We've been selling and installing our great 209 conversions for years now. And I've noticed my questions and sales following trends influenced by the various hunting seasons and their associated rules. This time of year folks are getting ready for Colorado's muzzle loader season, typically focusing on harvesting an elk. I also added this to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions).
Q: I hunt in Colorado, sabots are not allowed for hunting during muzzle loader season. I want to use your awesome 209 conversion, but you say you recommend sabots with jacketed handgun bullets. What are my options?
A: Short answer is our kit will work great with any projectile. I've found Pyrodex, Triple Se7en, and black powder work best with non sabot projectiles.
I realize not all 50 state have the same rules. And some state’s rules are just plain silly. I wrote a blog post about that.
The main thing to remember here: the powder you chose must be compatible with the projectiles you use.
Our kit will seal the breech, which keeps the crud out of the bolt and action no matter what muzzle loader safe propellant you chose. Our kit is compatible with all muzzle loader safe propellants: pellets, loose powder, etc. Also using 209’s will give you more ignition heat and thus more reliable ignition over caps. And seeing our system keeps the crud sealed into the breech plug, the 209 is ignited reliably too. But the powder and projectile choice is up to the shooter. Read the manuals/instructions and follow them when developing loads.
But Blackhorn209 is different from Pyrodex & Triple7even: To be reliable BlackHorn209 needs to be fully sealed; i.e. sealed at the breech (which our kit does), and sealed at the projectile. Minnie balls, minet, power belts, B.O.R. Lock MZ and other easy loading projectiles that are legal for Colorado muzzle loading, don’t usually seal until the powder combusts and forces them into the grooves. This deformation sealing the bore after combustion is called obturation. The problem is BlackHorn209 doesn’t burn well until it’s sealed and can build pressure. So it’s likely to have bloopers, miss fires, and hang fires with obturating projectiles. Sabots seal well to start, thus if you are using BlackHorn209, it’s recommended to use sabots.
Never use smokeless powder in your Remington/Ruger! It says it right on the barrel!
Because Colorado doesn’t allow sabots during the muzzle loader seasons I would stay away from Blackhorn209. If I was hunting in Colorado, I’d use our kit, choose a heavy projectile (250gr or more) that seals on ignition, Hornady FPB, Thor, minie ball, lead conical, etc. But I wouldn’t use BlackHorn209; I’d try Triple7even, or Pyrodex. Although they are not as easy to clean, and will foul the barrel, they are very easy to ignite even when not sealed, and will obturate the projectile. Black powder will work just fine with these sorts of projectiles too.
I do have a few clients that report success with Blackhorn209 and CCI magnum primers with Hornady FPB’s. I also had one that said it worked well at the range, but didn’t fire when he had a nice bull in his sights. He said it was very chilly that morning, his rifle was cold soaked, and the Blackhorn wouldn’t go bang. He was very frustrated. Thus I would stick with Pyrodex/Triple seven for Colorado muzzle loader hunting.
Just about everywhere else, I recommend sabots because they have been accurate, easy to load, and jacketed hand gun bullets have always been very effective for me. Whatever powder you chose, the velocities your muzzle loader will produce are essentially the same that good jacketed hand gun bullets are designed for. They tend to kill quickly and bring home game. Sabots are allowed in most states, so that's what I usually recommend.
Long-term: If I voted in Colorado, I’d pressure my legislature to change the muzzle loader rules. Removing the most effective projectiles (jacketed hand gun bullets are great in muzzle loaders), and the most modern muzzle loading propellant (Black Horn 209) from use is bad for the game receiving the projectile. I believe the no sabots rule promotes wounded/lost animals.
Thanks for visiting the The Badger's Den (the blog for Badger Ridge). If an internet search brought you here, please stick with us: we have the solution to your Remington 700 ML/MLS and Ruger 77/50 woes. I update this blog frequently and what you are looking for is probably one or two clicks away. This blog is sorted categorically and chronologically. So you can find what you want by looking in the appropriate category, or if you know when it was published, you can use the time line. Or just keep scrolling down!
If you are new to our site: YES WE STILL SERVICE AND CONVERT THESE OLD MUZZLE LOADERS!
Our kits fix blow back issues, don't rely on most of the parts people tinker with, and base line the rifle to a solid known good state.
However you got here, and whatever shape your rifle is in, welcome to the best, last conversion you'll ever want on your rifle, and a great source for other hard to find Remington 700 ML parts.
In this post I'd like to share a text, email, & phone conversation I've had with a customer recently (I asked and he said it was OK to share it). Mike had a Remington 700 ML and had us convert it a year or so ago. He liked using it (with our conversion) so much he just bought another rifle (the rifle is a bit of a "basket case" needing serious repair and missing stuff).
Here's how our conversation went (First from our Contact form, then edited and summarized from texts, emails, etc... I've taken the liberty to edit and summarize some of this):
NEW CONTACT FORM SUBMISSION:
Name: Mike L
Question or Comment: I have an Remington ML700 stainless bolt body that is missing the handle, I bought this rifle this way. If I shipped the body, would you be able to weld a new handle on for me, and what would the cost be?
Its probably best to start by sending me pictures of the bolt that you have.
Typically we can do the work, but some folks really torque on stuff then expect us to work a miracle. Send me pics and we'll take it from there. You can text them to my cell or email them to me.
Here is the bolt with the missing handle. This is the way I bought it. I think it is very usable, but I will leave that to you, the expert. By the way, I purchased one of you 209 conversions and had you perform the conversion. Man is it cool! I made a long range muzzle loader kill with it last year: a nice ram.
From what I see: we can weld a handle on that. Seeing there is little silver solder to remove before we reweld, and you are a repeat customer, we'll extend you the less expensive "no solder to remove, virgin weld price." (we usually charge more to remove the silver solder).
You will need to purchase a handle (stainless steel) and our welding service. You can buy the handle from us, or purchase one from someone else and ship it with the bolt body. You can chose whatever you want through the drop down menu's on our web site page for bolt handle welding:
Click on the link above and then select the option you want (ie You provide a bolt body & we provide the handle.)
PS I would love to see pics of the Ram and hear the story!
Here's the Ram. It was an 175 yard shot. That 209 Conversion is Badass! I have shot 300 rounds with it, wore out one vent liner from shooting it so much! My load: 100 Grains by volume of BlackHorn209, CCI Primers (older copper colored ones), 300 gr Harvester PT Gold bullets.
It has been an awesome combination for me!
Oh and I Got the bolt back with the new handle! It works great!
Mike, Thanks for your continued patronage and sharing your experience with everyone!
Welcome to the Badger's Den!