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Barnes Spitfire MZ bullets

BJohnson

Well-Known Member
I know there are many fans of Barnes bullets on IW. Sunday night I shot a doe at approx 60 yrds, broadside thru the lungs. The blood trail was horrible. Entrance was 6-7" behind the shoulder, exit was about 8" behind the shoulder. The bullet broke a rib on the far side but went between the ribs on the entrance side. When I walked up on this doe, she showed zero blood coming from her mouth-nose. I was glad I watched her point of entrance off the field & into the cover because the blood trail wasn't doing me any good during the recovery.

This is the second season in a row where a close shot (under 75 yrds) through the lungs resulted in a sparse blood trail.

BTW, I don't hunt with a ML very often and consider myself a novice with that type of weapon. Any feedback ?? Do I need to hug the shoulder more to get more tissue resistance for bullet expansion??

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showstopper

PMA Member
I've found that I don't get much of a blood trail with my muzzleloader as well if I have a straight broadside shot. On a shot with any angle, I try to clip a shoulder if I can knowing the damage is going to be too much for them to survive. I guess if I were to give you any advice I would say just what you wondered, stay a little closer to the shoulder.
 

Farm boy

Member
Not intending on getting into a big debate on who has the best bullets.
But the Barnes expander spit-fire T-ez have never let me down
 

BJohnson

Well-Known Member
Me neither, like I said I consider myself a novice related to ML hunting. Just curious as to any constructive feedback.

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lunker99

Active Member
It's funny how people have different results with the same bullet. I put myself still more towards the novice end as an occasional muzzlelader hunter but had the issues you described when using polymer tipped sabots, particularly the Hornady SST's. Frequently resulted in pencil hole wounds with minimal blood. Had much better results once I started using the expander mz that you've had issues with. My experience with them are most drop on the spot if you touch the shoulder blade but get decent blood on the pass through lung shots. Recovered slugs are mushroomed as designed.
 

BJohnson

Well-Known Member
Many guys I know and who's opinion I respect said the same thing as you, weird. I went with the non-polymer tip for the reasons you stated.

Must be the shooter....lol.

I am mainly an archery guy but my daughter does like to shoot the CVA.

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Nrharris

Well-Known Member
I've shot what I consider quite a few deer with the same bullets( probably 20 or more). I've had some crazy big blood trails and some nearly non-existent. The main difference between them is catching part of a shoulder. If you catch even a little bit of one shoulder it is a lot better. The blood trail in this picture is from those bullets. I think about anybody could follow that one.
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Central Iowa

Life Member
I’ve always felt that for some reason anything I have ever shot through a muzzleloader had subpar performance.
I’ve shot these, powerbelts and others…. Never consistently been satisfied with the results on game even if they drive tacks.
 

BJohnson

Well-Known Member
Chart says 1,730 fps. Bullets are 285 grain Spitfire MZs, pushed by 2 White Hot pellets (100 grains total).

Gun is a CVA Accura. Really happy with the gun.

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Buckhunter92

Active Member
I'm fairly new to the whole muzzleloader thing. Everyone I've talked to that has more experience than me says aim for a shoulder. Make that bullet expand.
 

Daver

PMA Member
I'm fairly new to the whole muzzleloader thing. Everyone I've talked to that has more experience than me says aim for a shoulder. Make that bullet expand.
Not an expert...but I too prefer a good shoulder hit with a muzzy, actually any gun, I think the shock value of that mass of metal hitting a bone, or two, helps seal the deal and quick like.

Just an FYI, not a muzzy, but I recently shot a full sized doe with a Legend .350 and I was aiming in the hopes of crushing a shoulder too. For the first time in my life that I can remember, that bullet broke BOTH legs/shoulders. No wonder she ran off so funny. But she didn't make it far.
 

iowavf

Active Member
Nothing wrong with the Barnes bullets, I'd say maybe just a little too far back for the shot? I shot a buck during 1st season, 65 yards with a 450 in almost the same spot. Both lungs tore up, he went about 50 yards, only blood was from his mouth which wasn't much. I like to put it on their shoulder, then move back just to the tip and shoot, but he wasn't stopping being on the trail of a hot doe and i hit him a little too far back for a good blood trail. Done the same with my old ML, but clipped just behind the shoulder or just barely hitting the shoulder would leave a good blood trail using the Barnes bullets.
 

bigbuckhunter88

PMA Member
I use the TMZ and seem to have had great luck with expansion and performance on all shots near and far. Not sure if the tip makes that much of a difference or I've just been lucky
 
Just shoot them high in the shoulder straight above the front leg. They will drop on the spot, legs will curl up, they may kick a few times, then they’re done.
 

BJohnson

Well-Known Member
I appreciate the comments confirming my suspicion about aiming more for the shoulder. Its hard for an archery guy to get that into his thick head.

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150 Class

Moderator
Those solid copper barnes are pretty decent. Very few explosions with them.

The shoulder is a fairly small target compared to a good vitals shot. Also, many who think they are aiming at a shoulder are actually putting on a fairly decent vitals shot.

 
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