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NM Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

 
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  #1  
Old 09-04-2013, 04:32 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: New Mexico
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NM Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

I drew a NM Unit 34 muzzleloader elk hunt as my 3rd choice. I really didn't expect to draw, as I had selected two HD rifle hunts in the Gila. However, I drew a muzzleloader hunt. Big difference from hunting elk with my 338 Lapua.

I do have a TC Encore 209x50 cal muzzleloader, but have never shot it, much less hunted with it. Any advice on loads and effective distances would be appreciated. The ML has a leupold 3-9 scope on it.

Is it possible to use a tactical scope on a ML and dial for range if I chrono the load?
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2013, 04:41 PM
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Location: Meridian, Idaho
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Re: NM Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

Find out the twist rate and if you can shoot sabots or not in NM. I use 7 as my powder choice and shot sabots until they outlawed them here.

LR scope, I don't see why not. Principle is still there. BC, FPS, etc. The biggest issue IMO would be max effective range of the caliber based on energy delivered at the target.

I do suggest you shoot it a but and get used to the lag time from squeeze to sent round. Higher speed powders help reduce that dwell time but it is different than a rifle.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2013, 08:43 PM
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Re: NM Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

Thanks Brent, I ordered TC 300 grn Sabots and will use that 7 powder. I do plan to shoot it a lot before the season and plan to try a develop dope for the 50 cal sabot.
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  #4  
Old 09-04-2013, 09:11 PM
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Re: NM Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

I would highly recommend trying Blackhorn 209 powder if you can find it.

Blackhorn 209

Go ahead and Google it and read about it. Other than complaints about its cost vs. other black powers I've not seen any negative reviews. Having said that, it's still less expensive to shoot than my Weatherbys.

There is a "Modern Muzzleloader" forum as well that has a lot of info:

Modern Muzzleloader • Index page

And our own Muzzleloader forum here on LRH:

Muzzleloader Hunting - Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

The guy who goes by Encore is on both forums, and knows his stuff as do some others.

I had all 3 choices this year in NM as muzzle loader and didn't get drawn, so apparently your luck is a lot better than mine!
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  #5  
Old 09-04-2013, 10:07 PM
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Re: NM Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

Thanks Dr. Vette, I never saw the muzzleloader forum before!
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  #6  
Old 09-04-2013, 10:37 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Los Lunas, NM
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Re: NM Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

I shoot a T/C Thunder Hawk I bought in 1997. MY load for it is a 250 grain Shock Wave or Hornady. Sabots are legal here so no problem with that. Now I played with powder and built up a load of 90 grains (volume) of Pyrodex P. Yes P can be used in a .50 ML but I suggest reading about it and developing your own load. With a 100 grains (volume) I was showing pressure signs on the #11 caps so I dropped it down.

Now this load is extremely accurate out of my ML. 1" from the rest at 100 yards and I only have a cheap 4X scope on it. Could not afford a better one at the time and it has not changed zero since 1997. I have it printing 4" high at 100 yards and zeroed for 150 about 8" low at 200.

The bull I shot in 2007 was 200 yards out and I was on a fallen tree for a rest. He was uphill quartering towards me with his front left leg extended when I shot. Bullet entered behind left leg, hit heart, lungs, liver, through some intestines and stopped under the hide on his back right hip.

Your 209X50 should be just fine with the right loads. I can't help you with unit 34 as I always hunt west of I-25 for big game.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2013, 04:11 AM
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Re: NM Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

Thanks Red Sparky! I have some of the 250 and 300 grn Shockwaves coming. I'll give both a try. I may also change to the new Nikon ML scope with the BDC.
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