Lets talk about the 200 yard shot.....

Discussion in 'Guns and Ammo' started by ThunderHawk7, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. I hunt with a ML full time. As mentioned before, I have for about 10-12 years now. I have been reading some threads where members are looking for that "optimum load" for the "200 yard shot" and it got me to thinking (this normally leads to the smoke detector going off....but...what the heck.) Has anyone ever checked the muzzle velocity of their muzzleloader with a chrono? Especially with their chosen load and bullet choice?

    I only ask because I have hunted in some pretty serious wind the last couple of years. We talk about the importance of a good solid rest...but what about the other factors that go into making what needs to be a close to perfect shot?? By 200 yards the muzzle velocity as well as the energy is probably such that something close to a double lung shot is really needed. A spine shot would have to be luck..... A shoulder shot at that range??? Not sure how effective that would be until somebody can provide me with some ballistics data. If you are hunting in any type of cross wind at that range(10+ miles an hour)....common sense tells me that there is going to be an some type of influence on your point of impact?

    Last season, I made what I consider a bad shot. Unlike me, as I take the "1 shot one kill thing pretty seriously." I paced off the shot and came up with 185 yards. I did not think it was that far at the time of the shot. It was in an open field and I was in an elevated position on top of the high point of a sloped field. It was a pretty big buck. If I had a range finder...I am not so sure I would have taken the shot. It was a LARGE buck...He would have been my biggest ever. I missed, missed clean. I had a strong cross wind....maybe up to 20 mph. The worst feeling I had was thinking I hit that deer, but not well enough. After the shot, he acted like I hit him...It was probably just the blast of the gun that made him flinch...LOL. He let me off the hook shortly after I walked down to look for blood...while I was walking around searching, he took off from about 80 yards away and looked no worse for the wear, and also the next day when I saw him proudly walking around another part of the field when he busted me... :). I had a good solid rest, but buck fever was still a factor as I had to watch him long enough in order to wait for a "good shot", I was shaking pretty bad....lol. Until I walked that distance off, I really had no idea that it was that far. And all the above factors kept it from being that perfect shot. I seriously doubt that I would make the same mistakes again. The 10 minutes I had that "sick" feeling in my stomach was LONG enough.

    Anyway, Even when they get "heated" I believe these threads can provide insight and possibly an education to folks that may not have thought about it. I really don't like that they "ADVERTISE" this ability to make a 200 yard shot with these firearms...because at least in my opinion....They may be able to do it under perfect conditions on a range...but not in the field. How often, if ever, do we have "perfect" conditions in the field? And how often do we put in solid "range time" taking shots like that.

    Anyway, Just wanted to throw this topic out there and see if there were any thoughts, questions, or information out there. Sorry for the length...I have been thinking about this for awhile...lol-

    Take Care,

  2. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    I'm confident with mine out to about 175 yards pending good conditions(solid rest, no wind, clean shot). I shoot at the range to 150 yards and know the drop between 100 yards to 150 yards. About 4" for my encore and the combination I shoot. I haven't shot to 175 but would imagine that there would be another 1-2 inches of drop. My gun is dead on accurate at 100 yards and is sighted in about 1/2 inch high there. Of course I have also shot at shorter distances to know how high the impact is at varying distances. I believe it takes solid equipment and a darn good shooter to make a 200 yard shot EVERY time. Of course people get lucky every now and then, but I like to take all luck out of the picture when I pull the trigger. I like to know exactly where my bullet is going. The muzzle velocity out of my gun is around 1900 fps according the manual and load that I am shooting. After 200 yards the energy and bullet drops dramatically.

  3. NRA Guy

    NRA Guy Refuse to be a Victim

    Good post. This should be interesting. Can you both advise what powder and bullet you are using? Thanks, Bill
  4. 90 grains of Pyrodex and a 275 grain Red Tip Shockwave. I sight in at 75 yards. Since most of my shots are within that range.

    I have killed two Bucks with double lung shots with this load...One at about 15 yards and 1 paced off at about 60. Both deer ran less than 40 yards before they fell.
  5. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    I shoot an Encore Pro Hunter with 100 grains pyrodex(2 pellets) and a 250 grain TC Shockwave. I shot my deer this year at 117 yards(rangefinder) and double lunged her. Clean pass through and she ran maybe 50 yards.
  6. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    I used to hunt with my Knight MZ's with 100 gr Pyrodex select and 250 gr red hots. This load yielded around 1850 FPS and 2" high at 100 and 3" low at 150. I felt comfortable with a 150 yd shot with the right conditions. This was a nice range improvement over my slug guns.

    I switched 4 years ago to a Savage MZ to further expand the gun range potential. This guns load is 59 gr of VV N-120, 300 gr Barnes original, 2280 FPS muzzle velocity,and a retained energy of 2045 ft-lbs at 200 yds with a velocity of 1510 FPS. This load if sighted in 2" high at 100 would impact 2-1/2 low at 200 yds. The bullet is extremely tough and with the retained energy at 200 yds I would have no concerns with a shoulder shot. I have done enough shooting with this gun to feel very confident with a 200 yd shot with the right conditions. The biggest concern is wind drift. At 200 yds with a 90 deg wind at 20 mph I get about 6-8" of drift. When the wind is strong I just reduce my maximum shot range. On Monday of this years gun season my maximum would have been 100 to 150 yds depending on where the deer was standing.

    I also think you have to have a lot more than just have a gun that is capable of longer shots you must know the yardage and be able to do your part as the guy behind the gun. We hunt a lot of open country and are presented with longer shot opportunities. We hunt from enclosed blinds and use range finders, we always have solid rests and know the yardage.

    That being said the deer I killed on Tuesday was at 170 yds and walking left to right trailing two does. It was a very quick decision (was he big enough)to shoot or not. Even though I knew the yardage from previously ranging all of the landmarks, in this case a farmers gate, I pulled the shot left, when combined with the deers movement, shot him through the guts. The deer died less than 60 yds from where I shot him but I didn't recover him until the next morning.

    I also have changed the scopes on our guns to ballistic plex scopes. There is no guessing or hold overs required, just hold the crosshair, depending on yardage where you want to hit. These guns group under 3" at 200 yds.

    Your questions are very valid. Do most guys know what the BC is of the bullet they are shooting, bullet performance, drop, wind drift, retained energy? I don't think so, but I could be wrong.
  7. littleking

    littleking Crossing Lines LIKE A PRO

    im with lundy on this, i spent some good range time this year. I'm shooting great groups, but no, i did not chronograph

    with estimated fps - 100fps based on load data, i'm more that confident the terminal ballistics at 200 yards would be great.

    with that in mind i would be totally confident taking a 200 yard shot
  8. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    Lets look at avery common load.

    100 gr, 250 shockwave
    MV 1900 FPS (generous)
    BC - .235
    10 mph - 90 deg crosswind
    Zero at 100 yds

    100 yds - 0.0 - 1587 ft-lbs
    150 yds - minus 4.1 " - 1157 ft-lbs
    200 yds - minus 12.1" - 962 ft-lbs, 11" wind drift
  9. Lundy,

    Nice choice of firearms!!!! I know it has been a source of some controversy, but in my opinion, a great addition to the muzzleloader world and quite frankly, an "awesome" innovation, for lack of a better term. It has been awhile since I read about it....

    Are the Muzzle Velocities higher with the smokeless powder? Or does the fact that you use less propellent bring it back in line with the conventional ones?


    Being as we are members of many of the same forums, I know you take your shooting pretty seriously.....I have no doubts about your "rangetime". However, from the sounds of it....more trips to the sporting clays course is probably in order.......hehehehe J/K buddy. I can joke this year as my wing shooting has improved 2 fold...Last year I was just awful sometimes....

  10. Bassnpro1

    Bassnpro1 OSU outdoorsman

    Thanks for providing some numbers Kim. It looks like a 200 yard shot is out of the question with what I shoot and I'm reconsidering the 175. Maybe I will see how my gun performs with more powder? Maybe I will try 130 grains if I deem that my shoulder can't handle the 150 grains. Also depends on how my gun performs with those loads.
  11. littleking

    littleking Crossing Lines LIKE A PRO

    oh, you just had to didnt you :( lol

    thats ok though, the only pheasant i've gotten to take a shot at this year folded up and fell stiff :)

    then again, i havent had to wrestle my pup's off any DEER either :)

    i thought it was illegal to hunt deer with dogs and while carrying bird shot :)

    touche`? :) :)
  12. littleking

    littleking Crossing Lines LIKE A PRO

    yes the velocities are faster with smokeless.

    the burn temp with smokeless is much hotter, and waaaaay faster than blackpowder.

    you also get a MUCH more consistent burn with smokeless, everyone's seen the remains of unburnt powder stuck in their smokepoles
  13. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member


    You can use the same load and just setup your gun differently to optimize what you have to work with.

    Most guys will zero at 100, that's great if you plan on shooting a maximum of around 100, however if you want or need to take longer shots and need to KNOW where they are going you really need to set your zero differently.

    Lets take the same load as I listed above and just change the zero.

    50 yds - + 2.1"
    100 yds - + 2.8"
    125 yds - + 1.9"
    150 yds - 0.0
    175 yds - -2.9"
    200 yds - -6.9"

    With this 150 yd zero you know have a gun that will hit from +2.1" to -2.9" out to 175 yds. This would require no aim point adjustment to put in in the kill area of any deer.

    This is all on paper however. You must shoot your gun to see if it performs at this level, it should be close. The other issue is the retained energy and wind drift. At 200 yds a 250 gr bullet retaining only slightly over 900 lbs of energy is getting a little weak especially if the hit is in the wrong place.

    If I wanted to set up this load for hunting I would sight in at 2" high at 100 and know that I could shoot out to around 175, in a slight wind, from a solid rest, at a known yardage, with a high confidence level of making a clean kill on a deer, BUT I would shoot it a bunch in actual field conditions before I hunted with it to verify in my mind what the guns and my performance actually is in the real world.

  14. Yep, I had to.....Could not resist....

    Now that is just wrong.....Just what has poor Grady done to you!!!!! Man. you play dirty....;)

    I would have hated to have to explain to the GW how I ended up with that Deer. In Fairness to my boy, It was self defense...and besides, it was one heck of a takedown!!!! 2 points with at least 3 back points. If I hadn't yelled NO!!! It was destined to be a pin...or at least a technical fall....:)

    Oh well, I am sure Grady would love to hunt with your girls...He has all kinds of things to teach them....hehehehe.

    Take Care,

  15. Lundy,

    You are the man!!!!!!! This is exactly the information I was hoping to get out there for folks to see.

    I know that my MV probably are short of those listed on here because I am still using the original ignition system...#11 percussion cap. 90 grains is the most I can shoot without a whole bunch of waste......I experimented a bunch over the years.

    The loss of energy at that distance is another reason I am leery of the LONGER shots. From much of the reading I have done 1000lbs seems to be the golden standard that most "shooters" prefer.

    900lbs has started to creep in as long as there is a "premium" put on shot placement....

    It is these factors I wanted to bring out in this thread....Thanks for your help!!!
  16. I have a TC Black Diamond 45 cal. I'm shooting 110 grains of pyrodex pellets and a 190 grain barnes expander. Pretty flat shooting.

    50-100 yds- +2"
    150 yds- -2"
    200 yds- -7"

    Shot a buck a couple of years ago at 190 yds. was sitting and rested. tough shot. penetrated shoulder and he ran about 80 yds. took 20 mins for him to die due to lack of pass thru. I have shot several with that load and gun. Probably 70% of them were knocked down on impact. Great load. Shot a 200 lb dressed buck few years ago. double lung shot at 70 yds and he went straight down. Love the expanders. That's why I want to use them in my new TC Pro Hunter. Just need to get the powder figured out.
  17. Lundy

    Lundy Staff Member

    The Barnes expanders are the same bullet as the Knight Red Hots, Barnes supplies them to Knight.

    Those are the bullets we used to shoot for many years prior to switching guns and no complaints on bullet performance from us. I think it is Federal that uses that slug in a shotgun load also. Mean bullet on a deer.

    The expanders are fantastic bullets in my opinion, but that big hollow point just isn't a good choice for me and the velocities I'm pushing them, for what I want way downrange. I just need a little better BC.

    I was at a gun store, East of Cols, Tuesday evening and saw 3 Pro Hunters going out the door. Nice gun, congratulations on the new toy!!!
  18. I don't shoot muzzleloaders much, but the one thing that anyone MUST have when reaching out past 100 yards is an accurate yardage !! Invest in a range finder or shoot at different ranges where it becomes second nature to know the distance correctly.
  19. littleking

    littleking Crossing Lines LIKE A PRO

    i have a leupold rx-III for that very reason
  20. Thanks. I bought the new expanders with the plastic tip that Knight sells. They should have good performance down range. Just need to find the proper powder charge. Looking to max out 100-150 grains powder while holding a good group so 200 yards shots are more accurate with less drop. Going to try triple 7 at 150 and 130 first.