Caribou Gear

Bought a different Muzzle loader yesterday.

grizzly63

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I was shopping at a local Gun dealer and he had a CVA V2 Optima SS for sale for $269 . I checked it over and said what the heck. I currently have a Traditions pursuit XL I believe. The traditions is a very accurate rifle. It is just lacking a finger removable breach plug and it has an awful tough trigger pull. Did not seem adjustable to me. At any rate, I took it to the range today and dirtied her up a bit. Three shots at 50 yds to make sure the one power scope was close and then went to the 100 yd bench. Shooting at a three in orange dot. I would look in the binos to see where the bullets were impacting. First one went in the bull, could not see the second or third. Could not see them anywhere else on the target. I buy poster board sheets from Wally world and put target dots on them for a decent target cheap. I had shot this target up yesterday with a thirty thirty and a Ar10 308. Neither of those produces .50 cal holes. At any rate after shooting three shots, I walked up to the target and swore all three were in one ragged hole in the bull's-eye. The holes were a little ragged. Ok, I'll go to two hundred and see how much drop there is. Didn't bother trying to see where the bullets impacted, just concentrated on good form. Upon retrieving the target, I was a little dismayed at the amount of drop and group size. 6-7" group 13" low. How can a .025 group at 100 turn into this at 200. I remember reading that Hornady XTP's tend to do this at ranges over 150 yds. Looking at the target a little closer, I spotted my third shot at 100 yds was actually at 3" from the other two in the same ragged hole. Shoot, deflation set in and that explained the group difference at 200. The other thing I noticed is the holes were different at 200 than 100. It appears the flex tip is being driven into the bullet and starting to open up in flight as i could see distinctive petal pattern. These were .430 flex tip 225 gr shot out of harvester crush rib sabots. I do not think this would be a good round for shooting a deer with the bullet opening up before impact. They are pistol bullets. There is a possibility I was starting the expansion by tapping them into the breach to hard ? Cant have that in a hunting setup. I think I will go back to the Speer 270 deep curl and see what happens. I was using two pellets of Triple 7 if interested. I have some BH209 but hate to use it up yet at over $60 for 10 ounces. Knew I should have bought those three bottles at Wally world for $15 each.
 

p_ham

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That's a new one for me. If they're extra hard going down the barrel you could be damaging the jacket? Maybe? Ive got an Accura V2 that's lights out with 290gr Barnes TMZ. It shoots Hornady XTP well also. For general range practice I'll stuff it with .458 cast bullets.
 

grizzly63

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This a pic of one of the two hundred yard impacts with a petal diameter of 5/8" I say they are opening in flight?
 

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BrentD

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This a pic of one of the two hundred yard impacts with a petal diameter of 5/8" I say they are opening in flight?
I don't see any evidence of the bullet expanding. If it was truly open to 5/8" in flight, that bullet would never have hit the paper or likely even the berm.

Cheap paper targets will tear out in weird ways because cheap, nontarget paper has a grain to it. True target paper is purposely made with no grain or directionality to the fibers and the fibers are very short to give you a much more distinct hole and less tearing. Good targets are worth the money, in my opinion.
 

hank4elk

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Don't know about that model or pellets.

My TC Omega is zeroed in @ 200 and I get a 3-4 inch group in the bull. 3 inches high @ 100,1 1/2" group.
Only use BH209 & TC tez sabots,250's. Nikon mz scope.

If that was opened up on the way,you must be using Howitzer loads or sumting
 

EKYHunter

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I’m no expert, but I don’t think it’s possible for bullet expansion to be initiated by simply firing your shot. Expansion would only initiate upon the bullet meeting resistance.
 

grizzly63

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The FTX's have a serrated edge like the XTP's and I was wondering if maybe they had initiated the petal like tears but they really shouldn't be that wide. If the bullet had opened it would be like a parachute slowing the bullets dramatically. I'm awaiting some more sabots and I will try some different bullets. I have noted that different bullets produce different tears in the targets. You can pick out which bullet belongs to which group based on this tear signature.
 

grizzly63

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Well, here's where I'm at now. I believe I was distorting the bullets during the loading. I shot some yesterday with a more appropriate shaped ramrod tip and I didn't get the same tears but Brent D is probably right on the quality of the paper.
OK, so I have been trying to work out a decent load combination of bullets and powder. I had a 1x scope on the gun as that is all that is legal in SD. Things were not going good. I eventually decided that the scope may be the problem. Then I ordered one of those them there fancy WGRS peeps and front globe setups. Still not having any great luck by deciding something has to change. Eyesight is not getting better. Took the WGRS off and installed a Redfield widefield 3x9 I had picked up this winter. I'll shoot the damn thing till I get a good accurate load and then take the scope off and figure out how to make my sight picture better. This was the logic, eliminate the variables and then work on the problem.
Went to the range last night even though the wind was blowing 10-20 MPH and managed to shoot 4 bullets into a one inch [email protected] 100 yds. 90 grs loose Triple 7 265 FTX I have begun swiping the bore between shots with a windex misted patch. Seems to work fine. I did shoot the 225 FTX with same load, 3"group. I have some 300 gr XTP's on the way and will try them with the scope on to see how accurate they are. One concern I have is the 265 FTX is for the 444 marlin and it might be a little hard for slower velocities. Probably not a problem if I can shoot them into a shoulder.
My last muzzle loader was a Traditions Pursuit XL If I remember right. I took a nice muley buck with it at 100 yds using a peep and a fiber optic front sight. The only reason I don't use that setup now is the darn fiber optics up front are .060 and they cover up way to much stuff at any longer range. I wish Williams or some one would make an .029 or .019 fiber for up front like archers use. Would make a real difference.
I used the same gun with an old weaver Quick point on it and it seemed to do the job but it was not precise. The red dot was 18" at 100 yds and made a good range finder as that is what I consider a deer's chest to be behind the shoulder but it lacked the ability to be truly precise.
I used it to shoot a good sized mule deer at around 175 yds and the shot was well placed. The buck reared up on his back legs and turned and went down hill. I had a 20x power pair of bino's so I was looking for any indication of hit location while he was moving. A bright red spot appeared just behind his shoulder and continued to grow until it was the size of a paper plate just before he went into a little gully on the mountain. He's dead right there in that gully, I thought to myself. I watched for five minutes and did not see him reappear anywhere so I went and got my pack, left the rifle in the truck and found a way to get down to where he was. An hour and half or two hours later I finally found a very small amount of blood. Things were looking dismal. I kept searching and two hours later I looked up to see him walking around another draw on the mountain. I never got that deer despite a lot of effort trying to recover him. I have often wondered where I went wrong and the only things I can up with is the shot was too far. The bullet was too heavy and didn't expand enough to do more damage. 350gr FPB using 90 gr BH209. From what I was seeing as he ran off, I was looking at the exit side and the shot placement looked good. It should have gone through both lungs. a 50 cal hole through the lungs should have spelled the end. Maybe he wasn't completely broadside and I only got one lung? I'll never know now but will not forget the lesson.
 

winmag

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I took a nice muley buck with it at 100 yds using a peep and a fiber optic front sight. The only reason I don't use that setup now is the darn fiber optics up front are .060 and they cover up way to much stuff at any longer range.
Just sight in such that the bullet impacts at the very top of the bead; said differently, tangent to the top of the bead. Then it doesn’t matter how big the front sight is because your bullet is supposed to impact where you can see both your sight and your point of hold on your target.
 

grizzly63

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I really do not like the idea of using a front sight bead that is the size of a basketball at 100 yds. Something about that just doesn't add to the precision of it all. I bought the WGRS sight system and will be put it back on the gun soon and work with it and my glasses to see what I can do to improve my sight picture. I use a separate pair of glasses when I shoot my bow and it helps. My regular glasses are bifocals and the area of main power isn't really in the area where my eyes is looking along the edge of my nose. The second pair of glasses in monofocal and has the area I look through covered better. I can check that out and it might be just that simple. I cant read close range with them but that shouldnt hurt. I'll see.
The backing of the target is OSB.

I did get the 300 XTP's in and the first three went into a 3" group so they are definitely DeerOA.

Today I purchased another muzzy, this one used but I justified it because I do not have a 45 caliber. Its a Winchester Apex if anyone wants to chime in with experiences good or bad. I have read several things on it both pros and cons. Cant have too many guns. right?
 

s10

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Feb 9, 2022
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Of all the bullets my muzzleloader has seen, the Barnes spitfire T-EZ have been by the far best in every aspect. Although, after years of killing animals with my thompson center, I no longer shoot at anything alive at a range more than 100 yds with it. Too much room for error, even with the newest inlines.
 

grizzly63

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Update on my trials and trivializations. I went and picked up my new used Winchester Apex 45 cal. It didn't have a breech plug. Sometimes my inability to pay attention bites me in the hiney. I was able to order one and it is installed and works just fine. I broke down and put a one power red dot on the Cva Optima V2 50 cal. It is a 2 MOA dot. Seems like the price is much higher on the one moa dots. Any how, I can keep my shots in a three inch area at 100 yds. That is using a 265 FTX loaded on top of 95 grains loose T7. The winchester 45 put three bullets into an 1 1/4" group at 100 yds but that is using the 3 x 9 redfield. I imagine that will transition into the 3" group with an unpowered sighting device. That one likes 95grs T7 with a 200gr SST. Not alot of bullets available for 45 cal. Eventually I will try the Barnes bullets. The 265 bullet in the the 50 cal kicks a heck of a lot harder than the lighter 45 call bullet. Only real downside to the winchester is the wrench removable breech plug. I sometimes forget to put the powder in before loading the bullets and the break open action and finger removable breech plug of the Cva is obviously better for correcting operator errors.
 

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