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Hodgdon Triple 7 FireStar Pellets

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Nosler Ballistic Silvertip 300 grain

14 March, 2022

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.

Break Down:

Alright guys, I have been absolutely excited to shoot this particular bullet since I found out I was going to be able to make this work.  Loading them down the barrel in the correct .458/.50 Caliber Sabot from Harvester is difficult, but that's a good thing for this particular situation, as its prevention gas from escaping and giving a much higher velocity than the Green Harvester.44/.50 Sabots, paired with the Harvester White Lightnings, also a 300 grain bullet.


Today's conditions are 45*F, with Winds East North East, at 8 miles per hour.  Humidity was at 52%, and Barometric Pressure was 30.09inHg.  I was able to register a 2" grouping at 50 yards, which is fine for what I am using this for, and I was able to register a muzzle velocity on a 3 shot group averaging 2,202 feet per second, with approximately 3,229 ft lbs of muzzle energy.  It has a very low ballistic coefficient which has a propensity to cause massive energy loss as the bullet travels farther downfield.  It falls below the 1,000 ft lb of energy threshold at approximately 280 yards where it registers at 999 ft lbs of energy.


I was able to find this bullet fairly easily online, as most major outdoors retailers have it in stock for reloading, and that's honestly a major concern right now for many hunters.  We can only consider right now, what we have available to us and have to make due with what we have like our forefathers did.  Also finding the Firestar, has been difficult, but I was able to source 4 packs of it.


                   Velocity   |   Energy

Muzzle:      2,202 fps |  3,229 fpe

50 Yards:   1,991 fps |  2,640 fpe

100 Yards: 1,794 fps |  2,144 fpe

150 Yards: 1,612 fps |  1,731 fpe

200 Yards: 1,446 fps |  1,393 fpe

250 Yards: 1,301 fps |  1,127 fpe

300 Yards: 1,180 fps |  927 fpe

350 Yards: 1,088 fps |  788 fpe

Take Aways:

This is an absolutely fantastic bullet and powder combination if you want to bear hunt at close range.  My bear bait station currently sits 38 yards away from my treestand, and at 40 yards the Nosler Ballistic Silvertip paired with 165grains by volume, which has been certified as safe to use by Hodgdon Powder Company for rifles with the 150 grain magnum charge capability; and the Winchester Triple 7 Primer, have this bullet flying at 2,032 feet per second, generating 2,750 foot pounds of energy, which is more than enough for a Black Bear, and exceeds the accepted minimum standard for Grizzly, which is at 2,700 foot pounds.  This bullet is fat, slow and ugly; and for up close and nasty Bear hunting in thick brush that's the highest compliment that I can give.

This is a definite contender for me to use this fall for Bear Season, and I will have full confidence in this combination with bears in excess of 500 lbs.

-Aaron Thesing.

Harvester Scorpion PT Gold 240 grain

Harvester Scorpion PT Gold 300 grain

Harvester White Lightning 300 grain

1 April 2022.

Photo Credits: Aaron Thesing.

Break Down:

I was first introduced to this particular bullet from a cohort of mine, Toby Bridges, owner of North American Muzzleloader Magazine,  Toby has been able to take some fantastic animals with this particular bullet made by Harvester, and seeing his success and viability, it got me to thinking that maybe, just maybe It was possible to get my hands on these, and throw some down range and see what kind of data I could come up with.


Today's conditions are 39*F, with Winds out of the West, at 5 miles per hour. Humidity was at 50%, and Barometric Pressure was 30.06inHg.  I was able to register a 1" grouping at 50 yards, which is the tightest grouping I've been able to produce thus far, and I was able to register a muzzle velocity on a 3 shot group averaging 2,065 feet per second and 2,840 foot pounds of energy.


This bullet is readily available at many Sporting Goods Stores to include, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's; Midway USA, Natchez Shooter's Supply, and, making this an attractive option for both Deer and Black Bear, and even Elk to around the 200 yard mark.  This also comes in as a relatively inexpensive option coming in around $15 per pack, sometimes lower, or higher depending on the retailer, but for a little over $1 per bullet this is a great option for everyone looking for accurate, and inexpensive solutions. 


Velocity | Energy

Muzzle: 2,065 fps | 2,840 fpe

50 Yards: 1,929 fps | 2,478 fpe

100 Yards: 1,799 fps | 2,156 fpe

150 Yards: 1,675 fps | 1,869 fpe

200 Yards: 1,559 fps | 1,619 fpe

250 Yards: 1,450 fps | 1,400 fpe

300 Yards: 1,350 fps | 1,214 fpe

350 Yards: 1,261 fps | 1,059 fpe

Take Aways:

I really like the accuracy of the bullet, as this has given me my tightest grouping so far of any powder or pellet combination.  There is a slight discrepancy in between the Nosler Ballistic Silvertip and the Harvester White Lightning in terms of Velocity and Kinetic Energy.  If I am being honest, I figured that the White Lightning would overtake the Nosler in terms of Muzzle Velocity and Energy, due to it having a higher Ballistic Coefficient of .290, and the Nosler having a BC of .191.  Inside of 50 yards the Nosler wins the Energy competition hands down, but when it comes to reaching out at 350 yards, the White Lightning strikes hard with 1,059 foot pounds of energy.  

This bullet was difficult to start, but slid down the barrel without much of a fight, compared to the Nosler which pushed around 30 foot pounds of force to properly seat.  I am thinking that the .43 bullet diameter on the White Lightning had something to do with this as with both bullets being the same weight, and the higher BC bullet coming in second place in terms of speed and energy I am wondering if the gas seal wasn't as tight as it was with the .458 Nosler.

If you're looking for an accurate, and good overall bullet for muzzleloading, which won't break your bank, this is one you need to look at.

-Aaron Thesing.

Traditions Smackdown Carnivore 305 grain

Powerbelt Copper 295 grain

Powerbelt Platinum 338 grain

Powerbelt ELR 225 grain .40 Caliber

Powerbelt ELR 280 grain .45 Caliber

Powerbelt ELR 330 grain .50 Caliber

Break Down:

Alright guys, 


Today's conditions are 43*F, with Winds South East, at 13 miles per hour. Humidity was at 54%, and Barometric Pressure was 30.01inHg. 



Velocity | Energy

Muzzle: 2,027 fps | 3,010 fpe

50 Yards: 1,903 fps | 2,653 fpe

100 Yards: 1,784 fps | 2,332 fpe

150 Yards: 1,671 fps | 2,046 fpe

200 Yards: 1,546 fps | 1,792 fpe

250 Yards: 1,463 fps | 1,568 fpe

300 Yards: 1,370 fps | 1,375 fpe

350 Yards: 1,285 fps | 1,210 fpe

Take Aways:

-Aaron Thesing.

Barnes TMZ 250 grain

Federal B.O.R. Lock 270 grain

Federal B.O.R. Lock 350 grain

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