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Thread: Getting ready for elk season

  1. #1
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    Getting ready for elk season

    Looks like I drew both my bull elk and doe tags! Nothing like September in the southern Colorado Rockies!

    Yesterday I took my Traditions St.Louis Hawken out for some fun. I've been playing with different lead mixtures and tried this mix of 50% soft lead & 50% chilled lead shot that I melted and mixed in.

    They load the same as a soft round ball, but should hold together a bit better if it hits any heavy bone on an elk should one wander into range... That's always the problem lol.

    I used 80gr Pyrodex P, .020" patch lubed with Frontier's Shoot Out! lube.

    50 yards I put 3 shots touching. I will have to adjust a wee bit to the right, but first I will try my anti-rust hunting lube before making adjustments.

    I actually took it out to 100 yards today with the same load but it was shooting 4" high at 100 yards. I dropped it down to 70gr Pyrodex P and she hit DEAD CENTER in the bulls eye! I will play with powder change some more, but right now, I am very pleased with the rifles 3" group at 100 yards today.

    This is from 50 yards with 80gr Pyrodex P. 3 shots

  2. #2
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    What caliber? If it is a 50 I would consider going to a conical of some sort. A RB bleeds energy pretty quick past 50yd. Personally I would want a minimum 58cal with a RB.
    I'm not saying the 50 won't do the job with good shot placement at close range but it is marginal. I have seen well hit Whitetails at 100yrd go over 200yd before they dropped and an elk is 4 or 5 times that weight.

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boz330 View Post
    I have seen well hit Whitetails at 100yrd go over 200yd before they dropped and an elk is 4 or 5 times that weight.

    Bob
    And 4 or 5 times more durable than a Whitetail. I know they kill Elk with Round ball, and have for a long long time, but in my opinion there are MUCH better choices for the job

  4. #4
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    ah you boys just need to get out and hunt more!

    Its a 50cal. I've hunted elk many times with a 54 and it was common for them to go only 40 to 60 yards after a double lung hit.

    I don't shoot traditional sidelocks just to go and use a conical. Kind of ruins the whole point.

  5. #5
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    That mixture you made of lead is HARD. When it ages it will get harder. If you work a load when they are fresh that same load might not go down the barrel after sitting for a while.
    How many elk have you killed? How many have you killed with a muzzleloader? We have went over this time and time again. I know you have killed at least 1 cow, and maybe another one I don't remember. I have told you before. Elk are off the chart tough. A calf is a big animal. Cows can be huge, and Bulls can be even bigger yet, and tougher. I have personally seen bulls shot in the chest that have only taken out one lung and go for miles. I am not a "magnum" only kind of guy. With a bolt action I have killed close to a dozen elk with a 270 winchester I have killed a dozen more with bows muzzleloaders and other centerfires. I know they are not bullet proof. But a PRB in a 50 is in my opinion hardly adequate over 50 yards with perfect bullet placement. To say without a doubt it is enough shows your lack of experience.

    You saying us boys need to get out and hunt more when we try to give a guy with limited experience some info is also showing your inexperience.
    How many elk have you killed? You said you have hunted with a 54 many times. That is not the same as KILLING them.

    YOu said Shooting conicals out of a side lock ruins what whole point? What is the point? Your not period correct, Your not Historically correct. Your powder is not HC/PC. It seems to me that someone with limited knowledge is trying to bait a fight about what is the right thing to do. In my opinion you need to get a few under your belt. Then if you don't want to ruin the point, get your self HC/PC and hunt that way.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    sure Ron, and everyone on huntingnet said a 300gr Powerbelt Aerolite can't kill an elk either I proved that theory to be 100% incorrect with a video didn't I?

    By golly, the eastern forest elk were completely wiped out by round balls LOL. How they survived back then with these poor projectile must have been pure luck.

    You let me hunt my way, it works for me.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    Alright! Got out today with the St.Louis Hawken and tested my first shot, clean bore accuracy at 100 yards with my current load listed on the target. Shes all set! Follow up shot on a fouled bore was perfect as well. The orange bulls eye is 3" diameter, just to give you an idea on group size.

    I'm going to take some Jim Shockeys Gold 2fg out next time and give it a try.

    Overall, She is 100% elk ready!



    I also recovered a couple of the balls from my 100 yard sandbank. Excellent expansion and no weak spots like with my pure lead ball.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Good shooting there, FM!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
    sure Ron, and everyone on huntingnet said a 300gr Powerbelt Aerolite can't kill an elk either I proved that theory to be 100% incorrect with a video didn't I?

    By golly, the eastern forest elk were completely wiped out by round balls LOL. How they survived back then with these poor projectile must have been pure luck.

    You let me hunt my way, it works for me.
    You can hunt any way your conscience allows you to. But I will agree that the eastern elk were killed off with PRB. But they didn't have season dates. they didn't have game rules. They didn't have PETA people looking over their shoulder. They didn't have to worry about a wounded elk wondering on to private land.

    Killing one elk with a bullet does not prove they are elk killers for 100% certainty. I know of a mini van that took out 22 elk in one herd. That doesn't mean it is the best way to do it.

    I am not saying that the PRB won't do it. I am saying that it has more limitations than you know since you have very limited experience with killing elk.

    You said it works for you. How many elk have you killed with that rifle and a PRB?
    Last edited by idahoron; 05-30-2017 at 06:16 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
    Alright! Got out today with the St.Louis Hawken and tested my first shot, clean bore accuracy at 100 yards with my current load listed on the target. Shes all set! Follow up shot on a fouled bore was perfect as well. The orange bulls eye is 3" diameter, just to give you an idea on group size.

    I'm going to take some Jim Shockeys Gold 2fg out next time and give it a try.

    Overall, She is 100% elk ready!



    I also recovered a couple of the balls from my 100 yard sandbank. Excellent expansion and no weak spots like with my pure lead ball.
    Jim Shockey gold?? That doesn't defeat the purpose of the side lock? Really???? you are only HC/PC to the point of a bullet and everything else is okay?? Really???

    You got a 4" group there. Which is okay I guess. If your point of aim is behind the shoulder tight next to the shoulder. That could end up with a PRB in the shoulder blade. Make sure you take a good game retrieval system.

    Again after that lead hardens you might want to check if you can get them down the barrel.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    Have you shot an elk with a .50cal round ball?

  12. #12
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idahoron View Post
    Jim Shockey gold?? That doesn't defeat the purpose of the side lock? Really???? you are only HC/PC to the point of a bullet and everything else is okay?? Really???

    You got a 4" group there. Which is okay I guess. If your point of aim is behind the shoulder tight next to the shoulder. That could end up with a PRB in the shoulder blade. Make sure you take a good game retrieval system.

    Again after that lead hardens you might want to check if you can get them down the barrel.
    4" group was with JSG. The shots with Pyrodex P are the 2 big holes in the bottom center of the bulls eye. Maybe 1 1/2" group at the most.

    This may be my go to load for the season, but I still want to try some Olde Eynsford black powder 2fg or even Goex 2fg.

    Ammo never stays around here for long. I always cast a new batch of balls before hunting season, sort them and have them ready a week before the hunt.

    My 50/50 mix is 50% soft lead and 50% chilled lead shot I melted down into ingots.

    I doubt that 223gr round ball expanded much at 140 yards on a cow I shot years ago with 80gr Pyrodex RS, but man her lungs were shattered.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
    Have you shot an elk with a .50cal round ball?
    I was standing next to my friend that shot one with a round ball. I breathed the smoke from the shot. He hit the shoulder and it punched in a couple inches into the lung. It took us way too long to recover that elk.
    I was on another trip and came across a man that had shot a cow with a PRB. After we followed her for miles he gave up. I stayed on the track and found her and finished her off.
    While I didn't pull the trigger I do have first hand knowledge of the ineffectiveness of them to make a lasting impression.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
    4" group was with JSG. The shots with Pyrodex P are the 2 big holes in the bottom center of the bulls eye. Maybe 1 1/2" group at the most.

    This may be my go to load for the season, but I still want to try some Olde Eynsford black powder 2fg or even Goex 2fg.

    Ammo never stays around here for long. I always cast a new batch of balls before hunting season, sort them and have them ready a week before the hunt.

    My 50/50 mix is 50% soft lead and 50% chilled lead shot I melted down into ingots.

    I doubt that 223gr round ball expanded much at 140 yards on a cow I shot years ago with 80gr Pyrodex RS, but man her lungs were shattered.
    I am going to say that those 50-50 mix is going to be at least 14BHN hard. You will want to make sure they fit after they harden. A lot of guys don't understand it, but it can bite you. You get to huinting camp and find out that your PRB's are too hard to get down. Then they have to either use thinner patches, which were not tested or find a way to anneal them in camp.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
    Have you shot an elk with a .50cal round ball?
    How many elk have you killed? You declare a load to be an elk load, but what are you basing that off of?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    years of experience with patched balls.

    As I say every year when i'm getting hounded for shooting balls or powerbelts. Let me do the shootin! I've done my part over the years testing many projectiles because they supposedly bounce off game.

  17. #17
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    Years of experience shooting paper.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    I won third place shooter of the year shooting PRB. I have many years experience shooting them. That is why I don't hunt with them.

  19. #19
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    You seem to not know how to reply when asked how many elk you have killed. So your experience is 1 elk. You have killed one elk but your telling guys they need to hunt more. That is funny Jon.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master FrontierMuzzleloading's Avatar
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    No, many more than one elk friend. That hunt though just sticks with me the best. I can just let my eyes go out of focus and smile as the memory comes back to life.

    Do you get an elk tag every year? It took me 3 years to draw in Colorado.

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BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
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