Last muzzleloader season here in Wisconsin I was muzzleloading with powerbelt bullets. A nice buck presented itself at about 80 yards. I had a nice broadside shot and took it. The buck was clearly hit and headed back up the ravine and I heard him fall over. There wasn't much snow but I knew I had him. This was my first deer with this ammo and I took it for granted. I reloaded and waited a few minutes. I walked down to the shot site and no blood. I knew where he headed and so I carefully headed up the hill. Still no blood. I searched that entire hill and not a drop of blood. I finally heard the buck struggling to breath and found him piled up under a thick pile of brush. Two more shots through the center of his neck and 10 minutes later and he finally expired. I thought I must have had a bad shot on him but when I cleaned him out I found entry and exit wounds. Two perfectly round 50 cal holes right between ribs on both sides. The bullet passed right through the chest cavity and a lung and exited without hardly disrupting a thing. I am not used to this. With my 30.06 I just have to touch the thing in the vitals and there is enough damage to qualify for a horror movie. I was using 100 grains of pyrodex and 295 grain aerotip bullets. If that buck was not breathing hard I might not have recovered him and that really bothers me. The two shots through the neck were equally as negative in my mind and left similar neat 50 cal holes for both entry and exit with no blood from about 10 feet away.
So my question is this, is this sort of performance normal for muzzleloader rounds, is this a fluke, or should I be seriously considering new bullets? I have already invested in some sabot bullets (shockwave, barnes ballistic tip) but really like the accuracy and easy loading of pb bullets. I really would like to know if I can expect similar experience this next year. Maybe the load is designed for 150 grain charges or something that did not allow for expansion?
Question by Gritz. Uploaded on August 16, 2010