Re: Long Range Muzzleloader
So happens I was down in Texas a while back doing just that - testing muzzleloader bullets at long range. There is a new bullet coming out from Hornady and T/C that is intended to extend the range of a good shooting in-line. How far depends on the shooter, how much he has practiced to become confident with his rifle and load. We made kills on wild hogs at 250 and 300 yards during the tests.
We were shooting T/C Encores with 6-24 Swarovski scopes loaded with three of the new Triple Seven pellets (150 grains) and the new 250 grain bullet. The rifle is a very good one, but the Swarovski scopes made the difference as they had TDS reticles which gave us nice holdover reference points.
With practice the in-line can be accurate and lethal out past 300 but there are an awful lot of variables. I have made kills well past that distance, but only because I was prepared, plus that was the only shot available.
In reality the in-line action is not what makes such accuracy possible. In-lines are designed for scope sights. The scope is the bottom line, put a 6-24 Swarovski on a new T/C sidehammer, load it with the same powder charge and bullet and it will do the same provided the Hawkins happened to have a 28 twist barrel. Maybe even better because the Hawkens usually has a long barrel and might give slightly better velocity. The type of action and ignition system does not have the impact on base accuracy and velocity that most people assume.
Having said that, getting in close is the best way to place a lethal shot with a muzzleloader. You only get one shot, closer you are the more accurate it hits. That is true for all hunting, but long distance presents another challenge that we are interested in.
Not sure how into muzzleloading you are. One good tip is to always swab after every shot. Naturally this is impossible in most hunting situations but it is very important for best accuracy on the range.