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Help me with long range muzzleloading

 
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  #1  
Old 09-10-2013, 06:01 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 208
Help me with long range muzzleloading

Well, technically not me, my step-father. He's using a Thompson Center Encore with a standard rifled muzzle loader barrel. He's getting ready for a hunt where he will have shots up to 200 yards so that's what he's practicing at. He's using 3 of the 50gr black powder pellets and I believe 245gr sabots. He said they have a black plastic base and are called "magnum", not sure on brands of the powder or bullets. Anyway, he's shooting great groups at 100 yds, average of 2-2.5". When he moves out to 200 yds his groups are opening up to 6-8" and the bullet holes are larger and ragged. I know he's tried a couple different weight bullets, but wants to stay with the lighter ones since he's planning on taking longer shots and wants the velocity. Any ideas of where to go from here? He asked me but I don't know much about muzzle loading.
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2013, 07:21 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NE MI and a lake with no fish
Posts: 409
Re: Help me with long range muzzleloading

Quote:
Originally Posted by codybrown View Post
Well, technically not me, my step-father. He's using a Thompson Center Encore with a standard rifled muzzle loader barrel. He's getting ready for a hunt where he will have shots up to 200 yards so that's what he's practicing at. He's using 3 of the 50gr black powder pellets and I believe 245gr sabots. He said they have a black plastic base and are called "magnum", not sure on brands of the powder or bullets. Anyway, he's shooting great groups at 100 yds, average of 2-2.5". When he moves out to 200 yds his groups are opening up to 6-8" and the bullet holes are larger and ragged. I know he's tried a couple different weight bullets, but wants to stay with the lighter ones since he's planning on taking longer shots and wants the velocity. Any ideas of where to go from here? He asked me but I don't know much about muzzle loading.
A MICHIGAN guy asking that question?

There's absolutely NO REASON what so ever, that his Encore won't shoot accurately to 200yds and even beyond. I shoot that distance quite often when my range opens up (corn gone) and can group them under 2".

It appears that your father maybe caught up in the pellet craze and powerbelt bullets. His rifle is capable of better shooting with a different propellant and bullet. I've owned many Encore platform rifles and they can be outstanding shooters. Actually never had one that wasn't. Way to many people IMO get caught up in the "easy way" and are told that pellets are the way to accuracy. I disagree...

Now he could go right to the Lansing area and order an Ultimate but, he'll spend $3,000+ for it. But he can change up propellant and bullets and make it shoot accurate. For around $35 and shipping, it can be turned into an excellent rifle with a few rifle modifications. However.... for cost savings this close to the season, I'd change up propellant and bullet.

He should try loose powder and I would highly suggest BH209, which will require him to measure his powder with a VOLUME measure. NOTE: 120grs VOLUME IS A MAXIMUM CHARGE and NOT 150grs as with other propellants. He should purchase CCI209M or Federal 209A primers, as his muzzleloader primers used with pellets are not hot enough to reliably ignite BH209. As for a reliable and accurate bullet, I would suggest he use either the 250gr TMZ or the 290gr TMZ Barnes bullets. He should find that the neighborhood of 105grs to 110grs VOLUME of BH209 will group that rifle excellent. SEAT THE BULLET HARD ON THE PROPELLANT. After that, its the shooter.........

Using the above combination, I took two last year, one at 191yds and one at 203yds. Both were pass thrus and dropped in 35yds. His rifle is very much capable of shooting much better.
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  #3  
Old 09-11-2013, 11:00 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: North Vernon, in
Posts: 267
Re: Help me with long range muzzleloading

A muzzle loader is just like any gun for accuracy consistency is the key. Pellets vary in grains all over the place. Just weight a few of them for yourself and if you carry a few quick loads in the field they will bump and rub together causing more variants between pellets. Loose powders are the only way to go for accuracy. I agree B2B09 is a superior powder. It is the best most consistent burning powder out their. I found the correct volume that shot sub moa and then I weighed it on my scales. Now when I make my quick loads I just weigh them out and dump them in my tubes. Makes every shot the same.and in the field I can reload just as fast as anyone only my loads will be consistent. You can not beat barns bullets to match consistency either. Do not believe me weigh your bullets. Powerbelts are all over the place. None of this matters 100 yards or less but at 150 or more it will make a difference.
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  #4  
Old 09-11-2013, 12:35 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 124
Re: Help me with long range muzzleloading

Quote:
Originally Posted by ENCORE View Post
A MICHIGAN guy asking that question?

There's absolutely NO REASON what so ever, that his Encore won't shoot accurately to 200yds and even beyond. I shoot that distance quite often when my range opens up (corn gone) and can group them under 2".

It appears that your father maybe caught up in the pellet craze and powerbelt bullets. His rifle is capable of better shooting with a different propellant and bullet. I've owned many Encore platform rifles and they can be outstanding shooters. Actually never had one that wasn't. Way to many people IMO get caught up in the "easy way" and are told that pellets are the way to accuracy. I disagree...

Now he could go right to the Lansing area and order an Ultimate but, he'll spend $3,000+ for it. But he can change up propellant and bullets and make it shoot accurate. For around $35 and shipping, it can be turned into an excellent rifle with a few rifle modifications. However.... for cost savings this close to the season, I'd change up propellant and bullet.

He should try loose powder and I would highly suggest BH209, which will require him to measure his powder with a VOLUME measure. NOTE: 120grs VOLUME IS A MAXIMUM CHARGE and NOT 150grs as with other propellants. He should purchase CCI209M or Federal 209A primers, as his muzzleloader primers used with pellets are not hot enough to reliably ignite BH209. As for a reliable and accurate bullet, I would suggest he use either the 250gr TMZ or the 290gr TMZ Barnes bullets. He should find that the neighborhood of 105grs to 110grs VOLUME of BH209 will group that rifle excellent. SEAT THE BULLET HARD ON THE PROPELLANT. After that, its the shooter.........

Using the above combination, I took two last year, one at 191yds and one at 203yds. Both were pass thrus and dropped in 35yds. His rifle is very much capable of shooting much better.
Fellow Michiganian here, Encore Prohunter
ditto's on BH209 and Fed mag209s

I shoot Parker Ballistic Extremes-275gr.., MOA to 300yds all day...Ive shot numerous bucks over 200 yds.
Good luck
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  #5  
Old 09-11-2013, 04:57 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NE MI and a lake with no fish
Posts: 409
Re: Help me with long range muzzleloading

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkman10mm View Post
Fellow Michiganian here, Encore Prohunter
ditto's on BH209 and Fed mag209s

I shoot Parker Ballistic Extremes-275gr.., MOA to 300yds all day...Ive shot numerous bucks over 200 yds.
Good luck
Small world. I scoot around checking the other sites outside MI also. I can imagine that these "out west boys" could give us a good go for our money with centerfires. However, MI is full of muzzleloader hunters, most who have given up the shotgun or centerfire in favor of the muzz. Michigan "boys" CAN shoot muzzleloaders and pretty darn accurate at all ranges within reason.

209x50 Pro Hunter........... "Bad Medicine"
Nikon 2.5-10x50
75grs WEIGHT BH209
250gr. Barnes TMZ
Trigger........ 2#
Sear honed and everything in the frame honed and polished - no creep
HD locking bolt spring
HD firing pin spring
Both 44# and 51# hammer springs
Trigger over travel screw

THAT baby can hunt....
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  #6  
Old 09-13-2013, 07:46 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Michigan
Posts: 124
Re: Help me with long range muzzleloading

Quote:
Originally Posted by ENCORE View Post
Small world. I scoot around checking the other sites outside MI also. I can imagine that these "out west boys" could give us a good go for our money with centerfires. However, MI is full of muzzleloader hunters, most who have given up the shotgun or centerfire in favor of the muzz. Michigan "boys" CAN shoot muzzleloaders and pretty darn accurate at all ranges within reason.

209x50 Pro Hunter........... "Bad Medicine"
Nikon 2.5-10x50
75grs WEIGHT BH209
250gr. Barnes TMZ
Trigger........ 2#
Sear honed and everything in the frame honed and polished - no creep
HD locking bolt spring
HD firing pin spring
Both 44# and 51# hammer springs
Trigger over travel screw

THAT baby can hunt....
Yep, ..very close to the same..
Prohunter
Trijicon 2.5-10x56 mildot (red) EGW Pic rail, Burris 30mm Tac rings
91 gr (by weight) BH209, Fed 209 mag primer
275 Parker Ballistic Extreme
Belm's Trigger, hammer, locking bolt springs

I haven't used anything but a MZL (Michigan).since about 1990..
Most of my hunting buddies the same...
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  #7  
Old 09-14-2013, 07:56 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 139
Re: Help me with long range muzzleloading

Yep, 1st go to Blackhorn 209 loose powder & use hot primers.
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