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Iron Cowboy

Powder or Pellets

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Loose powder. Easily adjust loads, more of a complete burn, better accuracy AND about half the price. Go to a few Muzzleloader forums and it becomes obvious that 90% of the pellet users are beginners or someone that never took the time to learn about the gun.

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The problem with pellets are that they give you one or two options- 100 grains or 150 grains. I have 3 guns that all shoot a different bullet with a different powder amount. you would be surprised what 10 or 15 grains of powder will do to your group.
I use from 80 to 90 grains of 777. The two .50's use 80 grains. One a 385g. Hornady Great plains bullet, the other a Buffalo Bullet Co.'s 245g. ball-et. The .54 uses 90 grains of 777 with a Buffalo Bullet Co.'s Maxi ball-et.

[This message has been edited by bigg edd (edited 11-24-2003).]

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Have any of you guys that muzzleload noticed or tried both the pellets and loose powder. Are there any major changes? HOw many grains you guys use. me 100 grains and shot a deer walking at bout 150 yads during the shotgun season.

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I use regular black powder, 110 grains is what I deer hunt with. I prefer the regular powder because I like to carry a ditty bag and powder horn. More traditional, I guess

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i use (and have for years) a cva 50 cal traditional percussion rifle with a hunert grains of ff black powder. i cast my own round balls and visually inspect them for imperfections. it seems once the mold gets good and hot, the balls come out so much better. at 70 yards with open sights i hav a 3-4 inch grouping that is feared by the likes of a poorly timed white tail smile.gif
a friend bought a new style break action rifle this year that uses the 209 primers. we have had a hell of a time getting any kind of consistency out of two 50 grain pyrodex pellets. he was using two different sizes saboted projectiles. he then went to just one 50 grain pellet, and could drive tacks. i would not recomend throwing that combination at a deer however, and suggested some where in between. there lies the problem with pellets. he did find some 30 grain pellets, and is going to try them. i also suggested loose powder, but the problem i see is the hole for the 209 primer is so big that powder will fall right through. maybe he could put the primer in first?? doesn't sound like the best idea to me.
i'll stick with my cva smile.gif
good luck every one!!

keep your smoke stick in your hand!! jigglestick I.B.O.T. #5

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Hey jigglestick,
you could plug the hole with a spent primer until you were ready to hunt. I know this would be a pain but there is no way I would load the gun with a live primer in the gun. You might be able to get a breech plug that uses a nipple and #11 caps, ths would solve the powder through the primer hole issue. I have never used pellets and I don't shoot in-lines, not that I have anything against them, but I never thought about the problem of loose powder falling through a breech plug that uses 209 primers. has anyone else run into this problem?

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I have an inline with the 209 primer system and this is not a problem at all. I even shoot the real fine FFF triple 7 and have never had one issue with it over many rounds. The hole that the primer fits in is only as deep as the primer itself, then theres a real tiny pin hole the rest of the way thru the plug for the fire to travel. Its too small for powder to get in. The inline makers obviously have it figuired out. Otherwise they would have big problems. There are thousands of people with the new inlines shooting loose powder

[This message has been edited by Iron Cowboy (edited 11-25-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Iron Cowboy (edited 11-25-2003).]

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we shoot both granular and pellets. agreed, we get a little better groups at longer ranges( 100 +) with granular. but my daughter now hunts with my 50. shooting pellets she can hold a three in group at 75 yds.most of her shots are less than 75. to reload she don't have to worry about pouring the powder . i do plan to go to the 30 gr pellets and shoot a 90 g. charge, after we burn up the 50 g. ones. del

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I went to gander this afternoon and Iron Cowboy is right- the in-line breech plugs taper down to a very small hole that would not be a issue with loose powder, at least not in any of the guns I looked at.

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I've built, competed with, and hunted with traditional Hawken style guns for 30 years. I use a powder horn with FFG plus a short starter - powder measure combination of my own design. With those and a loading block for patched round balls, I can get off a really quick second shot. I work up loads a few grains at a time with each new gun. That's something you can't do with the pellets.
One thing I would warn you guys of; someone suggested leaving the old cap on the nipple while you reload. Big no-no. The trapped air can pop the bullet back up after you've rammed it down. If there is a gap between the powder charge and the ball, it can cause a bulge in the barrel. I saw a couple of barrels that needed replacing because of that. The nipple hole has to be open to vent the air.

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Hey Jiggle-
I don't know alot about muzzel loaders as I am just getting into them but somthing caught me funny about what you were talking about. If your friend had a break action, isn't that a magnum muzzle loader? AS far as I know only CVA and T/C makes them and I know all CVA's are magnums which enables them to shoot 150 gr. of powder. Perhaps your freind was underloading hte gun which produced bad groups. Just my thoughts, I hope he get the bugs worked out!

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jlm - I don't believe all CVA's can take magnum charges. Their break action Optima Pro can handle them, but they do make non-break open designs that are not rated for magnum loads. All in-lines might, but only newer ones. Might want to check on that.

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I currently am using two 50 gr 777 pellets. With the 295 powerbelts I'm shooting under 2" groups at 100 yards. With loose powder I might be able to improve the groups. But really, It's acceptable to me as it is.

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Sayder-
I guess my post is a little unclear after reading it again. That is what I meant, if it is a break action, it should be a magnum load. All CVA's are not magnums by any means, only the break actions like the Optima, Optima Pro, the PR3000 or whatever, and the others they have. Sorry if I confused anyone!

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