NM Muzzleloader Elk Hunt

Discussion in 'Elk Hunting' started by Capt Academy, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    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?
     
  2. BrentM

    BrentM Well-Known Member

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    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.
     

  3. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  4. Dr. Vette

    Dr. Vette Well-Known Member

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    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. :rolleyes:

    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!
     
  5. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Dr. Vette, I never saw the muzzleloader forum before!
     
  6. Red Sparky

    Red Sparky Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  7. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    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.
     
  8. TheHardWay

    TheHardWay Well-Known Member

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    Here is another forum to check out:
    Frontier Muzzleloading

    I think you will enjoy hunting with a ML. It's a little different, and definitely fun!
     
  9. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    If I were you, I would look into getting the leupold or Nikon scope that are made for muzzloaders with the compensating reticles. A lot of times you are close and the elk Are on the move in the woods up there. It is nice to just range, put which circle for the right distance on the elk and pull the trigger. If you have to range and dial, the elk could very well already be out of sight.
     
  10. rick523

    rick523 Well-Known Member

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    Something else you may want to consider, if you or you have a smith that can polish and clean up the trigger you will be amazed at the difference in accuracy. I have mine just under 2lbs. and off the bench it will shoot consistent 1/2 - 3/4" groups at 100 yds . I'm shooting 200gr. shockwaves and 150grs of triple 7 the 250's shoot very well also but i gave up a little energy for more speed:D and have knocked whitetails in the dirt many times I know they are no where near as large as a elk, but that said a good friend killed his Yukon moose with the 250 at a little over 100yds, 2 years ago and it did not go very far. I think you will enjoy it, as stated it's different. Sometimes though you don't know if you hit what you were shooting at or not, they don't call em smoke poles for nothinglightbulb.
     
  11. Red Sparky

    Red Sparky Well-Known Member

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    Use the scope you like. My scope is a double duplex with what they call the 30-30 between the heavy dark part of the cross hairs. 30" up and 30" across between the heavy lines of the duplex at 100 yards. I had to measure it at 100,200,300,and 400 yards with a bright orange sticks 30" across. So I just use Kentucky windage for shots out to 200 yards. Basically if the elk is larger than the fine cross hairs and the top of the bottom heavy cross hair I just hold on and let the trajectory work. Now if the elk fills the area between the fine cross hair and top of the bottom heavy cross hair I know I need to start aiming up. At 200 yards the distance between the fine cross hair and top of the heavy cross hair covers about 30". Now since my bullet drops about 8" at 200 yards I just raise up about 1/4 of the distance between the fine cross hair and heavy cross hair which is about 8".

    No time lost ranging and dialing since I have done this for +35 years and am just use to it. I do love watching the shows where they just range and crank the turrets and hold dead on. If I were shooting past 500 yards that is the set up I would go with.

    If you use a variable power scope have it set on the lowest power. One time I had a monster mulie jump up about 50 yards from me and trot up over the hill. I had a 4x12 scope on my .270 and it was set on 12x. It cost me a shot and I never saw him again.
     
  12. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    Great info, thanks all! I have some 250 and 300 shockwaves and picked up some Barnes 250's. I have some Pyrodex pellets and Triple 7 pellets. For the elk, I plan on running 3 pellets with one of the above bullets, whichever shoot's the best, learning towards Barnes. Picked up a bunch of T-17 cleaning stuff and plan on doing a trigger job. In addition, I picked up the Leupold ML BDC scope. I liked the Nikon as well, but Sportsman's had this one in stock. I like the fact that it has specific settings, 2 pellets, shotgun slug or 3 pellets. A friend has one and told me his 3 pellet load is spot on. I hope this will be the same for me. I shoot tactical rifle, 6mm Creedmoor and 260, 7mm's and the big 338's frequently. Getting ready for a ML hunt has been very interesting and fun! I drew this tag by accident, but in the future may start applying for ML hunts.

    Again, thank all!
     
  13. Korhil78

    Korhil78 Well-Known Member

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    My buddy has the same Leupold scope that you bought and he likes it a lot. Good luck on your hunt.
     
  14. Capt Academy

    Capt Academy Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Korhil78, I'll keep you all posted. My hunt is in mid Oct of next month.