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I want to get into black powder with a historical rifle but I would need someting accurate enough to hunt with. Any suggestions for models I might take a look at?
 

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1st question is are you talking about black powder cartridges or muzzle loader?
If muzzle loader - caplock or flintolock?
 

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I'll be totally honest here. Old-School muzzle loaders belong on the wall or in the safe as an investment. Not used for hunting outdoors in todays age of VASTLY superior in-line muzzle loaders that can easily shoot sub 2 inch groups at 100 yards (with a scope under $100).

My Father gave me one of his old Thompson .50cal Percussion Cap Muzzle Loaders about 10 years ago. I shot it a few times, and...

... cursed at the sub par groups.
... cursed at not being able to mount a scope.
... had hang fires where the percussion cap failed to ignite the powder charge (209 primers are vastly better in the new in-lines).
... had to use a powder measure to actually measure the charge (vs using the preformed pellets for the in-line muzzle loaders).
... had extreme difficulty removing a bullet after it was loaded into the barrel.
... cursed every time I got home having to spend damn near 2 hours to get it completely clean.

I bought a CVA Optima Pro a few years back, and got it for less than 300 bucks with the stainless steel Bergara Barrel. It will fire the PowerBelt Platinum Bullets with a Magnum 150 Grain Powder Charge (I found the standard Copper PowerBelts were more accurate with a 130 Powder Charge) out to 250 yards to easily take down game.

I zeroed mine at 150 yards so the bullet trajectory goes from 4 Inches High at 100 yards to 6 Inches Low at 225 yards. At 250 Yards it drops 14 Inches, so I'd just aim at the top of a bucks back to put it into the vitals.



After taking the CVA out to the range twice (the pic you see above was with the stock fiber optic Sights on it's initial outing, I was averaging 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards with a cheap 60 dollar Bushnell Hunting Scope. I handed my Father his old muzzle loader back, thanking him for exposing me to the intolerable crankiness of those period firearms.

There is a reason why many states now allow the newer in-line muzzle loaders for hunting... it's because they are just plain easier to use, more accurate, and will get more Hunters to purchase Muzzle Loader Season Tags on their Hunting Licenses. ;-)

P.S. My first Buck was taken with this Muzzleloader at approx 220 yards. It dopped like a Silhouette Target sitting on a rug that a guy just yanked out from under it. Literally... KABOOM!!!! FLOP! I was very impressed, as was my happy Pappy! :D
 

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I'll be totally honest here. Old-School muzzle loaders belong on the wall or in the safe as an investment. Not used for hunting outdoors in todays age of VASTLY superior in-line muzzle loaders that can easily shoot sub 2 inch groups at 100 yards (with a scope under $100).

Yes, and everyone hunting with a long bow or recurve should trade them in for crossbows. Come on, I like hunting with my inline too, but I have killed my share of deer with my flintlock, percussion, and cap and ball revolver and still hunt with all of them. It depends on what type of black powder hunting you want to do.
 

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I'll be totally honest here. Old-School muzzle loaders belong on the wall or in the safe as an investment. Not used for hunting outdoors in todays age of VASTLY superior in-line muzzle loaders that can easily shoot sub 2 inch groups at 100 yards (with a scope under $100).
Yes, and everyone hunting with a long bow or recurve should trade them in for crossbows. Come on, I like hunting with my inline too, but I have killed my share of deer with my flintlock, percussion, and cap and ball revolver and still hunt with all of them. It depends on what type of black powder hunting you want to do.
I agree that the older examples are more than capable at taking a deer. If the name of the game is hunting and doing Civil War Reenactments, then by all means go with a old-school firearm. Otherwise I'd personally spend the cash on a firearm with current technology.

EDIT: I also don't miss my old Recurve Bow compared to my new PSE Forged Compound Bow, which I shoot with a release. It shoots light years better than the old Recurve. Also the trigger release makes it a lot easier to not twist the string as you're releasing the arrow. I can group my arrows so tight with the new bow that I have to fire one arrow apiece per target circle so I'm not constantly damaging my arrows from them all hitting each other.

I've always been an early adopter of new technology! :)
 

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If you are serious about traditional muzzleloading, there are a number of good flint longrifle makers out there. if you can be happy with a caplock, any of the TC, Traditions or early CVA (they had great barrels) traditional rifles will give good accuracy and reliability. They are a legitmate 100 yard gun with the proper load and projectile, but if using patched roundball, 50 is about it. As far as accuracy goes, with practice, and consistency in your load, any reasonable shooter should be able to shoot 2-3" all day at 50 yards with roundball. If you want to join the Lee Harvey Oswald school of shooting, (sniping at 200 yards) then an inline is the way to go, but I have taken plenty of game with a .62 smoothbore Tulle fusil and roundball, and the fun of loading it up with shot and hunting small game with it is a big plus. I have one friend who takes out a matchlock in deer season at least once or twice, and has done well with it. I think folks that tend to stress MOA accuracy over the actual experience of learning to shoot ML's well and actually taking game with a true primitive weapon are missing out.
 

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Get what you want, it's your choice and you should be the one that is happy. Some folks get all bent out of shape because someone else may like something different than what they like, ignore them. Also ignore the people who get all bent out of shape because people are not being "primative" enough, they think that scopes and inlines are bad and feel that it somehow has an effect on them.

I have a traditional cap lock CVA that works great at 50 yards and I can shoot fairly well out to 100.

I also have a NEF inline that has a 209 breech plug and scope, it is very accurate at 100 and could most likely do more than that.

Most cap lock guns fire just fine, if they hang fire or misfire it is almost always due to improper cleaning or ignorance on the part of the user. I can clean mine in about 20min max, hot soapy water and some bore cleaner...not a big deal.

I have never used a flint lock, I am going to guess that they may take a little more work to get perfected.
 

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TC Hawken is a "Traditional" gun. #10 presussion cap, loose powder and bore size bullet.

I personally hunt with an Encore, 100 grains of tripple 7 and a 240 grain hollow point in a sabot. 2" high at 50 yards, 0 at 100, 2" low at 125.
 

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I'll be totally honest here. Old-School muzzle loaders belong on the wall or in the safe as an investment. Not used for hunting outdoors in todays age of VASTLY superior in-line muzzle loaders that can easily shoot sub 2 inch groups at 100 yards (with a scope under $100).

Yes, and everyone hunting with a long bow or recurve should trade them in for crossbows. Come on, I like hunting with my inline too, but I have killed my share of deer with my flintlock, percussion, and cap and ball revolver and still hunt with all of them. It depends on what type of black powder hunting you want to do.
I agree with you Mike. You just need to know the limitations of what your hunting with and adjust accordingly.
 

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I'll be totally honest here. Old-School muzzle loaders belong on the wall or in the safe as an investment. Not used for hunting outdoors in todays age of VASTLY superior in-line muzzle loaders that can easily shoot sub 2 inch groups at 100 yards (with a scope under $100).

My Father gave me one of his old Thompson .50cal Percussion Cap Muzzle Loaders about 10 years ago. I shot it a few times, and...

... cursed at the sub par groups.
... cursed at not being able to mount a scope.
... had hang fires where the percussion cap failed to ignite the powder charge (209 primers are vastly better in the new in-lines).
... had to use a powder measure to actually measure the charge (vs using the preformed pellets for the in-line muzzle loaders).
... had extreme difficulty removing a bullet after it was loaded into the barrel.
... cursed every time I got home having to spend damn near 2 hours to get it completely clean.

I bought a CVA Optima Pro a few years back, and got it for less than 300 bucks with the stainless steel Bergara Barrel. It will fire the PowerBelt Platinum Bullets with a Magnum 150 Grain Powder Charge (I found the standard Copper PowerBelts were more accurate with a 130 Powder Charge) out to 250 yards to easily take down game.

I zeroed mine at 150 yards so the bullet trajectory goes from 4 Inches High at 100 yards to 6 Inches Low at 225 yards. At 250 Yards it drops 14 Inches, so I'd just aim at the top of a bucks back to put it into the vitals.



After taking the CVA out to the range twice (the pic you see above was with the stock fiber optic Sights on it's initial outing, I was averaging 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inch groups at 100 yards with a cheap 60 dollar Bushnell Hunting Scope. I handed my Father his old muzzle loader back, thanking him for exposing me to the intolerable crankiness of those period firearms.

There is a reason why many states now allow the newer in-line muzzle loaders for hunting... it's because they are just plain easier to use, more accurate, and will get more Hunters to purchase Muzzle Loader Season Tags on their Hunting Licenses. ;-)

P.S. My first Buck was taken with this Muzzleloader at approx 220 yards. It dopped like a Silhouette Target sitting on a rug that a guy just yanked out from under it. Literally... KABOOM!!!! FLOP! I was very impressed, as was my happy Pappy! :D
Not being trained in the practice of teaching nor diplomicy, I can only say that such willful ignorance is, sadly, not as rare as it use to be.
So, I'll pass and wish you well timeperson.
Robin
 
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