I have used Pyrodex, triple 7 and Blackhorn209. The Blackhorn 209 is much cleaner and seems to help out my accuracy. I wouldn't go back to the others. I believe it is 20% stonger also. So I only use 110-120grs max in my magnum loads.
At least that's what the NV DOW has determined. Muzzleloader tag holders received a letter from NDOW letting us know that Blackhorn couldn't be used during the muzzleloader season (it's ok to use during the general centerfire season as are scopes). Something to do with the chemical composition - can't find the letter; i'm sure it got filed away appropriately as I received the notification after I bought and used half a can working up a hunting load. You can find the notice on the department web site. I did notice that it's expensive but fortunately only bought one bottle. Know one guy who after hearing such good reports on the stuff bought 4 bottles. As a biologist for NDOW, even he was blindsided by the last minute legal decision.
While testing the powder I did notice the easier cleaning qualities, what felt like crisp uniform ignition and some pretty exciting accuracy with 110 grains under Barnes bullets (the best saboted bullets out there as far as I'm concerned).
I prefer solid lead full caliber bullets for hunting loads so was dissappointed that I couldn't use my favorite TC Maxi-balls. It looks like the powder chemically reacted to the natural (non oil based) lubricant used on the bullets turning the powder charge into a messy black pudding in the barrel. I couldn't even fire enouhg to test for any accuracy. The first shot out of a clean barrel and fired immediately after loading was a slight but observeable hang fire. The second shot fired maybe five minutes after loading was an obvious delayed hang fire with a greatly reduced amount of recoil and on the third shot the bullet barely made it out of the barrel (hit dirt about 60 yards out) with a goofy sounding report that neighboring centerfire shooters commented on (they weren't polite comments either).
I took the breach plug out & pushed out a nasty previously described pudding out of the barrel. In thirty years of shooting muzzleloader with just about every type of black powder or substitute made I've never seen this kind of residue in this quantity. It seems like the natural lube deposited on the barrel when loading the bullet melted the powder. I'm guessing that a loaded barrel unfired for more than an hour or more - typical loaded hunting rifle - probably wouldn't even fire.
If & when Nevada changes it's mind over the use of Blackhorn or if & when I go out of state to hunt I'll likely revisit the powder but definitely only with saboted bullets.
There are a few states that are starting to look at Buckhorn 209 on the ML hunts. The reasoning behind it is that it is a nitrocellulose based powder and in most of the states out west that makes it illegal. Utah this year allowed it but they are going to take a look at in in the off year. Personally I don't know why they want o ban it. You still have to load your ML the same way with it and it is considered a black powder substitute by the manufacture. Also when I have tried it I really didn't notice that much of a improvement except in the cleaning.
Wind is one of the most crucial variables in any kind of big game hunting. It helps level the playing field between a hunter with a scoped rifle and the game animals being hunted. This is not novel information. Any hunter who has consistent success in the field knows this. I have tried a couple different techniques for keeping track of the wind. Here are a couple.
The most simple and obvious is to just stay cognizant of it. It is amazing how slight of a breeze you can sense if you just pay...