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Thread: Need reliable moose load ideas

  1. #1

    Default Need reliable moose load ideas

    Hey gang,

    Looking for known good loads and projectile combinations, preferably using 50/50 Pyrodex pellets, to *reliably* take down a bull moose. Planning on using 295gr Powerbelts with 100gr of pellets, but have read some not so good stories on the PB's.

    Would also like some insight on if it's worth jacking loads up to 150gr (I have a T/C Triumph that is rated for the 150gr magnum loads), does it destabilize trajectory will the extra horsepower, etc, etc.

    I have the 295gr PB's, some 405gr PB hollowpoints, and some 350gr MaxiHunter's on hand (this is about all that was left to pick from at SW in Fairbanks). Any concerns on max range on these options? Also, any other outfits in Fairbanks that sell ML supplies? Sentry HW looked pretty grim...

    Planning on keeping it under 100 yds (of course!), but I suspect they may be a bit skittish as it's nearing the end of the season and I'm sure they're "seasoned" to having hunters in the area.

    Looking to head out around turkey day for DM766, so any insight in the next few days before I hit the trail would be appreciated!

    bb

  2. #2
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    Default Moose loads

    100 gr is absolutely fine (two 50 gr pellets).
    Even 90 will do, with three 30s.
    Pick your shot carefully and don't go for long shots.
    Have fun!

  3. #3

    Default

    Any of the .50 cal bullets that you mention will work with 100 grains of powder. I would recommend the bullet that you've sighted in with.
    Also that load combination will develop sufficient kinetic energy to take a moose, provided you have good shot placement. My advice is to take the double lung, heart shot.
    I've taken elk with both .50 and .54 cal muzzleloaders. Generally speaking, I use 90 grains with the .50 cal, and 100 grains from the .54 cal.
    Shot placement is key to a successful hunt. Hope to hear about the trip when you get back, good luck!

  4. #4
    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default moose load

    I have used 80gr 777 with a 495 grain "no excuses" conical and got complete penetration on one of the shots (through the shoulder and took out the lung on the oppisite side). If you are partial to shooting pellets a friend of mine uses 3 50gr 777 pellets with a 444gr powerbelt with the same results. IMHO, if you are going after something as big as moose, I would stick with anything over 400gr. The bull I shot this year had a 300gr barnes expander that looked like it had been in there for at least a year cause the wound had completely healed. Just my 2 cents.

  5. #5
    Member aknewbie's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by aknewbie View Post
    I have used 80gr 777 with a 495 grain "no excuses" conical and got complete penetration on one of the shots (through the shoulder and took out the lung on the oppisite side). If you are partial to shooting pellets a friend of mine uses 3 50gr 777 pellets with a 444gr powerbelt with the same results. IMHO, if you are going after something as big as moose, I would stick with anything over 400gr. The bull I shot this year had a 300gr barnes expander that looked like it had been in there for at least a year cause the wound had completely healed. Just my 2 cents.

    Website for no excuses bullets- muzzleloading-bullets.com

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brasebear View Post

    Would also like some insight on if it's worth jacking loads up to 150gr (I have a T/C Triumph that is rated for the 150gr magnum loads), does it destabilize trajectory will the extra horsepower, etc, etc.

    No need to jump up to 150 grains of powder at all, especially if you're keeping your range under 100 yards. I'd venture a guess the vast majority of muzzleloaders experience their best accuracy with powder charges in the 80-120 grain range, depending on twist rate, projectile, etc. I haven't heard anyone say they get optimum accuracy by shooting 150 grains of powder.

    I've heard mixed reports on PowerBelts but have no experience myself. I know guys have shot moose with them and have heard others report poor performance on small sized whitetails. As others have said, shot placement is more important. Opt for a good broadside shot to the heart / lungs and you'll be fine.

    Good luck with your hunt!

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks everyone for the insight.

    Any thoughts on how temperature affects pellet and/or powder performance? I've heard of people having issues with poor or no ignition at colder temps (-20F and colder), such that sometimes you'll get only 1 pellet, rather than both, cooking off. Are pellets known for being problematic at lower temps?

    bb

  8. #8

    Default

    I don't think you'll have to worry about pellets not igniting at low temps, as long as they are dry. If the packet has been open for awhile and not sealed properly, I can see where moisture may have set in and some problems may occur. But with dry pellets and a 209 ignition, you should be home free.

  9. #9
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    Default

    I would go with the heavier bullets. I have taken two moose with my .50 cal. encore. The 1st was with the 405gr. aero tip powerbelt 150gr of 777. Hit him with two rounds both recovered just under the hide, 2cd round was just for insurance, the bull was still on his feet when I reloaded. The second was with 444gr powerbelt 150gr 777. One round complete pass threw and the bull expired before I could reload. Both bulls were both at about 65 yards. I personally would stay away from the bullets less then 400gr, I have recovered 295 grain powerbelts 100gr powder from 150# whitetails. Hope this helps.

  10. #10

    Default

    I have found the no-excuses works well over 80-90 grains of 777 powder. I tried the pellets and find them very unreliable. I much prefer powder in a speedloader. Much more consistent performance. The 777 pellets always seemed to have varying ingition timing and the velocity through my chrono varied by more than 200 fps. Never more than a 100 fps off with powder.

  11. #11

    Default

    I agree with using the loose powder over the pellets. I could get my shots dialed into silver dollar sized groups at 50 yards using powder, but with pellets my closest groups at the same range were over 5 inch groups. It is easier to find the sweet spot of your gun with powder as the options are almost limitless. The options are far fewer with pellets.

    When you hunt in really cold weather, keep your gun and powder outside and do not let it warm up in a tent or vehicle or your barrel or powder could collect condensations and cause you to miss fire. I also put a piece of electrical tape over my barrel to keep snow out of the muzzle when hunting. You don't want anything to get between the primer and powder in your muzzleloader or this will cause you problems.

    Good luck on your hunt.

    CubeCove

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