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Thread: best gun for the dough...

  1. #1
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default best gun for the dough...

    Guys, I want to get some opinions on the best b/p gun for my money.
    I'm in the market.
    There are so many...Knight, T/C, others.
    What gun will give me the best accuracy, ease of use and durability for the money. What is the hot setup on a budget?
    I'm thinking about .50 cal and stainless.
    Thanks much!


    Frank

  2. #2

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    I'm not sure on any of the inlines Frank, but someone here can probably help. I've got an older Knight, but accurate as it is I almost never use it. I've got a rack full of sidelocks, and I use them all the time however. I don't know what that measures, but I sure wouldn't cross traditional sidelocks off your list of candidates just yet.

    In the ADF&G primitive weapon seasons inlines have no (zip, zero, nada) range advantage over sidelocks because you can't use scopes. Open sights only, and in fact I find the sights better on many sidelocks than inlines, especially with longer barrels- aging eyes and all.

    The sidelocks are no harder to clean than inlines, and in fact easier. Lose the breechplug wrench for an inline, and you'll see what I mean. Wonder how I know that?

    Sidelocks also are a lot more versatile, allowing you to use a whole range of loads and projectives for plinking and small game as well as big game hunting. I think the last box of 100 50 cal round balls cost me $11, while that same amount of money won't buy you ten of most sabot bullet combos.

    My pick in sidelocks, knowing you'll get reco's on inlines? I'd go with the Lyman Great Plains, whether in the Rifle (slow twist barrel for round balls) or Hunter (fast twist barrel for conical bullets). You can get a 54 cal percussion GPR from Midsouth Shooters Supply for $370 plus shipping right to your door. Sportsmans carries them too, and I've heard folks say that when you press them they'll match any other price.

    Gotta say that my own GPR 54 cal is the biggest reason my Knight has been gathering dust the last few years.

  3. #3

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    Ditto on the GPR in .54. Go to the Lyman site and look for refurbished rifles. I picked up GPR .54 with a spare fast twist barrel for the price of a new one. The "slight scratch" on the stock was so miniscule that you could barely see it and a little furniture scratch remover covered it to the point that if you can find it you're looking too close. Nice solid guns that shoot well. Cabelas Hawkin in .50 is also a decent gun for the price. You can get a Green Mountain barrel in a faster twist if you want to shoot sabots. It will require a little filing to make it fit. These traditional smoke poles with an extra barrel won't cost as much as a good inline.

    As for inlines, it's awfully hard to beat an Encore or Savage 10 ML with an Accutrigger.

  4. #4
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    Default

    I have shot encores, omegas, and knights. They are all good guns.
    The one to watch this year is the knight KP1. They are a switch barrel like the encore. So centerfire, rimfire and BP will be available. I think a stainless set up in 50 cal. is gonna fetch about 500. But the barrels will probably be 50 to 75 less then T/C's. And knight uses green mountain barrels wich have a pretty good reputation. If I was in the market for another BP I would get the knight KP1

    And for what its worth, i have heard lots of chatter on the net that the lymans are a good gun if you want to go percussion.

  5. #5

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    I also have a Cabelas Hawkin flintlock in 50 cal. It was my first muzzleloader I bought. I'll admit, when I first bought it I wasn't sure about what I was getting for quality when the gun had "Cabelas" stamped on the barrel. But I've been pleasantly surprised. That was 6 years ago. Since then I've had a blast shooting that gun for fun and have harvested deer with it every year. Is it on par with a T/C Hawkin...? Maybe not. But in my opinion I'm glad I saved myself the $200 and went with the Cabelas model. I'm looking for a Lyman GPR next in .54 - probably a percussion this time over a flinter.

    As for inlines, I bought a T/C Omega Z5 50 cal last year for $250. For the price, it is a very nice gun. I bought a used Omega Stainless / Laminated off a buddy for my dad and that is a very nice gun as well. But the laminated / stainless models will be higher in price. I'll use the Z5 in Alaska, that's for sure. Very accurate and easy to clean.

    Those are the only two muzzleloaders I've owned, but for $500 total I feel I have two very nice smokepoles for the money. I don't have any experience with CVA or Traditions, so I can't say much about them. Only other inline I've shot was the Knights that AK Fish & Game uses for their muzzleloader ed course. They're ok but I'll take an Omega over them anyday, just my preference.

    Jeff

  6. #6
    Member Flintlock's Avatar
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    Default CVA

    CVA's are not a bad choice for someone wanting something reliable, accurate, and relatively inexpensive. They fire the Powerbelt bullets which are certainly not bad as I have had some success with them myself. Also, I believe CVA's are still the #1 seller of muzzleloaders in America.

  7. #7
    Member akndres's Avatar
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    I can't brag up my GPR, by Lyman, enough. Very accurate, nice lines, nice wood, easy to break-in and clean. Took a deer with it last year at a ranged 120 yards. Paid a little over 320 for mine a couple years ago. I think they are in the 400's now.

    Another great in-line choice is the Lyman Mustang. Shoulders really well and is just as accurate as any of T/C, CVA, Traditions, Knight, etc in-lines. They go for around 350+.

    For more money in a traditional rifle... look at the T/C Hawken. Around 470-500. I personally don't feel they beat a GPR for the extra money, but some people like the ML's with brass furniture on them. If you do, give them a look.

    You got to remember you get what you pay for. There are plenty of cheap ML's out there... they have bad barrels, cheap triggers, cheap components.
    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

  8. #8
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default Great stuff...

    Wow, thanks guys. I have learned more in a day about buying a new M/L than I have in the last month looking around on the web.
    I'm thinking hard on the Lyman percussion in a lefty.
    Looks and sounds like a heckuva great piece in the woods, at the range or above the mantle...

    Frank

  9. #9

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    Good choice, as far as I'm concerned. I was just shooting my 54 percussion today at 50 and 100 yards in anticipation of a deer hunt. At the closer range groups ran 1-2", while at 100 yards I averaged between 3 and 4". That's "minute of deer" in anyone's book. That's with its 220 grain round ball at around 1600 fps. Plenty of whack for deer, and moose or elk for that matter. Gotta love it!

    If you get it, sign back on for more care and feeding advice than you ever imagined!

  10. #10

    Default Left hand percussion

    I have a left-hand .54 percussion Hawken rifle I got from Cabelas. It is an excellent shooter. It has a 1:48" twist and is made for conicals. It doesn't shoot the new sabots worth a darn, as most traditionals don't, but for a hunting gun, I find it an excellent choice.
    If you get a Lyman, be aware of the barrel twist. Some are in 1:66", made for patched round balls, unless this is what you are looking for. These won't shoot conicals very well, as the twist is too slow.
    Now just why in the hell do I have to press "1" for English???

  11. #11

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    Those are dandy rifles, Hawken54, from all I've seen. They're made by the same folks in Italy that make the Lymans, and from all I've seen quality and quality control are good. Their big advantage is that 1:48 twist barrel, which as you say, handles both conicals and RBs, while with the Lyman you have to choose either or (1:66 for RB or 1:32 for conical). The 1:32 does fine with RBs at target or small game velocities (generally 60 grains of powder or less), but when you get up to the velocities I expect for big game hunting (charges of 80 grains or more), accuracy can suffer with RBs.

    I chose the Lyman because I like that style better (no brass and more drop at the comb plus a thinner wrist), but I'll have to pay for an extra barrel if I want to use both RBs and conicals for big game.

  12. #12
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    I picked up an el' cheapo CVA Wolf at the local Mart thinking it was something to get me through the season, as my old Thompson Renegade took a dump on me a couple of weeks before I was to go hunting. I think the CVA cost me $145 and came with a shooting kit in the plastic blister pack that it was sold in. It wasn't pretty, in fact it looked down right cheap, but on the range I found out the thing could shoot darn good. With iron's I managed 2.3" to 3.5" groups @ 100 yards. With a junk scope that I had laying around gathering dust the thing held 1.5"@ 100, 5 shot groups with ease. The load wasn't too technical either. Saboted .45 Hornady's ontop of two Pyrodex pellets. Recoil was very friendly with this load too. I took 3 deer with it during the MO season. I plan to do that again here in a few weeks. So every now and then cheap doesn't = junk.

  13. #13
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default interesting....

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawken54 View Post
    I have a left-hand .54 percussion Hawken rifle I got from Cabelas. It is an excellent shooter. It has a 1:48" twist and is made for conicals. It doesn't shoot the new sabots worth a darn, as most traditionals don't, but for a hunting gun, I find it an excellent choice.
    If you get a Lyman, be aware of the barrel twist. Some are in 1:66", made for patched round balls, unless this is what you are looking for. These won't shoot conicals very well, as the twist is too slow.

    Thanks for adding this info, Hawken, I think I'd prefer to shoot the conicals.

  14. #14

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    Here's a head's up-

    My shooting pard has been having terrific luck from his Great Plains Hunter barrel (1:32 twist) with conicals from the Lyman #548657 mould. I can't remember the exact weight, but it's a little over 400 grains. It's easy to cast and so far, it's more accurate than anything else he's tried including store bought. If you don't cast your own, conical shooting gets expensive fast. And I'm willing to bet that you do end up doing a lot of shooting! You have to go back a few pages to the mould selection, but you can get a look at it at the Lyman site.

  15. #15
    Member akndres's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by fullkurl View Post
    Thanks for adding this info, Hawken, I think I'd prefer to shoot the conicals.
    If you are interested in the Lymans... the Great Plains Rifle = 1-60 and the Great Plains Hunter = 1-32

    These are the same rifles just different rates of twist. The hunter is what you want for sabots and conicals. The GPR is what you want for PRB's.
    "The rich... who are content to buy what they have not the skill to get by their own excellence, these are the real enemies of game".... Theodore Roosevelt's A Principle of the Hunt

  16. #16
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fullkurl View Post
    Wow, thanks guys. I have learned more in a day about buying a new M/L than I have in the last month looking around on the web.
    I'm thinking hard on the Lyman percussion in a lefty.
    Looks and sounds like a heckuva great piece in the woods, at the range or above the mantle...

    Frank
    I have one in lefty with the 1:60 twist barrel. You won't be sorry. If you want to shoot conicals you can order a 1:32 barrel and swap it out when you want.
    Now what ?

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