PDA

View Full Version : Best muzzleloader bullet for elk



Drhorsepower
03-16-2013, 05:48 PM
I want to hear from experience on this one! What bullet and grain have you had luck with on elk?
I'm going to start working up loads and load development starts with the bullet IMO so I don't want to start with something that hasn't performed well In the past. Thanks!

Muleys 24/7
03-16-2013, 05:57 PM
I'll be paying attention to this thread also, As I'm going to be getting into muzzle loaders too.

Work2hunt
03-16-2013, 08:30 PM
Where r u going to be hunting and what will you be shooting?

Drhorsepower
03-16-2013, 08:47 PM
Hopefully an elk in the mountains with a muzzleloader(knight disc extreme) ;)

enysse
03-16-2013, 09:31 PM
All depends where you hunt? If you can use sabots, I'd use them. I used Hornady 250 grain SST's the last time went hunting NM. They worked great, anything similar in design will work too.

packer58
03-16-2013, 10:33 PM
[QUOTE=(knight disc extreme) ;)[/QUOTE]

I thought you said muzzle loader....................:rolleyes:

Ikeepitcold
03-16-2013, 11:15 PM
Here in NV there are a lot of rules we have to fallow with ML. I also will be interested in the thread too. I have not picked up a ML but know we can't use any optics at all. Has to be iron sights. I think sabots are also a no go but I could be wrong. Any and all info would be great plus the original post of bullet types.

Fink
03-16-2013, 11:56 PM
I'll be looking into Thor bullets. I have a few friends that have used with with excellent success on both deer and elk. I have no personal experience myself,but haven't heard any negative reviews yet.

https://thorbullets.com/Home_Page.html

Work2hunt
03-17-2013, 07:04 AM
Hopefully an elk in the mountains with a muzzleloader(knight disc extreme) ;)

I only ask because I know in Colorado you have to use a muzzleloader 50 cal or bigger, no sabots, and loose powder. I personally don't like shooting anything with a patch so now you are down to Powerbelts, T/C maxi-ball/maxi-hunter, or a hornady FPB.

If you are shooting a T/C (you said a knight) I would stay away from the Powerbelts and the maxi-ball/hunter (not sure how these shoot in a knight) I have used three different T/c's and I can not get any of them to group how I like. The maxis I can have 6 in groups at 100 yds but the Powerbelts are all over the paper. I've had them shoot 6 in groups at 100, then I will clean my gun and the next group will be 24 inches. I've got a buddy who uses the Powerbelts in a Cva and really likes them. I might but they fly like a knuckle ball out of every TC I've shot.

I've actually spoke with TC several times about this and even with there own maxi product they don't recommend it for an inline. There comment was this bullet was designed for a more traditional ML and that rate of twist (if memory serves me correct a slower rate of twist). They can not explain the accuracy issues with the Powerbelts( even though I've asked repeatedly....they do not like this bullet at TC) only that many people call and ask about them and why they won't shoot. For a non sabot shooter they recommend the FPB by hornady and for the Sabot shooter either a Hornady SST or the TC shockwave.

Personally I have settled on the FPB in a 300 grain for 50 cal and can hold 1inch groups at a 100 yds with open sights (cant use a scope in Colorado either). I have now used this bullet on Colorado elk twice with neither elk going more than 20 yds. One was shot at 60 yds the other at 110 yds. I'll be using it again this fall for number 3. I've also used it on deer and have had all 4 drop in there tracks from ranges of 15 yds to 150 yds here in Ohio. Bottomline I like this bullet. Sabots I like better, but I don't like switching back and forth in between colorado seasons and Ohio seasons. Maybe one day if I own 2 at the same time ill have my Elk ML gun and my deer ML gun!!!

Work2hunt
03-17-2013, 07:05 AM
Also, I'm shoot a 110 grains of pyrodex loose powder behind the FPB.

Colorado Cowboy
03-17-2013, 08:31 AM
I do like the Thors for hunting, especially the feature of being able to get the correct diameter bullet that fits your particular barrel. Old Hunter is a real proponent of them, he turned me on to them and thats what I use. But all bets are off now as I'll be getting a new M/L in a couple of months....as soon as I get to the Grand Junction Cabelas. The I'll start with a clean slate.

As far as powder goes, I use nothing but substitute American Pioneer Powder (APP) or Goex (real BP). I shoot competation Cowboy Action and use only BP or APP. IMHO APP burns almost like BP and is easier to clean.

Check back in this catagory history and there are several reall good threads on M/L and bullets.

BKC
03-17-2013, 09:59 AM
I am a colorado resident so I have no experience with sabots, even when I go out of state, I still shoot full bore size bullets.
I own 3 muzzleloaders, a .54 cva woodsmen, a .50 t/c thunderhawk, and a .50 t/c triumph. The first two, I have shot at and killed multiple animals but the last one, I purchased for a specific elk hunt that never happened but will this year, I have never shot at any animal. I have shot power belts, fpb and thors through both of my .50's. I will say this about the power belts, no matter what size I use, whether or not it is hollow or tipped, they all seem to come apart way to much and don't penetrate deep enough for my taste. Maybe for deer, which I have shot mostly with them, but not elk would i trust the penetration of the power belts. I tried the Hornady fpb, but they are hard to load the first time and almost impossible to load with a dirty barrel. I think the fpb stands for " for picky barrels":p I tried the Thors on recommendations from other members here and other m/l shooters I know and am totally happy how they load, shoot and foul my barrel. The only question is how they will work once they penetrate elk. Everyone I talk to like the penetration and how they hold together. I know they can't be any worse than I experienced with the power belts. I use 777 loose powder to push these guys and hope that it puts down a rather large bodied elk , which hopefully translates to a 350" elk or bigger, when I draw my elk tag with 21 pp. I really want to take my shots from 35 to 100 yards but will expect and be ready for shots up to 150 yards. That is my .02 cents worth.

Umpqua Hunter
03-17-2013, 10:48 AM
Drhorsepower and I talked a bit about this thread posting before he posted it. He is just getting into muzzleloader hunting, and one of the first animals he'd like to hunt is elk. As you all know elk is a totally different critter than a deer or an antelope and can soak up a lot of punishment. When it comes to a big heavy muzzleloader bullet, you can shoot a deer or antelope with pretty much anything that will shoot accurately. On elk however, bullet construction is far more critical.

I will likely be muzzleloader elk hunting in Colorado in 2014, burning 22 points there, so this thread is very interesting to me as well. Over the years I have seen basically three lines of thought on muzzleloader bullets for elk:

1) Expanding type bullets. Of these the Barnes or Thor types are some of the best. The Barnes would be shot with a sabot. The Thor being basically a Barnes full copper bullet designed to be full bore with no sabot.

2) Big heavy lead conical. My 50 caliber Knight DISC Extreme shoots a 460 grain No Excuses (die sized) bullet extremely accurate. These things hit like a freight train. Being soft pure lead they will mushroom a lot, so that could potentially be an issue when it comes to penetration.

3) Hard cast bullets. These would be something like a hard cast 45 caliber bullet shot out of a sabot. The idea being they are already large diameter, so expansion is not necessary. The hard cast bullet being able to penetrate deeper.

At the moment I am leaning to #2, but am not set on my direction yet, and would like to see specific experience you guys have with various bullet types on elk.

trkytrack2
03-17-2013, 10:32 PM
I have a CVA that shoots Powerbelt bullets great. Colorado only allows shooting loose powder and open sights. No sabots are allowed. Hopefully I'll draw my bull elk tag this year.

jay
03-18-2013, 11:24 AM
Here in NM we can use scopes and sabots so I shoot TC Omega 50 cal. with a Bushnell Muzzleloader Scope. As far as ammo I use Barnes TMZ sabots in a 250 grain with 2-50 grain pyrodex pellets and 209 primers. I have had great luck with this load. In the last 2 years it has taken 3 muleys and 3 bull elk. What I love is that every one of them animals have gone 20 yrds max and pile up, consistently. I have tried powerbelts in the past but didn't like them. I will stick to Barnes, from what I've experienced they'll be hard to be beat! Good luck!

Umpqua Hunter
03-18-2013, 11:51 AM
Here in NM we can use scopes and sabots so I shoot TC Omega 50 cal. with a Bushnell Muzzleloader Scope. As far as ammo I use Barnes TMZ sabots in a 250 grain with 2-50 grain pyrodex pellets and 209 primers. I have had great luck with this load. In the last 2 years it has taken 3 muleys and 3 bull elk. What I love is that every one of them animals have gone 20 yrds max and pile up, consistently. I have tried powerbelts in the past but didn't like them. I will stick to Barnes, from what I've experienced they'll be hard to be beat! Good luck!

That is just what I had hoped to hear, a guy with experience with the Barnes bullet on a few elk. That boosts my confidence level with that bullet for elk. Thanks!

Drhorsepower....basically the Thor bullet is the same as the Barnes, just in a bore sized bullet for states like Colorado where you can't use a sabot.

Drhorsepower
03-18-2013, 12:56 PM
Yeah I was comparing the two the other day, noticed smallest caliber Thor offers is .50 cal so that automatically rules out sabots.

tdub24
03-18-2013, 01:28 PM
I have only taken one bull with my muzzleloader here in NV, and I used Thompson Center Shockwave 300gr. Sabots, 3 - 50gr. pyrodex pellets, and 209 primer out of my Thompson/Center Encore Pro Hunter. I hit the bull at 170 yards in the pocket, he walked 10 feet and tipped over. The bullet was lodged in the opposite shoulder. I wasn't completely happy on how it mushroomed, but then again the bull went 10 feet and died so I can't really complain on the performance.

Umpqua Hunter
03-18-2013, 08:24 PM
Yeah I was comparing the two the other day, noticed smallest caliber Thor offers is .50 cal so that automatically rules out sabots.

Yeah, the Thors aren't designed for sabots. They have a cupped base that conforms to the rifling when fired.

Has anyone had experience on elk with big heavy pure lead conicals?

Musket Man
03-18-2013, 08:37 PM
I have only hunted deer with my Knight disc extreme. Where I could use sabots I used Knight red hots. The 1 I recovered from a mule deer expanded perfectly and I found it just under the hide after going through both shoulders. I use Hornady FPB's where sabots are not legal but I have not killed a deer with them but they shot a nice group. I used 100gr of triple 7 fffg with both. I have herd bad things about power belts such as them coming apart but have never used them personally.

chiefgobbler
03-30-2013, 08:51 AM
You should check out Parker Productions. The Hydra-con (50 Cal 440 gr) complies with Colorado's regulations. I geared up with some a few years ago expecting to draw a Muzzleloader Elk Tag. Going into this year I have 21 pts and will most likey never have enough to draw the tag I would like. That is another story. These bore size rounds are used with "food grade" grease and a felt pad. They group well with my Knight Wolverine and I have taken two Antelope with them. Parker also has saboted bullets that work extremely well where legal. I have killed Antelope at 190 and 220 yards with the 250 gr Jacketed Hydra-con. The 250 gr Jacked Ballistic extreme is also a great round.

Umpqua Hunter
03-30-2013, 10:29 AM
You should check out Parker Productions. The Hydra-con (50 Cal 440 gr) complies with Colorado's regulations. I geared up with some a few years ago expecting to draw a Muzzleloader Elk Tag. Going into this year I have 21 pts and will most likey never have enough to draw the tag I would like. That is another story. These bore size rounds are used with "food grade" grease and a felt pad. They group well with my Knight Wolverine and I have taken two Antelope with them. Parker also has saboted bullets that work extremely well where legal. I have killed Antelope at 190 and 220 yards with the 250 gr Jacketed Hydra-con. The 250 gr Jacked Ballistic extreme is also a great round.

Hey Chief..If you like that Parker bullet, you should try the No Excuses 50 caliber 460 grain conical. The price is $.50 per bullet compared to $2.09 per bullet for the Hydrocons, or less than 1/4 of the price. No Excuses also die sizes (to 0.503") for easy and straight starting of the bullet and buttery smooth loading. The No Excuses Bullets are also pre-lubed.

http://www.muzzleloading-bullets.com

The No-Excuses website is not impressive, but the bullets are excellent and very accurate.

Eric Bailey
04-01-2013, 11:39 AM
I'll be hunting elk for the first time with a muzzleloader this fall. I'll be hunting in Colorado, so I have to use full-bore sized bullets and open sights. I am trying to decide which bullets use. I was leaning toward the Thor all copper bullet, but it looks like the biggest bullet they make is 300 grains. I see a lot of you hunt elk with much heavier bullets in the 450 grain range. Do you use a larger powder charge with a bullet that heavy? Or, does a 24" barrel (on my CVA Wolf) only burn 90-100 grains of powder anyway? I'm also curious to know what the ballistics tradeoffs are (flat trajectory versus downrange energy). I have seen apps that calculate ballistics for center fire rifle cartridges, but none that model the same info for muzzleloaders. I'd love to hear your thoughts and any websites or apps that calculate muzzleloader ballistics. Thanks!

Umpqua Hunter
04-01-2013, 12:13 PM
I'll be hunting elk for the first time with a muzzleloader this fall. I'll be hunting in Colorado, so I have to use full-bore sized bullets and open sights. I am trying to decide which bullets use. I was leaning toward the Thor all copper bullet, but it looks like the biggest bullet they make is 300 grains. I see a lot of you hunt elk with much heavier bullets in the 450 grain range. Do you use a larger powder charge with a bullet that heavy? Or, does a 24" barrel (on my CVA Wolf) only burn 90-100 grains of powder anyway? I'm also curious to know what the ballistics tradeoffs are (flat trajectory versus downrange energy). I have seen apps that calculate ballistics for center fire rifle cartridges, but none that model the same info for muzzleloaders. I'd love to hear your thoughts and any websites or apps that calculate muzzleloader ballistics. Thanks!

Hi Eric, I will likely hunt Colorado Unit 61 next year with a muzzleloader (if I don't change my mind again for the 100th time). It is down to the Thor bullet or a big lead conical. Thor bullets won't be any heavier due to the all copper construction. One of the big reasons for a 450 grain lead conical is that muzzleloaders that are designed with a barrel twist for sabots (50 caliber, 1:28 twist) need that big long heavy bullet to stabilize in that barrel twist for an accurate bullet. From what I have learned so far, the conical should be loaded with 70-90 grains of powder.

Old Hunter
04-01-2013, 02:41 PM
Eric..........The 300gr Thor will kill any elk walking this earth. Use 110gr of BH 209, and fill the freezer.

razorbackhunter
04-01-2013, 11:13 PM
What does FPB stand for?

Fink
04-02-2013, 07:26 AM
Eric..........The 300gr Thor will kill any elk walking this earth. Use 110gr of BH 209, and fill the freezer.

That's some hard hitting advice right there.

I just spoke with Terry over the weekend, he'll be sending me a sizing kit here in the next day or two, for the 300gr Thors. Got my sights ordered, thanks to the good info from Umpqua, I'm ready to start slinging large amounts of lead down range!

Old Hunter
04-02-2013, 09:11 AM
That's some hard hitting advice right there.

I just spoke with Terry over the weekend, he'll be sending me a sizing kit here in the next day or two, for the 300gr Thors. Got my sights ordered, thanks to the good info from Umpqua, I'm ready to start slinging large amounts of lead down range!

You mean slinging copper. :)

Old Hunter
04-02-2013, 09:17 AM
What does FPB stand for?

Flex Tip
Projectile
Black Powder

Eric Bailey
04-02-2013, 11:10 AM
That's some hard hitting advice right there.

I just spoke with Terry over the weekend, he'll be sending me a sizing kit here in the next day or two, for the 300gr Thors. Got my sights ordered, thanks to the good info from Umpqua, I'm ready to start slinging large amounts of lead down range!

What sights did you order? My Wolf came with scope rings. So, I need to get some open sights to hunt here in Colorado.

Umpqua Hunter
04-02-2013, 11:47 AM
What sights did you order? My Wolf came with scope rings. So, I need to get some open sights to hunt here in Colorado.

Hey Eric...

For the front sight: XS Sights "white line patridge" front blade (not partridge). This has a thin white line that your eye pics up well and you aim off of the top of the blade so your aiming point is not covered. A lot of guys use fiber optics but in various lighting conditions they can be hard to sight with, and at 100 yards they cover a lot of the target.

For the rear sight:

XS Ghost ring sight: Very simple clean install. Not a lot of extra hardware on your rifle.

OR

Williams FP peep: Much more adjustability than the XS Ghost ring. You can also order various aperture sizes depending on what you like better, or completely remove the aperture and use it like a ghost ring.

Here is the link for Williams:

http://www.williamsgunsight.com/gunsights/gunsightsdefault.htm

Here is the link for XS Sights:

http://xssights.com/index.php?nID=sights&cID=Sights&pID=sights&sID=rifle

Fink
04-02-2013, 12:18 PM
Eric- I went with the Williams front and rear sights.

Drhorsepower
04-02-2013, 01:43 PM
Uh,

I haven't decided on my front sight, I am leaning towards the xs sight for the reasons you mentioned. It is hard for me to spend money with that company though, I do not like their pistol sights at all(I need to get over that)
For rear sight I have a Williams fp sight sitting on the bench

Old Hunter
04-02-2013, 03:29 PM
I like a peep with a fiber optic front sight. Works better for me in dim light.

Musket Man
04-02-2013, 07:29 PM
My factory Knight front fiber optic sight was broke off when I needed it most. Would a had a decent Colorado mule deer if I had replaced it with the Williams I have in it now before that hunt!

spark
04-04-2013, 07:21 PM
I used a 300 gr Barnes x with sabots and 3 pyrodex pellets for New Mexico elk, Illinois whitetails and PA whitetails. Works good out to 200yds with my set up (scope). I' ve also used 240gr xtp .44cal pistol bullets and 2 pellets for PA whitetails. The 240 works in the flintlock with 90gr of FFF also. Of course those are with sabots if you are allowed. I have never recovered a Barnes bullet that went through an animal and they leave a blood trail that Ray Charles could follow. Just my .02.

Fink
04-05-2013, 05:34 PM
Just got my bullets from Thor today. Hopefully they perform as well as Thor customer service. Terry doesn't mess around when it comes to returning emails and shipping bullets/sizing packs.

In God We Trust
04-12-2013, 09:44 AM
I have always used the 295 grain Powebelt. It has worked well for me on deer and elk. I hunt in Colorado where scopes are not allowed so I don't know how they perform long range. I don't shoot past 125 yards with open sights.

Old Hunter
04-12-2013, 11:56 AM
I'm going the heavy slow bullet this year. .54 cal sidelock with a 430 gr Hornady Great Plains bullet. A big hunk of lead. Too bad they stopped making the maxi-balls.

My range is under 70 yds. So, i'm thinking 80 gr of Goex 2F. I'm trying to keep the recoil down for this old fart.

Eric Bailey
05-17-2013, 06:11 PM
I appreciate you guys mentioning Thor Bullets. I just ordered a pack of the Thor 300 grains in .501 diameter. It fit nice and snug in the barrel of my CVA Wolf Compact with faintly visible grooves from the rifling. I was going to go with the Hornady FPBs, but I think the Thor is going to be a better fit in my barrel. And because it is all copper and therefore longer at the same weight, I think it will have a slightly better BC. Since it is one piece of metal, I also think it will hold together better than any of the jacketed lead bullets. Looking forward to getting some shooting practice. :)

Eric Bailey
05-17-2013, 06:12 PM
I'm going the heavy slow bullet this year. .54 cal sidelock with a 430 gr Hornady Great Plains bullet. A big hunk of lead. Too bad they stopped making the maxi-balls.

My range is under 70 yds. So, i'm thinking 80 gr of Goex 2F. I'm trying to keep the recoil down for this old fart.

I saw in another thread that you are maybe only hunting deer this year. Still going with that big slug?

stevenm2
05-21-2013, 12:04 AM
I am new to this forum... hello... I live in Oregon and applied for an Elk tag with a Muzzleloader. I have hunted with a ML smaller animals but not Elk yet. I have 2 knights and a T/C Hawken.
I came across a bunch of 385 gr. Buffalo Bullets 385 gr. HP (so I bought em all)and they work very well in the 1-48" twist Hawken.
I shot an Antelope a few years back with them and DRT!
I do not have much faith in the hollow pointed bullets for larger critters. I may be wrong
The knights 1-28" twist seems to really like the No Excuses 460 gr. Great guy to deal with!
Oregon says the bullet diameter cannot exceed twice the bore diameter. so that is about as heavy as I can go.
2" group with williams FP and fiber optics at 50 yards. that is with 80 gr T7 and a wad. I am thinking a little less powder may shrink the group up some.
I cannot wait to try them on elk.

Old Hunter
05-21-2013, 08:35 AM
I saw in another thread that you are maybe only hunting deer this year. Still going with that big slug?

Yes, i'll use the same bullet for mule deer and elk. I can still get an OTC elk tag. I'll decide that at the last day before the hunt. I have to make sure I can get over Cottonwood Pass to unit 55. A heavy snow will close the pass.

The beauty of heavy slow bullets is it doesn't tear up a lot of meat. It's fine for deer if you take lung shots. Which is all i'll do. Once i have a load worked out for a ML. I don't like to change it for different animals.

Umpqua Hunter
05-21-2013, 11:46 AM
The knights 1-28" twist seems to really like the No Excuses 460 gr. Great guy to deal with!
Oregon says the bullet diameter cannot exceed twice the bore diameter. so that is about as heavy as I can go.

Welcome to the forum Steven. Yep that No Excuses 460 grain bullet is awesome.

Drhorsepower
05-21-2013, 05:18 PM
I am new to this forum... hello... I live in Oregon and applied for an Elk tag with a Muzzleloader. I have hunted with a ML smaller animals but not Elk yet. I have 2 knights and a T/C Hawken.
I came across a bunch of 385 gr. Buffalo Bullets 385 gr. HP (so I bought em all)and they work very well in the 1-48" twist Hawken.
I shot an Antelope a few years back with them and DRT!
I do not have much faith in the hollow pointed bullets for larger critters. I may be wrong
The knights 1-28" twist seems to really like the No Excuses 460 gr. Great guy to deal with!
Oregon says the bullet diameter cannot exceed twice the bore diameter. so that is about as heavy as I can go.
2" group with williams FP and fiber optics at 50 yards. that is with 80 gr T7 and a wad. I am thinking a little less powder may shrink the group up some.
I cannot wait to try them on elk.

Welcome to the forum and thanks for the great input.

CoHiCntry
05-27-2013, 01:31 PM
Just got my bullets from Thor today. Hopefully they perform as well as Thor customer service. Terry doesn't mess around when it comes to returning emails and shipping bullets/sizing packs.

Had an opportunity to try these out yet? Curious what your thoughts are...

Fink
05-27-2013, 08:42 PM
Had an opportunity to try these out yet? Curious what your thoughts are...

Went out and shot them about 2 weeks ago. I'm shooting the 300 grain ballistic tips, with 100 grains of triple 7 powder, out of my CVA wolf with open sights. I don't plan on ever shooting the gun much past 100 yards, so I sighted it in at 50.. At 50 yards, groups of 3 all touch the same hole. When I back it out to 100, I can get a group of 3 in about a 4 inch circle. I have no doubt that if I put a scope on the gun, I could drastically improve accuracy at 100 yards.

I was very surprised in how little the bullet dropped from 50 to 100 yards, less than an inch. As a first time muzzle loader, I was anticipating the drop to be much more. In fact, I shot a few powerbelts from 50 -100 yards, and they dropped nearly 4 inches at 100.

Here in the next few weeks, I'll try loading with loose powder, and I'll put it on the crono to see what kind of speed I'm getting.

As a side note, the Williams sights that UH recommend are awesome. Was immediately dialed in left to right, and one adjustment had me good up and down.

Old Hunter
05-27-2013, 08:56 PM
That's the beauty of an all copper bullet like the Thor. It's lighter than lead, so the bullet is longer. A much better BC. Compare the Thor in the same weight as a lead conical, or Powerbelt. The difference is a lot.

Plus, the Thor has 100% weight retention, perfect expansion, and impressive penetration.

If you want to see how accurate the bullet is. Put a scope on the gun, and hunt the rifle seasons. Good for 250 yds easily.

Fink
05-27-2013, 09:06 PM
I'd bet the bullet is good for 250 easy, I'm not so sure about the gun itself though.. It's got a very short barrel, squeezing 250 out of it might be pushing it. I may eventually put a scope on it, but the Idaho muzzleloader tag I WILL be drawing in the next month or so, says I have to shoot open sights. :D

Old Hunter
05-27-2013, 10:01 PM
The Wolf will be fine at that yardage. It has a 24" barrel. I've had two Wolfs, and the barrel won't hold it back.

I know someone on another ML forum i'm on. He took an Accura, and cut the barrel down to 20". He was shooting 2" groups at 300 yds with it.

Eric Bailey
05-28-2013, 01:00 PM
Was just messing around with my wolf this weekend. Put open sights on it and was getting ready to hit the range but I have a big problem. The hammer cocks all the way back, but when trigger is pulled it stops just short of the firing pin even when the break action is closed. Am I missing something obvious, or should I call CVA for help?

I got my package of Thor .501 300 grain bullets. I tried running them down the barrel. They'll go, but take some pushing. I assume that is ok and the barrel isn't going to burst, but since this is my first muzzleloader, I thought I'd confirm with you guys who have been using them.

Thanks!

Eric

Fink
05-28-2013, 01:23 PM
Was just messing around with my wolf this weekend. Put open sights on it and was getting ready to hit the range but I have a big problem. The hammer cocks all the way back, but when trigger is pulled it stops just short of the firing pin even when the break action is closed. Am I missing something obvious, or should I call CVA for help?

I got my package of Thor .501 300 grain bullets. I tried running them down the barrel. They'll go, but take some pushing. I assume that is ok and the barrel isn't going to burst, but since this is my first muzzleloader, I thought I'd confirm with you guys who have been using them.

Thanks!

Eric

I'm going to default to the experts here, but from what I understood, the full bore bullets should take about the same amount of pressure to push down the barrel as do the sabots.

Old Hunter
05-28-2013, 01:44 PM
Was just messing around with my wolf this weekend. Put open sights on it and was getting ready to hit the range but I have a big problem. The hammer cocks all the way back, but when trigger is pulled it stops just short of the firing pin even when the break action is closed. Am I missing something obvious, or should I call CVA for help?

I got my package of Thor .501 300 grain bullets. I tried running them down the barrel. They'll go, but take some pushing. I assume that is ok and the barrel isn't going to burst, but since this is my first muzzleloader, I thought I'd confirm with you guys who have been using them.

Thanks!

Eric

Make sure the breech plug is seated all the way in.

If you can get the Thor down. It's fine. The 300gr fit a bit tighter than the 250gr which was the sample kit bullets. If it's too hard to load them. Give Terry at Thor a call, and he'll exchange them for some 300gr .500.

Eric Bailey
05-28-2013, 03:51 PM
Yeah, I saw they were shorter and lighter than the sample bullets. Definitely seem to fit tighter too. That said, I am really impressed with the design. Like you said - excellent BC, solid construction for controlled expansion, and a thin ring on the back to make a good gas seal and engage the rifling. Glad you guys pointed me in that direction.

Eric Bailey
05-28-2013, 03:52 PM
Sorry, I meant the samples were shorter and lighter.

Old Hunter
05-28-2013, 03:58 PM
Did screwing the BP down fix the hammer problem?

Fink
05-28-2013, 04:20 PM
OH, on your Wolf, did you ever have any issues with the trigger not wanting to go, when you pulled it? 2 or 3 times now, I've had to REALLY squeeze to get the gun to go off. 50 pound trigger pull is not the best for accurate shooting.

Eric Bailey
05-28-2013, 04:20 PM
I'm at work (can't you tell?). I'll take another look when I get home, but I'm nearly certain it is screwed all the way down.

When I cleaned the barrel, there was some debris in it. I wonder if there is some in the trigger assembly as well.

Hoping to get it cleared up quickly as I can't wait to shoot it. I am a small guy and do a lot of backpacking, so I bought the compact model. It is amazing how light and quick handling the wolf is. Like a brush gun.

Old Hunter
05-28-2013, 05:52 PM
All CVA guns need to have the trigger cleaned out. They come from the factory with gunk in them. You need a spray cleaner to flush them out, and then a light lube.

It should be a light, no creep 2-3lb trigger when everything is right, and adjusted.

FrontierMuzzleloading
06-04-2013, 10:33 PM
If you close the action and the hammer does not fully cock, only goes half way, thats an indication that the breech plug is not fully seated in the chamber and its setting off the safety built into the rifle,not allowing it to cock. If you do not have the breech plug tool to seat it down harder, wrap the breech plug in either a piece of leather or cardboard, use vise grips and snug that plug down tight and then back it off. It will form the face of the breech plug into the chamber and should fix that problem.

Sizing Thor bullets. The 300gr Version will fit tighter due to the longer bearing surface VS the shorter 250gr Thor.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDmFUckyCUI

If you can load the 300gr in the size you ordered, its fine. When you struggle like i do in the field, thats not a good thing and much to tight. Hope the video helps.

FrontierMuzzleloading
06-04-2013, 10:37 PM
OH, on your Wolf, did you ever have any issues with the trigger not wanting to go, when you pulled it? 2 or 3 times now, I've had to REALLY squeeze to get the gun to go off. 50 pound trigger pull is not the best for accurate shooting.

That sounds like it could be a rust issue inside or something with the sear. I'd email CVA for info on how to send the gun in for inspection/repair/replacement.

smokepole
06-12-2013, 03:05 PM
290 gr. Barnes

Drhorsepower
06-12-2013, 03:09 PM
290 gr. Barnes

What Barnes bullet? Do you have first hand experience?

Kevin Root
06-12-2013, 03:11 PM
290 gr. Barnes

Welcome to the Eastman's forum smokepole.

smokepole
06-16-2013, 08:44 AM
What Barnes bullet? Do you have first hand experience?

TMZ, .451 Boat Tail. As a matter of fact I do have a little first hand experience. Over a decade worth. One thing I won't respond to is someone calling me out over a response to a question. We all have different experiences and likes. I don't have to justify what and why I like what I like to you. :-)

CoHiCntry
06-16-2013, 08:53 AM
TMZ, .451 Boat Tail. As a matter of fact I do have a little first hand experience. Over a decade worth. One thing I won't respond to is someone calling me out over a response to a question. We all have different experiences and likes. I don't have to justify what and why I like what I like to you. :-)

Welcome to the forum... I might be wrong but I don't think he was trying to "call you out". I think he was actually interested to hear your specific experiences.

smokepole
06-16-2013, 11:25 AM
After re-reading the question I agree, CoHiCntry. Please accept my apology, Drhorsepower and forum members, for being rude and blunt. I am sorry.

I like this bullet because of the ballistic coefficient, terminal performance and the retained bullet weight. Especially on larger big game animals. I believe there's always more than one good bullet to choose from. Another one I have had success with is the Dead Center 300 grain bullet. It too has the attributes as mentioned above.

Both of these bullets are excellent performers. I use Triple 7, FF and FFF for these bullets as well as Blackhorn 209. My rifle is a T/C Omega .50 cal with a Leupold Vari-x II.

Drhorsepower
06-16-2013, 11:37 AM
After re-reading the question I agree, CoHiCntry. Please accept my apology, Drhorsepower and forum members, for being rude and blunt. I am sorry.

I like this bullet because of the ballistic coefficient, terminal performance and the retained bullet weight. Especially on larger big game animals. I believe there's always more than one good bullet to choose from. Another one I have had success with is the Dead Center 300 grain bullet. It too has the attributes as mentioned above.

Both of these bullets are excellent performers. I use Triple 7, FF and FFF for these bullets as well as Blackhorn 209. My rifle is a T/C Omega .50 cal with a Leupold Vari-x II.

No smokepole, I'm sorry, I can see my previous post taken out of context.

What state do you live in?
I have been playing with the tmz, and the expander mz in my knight. Heading to the shooting range today with my old man, hope to report back better results than before. I'm using 777ffg and trying some mmp sabots.

Umpqua Hunter
06-16-2013, 11:38 AM
TMZ, .451 Boat Tail. As a matter of fact I do have a little first hand experience. Over a decade worth. One thing I won't respond to is someone calling me out over a response to a question. We all have different experiences and likes. I don't have to justify what and why I like what I like to you. :-)

Smokepole.....I don't think DRH was "calling you out"! He's a good guy, a friend, and has been a contributor on this forum for years.

DRH originally started this thread because he is new to muzzleloading this year and he is wanting to sort out which bullet to use for elk hunting. We later asked that people share from there own experience. There are a lot of bullets that shoot accurately from a muzzleloader, but are specifically looking for first hand performance on elk. I'm very much interested in this subject too, with 21 points in Colorado that will most likely be used on a muzzleloader elk hunt in the next year or two.

I don't believe his clarifying questions is "calling you out". When he asked "what barnes bullet" there are several varieties of Barnes bullets. By asking "do you have first hand experience" he's only asking if you have taken elk with that bullet, and maybe you could share your experience.

Umpqua Hunter
06-16-2013, 11:41 AM
Little late with my last post. Takes a good man to apologize. Welcome Smokepole!

Old Hunter
06-16-2013, 05:42 PM
The answer is the Barnes bullets all perform well, and have no problem killing elk. That also includes the Thor which is just a full bore Barnes. Put them in the kill zone, and you have a dead elk.

Eric Bailey
07-16-2013, 04:39 PM
I finally had a chance to shoot my CVA Wolf compact this past weekend. It is my first muzzleloader. What fun it is! I was shocked at how consistent modern muzzleloaders shoot.

I tried Hornady FPB's and Thor 300 grain bullets and between 80 - 100 grains of BH 209. I had good luck with both bullets but I'm pretty sure I'll be using 100 grains and the Thor bullet as my elk medicine in Colorado this September. You can see a little fire coming out of the 24" barrel at 100 grains, so I didn't figure that adding more powder would do that much. And, the gun weighs a little under 7 lbs, so there is already plenty of excitement at 100 grains. :) I sighted it in ~1" high at 100 yards with that load and am getting ~3" groups of 5 shots with open sights. I will definitely practice with it more in the weeks ahead, but I would be very confident taking a shot at that distance if the season opened tomorrow. Sure wish it was Sept. 14 already!

Elkoholic307
07-16-2013, 09:28 PM
I want to hear from experience on this one! What bullet and grain have you had luck with on elk?

I don't have any experience but I'm sure I could find a link of someone else having good results with something. Interested?

ThreeTikkas
07-17-2013, 04:48 AM
http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b184/DWCalls/100_0600.jpg (http://s19.photobucket.com/user/DWCalls/media/100_0600.jpg.html)

This is a load I worked up for my Disc Extreme .50 a couple years ago for Colorado elk. I haven't drawn a tag as of yet,but this is a shooting sumitch. It's a Bull Shops 430gr UC short over Blackhorn. No after market breech plug. Shot with a scope for load development. The fiber optics are back on waiting for the tag I want. I had them sized .503. Another slug that shot just as well (no target on record) was the 460gr NEx. I just flat love these full bore conicals.

Colorado Cowboy
07-17-2013, 07:50 AM
Wow, that a great group!

jarheadhunter
07-17-2013, 09:26 AM
I have been following this post and I have sent an email to Thor bullets to get a sizing pack. Here is my question though. I have been shooting the Powerbelts in 245 and 290 gr. They shoot and load great in my rifle. If I get the Thor bullets and they don't shoot as well as the powerbelts for whatever reason would you take the accuracy over the solid copper Thor?

Here is my 100 yd group with the Powerbelts. The 3 touching were my last 3 shots after sighting in.

6095

Colorado Cowboy
07-17-2013, 09:41 AM
The only problem I've found is that Powerbelts with their plastic cup, tend to leave a plastic buildup in the bore. If you try to use another bullet (like Thor) without a real good bore clean, they don't want to go down the bore. I shoot BP in all my Cowboy shooting and if you use plastic wads in your shotgun, you get the same buildup. Thats why I only use fiber wads. BP (and subs) burns super hot for a longer time when compared to smokeless, hence the melting of the plastic. The plastic is harder to get out of a rifled barrel than a smoothbore shotgun barrel.

Next time you shoot a bullet with a plastic cup on the base, check out your bore and you'll see what I am talking about.

jarheadhunter
07-17-2013, 09:53 AM
I have looked and all I can really see is a little bit of powder. I shot 20 shots with the powerbelts without cleaning and they were still shooting and loading great.

Colorado Cowboy
07-17-2013, 11:57 AM
As long as you stay with PB's (which are a smaller bullet dia than solids w/o the plastic cup ), you probably won't have a problem. Also when you clean it, you should find some green plastic residue.

Just saying............

jarheadhunter
07-17-2013, 12:48 PM
Yeah I am sure there was some there just didn't pay that close attention. I am still going to try the Thor if they send me the sizing pack.

Colorado Cowboy
07-17-2013, 01:05 PM
I use the Thors.

CoHiCntry
07-17-2013, 02:31 PM
I use the Thors.

My sizing pack is on the way... Looking forward to trying them out!

chasingAZelk
07-18-2013, 02:13 AM
TC Black Diamond with Nikon scope for ML. 130g pyrodex pellets with lead power belts. Have killed multiple animals with this setup ( elk antelope deer). Live and hunt in Arizona

jarheadhunter
07-18-2013, 02:42 PM
My sizing pack is on the way... Looking forward to trying them out!

Just got my email confirming the same thing.

Eric Bailey
07-18-2013, 04:08 PM
My sizing pack is on the way... Looking forward to trying them out!

Planning on using them for bear this year? Just curious, will you be carrying a sidearm or bear spray as backup?

CoHiCntry
07-18-2013, 04:21 PM
Planning on using them for bear this year? Just curious, will you be carrying a sidearm or bear spray as backup?

Yes for bear. Probably be carrying a pistol too.

FrontierMuzzleloading
07-21-2013, 03:45 PM
Have any of you guys used Thors on bear or elk? Would love to see some pictures if you have.

CoHiCntry
07-21-2013, 04:10 PM
Got my sizing pack. I was a little surprised to be able to get all of them down the barrel without to much problem. Guess I'll be going with the .503. Terry (I think that's his name) recommended the 250gr. bullet when I told him I wanted it for all western big game from antelope up to Elk. I asked why he didn't recommend the larger 300gr. and he stated that Thor (Barnes) have 25-30% more penetration so the 250 would be more than enough. His only comment on the 300gr. was "some people just like bigger bullets". Looking forward to shooting them now...

FrontierMuzzleloading
07-21-2013, 05:46 PM
Got my sizing pack. I was a little surprised to be able to get all of them down the barrel without to much problem. Guess I'll be going with the .503. Terry (I think that's his name) recommended the 250gr. bullet when I told him I wanted it for all western big game from antelope up to Elk. I asked why he didn't recommend the larger 300gr. and he stated that Thor (Barnes) have 25-30% more penetration so the 250 would be more than enough. His only comment on the 300gr. was "some people just like bigger bullets". Looking forward to shooting them now...

What gun are you shooting?

CoHiCntry
07-21-2013, 06:22 PM
What gun are you shooting?

Thompson Center Omega .50 cal. He's going to send me a split pack of .502 and .503 so I can try them at the range. Both went down stiff but I could get them down easy enough with my "in the field" ramrod. Both showed rifling marks on the base of the bullet, .503 was just a little more pronounced. I just figured when I got to the bigger one's I'd eventually not be able to get it down or get it down but it would be to hard for hunting applications.

FrontierMuzzleloading
07-21-2013, 06:43 PM
Oh okay I see. Good idea to try them both. Mine I like to load easy but i noticed some of my traditions guns want the tighter fitting thors.

Make sure you give him my handle, gets you 10% off.

CoHiCntry
07-21-2013, 06:46 PM
Oh okay I see. Good idea to try them both. Mine I like to load easy but i noticed some of my traditions guns want the tighter fitting thors.

Make sure you give him my handle, gets you 10% off.

Will do... thank you!

Orion/CO
07-21-2013, 10:55 PM
Giving my input to the original subject, I shot a bull moose and a cow elk last year with my TC 50cal Hawken using 100gr Triple 7 and 460gr No Excuses slugs. The No Excuses slugs are about the largest you can shoot here in CO with a 50 cal (length cannot exceed twice the diameter, and no pelletized powder or sabots, and iron sights only). The No Excuses slugs shot very well, although with that heavy of a slug and with a full powder load it packed a hefty kick (Triple 7 supposedly burns 20% hotter than black powder or Pyrodex, so I was told not to exceed 100gr). The bottom line is that I dropped my bull moose in his tracks with a 120 yard shot, and then a follow up shot at 20 feet, but BOTH slugs did not pass through. Two days later I shot a cow elk at about 50 yards, and dropped it in its tracks, but again the slug did not fully pass through. In the end I was glad that both animals dropped in their tracks, but I would have preferred a pass through shot to ensure that the lungs deflate and the animal will not go far. Here are pics of the No Excuses 460 gr slug I recovered from my moose.6126

Old Hunter
07-21-2013, 11:31 PM
Giving my input to the original subject, I shot a bull moose and a cow elk last year with my TC 50cal Hawken using 100gr Triple 7 and 460gr No Excuses slugs. The No Excuses slugs are about the largest you can shoot here in CO with a 50 cal (length cannot exceed twice the diameter, and no pelletized powder or sabots, and iron sights only). The No Excuses slugs shot very well, although with that heavy of a slug and with a full powder load it packed a hefty kick (Triple 7 supposedly burns 20% hotter than black powder or Pyrodex, so I was told not to exceed 100gr). The bottom line is that I dropped my bull moose in his tracks with a 120 yard shot, and then a follow up shot at 20 feet, but BOTH slugs did not pass through. Two days later I shot a cow elk at about 50 yards, and dropped it in its tracks, but again the slug did not fully pass through. In the end I was glad that both animals dropped in their tracks, but I would have preferred a pass through shot to ensure that the lungs deflate and the animal will not go far. Here are pics of the No Excuses 460 gr slug I recovered from my moose.6126

The length law on the bullet doesn't apply anymore in Colorado anymore. It hasn't for a couple of years.

Umpqua Hunter
07-22-2013, 10:43 AM
Giving my input to the original subject, I shot a bull moose and a cow elk last year with my TC 50cal Hawken using 100gr Triple 7 and 460gr No Excuses slugs. The No Excuses slugs are about the largest you can shoot here in CO with a 50 cal (length cannot exceed twice the diameter, and no pelletized powder or sabots, and iron sights only). The No Excuses slugs shot very well, although with that heavy of a slug and with a full powder load it packed a hefty kick (Triple 7 supposedly burns 20% hotter than black powder or Pyrodex, so I was told not to exceed 100gr). The bottom line is that I dropped my bull moose in his tracks with a 120 yard shot, and then a follow up shot at 20 feet, but BOTH slugs did not pass through. Two days later I shot a cow elk at about 50 yards, and dropped it in its tracks, but again the slug did not fully pass through. In the end I was glad that both animals dropped in their tracks, but I would have preferred a pass through shot to ensure that the lungs deflate and the animal will not go far. Here are pics of the No Excuses 460 gr slug I recovered from my moose.6126

Orion, welcome to the forum. Thanks for the good input. I like that bullet and use it in Oregon where only all lead conicals are legal. I may use it in Colorado as well when the time comes.

jarheadhunter
07-30-2013, 12:18 PM
Does anyone see a difference in the Tipped Thor bullets vs the Hollow points? Just wondering if it makes that much of a difference.

FrontierMuzzleloading
07-30-2013, 01:05 PM
Bette BC on the tipped thor but other than that, not much a difference.

Thor offered them for colorado hunters when we used to have that bullet length restriction crap that made no sense.

jarheadhunter
07-30-2013, 01:12 PM
Ok another question for you if you don't mind. I just ordered 50 of the Tipped 300 gr bullets. Is the little attachment needed to push them in? I would think they would be fine without it?

FrontierMuzzleloading
07-30-2013, 04:15 PM
as long as you have a loading jag that doesnt bite into the bullet tip and booger it up. I use a regular barnes loading jag since thors are basically a full bore diameter barnes.

Did you get the sample kit so you know which size you need?

jarheadhunter
07-31-2013, 08:05 AM
as long as you have a loading jag that doesnt bite into the bullet tip and booger it up. I use a regular barnes loading jag since thors are basically a full bore diameter barnes.

Did you get the sample kit so you know which size you need?



Yes sir I decided to go with the .501 I believe. The .500 went in easy and the .502 were a struggle. So decided to go with the .501.

FrontierMuzzleloading
07-31-2013, 12:26 PM
Oh okay, good deal. Did you make sure to ask about the 10% off? It helps in the long run when ordering bulk.

jarheadhunter
07-31-2013, 12:29 PM
Oh okay, good deal. Did you make sure to ask about the 10% off? It helps in the long run when ordering bulk.

Nope forgot about that. Good thing is they said they will send me an invoice maybe I will bring it up with them before I send my payment.

Drhorsepower
08-30-2013, 01:02 AM
Thanks guys for all of the input, I decided on the Barnes expander mz 250gr. Well let me clarify, my muzzleloader decided on that bullet, not me:) I paired that bullet up with an mmp sabot in front of 90gr. 777 Ffg for best results.

sept 10 here we come!

Pintail
09-19-2013, 09:47 AM
I am using a CVA 50 cal. I am going to try the FPB's but what powder are you using.

Colorado Joe
09-21-2013, 09:45 PM
I want to hear from experience on this one! What bullet and grain have you had luck with on elk?
I'm going to start working up loads and load development starts with the bullet IMO so I don't want to start with something that hasn't performed well In the past. Thanks!

I have a trusty old CVA that I have shot for years with 295 gr. powerbelts (777 110 grains & 209 primer). I have dropped 2 cow elk in their tracks with broadside shots of 50 yards & 35 feet. That said, I had a very bad experience with them last year. I had a straight on frontal shot @ 30 yards on my first bull. My hit was low & just right of the sternum. The bull ran & bled for more that 3/4 of a mile. the bleeding stopped and I never recovered the animal after 5 full days of looking for him. (with help too!) I will change my bullets. I dont understand what went wrong on this bullet, but they are now just plinkers until I find a different bullet that will do what I expect it to do.

Musket Man
09-22-2013, 12:59 AM
Ok another question for you if you don't mind. I just ordered 50 of the Tipped 300 gr bullets. Is the little attachment needed to push them in? I would think they would be fine without it?

I had trouble with my ram rod ketching on the tip of FPB's and even pulled the tips out of a couple. I was getting down to the wire to go hunting with it and couldnt find any attachment locally so I drilled a little out of the end of my ram rod so it didnt hit the tip and it worked fine.