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Fellas,

Will be heading to Colorado this fall for a bull elk hunt with my Encore 209x50. I have been shooting 295 grain Powerbelt Aerotips out of it with 90 grains of 777 with great success on deer. Wondering if I should up the powder charge for the elk. Thoughts? Any experience with the PB's and elk? Thanks in advance for your help.

Pruts
 

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I would use the 348 grain Powerbelts and 3 777 50 grain pellets, easier to reload if you need a 2nd shot and faster,,,,,,,,,,,
 

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The pellets are not legal in CO.I would go for the heavier bullet
though,and work up a load from there to what gets the best
accuracy for you.If not dead-set on the powerbelts,I would try
some conicals as well.Just remember,they can't be longer
than twice the bore diameter.
Gary
 

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Pruts,

Your load would be fine for elk. I prefere the 348 on top of 100 grains of BM3 but use what shoots best out of your rifle. Accuracy is more important than FPS. One of the most respected hunters I know kills an elk every year with the 245 aerotips.

BeanMan
 

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I've shot the 348 Aeros over 90gr of 2fg 777 with good results - knocked a nice little boar square on his butt; he never even flinched. Just about everyone I've talked to over the years found the 348s more accurate than the 295s as well - so I would definitely recommend the heavier bullet. You might even consider the 405gr Aeros over 100gr of 2fg 777 - they group for me about the same as the 348s and would definitely bring a lot of impact to your target.

Since I believe you can't use sabots in CO either, another bullet selection I recommend is the 460gr No Excuses conical bullet. These have been very accurate out of my Knight with 95gr of 2fg 777 and pack a SERIOUS punch downrange. You can check out the No Excuses here: http://www.muzzleloading-bullets.com/index.html
 

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I thought the Powerbelts were legal in Colorado. They are not considered sabots.
 

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The powerbelts are legal in CO. as they are not considered
sabots.CO. is no scopes,no sabots,and no pellets.I
believe it is 50 cal. and up for Elk.
 

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Astrix,

You are correct, 50 caliber or better in Colorado for Elk. No sabots or pelletized powder. Powerbelts are legal.

Mark Whiz, I have shot the 460 grain No Excuses out of my Omega, they group better with an underwad. The 460 is legal in Colorado but the 490 is too long as bullets length may not exceed twice the caliber.

BeanMan
 

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Yeah BeanMan, I use my homemade wads under flatbase conicals like the 460 No Excuses too. Works great and I get absolutely no leading in my bore that way either. SWEET! :grin:

I can't wait to knock something down with them.
 

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My thoughts....

I would definitely use a Powerbelt since sabots are not legal. Last year in Colorado, I used a load of 110 grains loose T7 and a 295 grain HP Powerbelt to harvest a nice mule deer at 125 yards. If I ever draw a muzzleloading elk permit, I would probably switch to a 348 grain Aerotip Powerbelt.

As far as what powder charge to use, I would start with your 90 grain charge and work my way up until my accuracy began to fall off. When I was working up the 295 grain load, my groups opened up significantly at 120 grains of loose T7. Since you can't use a scope in Colorado, I wouldn't worry about trajectory anyway. Personally, I wouldn't want to take a shot much over 150 yards with my peep-sighted Encore. My 110 grain load shoots flat enough so that trajectory is not an issue at 150 yards or less.

That is one thing that I would recommend is the use of a peep sight. My accuracy improved greatly when I installed mine. The peep sight that I use mounts to a weaver base. By using this sight and QD rings on my scope, I can easily switch from the peep sight to the scope and vice/versa.

Hope this helps and good luck on your elk hunt! I have drawn a rifle tag for elk in Wyoming this year.

X
 

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Mark whiz said:
Yeah BeanMan, I use my homemade wads under flatbase conicals like the 460 No Excuses too. Works great and I get absolutely no leading in my bore that way either. SWEET! :grin:

I can't wait to knock something down with them.
I have also found that if you protect the base of the lead bullets with two pcs of .025 over the shot wads punched out with a hole punch. Accuraccy is greatly improved with high power loads.

The thick heavy dense board used for backing on paper tablets works well. You just need a 1/2" gasket punch, or sharpen a piece of pipe.
 

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I found a good source for 100% wool felt http://www.durofelt.com/products.html and have been using it with my homemade connoction lube. I have a set of punches to make the wads for both my 50cal rifle & 44cal cap & ball revolver.
After only 1 order of felt.........I'll be cutting my own wads for years to come. :grin: very cost effective.
 

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Sort of depends on how big your elk is. I have shot completely through the chest of a cow elk with 90gr. of Black Mag'3 and a 295gr. Powerbelt aerotip out of my Omega. I have done this twice. I also shot a bigger cow elk (seems that the only elk I can get drawn for is antlerless which is OK for me as I am a meat hunter) with a 348gr. Powerbelt aerotip over an 80gr. Goex Clean Shot charge which was so underpowered it let the bullet keyhole and go through the cow sideways. It centerpunched the heart and stopped in the far chest wall. This was a 700plus pound cow elk at about 80 yards from a T/C 20 inch barrel .50 cal. If you shoot less than 100 yards almost any decent load will do the job on elk if the shot is placed well. If you are after a big bull I would opt for the heavier 348gr. Powerbelt aerotip and 100gr. of Black Mag'3 or similar Pioneer Powder or maybe even the new Goex Pinnacle depending on what your rifle likes. I can get a second shot off with all of these without a swab between which is important to me as I hunt alone and do not like chasing elk through canyons. Even the big cow with her heart shot out walked about 50 yards slowly and acted as though she had not been hit. A smaller cow with a good chest shot went about 300 yards before stopping and still did not fall down until I shot her a second time in the head. I see the hunting shows where the elk fall when hit but none of mine have yet.
 
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