I just got my first muzzleloader, a CVA Accura. Now I am about to start the process of figuring out what my gun likes to shoot and I could use some advice.
I plan to use it to hunt whitetail in S. Illinois and expect my typical shot to be in the 30 -60 yard range with only ocassional shots at 100+ yds. up until now when hunting with 12 ga slugs (rifle hunting is illegal in Illinois) I generally lean towards slugs that make the biggest holes as I prefer that the deer drop as close to where I shoot it as possible. I'm too old and lazy to be hauling it through acres of woods if I can help it.
I keep on hearing that you have to try different bullets and loads to find out what your particilar smokepole likes. The question is - how do I do that without breaking the bank? Is there any system for feeling out what your gun does without spending hundreds of dollars buying a pack of every single projectile on the market?
I also understand that trying different powder loads is important. Do guns also like particular powder BRANDS?
Any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks!