephant. I used that mostly for night hunting small predators. I did take a nice bushpig with it because that was what I had in my hands at the time.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
I gave no excuses as an example because they are well made and have good reviews on terminal performance. But I tried every commercially available conical out there in my gun. I spent several years trying new bullets and powder combinations before I had my QLA removed.

Just like some people really get in to reloading, you like to cast your own bullets, and that is fine, but it is not something I desire of have time for in my life at this point. Not when there are bullets available commercially. Maybe when I retire I might have some interest, but I just don’t at this point.

That said, there was a problem with my barrel. When I cut off the QLA, the QLA side was cut in the absolute center of the barrel, the bore was not. This is a well documented problem with T/C QLA guns. And it makes sense that with a flat based conical, when it enters the QLA area, more gas will go around one side faster than the other and throw off the bullet. T/C is aware of this issue and chooses to not fix the it. This doesnt affect sabots because the sabot part expands in the QLA and doesn’t have the more gas on one side issue. They will not guarantee accuracy of conicals like they will sabots. Because of that, I have chosen not to purchase a T/C gun because I hunt primarily Colorado.but I do try and help people who have these guns because there are ways around it. Mainly by having a rear section that can expand. Yours is certainly another way around the issue, at least in your gun. I doubt it would have been a solution in my barrel.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,479
I gave no excuses as an example because they are well made and have good reviews on terminal performance. But I tried every commercially available conical out there in my gun. I spent several years trying new bullets and powder combinations before I had my QLA removed.

Just like some people really get in to reloading, you like to cast your own bullets, and that is fine, but it is not something I desire of have time for in my life at this point. Not when there are bullets available commercially. Maybe when I retire I might have some interest, but I just don’t at this point.

That said, there was a problem with my barrel. When I cut off the QLA, the QLA side was cut in the absolute center of the barrel, the bore was not. This is a well documented problem with T/C QLA guns. And it makes sense that with a flat based conical, when it enters the QLA area, more gas will go around one side faster than the other and throw off the bullet. T/C is aware of this issue and chooses to not fix the it. This doesnt affect sabots because the sabot part expands in the QLA and doesn’t have the more gas on one side issue. They will not guarantee accuracy of conicals like they will sabots. Because of that, I have chosen not to purchase a T/C gun because I hunt primarily Colorado.but I do try and help people who have these guns because there are ways around it. Mainly by having a rear section that can expand. Yours is certainly another way around the issue, at least in your gun. I doubt it would have been a solution in my barrel.
Casting bullets is one more thing that takes some time and these days I'll usually do just one or two sessions in the summer and crank out everything I need in a couple days and then put it all away until the next time. One good session gives me all I need and that includes handgun bullets.

With flat based lead conicals you will get flame cutting around the base with todays higher velocities and yes that does mess things up with accuracy. There is a simple cure for that which is to drop a 100% wool felt wad over the powder charge and before the bullet. They come in all common calibers and this prevents flame cutting around the bullet base and will help accuracy. The wads can be bought in lubed or unlubed and can be found online at most muzzleloading supply stores. Try it again with the wads and I bet you'll be surprised at the difference it makes.

Another thing to know about T/C barrels is that they are notorious for being oversize. At least they were in the not to distant past I can't speak for current production. They were even known to let powerbelts fall out of the barrel if they were clean and not fouled from shooting.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
I generally use a wool wad under my flat based conical. And I tried several types of wads in my omega under conicals. It did not help.

I still use wads in my other guns like my White .504 whitetail
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
I have also used the MMP balistic bridge sub bases with some success. I just wish I had known about them to try in my omega before I cut off the barrel. PowerBelts flew pretty well out of it due to the expandable base. But I won’t use powerbelts for hunting.


I have been shooting muzzleloader a since the mid 80s. First one was a T/C renegade sidelock that I “built” myself. I still use it sometimes. I spent/wasted several years (and lots of money) thinking I could find some conical/ powder combination that would shoot from my Omega. I guess it’s possible that they have upgraded their boring system but last time I checked they hadn’t
 
Last edited:

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,479
I have also used the MMP balistic bridge sub bases with some success. I just wish I had known about them to try in my omega. Because PowerBelts flew pretty well out of it due to the expandable base. But I won’t use powerbelts for hunting.

I've seen those MMP sub bases but have never tried them. I don't care for their standard sabots because they can be a bugger to load. I shot powerbelts for a long time because they were really accurate for me and I scored a buttload of them years ago for cheap. I never tried them on anything bigger than mule deer but I never had one fail and I did get plenty of pass throughs but I always shot the heavier ones. I shot the platinums for a while too and they seem to hold up better than the standard powerbelts.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
Powerbelts do shoot great but they are all pure soft lead. The platinum covering isn’t any tougher than the copper. But those bullets have a smaller hollow point. So they hold up better since it takes more force to open them up.

I killed 2 elk with them (350 gr in 50 cal and 405 gr in 54 cal). But there are so many better (tougher) choices for elk sized critters these days.
 

diablo

Active Member
Messages
489
The bullets don't expand, (they will ding up on bones) but when they start at .45 caliber they don't need to, besides opening up reduces penetration. So far all my HUNTING loads with cast bullets have been with sabots.

Wow, we have gotten a little off topic - this being a thread on colorado-legal elk bullet recommendations for a TC Pro Hunter.
I do have to reply to one thing you said Bob. I completely disagree that .45 bullets don’t need to expand (to be consistently effective on big game). You will lose lots of animals with that philosophy. My experience (in North America and Africa) tells me that at muzzleloading velocities, at least some expansion is really important. The 300 gr XTP is a fine bullet at reasonable ranges on light game generally. I wouldn’t use one on anything bigger than mule deer. Although I think there are much better options really. Otherwise, your details on details on sabots, primers, powders are mostly in line with my experience.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,479
Wow, we have gotten a little off topic - this being a thread on colorado-legal elk bullet recommendations for a TC Pro Hunter.
I do have to reply to one thing you said Bob. I completely disagree that .45 bullets don’t need to expand (to be consistently effective on big game). You will lose lots of animals with that philosophy. My experience (in North America and Africa) tells me that at muzzleloading velocities, at least some expansion is really important. The 300 gr XTP is a fine bullet at reasonable ranges on light game generally. I wouldn’t use one on anything bigger than mule deer. Although I think there are much better options really. Otherwise, your details on details on sabots, primers, powders are mostly in line with my experience.
If a hardcast flat nose bullet in .45 caliber bullet isn't big enough to be a consistently effective killer then why can a .264", .277" or even .308" diameter bullet be so deadly? and those rarely open up to as big as a .452" or .458" bullet starts with. Also if a .452" or .458" bullet isn't up to the task then why is the 45-70 considered such a hammer and those are often used with the same style of bullet. The large hardcast bullet makes just as impressive a wound channel as a modern rifle bullet does though they do it in different ways. A fast cup and core or other style rifle bullet at high velocities is helped with violent expansion causing hydrostatic shock. A bullet with a large flat surface area kills effectively simply due to the larger destructive wound channel and deep penetration.

As far as non-expanding hard cast .452" bullets losing animals (with all due respect) that is completely false and has been backed up by decades of experience with many hunters. Hundreds of articles have been written on the subject over the last many decades. I don't know how much personal experience you have with using them but I have killed many big game animals with wide-meplat, hard cast bullets with revolvers in the 300+ grain weight and they consistently kill effectively, ask anyone who hunts with big bore revolvers, thousands of big game animals have been taken with this style of bullet. I've used these in Alaska several times and never had a failure. The wide-flat nose makes the difference and causes a large and very effective wound channel without expanding. Many Alaskan brown bear and moose have been taken with these bullets. Those bullets in a handgun are usually travelling at 1,300fps give or take a couple hundred fps, much slower than modern muzzleloader speeds in the 1,700-2,200fps range. Wide, flat-meplat bullets hit harder on impact than any other style of bullet just as soft round nose bullets hit harder than spitzers. The larger frontal area transfers more energy on impact than other bullets and is very impressive to see. This style of bullet is also less likely to veer off or break up when hitting large bone.

This type of bullet has effectively taken elephant and all of the other big five though it isn't commonly used as much because importing handguns into Africa for hunting is a big pain. I've only been to Africa twice and only hunted there with a bow and or rifle. Other than using 64 grain soft points in a .223 rem (another story altogether) all other bullets I've used in africa were Barnes tsx.

I also agree with this getting off topic from Colorado hunting with a muzzy and I was aware of that when I got off topic in my second post. My apologies for that ;)



As far as the XTP bullet goes the magnum non-hollow point is quite a bit sturdier than the standard XTP and no those aren't what I use on elk but they are very effective on muleys and other similar thin skinned game. I would take XTP's over a powerbelt any day.
 

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
There is a LOT of difference between a .277 expanding bullet going 2800 ft per second and a 45-50 cal bullet going 1000 ft per second that pencils thru. That’s an apples to oranges comparison. The .277 will put that animal down more reliably and quicker.
 

deadibob

Very Active Member
Messages
2,479
There is a LOT of difference between a .277 expanding bullet going 2800 ft per second and a 45-50 cal bullet going 1000 ft per second that pencils thru. That’s an apples to oranges comparison. The .277 will put that animal down more reliably and quicker.
There is a LOT of difference between a .277 expanding bullet going 2800 ft per second and a 45-50 cal bullet going 1000 ft per second that pencils thru. That’s an apples to oranges comparison. The .277 will put that animal down more reliably and quicker.
Where we are getting our wires crossed here is your explanation of these bullets penciling through. This type of bullet does not pencil at all. Also that larger bullet isn't going as slow as 1,000fps on impact even in a handgun (max shooting distance with a revolver is generally within 100 yards) and the bullet isn't going that slow. Since you haven't heard me yet;) here goes:
A LARGE FLAT MEPLAT (meplat is the frontal surface/nose area) BULLET DOES NOT PENCIL THROUGH! IT RIPS, PLOWS, TEARS AND CRUSHES! IT BEHAVES COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM ANY POINTED OR SEMI POINTED BULLET AND DOES MORE DAMAGE THROUGHOUT THE WOUND CHANNEL! EVEN THOUGH THE BULLET IS NOT EXPANDING THE TRAUMA FROM THE WOUND CHANNEL IS MUCH LARGER THAN THE DIAMETER OF THE BULLET. It is not creating small diameter slip through the animal type of damage at all.

A fast cup and core rifle bullet will have a bigger wound channel the first few inches but after that it will be smaller than the bullets I'm referring too, but those first couple inches isn't where the killing is done. A smaller cup and core bullet has issues penetrating big heavy bone and that tougher smaller bullet usually loses a good percentage of it's size and weight when it hits or goes through big bone. and sometimes it doesn't even get through or far past the biggest leg and shoulder bones of large game like moose. That flat hard cast bullet smashes bone hard, keeps on going and is much less likely to get deflected and veer off.

My only disagreement with you here is that you don't seem to believe that large, hard, flat style bullets are extremely effective at putting big critters down fast and hard.

There is a time and place for all types of bullets or there wouldn't be so many different types and styles available and I do generally use the faster smaller stuff here in the west where longer ranges are vital (where any weapon hunts, not front-loaders are concerned) . I do agree with you that any bullet like a fmj or similar that does just slip/pencil through like you are describing won't kill worth a damn and definitely won't give quick kills. As I said earlier which you just restated in the apples/oranges analogy these are two different animals and they work/kill in different ways. Not only that but the hard cast bullet will kill better on big dangerous game than the lighter smaller bullet which will not penetrate nearly as well on bigger game such as big brownies unless you are shooting a monometal Barnes type bullet. The downside is that the big heavy bullets don't travel as far and that is why they aren't used as much here. But where the big mean critters grow it's a different story.

Ask any ALASKAN MASTER GUIDE that specializes in big brownies what they prefer to have in their hands when the chips are down. There is a reason that their clients for the most part are shooting .30-.338 caliber rifles and that reason is the average hunter is more accurate with a lesser recoiling gun but you will very rarely see that same guide using anything smaller than a .375 and up to a .458 (which is also slow) as their STOPPING RIFLE! They carry these because their rifle is a last resort to stopping a charge and these guns put stuff down harder and faster.

I've been on over 15 Coastal Brown bear hunts and every guide carried either a .375, 416 or .458 of some kind and those rifles weren't loaded with sleek, easily expanding bullets but generally a strongly constructed round nose, semi or flat tip bullet because those hit harder and put them down faster. In coastal Alaska bear hunting the bears are usually close to the thick forest and will be in it within the wink of an eye if the bear isn't put down hard, fast and on the spot. There is a big chance of not recovering it at all and when blood is spilt all ethical guides will say that the hunt is over for the client whether it's recovered or not. Every bear guide I was ever with shot the instant the clients gun roared because they wanted that big bear anchored on the spot and not lost in the jungle. (I know I'm using bears too much for an example but it is a good example and the same thing applies to other large game as well).

Yes I know that a .375 isn't the same as a muzzle loader and it shoots a bit faster than a muzzy 2,500-2,600fps with a 300 grainer (I get 2,900 from my .375 ackley). but it is the same theory when it comes to big and hard. Now when it comes to the .458 winchester which most big bore enthusiasts will tell you is even more effective at putting big things down harder and faster than the .375; it is even more comparable to a modern muzzy. A .458 winny shoots a 400 grain bullet at roughly 2,400fps; and a 300 grain bullet at 2,500-2,600fps. The fastest muzzies can shoot a 300 grain .45 caliber bullet in a .50 cal sabot close to 2,400fps. I generally shoot mine at 2,000-2,100 because that is where the accuracy node is but I can get them to 2,200fps. I can push my 400 grain .475's pretty fast in my muzzy as well, much faster than the 1,000fps you referred to.

You may not have much experience using this type of bullet and I am not saying that as a slight towards you but if you had then you would have seen and known the effectiveness of them. A big diameter, hard flat nose bullet will dump animals in their tracks faster and more often than anything. Not at 400+yards they won't like a modern centerfire cartridge but they are really really effective at up to 300 yards and a little more with the right combination and trigger finger. Within those intended ranges they transfer instant energy harder and faster than just about anything. A good analogy is the difference between being hit by a fly-weight or smashed by Tyson.

Maybe we won't change minds here and that's fine too. I probably won't be on here much for a few days, I've got to go turn some wrenches and do some body and paint before I leave early in the morning on a fishing trip with my four boys. Have a good weekend and my disagreement on the issue wasn't meant as offense towards you but just hashing things out as over a gun counter or campfire.

One more thing so I can say I'm not off track here: Even though these muzzies aren't legal in Colorado with a sabot, they are just as effective and legal on Colorado Elk if you run them at bore diameter with a paper patch as they are effective on big grizz or tiny squirrels elsewhere.😆
 

diablo

Active Member
Messages
489
Well, the flat hard cast bullet never had a more enthusiastic supporter! 😉 I do appreciate your response. I will concede that most any 250-600 grain bullet traveling at reasonable speed will kill most big game animals at very close ranges (charging bears, moose at 50 yards, etc). If you hit them properly. I do have some experience with this type of bullet - some good some not so good in nearly 40 years of hunting just about exclusively with a muzzleloader (in Africa and Alaska and all over the US). Lots of big game animals have been killed with a .22 lr - that doesn’t make them the ideal choice. 😁

I agree with you on most everything as well but here are my priorities when considering a muzzy powder/bullet combo for western big game (all else being equal): sub-moa accuracy, flat trajectory to about 350 yards, solid terminal performance (which usually means bonded or monometal on anything larger than a whitetail) and low barrel fouling. A .50 cal rifle with BH 209 with a tipped cup and core or monometal .45 bullet of 250-300 grains and a good sabot is the easiest way to get to that goal. Impala at 275 yards, duiker at 40 yards, Kudu at 100 yards, bighorn sheep at 280, moose at 50 yards, mule deer at 210 yards, mountain goat at 140, antelope at 330, or grizzlys at 150 - this is the combo you want!! It will do it all!
 
Last edited:

txhunter58

Long Time Member
Messages
7,396
A 50 cal hole will put game down! There is no question about that.

But I am not talking about stopping a charging grizzly or elephant. I am talking about creating damage and “shock and awe” inside an animal. To make him bleed or run out of oxygen as soon as possible.

I killed a bull elk at 30 yards with my 54 cal renegade and a 405 grain powerbelt. I was in a tree stand and he was slightly quartering away. At my shot he just a stopped in his tracks for a second and then started walking slowly away as if he didn’t have a care in the world. I thought I missed him somehow. Pretty soon his head got heavy and he collapsed. The bullet didn’t hit a rib and there was a 54 cal hole on his near side and a 54 cal hole on his far side. He did go down pretty fast, but that was because there was 2 - 54 cal holes in his heart. But there was no “shock and awe”. I feel pretty sure if it had just gone thru lung he would have made it much farther. Had i shot him with an ‘06 expanding bullet through the chest (not thru the heart) at that distance with an expanding bullet, his lungs would have been jelly and he would have gone down very quickly.

I don’t want to disagree with you too strongly, because we are arguing over arguably small details. Both elk would be very dead. But I guess my point is if I have a choice between a monolith 50 cal that doesn’t expand or a 50 cal expanding bullet, I am going to choose the expanding bullet. That is the choice we have today.

I really loved the 50 cal Hornady 350 gr FPB bullet (that they discontinued). It was a lead alloy that was harder than pure lead but had a hollow point to create forward expansion. I killed multiple elk with that bullet. 2 I found under the far side hide and looked like this one.
B378EB15-A151-4CD3-AAF4-4872A1B6FADE.jpeg
 

CFMuley

Active Member
Messages
298
I missed your post talking about Cape buffalo and elephant until just now. I still plan to hunt elephant one day even though they aren't importable anymore. I've hunted Africa a couple times but always with a rifle. I know a few who have used muzzle loaders but sourcing powder there seemed to be an issue because you can't fly with it. For elephant I wouldn't mess around with a front loader, I'd probably use my .375 h&h Ackley or a .416; The BMG would be enough gun but I can't get that into Africa🙂

I had a lot of fun there with a .223 rem but it's a little small for elephant. I used that mostly for night hunting small predators. I did take a nice bushpig with it because that was what I had in my hands at the time.

I had a family friend who was trying to get some muzzleloading record for some animal I can’t remember in Africa, but they confiscated his powder. Now he just loads his powder into large rifle cartridges and pulls the bullets to get the powder out when he gets to Africa.
 

diablo

Active Member
Messages
489
I had a family friend who was trying to get some muzzleloading record for some animal I can’t remember in Africa, but they confiscated his powder. Now he just loads his powder into large rifle cartridges and pulls the bullets to get the powder out when he gets to Africa.
That’s a good way to get in serious trouble. Rumors have it there are a few guys that have tried that and had their stuff confiscated. Most TSA/CBP officers wouldn’t figure that out but I’d hate to run into the one that did. 😖

Actually, getting black powder in Africa is not too much of a problem. So that’s what I shoot when I go. Really makes you appreciate the substitutes we all use here. Smokeless is the other way to go if you have a rifle that will shoot it.
 

pushin_30

Active Member
Messages
870
Anyone have a bullet recommendation for a T/C Pro Hunter? Going on a bull elk hunt in CO. No sabots allowed. Planning on using Blackhorn 209 if I can find some. Have some but not sure I have enough. Barrel has the QLA so I'm fishing for some info from someone that has had luck shooting a conical out of a barrel with a QLA. Thanks
Osprey
Here is my t/c pro hunter .45 cal setup
87 gr BH209
300gr arrowhead XLD bullet
3 shot group with scope
I know Colorado is open sights or peep but this combo is extremely accurate
I also believe Colorado is a .50 cal minimum state for elk not 100% sure about deer

2E13BD7F-9941-4C2B-9ADE-ADB5615A3CB3.png


B13BDB11-CC14-4FC1-BE2D-B7FBCCA1A4B1.jpeg
 

Tackdriver

Active Member
Messages
122
I shoot 100gr by weight out of my encore, and open sight 700, and 110gr by weight out of my scoped 700. Aftermarket barrels. 2400 and 2500fps. Very low recoil with good brakes.
 

pushin_30

Active Member
Messages
870
I shoot 100gr by weight out of my encore, and open sight 700, and 110gr by weight out of my scoped 700. Aftermarket barrels. 2400 and 2500fps. Very low recoil with good brakes.
After market barrel on mine as well. I’ve shot it up to 100 but even with the smoke brake it has quite the punch
 

Osprey

Member
Messages
72
Thanks to all the help here. I was a bit concerned about the QLA after reading what some people have experienced with it even though I've never had a problem myself with it and three models with QLA barrels I have. I took the early advice of diablo and ordered some 300 grain THOR Hammers, 63 grains of Blackhorn 209 and CCI mag primers. Shot 35 rounds through my T/C Pro Hunter without one problem. Honestly was too easy. Made a couple of adjustments at fifty them moved out to one hundred and wore it out. Excellent accuracy especially since I was shooting open sights. Much better than expected. Thank again for the support.
 

tracker12

Very Active Member
Messages
1,259
No excuses are great bullets. But they hit the target sideways out of my Omega (QLA issue) even at low powder charges.

Stick with something that has an expandable rear skirt. If you can get them, the new Hornady Boredriver bullets deserve a look. I used and loved their FPB bullets before they discontinued them. This appears to be an upgrade and easier to load.

BOR bullets would be good to try too but in would choose the 350 gr lead version for elk. It is a lead alloy so tougher than pure lead.
I have three packs of the Hornady FPB 350's if you want to try them.
 

Click-a-Pic ... Details & Bigger Photos
Top Bottom