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Thread: Thinking about getting a Muzzleloader

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    Default Thinking about getting a Muzzleloader

    Thinking about adding muzzleloader to my collection of types of hunting / shooting weapons. I know weapons isn't really the correct term but it was what I could think of. I own center fire, shotgun, compound bow, handguns but never Blackpowder. What is a good Muzzleloader to buy for hunting. I understand I can't have a scope on ML only hunt but would like to have scope for other hunts and maybe stateside deer hunts. Don't have unlimited funds either. Info I have found on here is a couple years old and I know these guns have changed over the past several years. Thanks for any info.

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    Dunno inlines from doodly, so I can't help you on a model. If you're inclined to give up the scope, you can have even more fun with a traditional. For that a Lyman Great Plains Rifle in 54 caliber is a very good starter, as would be a TC Hawken 54 caliber. The latter hasn't been made in a few years, but there are good used guns at very reasonable prices floating around. I'd pick up a 54 rather than a 50 for lots more whoop on moose.

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    I'll second Brown Bear's comments. If you are up to the challenge of hunting with a muzzleloader, don't go half-in, half-out with a modern inline gun. Do it right and go with a traditional sidelock muzzleloader. The guns Brown Bear mentioned are relatively inexpensive, fine shooting guns. I'm a fan of flintlocks over cap-locks myself. One of your bigger considerations is making sure you have a large-enough caliber for the game you plan to target and that you've spent the time to develop good loads that you can shoot accurately.

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    Thompson Center Omega. It is perfection in an in line.... or if you want a traditional muzzleloader I like the New Englander from T/C

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    I'm also thinking I'd like to get a muzzleloader so I can participate in muzzleloader hunts. To be honest, it's probably the other way round. I may never take down a moose with the thing but I'd like to get a rifle that was up to it. I have no interest in anything modern looking. Any thoughts on rifled muskets? I thought those Parker-Hale Enfield replicas looked nice. Does Navy arms still sell muzzleloaders? I went to their website and it appeared they were only selling 1873 replicas. Realistically, a used Hawken replica will probably fit my budget best. I'll probably start looking at the spring gun show.
    Louis Knapp

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    Navy Arms is sadly pretty much out of it. Dixie Gun Works still has a wide selection. I've also had great service and wide variety from The Gun Works in Oregon and Track of the Wolf in MN.

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    I am 99% sure I a going to go the modern ML as opposed to traditional ones at this time. Looking more and more at CVA. So if anyone knows anything about CVA's or even T/C......

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    Two years ago, I decided to buy a muzzleloader. I had an old inline but wanted to upgrade. I found an incredible site that was invaluable in helping me decide on which one to buy and also getting it set up right. I ended up with a CVA Accura. You will find all the information you need on this site and a bunch of very helpful guys.
    http://www.frontiermuzzleloading.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by FullCryHounds View Post
    Two years ago, I decided to buy a muzzleloader. I had an old inline but wanted to upgrade. I found an incredible site that was invaluable in helping me decide on which one to buy and also getting it set up right. I ended up with a CVA Accura. You will find all the information you need on this site and a bunch of very helpful guys.
    http://www.frontiermuzzleloading.com

    Thanks for for the site. As soon as I posted had a couple members answering questions and removed one of CVA's I was looking at. The MR only comes with scope mounts, no open sights. So that won't work up here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FullCryHounds View Post
    Two years ago, I decided to buy a muzzleloader. I had an old inline but wanted to upgrade. I found an incredible site that was invaluable in helping me decide on which one to buy and also getting it set up right. I ended up with a CVA Accura. You will find all the information you need on this site and a bunch of very helpful guys.
    http://www.frontiermuzzleloading.com
    Was kind of hoping I would have gotten a little more response though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkGrumpy View Post
    Was kind of hoping I would have gotten a little more response though.
    The "problem" with most owners of inlines is that they only own one, and have never owned another. Then they shoot it less than 5 times a year. Hard to get many detailed reports from folks with such limited experience.

    I've owned zackly one inline over the years. It was a Knight 54 caliber, but darned if I can even tell you the model, it's been so long ago. I will say that I stuffed just about everything I could find down the bore, ranging from factory bullets to home cast lead bullets and round balls. And I shot hundreds of each with scopes just to see what all this long-range stuff was about. Shot all those loads from 25 yards out to 300 yards, and I was downright impressed with the accuracy of some combos, even if the low velocity made shooting past about 150 yards about like mortar fire.

    Surely the most accurate and reliable inline I've ever owned. But it was also the ONLY inline I ever owned.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    The "problem" with most owners of inlines is that they only own one, and have never owned another. Then they shoot it less than 5 times a year. Hard to get many detailed reports from folks with such limited experience.
    And I understand that, I will probably do the same. I have some firearms that I haven't shot in 20 years. But like I said in earlier post if I decidei to get one it will by a CVA, just haven't decided which one. Trying to figure out if the Nitride barrels are worth the extra money over plain SS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkGrumpy View Post
    Trying to figure out if the Nitride barrels are worth the extra money over plain SS.
    Dunno Nitride from Nyquil, but even stainless is unnecessary with good cleaning practices.

    I have muzzleloaders as old as 50 years, all with plain steel barrels. Not a spec of rust or corrosion on any of them.

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    My first ML was a TC Renegade .54 cal bought in the early 80's. No rust to this day. Keep them clean and dry.
    NRA Lifetime Member

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    Consider the Alaska gun shows. I have seen some really good buys on ML. One seller had three TCs at $225 each. That was the best I have seen and rare, but other good deals present from time to time.

    Along with Brown Bear, I have one in-line that shoots like a cartridge gun. But my favorite is a flintlock. For hunting the moose I would use the .54 percussion. mho.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishnngrinn View Post
    Consider the Alaska gun shows. I have seen some really good buys on ML. One seller had three TCs at $225 each. That was the best I have seen and rare, but other good deals present from time to time.
    Gun bought and on its way. CVA Accura V2, Nitride Beragra barrel, Thumbhole stock with Fiber Optic Sights. What I need to know now is what powder/pellets and bullets to shoot here in Alaska. As stated in earlier post I know nothing about Muzzleloaders, so I have been watching a lot of videos.

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    Reading this thread got me motivated to finally pull the plug on a lyman great plains flintlock rifle in 54 cal. On its way. Any recommendations on powder/loads? Everything I have read says that one shoots FF in anything above 50 cal (not FFF) and one uses FFF in the pan? Any practical experience would be welcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abreitzm View Post
    ...Everything I have read says that one shoots FF in anything above 50 cal (not FFF) and one uses FFF in the pan....
    That's on the long list of wives' tales about muzzleloaders. With adjustments for grain size (Use 10% less 3f than 2f), you can use either. In fact your gun is likely to prefer one over the other, but you won't know until you try both. For simplicity in the field, I'm always hopeful that 3f will be the top pick for a gun, because then I can use it in the pan as well as the bore. One of my flintlocks insists on 2f, but everything else is just fine with 3f. And that includes 30, 32, 50, 54, 58 and 62 caliber flintlocks. Some guys prefer 4f in the pan, but I don't like it for Alaska because it soaks moisture from the air lots quicker than 3f.

    Some things you didn't ask about, but are specific to Lymans. Not criticism (In fact I love Lymans), but just facts of life:

    When it comes, that bore is going to be coated with some kind of miracle coating that's just about impervious to most gun cleaners. But if you don't get it out, accuracy really suffers. Best to remove it is brake pad or carburetor cleaner. Just squirt some on a patch and run it down the bore and back out. Usually doesn't take more than 4 patches to get the bore squeaky clean.

    Lyman bores tend to have really sharp edges on the rifling and the crown. They'll cut patches like crazy, and a cut patch produces poor accuracy. Some guys lap their bores, some just shoot them until they smooth out a little. Takes about 100 shots. I'm kind of a "tweener," in that I like to drape a piece of one of those green Scotch kitchen pads over the jag and work that in and out about 50 times rather than using something more aggressive. Works fine for me. The crown is a bit of a different story. Best I know is to drape a tab of 320 wet/dry over the muzzle, press down on it firmly with the ball of your thumb, and rotate your thumb back and forth have a dozen times. Done.

    Even with that, Lyman's bores tend to be a little rough and don't achieve peak accuracy until after a couple hundred shots. In other words, as you shoot it, it will just get better and better. Starting out with my 54's, I had to use .530 balls and .015 patches, because anything bigger was way too tight for my tastes. After about 100 shots I notice loading getting a little easier, so I moved up to .018 patches. Boy, does accuracy jump! After about 1k shots I noticed things getting loosish again, so I went to a .535 ball and the same .018 patches. Took a pretty good smack on the short starter to get it moving down the bore, but accuracy got better still! Kinda funny to be thinking of guns doing their best after 1k or more shots, but that's Lyman for you.

    Coupla more things specific to operating a Lyman flintlock. Only fill the pan about half full, basically until the priming powder reaches up to the bottom of the touch hole. Some guys enlarge the touch hole very slightly, but I'm up in the air about that.

    Knapping or "sharpening" the flint: Lotta guys go to hammering on the edge with this tool or that. I get the best flint life by locking the flint in place, cocking the hammer to half cock, then holding the pan closed with a couple of fingers of the other hand so the frizzen stays upright. Now slowly lower the hammer until the flint touches the frizzen. Press lightly on the back of the hammer now to force a few flakes of flint off. That removes the least amount of flint while getting a really sharp edge that's 100% true to the frizzen. I usually get somewhere between 50 and 100 shots out of a good flint doing that.

    And one more point. Figure on DNA marking your rifle, and probably pretty good. That sharp flint is nothing more than a knife blade, and sooner or later you're going to drag a finger or thumb across it. Congratulations! You're initiated into the world of flintlocks.

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    BB:
    Again, let me say that I find you to be a "Gold Mine" of information, and not just on MLs.

    You seem to be quite familiar with the Lyman MLs. Is he Lyman FLINTLOCK Trade Rifle, a passible gun, as far as the quality of the LOCK.

    I'm considering one in 50 Caliber. I don't want one if the Lock is problematic. I already have a Caplock ML and 2 ML caplock pistols, all 50 Cal., including a Lyman Plains pistol.

    I am preferring the Trade Rifle over the Great Plains, because of the shorter barrel, the 1-48 twist, and less weight.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
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    I don't own a Trade Rifle, but have shot them and like them. The owners are greatly pleased with the change in handling compared to the Great Plains Rifle, which sounds like it's up your alley.

    I've never had an issue with their locks, but I'd been through the "fiddly" adjustment of flintlocks before owning one. First time out of the chute you might have "problems" and want to blame the lock, but in fact it's a case of needing to adjust flint position and pay attention to how you load them and fill the pan. Just a matter of learning the ropes of a flintlock. L&R makes a replacement lock, but guys I know who have swapped did so because the replacement looks a little more "authnetic" rather than function complaints.

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