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Thread: Traditional or Inline ?

  1. #1

    Default Traditional or Inline ?

    I have been doing a fair amount of reading lately, here and other places, in order to get a sense of whether a traditional muzzleloader will fit my intended usage vs. modern inline version but, I am still at an impasse. I apologize in advance for the appearance of "beating a dead horse".

    The foremost question I have is ; what can I expect to be a reasonable, reliable, accurate and effective (maximum) range of a patched LRB in .54cal for big game up to moose ?

    Which type of projectile would be considered the best medicine for big game ?

    Does the 1-48 twist actually stabilize LRBs and conicals as intended ?


    I am leaning toward a traditional version such as a Hawken, Great Plains or Kentucky/Blue Ridge type. I would like to use the rifle mainly for moose and small game, perhaps black bear.

    That being said, for a newbie to muzzleloader hunting/shooting looking for an "all around" muzzleloader, which would you recommend ?

    Would an inline make for a better "all around" ?

    I am also looking for recommendations on a good book concerning muzzleloading.

    Thanks for your responses.

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    Traditional all the way. I think 48 twist is a good all around twist rate.

  3. #3
    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    338wm
    Do you force your smokeless arms to do everything? No such thing as a "all around gun" no matter how you load it.

    Trad or in line? Depends do you just want to take advantage of the extra season or do you want to have a deep connection to your hunting past? If history and the intent of the folks who lobbied hard for a muzzleloader season mean something to you than go trad. If your just looking to for more time to hunt, then go in-line with sabots, Fancy powder pellets and a scope...........personally I wouldn't be caught dead with one!

    PS yes I have shot in lines and compound bows................ hate them! And I cant hit the broad side of a barn with a wheel bow.
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by 338WM View Post
    I have been doing a fair amount of reading lately, here and other places, in order to get a sense of whether a traditional muzzleloader will fit my intended usage vs. modern inline version but, I am still at an impasse. I apologize in advance for the appearance of "beating a dead horse".

    The foremost question I have is ; what can I expect to be a reasonable, reliable, accurate and effective (maximum) range of a patched LRB in .54cal for big game up to moose ?

    That's going to depend more on the shooter than the firearm. Should anyone be shooting a round ball 150 yards at a moose? No. But then again, there are some people who probably shouldn't be shooting a round ball 20 yards at a moose.

    Which type of projectile would be considered the best medicine for big game ?

    I'd give the nod to a heavy conical, regardless of whether you're shooting an in-line or traditional muzzleloader.

    Does the 1-48 twist actually stabilize LRBs and conicals as intended ?

    Yep. So will a 1:28" or 1:60" twist. You just have to match the powder charge with the projectile for the particular barrel twist you're shooting. My flintlock is a 1:48" and it shoots round balls and conicals very well.

    I am leaning toward a traditional version such as a Hawken, Great Plains or Kentucky/Blue Ridge type. I would like to use the rifle mainly for moose and small game, perhaps black bear.

    That being said, for a newbie to muzzleloader hunting/shooting looking for an "all around" muzzleloader, which would you recommend ?

    Just my opinion and preference, but I lean towards the Lymans as being a great traditional and Thompson Center as being a great in-line. But there are lots of options out there.

    Would an inline make for a better "all around" ?

    Not necessarily. I own both, and I find myself carrying just as much "stuff" (powder flask, capper or primer, conicals, other odds and ends) when I hunt with my in-line as I do with my flintlock. I don't think an in-line necessarily "simplifies" things as I use to think when I was just getting into the sport.

    I am also looking for recommendations on a good book concerning muzzleloading.

    Thanks for your responses.
    Replies below each question, hope this helps.
    Last edited by shearej; 10-26-2008 at 11:15. Reason: clarification

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    Member homerdave's Avatar
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    from a strictly economical point of view it is a lot cheaper to shoot loose powder and lead balls than pellets and sabots....
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  6. #6

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    You've got a long list of questions, so for simplicity I'm going to throw my answers in with them, but I'll make them bold.

    Quote Originally Posted by 338WM View Post
    I have been doing a fair amount of reading lately, here and other places, in order to get a sense of whether a traditional muzzleloader will fit my intended usage vs. modern inline version but, I am still at an impasse. I apologize in advance for the appearance of "beating a dead horse".

    The foremost question I have is ; what can I expect to be a reasonable, reliable, accurate and effective (maximum) range of a patched LRB in .54cal for big game up to moose ?

    I draw the line at 75 yards with a patched round ball (PRB), mostly because that's as far as I shoot at them with any muzzleloader, and closer is better. A 54 will be fine for broadside.

    Which type of projectile would be considered the best medicine for big game ?

    Depends on your interests and self-control. A conical is going to penetrate better than a RB on angling shots, but I won't take angling shots so it's kind of academic. In my experience using conicals, pure lead bore-size conicals penetrate a whole bunch better that most jacketed bullets in sabots because the bore-size versions are so much heavier. No they aren't as flat shooting, but so what? I'm not trying to turn a muzzleloader into a long range gun, and BTW, scopes are illegal in the Alaska's special primitive weapon seasons.

    Does the 1-48 twist actually stabilize LRBs and conicals as intended ?

    A 1:48 twist does just fine with both RBs and conicals. It's intended as a compromise between fast and slow twists, and in all my shooting it seems to be a good compromise, making a gun much more verstatile for varied uses. I've got slow twists for RBs and fast twists for conicals, but the 1:48 sure works as well with either.


    I am leaning toward a traditional version such as a Hawken, Great Plains or Kentucky/Blue Ridge type. I would like to use the rifle mainly for moose and small game, perhaps black bear.

    I'm real partial to the Lyman Great Plains Rifle for looks and function, though it comes with either a fast twist or slow twist barrel rather than a compromise 1:48. Extra barrels are drop-in and cost around $140 as I recall, so it's entirely feasible to own both barrels. It comes in 50 and 54 cal, both of which I own. If I was going to own just one, it would definitely be the 54. I use mine all the time with 35 grains of 3f or Pyrodex P for small game head shooting, then snort it up with 90 grains of either powder for big game.

    That being said, for a newbie to muzzleloader hunting/shooting looking for an "all around" muzzleloader, which would you recommend ?

    I own both inlines and traditionals, and the traditional is much more versatile, while being just as easy to clean. If you aren't putting a scope on an inline it holds absolutely no advantage over the traditional, while it really does sacrifice RB accuracy compared to a slower twist. I have friends who love their inlines, but none of them shoot them much except right before the big game season. My traditionals are so much more versatile and interesting to shoot, I use them year around. In a slow month I might only shoot 100 rounds, while that would be more than 10 years of shooting from most inline shooters I know.

    Would an inline make for a better "all around" ?

    Same answer. They're just not much good for anything but big game shooting, and their only advantage comes with a scope. Leave the scope off and shoot light loads most of the year, and you're going to be lots happier with the traditional.

    I am also looking for recommendations on a good book concerning muzzleloading.

    I'd start out with Lyman's "Black Powder Handbook and Loading Manual." You'll continue to use it as long as you shoot ML's, so might as well start out with it.

    Thanks for your responses.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by 338WM View Post

    I am also looking for recommendations on a good book concerning muzzleloading.

    Thanks for your responses.
    LYMAN offers THE BEST blackpowder book around. YES it's probably the more expensive reading but the reference material contained is well worth the price.
    Green River offers barrells with different twists and calibers for the Lyman and Thompson muzzle loaders. So you can have the best of both worlds and a varmint rifle as well, all on the same stock your used too.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

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    I have changed from shooting traditional rifles to in-lines and love them. There are some advantages to both styles. I like the fact that I can shoot the pellets. It saves on measuring and having loose powder around. You can also shoot 777 which does not have the obnoxious smell (that ticks off the wife). I do feel that they are more water resistant than the traditional rifles too, with that said though I have never had a problem with my new englander when hunting in the pouring rain. You will need to use the rubber cap covers though. The last advantage is that you can shoot 150 grains of powder out of the in-lines. I have found that two pellets of 777 can make one large hole at 50 yards and that 150 grains kicks to hard to have any fun but if I choose to hunt brownies with a smoke pole that extra fifty grains would certainly help.
    If you really want to go traditional for the sake of tradition, go with a flint lock. If you decide on a cap lock, you might as well go with an in-line.
    Just my $0.02

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    Yes it is. A powder measure will save you quite a bit of money over pellets!

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    Member Vince's Avatar
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    go take the ADGF class.... before you buy... then you will at least have a feel for the inlines.. how t clean and all that....

    you get to shoot both loose and pellets..
    ball and sabot

    20 bucks is a good investment for the knowledge you come out with... the boy and i did it his month in Fairbanks and had a great time....

    i am thinking to start with an inline as i will only use it for big game to start... IE... Nov muzzle hunts... etc...

    great calls lots of info...
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    go take the ADGF class.... before you buy... then you will at least have a feel for the inlines.. how t clean and all that....

    you get to shoot both loose and pellets..
    ball and sabot

    20 bucks is a good investment for the knowledge you come out with... the boy and i did it his month in Fairbanks and had a great time....

    i am thinking to start with an inline as i will only use it for big game to start... IE... Nov muzzle hunts... etc...

    great calls lots of info...
    I agree! Great class and an opportunity to shoot a muzzleloader before buying.

    As I said before, I own both inlines and traditional muzzeloaders, and you might recognize by now that I shoot a lot, too. My only real beef with inlines is the cost of shooting them with sabots and pellets considering the volume I shoot.

    At a low of 100 rounds a month I can whack up a big bill using inline components. I cut the costs of shooting traditional muzzleloaders dramatically by casting my own bullets or balls, shooting loose powder, making my own lubes and cutting my own patches. Since I'm recovering the lead too, I'm down mostly to the cost of powder and caps. When I move on to flinters I'll be experimenting with napping my own flints from local materials, so I can probably cut it down to little more than the cost of powder.

    Call that $20 a can with more than 100 shots per can, and I'll be spending less than $20 a month for all that shooting. As it is, I'm adding $4 a month to the cost for using caps. What would I be paying to shoot 100 shots a month of jacketed bullets, sabots, pellets and 209 primers? Whoa baby!!!! It would be time to cut back on my shooting or raise more money to support the habit. Neither of which I'm willing to do. I could cut the cost of shooting my inlines by using the same components that I'm using for my traditional muzzleloaders, but then what's the point of using an inline?

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    Brownbear you need to learn how to make your own powder!!! Then you'll be set!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew cochran View Post
    Brownbear you need to learn how to make your own powder!!! Then you'll be set!
    If it was legal, I think that would be fascinating.

    It's hard to describe the satisfaction I get out of making everything else, but if you enjoy fly tying, rod building, reloading or even gardening, you have a glimmer. I haven't tried making my own clothes yet but my wife is a life-long seamstress and she's getting a gleam in her eye watching me sew leather.

    There's just so much more fun to be had than merely shooting and hunting.

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    I didn't know it was illigle? I've made quite a few batches from online recipes. I know several of my friends that make it for there muzzleloaders.

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    Member Rick P's Avatar
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    I can verifiy that making your own without the tons of fed licencing is a No No...........Dont ask how, long time ago.
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    You should tell some of the other black powder enthuest on other forums!

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrew cochran View Post
    You should tell some of the other black powder enthuest on other forums!
    Yup. Pick your source, especially on the internet.

    There are so many other interesting and productive things to do, I don't see any reason to add chemistry and court time to my own list.

    A machinist friend screwed the barrel out of an old 22 bolt action single shot and fitted it for a small breech plug he made himself. The plug took a standard nipple for standard percussion caps and he opened the bolt for a different firing pin he also made himself. Bingo! He had a simple "in-line" that shot 22 cal rifle pellets like a house afire using nothing more than a #11 percussion cap. Add 3 grains of 4f powder ( the amount dispensed by a standard pan charger for flintlocks), and it was blazing fast, but the pellets stripped on the rifling. Accuracy went south and leading became a problem. Last I know he was using lead BB shot (.18 diameter) with lubed patches and 3 grains of 4f for terrific accuracy and excellent performance on rabbits.

    Now that's an interesting project and the only inline "kit build" that I've heard of!!!

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    Now that sounds intresting!

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    I recently got into black powder and I too did a lot of research. I decided to go with the T/C Omega. Best bang for your buck. (pun intended) I liked the idea of the drop action and the enclosed primer. I live in CA and no scopes are allowed. I have a Peep on order and have converted from T7 pellets to BH209. Skipped right past the T7FFg. To be honest, I will probly go back and fourth from T7 FFg & BH209 (not back to pellets) due to avaliability. There is a lot to learn either way. I will get the extra time out in the field for BP season but I wont sacrafice reliability. I am all for traditional BPs but my goal is to put meat in the freezer. As far as Traditional VS In Line from a purist point of view, firearms have evolved and we should take advatage of that but never forget our roots. I spose im cheating a bit with the inline, BH209, binoculars, rangefinder and Sabots. But I still only get one shot, 150 yards or so max with a peep sight. In order to get my trophy, I still have to put in my time, become part of the enviornment and earn my shot.
    "One shot, one kill"

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    Whoa! Howd I miss the oppurtunity to put my .02 in with this thread?

    I started out with the inlines, Merely wanting to hunt on Ft. Rich. Attending the class and shooting some got me Hooked! I went out and bought an encore, then I bought an omega. I had lots of fun with both.

    But as usuall I started blowing up my hobby. Bought all kinds of Sabots, bullets, pellets, powders, small rifle primer adapters and all the other commercial hype thats out there.

    As I delved deeper into it, I began to take notice of the more classical designs and the simplicity! Thats what I wanted. I wanted to focus more on shooting and the hunt then what I saw on T.V.

    Traditional Muzzleloading is one of the Last Frontiers of the shooting and hunting world. Information is scarce, even on the internet, Guns are relitivley rare and expensive, and participation is low. Just what I wanted, to step outside the box. Im loving it!

    Im glad inlines are here, hopefully they will help get a few more addicted just like me. But obvisouly, Im head over heals for History and Basic.

    Kudos to BrownBear and Shearj for the good info. Kudos to Rick P for summing up the traditional vs inline decision.

    On a side note, Ive been hunting with the Muzzleloaders almost exclusivley for 2 years now. Always wether it was the inline, percussion or flintlock the guns have gone off. I think the reliability question is a myth made up by some poor shot or hunter! I even dropped my flintlock in the snow, lock side down this weekend. I brushed off the snow, swiped snow off the frizzen and put in some fresh priming powder. Blam!

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