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#207162 - 06/15/20 10:36 PM Anyone tried an MGM 45x209 muzzleloader barrel?
Chance Weldon Administrator
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https://matchgrademachine.com/custom-thompson-center-muzzleloader-barrel/

Has anyone here used an MGM muzzleloader barrel? What bullets and powder loads have you tried?

I think it was sometime last year that MatchGradeMachine revealed a line of muzzleloader barrels for the Contender and Encore platforms. For whatever reason, they made them all 45 caliber instead of the much more common 50 caliber. Although this eliminates a lot of potential bullet options, it allows the use of 357 Magnum/Maximum bullets using an MMP 357/45 sabot. Based on what load testing I've done with the CVA Optima and an old factory T/C barrel, it looks like you'd be able to replicate 357 Maximum ballistics, which would make for a good longer range muzzleloader setup.
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#207168 - 06/17/20 01:13 PM Re: Anyone tried an MGM 45x209 muzzleloader barrel? [Re: Chance Weldon]
Shortgun
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Been thinking about getting one of these myself. I have both G2 and Encore frames. There seems to be plenty of options as for sabots and bullets.

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#207217 - 06/21/20 09:07 AM Re: Anyone tried an MGM 45x209 muzzleloader barrel? [Re: Shortgun]
Bob Roach
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Chance I have not researched options in sabots for the 45. Shooting a .357 Hornady 180 XTP from a Muzzleloader would not be bad at the 357 Maximum velocity the bullet is designed for. I would think it would be flatter shooting than a 44 bullet, and quite possibly have more energy at longer range due to its better ballistics.

I was working with cast bullets in my 357 Maximum a little a couple years ago. I believe my mold is a NOE 360180 Gas Check. I was getting a little leading in my Contender barrel that I believe is .358. I ordered different bullet sizer dies, but never got back to working with it. (To Many Toys, To Little Time) That bullet when shot from a Muzzleloader barrel using a SABOT could be ran at any hardness, and at any speed you could wind it up to with no leading issues to worry about. The only thing needing a little thought is just how soft to make the bullet with leading not a concern at the velocity generated.

I was originally thinking that Hornady 180 XTP would be the bullet of choice in the 45 barrel. Another one worth a look is the FURY 180. It has a very similar profile to the now discontinued Hornady 180 SSP, and per my testing expands about identically to the 180 SSP when shot from my 35 Bullberry. This bullet is way more aerodynamic than the XTP. It may be a little to heavily constructed for 357 Maximum velocity however. I would want to test it before hunting with it.

After more thinking the MGM 45 barrel with 357 Sabots might be very hard to beat with a good 180 cast bullet. If I were to get the MGM 45 barrel it would probably never know any bullet existed except the NOE 360180-GC. I am confident this bullet driven at Full House 357 Maximum Velocity will get the job done.

I worked with all kinds of powders and pellets in my Optima.
I was not impressed with any of the Pellets. Blackhorn 209 was by far the cleanest loose powder I tested. HOWEVER I did not get around to working with Black MZ. From what I read Black MZ is supposed to be about as clean as Blackhorn, and can be bought much cheaper with a little shopping around. I would probably work with Blackhorn 209 or Black MZ powders in the 45 if it were me working up loads for it.

Keep us posted. This should be a great project barrel.

Bob R
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#207242 - 06/23/20 09:43 AM Re: Anyone tried an MGM 45x209 muzzleloader barrel? [Re: Bob Roach]
Bob Roach
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I did some research on shooting the 357/45 combination.
It looks like MMP is the only one currently making a 357/45 Sabot in the Blue Version. The Orange "Longer Petal" MMP sold by Precision Rifle is no longer listed on the web site.

Per my reading/research the 40/45 Sabot is a much better option. It seems that the extra thickness of the Sabot when shooting 355-357 bullets can have issues especially at the higher velocities. It seems Sabots have problems when too Thick or too Thin. It seems they have a sweet spot in the thickness between the Bullet and Barrel.

Shooting 40/45 Sabots you will need to pay close attention to bullets. You will be able to wind them up well past 40 cal handgun velocity in the muzzleloader.

The best thing would be for MGM to get a 50 Cal barrel in production I would think.

Bob
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#207251 - 06/23/20 04:51 PM Re: Anyone tried an MGM 45x209 muzzleloader barrel? [Re: Bob Roach]
KRal
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?.or just shoot .45 cal lead bullets in the .45 cal barrel....or you can also try the .45 cal powerbelt bullets.
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#207346 - 07/01/20 10:34 PM Re: Anyone tried an MGM 45x209 muzzleloader barrel? [Re: Bob Roach]
Chance Weldon Administrator
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My rationale for doing a 45 caliber build is to stretch my potential shooting range during our eventful muzzleloader season out to 200 yards. Currently, I wouldn't hesitate to send a round downrange at a decent buck at 150 yards with the Optima pistol or Encore muzzleloader barrel, but that's the absolute limit. The accuracy is there, and there would be sufficient velocity remaining to allow the bullet to do its job. I thought the factory Encore barrel I bought off Ebay last year might be the ticket, but it didn't give me much of an advantage over the Optima with the loads I tried. If I could get to 200, that would drastically expand the area I could cover in both the Killing Field and the eastern plot during muzzleloader season.
With a smaller, more aerodynamic bullet pushed to higher speeds? I'd say a 200 yard capable muzzleloader pistol is a definite possibility.

 Originally Posted By: Bob Roach
I was originally thinking that Hornady 180 XTP would be the bullet of choice in the 45 barrel. Another one worth a look is the FURY 180. It has a very similar profile to the now discontinued Hornady 180 SSP, and per my testing expands about identically to the 180 SSP when shot from my 35 Bullberry. This bullet is way more aerodynamic than the XTP. It may be a little to heavily constructed for 357 Maximum velocity however. I would want to test it before hunting with it.

5 barrel it would probably never know any bullet existed except the NOE 360180-GC. I am confident this bullet driven at Full House 357 Maximum Velocity will get the job done.

I worked with all kinds of powders and pellets in my Optima.
I was not impressed with any of the Pellets. Blackhorn 209 was by far the cleanest loose powder I tested. HOWEVER I did not get around to working with Black MZ. From what I read Black MZ is supposed to be about as clean as Blackhorn, and can be bought much cheaper with a little shopping around. I would probably work with Blackhorn 209 or Black MZ powders in the 45 if it were me working up loads for it.


That was one of the bullets I was thinking of as good contenders, as well as the 140 grain Barnes XPB and the 158 grain XTP. I've used Blackhorn exclusively in both setups, and it's worked great.

 Originally Posted By: Bob Roach
I did some research on shooting the 357/45 combination.
It looks like MMP is the only one currently making a 357/45 Sabot in the Blue Version. The Orange "Longer Petal" MMP sold by Precision Rifle is no longer listed on the web site.

Per my reading/research the 40/45 Sabot is a much better option. It seems that the extra thickness of the Sabot when shooting 355-357 bullets can have issues especially at the higher velocities. It seems Sabots have problems when too Thick or too Thin. It seems they have a sweet spot in the thickness between the Bullet and Barrel.

Shooting 40/45 Sabots you will need to pay close attention to bullets. You will be able to wind them up well past 40 cal handgun velocity in the muzzleloader.

The best thing would be for MGM to get a 50 Cal barrel in production I would think.

Bob


That's why I asked Reflex if he could test some additional 10mm bullets, just in case the 357 bullets didn't work out.

A few months ago, I called MGM and got on the subject of the muzzleloader barrels with the guy on the phone. He said they went with the 45 caliber option because there had been some advances in 45 caliber projectiles and muzzleloaders. Seriously, look up some of the new Knight muzzleloaders or the CVA Paramount. They also wanted to avoid just remaking the old factory 50x209 barrels.

What was interesting was they'd been considering adding a newer caliber to their lineup. Something like a 40, 36, or 30 caliber for small game if they could get enough interest.
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