Hornady FPB Muzzleloading Bullets Review
A few weeks ago we took a look at Powerbelt muzzleloading bullets and for this review we thought we would take a look at another popular non-sabot muzzleloader bullet: the Hornady FPB. Hornady has been designing ammo, bullets, and muzzleloader supplies (such as the Great Plains series of lead conical bullets) for a long time and the FPB offers a unique design.
The FPB in side profile looks more like a bullet that would be stuffed in a center-fire cartridge rather than down a blackpowder rifle. However looking at the base of the bullet reveals a large concave dome that reaches into the interior of the bullet. This concave dome slightly expands when fired engaging the rifling down the barrel, thus improving accuracy and consistency. Indeed the FPB bullets are capable of excellent accuracy with Hornady stating on the packaging that the FPB is capable of 1" groups at 100 yards.
In order to achieve this accuracy the loader needs to be certain that the bullet is started down the barrel correctly and it is not canted to one side or the other. Like the Powerbelt bullets we recommend using a conical bullet starter that does not deform the tip and places a centered force on the bullet when loading.
Hornady 50cal 300gr FPB bullets. The ballistic tip is flexible like Hornady LeverRevolution bullets.
The FPB are a little harder to start than Powerbelts, owing most likely to the fact that Powerbelts have a plastic skirt that helps to center the bullet and gets the rifling cutting the sides of the bullet. The FPB also has a thicker and thus harder jacket. The upside to the harder jacket is more controlled expansion than a thin jacket or solid lead projectile. This means that the bullet will generally not rupture dramatically on impact across a range of impact velocities.
The base of the FPB is a concave dome that is completely jacketed.
One downside to the FPB is that it is currently only available in 50 caliber in 300 grain or 350 grain. If you like to shoot 45 caliber or 54 caliber, you'll need to look elsewhere for an appropriate projectile.
The trajectory of the FPB is excellent owing to their relatively high ballistic coefficients of .245 for the 300gr and .285 for the longer 350gr bullet. The high ballistic coefficients translate into more retained downrange velocity and energy. For instance the 300gr FPB will leave the barrel at roughly 1800 fps with a 100 grain charge of Triple Seven and is still moving at just over 1200 fps at 250 yards, which is still supersonic and well beyond the range of most muzzleloader shots.
In conclusion the Hornady FPB is a high tech muzzleloader projectile that is relatively easy to load and offers superior ballistics over standard lead conical bullets. If you hunt in a region that does not allow the use of sabots or just want something easier to load, Hornady FPB is worth testing out in your smokepole.
For more information visit www.hornady.com.