Saturday, October 11, 2014

Muzzle Loading Projectiles

I am looking for .452" diameter, 250 grain-to-265 grain, soft cast lead bullets. By "soft" I mean I am looking for bullets in the 10-to-12 BHN range. 

These bullets from Crown Bullet would be about perfect except I don't need five hundred of them.  Fifty or one hundred would set me up for a long, long time.

I want to shoot White-tailed deer with something simple.

White-tailed deer

White-tailed deer are not hard to kill.  They can be hard to find.  They can be hard to hit with a bullet. But they are not hard to kill.  Just about any reasonable bullet will get the job done if you hit them in the proverbial "boiler-room".

Deer in the field rarely have these graphics stenciled on their sides.  Fortunately it is pretty easy to reference off their front leg to see where to hit them.  The size of the boiler-room is closely approximated by a standard paper plate or a gallon milk jug.

I once killed a deer with a 158 grain hollow point that was limping along at about 1100 feet per second.  I have killed multiple deer with 180 grain, soft lead round balls.  Many, many deer have been harvested with .22LR (although not by me).  The practitioners claim you simply need to avoid hitting their shoulder and to be patient.  Watch where they run.  Wait an hour and then go collect them.

Some animals run in herds.  That is their protection.  They will run with the herd until they collapse.A four legged animal can run a long, long way in 60 seconds.

Some animals are dangerous and can chew on you quite a bit in 60 seconds.

White-tail deer rely on stealth more than speed to avoid danger.  Their first inclination is to get out of sight and lay down.  They do not have heavy bones.  They have predictable anatomy.  That is, they do not have a hump that makes their boiler-room difficult to visualize.

You can spend a lot of money

You can spend a lot of money on projectiles for muzzle loaders.  I admittedly have a lifetimes supply of super-duper, streamlined, slippery gummy tipped bullets and sabots to use up.  So why do I want to shoot a simple hunk of lead?

Because deer hunting should not be a technology driven arms race.  Because shooting a ten cent hunk of lead appeals to my sense of appropriateness.  The hunt is about getting to within 100 yards of my quarry.  I may see trophy bucks at greater distances but I am still simple enough to believe that every wild animal is a trophy.  And it is a rare, rare year when I do not see a taggable animal within 100 yards sometime during the season.

These work spiffy when loaded into a sabot.

Kubota is the primary hunter now.  I am the support guy.  I call him B'wana.  I don't even carry a gun when we are hunting together.  I don't want him to think I am competing with him.  I want him to take the time he needs to get off his best shot.  I don't want him to feel like he needs to rush.

Kubota is the young guy, eager to prove himself.  He craves faster, louder, bigger, more points, longer distances.  I intend to gift him with those super-duper bullets when he moves out.

After that, I am going to drive my muzzle loader about like I drive my vehicles.  80 grains of Triple Seven will launch the bullet at about 1600 fps.  Three inches high at 75 yards should give me "point blank" out past 125 yards.  At that range the velocity drops to 1100 fps which is still plenty to get the job done.

White-tail deer are not hard to kill.


  1. Joe you should just buy the economy pack and enough pyrodex to shoot every last one of them. Posterity may thank you for doing so.

    1. Milton: Thank-you for commenting. I have a proposal. You buy a .44 Magnum or .45 Colt. I will buy five hundred and sell you the rest.

      Whaddya say?

      The .44 Mag can be a real sweetheart when loaded down to 900-to-1000fps.