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Smokeless muzzle loaders in Iowa.

Big Medicine

New Member
I am new to this forum and desire to find discussions about the smokeless muzzle loader conversions. I am not interested in opinions on the ethics of use, just the rifles themselves. Most of the things I read are pretty much boiler plate with not much discussion of options on loads and versatility. I would also like to find a group in Iowa that gets together and shoots. From my experience these rifles are pretty much not understood well and most folks dont realize the array of options they can fill. Looking forward to some knowledge sharing.
 
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JNRBRONC

Moderator
I've spent a fair amount of time reading about smokeless ML on Doug's: https://dougsmessageboards.proboards.com/

ArrowheadRifles is a member here who I expect will chime in. https://www.arrowheadrifles.com/

I have a couple of Savage ML10 II's that I bought early in the smokeless era. My main reason was that I was getting tired of the corrosive fouling of some of the early black powder substitutes. I haven't really tried to make them "long range" guns with hot loads, found loads that are pleasant to shoot and get good 100 yard groups. Favorite load of late is 42.5 grains of SR4759 behind a Hornady 250 grain XTP. If I was looking at a new one, I'd probably look at .45 cal barrel with a saboted .40 cal bullet.

The Midwest Muzzleloader Classic is a group shoot that I think where you need to pre-register, has a cap on participants and usually fills up quickly. Might be more info here: https://www.ilovemuzzleloading.com/blog/podcast-008-nickparcher
 

Big Medicine

New Member
I've spent a fair amount of time reading about smokeless ML on Doug's: https://dougsmessageboards.proboards.com/

ArrowheadRifles is a member here who I expect will chime in. https://www.arrowheadrifles.com/

I have a couple of Savage ML10 II's that I bought early in the smokeless era. My main reason was that I was getting tired of the corrosive fouling of some of the early black powder substitutes. I haven't really tried to make them "long range" guns with hot loads, found loads that are pleasant to shoot and get good 100 yard groups. Favorite load of late is 42.5 grains of SR4759 behind a Hornady 250 grain XTP. If I was looking at a new one, I'd probably look at .45 cal barrel with a saboted .40 cal bullet.

The Midwest Muzzleloader Classic is a group shoot that I think where you need to pre-register, has a cap on participants and usually fills up quickly. Might be more info here: https://www.ilovemuzzleloading.com/blog/podcast-008-nickparcher
I have two sml's. A CVA Scout conversion and a UML conversion. Two completely different tools to say the least. You used the term long range.... for deer hunting in my neck of the woods long range is determined by how far you can see. My Scout conversion IMHO is one of the most underrated rifles out there. Mine is for hunting purposes only and is set up to point and shoot out to 225 yards and stay in a 3.5 inch circle. I zero my 1-5 power scope at 150 yards and with this set up cover 99% of the opportunities I encounter. The UML is my toy and is capable of shooting far beyond my ability to use. For an open country user the bolt guns are the answer from above. I spent a lot of time on the range using different weight bullets and many different powders. This year things are going to be difficult when it comes to getting fodder. The most used powders are almost impossible to get, primers seem to be just gone. My mission here is to start discussion about using alternative powders, primers and bullets to see where there are some safe success stories.
 

JNRBRONC

Moderator
I mentioned SR4759, which unfortunately has been discontinued by the vendor. The amount I have on hand, plus that fact that I rarely shoot, should last a lifetime. I do have Vihvatouri N110 and N120 on hand, along with 5744 and 4227. Started out with the 4227 and 5744 then switched to SR4759. I've shot some of the N120, didn't care for the recoil of the 60 grain loads behind 300 grain Barnes originals. N110 is unopened, many have raved about it, should probably give it a test.

Most places I hunt, I set up where most shots will be under 100 yards. Furthest shot I have ever taken was just under 170 yards.
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
I've got both a TC conversion and a custom bolt gun on Rem 700. Different animals but both have pros and cons. My bolt gun is the most accurate gun I have, including all my rifles.
 

breckhawk

Well-Known Member
I have had a bolt SML for about 4 years. Most of the work was done by Arrowhead but I posted the 'build' on this site.

Like IBH above its the most accurate gun I own. Also by far the most expensive.

That said...I'm not the best shot...so thats not saying much. It's still one shot. You can't reload the thing in time. No chance.

I have also never taken a shot (or practiced one for that matter) over 150 yards.

I truly believe I will never do anything with my SML that someone else more capable than me couldn't do with an Accura V2.

I just trust my gun completely to get the job done in any conditions as long as I do my part. The ignition system is what I love the most. I know it will go bang...and hit where I want to hit.

Unfortunately i don't know of any shooting groups :(
 

Big Medicine

New Member
I've got both a TC conversion and a custom bolt gun on Rem 700. Different animals but both have pros and cons. My bolt gun is the most accurate gun I have, including all my rifles.
They really are the most accurate rifles I have ever owned.
I have had a bolt SML for about 4 years. Most of the work was done by Arrowhead but I posted the 'build' on this site.

Like IBH above its the most accurate gun I own. Also by far the most expensive.

That said...I'm not the best shot...so thats not saying much. It's still one shot. You can't reload the thing in time. No chance.

I have also never taken a shot (or practiced one for that matter) over 150 yards.

I truly believe I will never do anything with my SML that someone else more capable than me couldn't do with an Accura V2.

I just trust my gun completely to get the job done in any conditions as long as I do my part. The ignition system is what I love the most. I know it will go bang...and hit where I want to hit.

Unfortunately i don't know of any shooting groups :(
There is a lot to be said about a good builder. You can have all the best components out there, but if the interface of all of them is not done right you can still have a poor shooting rifle. With out question they are pricey to get into. If you shoot a lot the cost per shot is about half when using BH209 and a sabot. After about a zillion rounds they pay for themselves. I use Large Magnum Rifle primers and without fail they go bang. (If I do my part, I had that one time....) There is no doubt none of my other rifles shoot even close to the accuracy. The great thing is how tunable they are. Different powders and different bullets for different reasons, and they all shoot fantastic. Groups to shoot with are hard to come by.
 

cvadave

Member
I have had Remington 700 ML and a 700 CF that were converted to smokeless that will reach out to 500 yards on metal plates.
the scout is a 350-yard gun if you do your part and find out what it likes.
I've got a 45 and a 40 Cal Omegas now that I'm playing with. They will reach out to 400 yards, with no problem.
All of them were built by Jeff Fisk from Bestill Creation.
I usually try to go shooting every other week.
 
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Big Medicine

New Member
I have had Remington 700 ML and a 700 CF that were converted to smokeless that will reach out to 500 yards on metal plates.
the scout is a 350-yard gun if you do your part and find out what it likes.
I've got a 45 and a 40 Cal Omegas now that I'm playing with. They will reach out to 400 yards, with no problem.
All of them were built by Jeff Fisk from Bestill Creation.
I usually try to go shooting every other week.
Everything I have ever heard about Jeff and his builds were about how good they are. From what I see on line he does beautiful work that shoots as good as it looks. I have a short range, 200 yards at the house and out to 600 at the neighbors. What I asked for when I got the scout was that it was capable of hitting a clay bird at 300 yards. If all goes well I will attach a pic of the first shot out of that gun at 300. I have lots of time and get out at least once a week. I am playing with a bunch of different loads and having a ball.
IMG_2020-08-09_09-06-23.jpeg
 

Big Medicine

New Member
I feel pretty comfortable saying my bolt gun shoots 1/2 MOA.
I feel very comfortable saying I believe you. I have seen many of these guns tested and without fail all of them would shoot 1/2 moa or better at 100 yards. With the right charge and a good bullet fit the rifles are going to be more accurate than most shooters will realize. With my bolt gun, if I am not shooting ragged holes it is because I am doing something wrong. I didnt shoot this group, but it was tested at my range and I witnessed it being shot
650393784.jpg
. 300gr fury 81gr of H322 at better than 2800fps. Although exceptional it is not uncommon for this builder to get these results.
 
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