.45cal vs .50cal questions for 1st muzzy

BrokenChicken

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so last week i asked about .50cal 1st muzzy choices, and got some good responses. ultimately i was going to pick up CVA Accura LR-X (open sights to be legal in home state of CO).
was i WRONG to look at .50cal as my 1st choice for 1st muzzy?

can you guys tell me if there is a big difference between shooting .45cal vs .50cal. main questions being: **i'm now looking at CVA Accura LR-X in either .45 (1-22 twist) or .50 (1-28 twist)
accuracy - will .45cal kick less / be more accurate
range - will .45 shoot flatter and further?
knock down power - will .45cal have very similar power or is it significantly/noticeably less vs .50cal especially if lets say used on elk in WY (legal w/ .45)

reasons for this question is that i like to plan ahead and i looked at next 2 to 3 years worth of hunting plans. and the way i see it CO Elk Muzzy tags are actually harder to draw vs rifle, and i also picked up archery last year, so i will probably do Elk archery for at least another 2 years as my A tag.
for all other species in all other states that i currently hunt or would like to hunt: .45cal is legal for all species. so CO Elk needing .50cal is really the only issue
CO .50cal - Elk
CO .45cal - Deer/Bear/Pronghorn
NE .45cal - Deer (.44+ technically)
NM .45cal - Elk & other (NM actually doesn't specify .cal restriction & if i'm lucky enough to draw)
MT .45cal - elk/deer/pronghorn (if i ever decide to get up that way)
WY .45cal - pronghorn/elk *(WY doesn't really have dedicated Muzzy season except few Pronghorn so not as important in this decision)

so realistically thinking ahead for Muzzleloader hunts i could do over next 2 years while still doing my regular archery & rifle hunts.
CO pronghorn i have few points, and Muzzy would get me further ahead vs rifle tag choices
CO deer looks like myzzy tags are also easier to draw due to being early season
NE deer hunts during less pressured/longer season

should i be looking at .45cal vs .50?
who knows, if the year i decide to go for CO Elk, i can always pick up a cheaper model such as Wolf in .50cal knowing it would only be used once every few years.
will .45cal be more enjoyable / accurate / longer reaching rifle to have?

thank you.
 

EKYHunter

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I own a .50 Cal Encore so I’ll never have a need for a .45. Having said that, I’ve not kept up with the advancement in muzzleloader technology so there may very well be an argument for the .45 over the .50. I’m sure others with more knowledge than me will chime in.
 

BrokenChicken

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Physics hasn't changed. I can still go bigger in 50 soft lead or smaller with a sabot.
Can't get as big with a 45.
i hear that but if i dont plan on using sabot's and stick with solid copper ELR style conical bullets,
can i get more accurate / longer range/flatter shooting rifle in a .45?
 

BrokenChicken

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That article is 18 years old. Much has happened with the 45s since then. Mostly bore riding projectiles, no sabot.
i saw that as well, and since buying new i am looking at more modern 1-22 twist .45cal option
after my reasoning that CO Elk is the only animal i'd need .50cal for and if i wont hunt it for at least next 2 or 3 years, but i would like to hunt deer/pronghorn before that,
will a .45cal be a better / flatter/ longer range rifle to own?
looking at ammo options - seems like there is no shortage in both .45 or .50, so as you pointed out what was a big gap in parts 18 years ago may not be an issue today.

maybe askign this way, some of you will add more thought:

is .45cal in any way underpowered in a big way when compared to .50? or if legal (lets say WY or NM or MT) will it be plenty on elk all while still doing good job with deer/pronghorn?
thnaks again for everyone's input.
 

LopeHunter

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OP might be overthinking the .45 vs. 50 as neither choice is going to be flat shooting in the way a rifle would be so just go with the .50 which likely has more widely available bullets, accessories, etc. The supply chain is a bitch currently as anyone wanting off the shelf ammo or components has encountered and moreso if have a less-popular caliber as production is favoring the more common ones. Well, that is my observation.

I think of a muzzie as a longer-reaching bow rather than a shorter-reaching rifle. Sure, guys will shoot out beyond 200 yards with their muzzie set-up but a lot of variables can create a negative outcome at those ranges with a muzzie, .50 or .45. Practice with a muzzie gets tedious and harder to dial in due to the powder challenges whether loose or pellets as can get damp, etc, as are shooting at the range or from the same can over a few trips to practice.

Get the .50 then get in close using archery stalking strategies but then be happy you can shoot further than if had a bow.
 

perma

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.50 cal seems to be a lot easier to find on shelves. If you forget ammo, it wouldn’t be hard to find some at a sporting goods store. Splitting hairs; go with what suits the regs.
 

Bryerific

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My thought would be to start with a do-it-all .50 and then if you are still wanting a .45 later, get it after you have figured out your preferences/needs. But if you want a .45, I doubt you’d regret getting one as long as you don’t decide to get a CO tag sooner.
 

QELKhunter

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.50 cal all day long. I very wise man told me once "Fear the man with only one gun as he will know how to use it". Everyone hunts for a different reason and with their own objective. My approach to muzzleloader hunting is I want a bit more reach than archery but a lot more knockdown power. I can shoot my open sight.50 cal to 150 yards consistently and accurately, but more often than not my shots on game animals has been within 50 yards.

For Colorado the muzzleloader season puts you in the peak of the rut for elk and there is also limited competition for muzzy tags. To each their own, but I recommend get one muzzleloader that you can use well across all species.

Happy hunting!
 

BrokenChicken

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thanks everyone for your input. i do appreciate it.
i am very much in the "overthinking" it stage, but as this is my first muzzleloader i think it's expected.

reason for this .45 vs .50 question was to figure out if .45 may be a better/more accurate /longer reaching/less recoil'/etc opt.
as UTAH400 mentioned, if i really enjoy muzzleloader hunting i may just end up getting a 2nd one in diff call later.

so to make a final decision: let's say that CO Elk .50cal minimum requirement wasn't there or i decide not to hunt CO Elk for 2 or 3 years, so with this one out of the way.

is .45 superior to .50 in any way?

thanks again.
 

Wind Gypsy

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thanks everyone for your input. i do appreciate it.
i am very much in the "overthinking" it stage, but as this is my first muzzleloader i think it's expected.

reason for this .45 vs .50 question was to figure out if .45 may be a better/more accurate /longer reaching/less recoil'/etc opt.
as UTAH400 mentioned, if i really enjoy muzzleloader hunting i may just end up getting a 2nd one in diff call later.

so to make a final decision: let's say that CO Elk .50cal minimum requirement wasn't there or i decide not to hunt CO Elk for 2 or 3 years, so with this one out of the way.

is .45 superior to .50 in any way?

thanks again.

Yes, .45 is better in every way for the exact reasons you mentioned in this post. Only real negative (other than min caliber restrictions) is you might not find projectiles/sabots as readily available on store shelves. But it’s not hard to buy enough to last a very long while at the rate most folks shoot muzzle loaders.

Edit: thought of another possible benefit to .50s, there are more options for sabotless all copper bullets. That doesn’t particularly interest me but it does some folks.
 
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mevertsen

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thanks everyone for your input. i do appreciate it.
i am very much in the "overthinking" it stage, but as this is my first muzzleloader i think it's expected.

reason for this .45 vs .50 question was to figure out if .45 may be a better/more accurate /longer reaching/less recoil'/etc opt.
as UTAH400 mentioned, if i really enjoy muzzleloader hunting i may just end up getting a 2nd one in diff call later.

so to make a final decision: let's say that CO Elk .50cal minimum requirement wasn't there or i decide not to hunt CO Elk for 2 or 3 years, so with this one out of the way.

is .45 superior to .50 in any way?

thanks again.
Just get the 50.

Recoil is a non issue. You aren't going to shoot this thing thousands of rounds most likely.

Long range is a non issue. Muzzle loaders are short range weapons. CO doesn't allow scopes, so your shots will be limited anyway.

I believe the CO elk seasons are in September. Get closer and kill a bugling bull.

Also, guns are not fixed objects. If you decide you want to get a different muzzle loader in the future and you don't want this one...sell it.
 

BrokenChicken

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thanks everyone,
i think it makes sense to just go with .50 as best all around 1-do-it-all rifle.
and if i really enjoy Muzzleloader hunting, i can always look at .40cal as my 2nd option, to be my smaller large game/flatter/longer shooting stick. :) **just another rabbithole to dig down.
in CO Deer/Pronghorn/Bear can be hunted with .40 if i understand regs correctly.
thanks again everyone.
 

BrokenChicken

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update: thanks again everyone for input.
i ended up going with .50cal Accura LR-X

next question: since i am 100% new to this.
what other accessories will i absolutely need?
so far with rifle i ordered:
- bullet starter
- bullet puller
- field cleaning kit (from CVA/BPI) + breech plug cleaners.

also ordered -Blackhorn209 (3 bottles) and have a friend who will give me 209primers.

only thing i did not order are bullets yet.
here's what i'd like to try. *i'd like to try and stick with solid copper if possible.
-Thor Lightning 250 & 300 gr (may try sizing kit to see if Hammer option will be better?)
-Hornady FTX Bore Driver (only non-copper i want to try)
-Federal Trophy Copper .5co cal **seems to be Out of stock everywhere.
-PowerBelts? any feedback on these?

thanks
 

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