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Old November 1, 2002, 10:52 PM   #1
RevNate
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honest question- not intended to inflame

I've just begun to poke my head into this forum within the last couple of weeks and it seems there is an issue with the sidehammer guns vs. the inline guns. I've read several statements from those who seem to be experienced buckskinners who state that inline guns are not superior to the hammer guns in either accuracy or maintenance requirements. Still, there seems to be an attitude of dislike towards the inline rifles. Why? If they are not superior to the hammer guns, why is it "cheating" to hunt with an inline? Is it just an issue of aesthetics- or am I missing something? Just curious.

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Old November 1, 2002, 11:21 PM   #2
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Trying to keep it neutral

Hopefully this post stays civil. Being a recent convert to Black Powder, I'll try to give this one a shot.

First of all, I'm not sure where I come in on the accuracy question. I tend to believe that the over riding factor is the man behind the gun, and his devotion to learning that weapon. I am fairly sure that an in-line(IL) is more dependable than a sidehammer(SH). I have used both a Cabela's Hawkins, and a beast of a double-barreled rifle(I think it was Spanish...borrowed gun, heavy as all get out. ) With these two rifles, I don't know how many times I looked down to see that my percussion cap had fallen off the nipple. Also had a problem with a loose screw on the hammer. Caused the hammer to hit slightly off center. No bang. This cost me an Elk. Once again, it's what I get for being too cheap to buy my own gun, and using a borrowed one.

Why is there antagonism between the two groups? Well, I think it stems from the fact the in most states, the season were established after some hard lobbying by what you call Buckskinners. Guys that liked using muzzleloaders, whether SH or even Flint Lock, and felt that they deserved their own season. Hence, Muzzle Loader Season was created.

Firearm companies looked at the guns being used, and looked at the Hunting Regs the way they were written and said, 'Hey, there is room for improvement here!' And so, the IL was created.

One of the advantages an IL has of SH is the fact that a scope can be mounted on it. And then came the Shotgun Primers, and Magnums capable of 200 yard shots. A lot of buckskinners looked around and said, 'What has happened to our season?????' I know over open sights, I set my max range at 75 yards for a shot. Guys are doubling that NO problem. The Buckskinners get upset because they feel there season has been corrupted, and the purity removed from their sport.

I can't say I blame them. I don't really think it is an Elitest thing, allthough I'm sure that will come up somewhere on this thread.

I love Washington, because the rules are stated very clearly. The gun must be muzzleloaded, use a percussion cap, and have no glass sight on it. In my opinion, the scopes and shotgun primers are more the issue than IL vs SH.

Wow...if anyone actually read all this and understood it, I salute you!
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Old November 1, 2002, 11:51 PM   #3
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Well said...

There is just a feeling of accomplishment and pride to make meat the way our ancestors did.

I have killed antelope, deer and elk with a copy of the Medina Hawken. Got each one with one shot and each one was a true thrill.
.

I get the same feeling about inlines as I do when I see guys using sonar and all the other gadgets to catch fish.

There is room for us all, but I take pride in hunting with the tools that the old timers used.







..
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Old November 2, 2002, 02:41 AM   #4
Tom Matiska
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Once upon a time "muzzle loader" season in PA was actually "primitive weapons" season. FLintlock only, round ball only. no optics.

I strongly disagree with PA Game Commission's decision to allow modern MLs during the early ML doe hunt. Folks hunting deer with bow or flintlock should enjoy the benefit of their own separate season with reduced blaze orange requirement. Scoped inline 209's with pellet driven sabots are legit 150-200 yard weapons. Take away the requirement to look for antlers, and you take away all the fun of wearing camo.


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Old November 2, 2002, 11:35 AM   #5
4V50 Gary
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Tradition. Some folks prefer traditional firearms while others see it as an opportunity to extend their hunting. That's essentially what it boils down to.

As for myself, I'm traditional but if I were to cheat, I'd use a rifled musket barrel to make a flintlock. Nothing like hitting out at 300 yards with ease.
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Old November 2, 2002, 11:42 AM   #6
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not really cheating

To extend my earlier marathon:

If the rule books allow it, I guess it's not really cheating. As for extending hunting seasons, I know here in Washington, you do one or the othr, either Muzzle Loader, or modern, or Archery. Once you buy your tag, you have commited.

What it REALLY comes down to is what your goal is. Is your goal to get in the woods and have a great experience, or is your goal to fill your tag using the most modern technologies available. I know there are guys that are so excited just to be in the woods hunting, having the camp experince, actually taking a shot is secondary to them. But, once again, with the rising cost of tags and licences, I can't really blame someone who just wants to fill his freezer.
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Old November 3, 2002, 11:42 PM   #7
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Thanks to all of you for the insight. I, too am glad to see the discussion has remained civil. I asked the question because I've hunted with both and aside from the difference in appearance, I've never noticed a significant difference between them. I started muzzleloading with a .45 cal T/C Kentucky rifle when the rifle was longer than I was. Getting that ramrod started was quite a feat for a 9 yr. old kid. I later got a hawken .50 and loved it, but it was used and well-worn when I got it. I used up what life was left in it. I then received an inline as a gift. I hunted with open sights then on everything- muzzleloader, modern gun. I have scopes on all of my hunting rifles now (including my inline) because the rules for the definition of a legal buck changed in my state and I felt having some magnification was a valued safeguard against shooting a 2" spike for a doe, etc. I have to admit, I do sort of miss lugging around that Kentucky rifle. But, I do shoot musket caps on my inline. Does that earn me any points? ha ha.

I have decided to get a blackpowder squirrel rifle for a little extra challenge. Maybe that will make up for "cheating"on deer with an inline.

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Old November 3, 2002, 11:59 PM   #8
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I have mixed feelings about the in-line guns. First of all, I am not a hard core blackpowder hunter. I grew up in a state where rifles were not permitted for deer hunting. At the time, the muzzleloader was the best choice (best chance of success) over a smoothbore shotgun with bead sight or archery. I still hunt that state every few years, but today, the legal weapons haved changed with technology. They have a "gun season" during which you can use any legal weapon, and they have a primitive weapons season. I normally hunt the "gun" season and intend to use an in-line ML with scope this year. This is a little different situation than the previous posts indicate because again, no rifles are allowed. However, I could be using a shotgun with a rifled barrel and scope, or a handgun with scope. I don't think that using a ML with a scope provides me with any unfair advantage over anyone else.
I am traditional enough that if I was hunting the primitive weapons season, I would use a side lock percussion gun with open sights. I have never owned a flint lock, but if that was my only option, I suppose that would be a good excuse to buy one.
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Old November 4, 2002, 05:50 PM   #9
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When I was a little kid, during muzzleloader season, the parking lot at the public land I hunted on was empty or had one pickup. Not anymore-it's almost as busy as firearms season. Now, every fella who drags a 30/30 into the woods come firearms season, also has an inline muzzleloader and is out for that extra week of deer hunting. If they simply extended modern firearms seasons in most states, I'd wager that inlines would nearly disappear.
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Old November 4, 2002, 06:56 PM   #10
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Inlines would be gone overnight if they were made ileagal to hunt with in the muzzleloader season.

Hardly no one shoots these things for sport and fun.
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Old November 6, 2002, 12:02 AM   #11
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They didn't have synthetic stocks or look like modern bolt action rifles, but inlines are nothing new, remember they were being used before during and after the civil war in applications of target shooting and sniping, they were called underhammers and they provided a direct line of fire from the percussion cap to the powder charge. Just my two cents into the discussion.
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Old November 11, 2002, 08:10 PM   #12
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I just don't see the point.

I just don't see the point to the Hi-Tech ML. Why would you want a scope to make long range shots? Why would you want to use modern bullets fired from sabots for a higher FPS? All the "new" stuff defeats the point of muzzle loading. As a hunter, you just have to be honest with yourself about why you are in the field. If you just need to fill the freezer, get yourself a bolt, lever, semi auto, or any other modern weapon and be done with it. If you want to do it "old school" with a front stuffer accept that fact that you will have to pass on "iffy" shots and may go home with an empty pick-up. The in-lines are an interesting concept and they do have their place. But if it uses shotgun primers, fires sabot jacketed ammo, and is aimed with a scope, it is not traditional. Save it for the open season. Be a good sportsman and give the traditional hunters their season.
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Old November 21, 2002, 04:33 PM   #13
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Live and let live. Honestly, I could care less what the traditionalists think of my gun. I don't tell them how to live their lives, and I expect the same courtesy.

I use an inline muzzleloader with a scope because it allows me to extend the hunting season in a state where the season is far too short.

Do I shoot it for sport? For fun? Nope. It's a hunting tool that gives me a better chance of filling the freezer by season's end in a legal fashion. Got a six-point buck with it a couple of weeks ago. All I can say is that the meat has been mighty tasty so far.

I don't even look at this part of the board too often because of the negative reception given to inline shooters. But I thought I'd add my two cents to this thread.
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Old November 24, 2002, 08:29 PM   #14
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A question to the inliners

Why is there a special muzzle loading season?
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Old November 25, 2002, 03:24 PM   #15
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Yes, most states have a seperate muzzleloading only deer season.

Buckskinners and muzzleloading rifle shooters got togather and called on the lawmakers to grant them a seprate season away from modern firearms.
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Old November 26, 2002, 12:20 AM   #16
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J. Redneck,
Don't kid yourself. The muzzleloading season exists so that the State Wildlife and Fisheries can sell hunters another liscense. People who have the most problems with modern inline users misunderstand the wording in most cases. It isn't necessarily a traditional or primitive weapons season, its a blackpowder or muzzleloading season, at least it is in my state. And many of the hunters who take advantage of the additional opportunities aren't necessarily traditional or primitive hunters, they're DEER hunters who just love to hunt and will take advantage of any and all opportunities available. Personally, I fall into this category. I have taken deer with shotgun, rifle, bow and arrow, muzzleloader, and handgun. I love to hunt, and take advantage of the extra week at the beginning, and at the end of regular gun season. It dosen't bother me if the guy hunting near me wears buckskins, and shoots a primitive weapon. That's his choice. We all challenge ourselves in different ways. When I challenge myself to take a deer with an open sighted handgun, it still dosen't bother me if the next hunter over is using a scoped, high powered rifle.
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Old November 26, 2002, 11:28 PM   #17
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I've owned both

The only difference to me was that in-line has a sliding cover to keep the rain and snow off the cap. But then I never liked sabots or used pyrodex, even made most of the accessories myself.

The timing of the season here is in December. Rain and snow are standard conditions, if it wasn't raining or snowing you can bet it's so cold that you can't even cap a nipple. The timing of this season is after a whole month of bow hunting and the regular firearms season. Pretty slim pickings for somebody already hunting at a supposed disadvantage. Seems a more likely spot would be to move it up to the two weeks between bow and rifle season or maybe even have it coincide with bow season?

Traded off my in-line for an SKS, back to the side hammers for me. It wasn't enough of an advantage that I can't cope without it. As for telling others what they can or can't do...Well, that's not my thing.
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Old December 6, 2002, 10:46 AM   #18
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Easy answer...

Quote:
Why is there a special muzzle loading season?
Umm, so one can hunt with a rifle loaded from the muzzle? That'd be my first guess. Inline, percussion, flintlock, matchlock, they're all primitive firearms as opposed to the guns intended for the other season - metallic cartridge.

One could argue that the current crop of crossbows, legal in several states, violates the intent of bow season, too. Elitism will always rear it's ugly head.
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Old December 7, 2002, 02:54 PM   #19
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Yes, I suppose it will rear its ugly head. I guess in the end, when the "law" is not spelled out to the letter, we all have to use our own judgement.

If that makes me a snob, so be it.
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Old December 23, 2002, 11:43 PM   #20
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I
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Old May 19, 2004, 02:22 AM   #21
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Modern inlines are for people with no class.
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Old May 19, 2004, 08:23 PM   #22
4V50 Gary
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I have a replica Ferguson so I guess I shouldn't take that hunting. Darn it (as if I could afford to use that as a hunting rifle). Now, if someone were to make a Lazeroni that would be something else.

The Lazeroni flintlock had two internal magazines - one for powder and the other for ball. You turned that handle on the side of the rifle (where the sideplate normally is) and you chambered a ball and picked up a charge of powder. It has to be in absolute perfect working order less the rifle goes kaboom. Considering that the powder was stored in the stock, a kaboom might result in dental work, if you're lucky. Being a complicated and expensive to make gun, only a few were made (for the aristocracy of course) and the most advanced flintlock of its time never reached the troops (thankfully so as they probably couldn't give it proper care).
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Old May 20, 2004, 03:48 PM   #23
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I don't own an Inline and never intend to, but if a person choses to shoot or hunt with one, that's there business. I say more power to them. If it goes BOOM,I approve.
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Old May 30, 2004, 09:05 PM   #24
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Inlines, as noted due provide an extension of the numbers hunting with frontloaders. Maybe a good system insofar as that is a little more forgiving (safety related), for those who aren't inclined to be shooting this type of weapon with regularity. Side hammers, specific handling 'rules', often of real interest to those who know the history. Those who don't check on these, could be very troublesome to be around.
There were inlines, as already noted, back in the time when muzzle loading was the norm. But of limited use due to the slower rate of fire, and replacement time for a failed cap. At least compared to the military high water mark of this system, things such as the Enfield and Springfield rifled muskets.
Excepting the rapture of having to carry these 'wagon guns', they do make good hunting rifles. Especially when set up for the old waxed paper catridges, very useful excepting the black teeth.
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Old May 31, 2004, 01:36 AM   #25
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Ya know I run across sort of the same reaction when discussing my "Nipple Guns" Percussion guns with die hard Flintlock shooters at Rendevous events. I do shoot traditional guns in the sence that I shoot sidehammer Percussion and Flintlock guns with real wood stocks, iron sites, and I burn real black powder in them. In terms of accuracy it would take one heck of a shooter to match the performance of my Whitworth with a scoped inline. Not bragging just stating a fact. That rifle is more accurate than the vast majority of shooters out there. I supose that if you wanted to get technical about it you could call my Cap & Ball revolvers Inlines of a sort, in which case then I do own a bunch of inlines. I shoot traditional style guns because I enjoy the sence of history in them.
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