Sitka Mountain Gear
Muzz load for CO
Elk
Contributors to this thread:
Elk369 15-Aug-19
VogieMN 15-Aug-19
PoudreCanyon 15-Aug-19
Scrappy 15-Aug-19
Habitat 15-Aug-19
Ucsdryder 15-Aug-19
Mule Power 15-Aug-19
Elk369 15-Aug-19
Huntnfish 15-Aug-19
cnelk 15-Aug-19
fubar racin 15-Aug-19
backcountrymuzzy 15-Aug-19
ohiohunter 15-Aug-19
txhunter58 15-Aug-19
Super Slam 15-Aug-19
Smtn10PT 15-Aug-19
bchunter2 15-Aug-19
RK 15-Aug-19
SteveB 15-Aug-19
GF 15-Aug-19
Coyote 65 15-Aug-19
txhunter58 15-Aug-19
Ucsdryder 16-Aug-19
Flatlander_2 16-Aug-19
fubar racin 16-Aug-19
320 bull 16-Aug-19
Flatlander_2 16-Aug-19
GF 16-Aug-19
Flatlander_2 16-Aug-19
Shawn 16-Aug-19
timex 16-Aug-19
txhunter58 16-Aug-19
fubar racin 16-Aug-19
ohiohunter 16-Aug-19
fubar racin 16-Aug-19
ground hunter 16-Aug-19
GF 16-Aug-19
Stick & String 16-Aug-19
cnelk 16-Aug-19
timex 18-Aug-19
txhunter58 18-Aug-19
fubar racin 18-Aug-19
ohiohunter 18-Aug-19
Ucsdryder 18-Aug-19
cnelk 18-Aug-19
ohiohunter 18-Aug-19
txhunter58 18-Aug-19
sheephunter2 18-Aug-19
timex 18-Aug-19
Ucsdryder 18-Aug-19
txhunter58 18-Aug-19
Cheesehead Mike 18-Aug-19
Stick & String 19-Aug-19
ohiohunter 19-Aug-19
JL 19-Aug-19
txhunter58 19-Aug-19
sheephunter2 19-Aug-19
cnelk 19-Aug-19
txhunter58 19-Aug-19
txhunter58 19-Aug-19
ohiohunter 19-Aug-19
JL 19-Aug-19
txhunter58 20-Aug-19
sheephunter2 20-Aug-19
ohiohunter 20-Aug-19
stick n string 20-Aug-19
ohiohunter 20-Aug-19
txhunter58 20-Aug-19
txhunter58 20-Aug-19
ohiohunter 20-Aug-19
ohiohunter 20-Aug-19
JL 20-Aug-19
Super Slam 04-Oct-19
PECO 04-Oct-19
Smtn10PT 04-Oct-19
Darrell 04-Oct-19
cnelk 04-Oct-19
GF 05-Oct-19
From: Elk369
15-Aug-19
Shooting a Thompson 50 cal, bone collector, have BH 209 powder, can anyone recomend a bullet-powder combo that works good.

From: VogieMN
15-Aug-19
I always liked 295 or 348 gr Powerbelts with some 100 gr Pyrodex Select. Those shot very well through my muzzleloader.

From: PoudreCanyon
15-Aug-19

PoudreCanyon's embedded Photo
PoudreCanyon's embedded Photo
100 grains of Pyrodex select and 348 grain powerbelt aerotips works great in my CVA Wolf. I took this unit 76 bull with one shot at about 70 yards with this combo in 2015.

From: Scrappy
15-Aug-19
Please take no offense but if you went to a gun forum those guys would have better knowledge.

From: Habitat
15-Aug-19
I like shooting thompson center bullets with their guns

From: Ucsdryder
15-Aug-19
I’ve heard less than stellar things about the power belts. The old dude that helped me get set up recommended the hornady fpb in 300-350 grains. They’re a tight fit going in but the performance I saw was perfect. Broadside through lungs and then through the offside shoulder and was just under the hide on the other side. Bullet retained most of its weight.

From: Mule Power
15-Aug-19
Anymore I don’t know anyone that’s not using Powerbelts and loving them.

From: Elk369
15-Aug-19
thx guys

From: Huntnfish
15-Aug-19
I could be wrong but aren't Powebelts all Sabots? Sabots and pellets (for charge) are not legal in Co. Got my son a T/C muzzleloader for last years elk hunt. 100 gr. of BH209 and the 300 gr. Thor one size fits all bullet....his gun is dead on out to 200 yrds. The thing about ML rifles is that they all shoot different. I recommend picking 3 to 5 different bullets and try them all starting at 90 gr of powder and adjust from there as needed.

From: cnelk
15-Aug-19
Thor bullets are really good and so are No Excuses

From: fubar racin
15-Aug-19
I’d never consider putting a powerbelt in an elk just due to personal experiences with them on deer. I vote no excuses bull shop or Thor. With your gun Thor is likely the best bet due to the qla.

15-Aug-19
Powerbelts are not considered sabots and are legal in CO. Powerbelts are accurate and easy to deal with, they just don't hold together as good as some others. I prefer dropping the load a bit with powerbelts and use 80-90 gr of Triple7, still plenty of velocity and they don't disintegrate on impact

From: ohiohunter
15-Aug-19
I hate PB's, thors are slick though I've never used them yet I don't care to fiddle with all their sizes. I would go with the Harvester Sabertooth 350gr, shot fantastic for me and hit hard. I would also consider the federal full bore 350gr. I also HIGHLY recommend blackhorn 209 powder.

From: txhunter58
15-Aug-19
1). They don’t make Hornady FPBs anymore :-(

2) With powerbelts, bigger is better. 348 would be the absolute smallest I would use. When I did use them I used the 420 grain. They are soft lead. So as stated if you push them too hard, they can come apart.

3). I would give the Feseral BOR 350 lead bullet a try. It is a lead alloy and will hold together better than powerbelts. But still in the 90-100 gr range. My powder load is 90 gr of Blackhorn 209

4). T/C guns can have problems with regular conicals because of their QLA being cut off center in some guns. The bullets with a rear bell ( like powerbelts) seem to fly ok but flat based ones, not so much.

You better hurry!!!

From: Super Slam
15-Aug-19
I'm using 100 gr of black horn and the Thor one size fits all this year.

From: Smtn10PT
15-Aug-19
I would advise strongly against Thor 300 grain bullets. If I ever hunt elk with a muzzle loader again it will be with a heavy hunk of lead.

From: bchunter2
15-Aug-19
Thor 300 gr Owners a great guy to deal with

From: RK
15-Aug-19
There is some great advice here

Even if it is from a bunch of stick and string guys LOL!!

From: SteveB
15-Aug-19

SteveB's Link
Several amazing choices from this guy who builds loads around the BH209

From: GF
15-Aug-19
JMO...

The beauty of a .50 cal is that ZERO expansion is necessary. Just punch a bore-sized hole all the way through just as you’d do with an arrow and follow the blood.

So (again, JMO) pick a nice, solid conical that’s accurate in your rifle and shoots basically flat out to whatever range you would seriously consider taking a shot with iron sights.

Personally, I shoot a .54 roundball. I have taken a carload of crap about them, but I'll just offer this : Anyone who thinks that a roundball won’t cut it doesn’t know enough about how to use one to be allowed the privilege. If you aren’t prepared to choose your shots like a Bowhunter, shoot a conical. But DON’T hunt your Elk with a flying ashtray hollowpoint that’s designed to open up on a deer’s rib and then try to bust a bull through the shoulders, ‘ cuz that’s just plain STOOPID.

From: Coyote 65
15-Aug-19
I think there are a lot of guys on here just like me. Any tag for elk is a good one, even if it is centerfire, or black powder. Hunting is hunting, and eating elk is better than sitting at home.

Terry

From: txhunter58
15-Aug-19
Just like there are guys that bowhunt with a longbow and guys that use a compound. Some that use wooden arrows and some that use carbon, some that use big heavy arrow setup that go relatively slow or superpremium that seem fast enough to break the sonic barrier...…………

There is room for many ways of hunting. Me, I like to fling big hunks of lead (460 gr lead Bullshop conicals) out of a 50 cal (with open sights). So I have no issue with people who want to only take standing broadside shots less than 80 yards with a round ball, but I personally want to at least a little more distance (out to 150 yards under perfect conditions is not asking too much in my opinion). And I want some extra "oomph" if that bull takes a step right as I pull the trigger or makes a turn, so that I hit him through the shoulder. Nothing wrong with that either.

From: Ucsdryder
16-Aug-19
Here’s my tip of the day. Unload your rifle every night and reload it in the morning. You never know what might get in there during the day and what dew might do overnight. All it costs is a little powder!

From: Flatlander_2
16-Aug-19
110 grn (by volume not weight) and 300 grn Harvester Scorpion PT Gold. Devastating and accurate

From: fubar racin
16-Aug-19
Flatlander just an FYI that load is illegal. Also 110 gbv of what?

From: 320 bull
16-Aug-19

320 bull's embedded Photo
320 bull's embedded Photo
I use and really like Thor bullets with blackhorn 209. Sizing the bullet to the barrel helped my accuracy greatly Before and after a high shoulder shot on a bull. Elk went less than 40 yards

From: Flatlander_2
16-Aug-19
Meant to say 110 grn BH 209 by volume

From: GF
16-Aug-19
Makes me wonder how many of you guys would hunt Elk with a centerfire bullet that had a reputation for NOT blowing clean through everything it hits. Think about all of the Premium Hunting Bullets and what do they all have to recommend them? Penetration. The best of the bunch - some call them the super-penetrators - have specifically and deliberately been designed for LIMITED expansion, and even some of the older ones with more expansion (Partitions, A-Frames) have been beefed up in back to guarantee an exit.

Now, my favorite roundball load - basically 235 grains o’ lead by weight on top of half as many grains of powder by volume - that one has enough speed on it that I’ve recovered balls that are about dimensions of a $1.25 in quarters, neatly stacked, but that only happens on a quartering angle or greater, when by the time that lozenge hits the hide, all it’ll do is skid sideways to a stop, usually about 6”-8” from the wound channel. But that’s strictly a close-range phenomenon. A friend of mine who had shot a whole bunch of deer and Elk with roundballs told me that at longer range, expansion was minimal and the balls just seem to punch right on through. Almost like a programmable Smart Bullet that automatically adjusts to the impact velocity so as to retain enough of its KE to guarantee an exit and a blood trail.

Just take a bowhunter’s approach to your shot selection and you can’t go wrong with a muzzleloader and a plain, lead conical. Jacketed bullets were never deemed necessary until plain lead started melting (due to friction in the bore) when fired from modern, high-velocity rounds like the .30-30.

So unless you think that a Buffalo-killer load won’t settle an Elk...

From: Flatlander_2
16-Aug-19
Sorry for my confusion. Didn’t realize sabots not allowed in CO.

From: Shawn
16-Aug-19
250. Grain powerbelt and buckhorn powder. Work up a load with it I get 2100fps and 4" groups at 200 yds with my gun. Shawn

From: timex
16-Aug-19
I have an old knight 45 cal mk85. & I shoot 120 grains blackhorn 209 & 190 gr precision rifle's dead center bullets. & it absolutely flattens whitetails. out to 250yds

From: txhunter58
16-Aug-19
Doesn't help Timex. He can't use sabots.

From: fubar racin
16-Aug-19
Black horn in an mk85? Man that’s a real bad idea please wear safety glasses when ya touch that off.

From: ohiohunter
16-Aug-19

ohiohunter's embedded Photo
350gr harvester sabertooth
ohiohunter's embedded Photo
350gr harvester sabertooth
Shawn no way no how should anyone shoot a 250 pb at an elk... sure as heck not at 200yds.

I agree, bh209 in an mk85 is riskay business.

From: fubar racin
16-Aug-19
Ohio I have the scar to prove how risky it is!

16-Aug-19
I shoot a TC,,,, the gun is designed to shoot a sabot round, per the engineers, and I have played around with power belts,,,,, I like the 250 grain Hornady with jacket

From: GF
16-Aug-19
JMO, it’d be pretty foolish to buy a rifle designed around Sabots in a Sabot-free state!

I don’t know the details on BlackHorn - always been a Goex Guy, myself (FFFg), but those White rifles were supposed to be Da Bomb with a full-bore conical and an accurate charge...

16-Aug-19

Stick & String's embedded Photo
Stick & String's embedded Photo

Stick & String's Link
Elk 369, I haven't done a ton of muzzleloader hunting but have over the last couple years due to a broken collar bone. I also have a mule deer muzzleloader tag here in Colorado this year. I have the Bone Collector too and love it. I shoot 100 grains of 209 and the 295 grain Powerbelt and haven't had any problems with accuracy. I was also able to harvest a nice 300-inch bull a couple of years ago. Where are you hunting?

From: cnelk
16-Aug-19

cnelk's embedded Photo
cnelk's embedded Photo
I killed this bull 19 yrs ago with a 50 cal Hawken I built in school shop class in '78.

385gr Hornady hollow point pushed by 90grns Pyrodex 'P' powder - 125yds

From: timex
18-Aug-19
blackhorn 209 is synthetic & requires a 209 shotgun primer to ignite it & to me the best thing about it is you use regular solvents & oil. not soap & water to clean up

From: txhunter58
18-Aug-19
GF. In my White, I shoot 90 gr of fffg 777 and a 460 gr Bullshop lead conical. Accurate load and plenty of power! Haven't killed an elk with it, but from all accounts, it will do the job. I like Bullshops because I can order a 0.504 bullet size

From: fubar racin
18-Aug-19
Timex you’ll love that black horn in your mk85 until the dr is cutting that 209 out of your forehead.

From: ohiohunter
18-Aug-19
You need a fully contained primer to withstand pressure spikes. My mk85 conversion does not offer that, the red plastic and striking mechanism is not safe.

From: Ucsdryder
18-Aug-19
Why would you want to use solvents over soap and water? Soap and water cleans them in no time and you don’t have a bunch of smelly, dirty solvents all over the place.

From: cnelk
18-Aug-19
Windex is a great ML cleaner.

From: ohiohunter
18-Aug-19
Bh209 is the best powder behind smokeless.

From: txhunter58
18-Aug-19
Why would someone want to use solvents over soap and water?

Maybe because water can lead to rust and using a oil based solvent that works well is one way to avoid that. Sure, I have a T/C renegade that I put together from a kit in the 80s. I have never burned anything but pyrodex and 777 in it and have always cleaned with hot/soapy water. Knock on wood, no rust yet, but that is because I ALWAYS cleaned it IMMEDIATELY after a shooting session, and was merticulus about my cleaning. AND, followed each cleaning with a little light oil.

With BH 209, if I get in late, I can wait until tomorrow to clean it. Not too long, but doesn't require immediate attention. Cleans up easily and fast, although smellier! So to each his own. I have a place for both.

From: sheephunter2
18-Aug-19
120 grains Blackhorn 209 and a 250 grain Thor. Shot 2 nice bulls one shot one kill last two years here in Colo. Use a peep sight. Way better. PS I shoot a TC Bone Collector Triumph as well

From: timex
18-Aug-19
ucsdryder. so do you clean & lube your centerfire guns with soap & water just curious? & I will take your advice into consideration about the mk85 & blackhorn but I have 3 knights the mk85. in 45 a stainless disc elite in 45 & a 50 long range hunter & just prefer the older gun & never had a problem

From: Ucsdryder
18-Aug-19
Nope, I don’t clean my bow with soap and water either. But neither uses black powder! My rifle is stainless so the rust thing makes sense for a blued rifle though. The soap and water is so stinking easy and it’s amazing how clean it comes out. My centerfire rifle with solvents takes forever to clean with lots of patches to get the fouling out.

From: txhunter58
18-Aug-19
The reason he mentions soap and water is because that is one of the best solvents for real black powder and the other black powder substitutes prior to BH 209. Centerfire rifles and BH 209 will not clean up with soap and water well. They require oils based solvents. I think if you tried to clean real black, pyrodex, or 777 with an oil based solvent you would end up with a messy black slurry. Even Windex ( mentioned above) is water based. So it does have its place, just not with BH 209

18-Aug-19
I have limited experience from one muzzleloader elk hunt and I was not impressed with the durability of power belts. Yes they were very accurate but they didn't perform well and if I ever do it again I'll be checking out other options.

19-Aug-19

Stick & String's Link
Sheephunter2, can you tell me your peep sight setup and where you got it? I've got a mule deer hunt in about a month and not happy with my accuracy. I also shoot the TC Bone Collector, 100 grains of Blackhorn 209, and 295 grain Power Belt. Thanks in advance.

From: ohiohunter
19-Aug-19
S&S, I'd scrap the PB and shoot the harvester sabertooth. I shot a doe w/ a 295 50-60yds, the PB splattered and didn't exit. I've also seen several aerotips fully intact w/ zero mushroom. I really think PB's are probably the absolute worst mz bullets, countless failures from every design they offer. BTW if your load is inaccurate a peep nor a scope will improve your accuracy, work up a load similar to a centerfire.

From: JL
19-Aug-19
I've been doing ML's since 2006. I suspect alot of bowhunters also ML hunt. One will need to know what their particular ML likes to shoot. I have two ML's....a camo Traditions Pursuit LT with a thumb hole stock and a new CVA Accura 2 LR with the thumb hole stock. I used to do PB's and T7 pellets in the Traditions and did kill some deer with them. The problem is the PB's were not consistent on the POI (friends don't let friends shoot PB's). The T7 leaves alot of crud in your barrel. I eventually got turned on to Barnes TMZ's (.250gr) and BH209 (110gr by volume) and magnum 209 primers (very important to use magnum primers!!!) and never looked back. I have popped alot of deer and a big bear with them. That combo is very accurate in both ML's. With that particular long range CVA with the 30" barrel, you can often touch holes at 100 yds. Competition shooters can do some great distances with their high end ML's.

From: txhunter58
19-Aug-19
For the 3rd time:

This thread is for Colorado and SABOTS are not legal

From: sheephunter2
19-Aug-19
The peep I have is a Thompson Center (made by Williams) peep from muzzleloaders.com Mount it as far back as you can. It's a real game changer. I've hunted with bows, rifles, muzzle loaders and since the early 80s with a TC Renegade 54 100 gr of Pyrodex and a 435 grain Buffalo bullet. With the inline, BH 209, and 250 Thors w a peep it is almost cheating. And yes use CCI magnum 209 shotgun primers.

From: cnelk
19-Aug-19
Are sabots legal in Colorado?

From: txhunter58
19-Aug-19
Technically the answer to that question is yes......... As long as you use them in regular rifle seasons!

From: txhunter58
19-Aug-19
!

From: ohiohunter
19-Aug-19
but not legal during muzzleloader season. So there aren't a whole lot of options. Thors, sabertooth, PB, Federal Bor, hornady fpb, lead conicals and balls, and a few more obscure options. PB's are the most manufactured mz bullet which is why they're even hanging on the wall at Habib's 711.

From: JL
19-Aug-19

JL's embedded Photo
JL's embedded Photo
Here are the ML Regs for Colorado.

From: txhunter58
20-Aug-19
The funniest thing about this thread, besides having to repeat ourselves about COs regs:

Five years ago if you had tried to discuss muzzleloading on here you would’ve been thrown off the site. :-)

From: sheephunter2
20-Aug-19

sheephunter2's embedded Photo
250 Thor
sheephunter2's embedded Photo
250 Thor
sheephunter2's embedded Photo
Thor left 145 yds rt 191
sheephunter2's embedded Photo
Thor left 145 yds rt 191
Not to beat a dead horse on Bowsite but have been asked to post pics of the 250 Thors. Left is 145 yards Right is 191 yards from a backpack over a flat rock. Both recovered on off hide. Both lung shots, one shot one kill, only went 10 or 15 yards. Both nice bulls. PS I am bowhunting this year :)

From: ohiohunter
20-Aug-19
They look like every barnes I've recovered, but I prefer 2 holes especially from a mono bullet which is exactly why 250gr is too light. To each his own.

20-Aug-19
Onviously an elk is a much bigger animal than a whitetail, no comparison. Im interested in results on whitetails from u guys that use inlines. I hate to hijack a thread, but i hate even more to start a SECOND inline thread on bowsite...;^).

Ive used/seen used powerbelts and couldnt be less impressed. Im most interested in what situation results in the best blood trail. Ive seen them drop and in that case it doesnt matter whats used. But if the deer takes off on a death run, i want expansion and a blood trail. Those thor pics look great. Looking for real world first hand experience. Post or PM, whatever help i can get....

From: ohiohunter
20-Aug-19
Full bore pills? It’ll be hard to beat that 250 thor for deer. PB has a new one out, but I think it’s the same soft lead.. still waiting on reviews.

From: txhunter58
20-Aug-19
Ok, but they make a 300 gr Thor bullet as well..... I wouldn’t hesitate to use that on an elk

From: txhunter58
20-Aug-19
i Don’t think there is a tougher bullet out there. But it has 2 drawbacks:

1) Have to size it to your barrel (not a huge problem) 2) they run out of them in the fall because they only make so many each year.

So if you decide to use them STOCK up in the summer

From: ohiohunter
20-Aug-19
Tx, someone mentioned thor makes a "one size" also. I wouldn't hesitate to use the 300gr, when and if my gf ever draws a NM MZ tag she'll be shooting barnes 295's. I use barnes 250's on WT all the time, I have a fist full of recovered bullets.

From: ohiohunter
20-Aug-19

ohiohunter's embedded Photo
ohiohunter's embedded Photo
ohiohunter's embedded Photo
ohiohunter's embedded Photo
Here are some, there is a 30cal in there.

From: JL
20-Aug-19
Nice collection of Barnes there!

From: Super Slam
04-Oct-19

Super Slam's embedded Photo
Super Slam's embedded Photo
100 grs. of blackhorn and the 300 gr. Thor one size fits all worked for me.

From: PECO
04-Oct-19
My brother shot a small mule deer buck with a 290gr PB, 80gr of 777, hit bone and the bullet fragmented. The deer was 60 yards away. He will be looking for other options. Sabots are not legal in Colorado, nor are scopes. Are you guys that are dropping deer at 200+ yards doing it with sights?

From: Smtn10PT
04-Oct-19
Nice bull SuperSlam. Glad you had better luck with the 300 grain Thors than I did.

From: Darrell
04-Oct-19
So what is a good muzzy forum? I have a Remington 700 .54 cal that I bought my father 23 years ago that we took to the range and shot once but then he never ended up hunting with it. Once I burn my CO points in a couple years, I may do a muzzy hunt or two. I need some suggestions for how to set it up. Bullets, powder, etc. Might as well have some fun playing with it between now and then.

From: cnelk
04-Oct-19
Darrel - sent you a PM

From: GF
05-Oct-19
“With the inline, BH 209, and 250 Thors w a peep it is almost cheating. ”

Whaddya mean “almost”???

LOL....

Those are some impressively mushroom bullets you guys have collected, but JMO… A full-bore conical needs to expand like my taxes need to go up. ( just searching for an analogy that won’t piss anybody off around here!)

People by hollow points for their muzzleloaders because handgun bullets are usually hollow points, but the Buffalo got wiped out by .458 conical‘s long before anybody thought to hampered their aerodynamics by turning them into flying ashtrays.

I only shoot round ball, and those (at close range, at least) I do expect to get back on quartering angles, because the ball flattens out and slide sideways under the hide on the far side, but if I were using conical’s the first time I got one back would be the last time I ever used that type. I won’t accept that from a centerfire and I wouldn’t from BP, either.

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