Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967

Back to Lead-Fee Muzzle Loader Ammo - Update

Recommended Posts

Thanks to all who contributed to the Speaking of Muzzle Loaders thread.

 

I realize that my 1:48" twist is not optimal for any of the copper conicals, but it is what it is.  A faster twist barrel (thanks, @Michigan Slim !) is worth pursuing; not available right now.

 

Based on your input, I reviewed several, and focused on the Federal Premium BOR Lock and the PowerBelt projectiles.  From my reading and watching YouTube videos, the Federal Premium BOR Lock had the most appeal.  Unfortunately, only the PowerBelt were available locally, and I bought a package yesterday afternoon from Sportsman's Warehouse.

 

They ain't cheap - $50 for the package of 50; but even this represents a 25% savings on the per-shot cost of the 15-round packages.  As a matter of interest, about .44% less than the per-shot cost of the 15-round packages of the Federal projectiles. Oh... and another oddity - the basic hollowpoint version is more expensive than the plastic "Aerotip" versions - which seem to just be a hollowpoint with a plastic insert.  Peculiar...

 

Anyway, I hoped to try 'em out this week, but in looking at the things I had a concern.  The PowerBelt bullets are "bore riding."  And loosely, at that.  But the skirt is supposed to - and undoubtedly will - expand, seal, and engage the rifling.

 

But!

 

Said skirt literally slips onto a "post" on the base of the bullet.  

 

And can be easily spun with fingertips.

 

So, my concern was - how the hell can these things impart any spin to the projectile?  Or does it simply effectively make my rifle act as a smoothbore??

 

Hm.  I thought I could try drizzling some cyanoacrylate (CA) into the junction of plastic and copper.  

 

However, as it turns out, the whole thing is moot.

 

Why? 

 

There was a niggling suspicion in the back of my mind, and I learned long ago to not ignore such suspicions. A phone call to the manufacturer this morning disclosed that, despite the product being clearly labeled "COPPER," the bullets are only copper plated.  Sheesh.  NOWHERE IN THE LABELING DOES IT SAY THAT THESE ARE LEAD.  Admittedly, they do not specifically say "Lead Free," but when labeled "copper" one would expect them to be just that.  Also, in none of the on-line advertisements or descriptions does it say that they are anything but copper.

 

And in good ol' California, that will get me a $500 fine if caught with them afield.

 

To add to the problem, Sportsman's Warehouse return policy states "The following items cannot be returned: Firearms Ammunition Powder & Other Propellants Primers Bullets & Other Projectiles." 

 

I do believe I shall attempt to argue this policy with them.

 

Caveat emptor.  And back to the drawing board.  :(

 

 

 

powerbelt-copper-aerotip-muzzleloader-bullets-p13229-2.jpg?context=bWFzdGVyfGltYWdlc3w0ODk0MnxpbWFnZS9qcGVnfGltYWdlcy9oZGYvaDFkLzg4NzYzMTQxOTgwNDYuanBnfGRmMWQ2YzQ2YTQzNzg5ODU5ODg1ODE1YTg1YzdlYWEzY2I5YTY2ZmYzY2JjZTIxYjZiZmVjYWViNjY5NmQzZTU  5756869_Pic2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you shoot them at some range where they would not be illegal, just for fun and practice?  If not, you might get $50 worth of satisfaction by turning Sportsman’s Warehouse in for selling non-compliant bullets.


Or you could go to a SASS shoot in Arizona and sell or swap them there, while considering staying in Arizona permanently.

 

:)

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

Can you shoot them at some range where they would not be illegal, just for fun and practice?  If not, you might get $50 worth of satisfaction by turning Sportsman’s Warehouse in for selling non-compliant bullets.


Or you could go to a SASS shoot in Arizona and sell or swap them there, while considering staying in Arizona permanently.

 

:)

 

As much as I'd love to visit Arizona I won't be making the trip any time soon...  and at a buck a shot, I won't be plinkin' with these things.  For that I'll be using my home-cast, at  less than 2¢ a round. 

 

Headed out now for the 55 mile round trip to Sportsman's Warehouse - hopefully they'll waive their "no return" policy.  

 

Update:  No problem with exchange; "upgraded" to Barnes 250 gr T-EZ.  I really dislike sabots, but at least they're legal.

 

Gentleman whom I believe may have been a manager or supervisor opened the PowerBelt package and discovered the "This Product Contains Lead" message on the backside of the label - not prominent, and totally invisible from outside.  He was surprised, especially when I pointed out the liability aspect.

 

Cost was a bit higher; about sixty bucks for 48 rounds. 

 

A pox on Messrs Brown and Newsom!  :angry:

 

            BARNES 50cal 290gr T-EZ BULLET FB w/SABOT 24/bx - Graf & Sons

Edited by Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't be afraid to run those hard. My Renegade could take 120 grains of powder according to the manufacturer. Anything over 100 seamed to make fire instead of power though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, Michigan Slim said:

Don't be afraid to run those hard. My Renegade could take 120 grains of powder according to the manufacturer. Anything over 100 seamed to make fire instead of power though.

 

Slim, I will do that!  :)

 

Early on with the Hawken I discovered that it preferred fffg over ffg.  A few years ago I played with Triple-7 with good results - even won a turkey shoot with it shooting Maxi-Balls.    

 

A quick anecdote:  About 1975 I was at the Manteca Sportsman's Club one fall weekend, just finishing a long and enjoyable day of shooting.  Just about dusk, Hank walks up to me and sez "Ya know, I've never shot your Hawken!  Lemme try that thing..."

 

So I handed it to him, then passed over the horn and measure.

 

"Hell, I don't need that" he said and declined the measure.

 

"Yeah ya do!"

 

"Naw... I'm just gonna try it out" and started to pour powder from the horn directly into the barrel.  "Huh!  Nothing's coming out!" he said.  He turned toward the West and held the rifle up so he could see the muzzle in silhouette against the rapidly fading grey of the sky.

 

Powder was pouring!

 

"Dammit, Hank... Just dump it out and start over - here's the measure!"

 

"Aw hell, it don't matter none - it's just black powder!" and he started a ball.  

 

I have no idea how much powder was in that barrel... but when he seated the ball, it did not go so very far down the tube.  I'm pretty sure it was well uphill of a thousand grains... might've been two or three thousand!

 

"Dammit, Hank!" I scolded.  "Here's a screw - put it on the end o' that ramrod and pull that ball and dump out the powder!"

 

"Aw hell - it'll shoot!" he said, and cocked the hammer, mashed on a cap, and threw the short rifle to his shoulder.  I started t back up , intent on crawdaddy-ing my way outta the danger zone.

 

When he touched that thing off, it was MOST impressive indeed!  Ba-ROOOM! she spoke.  Almost like in slow motion, a VW Beetle sized cartoon-balloon ball of flame came out of the mouth of that gun and rolled about fifty yards downrange, shrinking in size as it progressed.  And, it was accompanied by a well-illuminated, giant smoke ring.

 

Hank took about eight or nine quick steps backward and landed on his butt.

 

He looked at the gun in the faint light from a nearby bulb, then said "Well... I guess it works," and handed it to me.

 

Amazingly, it survived!  The only damage was a 1/2 inch long crack in the wood just at about 10 o'clock from the through-stock lock bolt.  Now, forty-five years later, whenever I notice that flaw I smile and remember my old pard....   ^_^

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to have a friend like that too. Scared the hell out of me a couple times.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would never do that. 

Back in the day of Civil War Skirmishing, I loaded 45 grains of ffG behind the .577 mineball.

Both the rifle and my own self liked it. Well, one day I gets the wild hair, had read that the normal

civil war load was 70 grains. So I loaded it to 70 and let loose. BIG difference. I decided that a 100 

rounds of that, at a match would be a handful of grief. Back to 45 grains. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did some reading and here is what I gleaned from several forums.

First use a sabot round. Either one that comes complete or one that you put your own pistol ammo in.

 

Try to select a copper bullet that weighs in the 200 to 260 grain range. This will be close to the weight of a round ball.  Bullets for a 44 mag come to mind

 

Second is to use a tight fitting wad between the Sabot and the powder. This is especially important if your rifle has deep rifling. The tight wad acts as a gas check and prevents gas cutting of the sabot. 

 

Third is where it gets expensive and that is finding the right load that your rifle will like. Generally you will need to increase the velocity of the projectile to get it to stabilize so an increase in the powder charge or switching to 777 will likely be needed.

 

Let us know how it goes.

Edited by Sedalia Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.