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My experience with Power Belts. Updated

elkoholicelkoholic Member Posts: 5,130
EDIT FOR 2010:

This is my father's narrative about bullet performance for a 5x6 he took this year in CO...

"Bullet went in just behind the close shoulder, shattered the far shoulder and exited. Whether it went throught the hide of the far side I don't now but it did fully penetrate the far shoulder and shattered the shoulder blade. 348gr Copper Powerbelt Aero Tip, 100 gr Tripple 7 powder, 30... yards. I have read good a bad (some very bad by Chuck Hawks) reviews of powerbelts."

Can't ask for much more than that.

2elk2010.jpg

__________________________________
I finished cutting this bull up tonight and was very surprised to find bullet fragments in the hind quarter just above the knee. So that means this bullet entered the front shoulder, broke through the shoulder blade, continued through the chest cavity coming out somewhere in the abdomen area and re-entered the far side leg just above the knee. I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't seen it myself!

I have taken part in several discussions here about black powder bullets as I struggled to select the right projectile for my limited draw elk hunt. I am back from the hunt and I did harvest a very nice bull and wanted to enter my experience with Power Belts into the public record.

The true merit of a bullet isn't measured by how it functions with perfect bullet placement, it is measured with how it functions on a less then perfect shot. Can a bullet still kill when the shot placement is less than ideal. For the 338 gr .50 cal Platinum Power Belt the answer is undoughtedly yes.

I pushed the above bullet with 100 gr of 777 and used a CCI 209 primer. Accuracy was GREAT! 3-inch groups at 100 yards with open sights. Recoil was mild and the terminal performance was fantastic.

I was faced with a quartering "in" shot at 40 yards away and 10 yards below. The bullet entered front shoulder well above the center line, passed through most of the meat on the front shoulder, shattered the shoulder blade, passed though one lung, and became untraceable after hitting the liver. That is a LONG way for that bullet to travel. He went less than 50 yards. The bottom line is that I missed the mark by about 8 inches. I had no intention of shooting a bull elk in the shoulder with any muzzle loader. However the Power Belt was able to penetrate deep enough to provide a fatal outcome.

Although I am very happy with this performance I am troubled by the trend of shooting "magnum" 150 grain or smokeless powder loads. I don't think the Power Belt of any other muzzle loader bullet is designed to impact bone at those velocities. Perhaps some of the copper based bullets are but I have no experience with them.

Just so that everything on one place, here is the link to my range report.
http://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=256859

And here is the link to my General Discussion post with some pictures.
http://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=263326

Thank you to everyone here in the Black Powder forum for imparting so much knowledge on those of us who know very little. (love the search function) The Black Powder forum is what drew my to GB and it is the main reason I'm still around.

Good hunting,
elkoholic

Comments

  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,330 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Congratulations on a great hunt!
    That is some outstanding performance, to travel through that much shoulder and make the kill.
    Strike one up for the Platinum Powerbelt.
    I will tell the guys on the other forums, who have had bad results with the other Powerbelts, about your experience. I will post a link, the proof is in the results.
  • oldgunneroldgunner Member Posts: 2,466 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Hey thar now...I dun tole ya so!! I'm with you. I think PB's are great, but if I remember correctly, you and I are in the minority on that one.
  • allen griggsallen griggs Member Posts: 34,330 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Elkoholic, I bet Powerbelt would be interested in your story and photos.
    I believe this is the first hunting season for the Platinum Powerbelt, you certainly gave the new bullet the acid test.
    Maybe they will put you in an ad.
  • Guns & GlassGuns & Glass Member Posts: 864 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Happy about your sucessful hunt.
    All we need= time and your place to help you celebrate and grill 'em.

    Reads like you actually had made a good shot. Somehow the hunting world has been led to shoot only at full broadsides. DUMB!!!!
    Your shot is a shining example of what can be done with the right bullet, Line of Penetration, and power.

    As one who has defended PB's ther has been alot of unfounded bad rap about PB's, and your experience is one of many that have happened, with many more to come.

    The standard PB's have been good bullets, and the new Platinum is certainly a nice internal and external ballistic improvement.
  • HandgunHTR52HandgunHTR52 Member Posts: 2,735
    edited November -1
    The first thing that I ask when someone starts bad-mouthing any bullet is what was the shot and how much powder they were using. You would be amazed at the number of people who get mad at the bullet after taking a questionable shot at 20 yards using 150 grain powder charges. Then they get mad at the bullet because it blew up.
    Or they shoot something at 250 yards and get mad because the bullet didn't expand correctly or penetrate as much as they expected.


    Anyway, great job elkoholic! Sounds like you matched the equipment to the game and made a good shot (even if it wasn't perfect). I probably would have been shaking so bad that I would have shot right over (or under) him myself.
  • ColtsmokeColtsmoke Member Posts: 4 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Iwent to the range two times last week.I tried sabots and powerbelts with pellets and three diferent loose powders.All combinations produced 4" groups at 1oo yds.When I tried the 300gr. platnum powerbelt with 3 777 pellets my group dropped to 1&1/4" at 1oo yds.I had to use a Federal 209 primer,the 777 primer produced a slightly slow ignition.The 777 pellets did the job for me.I did have to deal with the crusty ring in the barrel.A patch with a little spit took it right out.In all the gun was a lot more accurate with the 777 pellets,and a lot easier to clean.

    I have taken many deer with the Powerbelt bullet,I was using them before CVA bought the company.I recall one buck I shot in the chest straight on,he went down and only kicked a couple of times.I recall another shot down from above right between the shoulder blades,dropped in his tracks.I've made shots out to 150yds. with no problems at all.It will be interesting seeing how the new 300 gr. Platnum does this year.

    This is my first post on this forum,maybe I didn't talk too long.
  • twogunkellytwogunkelly Member Posts: 51 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Howdy: Last month a shot a mule deer buck at 55yd.s straight on in the center of the chest with a platinum 338 power belt...he went down not 40 ft away.hit right where I was aiming.Shot one last year broad side at 40 yd.s and it died about the same distance....very good luck with the power belts with 110 gr.s 777 in a TC omega....Very happy .
  • cmac231cmac231 Member Posts: 16 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Personal experiance with power belts is the are junk. Now this is from shooting them in my old 20 years or so knight and freins newer Omega. Neither of our guns shot consistant with them using the same 125 grains we use with our regular sabot bullets. I shoot T/Cs and sp does he.
    This might just be a situation with higher charges.Or maybe it just us.
  • diver-rigdiver-rig Member Posts: 6,310 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Been hunting the late muzzle loader season in Iowa since 2001. I shoot knight's in .45 and .50. Never shot anything but power belt. Always used 3 50 grain pellets in each. Consistently kill deer out to 200 yds. Don't take shots farther than that. Never had a bad experience with power belts. Kill on average about 6 deer a year.
    As long as you have good, or good enough placement, they get the job done. Kentucky heart shots, even head on heart shots.
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