Check out this PowerBelt bullet review comparing the 250gr AeroLite to the 270gr Platinum bullets.
Over the past year, I’ve tried many different bullets and powder loads in my CVA Wolf Northwest muzzleloader to see what works the best. In this test (courtesy of Muzzle-Loaders.com), I decided to conduct a PowerBelt bullet review where I compare their 250gr AeroLite and 270gr Platinum bullets. I shot each bullet with two different powder loads from a bench rest to determine how accurate they were with that particular load.
Both the AeroLite and Platinum bullets are part of the highly successful
PowerBelt bullet line. They are both “full bore” (.499″) bullets that use the patented PowerBelt “snap-on” base, which makes for easy loading, but still creates a good gas seal for higher velocities and consistent pressures.
The AeroLite and Platinum bullets are also both polymer tipped, which gives them slightly higher ballistic coefficients, and therefore slightly flatter trajectories than round, hollow point, or flat nosed bullets. Their polymer tip also aids in bullet expansion even at their relatively low velocities (at least compared to centerfire rifles).
Though the AeroLite and the Platinum bullets are very similar, they are not exactly the same. The AeroLite is slightly longer and has a slightly larger hollow point for faster expansion and is designed for standard (80-100gr) loads. The Platinum bullets are designed for magnum (110-150gr loads) and have a slightly more robust gas check than the AeroLites to deal with the higher pressures that come with larger powder charges.
The AeroLites are available in 250gr and 300gr variants. PowerBelt produces the Platinum series of bullets in 270gr, 300gr, and 338gr variants.
I shot both bullets from a bench rest at a paper target 100 yards away to compare the accuracy of each bullet. I recently purchased a 209 primer conversion kit for my CVA Wolf Northwest and used Winchester 209 primers for this test.
Since the AeroLites and Platinum bullets were designed for use with standard and magnum loads of power respectively, I tested each bullet with two different loads of powder. For the standard load, I used 2x 50gr pellets (100gr total) of Hodgdon’s Triple Seven. For the magnum load, I used 120gr by volume of loose Hodgdon’s Triple Seven. I used my chronograph to check the velocity of each load and measured each group size. The results are in the table below.
|Bullet||Average Muzzle Velocity||Average Muzzle Energy||Group Size @ 100 yards|
|250gr AeroLite (standard)||1,621fps||1,459 ft·lbf||.75"|
|270gr Platinum (standard)||1,611fps||1,556 ft·lbf||1.75"|
|250gr AeroLite (magnum)||1,889fps||1,981 ft·lbf||2.75"|
|270gr Platinum (magnum)||1,882fps||2,123 ft·lbf||1.25"|
The results of the comparison were not very surprising. As you can see in the table, the AeroLite bullets did better with standard loads while the Platinum bullets performed better with magnum loads. Overall, the AeroLite bullets were the most accurate, with a sub-MOA group using the standard load of powder. However, the results obtained with all the different bullet/load combinations were still acceptable. Additionally, both bullets were extremely easy to load, only requiring a moderate amount of force to properly seat.
As far as external ballistics goes, there is virtually no difference between the two bullets when using the same powder load. Both had nearly the same muzzle velocity, muzzle energy, and trajectory. Not surprisingly, the bullets had a slightly flatter trajectory when using magnum loads, which was a function of their increased muzzle velocity. As you can see in the table, both bullets are suitable for shots on game out to 100 yards (maybe slightly further) with no holdover and all are powerful enough to ethically take medium sized game.
|Bullet||Trajectory @ 25 yards||Trajectory @ 50 yards||Trajectory @ 75 yards||Trajectory @ 100 yards||Trajectory @ 125 yards||Trajectory @ 150 yards|
|250gr AeroLite (standard)||.4"||1.4"||1.3"||0||-2.6"||-6.6"|
|270gr Platinum (standard)||.4"||1.3||1.2||0||-2.4||-6.1|
|250gr AeroLite (magnum)||0||.8"||.8"||0||-1.8"||-4.7"|
|270gr Platinum (magnum)||0||.7"||.8"||0||-1.6"||-4.3"|
Though the accuracy of both bullets declined slightly with magnum loads of powder, the accuracy was still acceptable, especially for the 270gr Platinum bullets. The increased velocity slightly increases the effective range of the muzzleloader and makes range estimation slightly less important. While using a “magnum” load in this (or any) muzzleloader will not turn it into a precision long range weapon, it does give the hunter the ability to shoot a little bit further, especially on a big target.
Overall, I’m quite pleased with how well PowerBelt AeroLite and Platinum bullets performed out of my CVA Wolf Northwest during my PowerBelt bullet review. Both were accurate enough for me to use on medium sized game at short to medium range. Both were easy to load and both performed well when I did not swab the bore between shots. While I would not necessarily recommend either bullet for use on something really big, like an elk or moose, they are both very good choices for deer hunters. Personally, I’m going to use the 250gr AeroLites with the 100gr powder charge on my next deer hunt.
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Endorsement Disclosure: Per the guidelines of the Federal Trade Commission, the product reviewed here is an endorsement and I received compensation by “in-kind” payment to review the product.
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