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biglabsrule
September 24, 2006, 09:38 AM
I can admit I know about nothing on the subject, but would like to pick one up in the next week or so. Anyone have any tips on what to look for in one? Should I be aiming at a break action or an in line? Is .45 better than .50(I live in a brushy dense area)? I'm looking to spend 200-300 tops to have on up and ready, any suggestions? ty

nico
September 24, 2006, 01:17 PM
I haven't seen any advantages to a .45. I have a CVA Optima Pro (break action) in .50. It was a Christmas present last year, but I think it was around $350 with a camo stock, bases, rings, sling and a 3-9x32 Swift scope.

Cabelas has it with a black stock and iron sights $300.

Clayfish
September 24, 2006, 01:35 PM
I second the CVA Optima line because they are easy to shoot and clean. The wife got me one a couple Christmases ago and I love it. You can get the standard Optima for less. I would go with the .50 because it's better in the brush and packs more wallop. Go with triple seven pellets and a good bullet. I like the accuracy from the powerbelt bullets but they don't seem to hold up when you shoot a deer. I shot one last year at 15 yards and the bullet didn't even exit. I'm shooting CVA buckslayer conicals this year because of that. Muzzleloaders are great fun so good luck and good shooting.

Wild Bill Bucks
September 24, 2006, 01:41 PM
Lots of good ones out there. I would stay with 50 caliber. Only thing to watch out for is any extra pieces, that have to be used in order to shoot the rifle, such as a seperate priming tool (you don't want to have to keep up with it in your pocket while your hunting) and a cleaning rod, that you have to carry extra parts for in order to clean out, and load your rifle with.

Get a rifle that you can load and clean without having to keep up with all the different parts. I had one that you couldn't put a primer on without a special tool, and if you happen to loose it in the woods, your day is over. I also had one that had a cleaning rod that was to short, and you had to unscrew it to make it longer. A little to much pressure on it, and it breaks, and your day is over.

When you get ready to buy, ask some questions before you lay down the cash. If your dealer can't answer your questions. then read the brochure before you buy, or find another dealer.

I shoot a Thompson Encore, but they are about $550.00, but in my books, they are as good as you can get. Outside of a cleaning jag that has to be screwed on the end of the rod to make it long enough to clean out with, it needs no extra parts to load and shoot in the field. Since I can load about 3 rounds, without cleaning out, I don't even take the cleaning jag with me to the woods. If I can't hit a deer in three shots, I need to go back home and practice.:D

nico
September 24, 2006, 04:11 PM
Just a little more info on the optima pro. It doesn't require a special priming tool. It does have one of the extended ramrods that Wild Bill mentioned. It needs to be extended to clean the gun, but not to load it. I don't know if this is common to other muzzle loaders (this is the only one I've seen/handled in person), but the jag that's built into the ramrod has a concavity on the end that's large enough to load ballistic tips like Hornady SSTs without damaging the tip.

Desertfox
September 24, 2006, 04:34 PM
Some things are a must to me. I also shoot the CVA but a 3 year old Optima.

I like the break open. Easy, easy, easy.

You must get one that uses 209 primer.

I cannot emphasize enough, 209 primer.

Removeable nipple is nice. Stainless or Nickle(like mine) can be cleaned with hot, soapy, dawn, dishwashing liquid, water.

Nikon makes a (50 cal specific 150 grains of powder specific) scope called the Omega. Presighted for 100,150,200,250 yards.
I shoot powerbelt bullets because they kill what they hit and they shoot strait with 150 grains of pyrodex or 777 power.
Good luck and have fun.
Did I mention 209 primers?

MeekAndMild
September 24, 2006, 06:40 PM
Stainless is the way to go. It still needs a lot of cleaning but it won't rust as quickly if you get stuck in the woods all afternoon after shooting.

IMHO .50 is better than .45.

nico
September 24, 2006, 11:01 PM
I shoot powerbelt bullets because they kill what they hit and they shoot strait with 150 grains of pyrodex or 777 power.
it's important to note that because of its higher pressures, 150gr of triple seven isn't the same as 150gr of pyrodex or black powder. Hogdon's recommended max load of triple seven is 130gr, which they say is comparable to 150gr of pyrodex.

biglabsrule
September 25, 2006, 07:12 AM
New England SMS-056 Stainless Huntsman Muzzleloader 50 Caliber

what do you think about this one? comes in stainless and is 210 at wallworld..

Desertfox
September 25, 2006, 10:39 AM
It looks good. It is break open, removable nipple, 209 primer and stainless.
I show it selling for 212.89 at wallyworld.

Blackhawk Bob
September 26, 2006, 08:32 AM
I took the plunge into frontloaders a few years ago on an impulse buy. Wally World had the .50 caliber Traditions Pursuit LT in camo/nickle for $169, so I bought it. Added an el-cheapo ($79) Simmons 3X9, and viola', good to go out to 150 yards (lots of guys claim 200 yards, but I'm not that good). The gun is break action (highly recommended), a breeze to load and clean. You can pay a lot more, and you'll get a prettier machine that'll probably last longer, but I don't use the smoke pole exclusively, so it's worked very well for me.

I load up 100 grains of American Pioneer powder fffg (less fouling than 777 or Pyrodex), and Barnes Tipped MZ sabots in 250 grain. Devastating on deer, the all-copper bullets exhibit controlled expansion and great penetration.

As far as accessories, the thick, clear plastic flasks and powder measures are effective if you're a loose powder guy like me. The pellets I found varied a little more in performance than loose powder, but a lot of guys use 'em with fine success. I like to carry a small squeeze bottle of black powder solvent and pre-lubed patches for running through the bore between shots. One patch with solvent, one with lube, then load. While I don't find that accuracy suffers shooting 3 or 4 rounds without this routine, the sabots definitely get harder to load with each progressive shot, so I've just gotten in the habit of doing it. A ziplock for dirty patches keeps litter and stink to a minimum.

Hope that helps. In addition to extending your season, I think you'll find front loaders a blast to hunt with. With 100 grain loads, they reach out a long way very accurately, and are definitely more pleasureable at the range than my 870 with slugs.

FirstFreedom
September 26, 2006, 09:09 AM
If you're gonna get a "premium" one like Knights, I'd go ahead and take the plunge and get a T/C, preferably an Encore, so you can stick other barrels on it (rifle). I'd get a .50 cal - much easy to find accessories/bullets/powder for.

You hear mostly all good about the NEFs (Huntsman, etc). But you have to use these plastic primer-holders that have to be discarded/replaced about every 10-15 shots. I think the rifle comes with 5 of them.

The Rossi, also a very inexpensive break-open, while not American made, has the advantages over the NEF of being less money, a more swept-back hammer, meaning lower scope-mounting, and a manual safety.

Spur0701
September 26, 2006, 04:55 PM
I'm with Wild Bill on the Encore....but it also gives you a lot of versatility, in a few minutes you can put a different upper on it in almost any caliber from .17HMR to 338 Win Mag for a little over $200 (less optics of course)...the only drawback is when you initially buy the lower you have to do FFL paperwork.

biglabsrule
September 27, 2006, 07:17 AM
K, ty for the tips. I ended up going with a CVA Kodiak, takes 209 primers and is a pivot action. Looks like it'll more than do the trick for me. Paid 190 or so for it at wallyworld, would liked to have supported local shops but all they realy had were 350 and up besides starter kits.

Clayfish
September 27, 2006, 08:26 AM
Congrats, Read the manual and learn as much as possible. Stay safe and good shooting.

Desertfox
September 27, 2006, 11:18 AM
Congrats on the new addition to your firearms collection. Smile big for the first "game taken" picture, and post it on the firing line.