5 Best Muzzleloader Bullets

Muzzleloading bullets have evolved from the traditional round ball to low-drag bullets. The improvements in muzzleloading bullets mean it's easier than ever to hunt with a muzzleloader. Bullets are more accurate and have a further effective range. This list has some of the best 50-caliber muzzleloading bullets available from brands like Hornady, Powerbelt, Barnes, and Traditions, along with a few things to look for during your muzzleloader bullet selection.

Bullet Style

Muzzleloaders come in a variety of designs that shoot a range of bullet styles. Some barrels can still take round balls, while others are designed for more modern bullets. Sabots changed the muzzleloading game by offering unmatched stability and accuracy over long distances. Bullets like the Powerbelt ELR and AeroLite offer impressive accuracy that is about as close to centerfire performance as a muzzleloader can get.

Bullet Weight

Most muzzleloader bullets range in weight from 200-350 grains. For modern hunting muzzleloaders, .45 and .50 caliber bullets are the most common. It is important to use the appropriate powder charge recommended by bullet and powder manufacturers based on bullet weight to ensure proper performance and safety.

Primers & Components

Your muzzleloading primers and powder substitutes also play a big role in your bullet selection and accuracy. It may be beneficial to try several component combinations and charges to achieve the best results. Pellets like Hodgdon Triple 7 and IMR White Hots are two of the most common powder substitute options.

1

Hornady Bore Driver FTX Muzzleloader Bullets 50 Caliber 290 Grain 20PK

The Hornady Bore Driver Muzzleloading Bullets 50 Caliber 290 Grain FTX Pack of 20 is a fast and easy to load bullet that delivers the ultimate in muzzleloader performance. At the heart of the system is a polymer base (not a sabot) that seals the bore to deliver maximum energy transfer and accuracy. Atop the base is the FTX bullet, featuring a rugged gilding metal jacket coupled with patented FlexTip technology and an InterLock ring that deliver maximum lethality. During this muzzleloader season, make the shot count and use the best – Hornady Bore Driver FTX!

Features

  • Patented FlexTip technology bullets
  • Seats quickly for shot after shot performance
  • Interlock ring to maintain maximum on-game lethality
  • Performance boosting base

What Customers Are Saying

Awesome product

Have a new traditions nitro fire muzzleloader after doing the research it sounded like the federal bor lock bullets were the best to use. However you can't find them anywhere so I decided to try these they load easy even after 4 shots with no cleaning they loaded no harder than the first time. They shot awesome I would highly recommend as an alternative to the federal bullets!
- Dirtbag, 11/8/2021

About Hornady

“Ten bullets through one hole” is the philosophy that brought Hornady® Manufacturing from a two-man operation in 1949, to a world-leading innovator of bullet, ammunition, reloading tool and accessory design and manufacture today. Change is their constant and daily challenge. They outperform their competitors by ensuring the products they make are the ones their customers need right now, and accurately predict what they’ll want in the future. They recognize trends, and respect when to leave well enough alone. Their workforce includes an ample number of hunters and competitive shooters, as well as veterans and former law enforcement officers. At Hornady® Manufacturing, ammunition is more than their livelihood. It’s a major part of their daily life.

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2

Powerbelt ELR Muzzleloader Bullets 50 Caliber AeroTip 15PK

PowerBelt ELR Bullets were specially designed for CVA’s PARAMOUNT rifle, but can provide superior long-range performance in any .50 calliber muzzleloader with a twist rate of 1:24 or faster. In testing with the PARAMOUNT, using the recommended “super-magnum” charge of 140 grains by-volume of Blackhorn propellant, ELR bullets achieved muzzle velocities in excess of 2200 fps.

Internally, the ELR is similar in concept to the PowerBelt AeroLite bullet, incorporating a large hollow point cavity which eliminates weight from the core, allowing that weight to be used to lengthen the bullet. This hollow core is filled by the tail of the super-hard polycarbonate ballistic tip, which offsets the tendency of the bullet to expand too rapidly.

Optimal performance of the ELR will be achieved using “magnum” or “super-magnum” propellant charges. Rifles like the CVA PARAMOUNT are designed to handle such “super-magnum” charges (meaning: charges that produce higher pressures than traditional magnum loads). With rifles not designed for such high pressure loads, the maximum propellant charge recommended by the rifle manufacturer should not be exceeded.

Features

  • Snap-on plastic base produces a perfect gas seal for consistent pressures and superb accuracy
  • Copper jacketed bullets are easy to load and require minimal cleaning
  • AeroTip bullets feature a polymer tip and rapid expansion under impact
  • Easy to load and clean up after (unlike conventional sabots).
  • AeroTip is forced back into bullet upon impact causing rapid expansion. Similar to a polymer-tipped centerfire rifle bullet.

 

Note: The lead portion of this bullet weighs approximately 325 grains, and the ballistic tip and base add approximately 5 grains, for a total weight of 330 grains.

What Customers Are Saying

These shoot great

I havent hunted with them yet but i sighted in my gun with them and they shoot very well. I got 1 inch groups at 100 yds. and 21\2 inch groups at 200 yds. With my old gun that is great.
- Andyp, 10/23/2020

About Powerbelt

Powerbelt Bullets is a leading manufacturer of high-quality muzzleloading bullets. With a rich history spanning several decades, Powerbelt has earned a reputation for excellence in the shooting industry and is regarded as America’s #1 Muzzleloading bullet. Powerbelt manufactures a wide range of muzzleloading bullets to cater to the diverse needs of shooters and hunters. MidwayUSA carries many Powerbelt products including the Copper Series, ELR Series, AeroLite Series, Platinum Series, and the Lead Series muzzleloading bullets. Powerbelt Bullets continues to innovate and expand its product offerings to meet the evolving needs of shooters and muzzleloader hunters. Whether you are a hunter, competitive shooter, or enthusiast, Powerbelt Bullets has a product category tailored to your specific shooting requirements.

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3

Barnes Spit-Fire T-EZ Muzzleloader Bullets

Barnes Spit-Fire T-EZ Bullets are easier to load thanks to a new sabot. T-EZ bullets feature a flat base and are just as accurate as Barnes MZ bullets. The polymer tip enhances expansion for better long range ballistics, and upon expansion 6 razor-sharp cutting petals are created for maximum penetration and knock down power.

What Customers Are Saying

The Flat-Based TMZ's are ...

The Flat-Based TMZ's are a hit. I have used the Barnes Spitfire and the TMZ Boattail Bullets with very good luck.What makes the flat-based a hit is that you can now use just about any sabot, unlike the boattails which you have to use the supplied sabot. So if you have a finicky muzzleloader with a loose or tight bore you can customize the fit with a different sabot. Hope this helps.
- richard, 2/25/2010

About Barnes

Barnes Bullets was founded in 1932 by Fred Barnes in Bayfield, CO. After 42 years in business, Fred sold Barnes Bullets to passionate hunters Randy and Coni Brooks who moved the business to American Fork, Utah. Randy and Coni were hunting brown bears in Alaska during the fall of 1985 when Randy conceived the idea of an expanding copper bullet. This prototype became the X Bullet, and its lineage continues today through five generations of improvement to the TSX, Tipped TSX, and LRX bullets you see today. Barnes Bullets produces a wide variety of components for the handloader, including lead-free and traditional lead-core bullets. Barnes also makes lead-free bullets specifically for muzzleloader hunting, in both hollow point and polymer-tipped versions. MidwayUSA also offers a comprehensive line of Barnes-manufactured ammunition including the popular VOR-TX product line.

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4

Hornady SST Low Drag Sabot Muzzleloader Bullets

The Hornady Muzzleloading Low Drag Sabot is designed to be easier to load. The sabots are loaded with Hornady's SST Bullets which achieve controlled expansion with less fragmentation, delivering better penetration, higher retained weight and improved long range performance. Designed for use in black powder muzzleloading rifles. Low drag sabot is designed for ease of loading. This bullet is intended for black powder muzzleloading rifle use.

What Customers Are Saying

I shoot a CVA Optima ...

I shoot a CVA Optima Magnum 209 muzzle loader and in the past the only sabots I could shoot were powerbelts but I did not like the reviews I read on what the powerbelts did on deer so I tried the Hornady Super Shock low drag 50 Cal 250 grain sabot, it fit very well in my barrel and it was a breeze to sight in. I love what it does to deer, I will keep shooting these sabots, good job Hornady.
- KURT, 2/25/2010

About Hornady

“Ten bullets through one hole” is the philosophy that brought Hornady® Manufacturing from a two-man operation in 1949, to a world-leading innovator of bullet, ammunition, reloading tool and accessory design and manufacture today. Change is their constant and daily challenge. They outperform their competitors by ensuring the products they make are the ones their customers need right now, and accurately predict what they’ll want in the future. They recognize trends, and respect when to leave well enough alone. Their workforce includes an ample number of hunters and competitive shooters, as well as veterans and former law enforcement officers. At Hornady® Manufacturing, ammunition is more than their livelihood. It’s a major part of their daily life.

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5

Traditions Smackdown Carnivore Muzzleloading Bullet 50 Caliber Sabot with 45 Caliber 250 Grain Bullet Pack of 15

Traditions Smackdown Carnivore Bullets are the best, all-around muzzleloading bullet on the market. With 200+ yard muzzleloader accuracy and available in a variety of weights, this bullet is reliable and can be used in any kind of hunting environment. The polycarbonate tip ensures devasting performance and provides bullet stability. The Carnivore bullet is flatter shooting with precision accuracy. This bullet comes with the Ridgeback Sabot that has horizontal ribbing and a deeper cut to give you a better gas seal, easier loading, and improved accuracy. The bullet is excellent for whitetail and medium to large game.

 

What Customers Are Saying

Accurate and effective.

I have sighted these in @ 50 yards in my Traditions Buck Stalker over 100 gr of 777 pellets with good groups. Took my first Buck at 30 yds with this load last week with good results. Pass through shot that turned the lungs into jello. Buck ran perhaps 30 yds before piling up. Did not have the fortune of recovering the projectile to determine weight retention or mushrooming.
- Weir BT, 12/15/2022

About Traditions

Founded in 1982, Traditions Firearms is known for its dedication to preserving and honoring the shooting traditions that have shaped our history. With a focus on muzzleloaders, black powder rifles, and revolvers, they offer a wide range of firearms that capture the essence of a bygone era. Whether a flintlock, percussion, inline, cannon, or DIY kit, each component is crafted with precision to ensure an authentic shooting experience. MidwayUSA carries an extensive line of Traditions Firearms, including the 1851 Navy Redi-Pak, Hawken Woodsman, St. Louis Hawken, Kentucky Rifle, Buckstalker, and Nitrofire. In addition to their firearms, Traditions Firearms offers a wide range of accessories, including powder measures, wads, cleaning kits, bullets, powder flasks, and more. From replicas of iconic historical firearms to modern adaptations with improved functionality, Traditions Firearms provides shooters with an opportunity to connect with the past while enjoying the thrill of the present.

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