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RedNex Memorial May Sale

RedNex is very excited to bring to you our 4th annual Memorial May Sale! We dedicate this month to the brave men and women who have died for our country. We are forever thankful.

As in previous years - this sale lasts from May 1st through May 31st. For the entire month we will be offering the following:


~ All VETERANS & ACTIVE Duty military will receive 10% off of all non-sale items (must show ID)
~ Free lunch served EVERY Wednesday from 11-1
~ Firearms Discounts
Smith & Wesson Rebate Pistols

  • S&W Shield Pistols - $40 off ticketed price (+ $75 S&W mail-in rebate)
  • S&W Bodyguard 380 w/Laser - $379.99 (+ $50 S&W mail-in rebate)
  • S&W Bodyguard 380 w/o Laser - $319.99 (+ $50 S&W mail-in rebate)
  • S&W SD/SDVE 9mm & 40SW - $329.99 (+ $25 S&W mail-in rebate)


Non-Rebate Firearms
  • Select S&W M&P 15 Rifles - $899.99
  • S&W M&P 22 Compact - $40 off
  • Colt Expanse - $649.99
  • Ruger American Pistols, Rifles & the ammo/accessories to go with them - 10% off (In store or Order)

    We look forward to seeing each and every one of you!

March 13, 2017 Posted by RedNex in Blog, News

RedNex Sporting Good's 2017 Spring Turkey Contest

It's almost Spring Turkey season, and we are starting to receive and put out turkey hunting accessories! Our Avian-X decoys should be here this week, turkey ammo is on the shelf and we can order any Ol' Tom Technical Turkey Gear you might need.

With any turkey season getting ready to start comes our annual Spring Turkey Contest. We've heard stories of the big birds some of you have been stalking over the years, and can't wait to see what you bring in for scoring. Who will be the big winner this year?

Ralph Curtis captured these turkeys right at sunrise.



Want to sign up? Click --> here

We've made a couple of changes to our contest this year:
1. We will be available to score your birds on Sundays - however you'll need to contact us via Facebook messenger to set up a time to meet us at the store between 9am-12pm.
2. We want to see your birds(!!!) - so we've added another prize category. Anytime a bird is brought in for scoring, your name will be added to a drawing for a $100 RedNex Gift Card. No bird to small!! Let's see them!

Prizes:
Youth/Apprentice – Two Day Contest
  • Mouth Call
  • $50 RedNex Gift Card

Regular Season – Highest Scoring Bird
  • Stoeger M3500 Camo 12g
  • $200 Wall-Hangers Taxidermy Gift Card


Regular Season – Highest Scoring Single Beard
  • $200 RedNex Gift Card
  • ** If Highest Scoring Single beard is ALSO the Highest scoring bird, the second highest scoring single bearded bird will win this prize


Regular Season – Bird Scoring Drawing
  • $100 RedNex Gift Card
  • Name entered into drawing each time a bird is brought in for scoring


Rules:
  • Eligible hunters must be signed in and have entry fee paid by 7pm on the Friday before Opening Day.
    ---Youth/ Apprentice (15& under) - $10 – Two Day Contest – April 1&2, 2017
    ---Regular Season - $20 – April 8 – May 13, 2017
  • Turkey must be killed during the general hunting season and follow all VDGIF rules. Click here for regulations.
  • Eligible turkeys must be killed east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Entries must be legal as defined by the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
  • Turkeys killed within a fence or any other confined areas are not eligible to enter contest. Turkeys that were EVER kept inside a pen for breeding purposes or any other reason are NOT allowed. Turkeys that are tagged or tattooed for breeding purposes are NOT allowed. Turkeys cannot have been raised in a fenced-in area and released. Turkeys considered tame, domesticated or pet are NOT allowed.
  • Hunter must present valid hunting license and picture ID. Hunting licenses can be purchased at RedNex Sporting Goods.
  • Measurement must be made within 24 hours of kill and no later than noon on Monday, May 15, 2017.

Measurements:
  • For measurement, the hunter must bring in the ENTIRE BODY.
  • MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS: RedNex Sporting Goods, 1309 Tappahannock Blvd, Tappahannock, VA 22560
  • Sunday Scoring: Must contact RedNex via Facebook Messenger to arrange scoring between hours of 9-12 only.


Point System:
  • Winners are decided by the total score according to the contest’s point system using the NWTF Turkey Scoring Calculator
    1. Turkey’s Weight – lbs./oz.
    2. Spur length – Left and Right
    3. Beard length – the longest hair will be used for measurement
    4. Tiebreakers will be determined by the longest beard.
  • In the case of a tie still remaining, the length of the beard on its own will be the determining factor
  • All measurements are rounded off to the nearest 1/16 inch.
  • Once measured, a turkey cannot be measured by anyone else unless authorized by the contest committee.
  • In the case of a tie after the tiebreaker, winners will be challenged to a duel using the weapons of choice; or the committee will choose another method – your choice.
  • Hunters attempting to cheat in the Spring Turkey Contest or violating Virginia Game Laws are disqualified and barred from entering this contest for life.
  • No more than one prize will be awarded to any registered hunter. A hunter's second turkey is valid only if it outscores first turkey.
  • All decisions of the contest committee are final. No whining. Whiners will be disqualified.


Good Luck to you all!!!

Gun Stuff 101 - Patterning Your Shotgun, Post 1

We’ve talked in the past about sighting in a rifle for a particular load and the time and effort that is sometimes required to find the round that performs best for a particular gun. Sometimes “good enough” is ok, but I think most sportsmen and women, would rather use the best possible gun and ammo combination available to them. Or at the least, they would want to know how their gun performs with the particular round they are using, even if it is not the best.

Patterning a shotgun can be just as important as sighting in a rifle, and is beneficial for several reasons. There are new types of shotgun shells introduced every year, for every type of hunting, and new choke tubes too. Some of the new choke tubes are general purpose and can be used for a variety of shooting, but many are specific to a particular load. On the other hand, some of the shells produced are designed to shoot well with the factory tubes that come with your gun, while others benefit from a tube that is specific for that shell. You may be surprised to find that your full choke doesn’t give you as tight a pattern as your modified choke with a particular shell. This could be because of the wad type used in the shell, or perhaps your gun happens to shoot a much better pattern with an aftermarket choke tube than the factory tube that came with your gun.

In order to understand how these shells will perform in your gun, or how effective and compatible your choke is with the load you are shooting you have to pattern it. In doing so, you can also determine if your gun is shooting to “point of aim” or not; surprisingly, many shotguns actually do not shoot to “point of aim”. Without mentioning any specific brands, some manufacturers design their guns to allow you to “float” the target over your front bead to give you a full view of it before shooting. With a gun designed as such you will likely over shoot and miss if you aim with your bead in the center of the target. It is not a fault of the gun, choke, or ammo, it is simply how they are designed – and patterning your gun will help keep you from making that mistake.

Patterning your gun is a fairly easy process, but it requires some patience and a good shooting rest. If you have patterned a shotgun before and did not use a rest, then you were not doing it correctly – sorry, there’s no other way to put it. The shooting rest is critical, because it helps to reduce the “human error” element of shooting. It’s no different than using a good rest for sighting in a rifle. You are not trying to determine how well you shoot the gun – you are trying to determine how or how well the gun shoots the ammo. If you add inevitable “human error” into the equation, your results will be skewed - whether you realize it or not. After giving in, and using a rest, the remaining process is up to you. You need to determine shooting scenarios you may encounter, and the distances at which you need to shoot. Set your targets up accordingly, and pattern your gun. You will have the greatest success, from the start, if you take the proper steps we’ve outlined above.

In order to assist our customers and provide them with the best information that we can give, we often test our products or use them ourselves for our own shooting and hunting activities. We want to be able to tell you first- hand what has worked for us or what we have discovered in testing. Over the next several months we are going to experiment with multiple types of shot shells and choke tube combinations. We will be using chokes from several different manufacturers and shooting different buckshot, waterfowl, and turkey shells. We will report on what we find on Facebook (Like us at RedNex Sporting Goods) & Instagram (rednexsportinggoods), and we will also have that information available to you when you come into the store. Stay tuned!

FAQs:

What do you mean by “pattern”? – As shot leaves the barrel, it begins to disperse in the air, resulting in a cloud of pellets. The ideal pattern would be a circle, with an even distribution of shot throughout, with a density sufficient to ensure enough pellets will intersect the target to achieve the desired result. – Wikipedia



What is a choke tube? – A choke tube constricts the end of the barrel to change the pattern of shot as it leaves the muzzle. Choke tubes come in different thicknesses/bore narrowing, depending on the shot pattern desired, and are screwed into the muzzle-end of a barrel. Think of a fireman’s hose, you can constrict the flow of water by twisting the nozzle - hard stream of water (that can travel quite a distance) all the way to a soft spray (which doesn’t go very far). The same concept can be applied using choke tubes.

RedNex will never forget ...

9_11-11_11-collage
Between 9/11 & 11/11, we will be having a donation drive benefiting the FDNY Foundation & the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Gen 3 Glock 23 - $499.99
Gen 4 Glock 23 - $529.99

glock_flag

In addition to any donations made by customers, RedNex will make a donation of $25 to either fund (customer's choice) for each, specially priced, GLOCK 23 sold. We are honoring our Flag and Country by replacing the slide back plate on each Glock with a custom laser engraved American Flag.

2016's Big Buck Contest is here!

big buck 2016I can't believe another summer has come and gone! Where did the time go? I know with the passing of summer, many of you have begun or are beginning the ritual of readying your gear for the coming deer hunting seasons and this year's returning Big Buck Contest! You are probably cleaning and repairing your rifles or shotguns, purchasing ammo, sighting in your optics, updating your hunting licenses, exercising your dogs, sharpening your knives, charging or adding batteries to your electronics, repairing or adding new tree stands, checking food plots, and reviewing your game cameras. So much to do ... but not a lot of time in which to do it!


Here at RedNex, we too are excited for the impending seasons. It means the start of our busiest time of the year. We enjoy hearing the stories, offering advice, and helping you with all of your hunting needs. It also means the start of one of our favorite contests - Big Buck!!



We've made a couple of changes this year to the contest:
  • We are partnering with online Facebook group Virginia Wall Hangers - (https://www.facebook.com/groups/244472535951834/ ) - A PLACE FOR HUNTERS TO POST PHOTOS OF THEIR VIRGINIA TROPHY DEER. BIG OR SMALL. IF IT'S A TROPHY TO YOU, IT'S A TROPHY TO US.
  • The contest will be open to anyone hunting in the state of Virginia
  • There is NO FEE!


CONTEST INFO & RULES

  • Eligible hunters must be signed in by 7pm on the Friday before Opening Day for your method of hunting and the county in which you live.
    ---- Complete the signup form clicking here -->>
  • Visit https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/hunting/regulations/deer/ for information regarding the following VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) regulations:
  • -- Opening Day & Season dates
    -- Deer must be a whitetail buck killed during the general hunting season(s).
    -- Eligible bucks must be killed in the state of Virginia, in areas approved by VDGIF.
    -- Entries must be legal as defined by the VDGIF.
  • Bucks killed within a deer-proof fence or any other confined areas are not eligible to enter contest.
  • Bucks that were EVER kept inside a pen for breeding purposes or any other reason are NOT allowed.
  • Bucks that are tagged or tattooed breeding purposes are NOT allowed.
  • Bucks cannot have been raised in a fenced-in area and released. Bucks considered tame, domesticated or pet are NOT allowed.
  • Hunter must present valid hunting license and picture ID.

    MEASUREMENTS:

    • For measurement, the hunter must bring in the ENTIRE BODY of the field dressed animal to be measured.
    • Measurement must be made within 48 hours of kill and no later than 2pm on Monday, January 9, 2017.

    MEASUREMENT LOCATION:


    RedNex Sporting Goods, 1309 Tappahannock Blvd, Tappahannock, VA 22560

    POINT SYSTEM:


    Winners are decided by the total score according to the following point system:
    1. The total number of points.
      -- No points will be counted that are less than 1" in length, no rounding allowed.
    2. The width of the outside spread.
      --All measurements must be done from the main beam only.
    3. A total of the two longest tines off the main beam per side will be measured and scored.
      -- A total of four tines will be measured, two per side.


    TOTAL SCORE:

    • The total numeric score will be the sum of 1, 2, and 3 above. That is, the sum of the total points, the outside width, and the four longest tines (two per side) equals the total score for the buck.
    • Tiebreakers will be determined by the longest tine.
      -- In the case of a tie still remaining, the next longest tine of the four measured, and so forth, until a winner has been determined.


        ADDITIONAL SCORING INFO:

        • No points will be counted that are less than one (1") inch from its base.
        • All measurements are rounded off to the nearest 1/8 inch.
        • Broken points measuring less than the minimum length will not count.
        • If the main beam is broken, measurement will not include the detached portion of the antler.
        • If the main beams are movable, measurement will be made at the narrowest point when the antlers are held in.
        • Once measured, a buck cannot be measured by another person unless authorized by the contest committee.
        • In the case of a complete tie, winners will be chosen by a drawing between the hunters whose scores are tied.


        • Hunters attempting to cheat in the Big Buck Contest or violating Virginia Game Laws are disqualified and barred from entering this contest for a period of two (2) years.
        • No more than one prize will be awarded to any registered hunter. A hunter's second buck is valid only if it outscores first buck.
        • All decisions of the contest committee are final. No whining. Whiners will be disqualified.

        PRIZES:

        First and ONLY prize will be awarded for the buck with the highest score:
        • Hunter’s choice of one of the following long guns:
          -- Option 1: Weatherby Vanguard 30-06 Stainless Rifle
          -- Option 2: Beretta A300 Outlander 12G Synthetic Shotgun
        • Shoulder Mount by Whitetail Taxidermy Studio

      • 2016 Spring Turkey Contest is here!

        Turkey-hunting-gobblersDon't miss out on RedNex' 3rd Annual Spring Turkey Contest!

        We've made a minor, but exciting, change to the prize structure this year. We will continue to award a grand prize for the highest scoring bird, in addition to that, however; we will also have an award for the highest scoring single bearded bird. We hope this change will make the spring turkey season more exciting! We can't wait to see your birds!

        Youth/Apprentice – Two Day Contest
        • Mouth or Slate Call
        • Turkey Decoy

          Regular Season – Highest Scoring Bird
        • Stoeger M3000 APG Camo 12g
        • Turkey Mount from James Braswell's Whitetail Taxidermy

          Regular Season – Highest Scoring Single Beard Bird
        • $200 RedNex Gift Card

          Regular Season – 2nd Place overall
        • $100 RedNex Gift Card

          Regular Season – 3rd Place overall
        • $50 RedNex Gift Card


        Rules: 
        • Eligible hunters must be signed in and have entry fee paid by 7pm on the Friday before Opening Day.
          • Youth/ Apprentice (15& under) - $10 – Two Day Contest – April 2&3, 2016
          • Regular Season - $20 – April 9 – May 14, 2016

        • Turkey must be killed during the general hunting season.
        • Eligible turkeys must be killed east of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
        • Entries must be legal as defined by the VA Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
        • Turkeys killed within a fence or any other confined areas are not eligible to enter contest. Turkeys that were EVER kept inside a pen for breeding purposes or any other reason are NOT allowed. Turkeys that are tagged or tattooed for breeding purposes are NOT allowed. Turkeys cannot have been raised in a fenced-in area and released. Turkeys considered tame, domesticated or pet are NOT allowed.
        • Hunter must present valid hunting license and picture ID.
        • Measurement must be made within 24 hours of kill and no later than noon on Monday, May 16, 2016.

        MEASUREMENTS:

        • For measurement, the hunter must bring in the ENTIRE BODY.
        • MEASUREMENT LOCATIONS: RedNex Sporting Goods, 1309 Tappahannock Blvd, Tappahannock, VA 22560

        POINT SYSTEM:

        1. Turkey’s Weight – lbs/oz.
        2. Spur length – Left and Right
        3. Beard length – the longest hair will be used for measurement
        4. Tiebreakers will be determined by the longest beard.

        • In the case of a tie still remaining, the length of the beard on its own will be the determining factor
        • All measurements are rounded off to the nearest 1/16 inch.
        • Once measured, a turkey cannot be measured by another measurer unless authorized by the contest committee.
        • In the case of a tie after the tiebreaker, winners will be challenged to a duel using the weapons of choice; or the committee will choose another method – your choice.
        • Hunters attempting to cheat in the Spring Turkey Contest or violating Virginia Game Laws are disqualified and barred from entering this contest for life
        • No more than one prize will be awarded to any registered hunter. A hunter's second turkey is valid only if it outscores first turkey.
        • All decisions of the contest committee are final. No whining. Whiners will be disqualified.

        Value vs Price



        VALUE VS. PRICE
        For better or worse, mostly worse, America has become a nation of “big box”, mega retailers or online giants, like Amazon. Think about where you bought most of the products you own. Were they bought at a small independent business or at a big box store? Unfortunately, in many cases, we don’t even have a choice where we buy something because many of the small, independently owned businesses are gone.

        While there is a great deal of convenience in being able to make all of our purchases from only one or two places, it’s not always better. Have you ever been to one of these giant stores and felt like no one there cares one iota about your needs? Have you ever wanted to pull your hair out trying to resolve a problem over the phone because of an issue you had with an internet purchase? I know I have.

        The gun industry is largely moving in that direction, and it is very unfortunate. There are many online gun retailers where people can find the cheapest prices on firearms and accessories and there’s at least one “big box” sporting goods store in almost every city in the country. While we try to remain competitive in our pricing, sometimes we can match their prices and sometimes we can’t. Without naming any names, compare our prices to the prices at the large firearms retailers in the Richmond area and you’ll see that we are very competitive. Shop locally and you'll also save time and gas!

        As for internet retailers who undercut everyone, they can do so because they do not have to dedicate a single cent to customer service. But we have a solution for that too. RedNex now has an online store that offers prices very close to many of the other internet stores. (Click here to Shop Online) If you do decide to purchase a gun from our online store you won’t get the warranty, discount and free gun cleaning package that you receive when purchasing a gun in store, but you will receive the same level of customer service when you come to pick up your new firearm, accessory or ammunition.

        Competitive pricing is not the only thing we offer. RedNex has something that online stores and big box retailers cannot and will not ever be able to compete with – customer service provided by a knowledgeable staff that cares about your needs. We want everyone to be satisfied with every purchase they make here and we want you to know that YOU MATTER TO US! I am grateful for each and every customer that walks through our doors, and I want to thank all of you personally for continuing to do business with us.

        For those that do not shop with us, we hope to earn your business and I promise that if you give us a chance we will provide you with the best personal customer service, bar none. Big box/ online retailers can’t offer this. Have an issue with a gun you bought from a big box store or on line retailer? You’re out of luck. At best you have a big headache awaiting you. Buy it from us and have an issue? - In many cases we can have it resolved while you have a cup of coffee, and we often do it at no cost to you.

        While we continue to strive to be competitive, we are forced to take a stand. Going forward, RedNex will no longer be the transfer agent for current production firearms from any other retailer as long as it is a product that we are able to provide for you. We will of course continue to transfer used firearms and collector’s guns, as well as hard to get items that we can’t find for you. Our knowledgeable staff is the best at what we do, and I am confident that you will be pleased with the level of service we provide. If we don't have the item you are looking for in the store, we can either order it for you, or you can order online. (Click here to Shop Online) In many cases, except for firearms, your purchase ships right to your door. Give us a try, you won’t be disappointed.

        Josh

        Gun Stuff 101 - Muzzleloaders Part 3

        Muzzleloaders Part 3 - by Josh
        ml #3 Once you’ve selected a powder and bullet it’s time to go to the shooting bench and start zeroing your rifle. In the following paragraphs I will discuss the process of loading a muzzleloader, as well as a few tips that will make shooting your muzzleloader more enjoyable.

        tc-t17-breechplug-grease1All modern muzzleloaders have a breech plug. As its name suggests, it is a threaded plug located at the breech of your rifle. In the center of the breech plug is a tiny flash hole. The rear of the breech plug is designed to hold the primer or cap. Before firing your muzzleloader it is important to apply an anti-seize grease (breech plug grease), which is necessary for easy breech plug removal during cleaning.

        The bullet is loaded from the muzzle end and has to be pushed down until it reaches the powder you added, which is sitting on the breech plug. If using a bullet with a plastic tip, it is often helpful to screw a jag or bullet seater on the end of your ramrod that has a recessed hole so the tip of your bullet is not damaged while loading. hornady-black-powder-bullets-barnes-bullet-seaterThe bullet inside of the plastic sabot is a tight fit in your bore so adding a little lube can make things a lot easier. You can buy pre saturated patches that contain lube or you can buy the patches and lube separately. Whether you buy pre-saturated or not, the process is the same. Place a patch with lube over your muzzle, and using your ramrod with jag (supplied with your muzzleloader) work the lubed patch up and down your barrel. Be careful not to over -do -it with the lube -- a little goes a long way. If you do this each time you shoot, you begin to season your barrel much like a cast iron skillet, and loading and cleaning become much easier. So drop in your powder, load your bullet and next, let’s place the primer at the rear of your breech plug in the primer chamber.

        primer loadi Most modern muzzleloaders use a 209 primer to ignite the powder just like the ones used in shot shells. Earlier muzzleloaders used either musket caps or Number 11 percussion caps, but they were much less reliable than the 209 primer. Some manufacturers make primers that are designed and marketed as muzzle loading 209 primers and they are fine to use but standard shot shell primers should perform well too. It’s best to consult the powder manufacturer to determine which is best to use for their powder.

        Remember, whether shooting at the bench or hunting from a blind or tree stand never load your primer in the breech plug until you are seated and ready to safely shoot. With your gun loaded with powder, a bullet, and a primer, you’re ready to take aim and shoot.

        Powders in muzzleloaders can be very dirty and produce extreme amounts of fouling -- accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces to the detriment of function – therefore, it’s extremely necessary to clean this fouling out before you put your gun away, and also in between shots if possible. The use of a lube such as Thompson Center’s Bore Butter can aid in cleaning your gun when used prior to shooting, and also makes loading the rifle much easier as well.

        Shooting and hunting with a muzzleloader can be a fun, rewarding experience. Just remember to follow all common sense safety precautions and have a great time. We’ll talk about the actual cleaning process in the next and final Muzzleloading post.

        Gun Stuff 101 - Muzzleloaders Part 2

        Muzzleloaders Part 2 - by Josh


        11050763_983488331691089_3528038788973841174_nI wrote last time about the different types of powders, the forms in which they come, and the pros and cons of each type. This week I’d like to talk about the bench time necessary to determine proper projectile and powder combinations when hunting with modern muzzleloading rifles.

        Today’s hunter has many bullet options, and most will perform reasonably well in most rifles. To find out what works best in your rifle, as always, is a matter of trial and error. And before you pass judgement on any one bullet/powder combination, you need to determine what your expectations are, and where you will be hunting. If you’re used to shooting ½ inch groups with your varmint rifle and expect your new CVA or Thompson Center to do the same, you will likely be disappointed. These rifles may be capable of that type of precision, but they don’t need to be. And most people don’t have the time it takes at the bench to wring that much out of their gun, and that’s ok.

        Most production muzzleloaders are designed to take deer sized game (or larger) from moderate distances. If your muzzleloader is shooting four inch groups at 100 yards, is that good enough? It can do better, but remember, whitetail deer have a kill zone of about 10 inches, so almost any bullet/powder/ rifle combination will be just fine for hunting at closer ranges (50-75 yards). For 100 to 150 yard hunting, you need a little more precision, so it is best to spend some time at the bench finding out what bullet/powder combo will get the job done. If you’re getting 2-3 inch groups you’re just fine for those distances. Two hundred yards and further will be stretching it for typical muzzle loading rifles, but they are capable if you put the time in at the range. There are custom muzzleloaders using smokeless powder that can easily take game from 500 yards and beyond, but that’s not what I want to focus on as it is not what most folks are using.

        There used to be a variety of .45 caliber muzzleloaders to choose from just a few years ago, however most manufacturers spend their time producing .50 caliber muzzleloaders which makes your projectile selection process a bit easier. Projectiles for these guns range in weight from about 200 grains to 300 grains. Most will come with a sabot (pronounced suh-bow) which helps seal the gap around the projectile to prevent gases from blowing past it. With bullets that use sabots, the actual diameter of the bullet will be smaller than the rifle’s caliber. The sabot makes up the difference – a .50 caliber gun will use .45 caliber bullets with a .50 caliber sabot. Power Belt brand bullets, for example, do not use a traditional sabot, but the projectiles have a plastic base which serves the same purpose.muzzleloader-bullet-types
        Bullets for these rifles will either be lead, copper jacketed lead or solid copper. You can get them with a round nose, hollow point or plastic tip. Some are designed for moderate distances while others are designed with a higher ballistic coefficient (Read here about ballistic coefficient) and will be better for longer distances.

        muzz#2
        Finding out what works best for your gun takes time at the shooting bench to determine. Just remember to take all things into consideration, but most importantly: Where you will be hunting? How long will your shots be? And remember, respect the game and hunt ethically.

        Gun Stuff 101 - Muzzleloaders Part 1

        Muzzleloaders Part 1 - by Josh
        muzzleloader My favorite time of year is just around the corner – muzzleloader season. The first two weeks of November are the best weeks for deer hunting in our neck of the woods. If you’ve never, been I highly recommend it. The normally keen and elusive big bucks seem to lose their minds in the rut (mating season) in search of does. So it’s the time of year to see more deer activity than any other time. But seeing them is only part of the fun. Successfully and humanely harvesting a doe or nice buck is the other part. There is plenty of gear available to accomplish this and I’d like to dedicate the next few weeks to talking about what is available to the muzzleloading hunter and how to use it.

        Without getting in to too much history and detail, early muzzleloaders used black powder as a propellant. Today actual black powder is much less common. The majority of hunters use black powder substitutes such as Pyrodex, Triple 7, White Hots, Blackhorn 209 and several others. There are even muzzleloaders that can be used with a variety of smokeless powders too, but I’m going to focus primarily on the black powder substitutes.

        There are many brands and types of powders available for us today and like everything else, advancements in technology bring us newer and better (sometimes) products. Powders for muzzleloaders are either pre-measured compressed cylindrical pellets, pre-measured rectangular sticks, or loose which has to be measured either by volume or weight. There are pros and cons to each type depending on your expectations.

        bp_smokeless_bullets

        Shooting with loose powders typically yields better accuracy. They burn faster and more consistently than pellets or sticks because there is more surface area to be burned. The size of the grains of loose powder can affect burn rate as well. Some powders like Blackhorn 209 do not vary in grain size but others like American Pioneer and Triple 7 do. For those that do they use the “F” designation to indicate the grain size (the “F” correlates to the screen size used to separate out grains during manufacturing). So you might see a bottle of Triple 7 that says FF next to one that says FFF. The powders are the same, but the grains of the FF are larger than the FFF. Typically (but not always) the FF powders are used for .50 cal rifles while the smaller FFF is used for smaller bore rifles and handguns. Some manufacturers like Pyrodex simplify it even further by labeling their powders either for pistol, rifle or shotgun. It is important to note that loose powders when measured by volume will be different than when weighed on a scale. For example 100 grains by volume might be 70 or 80 grains by weight, so be careful not to confuse the two. Over charging can destroy a gun and more importantly cause injury to the shooter. To see what overcharging a muzzle loader can look like … Google it … it’s not pretty.

        Powders in pellet or stick form do not burn as consistently as loose powders but can still be very accurate for hunting and are certainly more convenient. They typically come in 30 or 50 grain sizes. The majority of hunters will either use 100 or 150 grains so two or three-50 grain pellets. Some will shoot 90 grains so three-30 grain pellets. It’s a matter of trial and error which combination of powder charge and bullet will work best in your gun so like I always say – you’ve got to shoot it to find out. Each manufacturer will vary on the suggested minimums and maximums for their powders so I strongly suggest you do a little research before you shoot.

        It is inhumane to use too light a charge as it will not quickly and cleanly kill, and you certainly don’t want to blow your gun up by having too much powder.

        In the coming weeks I’ll talk more about powders, maintenance, cleaning and shooting muzzleloaders. Send me an email if you have a specific question you’d like me to address.

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