Here is a little sight-in trick that I have used for years when sighting in my muzzleloader.
Place a target 13 yards away. Get a good rest, aim at the bull’s-eye and nudge the trigger. If the bullet is off the mark, adjust your sights and shoot again. Once you are taking out the X in the center of the bull’s-eye, you now have a rifle, which will be dead-on at about 75 yards, just a tad low at 100 yards and a smidgen high at 50 yards.
If you have the time, go ahead and fire a few shots at all of these ranges to verify, but I’ve never had the 13-yard rule proved wrong.
Here’s another tip, which might just make a big difference someday. When I am at the range sighting-in or practicing, I use the same speed-loaders I use when hunting. I’ve found that doing this enables me to reload quickly without fumbling around even during the excitement of the hunt.
Most of the time, one shot is all you are going to get, but hunt deer long enough with a muzzleloader and you are going to one day find yourself in a situation where a quick follow-up shot is necessary. If you have practiced loading quickly at the range, you will be better able to load quickly in the field where it really counts.
Loading quickly, using speed-loaders when at the range, is not an excuse for not swabbing the barrel between shots. Most rifles shoot well with a clean barrel, so when sighting in I like to run a dry patch through the barrel between shots. When the session is over I clean the rifle thoroughly.
So don’t just assume that three Pyrodex or Triple Seven 50-grain pellets is the way to go. You might find that you and your rifle really prefer a less punishing load.
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