The fall and winter of 2006 proved to be an important hunting season for me. That year, I hunted whitetails in five states, and took three good bucks, including the one shown here, and a total of 14 does. It's not that I needed all that much meat. In fact, I gave more than half of the deer harvested to friends and to needy families. Those hunts allowed me to check out a couple of new products that I had been working on for nearly a year ... and there's no better test of a hunting product than hunting and taking game. In all honesty, it is the ONLY way to see if those products perform exactly as designed...and as hoped.
One of those products was a prototype 300-grain version of the new Scorpion PT Gold bullet that had just been put into production by Harvester Muzzleloading. The company first came out with the 260-grain version in time for the 2006 hunting seasons, and I had taken several deer with that bullet. I had mocked up the early prototypes of the Scorpion PT Gold for the company, using the 300-grain Scorpion funnel-point (a.k.a. hollow-point), and simply installing a polymer spire-point tip in the bullet. The production 300-grain bullets came out in 2007.
From shooting the production-run 260-grain Scorpion PT Gold, I had determined that it had a b.c. of close to .220. From that same shooting, comparing the trajectory of the bullet with my home-brewed 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold, I knew the heavier version had to have a b.c. of .250 to .255. From 100 to 200 yards, the heavier 300-grain bullet, which got out of the muzzle at a slightly slower velocity, actually dropped about 2 inches less than the lighter and faster 260-grain Scorpion PT Gold.
I had a late muzzleloader season hunt that would take me into some very open cattle country, and wanted the flattest shooting combo I could load into the .50 caliber Knight "Long Range Hunter" rifle I was hunting with at that time. The load was 110-grains of FFFg Triple Seven, which got the 300-grain spire-point out of the muzzle of the 27-inch Green Mountain barrel at 1,967 f.p.s., with 2,577 f.p.e.
On the fourth morning of the hunt, with temperatures right at 15-degrees, the buck at the top of this post showed up...on the opposite side of a large hay field. When I first spotted the deer, I put the laser rangefinder on it ... 217 yards. Problem was, the buck was back four or five yards from the edge of the field, working it's way through a tangle of bottom-land brush. Fortunately, the deer was working a narrow finger that jutted out into the field...then stopped.
I took another reading on a sizeable cottonwood tree 25 or so yards ahead of the whitetail...where the strip of brush thinned out considerably. The reading was 252 yards. From all the shooting I had done with the rifle...scope...and 300-grain prototype Scorpion PT Gold - I knew the load printed right at 2 1/2 inches high at 250 yards...when using the 250-yard BDC hold-over built into the reticle of the scope.
I rested the forearm of the Long Range Hunter into the rest of a set of home-made hickory cross sticks, and waited. A few minutes later, the nice 10-pointer stepped clear of the brush, at what appeared to be 5 or 6 yards closer than the cottonwood. I quickly settled the 250-yard hold-over a couple of inches lower than center of the chest cavity...slipped off the safety...and ever so gently applied pressure to the trigger. The rifle fired...and a split second later I heard that big poly-tipped spire point drive home with a resounding "Wallop!"
The buck ran all of, maybe, 10 yards and went down. When I walked out to where the deer had been...it was easy to see exactly where it had been standing at the shot...thanks to a fresh snow fall the night before. A laser reading on the tree I had been setting next to revealed the shot had been 244-yards...give or take a few inches.
The shot had pretty much centered the chest cavity, and remains my longest shot with one of Harvester Muzzleloading's Scorpion PT Gold bullets. What is you most memorable shot with a modern saboted bullet? - Toby Bridges, NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING
Above Featured Rifle - Cooper .50 Model 22 ML
HARVESTER MUZZLELOADING Hunter
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