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Hello fellow hunters. I am new to muzzleloading and thought I would come to you all for some pointers. I recently acquired a Traditions Pursuit LT .50 caliber, and am getting ready for the muzzleloading season. I wasn't really sure what type of powder to buy. I have been looking at various places and it seems that the type of powder used are the triple seven pyrodex pellets. And I was going to use Hornady SST Sabots since I use them in my shotgun with excellent results, any other recommendations would be welcomed. Is there any good or bad buys on 209 primers, or any of the above? I didn't know if these were bad choices since I have never really had to buy any muzzleloading stuff before.
I see some people writing about cleaning after each shot, but I wasn't sure if that was for older style muzzleloaders or for inline types also.
Anything odd I need to pick up that I might not know about? I hear some people use bullet starters, bore butter, odds and ends I have heard about, but don't really know the necessity of it all.
Thank you all for your help, and best of hunting. -NightbirdX :ph34r:
 

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Sounds like you have a prety good start. I use the Winchester 209's and have never had any trouble. A ball starter is a needed item. The powder choice depends on you a lot of hunters use the triple seven. Make sure you have plenty of speed loads the worst thing is to need one more shot and not have with you.

I use the bore butter after cleaning. I think it helps keep the bore from rusting. I don't think you need to clean after every shot, in a hunting situation it's not practicle. What you do want to try to do is load the gun the same way each time for consistant shots. Use the same presure to seat the bullet each time. After I ram rod the bullet in I take my ball starter on top of the ramrod and give a firm push to seat the bullet well.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply, Buckshot. Ya I was thinking of Winchester 209's, but I had heard that Traditions had a problem closing the breech with them in, so I was going to try Remington and see how that worked out. I was going to get a ball starter, some people I have talked to said get one, some say its not needed. I was gonna get one and see how it worked out for me. I also do need to get some speed loaders. Thank you for the tips, it is much appreciated.
 

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I shoot a T/C Omega and recently switched over from the 250 grain Shockwave bullets to the Hornady SST 250 bullet. The Hornady grouped great at 100 yards out of my gun. A bullet starter is a must. I use CCI 209 primers and have never had a misfire. I think a swab of your barrel between shots is a must for your you to get the most accuracy out of your gun. You can buy pre saturated pads made by Thompson Center that will work. What ever u do be consistent...seating the bullet, exact pellets or powder each time and if you swab your barrel between shots, do it in the same manner each time. Good luck
 

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Be careful with those pre soaked patches. If you do not run several dry ones down after they leave moister in the barrel and will cause a miss fire. First hand knowledge. Something I have noticed since I do a lot of experimenting with black powder is Pyrodex pellets fire instantly where as triple 7 has a small hesitation----Forget Shockey's pellets all together. For what ever reason they cause much inconsistency with your groups. Pyrodex does cause more fouling than 777 but hopefully you don't have to shoot twice. I do use both however. Hope this helps.
 

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Im like wmi I have first hand experience with miss fire after I cleaned my gun I forgot to shoot some caps through it to me its easier to fire off caps than to run a dry patch. but what other peoples advice is good but you need to find out what works best for your gun. Also mark your ramrod when your gun is loaded mark it at the barrel where you can seat your load at the same place every time.
 

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Definately run dry patches, at least 3, down barrel after presoaked patch. I have noticed that i get more consistancy with a clean barrel and a clean barrel will help when reloading at the range.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sighted in today...

I went out and sighted in today. It was a frigid witch out here today, around 19 degrees, but I toughed it out and got some good groups. I first sighted in at 50 yards to make sure I was on paper and got my left and right good, and left it about 4" high, and then moved back to 100 yards. At 100 yards I was good left and right, but still high, so I dropped it down a bit, and ended up being dead nut. I then shot a wooden box that we used the laser on and it was at 140, and I hit that square aiming at center mass. I was happy with the overall performance with my gun.

Just to update I am using a Traditions LT .50 caliber. I ended up using Remington 209's, Triple Seven Pyrodex pellets, and I couldn't find any Hornady SST sabots where I had bought my gun. Apparently, the day after I bought my gun, everyone came in and cleaned them out. I ended up going with 250 grain T/C Shockwaves, as a friend had told me that is what he swears by. I was happy with the accuracy.

The only issues that really peeved me about my gun is that my ramrod is too short. I was shooting 100grains of pyrodex and when I was seating my load, my ramrod would go into the barrel by about 1/4 of an inch when everything was all said and done. It made it very difficult to make sure I had my load packed properly. I ended up using my bullet starter, then had to throw my rod down, then upend the gun, then throw it down until it was bouncing back at me. It just took more time than I really wanted it to, if I needed a quick reload, it would be difficult to do. There is a set of threads on the back end of my ramrod, so maybe they make an extender that I can attach to it to give me the extra 3-4 inches I need.

Thanks for the tips guys. It really gave me a lot to think about and I really do appreciate it. Season starts for us tomorrow, but I will be out all Sat and Sunday to try to pack the freezer. My one deer I shot last year did not suffice long enough to keep me happy. And this year I have a drop freezer that is just waiting for my meat lol. Anywho, cheers to you all and happy hunting. -Bird

P.S. Thanks for the welcome KTL, what part of Michigan are you from?
 

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sounds like your set up is good go get a range rod its longer and threaded at both ends to accept a "T" handle and a brush for cleaning.some ramrods also unscrew and extend you may want to look closer at yours.its at the bullet end.not familiar with your gun so i dont know but my CVA wolf does:wink:
 

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Holt is pretty much Lansing only a couple of miles farther south. I hunt Haslett/Williamston area. Where do u do your hunting. I will also be out this weekend. Dress warm, suppose to be around 5-10 degrees out Saturday morning with high winds and snow. Thats some tough hunting.
 

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Just add a long cleaning jag to it and problems are over. With the ridges in the jag you get a good grip also. I use one that 1 1/2" long.
 

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Thats cool KTL. I hunt several different places as I don't have any property of my own. I hunt on the NW side of Lansing, closer to Dewitt. I did my hunting in Olivet near Charlotte during bow season. I also will be doing some hunting over in Eaton County during Muzzleloader also. Ya it is supposed to be a cold witch this weekend. Tough hunting makes the kill that much sweeter.

Thanks for the tip, Hunting Man. I was looking for an extender online and at the local stores, but no where I looked at or went to had anything like that. I will continue to search though. :p
 

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I'm a big dumb animal...

Ya... so... I was cleaning up my gun, and Joel the Signman was right. The end of my ramrod unscrewed and gave me the other 4" I was asking for. It worked out pretty good. Thanks for the heads up. And thanks for the link, Bruce. Another question. What kind of cleaner do you guys use? My normal cleaner wasn't taking the pyrodex off very well. Muzzleloader Season started here today. I will be out all weekend in the quest for my 1st buck and if nothing else, I need to fill my freezer, lol...
 

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you're welcome. You're using pyrodex pellets, After you run out of them try switching to Triple Seven Pellets
they ignite faster, burn a little cleaner than pyrodex and clean up is easier too.
I use the Easy Clean Bore solvent from Traditions..
 

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glad i could help.i still recommend the range rod and a t handle get a metal brush to make cleanup easier and i use a nontoxic cleaner from cva
 

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Bruce, ya I'm not sure if I stated it earlier, but I am using the Triple Seven Pellets. And thanks for the tip on the cleaner. I tried using my normal stuff that I use on my other guns, and it took me a long long time to get it clean, and it wasn't even as clean as the Marine Corps side of me wanted it to be.

Joel, thanks for the tip. I was actually helping my buddy clean up his .50 Optima today and he was using the T handle quite a bit, and I did get to see the benefits of having one. I will be picking up one soon.

Its funny because I have a few buddies who were swearing up and down that I didn't need a bullet starter and then today when we were hunting, my buddy fired a shot and hadn't really cleaned his gun well, and went to load another round and could not get it started. So he humbly came to me and got my bullet starter and actually needed me to help him get his gun loaded because had so much build up in it. I laughed at him and brought it up when we were sharing a brew after our evening hunt.

Anyways thank you guys again for the solid advice. I truly appreciate it. -Bird
 

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Muzzleloading you got to love it!:yes: There are several good bore cleaners that will work, try a few see which one works for you. I use Hoppy's black powder solvent, but I still use black powder. Old fashion for a reason!
 
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