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Thread: New to muzzleloaders

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Default New to muzzleloaders

    So I just completed the ADF&G mandatory muzzleloader class and am looking at getting a modern inline ML. This was my very first experience with any ML at all. The rifles that were supplied were Knights and they were pretty nice but I really did not care for the small caps for the ignition. I'm looking for suggestions on a new ML. I had been leaning towards a Thompson Center pro hunter but also started seeing good reviews for Knights new Ultra light. I'm looking for ease of use and reliability and accuracy. I'm leaning towards 209 primers unless someone can talk me out of them. Any other help and info would be greatly appreciated.
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    I acquired a ML last winter, a Thompson inline that uses 209 primers. So far I like it ok, however the only experience with other Ml's was the ADFG class in July, and they were all Knights, I thought they were nice guns and shot rather well.

    I bought a Bone crusher and I think the barrels on the Pro hunter and the bone crusher are the same.... I just preferred the shape of the wrist on the BC.

    I intend to hunt with this gun and I decided to use Blackhorn 209 powder, it is a synthetic black powder however it burns relatively clean and you can clean up with Hoppes or similar smokeless cleaning agents. This struck me as a plus as most of the ML specific hunts here in AK are in the winter. I just done see myself swabbing after every shot and cleaning with water at below freezing temps. IMO

    I believe the 209 powder also gets some decent FPS numbers although I have not shot it through a chrony...

    At the range I will typically shoot 15 times or so and then run a snake through the barrel and clean the flash hole. The a through clean up at home.

    When I took the class this summer I shot black powder just to try it out and we swabbed after every shot and I think that is typical..

    If I was shooting a more traditional ML I would probably shoot regular black powder.

    I put a skinner sight on mine and like it quite well http://www.skinnersights.com/

    I also have tried out a merit adjustable iris and thinking about a globe sight for the front, I have shot decent groups at 150 yds and even semi decent at 200yds, decent enough to hit the lung/heart area on a moose. That being said I consider it a 100 yd gun, sure if the shot was right I would take a longer shot but I personally think the whole point of a ML is to get closer to the animal. And make the one shot count.

    EDIT: IMO there is no reason not to use 209 primers, they are the cheapest part of the package and so far they always go BANG when I pull the trigger...
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Member mjm316's Avatar
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    Thanks AKgramps. I appreciate your input.
    I was kind of hoping for some more input but folks seem a bit tight lipped in this section of AOD for some reason.
    Are most of you shooting more traditional ML?
    Tomorrow isn't promised. "Never delay kissing a pretty girl or opening a bottle of whiskey." E. Hemingway

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    I don't think folks are so tight lipped as all that but there are only a limited number of people that shoot MLs and only a limited number of those hang out on this forum and only a limited number of those shoot inlines. You list three things you want, ease of use, reliability and accuracy. Accuracy is a matter of a good barrel and how you load it. Reliability can be had with any ML if you do your part. Ease of use is about the same with an inline or a side lock. Flinters are another matter. The 209 primers are good as they give plenty of fire. Plastic sabots can be shot from MLs in 45,50 and 54cal and maybe others. I have a side lock that uses small pistol primers that is 100% reliable and it is weather proof. Modern inlines usually have fast twists which allows them to use longer (higher BC) modern bullets which gives them better range. So it kinda depends on what you are after with a ML. If you are just wanting to hunt the ML seasons/areas then anything will work. If you are after the challenges of your ancestors, a side lock or flinter with real black powder and a round ball and patch is the way to go. I have all three and the flinter is the most fun but also is the most challenging. You're the only one that can decide what's best for you. I have one of the first modern inlines the H&R Huntsman I think it's called and it works fine but it's not my favorite. No matter what you pick, shoot very carefully cause you're only going to get one shot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjm316 View Post
    Thanks AKgramps. I appreciate your input.
    I was kind of hoping for some more input but folks seem a bit tight lipped in this section of AOD for some reason.
    Are most of you shooting more traditional ML?
    Yep. You mention inline muzzleloaders and I just back on out of the topic. My only interest is traditional muzzleloaders and typically only flintlock or older ignition systems.

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    Much the same here. Years back I bought a 54 cal inline and shot the dickens out of it with every conceivable projectile and powder, just to see what was going on. Even mounted a scope and tried that for a while. Bored me spitless.... Just none of the fun of traditional guns, and I couldn't for the life of me figure out how or why I'd ever use it. Without the scope, it held zero advantages over traditionals due to the terrible sights on it. So why bother with it?

    Gave it to a buddy. He shot it a while and gave it to his son. Son shot it a while and gave it to his girlfriend, who hasn't shot it since. All of em are shooting traditionals now.

    No prob between me an inlines. They just don't pop my cork. I just don't know enough about all of them to be any good giving advice. I have zero problems with the guys who shoot them, unless they decide to try getting scopes legal for the special muzzleloader hunts. I draw a deep line in the sand right there, and I don't pull any punches. They try it, and there'll be a fight to put the presidential hopefuls to shame.

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    I would recommend a break open design. I have a few modern in lines and the break open guns are easier to clean and have less pieces to dismantle in the field for cleaning if you get things wet. The 209 primers are the way to go, you can ignite a little bit larger powder charge than with traditional caps. I am a Thompson Center fan, but any quality brand will get you where you need to be for hunting. Unless you can shoot open sights better than I can (which is not a very difficult task), what ever modern inline you choose will probably be capable of shooting a lot tighter groups than the shooter holding it.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    I am new to muzzleloaders as well, I bought a inline primarily to use on specific hunts, and they require open sights. For me I have found peep sights to work very well in excess of 100 yards. With that being said a scope can be used on a ML for a harvest ticket hunt. Its another reg that makes me wonder what the logic is.

    Traditional ML's are interesting however I am getting the impression they are a rather uppity lot and may be best to avoid.
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    I bought a new inline earlier this year. I got little to no response from here as almost everyone here shoots the older style and don't know much about the newer in lines or just don't like them. Which is fine. I ended up going to http://www.frontiermuzzleloading.com for information on in lines, powder, bullets, etc.. I ended up with a CVA Accura. If you are military or retired military they will give you a discount where as TC told me no. Good luck.

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    We use TC's. Started with Omega then Encore and Pro Hunter. Now I shoot the Bone Collector. We've tried all different projectiles over the years. Even a ram rod. Settled on non-saboted, jacketed connicals. Shot Powerbelts for years. Sabots caused problems early on. Dissappointed in the Powerbelts a couple times but still got the animal. Now I use Barnes saboted bullets and love them. Same results as in center fire rifles. Find the mushroomed bullet under the hide on the offside of the moose.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    ...Traditional ML's are interesting however I am getting the impression they are a rather uppity lot and may be best to avoid.
    So are you sayin' that the ML shooters are an uppity lot or the MLs are an uppity lot?...just askin'...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    Traditional ML's are interesting however I am getting the impression they are a rather uppity lot and may be best to avoid.
    If by "uppity" you mean they don't want to talk about inlines, you're right. Same reception traditional folks get on sites devoted to inlines. Or trying to talk about Model 94 Winchesters on black gun sites. But when you want to learn and talk about traditional guns and shooting, there are some of the most welcoming and informative folks I've found anywhere on the web.

    I don't criticize the inlines here where both are welcome, and I don't know enough to contribute much about them. You guys are welcome to it, because it's all about help.

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    The logic of special ML hunts is give a bit of advantage for those wishing to handicap themselves by using a slow loading limited range gun. If you go into the game intending to remove as much of the handicap as you can by using scopes and sabots and jacketed bullets and totally sealed ignitions systems and in one case even smokeless powder, you have IMHO circumvented the purpose of a ML hunt or more appropriately a "traditional" hunt. Ak allows you to "run what you brought" when it comes to the regular seasons. The logic is simple. The rules are written by folks that don't seem to get how clever people are when it comes to getting around the spirit of the rules. For those wishing to remove all the handicaps of the ML hunts here's a helpful idea. Build yourself a Browning harmonica gun using 209 caps on the magazines and load the mags from the muzzle using sabots and modern bullets and smokeless powder and install a set of Olympic type target sights. This should give you 300yd capability, rapid reloads and get around all those silly rules. Or, slow down learn to hunt and get a flint lock. Let your conscience be your guide. I have been pondering for twenty years now on whether to make my 69 cal a cap lock or a flint. The decision just became clear. Gotta order some more flints.

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    Member Akgramps's Avatar
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    Rbuck, I get what your saying, I only decided to get a ML because I wanted to hunt in a particular area at a particular time of year and the fact that there is a ML specific hunt is what drove the decision to buy a inline. After shooting some and reading I have come around to the whole point of hunting with a ML. Its similar in many respects to bow hunting and requires a different approach and mindset, coined as "Traditional". As with anything else, its a learning process.

    I also recognize that inlines are really much closer to a modern firearm than a flintlock or percussion rifle. Although if Jack Hinson was alive today he might beg to differ....

    My comment "uppity" was sarcastic in nature. I dont spend much time on other forums and as a "Newbie" to Muzzleloaders I looked here first for info and found the lack thereof as well. I also appreciate those that take the time to introduce the "Traditional" concept and pass along worthwhile thoughts, much more than those that draw a line in sand.....
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    How about this BP gun?


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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfamily View Post
    How about this BP gun?

    That should "lay em low", I wonder if Talley makes rings for it........
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    Traditional ML's are interesting however I am getting the impression they are a rather uppity lot and may be best to avoid.
    Well, I don't believe that is really the case. Like Brown Bear said, inlines just don't do it for me personally and I have very little experience with them. So naturally, when talk turns to inlines, I have to back out of the conversation because they are significantly different then my own experience with muzzleloaders. I only use real black powder, roundballs, and the occasional conical. I know nothing about sabots, ultra-fast twist rifleing, premeasured pellet black powder substitutes, 209 primers, etc. If I was always throwing in my opinion on topics that I'm not real familiar with, then yes, I'd be guilty of being an a-hole at the very least. Bottom line is, the original poster thought that people were ignoring him and I just pointed out that I couldn't contribute to the conversation for the reasons stated above.

    Russ

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    Akgramps.

    Sir, I knew exactly what you meant and saw it as humorous.

    I would guess, as others have wrote, that you did not get many answers as not too many folks hunt with BP firearms, (ML), in AK. I would guess that most shoot for fun.

    Our family has gotten into, (aka addicted to,) firelocks due to our participation in Project Appleseed and the history of the American War for Independence.

    Hope you get your questions answered. If not here, on another forum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muskeg_Stomper View Post
    Well, I don't believe that is really the case. Like Brown Bear said, inlines just don't do it for me personally and I have very little experience with them. So naturally, when talk turns to inlines, I have to back out of the conversation because they are significantly different then my own experience with muzzleloaders. I only use real black powder, roundballs, and the occasional conical. I know nothing about sabots, ultra-fast twist rifleing, premeasured pellet black powder substitutes, 209 primers, etc. If I was always throwing in my opinion on topics that I'm not real familiar with, then yes, I'd be guilty of being an a-hole at the very least. Bottom line is, the original poster thought that people were ignoring him and I just pointed out that I couldn't contribute to the conversation for the reasons stated above.

    Russ
    I dont think thats really the case either, I think we are all wanting the same thing, either offering info or seeking info... I try not to say things on here that I wouldn't say to someone in person, unfortunately I am not always successful. As I have learned about ML's I have developed a interest in the more traditional ones as well, never enough time for all the things I would like to do.

    We all have to start somewhere..... John
    “Nothing worth doing is easy”
    TR

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akgramps View Post
    We all have to start somewhere.....
    That's exactly it. And I figure this section should be good for that. In my experience, guys that end up really enjoying muzzleloaders will stick with it, whether they start with a traditional or an inline, and pretty quickly move to traditional. If they're just going to fire a round or two a year, it doesn't really matter which they use.

    There are several of us in the neighborhood who shoot regularly, even if there's no "club." A couple of times guys have bought inlines to shoot with us, then see how easy and cheap traditional shooting is compared to the inlines. Most of us shoot a minimum of 20 shots in a session, and long sessions can run up to 50 or 60 shots. Inlines get REAL expensive when you do that, and if for no other reason the guys move over to traditional for cheap and fun shooting. There are enough molds in the neighborhood a guy can usually trade salvage lead for several hundred balls or conicals even if he never gets around to borrowing the molds. Patches and lubes are home built, and for most of our casual shooting we shoot light loads of around 30 grains or so. Adds up to real cheap shooting, compared to jacketed bullets, sabots and powder pellets, when you're clanking off 20-50 rounds a day several times a month if not weekly.

    The big point is to get out and have fun, and leave the yammering to the politicians, ad men and internet experts.

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