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Thread: .44 caliber bullets for muzzleloader clarification

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    Addict Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting wolfgang's Avatar
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    .44 caliber bullets for muzzleloader clarification

    I'm getting back toward wanting a muzzleloader and was wondering, the regulations say a .44 caliber projectile is the minimum bullet allowed. Now a .44 caliber cartridge such as .44 Magnum uses a .429"-.431" bullet, would these bullets be considered legal in the extremely rare chance a IDNR pulls a caliper on me if I'm hunting with them?

  2. #2
    I think you pretty much answered the question, No, they are not legal.

    Page 12 of the 2009-2010 hunting digest. The minimum legal muzzleloading rifle caliber is .45, the minimum legal PROJECTILE is .44
    Page 14 -- The minimum legal muzzleloading handgun for late season is .50 caliber, the minimum legal PROJECTILE is .44

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    Nimrod Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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    That could be a problem. There are a lot of people using .44 magnum pistol bullets with sabot's in there .50 caliber muzzle loaders.

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    Addict Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting wolfgang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leutherv View Post
    That could be a problem. There are a lot of people using .44 magnum pistol bullets with sabot's in there .50 caliber muzzle loaders.
    People who buy the packs of bullets and sabots from the store may end up buying illegal bullets as well, noticed a pack said it had .429" bullets once.

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    Sacred White Buffalo Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Debunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgang View Post
    People who buy the packs of bullets and sabots from the store may end up buying illegal bullets as well, noticed a pack said it had .429" bullets once.
    I have shot the 185 grain XTP's (.451-.452) and that is no longer a bullet (bullet as defined by cylindrical with having a length longer than its diameter). It is more of a ball that has been rolled to create a cylindrical roll on it.

    Going to the store I see 180 grain bullets with sabots on the shelf and they are more bullet shaped. This only leads me to believe these are smaller than .44 diameter. I would guess closer to .40 cal. But the package does not denote the bullet diameter on it. Only the gun which they are made for - .50 cal.
    “Give a man a fish and he has food for a day; teach him how to fish and you can get rid of him for the entire weekend.” –Zenna Schaffer

  6. #6
    Good point guys-- I'm curious to look into it to see if the department considers it an issue worth making changes for. In the meantime, check those boxes of muzzleloader projectiles/bullets!

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    Nimrod Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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    I think by definition. All .44 caliber bullets are .429 or .430. There is no such thing as a .44 bullet in pistols. And the only rifle bullet that is true .44 caliber is for a very obscure cartridge. The only muzzle loading projectiles I can find that are .44 are round balls for a 45 caliber muzzle loader to allow room for the patch. I don't see how this should even be an issue. Lets see what the CPO comes up with. Even .38 caliber bullets are usually .357 or .355 in diameter.

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    Addict Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting wolfgang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leutherv View Post
    I think by definition. All .44 caliber bullets are .429 or .430. There is no such thing as a .44 bullet in pistols. And the only rifle bullet that is true .44 caliber is for a very obscure cartridge. The only muzzle loading projectiles I can find that are .44 are round balls for a 45 caliber muzzle loader to allow room for the patch. I don't see how this should even be an issue. Lets see what the CPO comes up with. Even .38 caliber bullets are usually .357 or .355 in diameter.
    By definition .44 caliber is .44" the actual diameter is no matter when the law is specific in caliber size, as for there not being any .44" bullets there are some for the 11.2x72mm Schuler. The problem with the laws is that legislators made them and It would be a reasonable bet that Chicago legislators have never looked up the specifics of bullet diameters and just know cartridges by name, just like the big reason IL seems overly prideful if it's deer and charges a rather high price for it's non-resident permits.

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    Nimrod Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting stubby's Avatar
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    I don't know if the rules have been updated since then, but when muzzle loader season started, there weren't any of these in-line rifles shooting sabots. Everybody had the old style rifles shooting patched round balls. The most common round ball for a .45 cal rifle measures .440.

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    Caliber?

    Quote Originally Posted by wolfgang View Post
    By definition .44 caliber is .44" the actual diameter is no matter when the law is specific in caliber size, as for there not being any .44" bullets there are some for the 11.2x72mm Schuler. The problem with the laws is that legislators made them and It would be a reasonable bet that Chicago legislators have never looked up the specifics of bullet diameters and just know cartridges by name, just like the big reason IL seems overly prideful if it's deer and charges a rather high price for it's non-resident permits.
    Then you are saying that a .44 magnum or a .44 special are not 44 caliber. They both use .429 or .430 bulletts. Even the old .44 Russian uses the same. Same thing with .38 caliber. They all use .355 to .357 diameter bullets. For the most part what we are talking about sabot's in modern inline muzzle loaders. A good percentage of them use .44 caliber or .45 caliber pistol bullets. The .44 caliber pistol bullets are the same .429 and .430 bullets used in handguns. Most people have always regarded the 44 magnum, as a 44 caliber handgun. Remember the Son of Sam the 44 caliber killer. The Charter arms bulldog is chambered for 44 special. Do the Game wardens keep a digital caliper in their car to measure bullet diameters? I think this is a case of a non-firearms person writing laws for something he does not fully understand. Most DNR officers out there are pretty cool. But I've met a couple who would use a law beyond what was actually intended. Met one out at Goose Lake Prairie State park like that. I think this is a non-issue. Let's wait and see what the Officer says.

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