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For Immediate Release

May 1, 1999





       During the 1960s and early 1970s, more muzzleloading rifles were manufactured...imported...and sold in .45 caliber than in any other caliber.  Muzzleloader big game hunting was just getting a good start and the patched round ball was easily the number one loaded and fired projectile.  As hunters quickly began to realize, big game required more than what a .45 caliber rifle loaded with a light 128 to 133 grain ball could muster.  However, instead of developing better, harder hitting projectiles (bullets) for the bore size, muzzleloader manufacturers simply upped the bore sizes to .50 and .54 caliber, which were loaded with a larger diameter and heavier soft lead ball.

       Markesbery Muzzle Loaders is now breathing new life into the once popular .45 caliber bore by rethinking the fodder which is stuffed in through the muzzle.  Paper targets are the only suitable targets for tightly patched .440" or .445" round balls from .45 caliber rifle.  With that in mind, Markesbery Muzzle Loaders offers their "Outer-Line" muzzleloaders in the caliber with a true "bullet" bore, rifled with a very fast one turn-in-20". (Compare to the One-in-26" twist of the .50 and .54 caliber barrels).  And with a  few of today's new plastic sabots and handgun bullet combinations, or pure-lead bore-sized conical bullets, the nearly forgotten .45 caliber rifles are capable of producing more knockdown punch the many of the .50 or .54 caliber rifles being carried by hunters today.

       The fast turn-in-20" twist of the top quality Green Mountain barrel turns in tack driving performance with saboted 10mm/.40 caliber handgun bullets, like the 180 and 200 grain .400" Hornady XTP jacketed hollow points.  With an 80 grain charge of Pyrodex "P", the 180 grain Hornady bullet leaves the muzzle of the Markesbery rifle at almost 2,000 f.p.s. and with right at 1,550 ft. lbs. of energy.  At 100 yards, the modern 180 grain jacketed bullet would hit a whitetail with more than 1,100 ft. lbs. of punch...or about the same as a saboted 240 grain bullet from a .50 caliber fast-twist barrel, and more than twice the punch of a soft lead round ball fired from a larger .50 or .54 caliber frontloader.  A jump to 90 grains of Pyrodex "P" will almost push the muzzle velocity of the heavier 200 grain Hornady 10mm/.40 caliber bullet to nearly 2,000 f.p.s., and up the muzzle energy to over 1,6000 ft. lbs of energy.  Accuracy with either bullet is astounding, with 1" to 1 1/2" hundred yard groups the norm.

       The Sierra 150 and 180 grain .400" jacketed hollow-point Sports Master bullets are also exceptionally accurate out of the .45 caliber Markesbery rifle.  The heavier bullet is good for the same ballistics as the Hornady XTP with 80 grains of Pyrodex "P", while the lighter 150 grain projectile hums out the muzzle at just over 2,100 f.p.s. when loaded ahead of this powder charge.  The load is good for almost 1,500 ft. lbs. of muzzle energy, and 1,000 ft. lbs. of remaining energy at 100 yards.  Recoil with any of these loads is very negligible, and turn the underrated .45 into potent medicine for deer sized game.  And with lighter 70 grain charges, especially with the lighter 150 and 180 grain saboted .400" bullets, the short, handy and very comfortable to shoot .45 Markesbery rifles are excellent choices for the younger or woman muzzleloading hunter.  (All saboted 10mm/.40 caliber loads given here were made up using the tan plastic sabots from Muzzleload Magnum Products.)

       The fast twist and shallow, percussion rifling of the Green Mountain barrel is also ideally suited for shooting bore-sized conical bullets for those hunters who demand a heavier projectile.  The beautiful knurled soft lead 260 grain .45 caliber bullets from Buckskin Bullet Company can be real tack drivers when time is taken to develop the optimum powder charge for a particular barrel, which is usually between 80 and 100 grains of FFg or FFFg black powder.  With a full 1000 grain charge of finer FFFg, this bullet would leave the muzzle of the Markesbery rifle at more than 1,700 f.p.s., with right at 1,700 ft. lbs. of energy.  At 100 yards, the bullet would hit a whitetail with almost 1,300 ft. lbs. of knockdown power.  At 150 yards, the bullet would still drive home with more than 1,000 ft. lbs. of energy.

       Big heavy lead bullets like either the 400 grain round nosed hollow point, or the 405 grain spire-point hollow point designs from Buckskin Bullet Company can really turn the .45 Markesbery rifle into a powerhouse capable of taking anything that walks the North American continent.  With 100 grains of FFg, the big bullets leave the muzzle at around 1,475 f.p.s., while generating more than 2,200 ft. lbs. of elk...moose...bear taking energy.  At 100 yards, the big slow moving bullet would still pack more than 1,700 ft. lbs. of wallop.

       With the right loads, a fast-twist .45 caliber muzzleloader like the Markesbery "Outer-Line" rifle can be the most versatile single muzzleloader today's muzzleloading hunter can use for almost all of his or her big game hunting.  - Toby Bridges


Note: Check caliber restrictions for use on elk in some states.  While a .45 caliber loaded with a heavy lead bullet is ballisticially superior to many .50 or .54 rifles and loads, it may not be legal.


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