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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been out shooting my new (new to me) muzzleloader a lot lately and I was curious if anyone had any ideas on what bullets/sabots this thing likes? I've noticed that I get the best results with 295 gr. Powerbelt Aerotip and 100 gr. 777 pellets. I've got some pyrodex pellets and some Hornady xtp 240 he bullets. It's really interesting because my old gun shot that 240 gr. Hornadys really well but I can't seem to hit the broadside of a barn with them out of this gun. I don't mind shooting the powerbelts but I've got a ton of the xtps from my old gun and I feel the belts are way overpriced.

Also curious if anyone shoots 150 gr loads instead of 100? Is it really worth it? I don't really see a huge difference in accuracy either way and I figure why waste powder. I don't have a chronograph or anything so I have no idea if it's worth it just because I can.

Thanks for any thoughts, I'm still a muzzy newbie but it's quickly becoming my favorite firearm to mess with and it's the best time of year to be in the woods.
 

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I have a optima pro, but its the .45 not a .50, Deer slaying sucker and very accurate. I shoot the .40 T/C 200gr sabot out of it in front of 110gr. of 777 fff and it does very well. In the .50 bores, the heavier the bullet, the more accurate it will be. Heavier bullets stabilize faster and are more forgiving. All of my .50 rifles, I load the .44 300gr. XTP with the crush rib sabot. Deadly and accurate but for deer, its a little much under a 100 yard shot. Large entrance hole and huge exit hole. I know you wont be tracking with these bullets that's for sure!

I've tried the "skirt bullets" (powerbelts) and didn't like them. After sighting in at 100 w/ the XTP's I tried the 295 I think it was. and it was 8" low and 4" right. Shot a 5 shot round (swabbing after each shot) and same result. Other guys swear by them and that's great, I don't like them and wont use them for hunting. Maybe breaking a new barrel in to get rid of the garbage but no go for a hunt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting. Thanks for the replies. Sounds like the crushed rib harvester sabots might help me out. The factory green ones that come with the Hornady xtps are definitely a tight fit down the barrel. I'll see if I can find some of those sabots and perhaps that'll help.
It's pretty easy to find powerbelts so I might just snag some of them for this season. We'll see how the xtps perform with a different sabot. Could be a game changer.
 

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When bullets were readily available, (pre-COVID) the cheapest way to use the XTP's is to get a box pf the bullets and then purchase the sabot. I've never taken an animal with the Powerbelts, but have talked with hunters that have used them and will never use them again. I don't know where the shot was placed on the animal, but I'm sure there are those that swear by them.

I killed a spike bull at 268 yards and a 4 point buck at 310 yards with the 300gr. XTP. Before I get flack for taking that long of a shot with a ML, I had been killing green propane bottles at 300 yards consistently. The ML I used, I had a gunsmith put an elevated rear ramp site on it and a new front blade sight that he made to be dead on at 100 yards. It took about five trips to the range to get that exact fit, but it was well worth it.
 

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When bullets were readily available, (pre-COVID) the cheapest way to use the XTP's is to get a box pf the bullets and then purchase the sabot. I've never taken an animal with the Powerbelts, but have talked with hunters that have used them and will never use them again. I don't know where the shot was placed on the animal, but I'm sure there are those that swear by them.

I killed a spike bull at 268 yards and a 4 point buck at 310 yards with the 300gr. XTP. Before I get flack for taking that long of a shot with a ML, I had been killing green propane bottles at 300 yards consistently. The ML I used, I had a gunsmith put an elevated rear ramp site on it and a new front blade sight that he made to be dead on at 100 yards. It took about five trips to the range to get that exact fit, but it was well worth it.
C’mon now Taxi, you’re in Utah - the place where 150 yard bow kills, 500 yard ML kills, and 800 yard rifle kills are the norm!! 😉

I switched to the XTP this year for my antelope hunt and they’ve been crazy accurate out plenty far enough for me! I don’t doubt your success one bit!
 

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C’mon now Taxi, you’re in Utah - the place where 150 yard bow kills, 500 yard ML kills, and 800 yard rifle kills are the norm!! 😉

I switched to the XTP this year for my antelope hunt and they’ve been crazy accurate out plenty far enough for me! I don’t doubt your success one bit!
Now that I have aged and the eyes really don't allow me to use open sights, I removed the ramp sight and have a red dot scope on that rifle now. I'm sure I couldn't pull a shot off like I would in the 90's now. I do plan to use my .54 T/C black mountain magnum for the ML deer hunt this year with the open sight. I wont attempt a shot over 100 yards though. I'm sure the rifle can do it, but I question my ability now.
 

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With a .54 all you have to do is get close, and they will fall into the crater that it leaves.
 
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