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  1. Default Help - Need a Muzzy Load for Elk and Moose

    The drawings have been fortunate to me this year. I will be hunting moose in Maine and the end of September and then Elk in New Mexico the beginning of October. My NM tag is for muzzy only, but I would also like to hunt my moose with that as well. But because of the close proximity of the two hunts, I would like to use one load. I believe in both states sabots are legal as well as pelleted powder (still doing my research on Maine).

    So I am looking for advice on what bullet and powder combination might be solid for both hunts?

    The biggest issue I am running into is that Maine will likely have closer shots in thicker woods, whereas NM I will want to be able to get some range with accuracy (looking at 200 yards). So I would like a combo that has good knock down power as well as some good flight performance at a distance.

    Oh, I shoot a .50 cal CVA Accura v2. I have had good luck with the Blackhorn powder and may continue with that.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or help!

  2. #2


    I also have an Accura v2. My load is 100gr Blackhorn and a Barnes 290gr Tmz. Very accurate load. On the terminal end of things I would say 200yds is the limit that I would take an elk. I shot a bull last year with that load and it performed as advertised. I havent played around with higher powder charges because the 100gr load worked so well.
    Life is too short for stupid dogs and ugly guns.

  3. #3


    I am a huge fan of bloodline bullets and feel they do a much better job than anything else on the market for a muzzleloader (as long as you can use a sabot where you are hunting - legal in NM). I wrote up a review a while ago (link below).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    North Carolina


    In my CVA Accura (original version) I've had really good results with 100 grns. of Blackhorn 209 and a 300 gran Knight Red Hot bullet, which is basically a Barnes Expander MZ that loads easier.

  5. Default

    I shot my 2015 New Mexico Bull with this setup:

    TC prohunter with a .458 Kodiak in an orange MMP sabot. 115 gr Blackhorn. Federal Primer. I never chrono'd it but according to Blackhorn it is around 1850-1900 FPS. That rivals a stout 45/70 load. Recoil not that bad and when sighted in dead on at 100, I was exactly 11 inches low at 200. Groups were very nice at 3-5 inches with a 2x7x32 Scope.

    And after practicing at 200 yards all summer, I shot my bull at 30 yards... go figure.

    I would not hesitate to sub the Speer .458 350Gr Hotcore as well in the same sabot. Those shot to same point of aim and I used that bullet to take a mature whitetail doe at 40 yards the next December. Golf ball sized hole in and out and a blood trail a blind man/woman could follow.

  6. Default

    I second Barnes TMZ 290

  7. Default

    And I should have qualified my group size. Those 3-5 inch groups were at 200 yards. NOT 100.

  8. #8


    I shoot 100gr of BH 209 and 290gr Barnes T-EZ bullets shoot very well out of my CVA

  9. #9


    I have a CVA Wolf (cheapo, I know) and it shoots Power Belts really well. Worth giving them a shot. They're a bit expensive, but would have no problem taking down an elk or moose.
    Old Milwaukee Pro Staff

  10. #10


    Traditions Smackdown 250 gr with 90 grains of Alliant Black MZ (measured by weight not volume) consistently puts bullets through the same hole at 75 yards out of my Knight DISC Extreme. Quite possibly the cheapest load i have ever come across, $10 for the powder and $15 for the bullets. But, took a spike elk last fall at 120 yards with one shot. took one step and folded.

  11. Default

    Accura V2 = 250gr Thor Conical & 100-110gr Blackhorn209 ALL day long.

  12. #12


    Quote Originally Posted by FrontierMuzzleloading View Post
    Accura V2 = 250gr Thor Conical & 100-110gr Blackhorn209 ALL day long.

  13. #13


    I recommend the heaviest bullet your gun will shoot well. I shoot 405 gr. .458 bullets with Harvester Crush Rib Sabots in front of 115 grs. of 777. I've shot 4 elk with them out to 220 yards. Three dropped in their tracks, and the last one ran 50 yards. Pointed bullets tend to slip through the hide without making a hole that will bleed. If your sectional density is less than .270, most bullets won't penetrate, leaving you with no blood trail. With a range finder and ballistic scopes, you can aim right on at any range, so B.C. doesn't matter. Downrange energy does. A large flat meplat hits hard and leaves an entrance hole. That lets air in and blood out. Heavier bullet have higher BCs. My Remington 405's BC is .281, Barnes 290 is .241.

    Terminal Ballistics Reseach in New Zealand has done lots of research on bullets effect on game. They also talk about the autonomic plexus. Well worth a read. They don't do muzzleloader bullets, but read their .45-70 info. My muzzleloader compares with those velocities, although .45-70 comes with a 1:20 twist. If you want inexpensive bullets to allow lots of practice, Harvester sells a nice 400 gr. Hardcast. My buddy shot his cow elk at 150 yards with one last year and it ran less than 50 yards. Our Kahnke rifles are 1:26 twist, and your 1:28 twist may not shoot the heavier bullets as well. I'll never go back to light bullets for elk. In the rocky soil here in NM I can't usually follow a wounded elk without a blood trail once they stop running. The lungs on an elk go way back below the spine, so a high shot works really well.

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