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Traditional vs. In line muzzleloading

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by 7remmag, Nov 19, 2011.

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  1. 7remmag

    7remmag Member

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    I'm trying to decide whether to go with a percussion muzzleloader in .50 or .54 caliber OR an in line muzzleloader either a break action or a bolt action. I had a different thread about the Remington 700 muzzleloader but I wanted to expand my options. I've been trying to read reviews but it's been my experience that first hand experience is always better than something I'll find on the Internet. I want any helpful information your willing to pass on, what you like about certain guns, powders, and bullets, and what you don't like. Also any hunting tips would be great. I don't know if this is necessary information or not but the traditional muzzleloader I'm looking at is a used hawkens in .54. Thanks in advance!

    Kyle
     
  2. goatskin

    goatskin TS Member

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    Kyle, I've never shot an inline muzzleloader, but for some of them: the pellet and 209 primer jobbies, I don't see much difference in them and a centerfire.

    Part of it is what you're wanting out of the sport, and a 54 cal Hawken, shooting roundball and ffG is suitably 'old time.'

    The lethality of any of them is not at issue: they kill just fine, but the 54cal is a seriously preferred choice over the 50.

    This is my singles quail gun, which was brand-new in 1753, and I have also shot more than a pick-up load of breakfast ducks with it using Bismuth shot. I've also deadded a few hogs and deer, and one irritating alligator who was wanting to make a meal of my pup, come to recall.


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  3. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    I used a Thompson Center Hawken in .50 cal for several years with good success. I used 90 grains of Pyrodex and a .44 cal Hornady XTP bullet in a sabot. This was a swinging hammer model with the standard percussion cap. I practiced with it sufficiently to be able to hit a 4 inch bull at 75 yards. I took several deer with it including a nice 8 pointer. It has a 1:48" twist and will shoot either a sabot or a .490 round ball. With the roundball, accuracy diminished once you loaded more than 80 grins of Pyrodex.

    All of my kills were one shot except one that I shot running and hit too far back in the body. I followed him and took him out with a second shot. I passed up some shots at over 100 yards as I was not confident in my ability at that range.

    There are now several inline models from Knight, TC, Savage and others that are more accurate and shoot at a higher velocity but IMO you still need to practice and find a load that works for you.

    I also have a Ruger 77BP inline bolt action with a fast 1:28" twist barrel and a 3x9 Burris scope. It is very accurate out to 100 yards with two 50 grain Pyrodex pellets and the .44 240 grain Hornady in a sabot. The Ruger is more difficult to load in cold weather until I found a tool that held several caps that I could use to place a cap over the nipple.

    You need to select a rifle that you are comfortable with and that matches your hunting style and situation.

    Ed Ward
     
  4. sterlingworth

    sterlingworth Active Member

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    I hunted with a t/c 54,and to tell the truth its a bit much for deer,if your going after elk or bear great.I bought a 50 cal green mountain barrel for it,and with maxi-balls was getting 1" groups at 75 yards.Had a inline,hunted with it once,not for me thank you. Just for what its worth..Ray
     
  5. straightshooter1

    straightshooter1 Well-Known Member TS Supporters

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    I think if one simply wants to hunt during the BP season (assuming it is restricted to BP and no modern fixed ammo guns allowed), then an in-line would be the best. But, as far as fun, it's like kissing your own sister. Pretty boring. But, again, if it's just meat you are after....

    But, the in-lines are just not as much fun as the old style rifles. I've had a lot, sold most off as I got more into trap and other clays sports. I still have a Thompson 32 and a Zoli Zouave 58, the two most accurate ML rifles I've owned. if I get another, it'll be a flint lock. I've had three and all were nice, but a lot more effort is required to make them run well.

    Bob
     
  6. noknock1

    noknock1 Active Member

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    That is a tough comparison, for me that registers in my brain which is better, a 30-30 iron sights for deer with a bent barrel or a .308 moa rifle with a vari x III 3-9 scope?

    What are you looking to get out of the hunt?

    I have .54 cal which the accuracy with round balls is horrible past 50 yds.

    I have an old first gen. 50 cal., inline, Knight Wolverine that I just can't justify getting rid of because with 300 grain Barnes Sabots it is a nail driver with 100 grains of triple 7 at 100 yds. It has an old leupold scope that I think is 3-9 or something there in that range.

    I really like the bone collector inlines, but why buy one of those when all I shoot is deer at around 125 yds or less and they thus far died on their feet before they knew it. Easy tracking with those barnes copper bullets!

    I suggest to figure out which platform you want the most and then sort the answers you get from there.
     
  7. Setterman

    Setterman Well-Known Member

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    The biggest deer I ever saw (at 40 yards)and lost was due to a cap not going off on a percussion hawkins. Bad cap. My son had my in-line on the other side of the woods. The percussion is now a display peice in the den.

    Nuff said.
     
  8. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    I prefer this one. TC., Hawkin, 50 Cal., 80 grs. Pyrodex RS, 320 gr. Maxi-Ball. Very accurate at 100 yds. Plus it was my Dads that he custom built himself. To me it is priceless. Don't know what someone would be willing to pay for it otherwise. I know this, it is an absolute blast to fire, as far as fun. With the heavy barrel you can hold the sights dead on the target. Very steady free hand hold. Jon
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  9. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Jon,

    That muzzy is too pretty to hunt with. I like it a lot although I had a similar mishap to setterman's and now my old Kentucky rifle is a living room conversation piece only. When I decide to muzzy hunt, I use my .50 cal CVA break open with 209 primers. It is as reliable as a rifle. Since rifles are illegal to hunt whitetail with in my State, it's a great alternative to using a shotgun.

    Matt
     
  10. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    Matt,

    Did you use the small caps? I changed the nipple to a large percussion cap and have had no problems with ignition. When I used the small ones, I had a very small delay once in a while before the gun would fire. Enough to make you jump, when the hammer would move forward in front of your eyeball. Had to use the wire nipple cleaner often. I fire a cap off before I load also to blow excess oil out of the nipple. Jon
     
  11. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Another alternative is blackpowder cartridges. I use them in single shot and lever action rifles, as well as revolvers. I load these in .25 to .50 caliber:

    .25-20 Single Shot
    .25-20 WCF
    .32-40 WCF
    .45 Colt
    .45-70 US
    .50-140 Sharps

    Advantage is being able to use smokeless loads for when you don't have time to clean the blackpowder fouling. And fast follow up shots.
     
  12. 8 Straight

    8 Straight Active Member

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    Well, I guess you are asking opinions, so mine is go with a traditional flintlock, and then a percussion if you must. The bunch I shoot with do not consider in-lines actual muzzleloaders, but something more akin to a slower loading Ruger Number One. If you want to hunt primitive, and get the actual feel of it, forget the in-lines. I will admit, there is a learning curve to shooting the old ones, but they are a lot more reliable and accurate than they are given credit for. That being said, you must spend a little money and get a gun with a good lock and trigger. If you buy a whole gun for the price of a top of the line lock, expect ignition problems. Also, whatever gun you buy, make sure you get good top quality sharp flints. Learn how to knap them to extend the life. I much prefer the hand knapped English flints to the saw cut kind. As for percussion caps, converting to musket caps will work, but a clean fire channel in the nipple, and CCI caps works. My take on in-lines is the answer I give when someone asks if I shoot an in-line. I tell them I would rather have sister working in a whore house than a brother that shot an in-line.
     
  13. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Jon,

    Yeah it was the old small caps. Personally i just like the reliable 209's too much to go back. My boy is wanting to shoot the old gun for fun sometime so i may take it off the wall and have some fun with it. I doubt i'll ever go to it for hunting purposes anymore. I like the ease of cleaning with the removable breech plug on the CVA break open as well. I am a fan of old school stuff but the ease of use of the modern break open muzzy's has trumped that love as muzzleloaders are concerned.

    Matt


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  14. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Keep in mind that some states view in-line or enclosed ignition muzzleloaders as modern firearms, thus prohibiting their use during muzzleloader season. They have to be used during centerfire rifle season. Oregon is an example of this.
     
  15. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Good point Brian. Fortunately IL is not one of those States. Actually IL is fairly lax as muzzy types goes. I read somewhere that some States do not allow scopes to be used on muzzy's. I do not recall the State but the gun had to be a traditional flintlock style and had to be iron sights only.
     
  16. 7remmag

    7remmag Member

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    Thanks everybody! I think I will end up going with the Remington just because it is the cheaper of the two. Hopefully that will allow me to use both conicals and sabots. Then with the money I'll save I'll start saving up for something more traditional for the years to come.

    Kyle
     
  17. School Teacher

    School Teacher Well-Known Member

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    Kyle:

    A big plus IMO for the Remington 700 BP is an excellent trigger, The trigger on my Ruger 77 BP is excellent also but the Trigger on my TC Hawken is not so good.

    Ed Ward
     
  18. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Oregon does not allow scopes or modern sights on a muzzleloader used during muzzleloader season. Muzzleloaders with anything but traditional sights have to be used in centerfire rifle season. Oregon is trying to make sure muzzleloader season stays traditional with antique guns or clones thereof. I wish I could hunt with blackpowder cartridges during that season, but I understand the purpose.
     
  19. wm rike

    wm rike Member

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    I'm always mystified by people that want to shoot muzzleloaders, then get a bolt gun that operates with hot primers, big charges, sabots, and scopes.

    Real black powder, lead balls, and open sights are a blast. The worst that can happen is you develop a new skill set and an appreciation for how it was done a couple hundred years ago.
     
  20. John55

    John55 Active Member

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    Traditional muzzleloading is wonderful...if that's what you like and prefer to shoot/hunt with. For others, it's just a way to increase time in the field and/or use something besides a slug gun. I tried the Hawken style rifles and after a year or so decided it wasn't my cup of tea. Nowadays, my eyes just don't work like they used to so something with a scope was necessary if I truly wanted to be accurate beyond 50yds or so. Being from IL, I can use whatever type of muzzleloader I like, even one that uses smokeless powder! And that's what I hunt with, thanks to the good folks at Savage. It doesn't smoke, doesn't stink and doesn't need any of those messy clean ups after each day of shooting...I love it!
    The Remmy isn't a bad ML and many have been used in the field. If possible, try some Blackhorn 209 powder in it instead of Pyrodex or T7...much less barrel fouling and it is not nearly as corrosive. I'd also suggest using 45cal bullets such as the Hornady SST in .452" or their excellent .458" 300gr hollow point or the newer 325gr FTX. We've used all of these on deer and they work very well.
     
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