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Thread: Colorado Muzzleloading Conical Problem - Need Input

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
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    Colorado Muzzleloading Conical Problem - Need Input

    In Colorado, for muzzleloading, .40 caliber and larger is required for hunting deer, Pronghorn, and black bear, .50 and larger for elk. Roundball was fine. However, several years ago, Colorado Parks and Wildlife decided for deer, Pronghorn, and bear the minimum projectile weight needed to be 170 grs. This means using a conical for my .44 percussion sidelock. It only shoots a 120 gr. .430" roundball and has a 1/60 or so twist. The groove diameter is .448", and the land diameter is .442". The barrel was made by Miroku in Japan, and has very narrow, beside shallow, lands. I'm thinking a light .45 bullet sized down to the appropriate diameter might work. It would probably stabilize where a heavier mini ball or similar might not with the slow twist barrel. I already cast Lee 200 gr. SWC tumble lube bullets which come out of the mold at .451". It would be easy enough to to make a quick and dirty sizing die on my lathe. I'll use a blackpowder lube and probably a card or fiber wad between the bullet and powder for starters. Has anybody else had this problem or any thoughts on a solution? I appreciate all input.
    For what it's worth, I've killed Mulies with both .44 and .54 roundballs. The .44 killed them just as dead and quickly as the .54. My experience makes me think a 170 gr. requirement is a solution for a non existing problem.

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

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    You might try some Lee REAL bullets. With your slow twist you need a short bullet to get it to stabilize. An over powder wad sometimes helps with conicals especially in a slow twist situation. They make it in a 200 gr and I believe 250gr. You can kill a deer with a 22 but I wouldn't want every darn fool out there hunting them with one. A lot of hunters just don't use good since when hunting so some times they make hunting regs to compensate. Can't say I always agree but I do understand. It's also why they make traffic laws, to compensate for the idiots.
    Aim small, miss small!

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    The problem with sizing pistol bullets is how to load them. If you want to engrave on loading, that's a TON of pressure needed. If you want to bore size and slip fit, then you need wads and enough powder to upset the bullet (they also have to be really soft, 8bhn or so).

    If you don't want to try the Lee REAL, then try one of the Minie designs.

    You will need to measure the bore and groove dia of your barrel to get the best fit.

  4. #4
    Hello brassell31,

    We were shooting the LEE 452-200-RF out of my Brother's Lyman GPR accurately with a Sabot. But I suppose Colorado doesn't allow them either. Not sure what I'd try, maybe a custom molded bullet with a round base?

    AntiqueSledMan.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by AntiqueSledMan View Post
    Hello brassell31,

    We were shooting the LEE 452-200-RF out of my Brother's Lyman GPR accurately with a Sabot. But I suppose Colorado doesn't allow them either. Not sure what I'd try, maybe a custom molded bullet with a round base?

    AntiqueSledMan.
    correct - no sabots for CO muzzleloading hunting

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    Maybe size them for a slip fit with a paper patch... 200, even 225 grains should stabilize in that twist.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Arkansas muzzleloading doesn't allow RB in pistols. Conicals only. Compounding the issue, is that barrels have to be
    9" or longer. Making Ruger's Old Army, the epitome of BP revolvers, illegal to use. Can't fix Stuck on Stupid.

    Winelover

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    These kinds of laws are exactly why I don't mind what kind of gear someone uses. As soon as you start nit picking this and that to keep the season "traditional", whatever that means, you get outrageous regulations like this.

    Here is an off the wall idea. Does Colorado allow buckshot? Maybe you could load double's, as in two PRB's to bring the payload up to 240 or so grains. I've tried this myself, and it works surprisingly good. Balls usually hit within a few inches of each other at 50 yards.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy

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    Quote Originally Posted by megasupermagnum View Post
    These kinds of laws are exactly why I don't mind what kind of gear someone uses. As soon as you start nit picking this and that to keep the season "traditional", whatever that means, you get outrageous regulations like this.

    Here is an off the wall idea. Does Colorado allow buckshot? Maybe you could load double's, as in two PRB's to bring the payload up to 240 or so grains. I've tried this myself, and it works surprisingly good. Balls usually hit within a few inches of each other at 50 yards.
    Nope - no buckshot.

    from https://cpw.state.co.us/Documents/Ru...me/biggame.pdf

    3. MUZZLELOADING RIFLES & SMOOTHBORE MUSKETS
    a. Only legal muzzleloaders allowed in muzzleloading seasons.
    b. In-line muzzleloaders are legal.
    c. Must be a single barrel that fires a single round ball or conical projectile.
    d. To hunt deer, pronghorn or bear, conical bullets must be a minimum of .40
    caliber, and round-ball bullets must be a minimum of .50 caliber.
    e. To hunt elk or moose, conical bullets must be a minimum of .50 caliber, and
    round-ball bullets must be a minimum of .54 caliber.
    f. From .40 caliber to .50 caliber, bullets must weigh a minimum of 170 grains.
    g. If greater than .50 caliber, bullets must weigh a minimum of 210 grains.
    h. Shotshell primers and B.O.R. Lock MZ System bullets are legal.
    i. Pelletized powder systems are prohibited during muzzleloading seasons.
    j. Cannot be loaded from the breech during muzzleloading seasons.
    k. Only open or iron sights allowed in muzzleloading seasons. Fiber optics
    and fluorescent paint incorporated into or on open or iron sights are legal.
    Scopes or any sighting device using artificial light, batteries and electronic
    gear are prohibited during muzzleloading seasons.
    l. Sabots are prohibited during muzzleloading seasons. Cloth patches are not sabots.
    m. Smokeless powder is prohibited in muzzleloading seasons. Black powder
    and black-powder substitutes are legal.
    n. Electronic or battery-powered devices cannot be incorporated into or attached to muzzleloader during muzzleloading seasons.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Wow, talk about convoluted. "Sabots are prohibited during muzzleloading seasons. Cloth patches are not sabots."

    A cloth patch is very much a sabot. Idiot bureaucracy.

    Anyway, my recommendation is to size a small pistol bullet cast of pure lead to .001" or .001" over bore diameter. In your case I would try .444". Something like this might work http://www.accuratemolds.com/bullet_...=45-175B-D.png

    You can try the Lee REAL. I've never got them to shoot well.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Like advised the Lee REAL with a 3/8 lubed felt wad under it and a card over the powder and it will kill stuff all day long (NO PROBLEM) and wont come off your powder and is extremely accurate in my 45 s ! Be sure to use pure lead ,the mold is cheap and you can prove accuracy to your satisfaction to 120 yds /Ed
    Last edited by Edward; 05-15-2020 at 06:19 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward View Post
    Like advised the Lee REAL with a 3/8 lubed felt wad under it and a card over the powder and it will kill stuff all day long (NO PROBLEM) and wont come off your powder and is extremely accurate in my 45 s ! Be sure to use pure lead ,the mold is cheap and you can prove accuracy to your satisfaction to 120 yds /Ed
    And my experience with both 50 and 54 caliber REAL's in multiple guns each is that they are accurate enough to about 50 yards, and that is it. I think 3" at 50 yards is the best I ever saw. Most people have the same experience. Once in a while someone gets them to shoot good, so it can happen.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I'd go with the REALs and never look back. Killed a bunch of stuff with REALs.

  14. #14
    Boolit Mold
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    Don't think a REAL will go down the barrel. Just to make sure we're on the same page, what I'm calling groove diameter sounds like what you are calling bore diameter, the largest diameter of the barrel. Land diameter is the distance from inside of land to inside of land. My bore diameter (groove diameter) is .448 ". Lee REAL bullets have 4 driving bands, the smallest being .452" progressing to th largest at the front of the bullet being .467". I think what megasuperman said may make the most sense, though I may size them closer to to bore diameter because of the shallow lands. It's really weird how narrow the lands are, more like a pointed ridge to form the rifling. What's even stranger is how well that configuration shoots a patched rounball. Anyway, sizing them small to start with and using pure lead and letting obturation seal the bore hopefully would be a starting point.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Those REAL's practically fall down the bore of a gun they are intended for. My guess is they would not be as hard to load as you would think.

  16. #16
    Hello brassell31,

    I don't know if this would fly or not without tumbling.
    But I think with a round base one could patch it.
    Maybe you know someone who swages 44 cal. bullets,
    have them form something up for your needs.

    AntiqueSledMan.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by brassell31 View Post
    In Colorado, for muzzleloading, .40 caliber and larger is required for hunting deer, Pronghorn, and black bear, .50 and larger for elk. Roundball was fine. However, several years ago, Colorado Parks and Wildlife decided for deer, Pronghorn, and bear the minimum projectile weight needed to be 170 grs. This means using a conical for my .44 percussion sidelock. It only shoots a 120 gr. .430" roundball and has a 1/60 or so twist. The groove diameter is .448", and the land diameter is .442". The barrel was made by Miroku in Japan, and has very narrow, beside shallow, lands. I'm thinking a light .45 bullet sized down to the appropriate diameter might work. It would probably stabilize where a heavier mini ball or similar might not with the slow twist barrel. I already cast Lee 200 gr. SWC tumble lube bullets which come out of the mold at .451". It would be easy enough to to make a quick and dirty sizing die on my lathe. I'll use a blackpowder lube and probably a card or fiber wad between the bullet and powder for starters. Has anybody else had this problem or any thoughts on a solution? I appreciate all input.
    For what it's worth, I've killed Mulies with both .44 and .54 roundballs. The .44 killed them just as dead and quickly as the .54. My experience makes me think a 170 gr. requirement is a solution for a non existing problem.
    Actually, the only thing that changed several years ago was the Minimum 210 grain projectile for elk and moose. Other than that it's been min .40 cal for deer, bear and antelope with a minimum 170 grain projectile for twenty years or more.

    The reason for the apparent ridiculous statement that the patch is not a sabot is because hunters were calling relentlessly to ask if a patch is a sabot! So, I guess that reflects more on the stupidity of hunters than on the stupidity of the CPW.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by AntiqueSledMan View Post
    Hello brassell31,

    I don't know if this would fly or not without tumbling.
    But I think with a round base one could patch it.
    Maybe you know someone who swages 44 cal. bullets,
    have them form something up for your needs.

    AntiqueSledMan.
    I think that would work. Might be a bit pricey to have a special mold made. That's not a new concept, it goes back to the 19th and maybe even 18th century and was called a sugarloaf bullet.

  19. #19
    Boolit Mold
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    Oops, terminology mistake on my part. Went back and came across definitions of bore and groove diameter in my old Lyman Cast Bullet handbook. Bore diameter is what I call land diameter, the diameter of the inside of the lands. I had groove diameter right. I don't want to buy a .45 REAL mold until I know the bullet will fit the bore. Any body have .45 200 gr. sample they would sell me? I also have a true .45 ML flintlock it might work for, but it is still in the build process, and I don't know if I'll get that finished before hunting season as I am remodeling the kitchen for the wife during this stay at home Covid season. Also we are hot and heavy into Wyoming ground squirrel season here in NW Colorado and most of my spare time involves reloading ammo for or hunting them. One rancher whose property I hunt on told me the combined squirrel colonies on his land eat as much hay and alfalfa as his 700 head of cattle, and anything I can do to reduce the numbers is much appreciated.

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have some. PM me an address and I will get them out to you. Lee has a combo mould for the 200gr REAL and .440 RB. That's what I have.
    Aim small, miss small!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

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
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check