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Any love for Powerbelts?

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Paul-Folbrecht

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Joined
Nov 19, 2020
Messages
2
I took my T/C Pro Hunter FX to the range to sight-in last week. My Barnes Expander sabots WOULD NOT GO DOWN THAT MUZZLE no matter what. I had to pound two out.

I went back to the old reliable 295gr Powerbelts. On top of 100gr of Blackhorn 209, I can shoot 3" groups at 100Y. This is, well, good enough.

So I'm using 'em. This will be my first season ever hunting deer with a muzzleloader. I know the Powerbelts are out of favor now but for many years they killed many, many deer.

I plan to go for the high shoulder shot. I want DRT or minimal tracking.
 

michiganmuzzy

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Nov 11, 2018
Messages
2,958
I was just shooting the barnes 195s today in my Accura .45. they were too tight with the supplied tan sabots. I switched to light blue crush ribs and they loaded and shot really well. the expanders are great bullets. You might try them in a black harvester crush rib sabot or something else other than the supplied ones.
 

Hatchet Jack

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
393
I took my T/C Pro Hunter FX to the range to sight-in last week. My Barnes Expander sabots WOULD NOT GO DOWN THAT MUZZLE no matter what. I had to pound two out.

I went back to the old reliable 295gr Powerbelts. On top of 100gr of Blackhorn 209, I can shoot 3" groups at 100Y. This is, well, good enough.

So I'm using 'em. This will be my first season ever hunting deer with a muzzleloader. I know the Powerbelts are out of favor now but for many years they killed many, many deer.

I plan to go for the high shoulder shot. I want DRT or minimal tracking.
I would suggest avoiding bone with the Powerbelts.
Good Luck hunting.
 

FredB

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2015
Messages
121
You're right that Powerbelts are quite out of favor, at least here, but not with me. Of course, there are various different kinds of them. Idaho requires all lead, full-caliber for mls so that's what I use. I have a .54 MK85 that shoots far better with the 405 grain pb than any other conical I've tried. I haven't tried them on elk yet, but they have accounted for several nice deer, including the one on my avatar. They do lead the barrel up quickly if I push them too hard. 90 to 95 grains pyrodex, by volume, is about the max I can use. When I find another conical that my gun likes as well, I will use it.
 

Dwayne

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2012
Messages
240
I took my T/C Pro Hunter FX to the range to sight-in last week. My Barnes Expander sabots WOULD NOT GO DOWN THAT MUZZLE no matter what. I had to pound two out.

I went back to the old reliable 295gr Powerbelts. On top of 100gr of Blackhorn 209, I can shoot 3" groups at 100Y. This is, well, good enough.

So I'm using 'em. This will be my first season ever hunting deer with a muzzleloader. I know the Powerbelts are out of favor now but for many years they killed many, many deer.

I plan to go for the high shoulder shot. I want DRT or minimal tracking.
Those powerbelts will do a fantastic job for you. . . go ahead and use them.
They are accurate, kill easily. My friend has been using them for a long long time. . .
I used them for many years until I started casting my own conical.
 

brownisdown

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2019
Messages
91
Used a powerbelt 338 grain with 100 grains of pyrodex rs several years ago on a black bear hunt.He was 35 yards to the bait pile and when I fired he dropped like some one had lassoed both front and back legs and pulled him off his feet.Hit behind left front shoulder and angled up to the neck and stopped just under the skin on the right side.
 

shiner200gr

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Supporter
Joined
Nov 6, 2020
Messages
73
I used to write hunting/shooting articles for magazines. When Powerbelts first hit the market I contacted the owner and was sent a sample of his .50 bullets for testing. When I was finished, I did him a favor by not seeking sale of my findings. In all fairness, that was a while back and I would assume that improvements have been made. Also, every rifle has it's likes and dislikes as far as accuracy goes. No actual game animals were shot with these bullets, but shots into ballistic media resulted in a lot of destruction.......of the bullets.
 

Neumonic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 4, 2013
Messages
71
I took my T/C Pro Hunter FX to the range to sight-in last week. My Barnes Expander sabots WOULD NOT GO DOWN THAT MUZZLE no matter what. I had to pound two out.

I went back to the old reliable 295gr Powerbelts. On top of 100gr of Blackhorn 209, I can shoot 3" groups at 100Y. This is, well, good enough.

So I'm using 'em. This will be my first season ever hunting deer with a muzzleloader. I know the Powerbelts are out of favor now but for many years they killed many, many deer.

I plan to go for the high shoulder shot. I want DRT or minimal tracking.
OP,
Did you get any shots off with the Barnes or were you unable to load even one in a clean barrel?
As someone else mentioned, harvester makes different thicknesses and would be worth trying, had to do that with my Traditions.

I wouldn’t recommend a shoulder shot with the PB, the bullet could fragment on impact and with a you and your combo shooting 3” groups I would highly recommend you go for a double lung shot as you would likely have a better experience with that bullet and the deer won’t go more than 40 yards.

Good luck and happy hunting!
 

Smokey_GA

Active Member
Joined
May 26, 2020
Messages
32
I used to shoot them. If I found the deer, I could almost count on finding the bullet inside the body cavity. My conclusion is that the lead is too soft, and makes more of a pancake than a mushroom. The best analogy i can think of there is like comparing a belly flop to a cannonball. They do cause terrific damage, but the lack of penetration always came back to bite me. You know your rifle and your skill set better than i do but if it were me i would go with a sub-100yard neck shot for now, and get back to the range and start working up a new load asap.

Also, don't give up on the expander mz just yet. If you figure them out they will treat you well.
 

ported45

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 24, 2015
Messages
249
If you treat a Powerbelt like it was an arrow you should be fine.

I have a good friend that shoots the 270 Platinum over 100 grains of 777 ffg. NEVER gets a pass through, but the deer don't go far. His secret to success is letting the deer get within bow range and then taking shots that he would only take with archery equipment.

So much for the Platinums being an upgrade to handle heavier powder charges!

The deer where I hunt are not feeding or just milling about and I can't wait on a deer to get perfectly broadside or slightly quartering away, so I use bullets that don't grenade and give me pass throughs for a good blood trail in case I need it.

You're better off to prepare for the worst and be grateful when you get the best.
 

silentstalker

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2013
Messages
151
With all of the options of bullets out there, I personally wont hunt with them. They are too soft for my taste I would get some MMP or Harvester sabots and fit test those Barnes Expanders. I personally us an MMP sabot and an XTP mag and they work incredibly well on deer and elk.

If I were to shoot powerbelts I would slow them down and shoot heavy bullets aiming for the ribs.

Whatever you choose, good luck!
 

Lonehand

Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
12
Does the Powerbelt hate include the new ELR bullets? I just got a bunch of them, but have not used them.
 

TiggerLueb

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
42
I spent some range time this week. I was tring to prepare my Encore 45X209 for my dad and the upcoming season. The best that I could do with the PB's was 2-3" groups at 50 yards. Luckily his shots will be less than that. The load I was using was 225 grain PB with two T7 pellets. Dad likes the simplicity of the components.
I used Lehigh Extreme Penetrators, CR sabots with 70 grains of loose T7 and had a cluster of bullet holes at the same distance. The ML was a less expensive CVA with $40 optic. I think that says enough.
 

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