Re: Do You Hunt With A Muzzleloader?
Yes, indeed I do. I hunted for years with a White Super 91 in .451 caliber. It would lob large (490 grain SuperSlugs) chunks of lead with extreme accuracy and you could load all day and never have to swab between shots. I shot over 50 times one day and never cleaned the bore, and my last group was as tight as any of the them.
The company folded a number of times and I got my hands on some old actions and barrels and parts, and put together a number of the guns myself. I made three carbon fiber barreled guns before it was all done. Gave one to my wife, one to my best bud, and kept one for me.
But what I really want to hunt with, and what I use 100% of the time these days is my custom barrel I made to fit the Encore Pro Hunter. It is a .451 diameter bore, just like the White's. But I shoot smokeless in it with stellar results.
The barrel is 410 stainless, as is the breech plug, so it will take the smokeless loads just fine. I am shooting a Hornaday 300 grain XTP Mag right at 2500 fps. That is 57.7 grains of IMR 4198 and a standard Winchester 209 primer. It will do 3/4" groups at 100 all day long.
I did a lot of long range practicing with the gun (I also built one for my best bud so we could shoot together) and we have Kahles scopes with the TDS reticle in them. This gave us the multiple aiming points needed so we marked our drop and knew what distance each crosshair signified.
I made a 240 yards neck shot on a nice doe right at the end of season, and my best bud made a 300 yard shot on a medium sized doe. Both of these shots were laser confirmed, using Leica Geovids 10 x 42 laser binos.
Neither deer took a step. We have many kills under our belts with these guns now, and the furthest any has ever run was one buck at 30 yards,and he was falling down the steep banks for most of that, already dead on his feet. 99% of the time they hit the ground right there, as that 300 bullet imparts so much hydrostatic shock to the deers system, they just die right there.