Friday, October 23, 2009

Western Powder

I am impressed with their Blackhorn 209 powder and customer service. I had stopped by their booth during the Phoenix NRA Convention. They had advertising graduated vials for the Blackhorn 209 powder. I had thought I was a little piggy at the time as I took three of them. They are very handy, especially at the range for advanced measurement of powder. I wished I had grabbed a dozen.

Cruising the web showed me nothing comparable so I contacted Western's customer service. I had a return email in about an hour! These vials are going to be marketed but haven't hit the web sales yet. They can be purchased directly if you contact customer service. You can't beat the promptness and friendliness of the responses. I purchased a dozen.

The more I shoot with the 209 powder, the better I like it. I have had some difficulty with a particular brand of sabots for reloading without swabbing. This is more of an isolated instance so I would say that Western's advertising on this product is spot on. there a breath of fresh air for you - works as advertised.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

They Are Twins

I went to the Sportsmans Warehouse in Mesa and the layout is identical to the one in Marana. I mean that it really is identical including the facia and elk outside. One big difference is that they have about four times the inventory of powder etc. I was looking for more bullets for my smokepole and the one at home was out of the 245gr HP Powerbelts. It is only natural that when one settles on a bullet that shoots well in both rifles that it is out of stock. It would appear that certain locations have more pull when it comes to receiving shipments.

The Mesa store had three packages that went into my cart. Not being satisfied with the additional 60 bullets, I went to Bass Pro last night and picked up 60 more. This acquisition should make sure that I have enough to get through one more range trip and the hunt.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Muzzle Loaders Are Fun!

I went back to the range on Saturday for another round. It went unmentioned in the previous post that I had some difficulties with the old smokepole (Traditions) that was converted to a 209 primer nipple. the primer would get stuck every other shot or so. One of them was really stuck and it was unmovable at the range. I later removed it while cleaning after removing the nipple and plug. It was a real pita to get out. The factory said that they have no problem with the 209 conversion but always use the pricey Rem Clean thingy primers. It got converted back to the #11 percussion cap since I can't use the newer 209 powder with that style nipple anyways. Pyrodex is really, really stinky.

There was a 4X Redfield on an old 30-30 so I decided to put the Leupold back on my wife's .243 and the fixed on the Traditions. Nice combo as you can get 2" groups at 100yrd if you swab every so often. Pyrodex leaves a lot of crud - all of them do except the new 209. Did I mention that Pyrodex stinks?

I had an old red dot sight resting and just begging to be put on something so it went on the new CVA rifle. Sweet! That shoots nicely although the 5moa dot is kind of large at 100yrds. You could still shoot 3-4" groups even thought the dot covered all.

It is time to leave the setups alone and shoot them once more prior to deer season. I believe that I must now develop my plan for surrounding the deer with cleverness!

Monday, October 12, 2009

SBH & Blackpowder Day at the Range

Finally - I got over to the range to play with my shortened SBH. I will need to play with some sort of modification for the front sight as it is too short and the rear has no more downward adjustment left. I ran 150 rounds through it sighting and playing. 6" high at 15 yards. Maybe I can superglue a little fiber rod on top of the sight. Aside from that, the revolver still patterns well so the re-crowning work went well. I am satisfied with the alteration.

I have never shot a muzzleloader before but thought that it might be a good idea since that is the deer hunt that I was drawn for. I have an older inline (Traditions Buck Hunter) that was given to me by my father a few years ago. I had not shot it until Saturday morning but I did replace the plug and nipple to use the 209 primers. I also bought a low end CVA pivot action since a fellow should always have a backup weapon during hunting season. Both are 50 cal.

I purchased some of the new Blackhorn 209 powder that isn't as smokey, doesn't foul, more powerful, allows the use of sabots without any loading difficulty, cleans up with regular rifle solvents, and is advertised to do everything but load itself. The literature shows pictures of 209 nipples. The Traditions nipple has a big red X through it. That is another reason I bought the CVA.

I took the Leupold 2x7 off my wife's rifle (I will get her another one) and stuck it on the CVA with see-through rings. This doesn't work. The scope does not have enough adjustment to dial it in. You could look at it from the other aspect that the mount/ring combination does not have the proper cant. I took it off and shot it with the fiber optic dot "iron" sights. I love that pivot action. Most of that advertising for the 209 powder is good for my rig except that part about that there is no problem with having to clean between shots with sabots. You could hardly set a bullet after four shots. The palm of my hand is bruised from trying to shove the rod down. Fortunately, I also had some Powerbelt bullets that some of the shooters on a blackpowder forum like. I could load those without any great difficulty and continue shooting. The combo of 209 powder and Powerbelts shot well.

The Traditions was loaded with Pyrodex RS. You almost could not load a second sabot. I switched to the Powerbelts and some other similar bullet that Dad gave me. Both of these worked fine without a lot of swabbing. Pyrodex is definitely smokier than 209. The target disappears momentarily after each shot.

Shooting the smokepoles was a lot of fun. It is slow going and you will spend more time at the range when sighting in but that is actually a good thing as I like being at the range. I met people who normally would not have spoken to you due to their curiosity over what you were shooting. I only got a couple of sour looks from a guy downwind. Oh well, maybe I should put a drop of Old Spice in a hollow point. I am sure that it would be nice smelling then!

I stopped at Sportsman's Warehouse on the way home and bought a handle to slip over the rod as it became obvious that one is required if you are going to the range for a session or three. More Powerbelts were added to my collection.

Anyone want a bunch of those 50/44 plastic sleeves (sabots)?