Determining Velocity and Trajectory
Before You Go Hunting
- Use a chronograph to find the velocity of your hunting load. Then determine the MPBR for that particular load as above. If a chronograph is not available, consult ballistic charts and ammunition manufacturers to get an idea of the velocity of your load.
- Sight in your muzzleloader so that the projectile hits approximately 2½" to 3" high at 50 yards.
- After the muzzleloader is sighted in, practice shooting in the various positions (standing, sitting, kneeling, or prone) that you probably will use in the field.
- Make sure you are within your calculated MPBR before you shoot at any animal. Responsible muzzleloader hunters also consider their own personal effective range (that is, how far the hunter can shoot and keep all shots in a 6" group). Your maximum firing distance when hunting should be the shorter of the two ranges.
- Avoid shooting from too far away. The farther a projectile travels, the less impact it will have making it less likely to kill an animal. Since reloading takes extra time, you may not shoot again before the animal moves out of your MPBR and you may have to get closer for a second shot.
- To understand the relationship between trajectory and MPBR, look at the graphic above and assume that you are using 6" as your trajectory allowance. In this example, the conical bullet leaves the muzzle at 1½" below the line of sight traveling at 1300 FPS (feet per second). At 50 yards, the projectile is 3" above the line of sight. Then, at 130 yards, the projectile is 3" below the line of sight. In this situation, the conical bullet would reach the MPBR at 130 yards.