Barnes Bulk Packs: Great News for Inline Muzzleloading Enthusiasts

Above, a fresh 75 round bulk pack of one of the most devastating muzzleloading projectiles ever offered, the Barnes Spit-Fire T-EZ 290 grain Flat Base: a match grade, heat-treated copper alloy bullet that opens with six razor sharp petals and has essentially 100% weight retention. Product SKU: MZ-45192B.

One of the eternal issues surrounding bullet selection for inline muzzleloading hunters is the variability not of saboted bullets, but of the inside diameter of an individual muzzleloader. Just because a muzzleloader is designated "Fifty Caliber" doesn't tell you anything specifically. The actual land-to-land diameter of your inline might measure .497 inches and I've had them as loose as .508 inches. "Fifty caliber" doesn't mean anything, until you try to load it with any old prepackaged saboted projectile that is. Now we have sabots that we cuss at because they are hard to load. Or, they literally drop down the barrel making poor accuracy a virtual certainty. The very same saboted bullet is either tight or loose, depending on what we are trying to load it into. This issue is discussed in more detail at

An interference fit of .003 - .004 inches is considered ideal for smooth yet firm loading while yielding good accuracy. To achieve that, bullet manufacturers are forced to guess. It is an impossible task, as saboted bullets have no idea if they are going to be loaded into a tight-barreled Thompson or a loosey-goosey White and other examples in-between.

No bullet manufacturer can possibly know what propellant is being used. It might be corrosive Pyrodex or Triple Se7en, a propellant that requires licking a patch and going up and down your bore a couple of times to get the crud out from a previous shot so a sabot can be loaded without having to plow through the garbage from the previous shot. Or, you might be using Blackhorn 209 that requires no swabbing between shots. There are countless variables.

So, sabots try to be all things to all rifles all the time. They can't be, but sometimes we luck out and a prepackaged sabot / bullet fits. If it doesn't, we have dozens of different "45 / 50" sabots to choose from. Not too many people like the idea of paying for sabots that end up in the garbage can. Barnes has responded to this, so now you can get super-premium Barnes muzzleloading bullets and fine-tune the bullet to your application.

Two of my favorite big-game hunting bullets are the T-EZ 250 and 290 grain Barnes, the 290 grain depicted above. They've never been available before in bulk, but they are now. They offer the performance of the classic tube-type "MZ-Expanders" but with significantly improved aerodynamics. Have a tighter barreled gun? The MMP HPH-24 sabot is likely the best sabot for you for either the 250 or the 290. Have a more open bore diameter? Use an MMP HPH-12. The sabots are available directly from .

What about ballistics? One hundred grains by blackpowder volumetric unit of Blackhorn 209 will get your 250 grain T-EZ out of the muzzle in the neighborhood of 1925 fps.


The same one hundred grain charge of Blackhorn 209 gets the 290 T-EZ out of the muzzle in the area of 1875 fps.

Either way, it is a center of the body hold to 175 yards and go pick him up. It isn't a bad idea to opt for the combination that groups the best out of your muzzleloader, but you can see why I prefer the T-EZ 290. You can load the T-EZ 290 to 2100 fps with Blackhorn 209 out of most high-quality American-made inline muzzleloaders. In that case, the external ballistics look like this:

That's close to center of the body hold to 200 yards, perhaps a bit more contingent on your individual rifle, scope height, and ambient conditions. The Barnes has, for practical purposes, no velocity limitation when fired out of an inline muzzleloader and expansion initiates at strike velocities as low as 1200 fps or so. The 290 T-EZ is as close to as a "if you can hit it, you can eat it" type of projectile as can be obtained and does not fragment like a varmint bullet when crushing bone. An ideal 200 yard plus projectile, I can personally attest to how well it performs on a 6-1/2 foot long black bear at close range.

The combination was 100 grains by volume Blackhorn 209, Barnes T-EZ 290, MMP HPH-12 sabot and a very quick one-shot bag of a Minnesota black bear. A complete pass-through, taking out both lungs and the top of the heart, with a blood trail Stevie Wonder could follow. My eighty-two year old father used the same combination on his black bear, using the sabot supplied with the prepackaged T-EZ 290 and the result was the same: one shot, one quick kill with a complete passthrough . . . and an impressive wound channel. Two beautiful rugs from prime hides and truly delicious bear steaks you can cut with a spoon were the results.

In a few short days, it is head north in search of the 600 pounders that we know are out there. Dad is using the same load. I'm changing it up in favor of the .458" 300 grain Barnes Original Semi-Spitzer FB #457010 with the Orange .458 / 50 MMP sabot . . . this is another all-time favorite out of my frontloaders that has never let me down. Another Barnes bulk-pack offering, it is available solely in 50 round boxes without sabots from Barnes Bullets.

For more info on the full Barnes line including the Bulk-Packs, see: .




Your Ad Here


Copyright 2010 by Randy Wakeman. All Rights Reserved.


Custom Search