As my Colorado muzzleloader mule deer hunt nears, the truck is loaded, wife & kids are settled, and the clear blue September sky is calling.
Before I hit the highway, I thought I’d give you the final results of the Knight Mountaineer 45 Cal. Muzzleloader I started testing this summer (they are ultra sweet!)
I’ve longed for a good 45 caliber muzzleloader that could accurately comply with Colorado’s full-bore conical requirement (no sabots). As I showed in the previous post on my Knight Mountaineer 45 Cal, I’ve found the accuracy I’m looking for. Here is another great 100-yd group I’ve shot with the gun since that post (with an XS Ghost Ring Peep Sight):
She performs and is a testament to Knight’s accuracy potential. I wanted to give you a quick summary on why I think, for deer, a 45 caliber muzzleloader is a better choice than a .50 or a .54 in the open country of the West. Besides milder recoil (really nice when forced to shoot conicals) the .45 has a flatter trajectory and similar energy at all practical yardages.
Here’s a quick video demonstrating trajectory.
I don’t own a chronograph, so I pulled some information from Precision Rifle’s website to give you an idea of kinetic energy and drop. I’m shooting 110 grains of Triple 7, so I’m a little less than shown:
|Ultimate 1 QT .45 Polymer Tip – 360 grain – 120 grains powder – BC .320|
|Kinetic Energy (ft lb)||2046||1924||1809||1701||1599||1503||1415||1334||1260||1192||1131|
Compare this to the 50 cal I was shooting these last two years:
|ULTIMATE 1 QT Polymer Tip Spitzer 450 gr – 120 grains powder – BC .323|
|Kinetic Energy (ft lb)||2400||2258||2125||1998||1880||1770||1670||1578||1494||1418||1352|
In my testing, I found my Knight 45 caliber demonstrated a flatter trajectory, as predicted in the tables.
In my 50 caliber, my bullet rises to a max height of 8″ at 50 yards and falls to 24″ at 200 yards. In my 45 caliber, my bullet rises to a max height of 5″ at 100 yards and is dead-on at 200 yards! I never shot the 50 cal to 250 yards, but I guarantee that bullet is in the dirt while the 45 caliber posted posted a POI of -33″ at 250 yards.
That my friends, is why I was so happy to see Knight offering a 45 caliber rifle. I can enjoy less recoil, flatter trajectory, and comparable energy as a 50 or 54 caliber.
So, I hope to get leveled on a big Colorado mule deer and in the words of Hank Williams Jr. “and shoot him with my ‘ol 45″.
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1/9/15 Update. See the results of that Colorado muzzleloader hunt, recorded live starting here: Live from Colorado, It’s Deer Season! Opening day through day 9 can be found by clicking on “Blog” link, top of page.