The DIY Hunter

Target bullet groups

The 3 shot 100 yard groups I shot today with my CVA Accura V2, Browning X-Bolt in 270 WSM and my Model 1885 in 243 WSSM. I did shoot a 4th shot on the 150 SST group.

243 WSSM Model 1885 - 95 Gr Berger VLD

The 95 Gr Berger VLD has just been amazing in my 243 WSSM Model 1885 rifle over the years. Today I wanted to try H1000 powder charges instead of the MagPro I had been using. Today I tried two powder charges with this bullet 46.0 and 46.4 grain loads. In the targets above the group on the left has two bullets in one hole.

Since I am wanting to really extend my range out to 300 yards and beyond with my muzzleloader I'm going to need to up the powder charge from the 100 grains of FFG that I have hunted with in the past.

Today I was trying 130 Gr of Triple7 FFG powder behind the 300 Gr Hornady SST, 300 Gr Hornady FPB, and the 300 Gr PowerBelt AeroLite. On my last trip out I learned that having the ramrod attached to the muzzleloader was affecting my group sizes so this time out I kept the ramrod off the muzzleloader for all of my shooting.

I also brought a couple of my rifles to shoot different loads with so I would shoot three shots with one bullet in my muzzleloader then switch to a rifle for three shots. Doing this helped to keep my barrels cool and give me better results.

The 300 Gr PowerBelt AeroLite was clearly the most accurate again on this trip out. With 130 Gr of Triple7 FFG powder this bullet shot a 1 1/8 inch group at 100 yards and was going just a hair shy of 2,000 fps on my chrony. This bullet is designed to open up in game with non-magnum charges. Since I am wanting something that will be able to take deer out past 300 yards, I thinking the AeroLite with magnum loads might be the ticket. But what about those Parker bullets???

Someone might ask why I haven't tried the Barnes muzzy bullets. Given my experience with Barnes' awesomely accurate rifle bullets I have not been pleased with their performance on game in long-range applications see this article for some of my thoughts on Barnes Bullets. Maybe their muzzy bullets would perform better than their rifle bullets at longer ranges however I think the AeroLite is probably the best pill for the job right now.

I still need to figure out the scope mount to give me a little more MOA adjustment. Right now I have exactly 28 MOA of available adjustment for long shots left on my Vortex Viper HS LR 4-16x50 scope. With the 300 Gr AeroLite and a velocity of 2,000 fps that would get me to around 500 yards which should be plenty but I would prefer to have a larger window of adjustment and be using more of the middle of the adjustment range.

I am looking at having EGW make a custom rail or go with some Burris Signature Z-Rings that have the MOA adjustment inserts. Hmm...