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Those of you who come to the Harvester Muzzleloading Hunter blog from time to time, or frequent the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING web site, have very likely noticed that I do heavily favor shooting and hunting with the polymer tipped Scorpion PT Gold spire-pointed bullets. My reason for shooting those bullets, whether of 300...260...or 240 grains, basically boils down to the variety of terrain and game habitat I hunt every year. Here in Western Montana "typical" shots with a muzzleloader can very easily range from 25 or 30 yards (when hunting bears in thick, close cover)...to all the way out to the outer limits of a muzzleloading rifle's maximum effective range (when hunting very open range lands). Or, in my case something of a self imposed maximum shooting range, at which I feel comfortable taking a shot. For me, that's right at 250 yards.
The Harvester Muzzleloading 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold spire-point has pretty much been my No. 1 choice for a hunting bullet. It is extremely accurate at all ranges, out to my personal 250-yard range limit ... yet delivers a massive wallop on up close and personal shots. It's pretty much my "do everything" muzzleloader hunting bullet - for shooting game the size of coyotes to as large as elk.
As a "hollow-point" the 300-grain Scorpion has a b.c. of around .210. As a "spire-point" the 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold enjoys a b.c. of around .250. As a hollow-point the 260-grain bullet has a b.c. of around .190, while the addition of the polymer tip pushed the b.c. to around .220. When it comes to maintaining a flatter trajectory out past 100 yards, and retaining both velocity and energy at longer ranges, that tiny 3 to 4 grain plastic (polymer) tip plays a very important role.
At the muzzle of the 28-inch barrel (26 3/4-inch working bore), that charge behind the 260-grain hollow-pointed Scorpion was good for 1,956 f.p.s., with 2,207 f.p.e. The rifle was sighted to print "dead on" at 100 yards. Then, to determine a reasonably reliable degree of bullet drop at 200 yards, I used a large piece of clean cardboard at that distance - with my target near the top. Five shots were fired, holding "dead on" the bull of the target. Then the highest and lowest bullet impacts were taken out of the equation...and the drop for the remaining three hits averaged. The 260-grain Scorpion bullet dropped an average of 15.7 inches. At that distance the bullet produced an average velocity of 1,246 f.p.s., retaining 894 foot-pounds of energy.
Next up was the spire-pointed 260-grain Scorpion PT Gold - which produced an average muzzle velocity of 1,954 f.p.s. (and 2,202 f.p.e.). Again, firing five shots at the 200-yard target, then eliminating the highest and lowest hits, the remaining three bullet impacts averaged a drop of 11.1 inches. The plastic tip literally shaved off close to 25% of the drop experienced by the very same bullet...but as a hollow-point. Just as importantly, the sleeker spire-point 260-grain bullet was still flying at an average of 1,351 f.p.s. at 200 yards...with 1,051 foot-pounds of retained energy.
This past spring, I did some shooting at 200 yards with the hollow-pointed 300-grain Scorpion (appx. .210 b.c.), shooting the same charge. I was getting the bullet out of the VORTEK Ultra Light LDR at 2,009 f.p.s. (with 2,685 f.p.e.). With the rifle sighted "dead on" at 100 yards, I found my average drop at 200 yards to be right at 14.3 inches. That's almost 5 inches more drop than the same exact bullet with a tiny plastic spire-point tip at the nose.
If all of your shots at big game are under 150 yards, then there's likely no reason to pay a bit extra for the spire-pointed version of the same bullet. I have taken close to a dozen deer with the 300-grain Scorpion funnel-point bullet, and it does just as good a job of putting big game on the ground at 150 yards or closer. However, if there's even the slightest chance you'll be faced with a 200- to 250-yard shot at a big buck standing out in a hay field ... across a valley ... or in an open cornfield, the few cents more you pay for the more aerodynamic Scorpion PT Gold will be money well spent. - Toby Bridges
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