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@ 100 yds.
.50 Cal. Muzzleloader .54 Cal. Muzzleloader
.500” Dia. 370 grain Maxi-Ball .540” Dia. 430 grain Maxi-Ball .429” Dia. 240 grain Jacketed SP .224” Dia. 55 grain Jacketed SP .308” Dia. 110 grain Jacketed RN 12 Gauge 380 grain Rifled Slug
90 grains FFg Black Powder 110 grains FFg Black Powder Commercial Remington Commercial Remington Commercial Winchester Commercial Remington
Percussion T/C Hawken Percussion T/C Hawken
(feet per second)
1764 ft lbs
865 ft lbs
1948 ft lbs
1165 ft lbs
Ruger 44 Carbine Ruger Mini-14 Military .30 M1 Carbine Remington 870 Shotgun
1650 ft lbs
1015 ft lbs
.223 Remington .30 Carbine
1282 ft lbs
921 ft lbs
967 ft lbs
622 ft lbs
12 Gauge 2 ¾” Chamber
1700 ft lbs
1000 ft lbs
Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 15
Conditions That Affect the Muzzleloading Hunter RANGE Lower initial velocity and greater bullet weight results in faster bullet drop and more bullet deflection on uphill or downhill shots. The beginning muzzleloader should limit shots to 75 yards. REMAINING ENERGY Many states now agree that the effective remaining energy required to assure a one-shot kill is 500 foot pounds at 100 yards. Since the velocity of muzzleloading bullet drops off rapidly, the remaining energy also drops accordingly. Limiting shots to 75 yards will assure adequate remaining energy. ONE-SHOT PHILOSOPHY All of the velocity and energy in the world will not assure a one-shot kill unless the bullet placement is correct. In muzzleloading, the philosophy of “One Well-Placed Shot” is more important than in any other method of hunting. A well-trained muzzleloader can reload in 12 seconds. But, that gives a wounded animal more than enough time to disappear. WEATHER In centerfire hunting, weather is not much of a consideration when it is time to take your shot. That certainly is not the case with muzzleloading. Care must be taken to make sure your equipment is kept dry and clean. When using a flintlock, be sure to prevent the wind from blowing the priming charge out of the pan. NEED FOR IMPROVED HUNTING SKILLS Understanding your equipment and practicing your hunting skills are the keys to successful muzzleloading hunting. Range estimation, terrain evaluation, interpretation of game sign and live firing practice before the season will give you the skills you need to assure a successful hunt.
Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 17
THE HERITAGE AND THE CHALLENGE
The muzzleloader has been used as an effective gameharvesting firearm in America for more than 350 years. From the landing of our pilgrim forefathers through the westward expansion in the late 1800’s, muzzleloading rifles and 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 the largest and most difficult game, including lion and elephant. In 1986, a New Hampshire lawyer took the new Safari Club of 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 that had 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 was taken 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 squirrels and prairie dogs, and the New Englander 12 ga shotgun for dove, grouse and rabbits. If you have any doubts as to the effectiveness of the muzzleloader in taking game, you can put them to rest. Properly loaded and efficiently applied, the muzzleloader will handle any North American game animal, as well as a number of those found in other areas of the world. Muzzleloading hunting, however, requires a different set of standards that those applied to hunting with a modern firearm and I would like to acquaint you with these differences. Let’s start with the effective range of the muzzleloading rifle. When you’re hunting with a modern rifle and you see an acceptable big game animal within 250 yards you don’t need to make a decision on whether or not to shoot. If you have practiced enough to be sure of your hunting marksmanship and your choice of caliber and bullet are effective enough at the range you should be confident of harvesting your animal. With a muzzleloader, however, you must begin to think in terms of 50 to 80 yards. Chamber pressures developed in the muzzleloading rifle are much lower than those associated with modern rifles using smokeless powder cartridges. This results in lower velocity and lower muzzle energy. For example, a .50 caliber muzzleloading rifle using a recommended load of 90 grains of FFg black powder will fire a 370 grain Maxi-Ball at a muzzle velocity of 1465 feet per second with a muzzle energy of 1764 foot pounds. BY the time the Maxi Ball has traveled 100 yards; the remaining energy is down to 765 foot pounds which is barely adequate for a sure kill on a mule deer sized animal. The .54 caliber Maxi-Ball, using 110 grains of FFg, leaves the muzzle at almost the same velocity, but the greater bullet mass of 430 grains delivers 1165 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 at 100 yards. You can see from the above comparison that a whole new set of values are required when you start working with the muzzleloader. Lower initial velocities and heavier bullets have a dramatic effect on the drop of the bullet during the first 100 yards of flight. Forget about your flat shooting center fire when you 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 fire a second group at 80 yards so that you will become familiar with the difference in bullet drop when you increase the range by 30 yards. With this in mind, let’s consider the next difference between muzzleloading and center fire hunting. Accurate range evaluation becomes critical for proper bullet placement when you consider the trajectory of the muzzleloading bullet. For example a .270 Winchester sighted in at 100 yards will still shoot within 2 inches of the same point of impact at 200 yards because of a favorable combination of initial velocity, bullet weight and aerodynamically stable bullet design (ballistic
coefficient). When the set of conditions is compared with a similar set of muzzleloading conditions the results are very different. With the muzzleloader we combine low initial velocity, a bullet mass out of proportion to the powder charge and an aerodynamically poor shape to produce continued downrange stability. These conditions dictate a limited effective range and result in a rapid velocity loss, which produces sharp bullet drop within 100 yards. In view of these factors you can see the necessity for careful range evaluation. Given an effective vital kill area of 16 square inches on the average whitetail deer, an error in judgment of 30-40 yards could cause the bullet to miss 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 the game 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
MUZZLELOADER BALLISTIC INFORMATION
ROUND BALL WGT (GRS)
.440 (45 CAL) .490 (50 CAL) .530 (54 CAL) 127 175 230
80 gr FFg 90 gr FFg 110 gr FFg
1930 fps 1900 fps 1910 fps
1026 Ft/LB 1459 Ft/LB 1843 Ft/LB
REMAINING ENERGY 25 YD 50 YD 75 YD
743 Ft/LB 1097 Ft/LB 1413 Ft/LB 536 Ft/LB 821 Ft/LB 1078 Ft/LB 383 Ft/LB 611 Ft/LB 823 Ft/LB
295 Ft/LB 467 Ft/LB 525 Ft/LB
your measurements as possible and then set up similar shooting situations on the range where you normally practice. The more practical experience you get, the better your chances for success when hunting time arrives. Also check your shooting positions in regard to availability of natural shooting rests. Use natural rests wherever possible to steady your shot. If no natural rest is available, use your daypack or fanny pack with whatever natural features are available. Remember, you will most likely have just one shot and, if you miss or wound the animal, he will be out of range or out of sight before you can reload. Another related factor to consider when choosing the area in which you will be hunting is terrain changes between you and the target. AS you know, any difference in elevation between you and the target will cause the bullet to strike high on the animal. While this difference between sight picture and actual point of impact is slight in a center fire, it is magnified in a muzzleloader because of the factors we examined in the previous discussion. If you plan to hunt in an area where you will be making an uphill or downhill shot, try to practice in similar conditions. Selection of the proper projectile is as important in muzzleloading as it is in choosing a bullet for the center fire rifle. When hunting with a muzzleloader, you will have a choice of either a patched round ball or a conical bullet design. Care must be taken to choose the proper projectile to assure an effective oneshot kill. This selection should be based on two factors; the type of animal being hunted and the range at which you will be shooting. For target shooting and small game, such as rabbits and squirrels, the best choice is a patched round ball. Whitetail deer, antelope, javalina and turkey can also be taken with a round ball at distances under 75 yards, but the effective remaining energy of the round ball drops off sharply at ranges greater than 75 yards. Longer shots at Whitetail Deer and all shots at larger game such as mule deer, elk, moose and bear should be made with a
Page 4 Revised 04-09
conical bullet. Five hundred foot pounds of remaining energy is needed to assure a one-shot kill on Whitetail deer-sized animals and 750 foot pounds for animals larger than Whitetail deer, provided the bullet is placed in a vital area. The table below illustrated remaining energy of the round ball at distances of 26 through 100 yards. Remaining energy, however, is not the only factor to consider when selecting a hunting bullet. Performance of the projectile after initial contact plays a very important part in assuring a game-stopping hit. The round ball tends to flatten out when it enters the body cavity and may cut through the animal like an arrow blade. When this happens, the shock power necessary to put the animal down may be lost and, although the shot is well placed, the animal may travel a long distance before dropping. A conical projectile, such as the Thompson/Center MaxiBall or Maxi-Hunter, offers a more efficient and positive method for harvesting game. The conical is approximately twice the weight of a round ball and delivers almost twice the energy of the round ball at muzzleloading hunting distances. The shape of the conical bullet allows for controlled expansion in the body cavity of the animal. This means a larger wound channel and even distribution of the remaining energy along the wound channel, which translates to effective gamestopping performance. The energy comparison chart on the following page will give you the differences in performance between conical and round balls: Weather is another factor that is not as important to center fire hunt planning as it is when working with muzzleloading. Wet weather certainly must be considered with a center fire rifle. You should make sure your barrel is not allowed to fill with water and you should always check to be sure the chamber area is dry when loading, but muzzleloading also requires several more precautions when you hunt in rain, snow, humid conditions. First, you must make sure that the container in which you are
Muzzleloading Fact Sheets 26
ROUND BALL VS. CONICAL BULLETS
CAL PROJECTILE TYPE WGT (GR) POWDER CHARGE MUZZLE VEL. MUZZLE ENERGY REMAINING ENERGY
25 YD 743 1052 1097 1462 1413 1700
50 YD 536 821 821 1199 1078 1525
75 YD 383 664 611 1006 823 1340
45 50 54
ROUND BALL MAXI BALL ROUND BALL MAXI BALL ROUND BALL MAXI BALL
127 255 175 370 230 430
80 gr FFg 80 gr FFg 90 gr FFg 90 gr FFg 110 gr FFg 110 gr FFg
1930 fps 1605 1900 1465 1910 1428
1026 FT/LBS 1459 FT/LBS 1459 1764 1843 1948
295 FT/LB 553 FT/LB 467 865 628 1165
storing your powder is kept tightly closed.. Black powder is hygroscopic, that is to say, it will absorb moisture if the container is left open or the lid is not tightly sealed. This can cause improper ignition which may result in erratic velocity or a misfire. If you are hunting in an area where the days are warm and dry and the nights are cool and humid, you may find that the change in conditions can also cause a moisture buildup in your rifle. If I haven’t fired during the day, I always discharge my rifle and clean it at the end of the day and go through the complete loading procedure the next morning before leaving camp. There is enough time and money invested in the hunt that you should not take a chance on a misfire when the game is in your sights. You should also protect the nipple from moisture during wet weather conditions. When you are moving from place to place or sitting on a stand waiting for game, remove the percussion cap and place a small piece of leather over the nipple. Carefully release the hammer and let it down until it rests firmly on the leather. This will form a moisture-proof seal and prevent water from blocking the flash hole. When you are ready to fire, remove the leather seal and replace the cap on the nipple. You should also make sure that the muzzle is pointed down so that water cannot collect in the barrel. This prevents moisture from seeping past the projectile to contaminate the powder charge and reduces the chance for buildup ahead of the projectile that might create a barrel obstruction. However if you have been walking a great distance with the muzzle pointed down, always check to make sure your projectile is firmly seated against the powder charge when you arrive at your hunting location. Once all of the above factors have been taken into consideration, the remaining point that can make the difference between a successful hunt and a walk in the woods is proficiency. Practice to become proficient with your rifle, your equipment and your reloading techniques. There is no substitute for marksmanship practice at the distances you will be hunting and in the same terrain conditions as you will encounter in your hunting area. Learn where the rifle shoots at different distances and
Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 27
elevations. Try a variety of loads until you find the one that is most accurate with the projectile you will be using. Always sight in for the hunt using the projectile you will be firing on the hunt. Become proficient with the equipment you will be using on the hunt. The old adage of “a place for everything and everything in its place” is a good one for muzzleloading hunters. Decide how you will carry your accessories to allow quick retrieval for reloading operations and then practice with them at the range. A fast and proper reload may make the difference between finishing a wounded animal and spending hours trying to locate him. Once you have become comfortable with the location of your equipment, practice reloading until you are confident that you can be ready for a second shot within 20-30 seconds. Although the philosophy of muzzleloading hunting is geared to the concept of one well-placed shot, it is important to prepare for any contingencies that may arise. It isn’t always easy to remember all of the above factors, but practice and repetition will give you the confidence to be successful. It’s part of the challenge of muzzleloading hunting. However, when you can say you took your record book trophy with a muzzleloader, you can stand a little taller among your hunting partners and you can feel a little of the hunting heritage that our forefathers developed when they stood in the same spot with their muzzleloader. It’s well worth the extra effort and maybe your name will go in to the lists of the Longhunter Society, our national record book of muzzleloading hunting trophies.
Muzzleloading: The Art of Having Fun
By A. LEE ROBERTSON
My first exposure to black powder shooting, some 25 years ago, was on a lone desert hill with a buddy. I guess it took about 10 minutes to load up that first shot, but when I pulled the trigger and felt that soft thump on my shoulder and saw all that fire and smoke billow out in front of me, I knew I was hooked for life. In the years following, the one thing I’ve really learned about black powder shooters is that they are innovative geniuses. They are always coming up with new ways of having fun with their muzzleloaders. That is not to say they don’t have a serious side, because they do. State, regional and national target competitions, benchrest matches, and even world championships make up the more serious side of the sport. Most black powder though, is burned white “makin’ fun.” One of the most popular shoots held at most rendezvous (a gathering of mountain men or buck skinners) is called a blanket shoot. To enter the match, each shooter drops a prize (usually something handmade by the shooter) on an Indian blanket and shoots his assigned target. When the match is over, the winner gets first choice of all the prizes on the blanker; the second place winner gets second choice, and so on right down to the lowest scorer, who gets the last prize left on the blanket. Everybody’s a winner. You can enter blanket shoots all day and still go home with a prize. Another popular match is an elimination shoot, called an “ax split shoot.” Shooters have to split the lead ball on an ax blade, and the two halves of the lead ball break a balloon or clay pigeon placed on each side of the ax blade. As shooters miss or fail to split the ball, they are eliminated. The last two shooters have a final shootout for the winner. Matches like these are as exciting and fun filled for spectators as they are for the shooters. Some matches are shot from a saddle, strapped over a 55gallon barrel hung from bungee cords to simulate shooting buffalo from horseback. Others are speed matches to see how many buffalo silhouettes can be knocked over in a given time limit. Loading from a hunting pouch. This one’s a real test of your own personal loading technique and tools. Most rendezvous have a mountain man run (Cherokee run) that tests survival skills in many ways. It usually starts with a shot from a rifle to start the stopwatch. It usually starts with a shot from a rifle to start the stopwatch. The skinner then takes off along a marked trail, loading on the run, shoots other targets along the trail with a rifle or pistol and throws a tomahawk and knife at other targets. He jumps into a stream or pond to set several traps and runs across logs over streams. AS he stumbles back to the finish line, he has to build a flint and steel fire to stop the clock. This race gets competitive and is a real crowd pleaser, with fans wildly cheering their favorite skinner or local hero.
Why Teach Muzzleloading?
Contrary to popular belief, the sport of muzzleloading is not as complicated, messy or dangerous as many instructors think. Nor is it any more difficult to teach than conventional firearms. As one of the fastest growing shooting sports, muzzleloading has a wide appeal for both young and old. So there’s no reason not to become involved in muzzleloading. The demand for instructors is there, the responsibility of the NRA instructor is there, the shooting fundamentals are the same, and besides, it’s fun! “Anyone who would make negative statements about the sport is obviously unfamiliar with black powder shooting,” said Lenny Pinaud, and NRA Training Counselor and coauthor of NRA’s Muzzleloading Rifle Handbook. Pinaud believes that once instructors know more about the sport, they will be interested in adding it to their programs. “The sport has a lot to say for it.” Pinaud added. “Anyone who believes that muzzleloading is difficult to do or teach should take the time to become more familiar with it. If NRA’s lesson plans and instructions are followed, it is safe and easy to teach.” Like the other Basic Firearms Education Program courses, the muzzleloading courses for rifle, pistol and shotgun are designed for the new shooter. They follow the same loading
Page 6 Revised 04-09
procedure. The five fundamentals of shooting position, shot preparation, sight alignment, trigger control and follow through are equally important to black powder rifle and pistol as to modern firearms. In muzzleloading shotgun shooting, the fundamentals are the same as conventional shotgun: Stance - the position of the shooter’s body and gun in relation to the expected location of the target: gun ready position - mounting the gun; swing to the target – moving the body and gun as a single unit to the target; trigger pull – clean and qui9ck; and follow through – continuing the swing after the shot has been fired. In the past 20 years, the popularity of muzzleloading has increased considerably. The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association (NMLRA), one of the largest black powderoriented groups in the country, has increased its membership by more than 300 percent in that same time period. Growing numbers of people are becoming interested in Revolutionary War, American fur trade, and Civil War groups, all of which use black powder firearms. These groups can attract quite a bit of attention in their unique costumes when involved in a battle re-enactment, skirmish or rendezvous. There is also a special camaraderie
Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 28
Other shooting matches involve steel gongs at various long distances or moving targets suspended on strings, such as hangin’ ham shoots or bacon shoots, where you must shoot the string clean off and drop the ham, bacon or turkey in order to win the prize. Besides those, the individual tomahawk matches or knifethrowing matches, where competitors try to cut a playing card tacked to a crump, are perhaps the most popular event with all ages. Perhaps the newest fun shoot to hit the Western rendezvous is the “raw egg shoot.” Each shooter hangs a raw egg taped on a string. He loads one shot. That’s all he gets, one shot. If he hits the egg, he’s home free. If he misses, the fun really starts. He has to eat the raw egg! Some how, the spectators seem to have as much or more fun than the shooters. To the shooters, it’s a real challenge. This is one of the “skinner shoots,” where you’ll see the shooters settle down and do
some real serious shooting. We’ve all eaten our share of raw eggs and smelled the aroma of black powder. We’ve all shared hunting stories or listened to old mountain man stories around a campfire. The one thing we all agree on: Black-powder shooters have resurrected the art of having fun. You can add fun to your own muzzleloading classes by incorporating one or more of these shoots into your program. The final lesson of the course calls for games and activities. It’s a perfect time to stage a hangin’ ham or a blanket shoot. (Just make sure you tell your students in advance to bring something for the blanket.) All these shoots are designed to do one thing. That’s to let your hair down, set aside the stresses of the modern world and do as the early settlers and pioneers did – make our own fun. That’s the magic of the muzzleloader sport –having fun.
For more information about muzzleloading and muzzleloading activities, you may contact the following organizations: •Brigade of American Revolution, 32 Douglas Road, Delmar, NY 12052 •Civil War Skirmish Association, 7511 Winding Way, Fair Oaks, CA 95628. •National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association, PO Box 67, Friendship, IN 47021 •North-South Skirmish Association, The Skirmish Line, 4815 Oglethorpe St., Riverdale, MD 20737 •U.S. International Muzzle Loading Committee, Inc., c/o h ld d k
That is an integral part of these replays of history. Young people are very much among those attracted to the smoke and flame billowing from these antique-looking guns. They are also attracted by the interesting costumes and activities that are a part of this sport. The excitement of fun shoots like blanket shoots and turkey shoots can lure young people into remaining black-powder fans for life. Some enjoy the historical link of muzzleloaders; they can feel close to the American pioneer establishing his home on a new frontier. The sport of muzzleloading hunting is also growing in popularity. Some enthusiasts claim that nothing can match the excitement and challenge of a black-powder hunt. Thirty-two states offered a separate or extended season for black-powder hunters last year. There are sanctioned muzzleloading competitions across the country, and NRA offers a qualification program for muzzleloading rifle, pistol and shotgun. “It is obvious that the demand is there,” said Steve Moore, who also co-wrote Muzzleloading Rifle Handbook. “As instructors we should help further people’s interest in the sport by teaching them proper and safe methods.” Many people shy away from black-powder shooting because they think it’s dangerous. When safety precautions are followed, however, black-powder shooting is as safe as any other shooting sport. A few things to remember: Keep powder away from smoke and flame. Black powder is
Muzzleloading Fact Sheets 29
extremely volatile and must be handles with care. Under no conditions can smokeless powder be substituted for black powder. (Pyrodex is the only safe substitute for black powder.) Smokeless powder burns much hotter than black powder, and the resulting pressure is a surefire way to destroy the gun and endanger the shooter and those near. Because the residue formed by igniting black powder is corrosive, muzzleloading firearms must be cleaned after use. Generally, cleaning with a solution of water and dishwashing soap is all that is necessary. With practice and preparation, a muzzleloader can be as quick and easy to clean as a modern firearm. The lack of an antique firearm is not an obstacle to shooting black powder. Most muzzleloader shooters use replicas today. In addition, many black powder equipment manufacturers and retailers are willing to donate equipment and supplies to a class. Another source of equipment and experienced volunteer help is your local black powder club. Muzzleloading has the potential to become one of the most popular shooting sports. With all of the mystique surrounding black powder shooting aside, teaching muzzleloading is no more difficult than teaching a course using modern firearms. The basic fundamentals are the same and the possibilities for fun with muzzleloaders are endless. If you would like to know more about the basic muzzleloading program, please contact the Basic Programs Department.
MUZZLELOADING SILHOUETTE CONTEST
I. II. Objectives: To assist 4-H members in learning the rules of muzzleloading safety, sportsmanship and accuracy. The general rules of State 4-H Conference eligibility covered in the State 4-H Contest Handbook apply. A. Two teams, consisting of 3 or 4 members, may be entered from each county. B. Contestants must be enrolled in a 4-H shooting sports project C. No more than two (2) contestants will share a muzzleloading rifle. Written Examination A. Fifty questions taken from the 4-H shooting sports project on muzzleloading, The Basics of Muzzleloading (CES Circular 500), and Muzzleloading Silhouette Match (100F – 43) are the reference books. The questions will be worth 2 safety to measure the ability of the contestant to handle firearms under range and field conditions. B. The exam score will count as 25% of the total contest score. Match Description – A match consists of 10 rounds. 2 crow targets at 25 yards 2 groundhog targets at 50 yards 2 buffalo targets at 100 yards 2 turkey targets at 125 yards 2 bear targets at 150 yards
Targets – The silhouette targets are made from T-1 steel metal plate and shale be 3/8” thick for the crow and groundhog, ¼” thick for the buffalo, turkey and bear. The “feet” upon which the silhouettes rest should be made from the same type and thickness of steel as the targets. The dimensions are as follows: Base Size: Crow Groundhog Buffalo Turkey Bear Silhouette Size: Crow Groundhog Buffalo Turkey Bear
2” x 4” x 3/8” 3” x 6” x 3/8” 3” x 5” ¼” (2 required) 3” x 7” x ¼” 4” x 6” x ¼” (2 required) 12” x 8 ½” x 3/8” 6 ½” x 13 ½” x 3/8” 22” x 15” x ¼” 18” x 21” x ¼” 13” x 35” x ¼”
Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 30
Minimum distance between silhouettes should be: Crows 12”, Groundhogs 18”, Buffalo 20”, Turkeys 24, Bears 30” apart. All are placed on stands off the ground. The bears and buffalo shall be placed so that the center of gravity is no more than one inch in front of the topple point. As a simple explanation, the official width of the bear’s feet is four inches. The bear should be moved carefully backward on its stand with the feed overhanging to the backside until the topple point is achieved. From that point they may be moved forward to achieve stability – but, as the rules call for, not more than one inch forward of this topple point. It is suggested that this final resting place be marked by spraying around the feed with target paint or otherwise so that the bears may be placed in the same place each time they are reset. Standard NRA silhouette targets may be used at the prescribed distances. Equipment Allowed – Any muzzleloading rifle with metallic open or peep sights (shaders allowed) loaded with single patched round ball (no sabot loads). Targets are designed to fall with a medium to light load in a hunting rifle. All targets can be easily topples with a .45 caliber round ball and 60 grain charge. Any shooter who is destroying targets will be disqualified. Bullet loading blocks are allowed. Loading powder directly from the flask or horn into muzzle of rifle is prohibited. Firing Procedure – Firing is in 2 round stages, 10 minutes per stage, in offhand position – except bear targets which can be fired in any position without artificial support. Each competitor has a bank of 2 metal silhouettes to fire against, one shot at each, left to right, in order. Hits out of sequence are misses. Only hits and misses are recorded and a silhouette must be knocked from its rest to score a hit. Turning a silhouette on stand does not count. Ricochet hits count. Such completion firing may be done immediately or on later relay, on the Range Officer’s decision, based on length of delay involved: rifle repair, substitution, or other pertinent factors. Except, when such rifle failure occurs, the same rifle shall be used at all ranges in that particular match. Each shooter may have one coach with him on the firing line, who has a scope or binoculars and advises the competitor where the shots are going, keeps time, or otherwise advises, but said coach may not handle the shooter’s rifle or accessories or assist in any physical way once the command to fire has been given. A minimum of 5 minutes will be allowed between stages to move and reset targets. If the wind is strong enough to prevent setting targets, the Range Officer may, at his discretion, order the targets to be clamped to the stand. Scoring of hits on the target are then used in lieu of knocking down the targets. Scoring – All shots are scored by marking either an “O” for a miss or an “X” for a hit, in the correct spaces on a scorecard. It is the scorekeeper’s responsibility to see that the competitor observes the rules and time limits, fires no more than 2 rounds per series, and when strong winds exist, watches silhouettes closely, so that he can tell when a silhouette is blown over and not knocked down by a shot. When a silhouette is blown down before a shot, the scorekeeper will instruct the shooter to fire remaining ones in order, then go back to the left end of fire unfired round or rounds as remaining silhouette or silhouettes. All scoring differences must be resolved immediately on completion of the series before either shooter or scorekeeper leaves the firing line. The scorecard is as follows:
Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 31 Revised 04-09 Page 9
Name County Club Crows Groundhogs Buffalos Turkeys Bears Totals Ties – If a tie occurs, the shooter with the greatest number of bears will receive the higher position. If ties remain, the greater numbers of turkeys will be used and so on to the buffalo, groundhogs, and crows until a clear winner appears. If a clear winner is not established from the scorecards, a shoot off will be held. To break ties, each shooter shall fire one shot at a designated bear. If a tie remains, each shooter shall fire at a designated turkey, and a buffalo, then a groundhog, then crow, bear, and so on, following this sequence until the tie is broken. Regular loading, firing, and time procedures shall be used. Safety – The Range Officer has the right to refuse or remove any shooter whose actions are unsafe or has unsafe equipment. V. Powder, round balls and patches will be furnished and must be used. No personal powder, balls or patches may be used. VI. General A. At least one adult must accompany each team to the contest. B. Safety – All firearms, whether being carried, at rest in vehicles, near the range or at rest will be unloaded. They will be loaded only on the line and at the command of the range officer. C. Coaches are responsible for the safety of shooters. D. Protests – Protests or concerns of any nature should immediately be brought to the contest superintendent. E. Violations of the accepted rules of conduct on the range will, at the discretion of the contest superintendent, disqualify a contestant. F. No coaching allowed. References Basics of Muzzleloading – Curricular 500 Muzzleloading Silhouette Match – 100F-43
VIII. Awards Ribbons – Team 1-5 and Individual 1-5 Plaques – High Point Individual Medals – High Point Team
Page 10 Revised 04-09 Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 32
STATE 4-H CONFERENCE MUZZLELOADING CONTEST JULY , 20 NAME: COUNTY: RELAY X = HIT
Crow Groundhog Buffalo Turkey Bear
BAY O = MISS
Muzzleloading Fact Sheet 33
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