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Thread: Powder choice and handling in extreme cold

  1. #1
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    Default Powder choice and handling in extreme cold

    What experience have folks had with choosing powder (black vs pyro vs pyro pellets) in temps down to -40, and how best to handle each of them when having to deal with big temp swings and possible humidity changes? I store my powder in the garage (about 50F today) but heading out to shoot this weekend... Last night it was -30 F. Any tricks for handling, treating it like optics in a ziploc bag, etc. "Hot into cold, ventilate bold; cold into hot, ventilate not."

    Or is powder not really affected by such things? Are some types more susceptible than others to problems? I've used pellets in the past at these temps and while they send the bullet down range, they just don't seem to have the oomph one would hope for when staring at a moose.

  2. #2
    Member jdb3's Avatar
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    My hunting partner shot a muskox this spring in the range of temps you are asking about. He did not have any trouble with black. Jim

  3. #3
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    No experience down to -40 but at -15 Tripple Seven in powder form using 209 primers performed good. Also, I found that I needed to run a lubed patch down the barrel prior to loading each time or else the bullet/sabot would stick.

  4. #4
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    Daughter Hillarie was able take two nice bulls with her muzzle loader at temp -30 to -35 with no problems.
    Used 2-50 GR. Triple Seven Pellots with I believe 345 GR Powerbelt Conicle. Once loaded in the field we kept gun outside of tent "in gun case" entire time we were hunting untill it came time to insert 209 primer. Both cases gun performed fine.

    Side note: To date, Hill's 4 for 4 with her muzzle loader in as many loads. Quess that's why they say girls make better shots then us guys. Other animals she'staken with muzzleloader mountain goat and brown bear. Same set up, same load. Believe there was a segment earlier on "Would you shoot a brown bear with muzzle loader". Well she did few years back think she was 18 or 19 at the time. Perfect palcement! 57" moose she took above at -35 dropped within 10 ft. of where it was hit. Perfect heart shot. Conicle was still in the heart that we brought home.

    This years hunt "my hunt" no problem at firing at -6 temps. Gun in case outside of tent entire time of hunt. Same load.

  5. #5
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    Ramdap,

    Great story, thanks! Funny you mention your daughter in all this... my 12 year old little girl is the hunter in question on my side... we have until the end of Nov to fill her permit and have been waiting for the river to lock up enough for safe crossing to get up into the hunt area... She is *very* excited to get out and go, but between conditions and an upcoming road trip, school, sports, etc it's really tough to shoehorn in the time. Hill sounds like a very accomplished hunter

    I've used pellets and Powerbelts in the past at -35F temps on my own hunts and while the bullet got to the moose, penetration was a serious issue... Placement was right on the money. My big concern is ensuring powder and bullet performance at the temps we're talking about... I went ahead and swapped out to Pyro Select and am going to give the T/C Maxi-ball a shot this go around... I like the idea of simplicity and loading speed of pellets but am worried they don't have the boom that loose powder does. I'm not a die-hard ML shooter so don't have the practice of loading speed down quite yet.

    Now I just need to stop time...

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