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Maxi Ball Loads

Maxi Ball Loads

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Published by Allan Hanna
Maxi-ball loads
Maxi-ball loads

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Published by: Allan Hanna on May 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 @ 100 yds.
.50 Cal.Muzzleloader .500” Dia.370 grainMaxi-Ball90 grains FFgBlack Powder PercussionT/C Hawken1465 fps
(feet per second)
1764 ft lbs
(foot pounds)
 865 ft lbs
(foot pounds)
 .54 Cal.Muzzleloader .540” Dia.430 grainMaxi-Ball110 grainsFFgBlack Powder PercussionT/C Hawken1428 fps 1948 ft lbs 1165 ft lbs.44 Magnum .429” Dia.240 grainJacketed SPCommercialRemingtonRuger 44 Carbine1760 fps 1650 ft lbs 1015 ft lbs.223Remington.224” Dia.55 grainJacketed SPCommercialRemingtonRuger Mini-143240 fps 1282 ft lbs 921 ft lbs.30 Carbine .308” Dia.110 grainJacketed RNCommercialWinchester Military.30 M1Carbine1990 fps 967 ft lbs 622 ft lbs12 Gauge 2¾” Chamber 12 Gauge380 grainRifled SlugCommercialRemingtonRemington870 Shotgun1450 fps 1700 ft lbs 1000 ft lbs
Revised 5/10/92
Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 15 Revised 04-09 Page 1
Conditions That Affect the Muzzleloading HunterR
Lower initial velocity and greater bullet weight results in faster bullet drop and more bulletdeflection on uphill or downhill shots. The beginning muzzleloader should limit shots to 75 yards.
Many states now agree that the effective remaining energy required to assure a one-shot kill is 500foot pounds at 100 yards. Since the velocity of muzzleloading bullet drops off rapidly, the remainingenergy also drops accordingly. Limiting shots to 75 yards will assure adequate remaining energy.
All of the velocity and energy in the world will not assure a one-shot kill unless the bullet placementis correct. In muzzleloading, the philosophy of “One Well-Placed Shot” is more important than inany other method of hunting. A well-trained muzzleloader can reload in 12 seconds. But, that gives awounded animal more than enough time to disappear.
In centerfire hunting, weather is not much of a consideration when it is time to take your shot. Thatcertainly is not the case with muzzleloading. Care must be taken to make sure your equipment iskept dry and clean. When using a flintlock, be sure to prevent the wind from blowing the primingcharge out of the pan.
Understanding your equipment and practicing your hunting skills are the keys to successfulmuzzleloading hunting. Range estimation, terrain evaluation, interpretation of game sign and livefiring practice before the season will give you the skills you need to assure a successful hunt.
Page 2 Revised 04-09 Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 17
Muzzleloading Hunting
 The muzzleloader has been used as an effective game-harvesting firearm in America for more than 350 years.From the landing of our pilgrim forefathers through thewestward expansion in the late 1800’s, muzzleloading riflesand shotguns have taken every American game species,from squirrel to elk and dove to wild turkey. In Africa, black  powder rifles have been used for years to take even thelargest and most difficult game, including lion and elephant.In 1986, a New Hampshire lawyer took the new Safari Clubof America world record Livingston’s Eland, weighing over 2600 pounds, with a single shot from a .54 caliber Thompson/Center Renegade. This feat broke a record thathad stood for 56 years. Two years ago my hunting partner and I, hunting the early muzzleloading elk season out west,took a 4x5 bull weighing 500 pounds and a 5x6 at 700 pounds. Both shots were made at 80 yards. The 4x5 wastaken with a 50 caliber T/C Maxi Hunter and a .54 caliber T/C Maxi-Ball was used on the larger bull.I have also used the .32 caliber T/C Cherokee for squirrelsand prairie dogs, and the New Englander 12 ga shotgun for dove, grouse and rabbits. If you have any doubts as to theeffectiveness of the muzzleloader in taking game, you can put them to rest. Properly loaded and efficiently applied, themuzzleloader will handle any North American game animal,as well as a number of those found in other areas of theworld.Muzzleloading hunting, however, requires a different set of standards that those applied to hunting with a modernfirearm and I would like to acquaint you with thesedifferences.Let’s start with the effective range of the muzzleloadingrifle. When you’re hunting with a modern rifle and you seean acceptable big game animal within 250 yards you don’tneed to make a decision on whether or not to shoot. If youhave practiced enough to be sure of your huntingmarksmanship and your choice of caliber and bullet areeffective enough at the range you should be confident of harvesting your animal. With a muzzleloader, however, youmust begin to think in terms of 50 to 80 yards. Chamber  pressures developed in the muzzleloading rifle are muchlower than those associated with modern rifles usingsmokeless powder cartridges. This results in lower velocityand lower muzzle energy. For example, a .50 caliber muzzleloading rifle using a recommended load of 90 grainsof FFg black powder will fire a 370 grain Maxi-Ball at amuzzle velocity of 1465 feet per second with a muzzleenergy of 1764 foot pounds. BY the time the Maxi Ball hastraveled 100 yards; the remaining energy is down to 765foot pounds which is barely adequate for a sure kill on amule deer sized animal. The .54 caliber Maxi-Ball, using110 grains of FFg, leaves the muzzle at almost the samevelocity, but the greater bullet mass of 430 grains delivers1165 foot pounds of energy at 100 yards. By comparison,the 7x30 Waters fired from a Super 14 T/C Contender 
Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 25
leaves the barrel at 2300 feet per second with a muzzle energy of 1775 foot pounds and a remaining energy of 1330 foot pounds at100 yards. You can see from the above comparison that a wholenew set of values are required when you start working with themuzzleloader. Lower initial velocities and heavier bullets have adramatic effect on the drop of the bullet during the first 100yards of flight. Forget about your flat shooting center fire whenyou sight in the muzzleloader. Plan to sight in at 50 yards and limit your shot to no more than 80 yards. It is a good idea to firea second group at 80 yards so that you will become familiar withthe difference in bullet drop when you increase the range by 30yards.With this in mind, let’s consider the next difference betweenmuzzleloading and center fire hunting. Accurate rangeevaluation becomes critical for proper bullet placement whenyou consider the trajectory of the muzzleloading bullet. For example a .270 Winchester sighted in at 100 yards will stillshoot within 2 inches of the same point of impact at 200 yards because of a favorable combination of initial velocity, bulletweight and aerodynamically stable bullet design (ballisticcoefficient). When the set of conditions is compared with asimilar set of muzzleloading conditions the results are verydifferent. With the muzzleloader we combine low initialvelocity, a bullet mass out of proportion to the powder chargeand an aerodynamically poor shape to produce continued downrange stability. These conditions dictate a limited effectiverange and result in a rapid velocity loss, which produces sharp bullet drop within 100 yards. In view of these factors you cansee the necessity for careful range evaluation. Given an effectivevital kill area of 16 square inches on the average whitetail deer,an error in judgment of 30-40 yards could cause the bullet tomiss the vital area and result in a wounding loss.When you begin planning your muzzleloading hunt, you should scout the area you will be hunting. Become familiar with thegame trails and shooting positions that cover those areas. Find favorable locations that will allow several seconds for a clear shot at the game and measure the distances from your selected  positions to the game trails you plan to cover. Be as exact in
Revised 04-09 Page 3

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