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muzzleloader loading
Hunting and discussion with Muzzle Loaders, Archery and other Primitive weapons
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stevebanbury
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 12:20 pm    Post subject: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

I'm a new muzzleloader and I'm having problems loading my 50 cal. rifle. I'm using 45cal. bullets in 50 cal. sabots and with the bullet seated in the sabot it absolutely won't go into the barrel. Do I need to use some kind of lubricant or am I supposed to be putting in the sabot first and then the bullet (tried this and the bullet usually didn't seat into the sabot). HELP!
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DallanC
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:08 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

stevebanbury wrote:
I'm a new muzzleloader and I'm having problems loading my 50 cal. rifle. I'm using 45cal. bullets in 50 cal. sabots and with the bullet seated in the sabot it absolutely won't go into the barrel. Do I need to use some kind of lubricant or am I supposed to be putting in the sabot first and then the bullet (tried this and the bullet usually didn't seat into the sabot). HELP!

Hello!

Welcome to the fine and fun sport of muzzleloading. Its a blast litterally and figuratively. Ok let me try and give you some tips and overview of what might possibly be your problem.

To use sabots, you insert the bullet into the sabot, then you insert the combination into your barrel. Lubricant isnt needed.

There are two types of sabots for .50 caliber rifles. Ones that use a .44 cal bullet and one for a .45 caliber bullet. 44Caliber is actually .429" in diameter, .45 caliber is .451" in diameter. 44Cal sabots have thicker "ribs" to cover the space between the riflings and the bullet's jacket. .45 caliber sabots have thinner ribs due to the wider diameter of the .45 cal bullets.

So, off the top of my head, I think you have .44 caliber sabots and are using them with .45 caliber bullets. This would result in a near impossible to load combination.

Sabots for use with .44 caliber bullets are generally green, sabots for use with .45 caliber bullets are generally black, but this isnt always the case. What color and brand are your sabots? Does it say anywhere on the package what bullet to use with them? What about your bullets, are they .44 or .45 caliber?

I understand how this can be confusing to a new frontstuffer shooter so dont get frustrated yet! It should be easy to help solve your problems and give accuracy tips once you get it all worked out.


-DallanC
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stevebanbury
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

Thanks so much for the quick and informative reply. I'm at the office now so I can't check sabot colors but I purchase saboted bullets from Hornady and Barnes and neither work. The Hornadys are .45 cal. 240 gr. bullets in 50 cal. sabots which I think are black.
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glockman55
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 06, 2007 2:47 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

What type of ML are you using? My old 54 cal. Haw ken would not allow me to load with a sabot. Like what was stated, there are different sizes and thicknesses of sabots. I now shoot an T.C. Encore in line 50 cal. and I use T/C Shock wave super glide sabots with a 300 gr. spire point. these sabots are yellow in color and load real easy. I used to use the regular Shock wave sabots which were black and loaded hard. I'm sure they make a Sabot that will work in your gun.

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Gigmaster
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 3:42 am    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

Do yourself a favor. Give the sabots away, and shoot patched roundballs, or minie-balls. You'll be way happier.

My personal favorite is Buffalo Ball-ets. They have the best of both worlds, and hit like a ton of bricks.
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parkerbill
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:49 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

One of the problems we have is the lack of standards in muzzleloader rifle making such as exist with centerfires. Bore sizes for .50 cal can run anywhere from .495 to .506 or more I'm told. This creates a real problem for bullet and sabot makers; and us.

My T/C Triumph is extremely hard to load, even with T/C Shockwaves in the EZ-Glide sabots. I have read that T/C bores are some of the tightest in the industry. I am still experimenting with different bullet and sabot combinations. You might want to check out MMP. They even ship free! For .50 cal using .451 bullets they make more than one size of sabot. They have a "standard" one, then in the HPH series they have the HPH-12, the HPH-24 which is thinner and the 3-Petal EZ.

I've found the 3-Petal EZ has been the easiest to load with 250 gr Shockwaves and 250 grain Barnes MZ Expanders. I've also read the Barnes 245 grain Spit-Fire tends to be easier to load and I have them on order now to try.

A few days ago I had an email discussion with Dave at Barnes and he also shoots a T/C, but an Omega. He was very helpful and said that while sabots need to fit tight in the barrel for best consistent accuracy, the max pressure that should be required to load a sabot down the barrel is around 30 lbs. He also suggested licking the sabot or using a very light coating of bore butter on the sabot, but I haven't had a chance to try either of those methods yet.

With the 250 grain Shockwave and Easy-Glide sabots I have to use a short starter to get them started and practically have to stand on the thing with my 215 lbs to start the sabot down the barrel, then use both hands and really apply the weight to get them down the barrel, then use the ball starter on top of the ramrod to seat them. Wayyyyyyy toooooo difficult!!!

The same bullet in the HPH-24 sabot from MMP was just a bit easier and with the 3-Petal EZ it was much easier. Accuracy? With 2 Triple-7 Magnum pellets and the Triple-7 209 primers, I was shooting MOA groups (some better, some worse) at 100 yards last Saturday.

Randy Wakeman's Article on Hard Sabot Loading. Lots of other good stuff there, too.

As for patched round balls (and not to start a flame war), well, they're fun to shoot in my Hawken, but I would not really consider hunting with them unless I want to limit my shots to very close range. Round balls have such a terrible ballistic coefficients they rapidly shed velocity and energy. Yes, I know and I agree, tons of game has been shot with them for the past few hundred years, but I'll betcha if those old-timers could have used better bullets they would have, don't you think?

I've had pretty good luck with the Hornady Great Plains 385 grain conicals in my .50 Hawken and I have read good things about Buffalo Bullets Ball-ets, although I haven't tried them.

To me it's all about putting the animal down as cleanly and humanely as possible and I feel that sabots and/or good conicals are way better at that than round balls. Hey, if you patched round balls for hunting, great!! I'm not trying to convince anyone one way or the other; just trying to assist the author of this thread.

Hope this helps. Shoot and hunt safe!
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Gigmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

Here is the rule, basically:

A rifle with a 1 in 60" twist riflling is made to shoot patched round balls.
A rifle with a 1 in 48" is a good 'all-'arounder' that will shoot balls, and bullets well.
A rifle with a 1 in 32" twist is made for sabots.

Anything less than a 1 in 32" twist will cause a sabot to 'tumble'.

From all reports I've read, sabots do not penetrate well, especially on shoulder shots. Sabots also are notorious for not expanding properly.

I kill deer on a regular basis with both primitve bows, and compounds, so a freight train bullet that shoots into the next county is not a requirement. At least in the SE, most of your shots will be 100 yards or less, well within patched round ball range.

Bottom line is that you need to use the round your rifle was designed to shoot, within its limits.

Semper Fi!
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parkerbill
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:44 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

Gigmaster wrote:
Here is the rule, basically:

A rifle with a 1 in 60" twist riflling is made to shoot patched round balls.
A rifle with a 1 in 48" is a good 'all-'arounder' that will shoot balls, and bullets well.
A rifle with a 1 in 32" twist is made for sabots.

Anything less than a 1 in 32" twist will cause a sabot to 'tumble'.

From all reports I've read, sabots do not penetrate well, especially on shoulder shots. Sabots also are notorious for not expanding properly.

I kill deer on a regular basis with both primitve bows, and compounds, so a freight train bullet that shoots into the next county is not a requirement. At least in the SE, most of your shots will be 100 yards or less, well within patched round ball range.

Bottom line is that you need to use the round your rifle was designed to shoot, within its limits.

Semper Fi!

I agree and disagree with what you are saying. Very Happy I do agree that you have to shoot the round your gun was designed for, but only if you take the time and shots to make sure the round you shoot works in your gun. I also agree that in the SE most shots at deer are normally pretty close, at least they were in Georgia where I lived and hunted for 20 years some years ago and it sure looks that way here in FL, too.

Out west is a very different story. Ranges can be much greater and in very open country for both whitetail and mule deer.

To be honest I'm not really sure one can compare bullets and arrows. Yes, they both have to penetrate, but don't they sort of do it in different ways?

If you are correct about twist rates for sabots having to be 1 in 32, then you'd better be telling all the gun makers, because most of the in-lines I've seen have 1 in 28 or even faster for heavier saboted bullets. My T/C Triumph is 1 in 28 and I'm shooting MOA or better groups with it, with the right bullet/sabot combinations. I do agree with your other twist rates, though. I know my Hawken is 1 in 48 and it seems to shoot both patched balls and conicals pretty well. I've never tried sabots in it and probably never will--kind of flies in the spirit of the Hawken-style. Very Happy

While earlier saboted bullets had some problems with penetration, etc., from everything I've heard or read, that is not the case today if you use the right bullets. Most of them, especially the Barnes muzzleloader bullets open up greatly down to around 1100 fps or so and blow right on through. I have to say though, that at this point I have not shot any game with them, although I will be wild boar hunting in a couple of weeks, so perhaps I'll have something more to report then.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against conicals or round balls either, if you like them for hunting.
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derwood
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

hey just wanted to ad that everybody is right, rate of twist,sabot size. all of that is important but nobody said anything about seasoning the barrel, is it a new gun? if it is a good seasoning will help in loading as well as cleaning powder fouling.....
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Gigmaster
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:31 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

A 1 in 28" twist is MORE than a 1 in 32" I said anything LESS than 1 in 32" will cause a sabot to tumble.

And , I did forget about seasoning the barrel. This is very important.

parkerbill wrote:
Gigmaster wrote:
Here is the rule, basically:

A rifle with a 1 in 60" twist riflling is made to shoot patched round balls.
A rifle with a 1 in 48" is a good 'all-'arounder' that will shoot balls, and bullets well.
A rifle with a 1 in 32" twist is made for sabots.

Anything less than a 1 in 32" twist will cause a sabot to 'tumble'.

From all reports I've read, sabots do not penetrate well, especially on shoulder shots. Sabots also are notorious for not expanding properly.

I kill deer on a regular basis with both primitve bows, and compounds, so a freight train bullet that shoots into the next county is not a requirement. At least in the SE, most of your shots will be 100 yards or less, well within patched round ball range.

Bottom line is that you need to use the round your rifle was designed to shoot, within its limits.

Semper Fi!

I agree and disagree with what you are saying. Very Happy I do agree that you have to shoot the round your gun was designed for, but only if you take the time and shots to make sure the round you shoot works in your gun. I also agree that in the SE most shots at deer are normally pretty close, at least they were in Georgia where I lived and hunted for 20 years some years ago and it sure looks that way here in FL, too.

Out west is a very different story. Ranges can be much greater and in very open country for both whitetail and mule deer.

To be honest I'm not really sure one can compare bullets and arrows. Yes, they both have to penetrate, but don't they sort of do it in different ways?

If you are correct about twist rates for sabots having to be 1 in 32, then you'd better be telling all the gun makers, because most of the in-lines I've seen have 1 in 28 or even faster for heavier saboted bullets. My T/C Triumph is 1 in 28 and I'm shooting MOA or better groups with it, with the right bullet/sabot combinations. I do agree with your other twist rates, though. I know my Hawken is 1 in 48 and it seems to shoot both patched balls and conicals pretty well. I've never tried sabots in it and probably never will--kind of flies in the spirit of the Hawken-style. Very Happy

While earlier saboted bullets had some problems with penetration, etc., from everything I've heard or read, that is not the case today if you use the right bullets. Most of them, especially the Barnes muzzleloader bullets open up greatly down to around 1100 fps or so and blow right on through. I have to say though, that at this point I have not shot any game with them, although I will be wild boar hunting in a couple of weeks, so perhaps I'll have something more to report then.

Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against conicals or round balls either, if you like them for hunting.
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glockman55
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:27 am    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

Gigmaster: A 1 in 28" twist is MORE than a 1 in 32" I said anything LESS than 1 in 32" will cause a sabot to tumble.

We used to use sabot in our 1 in 48" hawkins and never saw any evidence of tumble with this set up, clean holes in the paper out to 100 yds. I realize this twist was made to use patch & ball or maxi-ball type bullets, which shot very good as well. I'm not doubting you at all, just never heard of this before. I shoot an Encore now and use ShockWave super glide 300 gr. with 130 gr. pellets, a little over kill for White tails but I like the way they group.

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Pumpkinslinger
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

Steve, you still there? Wink What make rifle is it?

I'm shooting a .50 Encore. My somewhat limited experience shooting saboted bullets showed that they shot better with no lube in the bore, the plastic is slick enough. I prefer the full caliber PowerBelt bullets and have good results with them (1.5 to 2" groups at 100 yards over 100 grains of Hodgdon 777.) Plain lead bullets don't shoot worth a darn in the Encore, the twist is too fast for them, causing them to strip out of the rifling.

If your twist will allow, Hornady makes a pure lead "Great Plains" bullet that is a modern Minie' ball. Hornady also has a new muzzleloader bullet that is an improved Minie' type but I haven't seen any to try yet.

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parkerbill
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:23 am    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

Regarding "barrel seasoning"-- I read recently that with the modern steel barrels now in use seasoning the barrel is most likely a non-issue. The article went on to say that barrel seasoning harkens back to when barrels were made out of iron or softer steel and that with today's modern steels, well, you cannot really season them.

Not being a metallurgist, I don't have a clue as to whether or not what I read and paraphrased above is true or not, but it does sort of make sense.
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Gigmaster
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 4:11 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

I season my bores the Thompsons Bore-Buttter, and never have to clean between shots, even with my percussion revolvers. I always keep a flim of Bore-Butter in the barrel. I've shot all day at the range and didn't clean until I got them home, then just simple dishwashing liquid and hot water make them sparkle like new (I love 777 Powder).

I have only tried sabots one time. I hated them, and gave the rest away. I fired maybe 3 or 4 of them. I have no personal experience with tumble. That came off of several websites, forums, and comments from people at the gun range.

The closest thing I use to a 'specialty' bullet is the Whitworth bullets I shoot in my Parker-Hale/Gibbs Whitworth Rifle. They are designed to shoot tiny groups at 700+ yards. They work great! The Whitworth is a bit long and heavy for comfortable hunting here in the woodsy SE, but I would use it out west in a heartbeat.
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parkerbill
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 5:35 pm    Post subject: Re: muzzleloader loading Reply with quote

Well, in spite of what I relayed above about barrel seasoning I do leave a film of T/C Bore Butter on my bores after cleaning, but I can't say I've had the same experience as you (gigmaster) with not having to clean between shots. When I'm at the range (with sabots and Triple-7) I generally run a licked patch up and down the barrel, followed by a dry patch, then load. It's almost unbelievable how dirty that licked patch is when it comes out!

Supposedly the new Blackhorn 209 black powder substitute coming out in April eliminates having to clean the gun as much, as well as giving a bit more velocity to equal volumes of Triple-7, Pyrodex, etc. Blackhorn 209 is supposed to be much cleaner. Personally, I can hardly wait to try it.

While we're at it, no, I really do not consider a scoped modern-day in-line shooting 250 grain sabots at 2,000+ fps a totally primitive weapon, but then I don't really consider a modern-day compound bow with fiber-optic sites, trigger release, peep site, etc., exactly in the same light as a long bow or recurve either. There are a couple of very common threads, though: 1) for the most part they are single shot and 2) they all have to be loaded from the muzzle. I suppose an "expert" shot might extend the range a bit with a scoped in-line, but then "experts" were making 200+ yard shots with muzzleloaders in the early 1800's and scopes were being used back in the 1840s or 1850s. It's all about fun, whichever you choose, and more importantly for those of us who hunt, it's all about putting the animal down as quickly and humanely as possible, right?
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