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#17005255 02/26/22
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Just wanted to see if anyone has had a difficult time finding an accurate load for the Optima? I started out with 295 grain powerbelts with 777 pellets (100 grains) and it shot terrible. Next I tried the powerbelt aerolite with the same 100 grain load of 777 pellets and it shot terrible too. After getting some advice from a buddy I work with who shoots a CVA wolf he told me I needed to stop shooting the pellets and switch to loose powder so I switched to loose 777 powder and tested it yesterday with 100 grains shooting the harvester scorpion pt 260 grain bullet with crush rib sabot and it still shot terrible. I've seen where some have went up to 110 grains of powder with this same bullet with really good results and my buddy at work has seen really good results by backing his off to 90 grains. Just wanted to see if anyone has any advice on what I could do to get this gun to group.

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100 gr loose 777
MMP black sabot
.452 250 gr XTP


This load shoots right at 1" groups at 100 yards in mine.

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100 grains by volume of Blackhorn 209 and a 300 grain Hornady XTP bullet in a Harvester Crush Rib sabot. It uses the Blackhorn breech plug and a CCI 209M primer. Normally between an inch and an inch and a half at 100.

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fla, I've had no problem getting accuracy with 2 777 pellets and 250 grain bullets. XTPs and another bullet, forget which, shoot to same poa and group maybe 2" at 100 without trying hard. I could probably do better w better optics and target.
Mine has a really nice trigger.

Last edited by Ella; 03/03/22.
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Try Barnes Expanders.

Simply the best bullet in terms of accuracy and terminal performance in muzzleloaders.

I've used them with White Hots, Pyrodex and 777 with really good accuracy - 100 grain loads being the best for whitetail-size critters - in several rifles.

Sabots fit extremely tight but have yet to see the muzzleloader that does not shoot these bullets well.

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Scope and mounting system good?


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Originally Posted by 10gaugemag
Scope and mounting system good?



I'm pretty sure I'm good there. I removed the scope and remounted it to the gun and torqued everything down with a wheeler torque wrench and used a wheeler scooe leveling kit to get everything just right. The scope is a Burris fulfield II 3-9x40 with the BDC reticle.

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Couple of other possibilities:

Is the barrel free of plastic residue from all that shooting?

Is your bench setup and shooting technique solid? Light MLs shooting moderate to heavy charges are pretty lively and light rifles are especially tricky, even relatively light-kicking CFs. Sometimes how they sit on the bags makes a big difference and can take some figgering out. When you can, latch onto some BH209.

You’ll get it. Good luck.


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Originally Posted by Pappy348
Couple of other possibilities:

Is the barrel free of plastic residue from all that shooting?

Is your bench setup and shooting technique solid? Light MLs shooting moderate to heavy charges are pretty lively and light rifles are especially tricky, even relatively light-kicking CFs. Sometimes how they sit on the bags makes a big difference and can take some figgering out. When you can, latch onto some BH209.

You’ll get it. Good luck.



I've cleaned the barrel out good and it is very clean. I have been shooting it off of a caldwell lead sled DFT. I started off at 50 yards being I remounted the scope and had it shooting about 1 1/4 groups and when I backed off to 100 yards that's when it was all over the place.

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Fladeer,
I've had a FFII go bad on me that had me chasing my tail for months. It had me bedding, trigger tuning and all kinds of things that didn't help. Try a different scope just to rule it out.

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I've had two of the Optimas. My old one was a very accurate gun, shooting most everything well. I shot it with both 2 and 3 50 grain pellets of Triple 7, finally deciding that 2 pellets were all I needed as the recoil produced by the 150 grain load was just more than I liked. I was shooting a 240 Hornady XTP 44 caliber in a sabot.

I bought a new one last year, and sighted it in using 100 grains of White Hot pellets and a 245 grain Powerbelt Aero bullet. It shoots well also. One thing I have noticed about shooting them, and this may be true with all blackpowder rifles, and that is that after a few shots the accuracy falls off unless you run some patches down the bore and clean it up some.

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swap the scope out . first

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My Optima likes only 385 power belts and 2 50gr triple 777 pellets.It took a long time to find the right combo. It could be you havnt found the right bullet /powder combo yet. its up to you but there are alot of bullets to try.

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Mine shoots power belts with 90gr of black mz very well. When I get up to 100 my accuracy falls off. I never messed with 777 only black mz and Whitehots.


Originally Posted by Bricktop
Then STFU. The rest of your statement is superflous bullshit with no real bearing on this discussion other than to massage your own ego.
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Add mine shoots 270 and 338 powerbelts very will with 90gr black mz. I know this doesn't help the op out since alliant doesn't sell black mz anymore.


Originally Posted by Bricktop
Then STFU. The rest of your statement is superflous bullshit with no real bearing on this discussion other than to massage your own ego.
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Mine shoots great with 110gr blackhorn and 250gr barnes Tez. Before that it shot 110gr 777 and 300gr sst good


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Mine likes Hornady 270 grain bore riders and 90 grains of BH209. Pricy but heck, with what it costs to hunt deer, a few bucks a shot is cheap. My Wolf uses 90 grains of ffg GOI and a 370 grain Maxi Ball. Lousy trajectory but 100 yards is a long shot on my farm.

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90 BH209, Hornady 290 Borerider

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What’s terrible and what’s accurate? How far are your shots on game? How far do you shoot? This isn’t bench rest competition. If your max distance is 100 yds and you get 4” groups at that distance then your perfect world impact averages 2” from point of aim. Maximum is 4” from point of aim. Pick a bullet that performs well on game, load to a comfortable velocity and hunt. So far we have used 250gr Hornady, 200gr Hornady via TC, and 200gr Barnes .429 pistol bullets. They all work. The Barnes is a monster on deer.

edit: BH209 weighed charges from 60gr to 80+gr. Harvester sabots rule.


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Ive got the older Optima and am getting FTF and hangfires w BH209 …. Never had this issue w my Encore ML ???


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