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ndemiter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 647
Power belts vs. TC Shockwave bullets.

As most of you already know, the Power Belt is a conical bullet with a plastic skirt instead of a sabot, whereas the Shockwave is a standard copper plated, polymer tipped sabot round.

At 100 yards, from a clean bore (after EVERY shot!) the shockwave beat the pulp out the power belt. I kept clean groups of 1.5" with the shockwave and i was approaching 3" plus with powerbelts.

also, the shockwave with the "super glide" sabot, shot consistantly 4": higher at 100 than the power belts.

I tested 14 rounds of each bullet, it would have been 15, but i was getting tired of cleaning. out of a T/C Encore, the power belts clearly lost out. they're still super convenient though.

i will be using the T/C bullets for sure, but more testing is needed to determine where exactly my sights ended up.

i wonder what some of your reactions to this might be? just curious.

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3021
It's been about 9 years since

It's been about 9 years since I last hunted with a muzzle loader and the power belts are what i used at that time. In Colorado you bullet must be full bore diameter and as such sabot loads are not allowed. They did not work very well at all in my Cabelas Hawken in .54 so I just went back to a traditional maxi hunter hollowpoint. On the other hand in my CVA inline they were very accurate and I even killed a coyote at a ranged 172 yards. I never did get the chance to kill a deer with one though so I'm not sure of the performance on biggame. If I start hunting with one again I'll have to try the shockwave as well as it will most likely be in another state when I do. I've been thinking of giving the Nebraska late season a try and these would be right at home up there.

SGM's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Canon City, Colorado
Joined: 08/13/2011
Posts: 955


As you probably know here in Colorado we cannot use sabot rounds so cannot really comment on the Shockwaves. However, I have used Power Belts for several years and for shooting they are great. Easy to load and zero in pretty well. FYI, in Colorado we cannot use scopes so it is all open sights. What I have noticed and do not like with the PB is how they tend to break apart on hitting an animal and the fairly poor penetration and wound channel.  I have seen and heard several stories about this from other hunters and how the PB does not retain its weight very well and at time the penetration is poor.


With the exception of one doe I hit high in the spine we have never had a clean through shot and all shots have been 100 yards or less. At first I thought I was running them to hot so went from 100 grains of 777 to 90 to 80 but had basically the same results. Now don’t get me wrong, between me, my wife and my son we have taken several animals with the Power Belts and yes the bullet did the job in every case as we did harvest the animal with little to no tracking.


That being said, I still think there is room for improvement so I plan on switching and trying the Hornady FPB bullets on our next muzzle loader hunt. From what I have read they have better bullet retention and much better penetration and a bigger wound track. The down side is I have heard they are hard to start in some guns. I have not been able to fire them since I am overseas but plan on to as soon as I am home.


As for what you said about the Shock Waves, I would stick with them over the Power Belts. A hunter must have full confidence in their equipment. Never go into the field guess or taking a chance with using the second best product. That is a receipt for sure disaster when it counts on filling your tag.


groovy mike's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2496
Thanks for the review

Thanks for sharing your range results. 

I have never used PowerBelt projectiles in my muzzle loaders (yet). BUT - They work darn good in my 1890s era double rifle chambered in three inch 500 express. I could but 500 nitro express factory loaded ammunition – IF I was willing to pay five dollars per cartridge but using the fifty caliber power belt bullet with its expanding base with seventy grains of IMR3031 behind it delivers fifty caliber holes in the paper accurate enough to convince me that I will be using my fast dwindling supply of powerbelt bullets to perfcet the load!

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5746
I have never had a problem

I have never had a problem with the Powerbelts that I use.  I get really good groups out of them.  My biggest problem is not the bullets, but the fact that I have to use iron sights out here.  Still have problems with that.

ndemiter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 647
the PB bullet, is plenty good

the PB bullet, is plenty good enough for the kind of ranges you're talking about with iron sights.

prhunter's picture
Location: El Paso, Texas
Joined: 02/22/2009
Posts: 559
I'll be testing out some

I'll be testing out some power belt bullet bullets this year in my muzzy. I'll let you know how well they work out.

FrontierGander's picture
Location: Boncarbo,CO
Joined: 12/01/2008
Posts: 87
full bore projectiles like

full bore projectiles like the powerbelt, not shooting well in a TC isn't unheard of. TC has been putting screwed up QLA's " unbored section of the barrel toward the muzzle" on their muzzle loaders for YEARS and still can not get the problem fixed right.

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