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Thread: Question About Getting Muzz Cert

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    Default Question About Getting Muzz Cert

    I have been reading all of the Muzzleloading forum for awhile and I know that there is been alot of great advise about getting started but I do have one question that I was unable to find an answer for. I have already gotten by bow cert ( a long time ago) and did know somthing and shot alot before the course and passed easily. The problem is that I know nothing about muzzleloading (except what I have read here) and I have signed up for the course in March. I was wondering if I needed to know anything or do any shooting prior to taking the course so I can pass the certification or do I just study the info given when I signed up and go. Thanks in advance. Can't wait to get started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marbs View Post
    I have been reading all of the Muzzleloading forum for awhile and I know that there is been alot of great advise about getting started but I do have one question that I was unable to find an answer for. I have already gotten by bow cert ( a long time ago) and did know somthing and shot alot before the course and passed easily. The problem is that I know nothing about muzzleloading (except what I have read here) and I have signed up for the course in March. I was wondering if I needed to know anything or do any shooting prior to taking the course so I can pass the certification or do I just study the info given when I signed up and go. Thanks in advance. Can't wait to get started.
    Took the course several years ago. At the time of sign-up, I think they provided packets of information... but I may be getting the archery class confused with the bow class. That said, review the information they give you, review the hunting regulations while paying close attention to the weapon and muzzle loader regulations.

    I think I took more away from the course with respect to muzzleloader care (cleaning) than other issues.

    For the shooting part, they allow you to try different types of projectiles and loads. I would recommend that you pick one load and projectile and stick with that combination through practice and the test. The test isn't too difficult as you can pick your shooting position (other than at the bench).

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    Prior to taking the Muzzleloader cert class 2 years ago I was a complete novice, never even fired a ML before the class. I learned much from the class and from the packet provided at sign-up. Read it thoroughly and enjoy the class At the time ADFG provided the weapons, powder, and projectiles- personal items were prohibited then (I think that may have changed). I had absolutely no problems qualifying.

    In addition I purchased a blackpowder reloading manual authored by Sam Fadala that is very informative in regard to everything blackpowder, including a weapons catalogue which led me to my first purchase- T/C Big Boar .58 cal rifle that I since killed a moose with.

    Enjoy the class !

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    Default just go

    Quote Originally Posted by marbs View Post
    I was wondering if I needed to know anything or do any shooting prior to taking the course so I can pass the certification or do I just study the info given when I signed up and go.
    Unless you have a buddy that can show you how to do it right, I'd recommend to you that it would be a mistake to actually shoot yours before taking this class. There is no problem in regard to taking the class without having shot one before; that would be a great way to start doing it right before you develop any bad habits that might stick with you.

    Contrary to advice a few posts back, I'd recommend trying a number of different loads and projectiles, and then settle on what seems best for you, then continue on to the shooting test using a single choice of load and bullet only; you will develop a personal preference, believe me. Plus that way you know what to go buy and you won't have a bunch of leftovers laying around that you paid for and don't want to use.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FamilyMan View Post
    There is no problem in regard to taking the class without having shot one before; that would be a great way to start doing it right before you develop any bad habits that might stick with you.
    I agree. There's more muzzleloading mallarky floating around than you can imagine. The class does a good job of cutting through it. It's designed to take a beginner from end to end, but still good info for those with more experience.

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    Thanks for the info. Just wanted to make sure that I was ok to take the class not knowing anything. I will study the info given and will be back after taking the class for more questions. Thanks

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    Marbs,

    What kind of gun do you have? The kind of gun (inline or traditional) will have an impact on what kind of projectile you'd want to shoot.

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    I don't even have a muzzleloader yet. I just figured from reading all of the info on this forum that I should take the class and then worry about what type of gun to buy. Probably end up with one of each just because you can never own too many guns. I was just concered about never having shot one before and taking the course and being able to pass it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marbs View Post
    I don't even have a muzzleloader yet. I just figured from reading all of the info on this forum that I should take the class and then worry about what type of gun to buy. Probably end up with one of each just because you can never own too many guns. I was just concered about never having shot one before and taking the course and being able to pass it.
    Good decision all the way around. You'll be using well-worn Knight stainless 50 cals in the class, but they do a good job of talking about traditional models too.

    After that, it's going to boil down to what interests you. You can't use scopes in the primitive weapon hunts (though you can in the general season), so inlines hold no range advantage over a traditional. Ease of cleaning is in the eye of the beholder, but I actually find traditionals with removable barrels a bunch easier. A bigger issue is what interests you. I'm yet to see a kit available to let you build your own inline, but there are no end of kits and part sets for building your own traditional models. The true kits such as Lyman and Traditions can be finished at a kitchen table in a few nights with common hand tools by a guy who can barely drive a straight nail, while the parts sets take over 100 hours, good tools and excellent craft skills. Kinda fit the build to your own situation.

    A guy who shoots lots is going to go broke shooting inlines with factory bullets and powder pellets, but they're ideal for a guy who shoots half a dozen shots now and then. Keeping track of caps alone, I shoot 2,000-3,000 shots a year, and that's not counting shots with flintlocks. I cast my own balls and bullets and buy loose powder in larger quantities, so my costs are way low in comparison. You can do the same thing with an inline, but most guys don't bother.

    But back to your point about learning in class and using the information for buying your own gear- You're right on the money, no matter how you plan to use the gear.

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    Agree with BrownBear. I took the online course, so all we had was a little bit of class room time and off to the range. We all used our own guns, so I don't know what the F&G provides. As long as you are comfortable shooting with iron sights, you shouldn't have a problem. Everyone in my class passed no problem. I shot a T/C Renegade with patched round balls. Others shot in-line's with sabots.

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    Thanks for all info. I am really looking foward to getting started.

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    Quote Originally Posted by marbs View Post
    Thanks for all info. I am really looking foward to getting started.
    Have you decided which direction you're going with that rifle? Flintlock? Traditional? Newer-inline?

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    Quote Originally Posted by marbs View Post
    Thanks for all info. I am really looking foward to getting started.
    I actually had a lot of fun taking the traditional Muzzleloader course in Fairbanks. I was somewhat of an amatuer at the time and it inspired me to actually volunteer and help teach the course. I recommend to most that the traditional course is the way to go. It is the best way for people see what their bad habits might be and you get to play around with different types of loads of different sizes. I have taught both the traditional and online versions and even the experience people seem to enjoy the traditional class much more. Welcome to muzzleloading and maybe I will see you in the course.

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    I have read thru all of the course materials and done the work book pages. I guess that I will have to go thru it again as the course is not untill the end of March. Familyman I am not really sure what direction I am going in as to gun choice. I would have to imagine that I will probably end up with a traditional and an Inline. I put in for around 12 states as well as here in AK. I know that a number of states have different regs when it comes to muzzleloader specific hunts. More than anything I think it will be fun and another reason to get out and about.

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    Default inline recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by marbs View Post
    Familyman I am not really sure what direction I am going in as to gun choice. I would have to imagine that I will probably end up with a traditional and an Inline. I put in for around 12 states as well as here in AK.
    Its a personal thing of course. Try as many of other people's and you'll develop your own like.

    My personal like is to go stainless/synthetic inline with iron sights. With my older (non-inline) I would not go past 90 yards. With my inline I can easily hit at 125 yards; its more like a traditional rifle except you usually only get one shot.

    Especially hunting in a dozen states, you'll want to get good with just iron sights; many states mandate that.

    On the inline, consider the newer inlines, that allow you with about 1 second's use of a special control, to break the action (like a break action rifle) so you can immediately see through both ends the barrel. The first inlines had a twist-cap on the action-end of the rifle, which is error prone and can very easily get "stuck", making you unable to properly clean your barrel.

    Also on the inline models consider the shotgun-primer models; they misfire far less often than the older (more traditional) cap-primers.

    A good friend of mine was quite a traditionalist. He and a very experienced second hunter flew to Canada for a bear hunt; they were going to get a great video with one of them on the camera and the other one shooting (visibly on the video) - well, that was the plan....

    They got in front of the bear. Cameraman points camera and signals hunter to shoot. Hunter (and it turned out, cameraman too) got flustered like a never-killed-nuthin-before newbie and spilled the 4f powder from his flashpan. Gun goes click. Bear goes running. They later found out that cameraman never did press the record button..... Probably just as well... They'd have had to erase that one anyway.

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    The hardest thing I found about muzzleloading in general is dealing with the addiction, once you smell the blackpowder burning... I bought my first one after I shot my friends replica musket way back in high school, at last count I was up to 7 rifles and 9 pistols and still haven't got a shotgun or an inline, but they're on the list. There's a lot of good info out there, but as Familyman stated, best bet would be to wait out until the class. No habits are easier than bad habits. I'll finally be taking the class this year also, finally got a muzzleloader/ bow draw, but I'm thinking if I don't tag out with the bow before it gets cold, the muzzleloader is much easier to use with the cold weather gear. Anyway, enjoy, but beware the Dixie Gunworks catalog!

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    There seems to be a trend, like in bow hunting to go from modern tech to primitive. I started in ML loading with a TC Renedade .54. It was a great whitetail gun in Michigan. Since then I have acquired a TC .45 hawkin-remember Jeremiah Johnson wanted a .50 Hawken, then a .32 Cherokee, then a .58 Pedersoli Kodiak. Most recently a flint lock kit. I am with roadaples, its an addiction. I also have several BP pistols, love shooting all of them. I would say pic a gun that will match your primary interest now, your arsenal will expand to to fill new interests. If you just want to target shoot, get the smaller calibers, If you want to hunt--well big slow moving bullets is recommended.
    Last edited by fishnngrinn; 02-25-2012 at 18:13. Reason: spelling
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