New to muzzleloaders....what bullet?

Newtosavage

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I've had good luck with Winchester 209 primers from my CVA Optima, and I use 240-grain 44 cal. FTX bullets in green Harvester crush-rib sabots over 90 grains of BH209 for consistent 1.5" accuracy at 100 yards (scoped). That's what I'll be taking into the woods tomorrow.


Not sure if you can use sabots though.

I've not had as much luck with full-bore bullets (CO legal) but I haven't tried very many either.
 

kpk

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Sep 25, 2014
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The SST isn't exactly a premium bonded bullet, but they always expand like they should and we end up finding them in the off side under the hide 95% of the time, looking like a textbook expansion.

Too many bad experiences with Powerbelts... they're not allowed in my camp haha.


This has been my experience also. I've shot LOTS of deer with SSTs. Half of them have been DRT and the rest have dropped in sight. I don't know why but they seem to hit HARD. They shoot incredibly well for me and everyone that I know that uses them - which is literally everyone I know that shoots MZ.

I've shot powerbelts quite poorly and actually managed to hit a deer with one - once. Powerbelt is trash IMO.
 

bukfevr

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Feb 29, 2020
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My Encore likes the Barnes muzzleloader bullets but I swap the sabots to Harvester Crush Rib with 100 grains of Blackhorn. It shoots the Expander and TEZ equally well. I’ve recovered a couple bullets over the years from deer and expansion looks exactly like the package picture. Devastating on game.
 

teamkabob

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My Encore likes the Barnes muzzleloader bullets but I swap the sabots to Harvester Crush Rib with 100 grains of Blackhorn. It shoots the Expander and TEZ equally well. I’ve recovered a couple bullets over the years from deer and expansion looks exactly like the package picture. Devastating on game.
You have the original encore or pro? What grain Barnes? I’m looking to run this through my encore.

@jgill_pursuit you getting any blood trail from your sst’s? My encore likes them but you don’t get but drops blood. So I will be changing my primary bullet for fall 21
This has been my experience also. I've shot LOTS of deer with SSTs. Half of them have been DRT and the rest have dropped in sight. I don't know why but they seem to hit HARD. They shoot incredibly well for me and everyone that I know that uses them - which is literally everyone I know that shoots MZ.

I've shot powerbelts quite poorly and actually managed to hit a deer with one - once. Powerbelt is trash IMO.
@kpk are you getting any blood trailer from your sst’s? I’ve got 100gr by volume behind it and really never a blood trail to follow.
 

bukfevr

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Feb 29, 2020
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You have the original encore or pro? What grain Barnes? I’m looking to run this through my encore.

@jgill_pursuit you getting any blood trail from your sst’s? My encore likes them but you don’t get but drops blood. So I will be changing my primary bullet for fall 21

@kpk are you getting any blood trailer from your sst’s? I’ve got 100gr by volume behind it and really never a blood trail to follow.
I have the original Encore. I added a Bellm trigger spring and a locking hinge pin but it’s stock otherwise. I shoot the 250 Expander MZ now and have for several years. The crush rib sabots allow easier loading as my bore is on the tight side.
 

kpk

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@kpk are you getting any blood trailer from your sst’s? I’ve got 100gr by volume behind it and really never a blood trail to follow.

I honestly dont think I've ever had to look for a blood trail with SSTs. I can recall 4 bucks off the top of my head taken with them all between 130" and 155". [email protected] yards went 20 yards. [email protected] 100 yards dropped on the spot. [email protected] yards went about 30 yards. Experience with countless does has been the same. I typically try to wait for slight quartering away shots or stay closer to shoulder if it's broadside.

As the other guy said - I've found lots of them on the far side stuck under the hide. I don't think you'd probably see much on a higher lung shot. A lower heart shot will probably depend if it exits or not.

There's typically snow on the ground here by the time MZ opens so seeing them down isn't an issue. If I were hunting an area that still had live vegetation it may be different.
 

jgill_pursuit

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You have the original encore or pro? What grain Barnes? I’m looking to run this through my encore.

@jgill_pursuit you getting any blood trail from your sst’s? My encore likes them but you don’t get but drops blood. So I will be changing my primary bullet for fall 21

@kpk are you getting any blood trailer from your sst’s? I’ve got 100gr by volume behind it and really never a blood trail to follow.
We have always gotten a blood trail, but to be honest, we've never had much of a track job. I think the furthest one has ever gone is about 20 yards. Most of them just drop where they stand. But the ones that have run have seemed like a bucket of red paint was being poured out along their trail.
 
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