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Traditions Deerhunter .50 Muzzleloader


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Does anyone else use this muzzleloader? I'm curious what bullet/powder/charge people are using with it and what kind of results they get.

I got a build-it-yourself kit as a gift and just finished putting it together. Tested it out with 295 grain Powerbelt "Platinum" bullets and 80 grains (by volume) Pyrodex RS and didn't get great groups: 1" at 25yds but 4"+ at 50yds.

The trigger is extremely high weight out of the box, but is adjustable so that might help. I also got some 245 grain Powebelt bullets to test out.

It's a 1:48 twist barrel intended to be used with both patched round ball and sabots.

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After adjusting the trigger weight to something reasonable, and getting a proper .50 cleaning jag (the one on the ramrod that comes with the kit is pretty useless) groups are much better with the "Platinum" powerbelts, and slightly better again with 245 grain.

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Just my experience.. not claiming to know all on power belts  bullets  but they pencil through deer with that light a load .  I recovered a doe shot at 40yds ribs and exit  just in front of opposite shoulder  smallest hole I have ever seen.  Not much blood . 

Tracked for a guy 2 times , 2 different deer. 90 grains of 777  and lost one recovered one . Minimal blood and minimal damage . Ribs on the recovered deer . No expansion  minimal blood . Went 100 plus yards . 

For what its worth.

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Thanks for the tip! I haven't started adjusting the amount of powder yet - I will try some heavier loads and see how they do. The barrel is rated for a max of 110 grains (by volume) so I have some room to increase.

I have seen negative reviews elsewhere of powerbelts due to their not expanding much. There is a hollowpoint version so I can give that a shot too.

This gun is a ton of fun to shoot, so I'll test out patched round ball, conicals and sabots too for the heck of it.

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My two cents ,power belts are better when pushed slow they fragment upon impact when pushed to fast . If I were using power belts I'd use the largest size they make grain wise .

If your after a lead conical its hard to beat no excuses . Some say they work great in slower twist others have not had such good luck.  Worth a try 

https://www.muzzleloading-bullets.com/

Edited by sbuff
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  • 5 weeks later...
28 minutes ago, PraiseDiana said:

Results are in - good groups using both 0.490" round ball with 0.015" lubed patch, and 385gr Hornady Great Plains at 50yds.

Still working on getting a good group with a cold clean barrel.

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Some guns just prefer a dirty barrel.  I have a couple that I fire a light load before I load a hunting round, you just need to fire and clean it more when hunting multiple. Days..  

To much powder is often a problem . You should hear a distinct sharp crack  when you have a proper load , 5 grains extra is sometimes to much and will open a group up . Do not worry about max load for the gun if it shoots awesome at 85 grains then shoot 85. Too many times I've seen people shoot max loads.. and have accuracy problems..  my uncle was shooting 150 grains cause that was max for his gun , and could not hit a pie plate, dropped to 115 and it's a tack driver... 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Finally got a good group from a cold, clean barrel.

My process was:
1. clean barrel with dry patches to remove oil
2. fire 3 primers (I use 209 primers with MagSpark adapter)
3. clean barrel with spit patch followed by dry patch

My understanding is that the fouling from primers is non-corrosive so I can leave the barrel fouled during the hunting season.

 

IMG_20200706_114352.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Do Not leave a pyrodex/ 777 or any of the other black powder substitues residue  in your barrel. You will have a horrible mess. Even though it takes much longer loading and sighting, I recommend working your load to a clean barrel...as your first shot hunting will be. If you cant get good groups, try a different projectile. You are correct that the primers residue should be non corrosive. I dry fire a couple to clear my flash channel then run a dry patch down the barrel before loading. Looks like you have a pretty good load in process.

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On 5/12/2020 at 6:22 AM, sbuff said:

My two cents ,power belts are better when pushed slow they fragment upon impact when pushed to fast . If I were using power belts I'd use the largest size they make grain wise .

If your after a lead conical its hard to beat no excuses . Some say they work great in slower twist others have not had such good luck.  Worth a try 

https://www.muzzleloading-bullets.com/

The Noexcuses are the best that I have tried....They load easily, shoot very well in my vintage ( 1/48)  TC Hawken, and have produced some of the most perfectly mushroomed bullets I have ever recovered..Never recovered one from a deer, but I have a couple from elk that were perfect mushrooms..

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  • 4 weeks later...

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