strugling with conicals
I stared hunting Colorado last year (archery) and this year I pulled a muzzel loader mule deer tag. In the past four months I have discovered the challenges of the conical bullet. Now I am not feeling very confident in its abilities out of my and my brother's muzzel loaders. Just curious what others have found and how they have been successsful with the conicals.
I thought I had plenty of time 5 months ago. Multiple times at the range since and I'm not feeling too confiden at this point.
More details. What gun, bullets, powder, and distance? What are your results so far, and what are your expectations?
My best results have been with 338 platinum powerbelt bullets and weighed 75 grains of blackhorn 209 powder. I was having 2 inch groups at 100 yards, which i was happy with, but then the past two visits to the range resulted in hang fires and misfires and the most recent time to the range my groups left me inconsistent with some fliers. I feel like I am back to the drawing board. This is bench shooting on a ledge sled with peep sights. After the misfires with the blackhorn I tryd to work up a load with paradex select and had no cinsistency. The gun is a TC Omega with 209 shot gun primers.
I have tried various powders and bullets such as no excuse 405 gn all lead power belts and one other, just to check things it still shoots sabets well. I keep gun and breach plug clean and clean breach at range as needed. My expectation for distances will be determined by what the gun is capable of.
To start with. The Omega has the best breech plug for BH 209. If you're having misfires the the BP must be dirty and plugged. Use a drill the right size to clean the flash channel. It get plugged up from the residue from the primers. The flash channel is the channel right under the primer pocket. I think the size is an 1/8" drill. Just hold the drill and turn the bp into it. You should see a lot of carbon coming out.
Once you have that clean. Use CCI 209M primers. Those are magnum primers, and ignite BH 209 better.
The 338 Powerbelts are ok, but you don't need that heavy of a bullet for deer. It's more for elk. You can use the Powerbely Aerolite in 250gr or 300gr for deer. They will be more accurate than the Platinum. 75 gr of BH 209 is too light. Use 100gr, or even 110gr.
Here is a better bullet. The 250gr is plenty for deer. I use it for elk. Shoot Terry at Thor, and ask for a sampl pack. It will give you 4 different size bullets. Test them, and see which one fits your bore the best. Then you can put inan order for that size.
Now that was the good news. Here's the bad news. The Omega is not known for being a good shooter with conicals. Even TC will tell you it's made for sabots. It's sort of a hit and miss deal. Some guns do well with conicals, and others can't shoot them for beans. I had one that shot sub MOA. You might have one too with the right load, so don't give up yet.
I use a cutting torch tip cleaner on my breech plugs. Under normal conditions with modern inlines and equipment, misfires should be a thing of the past. 75 grains volumn is way to light of a charge.
Thanks for help
75 grains by weight = about 95 by volume. bh 209 can be weighed for better consistency I guess. I will give Thor a try and I'll give the drill bit trick a try. I will be at the range Tuesday with a clean gun, clean mind and cooler temps. I'm at sea level, so I figure I will have to sight in my elevation again when I get to CO. The 245 green tip power belts were accurate out of an old cva I had, but they did not do very well on white tails. That's why I went with the bigger and the plastic is a little beefier. I also may try to buy a leftover cow tag.
One thing to remember about the Thor bullets and how you measure to get the correct diameter. I got mine down to 2 diameters..501 & .502 and I picked the .502s. Wrong move! When the barrel got a little dirty after I fired one or two of them, I couldn't get another down the barrel. I contacted Terry and he swapped them out for the smaller .501. Just because you can use a little more muscle and get the bigger one in the barrel, does noit mean its the right choice. Several other people have told me they had the same problem.
I am using 110 gr of APP and the mag primer. I have a TC Black Diamond. Good hunting.
Loading pressure won't change with BH 209 even after 100 shots with no swabbing. That's why it's so popular now. Plus it's FPS is the most consistent of all the subs, and it absorbs no moisture.
I have a nice firm pressure all the way down with a squeaky clean barrel with Thors. With 25 shots fired with no swabbing. It still feels the same.
If one were to buy a muzzel loader specifically for states with conical regs, what would some of the recommendations be? Thanks for any suggestions.
The CVA inlines shoot conicals really well. I also find the Bergara barrels that come on them really accurate.