THE ECOSLUG® ML(MUZZLELOADING) NON-LEAD PROJECTILE
THE ECOSLUG® ML-NRBP (NON-REMOVABLE BREECH PLUG) NON-LEAD PROJECTILE
GENERAL INFORMATION AND DIRECTIONS FOR USE
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The Ecoslug® ML and ML-NRBP bullets are very similar except for the feature on the NRBP version that will be discussed later. They are both non-lead slugs for use in modern muzzleloaders. They are designed to be used with a .50 caliber sabot that accepts a .45 diameter bullet (a sabot is supplied) in a .50 caliber muzzleloading rifle. They are proudly made in the USA.
The EcoSlug bullets are almost completely "Lead Free", but technically are considered "Non-Lead". As can be seen in the lab test reports posted on our web site, the percentage of lead found in a sample of the steel used in the Ecoslug bullets was less than 0.005% by weight. In the case of the aluminum used for the head, the result was a lead content of 0.01% by weight. This very miniscule lead content falls well below the 1% lead limit criteria used by the California Department of Fish and Game for a bullet to be allowed for use in its “non-lead” hunting areas.
The Ecoslug ML and ML-NRBP bullets meet the criteria used by the California Department of Fish and Game for a bullet to be allowed for use in its “non-lead” hunting areas, and are included on that state’s Certified Non-lead Ammunition list.
While lead expands easily, with steel the bullet must be engineered to expand upon impact with the target. The Ecoslug bullet’s steel body (called an expansion sleeve) is annealed with a special process that softens the steel and increases its ductility. Inside the expansion sleeve is a “penetrator core”, composed of a steel shaft and an aluminum head. The expansion sleeve has six slots that form “petals” when the inner penetrator core hits the target and is pushed back into the expansion sleeve. The expansion sleeve and penetrator core are designed to stay together upon impact. In tests, the Ecoslug has 100% weight retention after hitting the target. This is due to its tough but ductile steel expansion sleeve body.
The Ecoslug ML is, at 188 grains (181 grains for the NRBP version), a relatively light bullet when compared to lead .50 caliber muzzleloader bullets that typically weigh from 250-350 grains. This is due to being made principally of steel. However, its 100% weight retention (in tests) offsets this to some degree. Also, its relatively light weight does increase velocity and reduce recoil. Another fact that one should consider is that the Ecoslug bullet is still heavier than a .490 diameter lead ball (177 grains) used in .50 caliber muzzleloaders.
Exhaustive shooting tests have been done to develop the Ecoslug bullets. While it is the general practice to tailor a powder load to a bullet, in the process of designing the Ecoslug it has been decided to tailor the bullet to a particular user-friendly load. The load chosen was two Hodgdon® Triple Seven™ 50 grain Muzzleloading Propellant Powder Pellets (100 grains total). In addition, the development and testing of the Ecoslug was done with the sabots that come packaged with them.
The user may want to tailor the powder load to what works well in his or her muzzleloader. However, in all cases the user should comply with the maximum powder recommendations of both the gun and powder manufacturers.
Testing was done with a variety of in-line modern muzzleloading rifles. This included a Traditions Pursuit™, a Thompson-Center Encore® with a 28 inch Prohunter ™ barrel, a Knight® in-line “Rolling Block” model, and a CVA® Buckhorn™. All of these have a 1-28” twist. Once again, the intention here was to develop the Ecoslug for use in common in-line muzzleloading rifles. While it may perform equally well in other makes and types, the Ecoslug is intended to be used with a sabot in .50 caliber muzzleloading rifles that can safely handle the powder load you are using. As is normally the case with saboted bullets, a relatively fast twist (1-24”, 1-28”, 1-32”) will probably give the best results.
In chronograph tests, the Ecoslug bullet’s muzzle velocity with a powder load of two Hodgdon Triple Seven 50 grain Muzzleloading Propellant Powder Pellets (100 grains) was approximately 2100 feet per second. In addition, expansion and penetration tests were performed. These were done by shooting the Ecoslugs into Perma-Gel®, a proprietary user-friendly ballistic gelatin. Photos are included of Ecoslugs recovered after firing into the Perma-Gel. Ecoslug bullets recovered from Perma-Gel after test firing had 100% weight retention.
One thing should be kept in mind about the Ecoslug bullet and expansion. Any bullet can fail to expand 100% of the time due to various factors. The Ecoslug needs sufficient velocity to expand. Because of its relatively light weight compared to lead bullets, the Ecoslug is launched at a high initial velocity. However, it also loses its velocity more quickly than a heavier bullet. A comparison can be made with the behavior of steel shot for duck hunting. It also tends to have a higher initial velocity than lead shot, but then loses its velocity faster due to its lighter weight.
For this reason, it is advised to limit shots at game with Ecoslugs to 100 yards. This will result in a high probability of reliable bullet expansion.
SPECIAL NOTICE FOR ECOSLUG ML: It is highly recommended that these bullets only be used in muzzleloaders with removable breech plugs. If your muzzleloader does not have a removable breech plug, and the bullet-sabot combination gets stuck in the barrel, it could be very difficult or impossible to get out. A screw-type lead ball puller will not work, and a CO2 ball discharger may also not work since a sabot does not expand and develop its full gas seal unless it is fired.
For traditionally-styled muzzleloaders with non-removable breech plugs, use the Ecoslug ML NRBP bullet.
New! The Ecoslug ML NRBP .50 Caliber Saboted Non-Lead Muzzleloading Bullet!
The suffix letters in the Ecoslug ML-NRBP name stand for MuzzleLoading Non-Removable Breech Plug.
This bullet provides a non-lead option for use in traditional-styled muzzleloaders with breech plugs that are not readily removable. With muzzleloaders, there is always a chance of getting a bullet stuck in the barrel. This can occur because of forgetting to put the powder in before the bullet. Or, a bullet can get stuck halfway down the barrel due to not sufficiently cleaning the fouling between shots.
With a traditionally-styled muzzleloader, this can be a real problem. With non-lead/lead free bullets, a lead ball puller will not work as the bullet material is generally too hard. While a CO2 ball discharger is another option in getting out a stuck ball, they do not always work with saboted bullets. This is because a sabot does not expand and develop its full gas seal until it is fired. While a traditionally-styled muzzleloader’s breech plug can be removed as a last resort, this can be difficult to do and is definitely not something that you can do in the field.
The Ecoslug ML-NRBP is very similar to the regular Ecoslug ML. However, it has a feature (U.S. Patent 8,438,767) that allows it to be pulled out of the barrel in a manner similar to how a lead ball puller works. The nose of the Ecoslug ML-NRBP has an internal 10-32 threaded hole. In the event of a stuck bullet in the barrel, the extraction tool (included in EACH pack of bullets) can be threaded onto your 10-32 thread ramrod tip. With this extraction tool threaded onto the tip of your ramrod, you can now screw it into the nose of the stuck bullet, and pull it out of the barrel. While no method is 100% reliable with a severely stuck bullet, in our tests this works in most cases.
For those of you wanting to (or required to) shoot a non-lead bullet in a traditionally-styled muzzleloader, this feature will give you added peace of mind that a stuck bullet will not ruin your day hunting or on the range!
Like our regular Ecoslug ML bullet, the NRBP version works best in muzzleloaders with a fast twist. Examples include hawken-styled replica muzzleloaders such as the Thompson-Center Renegade™ with the aftermarket Green Mountain LRH™ barrel having a 1:28 twist. Another good option is the Lyman® Great Plains Hunter™ with a 1:32 twist barrel.
The stuck bullet extraction feature on the Ecoslug ML NRBP basically works the same as a lead ball puller. For this reason, the same safety precautions should be followed:
Keep your face and body away from being directly over the muzzle of the barrel when removing a stuck bullet! This precaution should always be followed with muzzleloaders, including during the loading process.
VISIT US ONLINE! www.eco-slug.com The Ecoslug ML & ML-NRBP are products of: P-Bar Co. LLC, 21851 Fairfield Place, Strongsville, OH 44149 Ph: (440) 238-6050