Privacy guaranteed - Your email is not shared with anyone.

Smokeless powder muzzleloaders

Discussion in 'Reloading, Target Shooting, and Modern Firearms' started by Indianahunter, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. I know this topic is new to some of you but I'd like to open up a bit of discussion on the topic. As you can see from my Avatar it can be a very accurate firearm. I hope to get a productive discussion on all facets of its use and performance. Everyone who knows me understands I enjoy shooting and promoting smokeless powder muzzleloading. It is safer, cleaner and less expensive to shoot than other types of muzzleloaders. I currently own two (2) Savage 10ML-II's. One is a "Henry Ball" and the second is a standard SS laminated stock. I can shoot 1" or better with either gun with a large combination of available 250 and 300 grain bullets at comfortable velocities over 2000 fps and many over 2200 fps.

    This group is a 375gn .451 Buffalo Bullet SSB at 2150 fps... shot from my Henry Ball at 100 yards. I have similar groups with 300 grain .458 Hornady HP's and LBT cast bullets as well.


    My third is a NEF frame and a custom Douglas barrel from SMI out of Hartford City, Indiana. My Avatar is a three (3) shot group at 100 yards using 200gn .40 cal SST's in my NEF/SMI fps is right at 2400 +/-

    Here are a few other manufactures that make smokeless powder muzzleloaders:

    I’m sure there are others and certainly more to come.

    And my HB #106 10ML-II

    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2006
  2. I don't know a lot about the Savages and other smokeless options, but am interested in learning more.

    What is a Henry Ball?
    What kind of range can one expect from them? I've heard of kill shots with them over 300 yards, but want to know if this is realistic.

  3. Henry Ball is the gentleman who holds the patent on the breech plug design that is in the Savage 10ML-II. He has been building custom smokeless powder guns for many years. The HB is a standard laminated stock SS Savage sent to Henry's shop for some custom work. Bedded action,floated barrel, third pillar, and a media blast less that 500 will ever be made.

    As for the range, that’s really up to the shooter as the gun is very accurate at 200 yards. I’ve only shot at 100 yards targets for groups and have shot better than 1” with many loads. Those loads set 2” high at 100 yards is 4” low or better at 200 yards. It just depends on the load you shoot and where you’re going to be shooting.

    A group of us had a smokeless shoot last spring at a friend’s private 1000 yard range. While I cannot remember the configuration of the 100 yard plates the 200 yard targets were a 6” steel circle and a 24” steel circle. All the plates from 200 to 500 were 24” circles as well… Joe Name, of SMI, and I both hit the each 200 yard target on the first shot. Then we hit the 300 and 400 yard targets on our first shots. Now I’m not trying to claim great marksmanship here but both guns were smokeless by design. Mine the HB Savage and Joe’s an SMI custom. Both guns were .50 calibers with good optics and a solid bench with lots of sand bags. While not a hunting situation at all still Joe and I were happy to ping a steel plate at 400 yards with a .50 caliber muzzleloader!

    I shoot a lot at Camp Atterbury in Edinburgh so when I’m making my next trip south I’ll post it and anyone interested in shooting can hook up with me there. I’ll bring all three smokeless guns and we’ll burn some powder.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 18, 2006
  4. I have an Encore, so I have upgraded from traditional standards in muzzleloading. But can you really call these new Savage rifles "muzzleloaders"? I know they load from the front, but the smoke after the shot is a reminder that you just shot a deer with a black powder gun. I mean really, whats the difference between the new Savages and a single shot bolt rifle? Its going to feel, look, and smell the same. I dont want a smokeless powder gun, but if you want one Go for it. I dont mingle in other folk's business but this is a discussion forum and I dont like smokeless guns.
  5. 200 grain lite do you go in a .50 caliber muzzleloader?
  6. The powder charge is 42 grains by weight.
  7. Muzzleloader, 1-shot! (--) All Rifles capable of multiple shots (++)

    Muzzleloaders are legal in Indiana (++) Rifles, are still not legal in Indiana, at this time. ( --) Do you use Black powder? Do you use a #11 percussion cap?

    If you do not use true black powder then you are using a “smokeless powder” determined by Has Mat, made to smell like, and smoke like true black powder. This product also makes a very hefty profit on this product while not speaking very highly of smokeless powder muzzleloaders. I can shoot a powder charge for about .12 cents each. What are two pellets costing these days?

    777 loads can be as fast and with equal pressures. There is at least one individual on another board I frequent who shows his Crony clocking a 250 grain XTP at 2495fps using a 777 charge in his Encore. Stock gun, approved powder, common bullet/sabot combination and add in a little elevation and boom. Savage is a proof tested barrel, every barrel and sent out with a target that groups 1 1/2 “or better at 100 yards. T/C has very good steel and outstanding craftsmanship as well but unfortunately we both know some great selling guns at the super stores have pressure issues in the past and that can and has been dangerous. If you use 209 primers then you are igniting your upgraded traditional rifle just like me.

    I can get a few 100 fps over your load with the same bullet. In practical terms that will give me about 20 to 25 more yards of point blank range. I'm sure your shooting a plastic based bullet or a bullet in a sabot. I could never get big conical bullets to shoot well in either of my Encores...It is really very easy to maintain and it does not require you to clean your gun every time you shoot it and swab it every two or three shots at the range. I can shoot all season long, run a patch down it every 25 shots or so, clean the breech plug every 100 shots or so, and then give a good cleaning in the spring when its raining outside or I don't want to pull weeds. It really gives me more shots per outing.

    You really do spend more time and money at the range with other propellants and at 42 grains a load it cost me about .12 cents a shot using $21.00 a pound powder all other variables being the same. Bocephus, I’m not calling you out as I’d have this response for anyone. If Indiana had a primitive season then I would be out in the woods with a replica of a venerable old flintlock; FFF in the pan and FF in the barrel and flint in the frizzen. If they have a season for side locks only with, a percussion capped, 400 grain conical shooting Hawkins rifle, then I’m there as well.

    Point is unless you’re shooting a .75 caliber "Brown Bess" smoothbore or .50 caliber Great Plains rifle with a 1:60 twist with a patched round ball your taking advantage of a more modern gun. Something General Custer should have done…

    Still I look forward to the debate as it informative and lots of fun.

    Pat Allen aka…Indianahunter:evilsmile:evilsmile:evilsmile
  8. I also smacked that 400 yard target with 1 shot from each of my ML's. Since I have already taken 1 deer at a little over 300 yards my goal is to eventualy take a deer at 400. Gona have to find better fields to hunt before I can do that though. and it will most likely be with my .45 that Ron is building instead of the .50 Savage. I can not wait till Ron gets back from vacation and finishes my barrel. I'm begining to get just like a kid waiting on Christmas
  9. Thanks for the invite Pat!

    I too am an owner of the Savage HB Limited. I have owned and shot Knight and TC muzzleloaders and the Savage is my favorite.
    I am very satisfied with it's sub-moa capability, extensive selection of bullet,sabot's and smokeless powder's(there are specific powder types to adhere to) and the lack of cleaning required.:biggrin:

    The S.M.I. would be another consideration for those interested in Smokeless muzzleloading. I have been contemplating Ron Name building either a NEF action smokeless or use an Encore reciever and add an S.M.I. barrel(please note that the Encore std. MZ barrel is not capable of handling smokeless pressures).
  10. I have had a smokless powder muzzle loader built for me this year and have shot deer out to 300 yards with it.The whole experence with this gun was amazing I am shooting 250 grn 45 cal Hornady FTX bullets with IMR 4198 smokless powder this gun is shooting 3000 ft per second and producing 5000 ft pounds of energy.
    If you would like to check it out go to it is the featured muzzle loader on his web page
  11. I've done a lot of rifle shooting (competitively) and enjoy an accurate rifle and have always been interested in the smokeless muzzleloaders. I currently own several sidelock muzzleloaders that I shoot patched round ball out of as well as a T/C Encore shooting saboted bullets. I find myself going back to the traditional arrangements more and more just for the enjoyment and challenge of the hunt.

    In all honesty, the muzzleloader season was opened to give muzzleloader hunters an extended season due to their "disadvantage". When inlines came out, I wasn't sure how long they would be permitted to be used during muzzleloader season due to them not being so much at the disadvantage anymore. Going smokeless is another advancement to narrow the gap between muzzleloading and using a single shot rifle. As nice as they are, the advancements in muzzleloaders are killing the reason why we have a muzzleloader season.

    A properly cared for and quality sidelock can be extremely reliable and amazingly accurate, even with patched round ball. There is a "reason for the season", and hunting for the challenge is what muzzleloaders are all about. Sidelocks and flintlocks are both a "primative" system, dating back hundreds of years.

    As much as I love my Encore, I would be in favor of a regulation change to a "traditional muzzleloader season" where the definition of a muzzleloader is changed to limit inlines and smokeless rifles to firearm season only. Some states are already doing that or have done that all along, and I think it's fantastic! Sorry, but that's my $0.02. Same reason why I appreciate the crossbow hunters being limited to handicapped or late season only.
  12. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but I hope it doesn't happen. Next: "The extended archery season really is just for those with traditional archery equipment, so compounds shouldn't be allowed," etc. etc. etc. It's a slippery slope, and we have enough noise from the anti's trying to make us lose ground without turning on ourselves. There's my 2 cents.
    I like the sidelock on an occassion as well, but sure do like my Knight, and was just looking at the Savage smokeless a minute ago. One "Devil's advocate" question, though...if "A properly cared for and quality sidelock can be extremely reliable and amazingly accurate," then what is the big advantage of a smokeless propellant that should render it illegal for ML season?

  13. Same separation that divides traditional archers from compounds, or archers in general from someone shooting MLs or firearms in general. The separation is necessary for those hunting under "different rules" to have a fair and sporting chance. By muddying that line between the two, you put the hunter wanting a more level playing field again at the same disadvantage that separated them in the first place.This is exactly why we don't allow rifles during firearm season even though pistol-caliber rifles are ok. Yes, it's a concern for safety, but it also puts the shotgun and pistol-caliber rifle hunters at a much greater disadvantage. Just because a firearm can have a flashlight mounted to it doesn't mean it's sporting to hunt after dark.No, I'm not looking for separation any more than what was "necessary" in the first place. I have nothing against any hunter, but I'm for keeping the playing fields even for those choosing to hunt by different rules.