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Joined: 05/15/2013
Posts: 9
Muzzle loader for black bear?

I am going to Patten Main for a bear hunt next month. I'm debating on taking my ML. My question is my bullet enough for the size bear I may in counter (up to 400+). I usually shoot a 360 grain TC Maxi-ball. It is a lot like a Hornady Great Plains. Full 50 cal solid lead bullet. If I have to take a shot where I'm going to hit the dreaded shoulder bone do you guys think that much lead will bust through and make it to the vitals for a clean kill? Or should I look for a heavy jacketed bullet and work up a new load?

woods1126's picture
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Location: Finger Lakes, Upstate New York
Joined: 12/08/2010
Posts: 167
You'll be fine

In my opinion thats plenty of bullet. I don't know how fast your pushing it, but anything around 1200fps or so will do the job. I've killed quite a few with a 340 gr. hard cast 44 mag. bullet out of a little carbine. A couple angeling towards me went through the shoulder with ease on out the other side. Have a great hunt. Kevin

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Joined: 05/15/2013
Posts: 9
I'm using 100 grains of loose

I'm using 100 grains of loose Pyrodex behind it. Not sure what kinda velocity I'm getting but I'm sure it's over 1200.

Thanks for the help Kevin!

woods1126's picture
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Location: Finger Lakes, Upstate New York
Joined: 12/08/2010
Posts: 167
Any time!

Browning wrote:
I'm using 100 grains of loose Pyrodex behind it. Not sure what kinda velocity I'm getting but I'm sure it's over 1200.

Thanks for the help Kevin!

Good luck on your Maine hunt and please give us a full report. Maine is a spot I would like to bear hunt someday. If you find a good outfit please share info. Thanks Kevin

Critter's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 3865
You should have no problem

You should have no problem taking a bear with that load. That is almost exactly the load that I use for elk and there is no problem dropping them with it.

For some strange reason I have never shot it over my chronograph but I will the next time I take my ML out.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 855
bullet

I plan on using a muzzleloader for bear next year for the Sept hunt here in Colorado. It's a rifle season hunt, so I have no restrictions on the muzzleloader like I would in ML season.

We can't bait, or use dogs here. Not that I would anyway, but it means i'll be on the ground hunting the dark timber. Not sure I can still hunt a bear, but i'm going to give it a try. The season is a month long, so I have plenty of time to get it done. Plus, they give me 5 units to hunt. All around where I live, so lots of time to scout.

So, with all that said. I wanted a bullet that would bust through shoulders like you. I might have to take a quick shot like I always have to do while still hunting, and getting the perfect double lung may not be possible. I decided to use the Harvester 330gr hard cast bullets. I know that won't over expand like a lot of bullets, and at my closer ranges it should give me full penetration. It has a wide meplat, so expansion isn't needed. It will make a wide would channel from the wide meplat pushing fluid.

Here's the bullet.

http://www.harvestermuzzleloading.com/index.php?page=shop.browse&category_id=6&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=3&vmcchk=1&Itemid=3

buffybr's picture
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Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 310
Bear bullet

Browning, your .50 cal 360 gr Maxi-ball in front of 100 grains of Pyrodex should be good for a black bear IF you put it in the right place and the range isn't too far.

I killed my first black bear with a 220 gr cast bullet from my .45 acp, and my second bb with a cast 250 gr bullet from my .44 Super Blackhawk.  Both were DIY still hunts. 

I killed my American buffalo with a 435 gr Maxi-hunter bullet in front of 100 grains of Pyrodex from my .54 cal Hawken.  The bullet hit just behind his shoulder when he stopped about 40 yds from me.  Lead bullets have worked well for hundreds of years.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 855
I went back to my routes, and

I went back to my routes, and will be using a caplock from now on for all hunting. Olde Enysford 2f for powder, and some sort of lead conical. Maybe a maxi-ball for bear, and PRB for deer. I tried the 460gr NoExcuses, but recoil is a bit much, and I don't think it's needed for black bear.

I'll be on the ground face to face, and shots should be close. I think the 370gr maxi will do ok.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 07/13/2011
Posts: 855
Tried the maxiball 370 gr

Tried the maxiball 370 gr today. It shot really good, and I could load 5 times with no swabbing using real BP. I like them, and i'll use them for elk and bear. Might as well use them for bucks too.

One load for everything. I like it.

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