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New to muzzleloaders

TN Muzzleloader Talk

New to muzzleloaders

Postby cward » Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:14 pm

I just bought a cva optima v1 and was wondering if anyone had any suggestions for bullets, powder, and primers. Thanks
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Re: New to muzzleloaders

Postby CHRIS WILSON » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:21 am

Powder wise, start out with good ole Triple 7...loose or pellets. Loose will allow you to fine tune the load to the rifle but many experience good results using the pellets, which are a bit easier to handle and use. Blackhorn209 is also a good powder but with the standard breech plug, it may have a level of unreliable ignition and I'm not sure if there's a Blackhorn breech plug for the V1 Optimas. I could be wrong. For primers, simple Winchester 209 primers work well with Triple 7, are easy to find and don't cost an arm and a leg. As far as bullets go, there are so many choices out these days. You've got everything from the simple hornady XTP with sabots...widely available and a proven performer.....to full bore bullets like PowerBelts which you'll find folks either love'em or hate'em. One of the more popular options besides the Hornady XTP are the Barnes series of muzzleloader bullets. They are a solid copper design. They make a few different versions starting with the Expander, a wide mouthed hollow point, to the TMZ/TEZ which are polymer tipped bullets designed with a higher ballistic coefficient to help maximize range. I have the Optima V2 and use the 250 gr Barnes TEZ. It's been a good performer in both accuracy and in terminal performance on game.
"If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore, what he must be taught to fear is his victim.".....Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC
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Re: New to muzzleloaders

Postby cward » Mon Mar 23, 2020 12:32 pm

Thanks for the advise. I’ll probably start with pellets. Is 100gr the norm for powder?
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Re: New to muzzleloaders

Postby 451LRML » Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:51 pm

Might be - what are you wanting to do/ expectations?
Harvesting a deer at 50yds, your 2 pellets and nearly any projectile w/sabot will get it done.
As stated, loose powder will allow you some room for fine tuning.

If it gets hard to load, light spit patch with 2-3” strokes down the bore will remove the fouling for he next load.
Go out and have some fun.
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Re: New to muzzleloaders

Postby CHRIS WILSON » Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:53 pm

cward wrote:Thanks for the advise. I’ll probably start with pellets. Is 100gr the norm for powder?

I guess you could say 100 gr is generally considered the "standard" load but many shoot more or less than that depending on what their rifle likes and what they're trying to achieve. Some of the newer muzzleloaders coming out on the market now have longer barrels that allow for complete burning of "magnum" charges to maximize velocity and range. Magnum charges are generally considered to be 150 gr of pellets or 120 gr loose powder by volume. Though I believe some of the newer long range MZ's out now can handle up to 150 gr. (by volume) loose powder charges. Pellets are a good starting point for general hunting. I haven't used pellets in years but I believe you can find the Triple 7 pellets in 60, 50 and maybe 30 gr increments.
Back when I was shooting Triple 7, my pet load was 90 gr of Triple 7 by volume and a 410 gr lead conical. Looking back, it was probably overkill for whitetail but it definitely got the job done. These days, I'm shooting 105 gr of Blackhorn 209 with a 250 gr Barnes TEZ. It's been equally as effective on deer and a tad easier on the shoulder to boot.
"If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore, what he must be taught to fear is his victim.".....Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC
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Re: New to muzzleloaders

Postby cward » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:23 am

I’m trying to kill deer out to 100 maybe 150 yards max. I know the range on a muzzleloader is much shorter than a rifle. From what I’ve read I figured that would probably be my max range.
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Re: New to muzzleloaders

Postby CHRIS WILSON » Tue Mar 24, 2020 12:54 pm

cward wrote:I’m trying to kill deer out to 100 maybe 150 yards max. I know the range on a muzzleloader is much shorter than a rifle. From what I’ve read I figured that would probably be my max range.


For 150 yard max shots, a 100 gr by volume charge and a decent bullet like the Hornady XTP, Hornady SST, Barmes TMZ or TEZ will work just fine. Might even want to give Power Belts a try. Work up a good shooting load and enjoy the hunt. Early November during the muzzleloader season is a great time to be out.
"If violent crime is to be curbed, it is only the intended victim who can do it. The felon does not fear the police and he fears neither judge nor jury. Therefore, what he must be taught to fear is his victim.".....Lt. Col. Jeff Cooper, USMC
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