Muzzleloader

Discussion in 'Long Range Hunting & Shooting' started by edge, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    I have this week off since the company that I work for shuts down every year. I try to go out each morning, but sometimes sleep in.

    Tuesday morning started very poorly, I loaded my rifle without an overpowder wad. I have used one for the last 5 years and as I drove to my hunting spot I debated not hunting, since the load was not accurate to my standards. I have a second spot to hunt that is an afternoon stand only so I decided to go to that spot and shoot the load out.

    This wasted a lot of time and by the time I got set up it was 6:40, ten minutes before shooting light. I basically screwed up the woods by walking in so late so I set up by the field. I wanted to glass it for our traditional deer drive that is coming up soon so that it would not be a total waste.

    A small 6 point buck walked across the field and I put the scope on him... not worth the drag ....as I watched him he kept looking back from the direction that he came and finally bedded in some grass that was about a foot high. Every few minutes he would get up, graze and bed again. As I watched him I noticed another buck with a high rack and a very nice body....he got my attention, but I could not range him. He was bedded and I have a junky Bushnell rangefinder that is supposed to range 400 but really barely get to 300 yards if it has a good background.

    I know the property well, and using Google Earth I have measured every landmark. The problem was that he was in the open field and not near any of my landmarks!
    I knew that the rangefinder was out of range. I knew that there was a series of trees that started at 375 yards and he appeared to be a little closer but 80 or so yards to the side. My Zero with the 150 grain AccuBond was right at 300 yards.....

    Fortunately the wind kicked up gusting to about 20 mph and it started to sleet so I didn't have to make any decisions. I did not like where I was so I relocated about 40 yards to my left, next to a blown down tree, and a few yards closer to the deer. The tree was about two feet in diameter and had a hump that my legs would fit under. I put my gloves on the top, my hands rested on the gloves and the sight picture felt 100% solid...except for the wind!

    Looking at the sky, there were open spots and then very dark areas. I thought that I would wait for a clearing to see if the wind died down. As the clearing approached the wind would get to 20 and back to 5 or 10 then back to 20.

    I had some things to do so I decided that if the wind lulled I would take the shot, made my best guess at 325 yards. He was bedded which brings the vital higher from the shooters perspective, which was good since the bottom half of his body was covered with weeds. He was facing me and the wind was directly in line with his body which was perpendicular to me, a perfect setup. His nose made for a perfect target, about 6 inches into the wind and even with his spine. The only thing easier would have been an orange dot in one of his nostrils

    The wind died, the trigger broke, then an unmistakable bullet slap. He jumped from his bed and plowed dirt for about 20 feet and went a$$ over tea kettle landing upside down. Can¡¦t remember the trigger breaking, can¡¦t remember any sight wobble, no recoil, it just unfolded in front of me! Final range was 320-340 since I couldn't find exactly where he was bedded. Not a big buck by any stretch, but by far it is my farthest deer to date with any weapon.

    edge.

    The rifle is a Savage Model 110. I added a #7 taper Shilen Match Barrel in .458

    I made a breechplug to accept a 45 acp case as the primer.
    I make my own sabots and am using 150 grain Nosler Accubond bullets (0.308 dia. BC listed as .425 )
    I shoot smokeless powder and the velocity is slightly over 3100 fps.

    [​IMG]

    Lucky Heart shot!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. buzzgun

    buzzgun Well-Known Member

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    We definitely need more info on that rifle! Photos would be nice too!
     

  3. davewilson

    davewilson Well-Known Member

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    sounds like a lot of long range kills i read on here.luck didn't have much to do with it.
     
  4. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Great shot and good read to boot.

    I'd also be interested in more info and a few pictures of your muzzleloader. Sounds like one of a kind.
     
  5. Coyboy

    Coyboy Well-Known Member

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    Very nice shooting Edge, post some rifle pics.
     
  6. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    Nothing fancy, just a Plain Jane Tupperware stock Savage, that I bedded with Acraglas.
    OLD 30-06 BARREL/BARREL NUT
    NEW BARREL WITHOUT BARREL NUT
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    RIFLE ASSEMBLED WITH OLD SCOPE
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    NEW BREECHPLUG
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    .308 ACCUBOND BULLETS
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  7. buzzgun

    buzzgun Well-Known Member

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    Come on.....we need info about how you made your own sabots.....how you made the breach plug (is it a modified savage breachplug?)......how the 45 auto case "head spaces" on the plug.......you know DETAILS!!! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  8. Mortgage Man

    Mortgage Man Well-Known Member

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    Ya we definitely need more details on that gun!! Great job on a good buck....Muzzleloaders are a blast!!
     
  9. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    The breechplug is made from 4140 steel and is made from two pieces. The outer section that can be seen is bored for a modified 45 acp case. I bore out the primer pocket of the 45 case to accept a 209 primer, and I also run it through a 30-06 sizing die to put taper on the case. When the bolt closes it makes a tight fit on the OD of the case.

    The center of the breechplug which is a shrink fit into the OD threaded section has a snout that comes within 0.005 of the headspaced acp case and has an ID that is a snug fit for the end of the 209 primer that extends inside the case.

    Primary sealing is on the outside of the 209 primer similar to the Savage design and secondary sealing is on the case OD, but the cases stay clean and do not need cleaning.

    The sabots are made on a CNC lathe from PVC Type II plastic. They are rifled for a snug slip fit in my barrel, but the OD has several raised ridges to grip the grooves of the bore for a tight fit. The rifling is accomplished by taking a regular Manchester style grooving tool and laying it sideways and shimming it to be on-center. The lathe is programmed for an 8 start thread with a 14 inch pitch.

    Through extensive testing, I found the optimum place for the rear groove to ensure that the rigid sabot petals broke cleanly and did not interfere with the bullet/sabot separation.

    While machining takes less than a minute for each sabot, sawing and deburring the saw-cut takes another 2 minutes. The boat tail makes deburring much harder and for experimenting I make sabots flat based and shoot non boat tailed bullets since they require much less time to debur.

    edge.

    I also shrink fit a drill bushing into the breechplug as a permanent flash hole.
     
  10. royinidaho

    royinidaho Writers Guild

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    edge,

    There's nothing like a well planned deer hunt. Especially when everything's wrong and everthing's right.

    Good goin'!!!
     
  11. wildworks

    wildworks Well-Known Member

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    Edge

    what kind of accuracy do you get with that gun?
    what is the twist rate?
    Is it leagal for ML season?

    thanks
     
  12. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    Good questions /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    I am working through an issue that most feel is either scope or bedding related.

    If I were to shoot a 5 or 6 shot group, I would expect 3 or 4 to be easily under 1/2 moa. I also may have a completely separate group the will be 1 to 1 1/4 to the right of the first group, but also under 1/2 moa.

    I have installed a steel 1 pc. rail base, but have not zeroed my scope to prove if the 2 pc base was the problem or not.
    If this does not solve the problem, then I will buy a laminated stock.

    edge.

    PS this is very typical of my groups, 2 or three center, and the 1 or 2 right. This particular group was left, right, left, right. ( 100 yards, 3x9 scope, and I admit to being a poor bench shooter. Much better in the field, and much better with a shotgun....I slap the trigger /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif )

    [​IMG]

    Twist is 1:14

    Legal in many but not all States /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  13. wildworks

    wildworks Well-Known Member

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    edge

    the reason i ask about the accuracy is that i have looked into the sabot for 30 cal bullet and all that i found from guys that tried it was accuracy was very unpredictable. Most thought this came from the thick plastic jacket. i am a smokeless ML shooter and i am always looking for the next best thing!
    right now i have a custom SMI 50 cal and shooting 375gr wildcat ML bullets to 2500 fps. I am looking at going to 40 cal and sabotless!!
     
  14. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    I experimented with sabotless last March with a cheap A&B barrel. Accuracy was great once I found the correct load/bullet fit.

    I would be shooting sabotless if I did not have the means to make my own sabots, but a 30 caliber NAB at over 3100 fps is hard to beat /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    edge.

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