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Discussion Starter #1
i'm looking to purchase my first muzzle loader rifle, any suggestions? i'd like to spend less than $800
 

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cheap and easy would be a thompson omega, that should leave room for a scope and all the other crap you need for black poweder

You plan on using it for hunting?
 

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Are you looking for an inline or a sidelock?

I don't mess with inlines at all, but I'll suggest a couple of traditionals for you.

Last I checked, the Traditions line at Bass Pro was made by Davide Pedersoli, and they're fine guns for the money.

Any of the Thompson Centers are good.

My favorite (other than handmade) is Dixie Gun Works. You can't go wrong there, ever.

58 caliber is my preference, and it will handle elk with ease.

Caplocks are easy, but flintlocks are way more fun. They'll make you a better all around shooter, too. You'll be cured of any flinching problems right away. :laughing:

Post up a few more specifics and I'll try to help you out. :D
 

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oh ya, and pawn shop after BP season is the best place to shop :D
 

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They can be had in Mississippi super cheap right now if you want a used one. Two years ago, Game and Fish declared single shot 45-70, .444 Marlin, and a few other calibers legal for primitive weapon season. People around here can't get rid of their old BP stuff. For hunting, inline all the way.

Oh, and the best part is, you can find one online and have it shipped to your door.
 

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Dont know inlines but I do know "traditional" types fairly well as Ive been using them since mid 70s and build my own as well.

1. T/C is about the best all around with the Hawken being the most common. Lifetime warranty and mine happens to be vintage '76 and hasnt had issues to date. Just some sight changes to be compliant with the fixed sight rule for rendezvous shoots.

2. Lymans GPR is real nice and not terribly much lower in price than getting a custom build.

3. Its still possible to get a custom for the $6-800 cost from some relatively well known builders. Tennesse valley, Pecatonia and Chambers come to mind.

4. Dixie Gunworks sells some nice hardware.

5. Unless you have good stability and hold stear clear of rock locks (fintlocks). Best to start with a cap lock then after yer comfortable try a rock lock. They dont work particularly well with the BP substitutes because of the ignition temp issue. That can be a problem for folks in some areas trying to find Goex, KIK or Swiss...

6. Some states have a minimum caliber for elk along with restrictions on using inlines during the ML season. Taint anything more annoying to find out that what you bought isnt useable so check with DFG.

7. The key with BP is consistency in the load operations. You get sloppy and I guarantee you will get frustrated when the paper says yer all over the map.

8. Dont plan on a shot over 125-150 yds when hunting, The ME is a tad light for a decent kill shot. Theres lots of folks that can get onto the paper out at 500 yds but thats paper... ;)

9. Keep an eye on the twist rate. 1:48 or slower (1:72) is a round ball twist. Not compatible with slugs or sabots. 1:48 is good for both but itll depend on the length of the slug in question. Reread the last line in #6 as some DFG dont allow sabots even in a side or underhammer rigs.

D.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i know very little about muzzleloaders and BP shooting, i'm looking into getting into it, thus the need for a rifle. i'd like to get one and be ready for next years' elk season.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
from new mexico game and fish: Muzzleloader Firearm
Include rifles and shotguns in which the charge and projectile
are loaded through the muzzle. Only black powder, Pyrodex,
or an equivalent substitute may be used. Legal muzzleloading
shotguns are those capable of being fired from the shoulder only.
Muzzleloaders may use in-line ignition, pelleted powder, sabots,
belted bullets, and scopes.

so unfortunately that prohibits any breech loaders.

jason
 

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TX and OK allow breech loaded PAPER cartridge...check to see if they will allow it...this thing is way more accurate than most ML...
 

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Where in New Mexico are you? (I'm assuming since you posted from the NMDGF regs) They have a pretty good selection of muzzleloaders at Sprotsmen's Warehouse in Albuqueque. Los Ranchos Gun Shop usually has some reasonably priced second hand guns, and they have a couple of guys there that know enough to steer you in the right direction. I bought my T/C Hawken there a couple years ago and they gave me a good deal.
 

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I vote for traditional, patched round ball, 1/48 or 1/66 twist, and real black powder. I had the Knight inline, what a pain in the ass. Pyrodex just doesn't smoke right or smell right to me. If you nail something right with a round ball it's down. I love my Thompson Hawken .50 1/48. I built it from a kit, great fun. I also have a very rare Ithaca Plains rifle in .50 with 1/66. It came with the books Ithaca sent with the rifle. Anybody know anything about it? I am just making friends with it now. Anyways, I am just old fashioned I guess, but the traditional gun is way more fun. I hated that inline Knight piece of crap. I was sure glad to get rid of it. Traded it for a nice stainless Walther PPk.
 

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T/C omega or the triumph. Great guns and bang for the buck. I have both of them and no probs ever. If you don't know anything about muzzleloaders they also come with instructional videos to help get started
 

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X2 on checking the game regs. In PA black power season is flintlock only. No inlines, caplocks or breach loaders.
 

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Unless they changed there law PA is flintlock only. Also no semi auto rifles or shotguns. Don't know about handguns. I like the flintlock only rule. I have always wanted one, they do sound fun and challenging.
 

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1. T/C is about the best all around with the Hawken being the most common. Lifetime warranty and mine happens to be vintage '76 and hasnt had issues to date.
Yep, I would go with Thompson for a side lock.

For in-line I would go with the CVA optima pro.
It is the best bang for the buck and no quirks like a Knight and Hale, Remington 700, and some of the others.
 

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Yep, I would go with Thompson for a side lock.

For in-line I would go with the CVA optima pro.
It is the best bang for the buck and no quirks like a Knight and Hale, Remington 700, and some of the others.
One thing I didnt mention about the T/C Hawken was that its entirely possible (within stock inlet size limits) to get replaceable barrels so one can fling itty bitty .36 caliber to .54 cal slugs with a barrel swap. Futher Green Mt makes a drop ins with different twists so one can use sabots or RB depending. The stock TC barrel with its 1:48 twist is a good learning and general purpose but a 1:66 or 1:72 is better for RB and a 1:20 (or in that general area) is better for longer slugs-sabots.

D.
 
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