It seems that nothing stays the same for long. Several years ago, in-lines were the "must have" of the muzzleloader world. Last year everyone had to shoot 3 pellets and go 2000 feet per second. Well, finally, again, the universe is getting back to normal. Lately many hunters are going back to his or her hammer guns. I don't know what or who started this movement but I think it will be great for the sport.

As bullet makers we see trends change even before the gun makers see them. This past winter, our bullet orders have been for heavier and heavier bullets. Sabots still outsell conical bullets but the trend is definitely towards heavier bullets with no regard for velocity.

Most requests for heavy bullets are coming from guys who want to go back to their 1-48" twist sidelock rifles. Coincidentally, I started working on a heavy bullet / sabot combination for slow twist barrels. As odd as it may sound, some bullet / sabot combinations work much better than others. After lots of thought and testing, we added the .45 Keith Nose to our line of saboted bullets. It offers the same Keith Nose hollow point nose design as our regular .44 Keith Nose with a full boat tail in a .45 caliber. This bullet, when married to a black sabot that I found out of Kentucky, is absolutely unbelievably accurate. Using a 300 grain .45 Keith Nose I have shot 3 shot .659" groups with my 1-48" Plainsman flintlock, 3 shot .542" groups with my Hawken and 3 shot .369" groups with my Traditions Deerhunter. I have tested this bullet / sabot combination in weights to 330 with acceptable results (1.5" groups at 100 yards) but 300 grains is really where this combination shines.

We also found that we could use Ultimate 1 conicals in weights to 400 grains in the same 1-48" twist barrel with no stabilization problems by replacing the cup base with a step base. This effectively shortens the bullet therefore making it easier to stabilize. We used the step base Ultimate 1 in the Keith Nose HP, Keith Nose Solids and Semi Spitzer HP to harvest deer this season in our 1-48" twist traditional style guns with wonderful success.

Keith Nose .45 are available in weights of 275, 300, 330, and 360 grain with black sabots for .50 caliber, with red sabots for .54 caliber and with grey sabots for .58 caliber.

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