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mtheis

Bullet perfomance?

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mtheis

This year my son shot a very nice 8 pointer with his muzzleloader. It was loaded with a 100 grain charge of Pyrodex behind a 245 grain Hornady XTP bullet. He shot it about 40 yards from his ground blind and the bullet performed beautifully, passing through the deer broadside, and lodging in the front leg joint of the animal. I recovered the bullet, and noticed how nice the bullet mushroomed and stayed intact, even after hitting rib bones and his leg.

I had wanted to try the Powerbelt Platinum (335grain) in my muzzleloader since I got them on sale and they proved very accurate in my gun. I also use 100 grains of Pyrodex. I shot a large doe, about 60 yards from my ground blind, and after an exhaustive search, proved unrecoverable. My son with his binocolars watched me shoot the animal, and said the bullet hit his shoulder and witnessed the deer actually being pushed back by the impact. He swears that he even saw the point of impact. I was going for a shot that would put him down instantly, and I suspect the bullet just exploded when hitting his shoulder blade and left the deer miserable and wounded.

Later in the season I used my 12 gauge shotgun and shot a very large 8 pointer with a slug hitting him just behind the shoulder and downing him instantly. The slug was a Winchester 2 3/4 inch Partition Gold (385 grains), shooting at 1900 fps. (Probably close to my muzzle loading round above.) When I did an inspection afterward of what happened to the bullet, I found the slug exploded upon impact and never exited the other side of the animal. The slug was in pieces inside the animal. Even though the deer dropped instantly, I consider this slug also a failure and will probably not use it again either.

What are your comments on bullet performance on the rounds you used this year?

I think I will go back to my 295 grain Hornady XTP in my muzzleloader, and the standard 1 oz. Winchester Super X rifled slug in my shotgun. I have had best luck with these in the past and the bullets always pass through the deer.

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Surface Tension

I think the difference here is one round hit shoulder and the other two hit behind the shoulder. Once that round breaks apart on the shoulder its path to vitals are a crap shoot.

But did it break apart? Your velocity is considerable less then the other rounds mentioned at the muzzle and around 1450 @ 60 yards.

I think its possible the deer absorbed that impact and getting set back like it did would lead me to believe it did. I think that shoulder did break and what was left of energy wasn't enough or wrong path to finish the job.

I think between all the loads you mentioned the 335 grain Powerbelt Platinum w/100 grains of Pyrodex stood the best chance of not breaking up with the shoulder shot.

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leechlake

I have 5 300 grain powerbelts I've recovered from elk I've shot. Whenever I hit bone, the bullets devormed but mushroomed little if any. When I did not hit bone they mushroomed perfectly and were held in by the hide on the far side. I'd imagine that is standard for similar bullets made by different manufacturers.

To answer your question I can't remember the last time I didn't have a completed pass through with my .308 on a deer so those bullets are on the forest floor in northern minnesota.

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DeanoB

Hornady SST 12ga Sabot. After shooting these this year I will never shoot any other slug again, unless i run out of the SST's while hunting. Theses are a 300 grain bullet with polymer tip. Shot my buck at 130 yards this year, with no drop in trajectory, and had complete passthrough, actually shot him twice, cause i hate tracking, heck if they give you the chance for a 2nd shot I take it. So the end result was 2 sabots thru both lungs, and a deer that didn't go 10 yards after the shot. The coolest part was seeing the hair fly off the deer on the exit side, wish I could have filmed it. The exit holes were a good 3/4 inch in diameter. When I went to "sight these in" pre season, it was gravy. 100 yards - 5 shot group within 3 inches, all about 1.5-2 inches high. Perfect.

Can't help you on the smokepole ammo, but if they have a Hornady SST load, thats what I would use.

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mtheis

The 300 grain bullet out of the Hornady is certainly considered light out of a 12 gauge slug. I will have to remember that for next year and give it a go at the range. The Winchester Partition Gold slug is 385 grains, and I thought that was considered "standard" for a premium made slug. Is that the lightest bullet commercially loaded for the 12 gauge 2 3/4 inch load? What is the cost for a box of shells? I certainly think the prices for a box of premium ammo is outragous these days.

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DeanoB

I agree on ammo getting expensive, for the performance you get I think the price is great, especially compared to the partition golds. I paid 12.99/ box this year, but saw online from stores at 9.99. factor in shipping, and it comes out the same, so i supported my local gunshop.

I thought the 300 gr seemed really light too, but they shoot great, maybe the combo of being 300 gr and shooting 1900fps is the magic equation.

sidenote, i did see yesterday in a store that Hornady makes the same 300 gr sabot in a .50 cal muzzleloader sabot, it was 10 for $11.67, and then you are supposed to use 2 or 3 pellets that you slide on the long plastic thing., looked pretty slick, when I hopefully get a smokepole in the next few months, i will be trying these out first.

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vister

i will only use hornady bullets through the smokepole, as the other brands have disgusted me upon bullet recovery. heck, i even sighted my smoker in at a large chunk of oak firewood this year, and the amount of bullet still intact was pretty amazing, considering it was shoved by 150 grains of triple 7

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benelli_dude2002

I used a 300 gr Hornady SST two years ago to take my biggest bull moose ever with a 50 cal in line. The shot was only 10 yards and he went about 25-30 yards before going down. I found the bullet on the other side just under the hide, nicely mushroomed, later I weighed the bullet and it was 213 gr. I was using 150 gr Triple 7. I would highly recommend this bullet. Happy hunting

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96trigger

I've use both the Partition Golds and the SST's. I have been a long supporter of the Golds but this year switched to SST's because of all the good info I got on here about them and also the cost was $5 cheaper than the golds per box. I was extremely impressed with the SST's. I shot a nice doe and a 1.5 year old with the slugs, both dropped instantly upon being hit. As for your trouble with the PG's, I would think it had to hit a bone to fragment. I habve only recovered one of those slugs from a deer and it was a perfect mushroom, just like you see in the pictures. Most of the time, the deer I shot with the Golds were pass throughs. I wouldn't nesitate going back though. They both shot very well out of my Winchester 1300 and Beretta 390, both with rifled barrels. I can shoot them interchangeably with open sights in both guns.

I wouldn't let the one instance be the reason you don't use the Partition Golds. The bullet did do its job and I don't think the resulting shape of the slug is typical.

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charliepete2

If you search back in the archives there is a post about people having bad luck with Powerbelt bullets. I shot a black bear at about 15 yards this year, and my bullet completely disintegrated after hitting the rib. It was a PB 270 grain platinum 50 ca. I found my bear just fine, but I'm glad I didn't hit the shoulder. I won't be using powerbelts again. I've heard much better reports about hornady.

For the rifle season I took my 11 pointer with 180 grain 30/06 core-lokt from 50 yards. I didn't recover the bullet, but I had a nice pass through that knocked lungs out the far side on the hit. He went about 40 yards. The exit hole was magnificent (without wasting too much meat) and the blood trail looked like somone opened a milk jug of blood, turned it upside down, and started walking.

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Whoaru99

Barnes MZ Expander worked good for me out of the front loader last year.

Can't tell you what the bullet looked like though as it was a complete pass-through. 250gr bullet over 90gr T7 ffg, 162 paces, if I recall correctly...

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HavocTec

I shot an 8 pointer with a PB 245 grain @ about 30 yards and he took maybe six steps and was down. The bullet went through the shoulder and into the leg on the other side took the lungs and the tip of the heart.Bullet was a nice looking mushroom. The bullet weight was very close to what is was when I loaded it. I shot two does with it last year both double lung shots clean pass throughs and they maybe went 30 yards... One shot was @ 60 yards the other at 50. My powder load is 100 gr of 777 pellets. Hope this helps...

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sweept

Shot a buck Sat. night with a 295 powerbelt, 100 grains 777, at 10yds. Through front shoulder, double lung. Bullet passed through ribs on back side, lodged between rib cage and hide in multiple pieces. Deer ran about 60yds before it went down. I thought for sure at this close range it would have easily been a pass through shot. Deer did not bleed very heavy all the blood was contained to the cavity. Next year I will be shooting a different bullet.

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Antler_Creek_Taxidermy

I took 3 deer last year with powerbelts using 100gr 777. All deer were shot within 50 yards and not one bullet passed through. The powerbelts disinagrated on impact and small pieces of of the bullets were all I could find. All 3 deer went down within 30 yards of where they were shot but no exit holes.

This year, last thursday, I took a real nice 8 pointer using Hornady new "low drag" sst 250 gr bullet and 777 magnum powder. I shot the buck at about 60-70 Yards with a clean pass through and the buck only went about 30 yards. The Hornady bullet and the 777 magnum powder is a very good combo.

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troutmaster

i shoot 100 gr. triple X and 245 gr. powerbelt aerotip bullet. So Far i have shot three deer with this setup and two of them dropped instantly (15 and 70 yards), and the third one (50 yards) made it about 10 feet. So say what you want about powerbelts, but they work for me! wink.gif

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vister

most people using powerbelts have luck because of the fact they fall apart instead of mushrooming and exiting. if the bullet doesn't pass through, all of that energy is absorbed throughout its body helping in the kill. powerbelts to me are like ballistic tip rifle bullets. they lose all of their mass, causing a lot more damage, to a lot more meat, which is why i prefer to use a good bullet like hornady, one that stays together.

three things i don't care for when i'm eating:

1- bones in my fish

2- bbs in my pheasant and duck

3- powerbelt fragments in my venison grin.gif

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troutmaster

Quote:

three things i don't care for when i'm eating:

1- bones in my fish

2- bbs in my pheasant and duck

3- powerbelt fragments in my venison
grin.gif


I guess i've never had that problem, as all my shots are in the vitals where it explodes inside the ribcage, I've never found any fragments in any of the usable meat.

and in my opinion Hornady's suck.....Well in my gun anyway.

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Ferny

Vister, That's the same reason I quit using ballistic tips!

Several times on perfect broadside vitals shots the far side front shoulder would be all bloodshot after hitting the near side rib cage. It wasted way to much meat for my taste. The bullet just exploded into fragments. You'd only notice if you cut your own deer though.

It did a nice job of dropping them though so in that regard they're awesome.

Ferny.

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