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wage slave
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Deer season just ended day before yesterday, and I came out empty handed. I had hunted at the beginning of the season with a sabot bullet in my rifle, but found out that sabots are in fact not legal for hunting in Montana. So I switched to the 245 grain hollow point powerbelt bullets, hoping that they are legal. What I have shot of them so far is pretty good and I think I'll stick with them even though they are a bit more expensive than the alternative.

I was reading the thing that came with the bullets I bought, and it says that the "aerotip" bullets that have the polymer point on them penetrate deeper than hollow points before they mushroom out. It said that this is better for larger game like elk or bear. It kind of makes sense, but is it actually factual or is it just a marketing ploy of theirs?

I want to do the 2010 spring black bear season since my 2009 deer season was a dud. I honestly think the hollow points will be adequate, but if those (more expensive) aerotips really are a better choice then I'll fork out the cash for them.
 

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Uncle Sam's Bitch
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If it's traditional muzzleloader only...I'd probably use my .58 with a minie ball. Of course I wouldn't hunt dangerous game with a muzzleloader without backup in the form of a .44 magnum or a S&W 500.
 

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wage slave
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My rifle is a CVA Optima Pro, I'd like to shoot traditional but for now I'm sticking with the modern stuff. With my sabots and the hollow point power belts I've been loading 85 grains of powder, so I may bump that up to 100 grains just for the little bit of extra umph on impact. My dad said that he would carry a .357 magnum as a backup just in case but I've been wanting to get a .40 S&W for a while, then I could carry that for a Plan B on a bear hunt.

I had considered getting a .54 caliber rifle for black bear this spring and then use it for moose some time in the next couple of years, but I don't think I could convince my wife into letting me buy another rifle. But then again, I will probably have a hard time convincing her that I need a hand gun too.
 

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I'd bump the charge up to 100grains.or two pellets,or even three,if your rifle will handle it. I'm shooting 250 grain TC shockwaves right now,over two pellets pyrodex.
 

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Plinker
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If it's traditional muzzleloader only...I'd probably use my .58 with a minie ball. Of course I wouldn't hunt dangerous game with a muzzleloader without backup in the form of a .44 magnum or a S&W 500.
I'd go with a 54 cal ball and patch. Carrying a 44 mag pistol as back up sounds good, but I think the only handgun you can carry in WA State is a BP pistol (with your BP Rifle).
 

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I heard the hollow point powerbelts aren't that accurate. I'd go with the plastic tipped ones.

Whatever takes care of a deer good can handle a bear fine.
 

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wage slave
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys, the hollow point powerbelts were pretty much the same as the sabots at 50 yards. I didn't test them and longer though because I only have open sights and don't feel comfortable shooting and making a clean kill much past about 70 or 80 yards. A scope is also on my wish list.

I think I'll go ahead and give the aerotips a try and see what happens. I actually had never though of carrying a black powder pistol and my wife would be more likely to let me buy one because they are somewhat cheaper. I had always been thinking of a semi auto hand gun mostly because it is a little more practical to keep around the house for defense and stuff.
 

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Shoot the gun at 100 yards. 50 doesn't always show what the gun is really aimed at. I get 3-4" groups at 100 yards with my 50 cal and fiber optics sights.

My iron sight targets are big circles. for 100, I usually put up a 18x18 white target board. Then I spray paint a 8" circle from a cardboard cutout.

There is 2 styles of iron sight shooting. Hunting is aiming at the center of the dot. Target uses a smaller dot, and people aim right at the base of a certain sized dot, the point of aim is at the dot on the rifle.

I use hunter style of shooting. I shoot tighter groups by aiming at the middle. The big circle gives a small halo around the front sight. Just even the thickness of the extra bit you see.

The 8" is good for those fiber optic sights. I have 5 and 6 inch ones for smaller front sights.

My favorite type of front sight is a peep sight. MY newest plinking target is 5 gallon buckets. I can hit them all day long with my .30-30 with lyman peep or my Chinese SKS with lyman peep. My stock yugo SKS usually hits em 3/4's of the time. MY personal limit for iron sight large game hunting is 150 yards. Small game limit for iron sights is roughly 50 yards.
 

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wage slave
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I might give that bullet a try too. Its a heavier bullet, but that doesn't bother me. And the price is pretty comparable on a price-per-shot basis.
 

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wage slave
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
My boss back in the town I use to live in shot a flint lock and cast his own round balls. He gave me a few and they seemed pretty accurate, I think I still have a couple left so they are always an option too.

Kind of what I'm shooting for (so to speak) is to develop a system that works really well for how I hunt in NW Montana. For the most part I've always used copper hollow points with a sabot, but since sabots aren't legal I need an alternative and thats why I decided to try the powerbelts. I think I'd like to find something that works really well and stick with it instead of one bullet, then another, and with different brands of powder or pellets, and try and stay away from unfamiliar things. I've got my gear that I carry when hunting and hiking fine tuned and to the point where I can just grab it out of the closet and go, and I'd like to get my shooting the same way.
 

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Other than a VERY FEW, "Special Regulation" area's , MT has no restrictions on calibers or sabots or blackpowders of any sort. We don;t even have a "special muzzleloading" seasons that I am aware of. The listed limitation on projectiles only apply to a few suburban areas and some conjested camp sites.. where the term "traditional handgun" muzzle loader and shotguns rules apply.

This is not a statewide limitation on sabots. You can hunt with a 22 if you like.

All that being said ... in a caliber of 54 or larger the Patched Round ball is all you need.
 

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Ego Sto Solus
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seems most lean towards having a much larger round..but it was mentioned that a .40 S&W could be suitable as a backup..what are yalls thoughts on this?..is it possible ? not talking perfect placement . but maybe putting 4- 180 grain shots randomly placed into bears body...for ****s and giggles..id also like to know if it would work on brown bears and grizzlies as well..
 

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seems most lean towards having a much larger round..but it was mentioned that a .40 S&W could be suitable as a backup..what are yalls thoughts on this?..is it possible ? not talking perfect placement . but maybe putting 4- 180 grain shots randomly placed into bears body...for ****s and giggles..id also like to know if it would work on brown bears and grizzlies as well..

A 40 will easily "kill" about anything it is shot at..it is all about shot placement.

But "Back-up" can be a different sitiation...when things get Hairy, scary, and dangerous you want a weapon that can blow the tailbone off of what ever you are shooting by way of his Jawbone...and still exit into the trees behind. This is what it takes to stop and anchor something that has forced the back-up weapon into action.

The 40s&w..is not this weapon...Sure beats a sharp stick or a empty muzzleloader though..:D: Penitraiton is important,, it makes no difference if it is 4 or 10 rounds...if they don't go deep enough to reach the Vitals or centeral nervous system they will not stop the problem before it is too late.
 

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wage slave
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I was just looking back through the 2009 black bear hunting regulations book, and I'm not seeing the Firearms Restrictions section like there is in the other books. But where I saw that sabots were illegal I was reading the moose hunting regulations and saw that, then I switched over to the deer/elk book and saw the same thing and had one of those "aw crap..." moments and assumed they weren't legal for anything. If you go to page 19 of this document in weapons restrictions there is a muzzle loader part saying "only lead, no sabots", I'm kind of hoping that copper jackets are ok. Just looking at that now I am seeing that I absent mindedly skipped a whole line where it says The following equipment restrictions apply to Weapons Restricted Areas, and I pretty much just hunt the back country where there aren't restrictions so I ought to be alright no matter what. ...woops...:xeye: But I guess its better to be on the safe side than to make a big mistake.

As far as me thinking of carrying a backup handgun, I was thinking of doing that in case I shoot the bear and then start tracking him. Once I get to him, I want something that can dispatch him easily if he is still breathing. I was thinking a little .22 handgun would be fine enough, I could just shoot him at the base of the back of the skull point blank and put the bullet directly into his brain, but if it is still alive and just laying there I'd like to keep some distance between him and me so I'm sticking with the bigger caliber. Technically I could just reload my rifle before I even start tracking him, but thats not as cool as carrying TWO guns. :cool:
 

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From what I've seen and read, the powerbelt bullets are soft lead with just a copper wash, not a real jacket. Poor penetration if you hit a shoulder. Perfectly good for a broadside lung shot. But can you honestly tell me you would not shoot a bear quartering toward you, but wait for it to get broadside?
 

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wage slave
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes, actually, I honestly can. I do it for deer all the time, its all about patience and waiting for him to turn a little. Broadside gives you a larger area to aim at, and it makes it less likely to have the bullet go way through and get into the nasty stuff like the stomach and intestines and bladder and stuff. I've never had a deer get away just because it didn't turned broadside to me.
 

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From What I read, you tried round balls on an inline? The rate of spin is too much for them.

To convince your wife about a hunting handgun, ask her is it Ok to buy one after you get mauled by a bear.
 
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