It may be just my opinion but energy from a muzzleloader doesn't kill, it only does lethal damage to internal organs. There are two situations in which a ball (usually) will not exit. If the shot is pretty close, say maybe 50 yards or less, the velocity is still high enough that the ball turns into a pancake; a pancake makes a lousy projectile. A long shot on a deer at a distance, or a low velocity ball, will often not exit. It has nothing to do with energy! If you stabbed a deer in the vitals with a Bowie knife or shot it with a razor sharp arrow it will still kill the deer. But they would also have pellet rifle energy and likely much less. Energy doesn't kill, it the damage to the organs that kills. Forget so called "wasted energy" myth; if it kills the deer why was the energy "wasted"?
To me it's irrelevant whether or not the ball exits or stays put. The most massive (and gory) blood trail was a buck I shot with my .45. It ran a few yards and crashed loudly. The ball didn't exit and there were plenty of corpuscles lost in the few yards it ran. I've killed very few deer from 75 yds to 100 yds and beyond. Results were a mixture of exits and no exists. Try not to compare 17th century technology with 21st century technology; it's like comparing apples with bananas.
But sometimes I do want the bowl of grits - with an egg and sausage on the top...No matter how fast you drive a round ball at the muzzle it goes subsonic by a hundred yards. The faster you drive it the worse it looses velocity.
That said we know of kills at one hundred and fifty or two hundred yards with ball.
Exit wounds don’t hurt deer. It’s the damage tween the ribs that counts.
My rule, and I ain’t preaching to any one who does it different, is ml is archery on steroids. Get close.
It’s not the frontier of 1840. You don’t go home to an empty belly or bowl of grits if you don’t get your kill. Get close,get kills,enjoy your venison
Not the ball but the cloth patch that makes the smoothness.I was given 4 five gallon buckets of WW years ago, I've been mixing WW and soft lead 50/50 starting then, but only in round ball for smoothbore and rifle. Never in a conical, minie or a revolver ball.
I've heard the arguments of shooting a rifle "slick". I don't belive an alloyed ball will do it in a modern Barrel my lifetime.
I was told by a famous barrel maker in Ohio, name of Bill Large, that the cloth is what polishes the bore. Accuracy is poor with too much polish so old timers filled the bore with urine overnight to etch the metal.. I have had friends with chrome lined muzzle loaders fail to find anything to shoot. There must be grip on the ball.Please explain.
This exactly!As the old owner of a large modern bullet company used to say when fielding complaints " where exactly in the deer's death did my bullet fail you" lol.
Something to consider.