By Randy D. Smith
Randy Smith (from left), Sam Fadala, and Chris Hodgdon with the first wild game taken with IMR White Hots Preformed Charges.
During Sept. 5-6, 2008, several outdoor writers gathered at Jody Starr Outfitters in Fowlerton, Texas, to hunt with IMR Powder Company's new White Hots muzzleloader preformed charges.
White Hots is a non-nitrocellulose-based muzzleloader substitute pellet propellant billed as the only white gunpowder. It will be formally introduced to the public at the 2009 SHOT Show in Orlando, Fla.
Two 50-grain pellets yielded shots above 1,800 fps using 240-grain saboted projectiles. Three 50-grain pellets achieved over 2,000 fps with a variety of 240- through 290-grain saboted projectiles.
White Hots are easy to load and leave behind little residue, which makes for easy cleaning. After more than 10 rounds, I swabbed my rifle bore spotlessly clean with three wet patches and one dry patch.
White Hots are intended for .50 caliber inline muzzleloaders using any 209 shotshell primer ignition system. A new portable hunt pack allows loads to be taken to the field packed in transparent tubes for easy access and minimal contamination.
I took two muzzleloaders on this hunt. Both were pre-sighted with two pellet charges of Triple 7 Magnum propellant. My Traditions Guide Gun, shooting 300-grain APB sabots, placed three rounds literally on top of each other from 50 yards away using two White Hot charges.
My Knight Excel clover-leafed three 435-grain White Power Star projectiles with the same charge. Shot to shot consistency of White Hots powder is simply superior. Rifles from Traditions, CVA, Knight and Thompson/Center were tested with IMR's latest product.
Finding a feral hog to harvest in 100-degree weather was another story. We finally had some luck during the second evening hunt. Chris Hodgdon, Hodgdon/IMR spokesman, took two javelinas and outdoor writer Sam Fadala took an eating-sized pig using a CVA Accura rifle loaded with two White Hots Preformed Charges and 300-grain Aerotip Platinum Powerbelt projectiles.
I took a nice hog late in the evening at 75 yards using a .50 caliber Knight Excel loaded with two charges and a 435-grain White Power Star. The round passed through the animal as it took out both lungs. I was extremely pleased with the performance of bullet, rifle, scope and White Hots propellant on that fairly difficult shot.
The real appeal of IMR's White Hots is the excellent consistency from shot to shot that I witnessed from all the muzzleloaders we used. I don't remember any propellant producing such uniform groups from such a wide variety of rifles and projectiles.
IMR is entering the muzzleloader propellant business with a sure-fire winner.
IMR Powder Co.
Shawnee Mission, KS
-- Randy D. Smith
Editor's note: Click here to read Randy D. Smith's field test of IMR's newest product.