Thursday, March 20, 2014

300-Grain Scorpion PT Gold Takes Down An Iowa Giant At 301 Yards!

"Watching with the binocs, it seemed as though time stood still in the quiet valley. I wondered as he stood there “Was he hit and why did he stay out in the open?” After about 5 seconds he staggered sideways and fell down dead. I wondered, “Could it really be?” The feeling was unbelievable. After 30 minutes of seeing no movement I pursued the animal and thought about how until 2 years ago I was afraid to ethically black powder shoot past 125 yards. The information on the NAMLHUNT.COM website and the TB-ML scope have been game changers for me.

When I got to the deer, it was shot had centered the lungs. The Harvester Muzzleloading bullet had taken out ribs on both sides...and stood up to their 300 yard shot claim. I now have an awesome new hunting memory due to a proper fitted bullet, the great TB-ML scope, and an amazing blessing from the Lord. As I left the river valley that night an enormous meteorite skirted over the top of the timber. This is one I’m sure I will never forget."  

Mike Ross,
New Virginia, IA

To Read Mike's Article On His January 2014 Hunt Go To -

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New "Double Feature" Pages On The NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING Website Shares Why The Scorpion PT Gold Is A Favorite Hunting Bullet...

"Today, Harvester Muzzleloading offers three weights of the Scorpion PT Gold. Pictured at right, from left to right are the 240-grain...260-grain...and 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold bullets.

I do shoot and hunt mostly with the ballistically superior 300-grain bullet more than any other. However, I have taken game with all three...and to date the buck taken with the prototype batch of Blackhorn 209 is the only game I have shot twice. Since taking my first deer with the 260-grain Scorpion PT Gold in 2006, I've now used these bullets to take 48 deer...with 49 shots.

Of all those deer, only one has gone more than 35 yards...and I watched that buck drop after covering about 45 yards. So, if you wonder why I am so partial to the Scorpion PT you know."

To Read The Entire "My Favorite Hunting Bullet" Go To The Following Link And Scroll Down...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

So...How Well Does The Scorpion PT Gold Perform On Game?

     There are still many skeptics among modern muzzleloading hunters when it comes to accepting just how well Harvester Muzzleloading's polymer-tipped Scorpion PT Gold bullets will perform on deer and other big game.  That's due to the "different" manner in which this bullet gets its outer copper surface.  Instead of a formed lead core that's encapsulated in a separate copper jacket that's formed around the core, the Scorpion PT Gold, and its hollow-pointed predecessor the Scorpion bullet, features an electroplated copper surface.

     One advantage of that electroplated surface is that, upon impact, bullets produced in this manner are far less likely to experience separation of that copper skin from the lead core.  Another advantage is the elimination of possible air pockets between the copper jacket and lead core of a so-called "conventionally constructed" jacketed bullet.

     Still, many of those who have shot these bullets, and fully acknowledge that they are some of the most accurate saboted muzzleloader hunting bullets they've ever loaded and shot, have some reservation when it comes to perceived performance on larger game.  So, let's dispel those apprehensions.

     Above is the 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold, shown here with the standard black Crush Rib Sabot for loading and shooting the bullet in a .50 caliber rifle with a nominal .500" to .501" bore - and also shown with the slightly over-sized red Crush Rib Sabot for rifles with a looser .502" to .504" land-to-land rifling measurement.  This bullet has easily become my favorite muzzle-loaded big game bullet - due to BOTH the great accuracy and exceptional game-taking performance I have enjoyed.

     Since first hunting with the earliest prototypes of the Scorpion PT Gold back in 2005, as of the end of the 2013 hunting seasons, I've now taken 48 deer with the various weight (240-, 260-, 300-grain) electroplated polymer spire-point bullets.  Only one of those deer was shot twice.

     Easily 3/4ths of those deer were taken with the 300-grain version of this bullet - including the buck shown at right.  This also happened to be the first whitetail buck taken in the U.S. by a new prototype powder in the Fall of 2007.  That powder later became known as Blackhorn 209 - introduced onto the market in April 2008.

     Prior to this hunt, I had burnt close to two pounds of the powder, and the bullet the .50 caliber Knight Long Range Hunter that I hunted with that year tended to prefer was the then just introduced 300-grain version of the Scorpion PT Gold.  The majority of 100-yard groups punched with a 110-grain charge and heavyweight electroplated bullet were consistently right at an inch across center-to-center...or tighter.  The buck shown here was shot at 186 yards - and is the ONLY deer I've shot twice with the saboted Scorpion PT Gold bullets.

     Shooting from a set of home-made hickory cross-sticks, out of a brush blind upon a slight ridge overlooking a wooded sand draw, I had placed the 200-yard reticle of the Hi-Lux TB-ML multi-reticle muzzleloader scope just a couple of inches below center of the chest cavity - and squeezed off the shot.  The bullet impacted with a resounding "Wallop", and the deer just humped up and stood there.  One of the things I was testing the Blackhorn 209 prototype powder for was to see how easily and quickly the muzzleloading hunter could reload, without wiping the bore, and maintain accuracy.  I immediately pulled a speed loader from my jacket pocket, flipped it open and poured in a 110-grain charge of the powder.  A saboted 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold was inserted into the muzzle...and rammed home with the rifle's aluminum rod even easier than loading a perfectly clean barrel.

     The spent CCI 209M primer was shaken from the ignition system, and a fresh one chambered as quickly as possible.  The loading had taken, maybe, 25 seconds.  The buck was still standing in exactly the same spot.  Using the cross-sticks, I settled the cross-bar 200-yard reticle on the same spot and eased back on the trigger.  The rifle fired and the deer dropped on the spot.  When I walked down to the buck, I found that both holes were within an inch of each other - both on entry and exit sides. Each bullet had passed squarely through the lungs...the deer did not have to be shot again.

     Close to half of the deer I've taken with the Scorpion PT Gold bullets have gone down within 10 yards of where they were standing when shot.  The farthest any of the deer have gone after being hit has been 35 yards.

     The buck at left was taken in December 2009, at about 160 yards as the deer quartered away.  The 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold hit exactly where I wanted it to go, nearly catching the last rib on the side facing me.  The bullet then plowed through more than 25 inches of the 250-pound whitetail, coming to rest under the skin of the off shoulder.

     The recovered slug had nearly doubled in diameter.  Passing through the buck, the bullet had taken out the liver...both lungs...and much of the plumbing for the heart - and went just 20 yards before hitting the ground.

     The exit hole shown at right is the hit on the deer at the very top of this post.  The buck was taken in Nebraska on the very last day of the 2013 December muzzleloading season.  The distance of the shot, using one of the new .50 Traditions VORTEK StrikerFire rifles, was about 125 yards. The deer was at a fast walk, offering a perfect broadside shot. To allow for a slight lead, I put the cross-hair squarely in the center of the facing shoulder - and the 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold hit the deer maybe 4 inches behind the shoulder, centering both lungs and punching out the other side.

     This exit hole is easily three times the diameter of the entrance hole.  When skinning the deer, I was amazed at the amount of under the skin trauma caused by the impact of the 300-grain poly-tipped bullet.  At most, the buck went 25 yards after being hit.

     This is the kind of performance I have enjoyed with the Scorpion PT Gold bullets - which also just happen to be the most accurate muzzleloading bullets I've shot out of a wide range of modern .50 caliber in-line ignition muzzleloading rifles.  If you're not happy with the performance of the bullet you may be shooting now, then you might want to give the Scorpion PT Gold bullets a try in your rifle.  If you've shot these bullets, and really liked how well they group, give 'em a chance on game.  I feel that how well these bullets put game down will quickly make them a favorite of yours as well. - Toby Bridges

Friday, November 15, 2013


The Summer-Fall 2013 NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING Newsletter was published today - and two new rifles are spotlighted.  One is the Traditions .50 VORTEK StrikerFire (shown in the above photo with website host Toby Bridges) - the other is the .50 Redemption from LHR Sporting Arms. Both are test fired with loads built around the Harvester Muzzleloading "Scorpion PT Gold" bullet and Crush Rib Sabot.

Back near the end of October, traffic on the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING website topped 3,000,000 for the past 12 months.  The newsletter shares efforts to make the site more appealing, faster downloading and easier to navigate.  It also shares plans to expand the coverage of traditional muzzleloader hunting...without cutting back on modern muzzleloader hunting coverage.  Another link takes you to an article/report that takes a harsh look at how the muzzleloading industry is failing to insure future muzzleloader hunting opportunities...and what "OUR" industry needs to undertake.

To take a look at the newsletter go to the following link -


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Legislative Alert! Petition Filed With Nevada Board Of Wildlife Commissioners To Repeal Or Amend Ban On Blackhorn 209

                         The Scorpion PT Gold & Blackhorn 209 - A Great Hunting Combo!

The State of Nevada is the ONLY state to ban the use of this modern top-performing muzzleloader hunting propellant by name. Take a few minutes to send the Nevada Wildlife Commission a message - that muzzleloading hunters need to make those decisions...not a board made up of affluent residents who do not hunt with a muzzleloader...or who, very likely, have never even shot a muzzleloader. For more details and where to send your e-mail, go to the following link...


                 Get Involved...Send An E-Mail!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Are You Ready For The Fall Seasons?

My muzzleloading education has spanned 50 years, and fortunately, I'm still learning. One of the realities of muzzleloading today is that once your knowledge of muzzleloader hunting performance graduates you to the next level, it becomes increasingly harder to step back down to rifles and loads with far less efficiency, range, knockdown power or accuracy - except for maybe nostalgic reasons. 

Loaded with my overall favorite load for most .50 caliber No. 209 primer ignition in-line rifles, the Traditions .50 VORTEK Ultra Light LDR has proven to be one of the absolute finest performing No. 209 primer ignition in-line rifles I have ever shot or carried on a hunt.  That load consists of 110-grains of Blackhorn 209 behind Harvester Muzzleloading's saboted 300-grain .451" diameter Scorpion PT Gold bullet, using the Federal 209A primer for very spontaneous ignition.  At the muzzle of the rifle's 30-inch barrel, the load is good for 2,009 f.p.s., with 2,690 foot-pounds of energy.  At 200 yards, the load keeps the polymer-tipped spire-point bullet moving along at 1,451 f.p.s., and driving home with more than 1,400 foot-pounds of knockdown power.

While I do intend to do some hunting with several other rifles during the coming fall hunting seasons...the performance of the Ultra Light LDR has already insured that it will be my primary hunting rifle in 2013. Topped with one of the Hi-Lux 3-9x TB-ML multi-reticle scopes, using the proper long-range cross-bar for the range, the rifle and load shared earlier easily keeps ALL HITS in the kill zone at 200...225...250 yards - and with the knockdown power to insure the game will be laying very close to where it was standing when the shot was taken.  Typical accuracy with the rifle keeps most groups right at an inch at 100 yards...and around 2 1/2 inches at 200 yards.

It's easy to see why I have so much confidence in the rifle and load.  The combo for me, right now, is the culmination of five decades of shooting and hunting with a muzzle-loaded rifle...always striving for the best performing rig I could put together.

What are you hunting with this fall? 

As something of a Fall 2013 Muzzleloader Hunting Seasons Primer, here are a few articles or reports you might want to check out...if you haven't already.  -  Toby Bridges, HARVESTER MUZZLELOADING HUNTER

50 Shots Through The Same 1.2-Inch Hole At 100 Yards
Go To -

Blackhorn 209 Country - A Charge Weight Is Just A Number
Go To -

Do You Know The 200-Yard Drop Of The Polymer Tip Saboted Spire-Point You Hunt With?
Go To -

Don't Let No. 209 Primer Fouling Build Up Hamper The Performance Of Your Rifle!
Go To -

Hot Weather Shooting - How It Affects AccuracyGo To - 

Sunday, July 7, 2013

New LHR Sporting Arms .50 Caliber Redemption Rifle And 300-Grain Scorpion PT Gold Prove To Be One Hot Combination

The most reliable load I've ever shot out of a modern No. 209 primer ignition rifle has easily been 110-grains of Blackhorn 209 behind the 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold bullet and Crush Rib Sabot.  This is my "go to" load when I hear from anyone having accuracy problems with their rifle.  It always seems to do the trick.  Those I do hear back from are generally tickled with the accuracy...and when they get the opportunity for a shot on a deer, pronghorn or elk, they're usually pretty ecstatic about the knockdown power as well.

So, it shouldn't come as any surprise that any time I receive a new .50 caliber No. 209 primer rifle model for testing, this is the load I "go to" as well.

That was exactly the case when one of the new break open Redemption rifles arrived from LHR Sporting Arms, of Rochester, NH.  I quickly mounted one of the great 1-6x42mm Hi-Lux Optics 30mm tube Professional model scopes on the rifle, using the base that comes already mounted on the frontloader.  With just four shots, I had this rifle pretty much sighted in at 100 yards.  The first 3-shot 100-yard group punched with the rifle...load...and scope measured right at an inch across center-to-center.

Here's a look at this new rifle from a new company - a rifle that is likely to be with us for quite some time.

Toby Bridges
Harvester Muzzleloading