Developments come along a little less frequently in the muzzleloader realm than they do in other corners of our industry. It's just the nature of the beast—how much can you really tweak the muzzleloading formula? That said, when new product does hit the market, it tends to be borderline revolutionary—a recent example being Federal Premium's B.O.R. Lock MZ projectile.
1. Yes, it's blue.
The new pellets are named Blue MZ, predictably, because they're very clearly powder blue in color. I asked company reps whether the coloration came from the formula, or if it was just a marketing decision, given the colors of Alliant Powder's logo. Mum was the word. Either way, you shouldn't have a hard time spotting Blue MZ on the shelf.
2. It’s designed to deliver game-changing energy.
Blue MZ is meant to keep even heavyweight projectiles flying farther downrange than ever before. Alliant tested it with, among other projectiles, Federal Premium’s B.O.R. Lock MZ bullet. The bullet was clocked at 1,699 feet per second with a two-pellet charge and 2,029 feet per second with three pellets. A 350-grain B.O.R. Lock MZ was clocked at 1,557 and 1,851 feet per second with two- and three-pellet charges.
3. It makes cleaning up easier than ever.
Blue MZ is designed to allow fast and easy service with water-based solvents. Its technology is a step ahead of the corrosive grit and grime of traditional black powder and early substitutes. The pellet’s formula is free of both sulfur and charcoal.
4. It’s designed to operate with 209 shotshell primers.
Alliant has emphasized this point. 209 shotshell primers are the way to go.
5. It’s affordable.
Blue MZ will ship with an MSRP of $19.99 per 48-count pack. Yes, that’s a wee bit pricier than say, a pack of IMR White Hots (currently $24.99 per 72-pack on Cabelas.com), but it’s still very reasonably priced. You might want to consider it within the class of something like Hodgdon’s Triple Se7en Magnum pellets, which are going for $24.99 per 50-pack.