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Talk me into it


ShootEm

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Hey All,

Toying with the idea of getting into the muzzleloader game this year for the first time. I've always bowhunted the early season, grabbed the rifle when firearms season came in, then gone back to the bow for late season and never gave muzzleloaders much of a thought. I'm sure I'd wind up with a bow in my hand for most of the early season but would be open to taking the muzzleloader out a few times. The real showtime for it I feel would be late season, although you never know how bad the bug will bite!

So, talk me into or out of pulling the trigger (pun absolutely intended) on picking one up and dialing it in. Pro and cons, what you like about it, what you dislike about it, what challenges come along with it, learning curves, things to look out for, etc.

Looking forward to hearing everyone's opinions, so fire away! (pun again?:wacko:)

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I immensly enjoy my muzzleloaders. It's a whole new rabbit hole to fall down, especially if you get into sidelocks. I know that the traditional muzzleloading community has been welcoming and quick to educate. 

If you've got the time and patience to spend experimenting and dialing in loads, it can be very rewarding. Cleaning is obviously imperative, they require some extra attention that suppository guns don't require, but nothing outrageous. 

Are you thinking Inline or Sidelock (percussion or flint)?

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Hunting with a muzzleloader is a lot of fun!! Like Splitear said, ya just gotta keep em clean. Learning curve is shorter with the inline. And the sidelocks are just sooo cool!

Go for it!!! If you have any questions, for sure someone here can, and will help you out!!

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49 minutes ago, Splitear said:

I immensly enjoy my muzzleloaders. It's a whole new rabbit hole to fall down, especially if you get into sidelocks. I know that the traditional muzzleloading community has been welcoming and quick to educate. 

If you've got the time and patience to spend experimenting and dialing in loads, it can be very rewarding. Cleaning is obviously imperative, they require some extra attention that suppository guns don't require, but nothing outrageous. 

Are you thinking Inline or Sidelock (percussion or flint)?

Definitely inline...for the time being :rolleyes: It seems that they are two separate rabbit holes you can go really deep into, which is something I do love. I know they can require cleaning after just a few shots depending on what propellent is used. Could you give just a high-level overview of the cleaning process? I'd imagine the breech plug is crucial and of course the barrel, but is it a matter of some wiping down with Hoppe's #9, running some wet patches through the barrel, and finishing off with some oil? Special tools required to maintain properly?

Thanks for the reply!

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14 minutes ago, Rusty said:

One of my favorite ways to hunt is still hunting with a muzzle loader after a fresh snow.   By winter most guys have left the woods so it’s quiet and the deer have calmed down.  It’s a beautiful time to be in the woods and poking around with a smoke pole makes it that much more exciting.    

This is EXACTLY what I'm picturing in my mind!

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Very few "cons" beyond cleaning, but as someone mentioned, that depends on the powder used to a degree.  For me, the biggest learning curve was immediately after my first shot at a deer.  I pulled the trigger, the gun went BOOM, and all I could see was smoke and white tails bounding away.  That takes some getting used to.  But when the smoke cleared, one of those tails wasn't still running away.  I prefer archery myself, but muzzy will open up some new seasons and opportunities.  And no need to break the bank buying one either which is nice.  I don't hunt mine much, but I do enjoy when I do. 

"A sinking fly is closer to Hell" - Anonymous 

 

https://www.troutscapes.com

https://nativefishcoalition.org/national-board

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16 minutes ago, mowin said:

Definitely, give it a try. I think you'll be surprised by how enjoyable it is.  

Lots of fantastic options out there from CVA, Thompson, Traditions.

Quite a few bullet and power choice too.  

There's a few guys on here that definitely know the ML ins and outs.  @sbuff, and @Buckmaster7600 are two that come to mind. 

 

I have a feeling I'll be hooked.

From what I've gathered poking around here and a couple other places, the Traditions Buckstalker and CVA Wolf are widely used by folks just getting into it, and even those that have been doing it for a while. I've also learned pretty quickly that Powerbelt bullets are largely regarded as paperweights, and Blackhorn 209 powder is the gold standard for propellent if you can find it/afford it along with the plug and primers to go with it. As far as 777 pellets vs 777 powder, is there a general rule, or is it more a matter of if you want to really dial in the load, go with powder as you can customize it down to the grain?

Am I on the right track with this line of thinking?

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23 minutes ago, ShootEm said:

Definitely inline...for the time being :rolleyes: It seems that they are two separate rabbit holes you can go really deep into, which is something I do love. I know they can require cleaning after just a few shots depending on what propellent is used. Could you give just a high-level overview of the cleaning process? I'd imagine the breech plug is crucial and of course the barrel, but is it a matter of some wiping down with Hoppe's #9, running some wet patches through the barrel, and finishing off with some oil? Special tools required to maintain properly?

Thanks for the reply!

Bore scrubber is a must in my opinion.  Makes it so easier to clean.  Spray that in, let it set, then clean it out and the inside of the barrel shines again.  Best of luck.  I'm not a hard core muzzleloader hunter as it's late season but I def love mine and it's possibly my most accurate gun for one shot at 100 yards.  

Edited by Robhuntandfish

"it's pointless for humans to paint scenes of nature when they can go outside and stand in it"- Ron Swanson

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16 minutes ago, ShootEm said:

Definitely inline...for the time being :rolleyes: It seems that they are two separate rabbit holes you can go really deep into, which is something I do love. I know they can require cleaning after just a few shots depending on what propellent is used. Could you give just a high-level overview of the cleaning process? I'd imagine the breech plug is crucial and of course the barrel, but is it a matter of some wiping down with Hoppe's #9, running some wet patches through the barrel, and finishing off with some oil? Special tools required to maintain properly?

Thanks for the reply!

Inlines are certainly easier to clean. Most if not all will have a removable (threaded) breechplug that you can pull to clean the barrel really easily. You'll want to look at the owners manual for whichever gun you get. Make sure you use a graphite lube when reinstalling the breechplug. You can really use anything to clean them from commercial gun cleaners to water and dawn dishsoap. Some guys even swear by plain water. 

For my sidelocks I use hot water (very hot water) and dishsoap. I then dry them very well and run a few patches with Balistol. I also store any with a pattent breech muzzle down to keep any oil/moisture from building up in the flash chamber. 

You want to make sure you clean them after every outing. Some guys swab between shots, I do not. We teach it to our kids, but it's a safety thing for us (though probably not necessary) making sure anything that might be left smouldering in the barrel is put out before putting powder down the barrel again. 

I also fire mine after each hunting trip and clean it. I know some guys that leave theirs loaded throughout the season. I have tried that, but had condensation occur and foul some of the powder. Fortunately it fired (I didn't have to pull the ball), but it was certainly not "right". 

Also, don't forget all of the accoutremants that go along with it. If you're going to be using loose powder you'll need a flask and measure, capper, etc. I'm on another forum dedicated to inlines that would be  great place to ask questions. PM me if you want the address, I don't want to advertise other forums on here. If you decide to get into sidelocks, I can lead you far astray with lots of resources :)

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16 minutes ago, ShootEm said:

I have a feeling I'll be hooked.

From what I've gathered poking around here and a couple other places, the Traditions Buckstalker and CVA Wolf are widely used by folks just getting into it, and even those that have been doing it for a while. I've also learned pretty quickly that Powerbelt bullets are largely regarded as paperweights, and Blackhorn 209 powder is the gold standard for propellent if you can find it/afford it along with the plug and primers to go with it. As far as 777 pellets vs 777 powder, is there a general rule, or is it more a matter of if you want to really dial in the load, go with powder as you can customize it down to the grain?

Am I on the right track with this line of thinking?

Unfortunately for you the hard part getting into the game or maybe the fun part if you’re into that stuff is over. It’s taken me a long time to have my stuff figured out the way I do. 
 

I’ll give you the same advice I give everyone for this question. 
 

Buy a cva wolf in stainless. The konus scope that comes in the package is not terrible and definitely an option if you’re trying to save some money. 
 

shoot blackhorn powder, yes it’s expensive but the advantages are there especially for a newbie. Some will say pellets are easier, I disagree if use my bow before I went back to them. “You’ll need to get a blackhorn specific breech plug”
 

Buy quality bullets, Barnes or Hornady are king in a sabot/bullet package. If you enjoy it that’s a rabbit hole you can go down later.

 

buy a bore snake and whatever cleaning oil you have now is all you’ll need to clean your muzzloader after the season “thanks blackhorn.”

 

If you’ve thought about getting into it it’s already too late, you’re hooked.

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1 hour ago, ShootEm said:

I have a feeling I'll be hooked.

From what I've gathered poking around here and a couple other places, the Traditions Buckstalker and CVA Wolf are widely used by folks just getting into it, and even those that have been doing it for a while. I've also learned pretty quickly that Powerbelt bullets are largely regarded as paperweights, and Blackhorn 209 powder is the gold standard for propellent if you can find it/afford it along with the plug and primers to go with it. As far as 777 pellets vs 777 powder, is there a general rule, or is it more a matter of if you want to really dial in the load, go with powder as you can customize it down to the grain?

Am I on the right track with this line of thinking?

After reading you post, I think it's too late to turn back. Lol

You know you want to...

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