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The Shooting Series

An ongoing series of informational black powder ballistics research.

240 grain Harvestor PT Gold 

Date TBD

More to come.

.44 Caliber 300 grain Harvestor White Lightning

Date TBD

More to come.

300 grain Harvestor PT Gold

Date TBD

More to come.

295 grain Powerbelt

Date TBD

More to come.

325 grain Powerbelt ELR

4 August 2021

It is becoming more and more difficult to find decent mornings temperature wise before the day gets hot.  I was able to find one today and headed to the range.  I got set up and was able to get my first 3 shot solid grouping in as many shots.  At 50 yards all 3 shots are touching just above the bullseye.

305 grain Traditions Smackdown Carnivore

Date TBD

More to come.

250 grain Barnes TMZ

14 June 2021

Normally I try to go in order, but I have been itching to get to send these little guys down range.  Knowing that these particular bullets are lighter than the others, I had a strong educated guess that they would be registering an elevated speed reading compared to the 280 grain Powerbelt ELR.  The first shot came in at 2,316 fps with a 3 shot group averaging 2,246 fps at the 5 yard mark, with a hand corrected muzzle velocity of 2,265 feet per second and a muzzle energy of 2,847 ft-lbs.  The first two shots came in nicely around the bullseye, and the third shot had a flyer.  Me being me, I wanted to account for that and attempt to fix it with a 4th shot but that one too pulled 2" low and to the left.  These were extremely difficult to load, so far the hardest of "The Shooting Series".

These will no doubt with some fine tuning, make a fantastic whitetail round.  Many hunter's in North America swear by this bullet.  I am not convinced though on the stopping power for a large carnivore the size of a grizzly.  Overall it is a great shooting round, but the lower BC and the difficulty loading are large drawbacks for me.  Other than the two flyers, I'm convinced that its a good choice overall, and very accurate.  Side note.  I discovered why many flyers were occurring, on 21 June I found that my Caldwell LeadSled was loose and I tightened up the cradle to the base, as tight as she would go with the lock nuts.  There's no longer any rocking or movement, and I will be looking to revisit this particular bullet and powder combo, 120 grains by volume of Blackhorn 209 and give it another fair shake and see what results I can come up with..

To Be Continued at a later date..

350 grain Federal BORLock

21 June 2021.

After having shot the Federal BORLock 270, I would be lying if I said that I wasn't excited to try out this particular round.  Alright so I had the gun cleaned in between each shot and I typically let it cool down over this time for 7-10 minutes, and with it being 57*F for the temp, I wasn't too worried about my barrel overheating, like I do anytime the temp is above 60.  A few things that I love about this style round, is it is super easy to load.  I was able to load this bullet down the barrel with my right index finger.  I can't say that about any saboted bullet.  Super easy to load, and the hard plastic ring on the bottom helps to scrape the barrel clean of any burnt powder residue and makes bullet seating pretty standardized to the same location.

The BC for this bullet is .209, so not great in terms of long range performance, but that's not the intended purpose for this round either.  My purpose for this, is up close and nasty and to be used as a stopping round in conjunction with 120 grains by volume of Blackhorn 209.

My first two shots were cutting each others holes, which is a great start, something I attribute to the 1:28" twist rate, and the inherent nature of the custom Bergara barrel on the CVA  Accura.  My third shot was a flyer as I felt the gun wobbling in the cradle stand just before I touched it off.  I re-tightened everything back down and took a 4th shot, which was just 2" directly below the bulls eye.  I will revisit this round in a bit as the weather permits to see if I can get a better grouping, which I think could very well be attainable given the 1st  two shots.

I was able to get a speed reading of 2,074 feet per second at 5 yards, and re-calculated it out to 2,088 feet per second for muzzle velocity with 3,388 ft-lbs. of energy.  At 50 yards this load combination will deliver 2,835 ft-lbs. of bone crushing force, while traveling at 1,910 feet per second.  In comparison to the Powerbelt 405 grain bullet, which was generating 2,328 ft-lbs. of energy at 50 yards, there is a 500 lb difference in kinetic energy (apples to oranges, as it is Blackhorn 209 versus 3 pellets of IMR WhiteHots) but it is definitely a noteable comparison, seeing that the bear isn't going to care what powder I just shot him with.  This is quite possibly a front runner for me, alongside the 405 grain for bear season, and the 325 ELR and 338 Powerbelt Platinum bullets.

270 grain Federal BORLock

21 June 2021.

Being first day of Summer, and it at 57*F I saw today as a perfect afternoon at the range to knock out both of the Federal B.O.R. Lock Bullets.  Okay so, I am a huge fan of this particular design.  These bullets are incredibly easy to load, compared regular sabots.  The BOR Lock doesn't have a high BC like Federal Premium Ammunition claims, coming in at .168 it is actually the smallest I've seen so far, and its actually one of the major draw backs for this bullet.  

This is a great up close bullet for 150 yards and on in, and for a majority of hunters that can work fine.  Hunters that muzzleload out west, this bullet may not be the most appropriate for you.  This bullet falls below the 1,000 ft-lb. energy mark right around 265 yards, where as the Powerbelt ELR 280 grain with a much higher, almost double that, at .333 retains the 1,000 ft-lb. energy mark out to about 495 yards.  That's not me saying that this bullet isn't capable, or that its bad.  I actually really like this one alot and for where I am hunting in the hills of Western Wisconsin, this could easily be my first choice as most of my shooting will be within 200 yards making this a fine choice for deer.

The accuracy of this round is also good.  I have found over the course of this series that it can be difficult at times to get a decent grouping.  This bullet was specifically engineered for a 1:28 twist rate which is what my Accura has.  I have been able to cut holes with this at 50 yards, and for where I'm set up for Black Bear's it's going to be right on the money, and it will still be able to transfer a tremendous amount of energy, right around 2,743 ft-lbs of energy, with a speed of about 2,139 feet per second, both for 50 yards.  Muzzle velocity was 2,378, and muzzle energy was at about 3,390 ft lbs of energy.

338 grain Powerbelt Platinum

Date TBD

More to come.

405 grain Powerbelt 

19 May 2021

Just got done shooting the 280 ELR's with 120 grains by volume of Blackhorn 209, and I had enough time and light left yet to be able to get another bullet marked off my list.  Alright guys this one is the 405 grain Powerbelt Lead series bullet.  After having talked with CVA for safety reasons, they gave the approval for me to shoot this bullet with 150 grains by volume of IMR WhiteHots from Hodgdon Powder Company, out of Shawnee, Kansas.

I was able to register a speed reading of 1749 and had a 3 shot group of 2.55", generating a muzzle energy of 2,738 ft-lbs. of energy.  At 50 yards its pounding out 2,328 ft-lbs. of energy, more than enough to get the job done on a bear.

.45 Caliber 280 grain Powerbelt ELR with 120 grains Blackhorn 209 by Volume.

Date 19 May 2021

I woke up around 430pm Today, working on the weekends and overnights shift has me attempting to sleep during the day, and I was hoping to get this done yesterday but the weather was not cooperating and was pouring rain all day.  Not ideal for muzzleloading.  I was able to catch a break in the weather and found conditions temperature wise, similar to what I'll be hunting in for bear season this fall.  I figured that was good enough for me and headed off to the range.

I was able to measure out 120 grains by volume of Blackhorn 209, and selected 3 shots worth, and got the ELR's ready to go.  I placed my chronograph out at 5 yards.  I registered a speed reading from the first shot of 2,226 fps, 2,164 on the second shot, but after ripping the rifle apart between each shots for cleaning, which is my standard for muzzleloading, I saw that I had a little blow back, placed an O-ring on the third and final primer for a speed reading of again 2,226 fps, at 5 yards.  After hand correcting this with the Vortex LRBC I was able to register a muzzle velocity of approximately 2,238 fps generating 3,113 ft lbs. of energy.  I had a 3 shot group of 2.29" with the flyer being the second shot with the blow back, and the first and last shots cutting each other's holes for a 1.17" 2 shot group. 

Overall this is going to be a top contender as a load work up, for my rifle for overall use, whether it is deer, elk, moose, bear, this is hitting harder than a Barnes 45/70 Gov't TSX FN 300 grain round, which is more than adequate on bears or any animal in North America at close range.  I did a comparison of my collected data with Barnes Vor-tx Rifle Ammunition and this directly compares to a 7mm Remington Magnum and beats the performance with the 140 grain and the 160 grain TTSX BT bullets in kinetic energy.  Below are comparison photos as proof from the Barnes website.

Below are the following cartridges that this load either meets in terms of muzzle energy or succeeds.  I wont be posting screenshots for practicality reasons, but they are described and listed and you have the ability to look them up.

1.Federal Premium Terminal Ascent 7mm Rem Magnum, 155 grain, 3097 ft lbs

2.Federal Premium Buckmaster Bonded 7mm Rem Magnum, 150 grain, 3098 ft lbs 

3.Berger Hybrid Hunter 7mm Rem Magnum, 168 grain, 3072 ft lbs muzzle.

4.Federal Premium Trophy Copper 7mm Rem Magnum, 140 grain, 3084 ft lbs

5.Federal Premium Trophy Bonded Tip 7mm Rem Magnum, 140, 3084 ft lbs

6.Federal Premium Fusion Rifle 7mm Rem Magnum, 175 grain, 2960 ft lbs

7.Federal Premium Nosler AccuBond 7mm Rem Magnum, 160 grain,

8.Federal Premium Partition 7mm Rem Magnum, 160 grain, 3091 ft lbs

9.Federal Premium Nosler Ballistic Tip Hunting 7mm Rem Magnum, 150 grain, 3047 ft lbs

10.Federal Premium Nosler Partition 7mm Rem Magnum, 140 grain, 3084 ft lbs

11.Federal Scirocco II 7mm Rem Magnum, 150 grain, 3098 ft lbs

12.Winchester Expedition 7mm Rem Magnum, 160 grain, 3091 ft lbs

13.Winchester SuperX, 7mm Rem Magnum, 140 grain, 2987 ft lbs

14.Winchester Deer Season XP 7mm Rem Magnum, 140 grain, 2987 ft lbs

15.Remington Accutip 7mm Rem Magnum, 140 grain, 2543 ft lbs

16.Hornady 7mm Rem Mag, 162 grain ELD-X Precision Hunter, 3109 ft lbs

17.Hornady 7mm Rem Mag, 150 grain GMX Outfitter, 2997 ft lbs

110 grains of Blackhorn 209 by volume.

150 grains of IMR WhiteHots by volume.

150 grains of Hodgdon Triple 7 by volume.

120 grains of Hodgdon Triple 7 Magnum by volume.

The .45 Caliber Powerbelt 280 Grain ELR

22 April 2021

I have selected a number of different bullets to go over and do a cross sectional review against 4 different types of muzzleloading propellants to try to find the very best option for me for overall accuracy and overall whoop ass, when it comes down it it.  I'll be using my CVA Accura V2 LR for the Wisconsin 2021 Fall Black Bear Season.

Currently my favorite bullet load is the .45 Caliber 280 Grain ELR paired with 120 grains of volume of Blackhorn 209.  This load gives massive energy at long ranges due to a high ballistics coefficient, meaning the bullet can better glide through the air with less drag.  It shoots well out of this particular rifle and groups fairly well.

In this mini article I will cover Blackhorn 209 against 84 grains of powder, which showed consistently 110 grains by volume.  150 grains by volume IMR WhiteHots.  150 grains by volume Hodgdon 777, and 120 grains by volume Hodgdon 777 Magnum.

I have the following groupings for each particular combination listed and attached to the left, all respectively at 50 yards, which for where I'm hunting in the brush works fine.

Blackhorn 209 came in at 2,100 fps for muzzle velocity generating 2,741 ft-lbs. of energy.

IMR WhiteHots came in at 2,048 fps for muzzle velocity generating 2,607 ft-lbs. of energy.

Triple 7 came in at 1,615 fps for muzzle velocity generating 1,621 ft-lbs. of energy.

Triple 7 Magnum came in at 1,840 fps for muzzle velocity generating 2,105 ft-lbs. of energy.

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