View Full Version : strugling with conicals

07-22-2012, 08:16 PM
I stared hunting Colorado last year (archery) and this year I pulled a muzzel loader mule deer tag. In the past four months I have discovered the challenges of the conical bullet. Now I am not feeling very confident in its abilities out of my and my brother's muzzel loaders. Just curious what others have found and how they have been successsful with the conicals.

I thought I had plenty of time 5 months ago. Multiple times at the range since and I'm not feeling too confiden at this point.

Old Hunter
07-22-2012, 08:35 PM
More details. What gun, bullets, powder, and distance? What are your results so far, and what are your expectations?

07-22-2012, 09:00 PM
My best results have been with 338 platinum powerbelt bullets and weighed 75 grains of blackhorn 209 powder. I was having 2 inch groups at 100 yards, which i was happy with, but then the past two visits to the range resulted in hang fires and misfires and the most recent time to the range my groups left me inconsistent with some fliers. I feel like I am back to the drawing board. This is bench shooting on a ledge sled with peep sights. After the misfires with the blackhorn I tryd to work up a load with paradex select and had no cinsistency. The gun is a TC Omega with 209 shot gun primers.
I have tried various powders and bullets such as no excuse 405 gn all lead power belts and one other, just to check things it still shoots sabets well. I keep gun and breach plug clean and clean breach at range as needed. My expectation for distances will be determined by what the gun is capable of.

Old Hunter
07-22-2012, 09:59 PM
To start with. The Omega has the best breech plug for BH 209. If you're having misfires the the BP must be dirty and plugged. Use a drill the right size to clean the flash channel. It get plugged up from the residue from the primers. The flash channel is the channel right under the primer pocket. I think the size is an 1/8" drill. Just hold the drill and turn the bp into it. You should see a lot of carbon coming out.

Once you have that clean. Use CCI 209M primers. Those are magnum primers, and ignite BH 209 better.

The 338 Powerbelts are ok, but you don't need that heavy of a bullet for deer. It's more for elk. You can use the Powerbely Aerolite in 250gr or 300gr for deer. They will be more accurate than the Platinum. 75 gr of BH 209 is too light. Use 100gr, or even 110gr.

Here is a better bullet. The 250gr is plenty for deer. I use it for elk. Shoot Terry at Thor, and ask for a sampl pack. It will give you 4 different size bullets. Test them, and see which one fits your bore the best. Then you can put inan order for that size.


Now that was the good news. Here's the bad news. The Omega is not known for being a good shooter with conicals. Even TC will tell you it's made for sabots. It's sort of a hit and miss deal. Some guns do well with conicals, and others can't shoot them for beans. I had one that shot sub MOA. You might have one too with the right load, so don't give up yet.

07-22-2012, 10:08 PM
I use a cutting torch tip cleaner on my breech plugs. Under normal conditions with modern inlines and equipment, misfires should be a thing of the past. 75 grains volumn is way to light of a charge.

07-23-2012, 07:58 AM
Thanks for help
75 grains by weight = about 95 by volume. bh 209 can be weighed for better consistency I guess. I will give Thor a try and I'll give the drill bit trick a try. I will be at the range Tuesday with a clean gun, clean mind and cooler temps. I'm at sea level, so I figure I will have to sight in my elevation again when I get to CO. The 245 green tip power belts were accurate out of an old cva I had, but they did not do very well on white tails. That's why I went with the bigger and the plastic is a little beefier. I also may try to buy a leftover cow tag.

Colorado Cowboy
07-23-2012, 08:14 AM
One thing to remember about the Thor bullets and how you measure to get the correct diameter. I got mine down to 2 diameters..501 & .502 and I picked the .502s. Wrong move! When the barrel got a little dirty after I fired one or two of them, I couldn't get another down the barrel. I contacted Terry and he swapped them out for the smaller .501. Just because you can use a little more muscle and get the bigger one in the barrel, does noit mean its the right choice. Several other people have told me they had the same problem.

I am using 110 gr of APP and the mag primer. I have a TC Black Diamond. Good hunting.

Old Hunter
07-23-2012, 08:44 AM
Loading pressure won't change with BH 209 even after 100 shots with no swabbing. That's why it's so popular now. Plus it's FPS is the most consistent of all the subs, and it absorbs no moisture.

I have a nice firm pressure all the way down with a squeaky clean barrel with Thors. With 25 shots fired with no swabbing. It still feels the same.

07-23-2012, 08:02 PM
If one were to buy a muzzel loader specifically for states with conical regs, what would some of the recommendations be? Thanks for any suggestions.

Old Hunter
07-23-2012, 08:04 PM
The CVA inlines shoot conicals really well. I also find the Bergara barrels that come on them really accurate.

08-12-2012, 08:47 AM
I finally got to the range on sat. the best result was a 3" group with 250 thor 80 grain by weight black horn. I put a scope on just to get a load sorted out. 80 by weight is around 110 by volume. I didn't get to try different charges because rain came.I then went back early today figured i would start with a clean gun at 80 grains again for three shots then try other loads. the result was all three shots where dead even on windage but elevation was about 3" variation. the thors go down with different pressure and I do the same cleaning every time 2 lightly damp patches with butches. I'm guessing the varying elevation is something that can improve but not sure what to change, any ideas would be helpful. I never got to try other charges it started raining hard and hasn't stopped.

Old Hunter
08-12-2012, 09:19 AM
Try less powder. You can't find what your gun likes if you stick to the same load. 80gr by weight is a heavy load.

I only use 80gr by volume for deer.

Also, like I said earlier. Omega's have a habit of not liking conicals. You might have one. I've never seen a range report of an Accura V2 shooting worse than 1" @100yds. Some will do it at 200yds if the shooter is up for it.

Anyway, play with different powder loads.

08-12-2012, 09:50 AM
That was with a cva v2 and the black horn breach plug .501 thor and he is sending .500 and .501 in 300 grain for me to try next weekend. the omega shot about the same group but with a peep than rain shut me down. the thor .501 may be to tight.
Thanks for all your help. carl

Old Hunter
08-12-2012, 11:00 AM
How tight is the fit for the Thor? I need both hands to get mine down.

Not sure you need a 300gr for deer. I use the 250gr for elk, but maybe the 300gr will like your gun better.

I've never seen a CVA shoot a 3" group. You need to keep working with it.

Old Hunter
08-12-2012, 11:05 AM
Just to show you what the gun should do. I didn't shoot this, but I wanted to show it to you. This was shot at 300yds. The two lower shots were scope adjustments. The top three shots was the group it shot.


Umpqua Hunter
08-12-2012, 11:46 AM
Mainboy: There is a lot of good info being given to you, but with a hunt looming, I would be concerned about chasing too many rabbit trails. Every time you change a variable, the process starts over on getting that new load dialed in. If I was in your shoes and worried about being short for time, I'd go back to what was working well with the Powerbelts. Shooting 2" groups (@ 100 yards) with open sights is excellent accuracy, since at least half of that group spread is due to using open sights. You likely would have had less then 1" groups had the gun been scoped.

If you did not have problems with hang fires and miss fires when shooting your original groups, then it is 99.5% likely your problem was a dirty breech plug, that was the variable that changed. There were two solutions mentioned in this thread and BOTH are necessary to clean the flash channel. Get a close fitting drill to ream out the flash channel, ALSO get a torch tip cleaner from a welding supply (a fine wire with jagged edges) and clean out the fine hole in the breech plug. When it comes to muzzleloading, a dirty breech plug is the "root of all evil"...or at least 85% of the problem :-) If you have a fully clean breech plug, and for the next 10-15 shots you get instantaneous ignition, the primer you were using is fine, since it gave you good accuracy as well. If you have a hang fire with a clean breech plug, then start looking for a new 209 primer.

Before shooting your groups with Blackhorn 209, take one fouling shot, as most guns shoot differently on a clean and oiled barrel. After the fouling shot begin shooting your groups. No swabbing is needed between shots with Blackhorn 209, and swabbing may actually affect your accuracy for the worse. If your shooting session goes over say 30 shots or you notice any delay in ignition, remove the breech plug, ream it out with a drill and torch tip cleaner.

After each range session, fully clean the gun, including reaming out the breech plug and cleaning with the torch tip cleaner. Again, shoot one fouling shot before starting to shoot groups, sight in, or to go hunting.

The only problem I have had with Blackhorn 209, and its a serious one, is I had a stainless barrel corrode out that I didn't clean for several months. I called Montana Powders and they did not have a clear answer for me, only that they have seen it happen occasionally. The best indication I have so far of why this occurred is a theory that certain brands of 209 primers chemically react with the powder and start the corrosion process. For that reason I now fully clean the gun after each range session. The reason I bring that up, is possibly after your early range session, the breech plug (if not properly cleaned) built up a bit of scale in storage, and that is what caused your subsequent problems. More then likely however it was a carbon build up.

That's my 2 cents.

08-12-2012, 01:07 PM
I am amazed at how the rabbit hole keeps going. With that said the good grouping I got with the omega was with a cci 209 muzzy primer which I believe to be some of the hang fire problems and I didn't get the same results with cci 209 or cci 209mag. My guess is that the bigger primer may get the bullet moving or disturbed by the time the powder actually does. So I'm a bit timid to go back to that primer to recreate that group.
With the thor bullets in the cva they certainly go down hard. I broke the jag threads where they meet the ram rod this morning. I just got back from cabelas to replace the range rod. That's a first for me. I may have to print this thread out. I think I will be learning from this info for a while. I have only hunted in sabot states in the east as far as muzzle loaders go. Learning conicals is quite interesting and will help improve as a hunter, shooter. I like it, but running out of time is hard especially when I like to be dialed and started 5 months ago thinking I had plenty of time.
So after reading all above my next move will be to try the omega again with the one load and take extra notice of breach plug and see what happens and with the cva I will drop the powder charge. Im hopping my son will take a nap giving one more try at the rang today. I have ben very diligent about cleaning gun asap cas I did the dreaded and damaged a good sabot shooter a couple years ago.

Thanks to all of you, Carl

Old Hunter
08-12-2012, 01:35 PM
You didn't mention what breech plug and primer you're using on the CVA?

08-12-2012, 01:45 PM
cci 209mag with black horns cva breech. http://https://www.westernpowders.com/breech_plugs

Old Hunter
08-12-2012, 01:51 PM
Ok, that should work fine.

Go find a good load.

08-12-2012, 02:01 PM
With the Thor bulletts, do you run a patch down the barrell between shots?

Old Hunter
08-12-2012, 02:34 PM
Not with BH 209. I've taken 50 shots without swabbing, and never lost accuracy. It also never got harder to load at 50 shots.

08-12-2012, 09:41 PM
Getting closer39323933

So far my best is a 2" group at 65 grains and I tried this without swabbing and I want to try 75 grains again because the group was about the same, 2" but that was with swabbing so want to try with dirty bore. the thors go down a clean barrel hard so I didn't think that it could be done with a dirty one but in fact it may be easier. hopefully I will get dialed next weekend. Also I had adjusted my spacing so the primmer is tight so I have no fouling around my primers or breach I definitely like being able to do this with the cva muzzys. Here's some pics if I did it right.

Old Hunter
08-13-2012, 09:18 AM
That's certainly a kill. You might also try some JB Paste to smooth out the bore. 20-30 strokes should be enough. It might help it load a bit easier too.

Don't be offended, but is the group size partly you?

08-13-2012, 07:03 PM
No offense taken, I started second guessing my scope and my self.

Its possible but I shoot my rifles well with A scope free hand and on the bench. With that sad I have a 20 gauge bolt slug gun that shoots 1" group but to do that I have to pull down on the for-end a bit to manage the type of recoil (lift). I have been doing the same thing with the muzzle loader, maybe I should let the for-end free like a rifle on the bench. Im using a zero kick rest. There was a slight breeze to consider. I have all day sunday.

08-22-2012, 08:06 PM
So 2 inch group with a peep and 300 grain thor .500 the .501 may be just to tight. Then I find out that thor 300 grain are out of stock. Hope the 250 in .500 will group as well I have only shot them in the .501. time is getting tight, but I will get it in time.
He may have just enough for me.
Thanks for all the help.

08-27-2012, 07:49 PM
The final tally is good news the 250 grain thors are a go, and terry has plenty of supply in the 250,s. If I had only tryd them in the .500 first rather than in .501. I would have saved some stress and $$ But regardless I am happy. Final just over a one inch group at a 100 yards with a peep.:o

Old Hunter
08-27-2012, 08:23 PM
That will work.