Muzzleloader bullets/ Thor/No Excuses/PB
Thor...Finally had a chance to try out the Thor bullets today at the range. I tried both the .502 & .503 in 250 grain. Although I could get the .503 from the sizing pack Thor sends down the barrel at home, I could not get the bullets down today at the range. The .502 goes down pretty stiff but is acceptable. The problem is trying to get a second one down after the barrels fouled. It's really hard to get down even using my "range rod" which is longer, heavier duty, and has a larger T-handle then the ram rod on my gun to use in the field. I'm afraid if I had to make a follow up shot in the field I would have a really hard time getting the bullet down. I'd also be afraid of not getting it seated on the powder well enough. It seemed like my ram rod went down 1/4 to 1/2 inch less on the second shots. I'm assuming because of the fouling building up as you push the bullet down? I'm thinking of trying the .501 instead. I would like to be able to get two shots off, preferably three before having to swab the barrel. Other than the loading issue they seemed to pattern really well. just over a 1" group at 50 yds. using fiber optic sites. That's probably as tight a group as I've ever gotten with any muzzleloader bullet using open sites.
No Excuses... I tried the 460 grain a few years ago but couldn't remember the results so I ordered some more to try out. Now I know why I didn't use them. These bullets loaded great, nice and smooth even though there .503. I'm sure the pre-lube helps. They were all over the place. I would shoot one, then the next might be 3 inches or 6 inches away. Nothing consistent. Too bad, I like the idea of the big lead conical. I would still like to use these in another gun before writing them off. I know other guy's have had good luck. For the record, I shoot a T/C Omega which I've learned does not like big conicals, which is probably why.
Powerbelts... I started several years ago with the power belt 295 grain aero tip and have killed a few animals with it including elk. I've never much cared for the bullet and the reports from others haven't been good. Here's what I will say... the powerbelt loaded great with the barrel fouled even after two shots which is a huge bonus. I only shot a few but got just over 2" groups. I only wish they were a better constructed bullet and held up better. The loading is so nice, it makes me want to use them.
I'll probably be using either the .502 or .501 Thor bullet this year. I still need to try out the .501 first. Need to get some on order so I'm not still trying to get the muzzleloader dialed in while I should be out archery hunting!