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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Decided to try and break in my new muzzle-loader today and it did better than I thought. It's a CVA Accura V2, mounts are DNZ Game Reaper, optic is a Nikon Prostaff which will be updated to a Vortex HD LH. The load I used is as follows:

Powder: 90grains of Blackkhorn 209
Primer: CCI Magnum 209 Shotshell
Bullet: 300gr Hornady SST

Load was measured by volume not by weight. Next range trip I will be shooting by weight to get a more consistent load.
 

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Nice group! I've been experimenting with my CVA Optima a lot the past few months. I also shoot Blackhorn 209 with CCI Magnum Primers and have never had an ignition issue - with 50+ shots, rain, humidity, cold, hot.

As for bullets - I'm interested to see you have good groups with a 300gr. I tried Hornady 300 gr XTPs and Harvester PT Golds 300 gr with anywhere from 55 to 75 gr (weight) powder and could not get groups less than 3 in.

This weekend I tested Barnes Expander 250gr and had excellent groups with 60 gr by weight of blackhorn. It was also very easy on my shoulder.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Did you clean in between shots..? Some Bh209 shooters I know that Win at Friendship
Indiana ,swear by it...Nice shooting...
Thanks, I generally run a dry patch through every 4th shot. Just one using the front and back thats all.


Nice group! I've been experimenting with my CVA Optima a lot the past few months. I also shoot Blackhorn 209 with CCI Magnum Primers and have never had an ignition issue - with 50+ shots, rain, humidity, cold, hot.

As for bullets - I'm interested to see you have good groups with a 300gr. I tried Hornady 300 gr XTPs and Harvester PT Golds 300 gr with anywhere from 55 to 75 gr (weight) powder and could not get groups less than 3 in.

This weekend I tested Barnes Expander 250gr and had excellent groups with 60 gr by weight of blackhorn. It was also very easy on my shoulder.
The other muzzleloader I had also like 300gr bullets especially towards 100 grains by volume for powder. For some reasom I have always had great success between 90-100 grains by volume of powder.

The groups could be due to a possible dirty breach plug
I use this little tool to clean the carbon out of my breech plug.
Also are you using the standard breech plug or did you buy the one designed for blackhorn 209 and other loose powder?

I also would experiment with bullets up to the 350gr weight. and possibly some conicals like the THOR or the Hornady FPB. My friends wouldn't shoot sabots to save his life but the moment he started using conicals or full bore bullets he got way better groups.
 

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That is true - mine shoots full bore conicals VERY well. However, the ballistics of a sabot bullet are so much better, I've really been trying to find something it likes... I'm thinking with my barrel length and twist, it may have a hard time stabilizing a long 300 gr .45... Just a guess.

Edit - I run a single patch each shot to more similarly mimic first shot hunting conditions. I also check and push out the carbon from the breech plug. I don't think that is the issue.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That is true - mine shoots full bore conicals VERY well. However, the ballistics of a sabot bullet are so much better, I've really been trying to find something it likes... I'm thinking with my barrel length and twist, it may have a hard time stabilizing a long 300 gr .45... Just a guess.

Edit - I run a single patch each shot to more similarly mimic first shot hunting conditions. I also check and push out the carbon from the breech plug. I don't think that is the issue.
Even when I clen mine from the powder I will generally fire off before I hunt for that sole purpose of having a "dirty" and dry barrel.

What's your twist rate? When it comes to muzzleloaders I don't worry so much about the BC of the bullet. The majority of them will be in the low to mid .200s and I won't be shooting past 150 yards.
 

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Even when I clen mine from the powder I will generally fire off before I hunt for that sole purpose of having a "dirty" and dry barrel.

What's your twist rate? When it comes to muzzleloaders I don't worry so much about the BC of the bullet. The majority of them will be in the low to mid .200s and I won't be shooting past 150 yards.
I do the same, but with 2 caps rather than an actual charge. The twist is 1:28. I know a few folks with Knight and TC rifles with faster twist rate and they shoot these same bullets much better... I probably shouldn't worry with BC, because I hate shooting past 100 yards. However, I'm hoping the .45 bullets will penetrate better.

I have experimented with several different MMP sabots for perfect bore fit and still have issues with certain bullets. I'm just speculating that the twist/bullet/barrel may be a factor - but in reality, I'm a rookie and just enjoy experimenting with these muskets.

My gun really shoots Powerbelts well, but they are very sensitive to velocity and do not have a great reputation on game.
 

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That seems like a heavy bullet fer 90 grains of powder. I shoot magnum loads 150 grains with a 300 grain powerbelt in my Austin & Halleck and 150 grains with a 270 grain powerbelt in my TC. I reckon ifin you are consistent, that's what counts though.
 

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That seems like a heavy bullet fer 90 grains of powder. I shoot magnum loads 150 grains with a 300 grain powerbelt in my Austin & Halleck and 150 grains with a 270 grain powerbelt in my TC. I reckon ifin you are consistent, that's what counts though.
Jason, I was under the same impression until I switched to Blackhorn. It burns differently than pellets and packs more punch when comparing volume measures. From Harvester:

300 Gr Scorpion Bullet w/ Triple 7 Pellets
- 100 gr (2 pellets) 1,645 FPS
- 150 gr (3 pellets) 1,970 FPS

300 Gr Scorpion Bullet w/ BLACKHORN
- 80 gr volume 1,634 FPS
- 100 gr volume 1,815 FPS
- 120 gr volume 2,032 FPS

That gives you some idea of the difference. Blackhorn recommends to never use more than 120 gr by volume.
 

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Jason, I was under the same impression until I switched to Blackhorn. It burns differently than pellets and packs more punch when comparing volume measures. From Harvester:

300 Gr Scorpion Bullet w/ Triple 7 Pellets
- 100 gr (2 pellets) 1,645 FPS
- 150 gr (3 pellets) 1,970 FPS

300 Gr Scorpion Bullet w/ BLACKHORN
- 80 gr volume 1,634 FPS
- 100 gr volume 1,815 FPS
- 120 gr volume 2,032 FPS

That gives you some idea of the difference. Blackhorn recommends to never use more than 120 gr by volume.
That makes a bit more sense. Is Blackhorn a loose powder or smaller pellets? Might look into it when I get rid of all my 777
 

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It is a loose powder. I bought a bunch of plastic test tubes on amazon for dirt cheap and preweigh powder before heading to the range.

I'll add that I had ignition issues when using T7 pellets and "muzzleloader" labeled primers. Since switching to Blackhorn and magnum shotshell primers, I have not had a single hang fire. You can also shoot until your shoulder is black/blue before having to clean it.
 

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I'll check into it....still got enough powder to last me a bit though....
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will say Blackhorn is a bit expensive but wait till you have to clean the muzzleloader and you will fall in love. Two patches and it's done.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I do the same, but with 2 caps rather than an actual charge. The twist is 1:28. I know a few folks with Knight and TC rifles with faster twist rate and they shoot these same bullets much better... I probably shouldn't worry with BC, because I hate shooting past 100 yards. However, I'm hoping the .45 bullets will penetrate better.

I have experimented with several different MMP sabots for perfect bore fit and still have issues with certain bullets. I'm just speculating that the twist/bullet/barrel may be a factor - but in reality, I'm a rookie and just enjoy experimenting with these muskets.

My gun really shoots Powerbelts well, but they are very sensitive to velocity and do not have a great reputation on game.
A 1:28 isn't slow at all that's the same for mine and should stabilize any 250gr to 400gr+ fine. I would be willing to bet it might like 350gr pushed at moderate velocities.

But one problem with shooting sabots is it might not be the bullet, the weight, or the powder charge... It can very well be the sabot your using. I have seen groups change from 5" to 2" from just a matter of changing a sabot. Kind of like patterning a shotgun and changing the type of wad you shoot.

This is one reason why I like conicals. There is less troubleshooting with a conical and if you can get them to shoot then I would just stick with them.
 

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My recipe for my TC Omega (deadly out to 150, no holdover):
CCI 209 shotgun primer
105 gr of BH209 powder
Harvester Crush Rib Sabot (easy loading and accurate)
250gr Barnes Spit-Fire T-EZ bullets (throw away the sabots that come with it and use the Harvesters)
 

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Y'all should try the CVS Omega pistol. Mine is very accurate loading 100gr 777, 2 50gr pellets, with a TC Shockwave 240gr bullet.
 
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