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Muzzleloader Bullet weight for Elk
Old 06-27-2007, 03:15 PM
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Default Muzzleloader Bullet weight for Elk


My wife and I just got the good news that we received our Muzzleloader
Elk tags for New Mexico this year (unit 34). We are very excited as there are a
good number of monster bulls in the mountains around Coludcroft and
Ruidoso,NM. Not to mention the fact that this will be my first ever
Elk Hunt, regardless of hunting tool used. My wife got me hooked on
muzzle loaders and I cant wait to hunt with one.

The rifle I will be hunting with is a Thompson Center 50 Hawken (percussion cap & 28 inch barrel) that my wife gave me for my birthday two years ago (it was new then).
Since elk are large animals and I want to put it down quickly I have
decided on using the Power Belt Bullets (Aero-Tip,copper plated)
instead of the traditional 175 grain round ball. They also have Hollow
Points available, but I think Elk would be a bit too thick skinned for
them to penetrate well.

My question is what weight would be best for killing quickly at 100
to 150 yards? The bullets are available in 223gr,245gr, 295 gr, 348gr,
as well as a 405gr. I think 405 is probably a bit too heavy, and am
seriously considering the 295. What do you think?

Also, with this rifle am I limited to regular powder charges, or can I
use pelletized loads? Does anyone know what the MAXIMUM SAFE powder
load is for this rifle? I have been using 100 to 110 grains of Goex
with 175gr roundballs at the range with good accuracy, but I want a heavier bullet to put this animal down quickly.

My wife, however, is a purist when it comes to muzzleloaders.
She will be hunting with her TC Pennsylvania Hunter Carbine Flintlock with a 20 inch barrel. She is limiting herself to Goex or Pyrodex RS powder and the 175 grain Patched Round Balls for ammo. Can she expect good results with this combination out to say 125 yards? She has hunted elk once before with this rifle but didnt get within range to shoot.

Thanks all,

Last edited by Psychojeeper; 06-27-2007 at 03:30 PM..
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