Thompson Center .50 Caliber Black Diamond™ XR

widgnwhacker

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Hello Gang,

I recently drew a Muzzleloader Bull Elk tag for Unit 6A in Arizona. I am looking at buying a muzzleloader for this hunt. I have limited experience with muzzleloaders and have only used a .54cal TC Hawken in Idaho a number of years ago for Deer. I am also on a limited budget and was wondering if this rifle that BPS has on sale would work well for my hunt?

Thompson Center .50 Caliber Black Diamond™ XR Rifle @ $199.99

Also what type of Powder, Primer and Bullet would work well for this hunt. Most shots that I have had in the past in this area with a center fire rifle were not much over 100yds. Any help would be greatly appreciated

Thanks!!
 

Walker

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You might get some better answers than mine but I think that Black Diamond barrel is designed to shoot sabots. I had one and could barely keep it on paper with conicals.
 

Wolfhound

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If you get it try Powerbelts. They are one conical that T/C's will generally shoot well. You can also try heavy sabots in the 300 gr range. Stick with loose powder. You have more ability to tune in your load.
 

oldyankee2

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Do you know what the twist rate is in that new Black Diamond ? I think that
the XRs are somewhat optimized for shooting sub-caliber bullets with sabots.
I have a T/C Encore 209x50 muzzleloader, and have found quite good accuracy
with a simple 100 - 115 grn pyrodex load and the Hornady 250 or 300 grn
black sabotted XTPs. Some folks also have good results with the 295 grn
powerbelt bullets, with a similar charge of powder.

I haven't chronographed this load yet, but I can easily get sub 2" groups at 100 yds
with them (3 shot groups), and, if I am doing my job, also keep 5 shot groups
under 2.5 inches at the same yardage. I adjust it to hit about 1.5 or 2 " high
at 100 yards, which gets me pretty much dead on at 150 yds. This is with a
26" bbl - the XR may have the same, or slightly longer barrel which can affect
your results. I go up to 130 grns pyrodex with a 300 grn Hornady XtP, which
also puts me about an inch or so high at 100 yards, and it will also give you
a pretty solid shove at the other end. I think these might be reasonable to start
with for Elk loads with a T/C Black Diamond XR, based on my results with the Encore.
your mileage may vary.

I have only just purchased some conicals to give them a try in the Encore, though
I understand that the twist rate of 1 turn in ~ 28 inches might not be optimal, it
might be sufficient if you are careful with the weight/length of the conicals. The longer the conical is, the faster the twist rate needed for stabilization. Several
ML companies use a 1:28 or 1:32 twist as a reasonable compromise. don't bother
trying to load round balls in the black diamond XR, or T/C Encore, it isn't a good
idea and the twist rate is WAAAAAAY too fast for patch roundballs.

My $.02,
oldyankee
 

widgnwhacker

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This is what I have found about the TC Black Diamond,

Longer 26" barrel gives you optimum burning of magnum charges--up to 150 grains of powder. Increased efficiency boosts velocity at the muzzle by 200 fps, reducing bullet drop at 200 yards by a full 3" over standard models. Powerful Flame Thrower™ ignition uses #209 primer and features T/C's QLA muzzle system ensuring exact bullet alignment. Composite stock; blued barrel with 1 in 28" twist.

So can the Pyrodex pellets be used in this ML or do I have to use lose powder?

Also would the Conical Bullets be better or the Sabots?

Again I will be hunting Bull Elk and would like to get the right recipe as to make a clean kill and not have an animal run off wounded.

Thanks for your help guys!!!
 

RandyWakeman

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Originally posted by widgnwhacker@Jul 31 2004, 11:36 PM
Longer 26" barrel gives you optimum burning of magnum charges--up to 150 grains of powder. Increased efficiency boosts velocity at the muzzle by 200 fps, reducing bullet drop at 200 yards by a full 3" over standard models. Powerful Flame Thrower™ ignition uses #209 primer and features T/C's QLA muzzle system ensuring exact bullet alignment. Composite stock; blued barrel with 1 in 28" twist.

So can the Pyrodex pellets be used in this ML or do I have to use lose powder?

Also would the Conical Bullets be better or the Sabots?

Again I will be hunting Bull Elk and would like to get the right recipe as to make a clean kill and not have an animal run off wounded.

Thanks for your help guys!!!
Don't believe everything you read.

Sabots, in general, will give you better ballistics-- smaller caliber, better ballistic coefficients. You can shoot Triple 7 or Pyrodex powder or pellets, your choice.

The "best" bullet for any individual gun is a matter of testing it for yourself. No one can say "exactly" what might be best for one model of gun, otherwise that is what we would all be shooting.

No standard muzzleloader made can burn all 150 grains of Pyrodex-- the Omega perhaps comes the closest. The .44 / 300 gr. Dead Center is a good choice, but you might want to try the .45 / 50 Shockwave as well, along with a 348 gr. Aerotip Powerbelt-- pushed by 100 - 115 grains loose powder. The one that groups the best is the one I'd use.
 

oldyankee2

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widgnwhacker -

I think that any of the powerbelts, Hornadys, or others could work well -
T/C brand labels several vendor's projectiles which all work pretty well
in these barrels. You could use full bore lead conicals of ~ 350 grns or larger
in this rifle, particularly if you choose the maxi-hunter versions from T/C.
However, these big, heavy conicals aren't necessary for elk, and if you
want long range (150 yds or more) accuracy without a rainbow trajectory,
you're gonna want to use the sub-caliber (eg 44 cal) bullets with sabots, or
possibly the full bore powerbelts, which fly almost as flat.

You really do need to get some and go out and try em - that it was makes
this fun, and different rifles, powders, pellets, and people all respond differently
to the combinations. You can do quite well for starters by just getting some
triple 7 or pyrodex pellets to get yourself started. If you can get some of the
50 grn equivalent and 30 grn equivalent pellets you can do a fair amount of
tailoring with the load combinations with a couple different bullets. Once you have
a better idea of how that Black Diamond shoots, you can "graduate" to using
loose powder to really fine tune the load to maximize performance. However,
you can certainly accomplish alot (and easily harvest an elk) with just using
the pellets.

Best of luck, and be sure to post a picture here if your hunt is a successful one !

oldyankee2
 

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