View Full Version : Is This muzzle loading??

August 6, 2002, 05:33 PM
I wen tout with my new Thmpson to the range yesterday. Here in Pa, for the longest time it was illigal to use maxi balls untill recently and the only thing you could use was a flintlock. Everything was to be matched as close as realistically possible to how the pioneers did it during ML season. That was the whole idea a sport ya know?
Well I get there and there are these guys there with IN-Lines ( I guess you call them)
Fully equipped with scopes, shooting brass hollowpointed saboted slugs they claimed there were going to use for hunting, etc. These inlines aren't like flintlock at all, and combined with the scopes and the ammo, I figure they may as well legally be able to take a 30-30 rifle out into the woods with them for ML season.
Where is the sport in all that??
ALOT OF THESE NEW "MUZZLE LOADERS ARE VERY MUCH LIKE REGULAR RIFLES.. Seems to take away the entire concept if you ask me.....

Ok, end of rant..sorry

August 6, 2002, 07:31 PM
Yup, you're right

August 6, 2002, 08:40 PM
Well, you are right about the modern equipment being decidedly non-traditional.


I see both sides. While I can appreciate a traditionalist mindset, I also appreciate the increased accuracy of a scoped inline with modern muzzleloading bullets.

From a hunter's standpoint, I'm looking for the most accurate shot for killing a deer. And frankly, as long as my muzzleloader is legal in the hunting woods, I don't care about tradition. I want my kills to be as sure and as humane as possible. I'll take a newfangled Powerbelt bullet over a round ball any day. And if they did decide to let .30-30s out of the closet during muzzleloading season, I'd be out there with my Marlin. As an ethical hunter, my obligation is to the deer--not to the past.

But then I bought a muzzleloader only for hunting about a week out of the year. I'm not in it for traditionalist sport. If I were, I'd be right there ranting with you.

I suspect there are quite a few traditionalists on this board, and as a newbie here, I mean no offense. But I don't think that folks need to look down their noses at other folks just because we're not shooting a flintlock. I recently bought my first muzzleloader, and I bought it with hunting, and hunting alone, in mind. I hope there's still room for me among the blackpowder folks...

August 6, 2002, 08:49 PM
I definately do see your point from a humane aspect..However, I think for the most Part it could be taken care of quite well simply from putting more range time in and practicing more.
I think the idea of using some of this newer stuff really creates too much of an advantage. Depending on where you live, it's getting to the point where they make so many special seasons, and making it get easier and easier to shoot the deer that in some areas it may be very destructive to the deer population in the smaller areas.


August 6, 2002, 08:56 PM
Points well taken. I concede that one can still hunt effectively with an "old school" smokepole--given that you know your gun and load and that you get close enough to the deer. There's something to be said for a hunter who can humanely take a deer with older technology.

But I would worry about hunters who don't put in the time and wind up wounding a lot of animals.

As for the populations, I don't see that as a problem down around where I live. Heck, down in GA (neighboring state) this year, the limit is 10 antlerless deer and 2 antlered deer. That sounds to me like the Wildlife Division is trying to control the population.

August 6, 2002, 09:16 PM
10 antlerless!!! Wow, I think I need to move :eek:

Jimmy Mac
August 6, 2002, 09:29 PM
Inlines are for folks that do not wish to learn the basics of shooting and hunting. They tend to rely on technology to do it for them.

Jimmy Mac
August 6, 2002, 09:38 PM
Posted by guyon

"There is something to be said for a hunter that can humanely take a deer with older technology"

Anyone that shoot a rifle can do this.

There is no need for an inline. They are only nessary because those that do not know any better think they are nessary.

My flintlock or any of my caplocks will put a ball into a deers heart or neck at 100 yards or less with 100% accuracy and reliability.

All that is needed is average shooting ability and some basic knowlage of guns.

August 6, 2002, 10:07 PM
Inlines are for folks that do not wish to learn the basics of shooting and hunting.

Jimmy Mac: That's some of the most elitist crap I've read in quite a while. Tell it to the thousands of hunters who hunt with modern, scoped centerfires. More than a few of them will argue that the basics of shooting and hunting are still required during gun season.

To read your post, one would think that the ONLY way to shoot (or hunt) is with the oldest technology available. You imply that owning an inline is akin to napping on the LazyBoy of shooting.

Rubbish, I say. Your post reminds me of the elitism I encounter at the clays range when I show up with a synthetic Remington 1100. To hear some of those guys, you can't break a clay unless you're shooting a $5000 Perazzi. Apparently, I shouldn't muzzleload unless I have a vintage flintlock. In both cases, it's the same. I'm not in the right "clique," so I shouldn't get to play.

If you have a problem with the advances in technology, I suggest you head out to the deer woods this fall, smear mud all over your body, and kill your deer with a pointy stick. Or just strangle it with your bare hands.

Where is this antagonism against inlines (centerfires too?) coming from? Are traditionalists simply angry that more hunters are entering the woods during muzzleloading season? Is it about other folks encroaching on a span of the hunting season traditionalists used to have all to themselves?

August 6, 2002, 10:26 PM
Guyon, calm down, take a breath..
I think what he was trying to say was that an inline is not a neccessity. Alot of people used to look down on the idea of hunting with a flintlock due to the fact it takes more practice ( and patience) to learn how to shoot them accurately. With the advent of inlines, it seem that more people seem to think that somehow, this new product will make up for lack of that practice and patience.
I don't think he meant anything against you.

August 6, 2002, 10:53 PM
I totally concede that an inline is not a necessity. It does, however, offer some advantages that I like. And if it's legal, I'll use it. Maybe that makes me uncool in the eyes of the "in" crowd of muzzleloaders. In the parlance of Valley speak, "Whatever..."

I can't say what Jimmy Mac meant. I can only read what he wrote and infer a tone from his posts. With quotes like these,

"Inlines are for folks that do not wish to learn the basics of shooting and hunting."

"There is no need for an inline. They are only nessary because those that do not know any better think they are nessary."

I can only infer that I'm:
A) unfit to practice the basics of good shooting and hunting with my inline
B) ignorant

In another post, Jimmy Mac writes, "It is harder and takes more time to clean an inline than a real rifle." All of a sudden, it seems I'm not shooting a real rifle. Call me crazy, but such a statement reeks of elitism. It just seems I'm not welcome at the party with my modern muzzleloader. So be it. This snubbing of one's nose at another shooter simply because of his/her gun of choice just rubs me the wrong way.

I've spent hours at the range working on offhand shooting, trigger pull, breathing, visualization, etc. I'm just curious as to how an inline will suddenly change all that.

Yeah, maybe I'm over-reacting. I know muzzleloading is different from centerfire shooting. I know I'll have to work harder on developing a load that fits my gun, and I know I won't have the same range as during gun season.

But as for making the shot, if you have a reliable system for delivery, aren't the basics just the same? Target acquisition, breathing, trigger pull, follow through are all the same as on centerfire rifles. Am I wrong here? Why would anyone think differently?

Jimmy Mac
August 7, 2002, 02:03 PM
Muzzloading season is for hunting the old way with old type rifles.

That was the intention of the season to start with.

Folks that can not tolerate the old style guns or could not learn to shoot them sayed home.

The inline allows folks to cheat by bending the rules just so they can infringe on OUR season.

You knew what it was about all of you did before you bought the inlines. You knew you were bending the rules so if someday they become ilegal to use in muzzleloading season you can't cry and moan about it. You will be stuck with a useless rifle that you never liked to begin with.

Inlines are MODERN guns. Use them in the modern gun season if you are so fond of them.

August 7, 2002, 02:08 PM
Swatman - as I understand the Game regualtion in PA, the in-lines are legal for rifle season, but ML season is still only for flintlocks and only open sights.

See this page from the PA Game Commission Website

August 7, 2002, 02:35 PM
Just as I thought. Sour grapes. Given the amount of legislative clout the gun lobby has, I sort of doubt that inlines are suddenly going to become illegal where they are legal now. Jimmy, I guess you should get used to the fact that muzzleloading season is OUR season. That includes all muzzleloaders, flintlock and inline alike.

Jimmy Mac
August 7, 2002, 02:50 PM
If they started a deer season only for tall black women for two days in October you would see loads of short white men buying dresses, high heels, bras and suntan lotion in WalMart.

This is called cheating.

It is no different than using a modern gun in muzzleloading season.

It is no different than using your 30-06 in a shotgun only hunt.

It is no different than using your shotgun in bow season.

Jimmy Mac
August 7, 2002, 04:16 PM
The General Assembly of our state last year almost baned the use of inline guns in the muzzleloading deer season.

I got some of the details from a man that was there.

99% of them agreed that the modern inline rifle had no place in the muzzleloading season.

The fact that the state would lose money because of less hunting license sells became more of an issue than right and wrong.

Maybe next year.

August 7, 2002, 05:51 PM
If 99% agreed, I'm stumped as to why new laws weren't passed. That's exactly what we need by the way--more restrictions on hunters and shooters.

I did a bit of reading using the search function. I'm happy to report that in the threads about this debate, most folks had a laissez faire attitude. That is, given the amount of restrictions already in place on hunters as well as the decline in hunting and its increased vilification in the public eye, the majority of TFL'ers in three separate threads were for anything that brings new hunters into the sport. I feel sorry for those people whose protective greed for a portion of the hunting season keeps them from seeing the big picture.

I recall a good piece I recently saw in the NRA Hunter magazine. To summarize: A "traditionalist" calls in an order for shooting supplies, and with each item, he demands only traditionally prepared items made out of "authentic" materials. Finally, when he's satisfied, he tries to pay with a credit card to no avail. That's because the supplier insists on recieving payment in gold or silver. Moreover, the order will be shipped by pack mule and will arrive 4 to 6 months after payment.

Moral: You can get carried away with this traditionalist mindset to the detriment of hunting and the RKBA. I wonder how many traditionalists ride their horses out to their hunting sites.

Don't miss the forest for the trees.

Jimmy Mac
August 7, 2002, 08:28 PM
The muzzleloader season is for buckskinners and muzzloading enthuseists to have a hunting season all their own.

This is not my "opinion" or just my "feelings" on the subject it is the very reason that the muzzleloading season was started.

This is the reason that the Dept of Fish and Wildlife set aside this season. The words are theirs not mine.

I just happen to very much agree with them.

It just so happens that some people used to ride their horses to the hunt but now they cant because of all the nuts in the woods from NYC with inlines watching them through their scopes. Makes their horses a little jumpy so most just walk in now.

August 7, 2002, 09:59 PM
Different States, Different Laws. I know that here in Washington, while you can't use scopes or the shotgun primers, we do have in-lines. last year, my first year doing muzzle loading, I carried a Euopean Double barrel that weighed about 12 pounds. While I felt that some of the guys using synthetic stocked in-line weren't in the spirit of things, out of the 50+ hunters I encountered, none of them were wearing coon-skin caps.

To me, your in-lines aren't the problem, it's the scopes. I saw an add for one of the in-lines advertising a 200 yard shot. WOW. Over iron sights, I'm scared to shoot much more than 80 yards at an Elk. Something that can shoot 200 yards probably belongs in modern season. It's a safety issue for us...no orange required during muzzle loader season. In Washington, it was never set up for the 'Traditionalists'.

Jimmy Mac: We used to bring horses out in the woods during Modern firearms season, and I never once saw them get skittish.

August 7, 2002, 10:30 PM

I'm with this fellow. "If it loads from the front, it's a muzzleloader."

Snobbery is snobbery, no matter where it comes from. And as always, it's both silly and pitiful.

Mind you, I have nothing but respect for traditionalists who have developed competency with their chosen guns. But when you start holding hunters up to rather subjective criteria (How long and how often have you shot a muzzleloader? Is it a sidelock? Do you wear buckskin? etc.), then where do you draw the line? What makes one hunter "worthy" of muzzleloader season and another hunter "unworthy"? What about the hunter who buys an inline but later gets into sidelocks as a result? Should that hunter be ostracized because of his earlier choices? Can you measure enthusiasm? Should you?

I've tried to understand the traditionalist mindset, but it reeks of an elitist attitude. ("If you're not one of us, you don't count.") And one of the biggest detriments to hunters and the RKBA community is infighting. As I said before, anything that brings in new shooters and new hunters is okay in my book.

Sorry, but as long as I'm using a gun that loads from the front, as long as I have to work up my desired load, and as long as I'm taking responsible shots in the field, I feel fully entitled to use my legal inline during muzzleloader season. If others don't like it, they'll just have to lump it.

4V50 Gary
August 8, 2002, 10:01 AM
OK guys. Muzzle loading is muzzle loading regardless whether it's flintlock, percussion, mule's ear, underhammer, rifled or smoothbore. Per se unless the State Legislature says so or the legislative intent is clear from the reading of the legislative minutes, it's not cheating. What if we were caught in the woods with a Ferguson? That's cheating, isn't it? Let's say we have video tape from that day showing that the Ferguson is loaded from the muzzle. Per se even with this "evidence" being accepted as authentic by a court, it's still cheating.

I don't own an inline and most my guns are either flint or percussion and the majority of the latter are Civil War repros. I personally believe the in-line lacks the artistic ingredients that makes the Golden Era and pre-Revolutionary War rifle so appealing. However, has anyone here ever considered that if given the opportunity, even Daniel Boone would have carried an inline over Ticklicker. How about 'ole Dan speaking regularly with Becky on a cellular phone & using NVGs/thermal imagers during a long hunt?

Jimmy Mac
August 8, 2002, 02:06 PM
A Ferguson is more like it even though it is a breech loader. At least it is pre 1840.

The Civil War rifle muskets are not pre 1840 but they are the real thing even if they are a reproduction gun. They should fit in during the season.

What is needed is two muzzleloading seasons. A moden muzzleloader season where inlines are welcome and a seperate season for the real thing.

4V50 Gary
August 8, 2002, 02:35 PM
I agree on two seasons. That will give me a reason to buy an in-line and double the hunting.

August 8, 2002, 04:53 PM
I am not sure that in Daniel Boon's time they were hunting so much for sport, but to eat..
My origional point was that to me, it si indeed a sport, so it should be somewhat challenging. I think alot of these newer guns take alot of the challenge away. I did not intend to condemn anyone who uses an inline or whatever. But I was trying to get an idea of how other people thought about it. While I don't condemn inline hunters, I do have to scratch my head and wonder where the sport of muzzle loading is going.

August 9, 2002, 10:55 AM
A better answer would be to have only ONE season. Simply a long, general, deer season, open to all types of sporting weapons. Instantly, you would see a hugh sale on in-line muzzleloaders! Because their owners were never interested in the challenges of muzzleloading hunting in the first place, and have all gone back to their centerfire rifles.

And I'll still be huntin' with my old musket.

Jimmy Mac
August 9, 2002, 12:08 PM
Exactly. No one would own them if there was no muzzleloading season.

August 10, 2002, 12:07 PM
Every thing Guyon states reflects my opinion.
Thanks for keeping the thread "on-track", Guyon.:cool:

Jimmy Mac
August 10, 2002, 12:36 PM
The muzzleloading season was started for muzzleloading enthusiasts and buckskinners.

How many inline enthusiasts do you know?

How many get togather to shoot these for fun.

How many forms of shooting competitions are open to inlines. Do the inline shooters ever have formal shooting matches?

All over the US large groups of buckskinners and muzzleloader shoters get togather for camps and shooting competition. In Friendship Inn. alone thousands of people from all over the world gather twice a year for the spring and fall shoot.

So many people make buckskinning a way of life. Every weekend smaller groups of people shoot muzzleloaders for fun and in formal competition.

99% of the people that own inlines only use them for one reason. To hunt deer in our season.

They do not even like their rifles. They dont even want to shoot them because they are such a bitch to clean.

I see them every year just before deer season in gun shops and on public ranges.

They bought all the BS that they were told that is nessary to hunt with. They have their Pryodex pellets and their JHP bullets wrapped in plastic and their shotgun primers.

After three shots they cant force a sabot down the barrel without beating their ramrod against a tree.

After a few shots the plastic residue is built up so bad that what little accuracy they had is gone. They can't even keep them on the paper. They are happy after a while for a 4 inch group at 25 yards because "everyone KNOWS that is all a muzzleloader will do".

Sometimes they decide that their new rifle is junk and they go back to the gunshop and trade it for another inline that is supposed to shoot 1,000 yards using 15 pryodex pellets when they have already admitted that their shot at deer will be at less than 75 yards.

They come back the next day and the whole BS starts one again.

They then tell me that the inlines are so much better and eaiser to use than my rifle. But it will shoot in the rain they say but if it is raining they stay at home.

When they clean them they spend more time removing their breechplug than I do cleaning my rifle. They still cant get ALL of the plastic residue out of the bore.

The inline has only one advantage over a real rifle. It is more reliable when dirty. This is a real advantage for those too lazy to clean their rifles.

August 10, 2002, 11:27 PM
To the muzzleloading traditionalist:

Yes, my inline's for hunting--just like my Remington 700 and my Marlin 336. I'm sure it'll be a little more work, but that's fine. It's a tool just like my other guns, and I'll put in the time necessary to become proficient with it.

I don't put my rifle up on some sort of pedestal. I don't use it to make myself feel like I'm part of some clique of shooters. My rifle is not my identity. I didn't buy it out of some obligation to tradition or to the past. I bought it for hunting.

I'm not an inline or muzzleloading enthusiast. Probably never will be if the elitist tendencies of certain posters on this board are any indication of the larger traditionalist muzzleloading community.

I'm a hunter, and I'll use what is legal for hunting. It's legal to use my inline and to scope my gun in Tennessee. I'll do both. If muzzleloading traditionalists in Tennessee don't like it, I suggest they lobby and vote for a law change.

Despite the "expert" opinion of folks like Jimmy Mac, the inline offers advantages that appeal to me. My money, my choice. Hell, I'll even use Pyrodex pellets and 209 primers. Again, my money, my choice. I'm going to try CVA's Powerbelt bullets too. Supposedly much less plastic residue and less cleaning. We'll see if that's true at the range.

I'll practice with my rifle. I'll be proficient and ethical with my rifle. I don't plan on taking any shots over 100 yards--the distance at which it will be zeroed.

Love me. Hate me. Don't give a crap about me. Honestly, I could care less. If you want to, you can even make the mistake of thinking you're somehow a better shooter or hunter than me just because you shoot a sidelock. Your opinion doesn't mean much to me, because you don't know me from Adam. That's because you take one look at my rifle and decide you already know me. Again, your mistake.

August 11, 2002, 05:22 PM
Let me try to explain why it is that most "traditionalists" are against the in-lines:

The title of this forum is "Black Powder and Cowboy Action Shooting". Now, Cowboy Action Shooting was started by a bunch of guys who wanted to shoot old cowboy-style guns. Much like the traditional muzzleloaders who got the various state game departments to set aside a special black powder deer season. CAS has become very popular. Some shooting ranges are starting to set aside special days/nights at their ranges for CAS only. Now, there are alot of guys who would like to get onto the range during these special sessions. They're not really interested in cowboy-style guns, they just like to shoot. Kinda like in-line shooters who just like to hunt deer.

Now let's say, just for the sake of argument, that the rules governing CAS were not written with foresight to expect that some shooters would try to take advantage of the cowboy spirit. Next thing ya know, new shooters are entering the cowboy matches with AR-15's and Glocks. When the traditional cowboy guys, who are still using lever-guns and single-actions, start to complain. The modern shooters snap back with, "Stop whining. The object of the sport is higher scores, and I can get higher scores with my modern guns, and hey, it's legal!"

Just because it's legal, doesn't make it right!!!

And just because modern gadgets "improve your score", doesn't make them appropriate!!!

The object of CAS is to get high scores with COWBOY guns, which have certain limitations, not just get high scores with any weapon. And the object of black powder deer season is to hunt deer with TRADITIONAL muzzleloaders, which also have certain limitations, not hunt deer with modern rifles that only lack a brass cartridge case.

Anyone who argues otherwise is just not being honest with himself or his fellow hunters.

August 11, 2002, 06:05 PM
Dave, I see your point, but I again repeat that this mentality is all about the trees and has little to do with the forest.

Simply put, many traditionalists can't see past their own noses and their own greed. They want the woods all to themselves during muzzleloader season. Perhaps "primitive weapons only" WAS the original intent of the muzzleloading season, but intents change. Our legal system is based on interpretation, and many states have chosen to interpret muzzleloader as flintlock or inline.

The forest to which I refer above has to do with two major concerns that are more important (in my mind anyway) than protecting a hunting season exclusive to primitive shooters.

First, states recognize that some measures need to be taken in order to insure greater game management. Allowing more hunters into the woods during BP season (which in several states resulted in a shorter gun season in the first place) cuts down on burgeoning herds. Now certainly, this premise is contingent on whether you think herds need greater management, but in so many locales these days, wildlife officials seem to think so.

Second, hunters are a dying breed. If you check statistics, the number of issued licenses has long been on an overall downward slide. That means less money for game management, and it means that less hunters are entering the woods or picking up the sport. If modern inlines increase the enjoyment of the sport for even a few hunters (especially younger hunters), then they are more than worthwhile in my opinion.

Traditionalists' arguments are territorial in nature. ("Stay out of MY part of the season.") My point of view is more concerned with the wildlife we hunt and the sport itself. In my mind, life is too short to argue over how one hunter enjoys himself in the woods. There are too few of us in the first place, and infighting among hunters only gives antis more fodder.

All this said, I suppose we'll just have to agree to disagree.

That's my honest take.

August 11, 2002, 08:38 PM
Agree to disagree, I agree, but here's why I disagree.

Many of your last post's points are based upon false assumptions.

1) Traditionalist arguments are based on greed. "They want the woods all to themselves."

This assumption is way off. The reason I used the Cowboy Action Shooting mataphor, was because both groups (CAS and Traditional Muzzleloaders) are amoung the most gregarious people you will ever find. They welcome newcomers. Truely, the more the merrier! The competition for both scores and game animals is a distant 2nd or maybe 7th on their list of the favorite shooting/hunting experiences.

(Within the world of guns, Type "A" personalities abound, but most of the "driven" individuals are pushing the outside of the envelope, with ultra modern guns, lazers, rapid-fire, large caliber, etc.)

Think about it, what type of mindset would voluntarily handicap himself and his sport by messing around with antiques? Hey, I'll rendezvous with any of you guys, anytime. But if it's CAS of ML season, I think that we'll have alot more fun, if you bring "traditional" weapons.

2) " 'primitive weapons only' WAS the original intent of the muzzleloading season, but intents change."

Coming from someone, who's sign-off includes; "Protect your RKBA."
That one really floors me. Original intent DOES NOT CHANGE. Only modern interpretations change, and as we've seen with the 2nd Amendment, usually for the worst.

3) "Our legal system is based on interpretation, and many states have chosen to interpret muzzleloader as flintlock or in-line."

I've never needed a "legal system" to figure out right from wrong, and those that do, are usually up to something. I've been hunting with ML's since the very first "special ML seasons", and back then there were NO in-lines. So, it would be pretty hard for those states to have "chosen" to approve in-lines. What really happened, was that the game departments underestimated the ability of some folks to stretch the "original intent".

Noboby anticipated a stainless steel, synthetic stocked, 3x9 magnified scoped, shotgun-primered, pyrodex pellet powered, sabot-JHP firing MUZZLELOADER!!!

Being a very crafty species, it didn't take long for "improvements" to come along and the game bureaucracies were slow to keep up. Now, that the genie is out of the bottle, the few states that have tried to rein in the technology, have been, you guessed it, sued into submission by the in-line manufacturers.

4) States use muzzleloaders as a herd management tool.

Yup, now with easy-to-use modern ML's dominating, they HAVE to. It's not only pitting in-lines vs. traditionalists, but also ML against cartridge hunters. The early primitive seasons never had such an effect. Those season's were, for the most part, "add ons" where few animals factored into the total state tally.

August 11, 2002, 10:22 PM
5) "Hunters are a dying breed. - infighting only gives the antis more fodder."

Yes and no.

Our numbers have declined, and 1 of the 2 main keys to hunting's future is recruiting young hunters. But, I don't think that in-lines are bringing in any NEW hunters, young or old. Only lots of already established hunters, who want to hunt the ML season, without having to learn any of the traditional technigues. For the life of me, I really can't imagine some future hunter, lying in bed dreaming . . . . if only someone would invent a rifle that works & looks just like a modern rifle, except you put pellets down the muzzle. Then I'll take up hunting . . . . . (Baloney)
Take some kids to a flintlock demonstration, and watch their eyes bug-out. Let them shoot yours, and they'll be hooked for life.

The second key to hunting's future, it countering the arguments of the anti-hunters. Actually, most of the die-hard antis will never be convinced that hunting is OK, so we shouldn't waste our resouces trying. Our real efforts should be directed at the large majority of Americans who are either "undecided" or don't have strong opinions either way. That is where the votes are. And in our democracy, it's the votes that count.

Try this; Invite some of these "undecideds" over to the house for dinner. Pull out your very best venison recipe, with all the trimmings. Then, after dinner, adjourn to the den, and over fine wine or good whiskey, either:

- reach above the fireplace and take down "ole Betsy". Allow your guests to admire her slim lines and hand craftsmanship, the beautiful wood stock and old fashioned octagon barrel. Tell them how she's just like the one great-great-great grandpa used to carry, when he first came to this country, or fought in the great civil war. Show them how the powder and ball have to be kept dry, the the hammer cocked, and the sights lined-up just so. Tell them how you have to use real woodsmanship in order to get really close to a deer before you can attempt a shot. Tell them about the "the one that got away", because you held your fire, and the one that didn't, which provided such a fine meal this evening.


- reach into the gunsafe and pull out your techno-wonder. Point out to your guests that the synthetics in the stock came from the technology of the NASA space program. Show them how the plastic speed-loader makes reloading a snap. How the sabot is just like the ones that M1 tanks use, how the pyrodex-pellets are amoung the most high-tech explosives around. Let them look through the 10X scope, and tell them that you can kill a deer with this rifle from here to all the way past their house. Tell them how you sniped tonight's meal from high in your aluminum climbing treestand.

Now imagine that this November, there's a referendum on the ballot, to either allow muzzleloading hunting in the county park just outside of town, or hire professional sharpshooters to take care of the park's "deer problem". Which way will the "undecideds" vote.

If we, as hunters, don't take it upon ourselves, to police our ranks and get control of the technology. Public opinion is not going to tolerate a bunch of UN-sportsman running around asassinating animals.

August 11, 2002, 10:24 PM
1) Traditionalist arguments are based on greed. "They want the woods all to themselves."

I need but quote Jimmy Mac here as an example: "The inline allows folks to cheat by bending the rules just so they can infringe on OUR season."

You can't tell me that this statement (with its emphasis on "OUR") isn't indicative of an unwillingness to share. In your rebuttal here, you don't address the intolerance of traditionalists. Instead, you talk more about the "gregarious" nature of traditionalists. This assertion doesn't quite square with the staunchly anti-inline attitude I've encountered so far. In fact, it runs quite counter to the dismissiveness I've seen.

2) " 'primitive weapons only' WAS the original intent of the muzzleloading season, but intents change."

I support the right to keep and bear arms mainly because I believe in the principle--not simply because it appears in our Constitution. Strict constructionist arguments always tickle me to death, especially when folks claim to know the ORIGINAL INTENT of a writer. I'm not psychic; I can't channel the founding fathers. I can read and interpret though. That's been the basis of legal systems for centuries. If folks think the founding fathers were inscribing ideas devoid of interpretation into stone, then they're really dumbing down our founding fathers. These were smart men that knew the value of a living, breathing constitution--one that would be interpreted variously over the years.

3) "Our legal system is based on interpretation, and many states have chosen to interpret muzzleloader as flintlock or in-line."

You argue here on some sense of moral ground, and again, your ideas are based on the assumption that inline shooters have no place in the muzzleloading community. It's elitism all the way.

I fully concede that the muzzleloader season was originally intended for sidelocks. But time's change, and technology changes, and traditionalists in any venue almost always have problems with this fact. To follow this logic to its end, all bow hunters would still be using long bows, tennis players would still use wooden racquets, and the Pony Express would still be operational. Technology has almost always changed the way the game is played--whether that game be warfare, travel, communication, etc. Even the muzzleloader season isn't exempt.

4) States use muzzleloaders as a herd management tool.

With fewer and fewer hunters entering the field each year, what's the alternative? Bigger bag limits during gun season, perhaps. Cheaper out-of-state licenses, maybe. I don't pretend to have all the answers here.

However, none of this rhetoric has done much to convince me that the majority of griping coming from traditionalists is the result of a clique-ish attitude. If they were as gregarious as you imply, then I'd imagine there'd be more tolerance for inline shooters. It boils down to a metaphorical territorial pissing match, and traditionalists don't want us "other folks" to set foot on their property.

August 11, 2002, 10:38 PM
5) I really cannot respond logically to any of your ideas here. That's because they are based on pathos (emotional appeal) for the most part. They revel in nostalgia, and they reveal an awful low opinion of any hunter who doesn't use an antique weapon. Diction like "assassinating" and "sniped" provides a pretty clear picture of a hunter who sees himself as morally and ethically superior to the millions of folks who take animals in the field with modern hunting equipment.

You paint two nicely contrasting pictures, but each one is so biased towards a "good old days" mentality that I find them more comedic than useful. Both pictures, interestingly enough, contain a technological tool--like it or not. Perhaps you'd be better off telling your guest how you stalked your prey covered in mud and sticks and killed it with a spear you fashioned from hickory and flint. But wait. Isn't a spear a form of technology as well? Traditionalists can kid themselves as much as they'd like, but they're not all that different from any other hunter. Spark, powder, and bullet. The shapes are different, but the effects are the same. Do you really think that antique technology is somehow going to warm the heart of a undecided voter? I sure don't.

Scott Evans
August 11, 2002, 11:18 PM
I know some primitive archers who hunt the entire season with old style bows. They like the challenge and the intangible aura that surrounds that activity and way of thinking. They see no relative skill at all in the way I hunt… and that’s OK. I may try the bow at some point but I like the flint locks best for now and for my own reasons. I could care less however about playing dress-up or what the next guy is hunting with. I’m out doing my own thing and it’s very satisfying to me when I have the chance.

Don’t get worked up about who is and is not cheating the rules. The “law” is only real confining limit. “Rules” of the hunt, that each of us go by, are personal to enhance the experience.

Jimmy Mac
August 12, 2002, 08:47 AM
Since the origional intent of the muzzleloader season was to give muzzleloading rifle shooters and buckskinners a season TO THEMSELVES and away from hunters using modern
guns why should we not look down on those hunting in our season with a modern gun?

I am not a snob. I like to see other hunters in the field. I don't like to see rifle hunters intruding on the bow season. It is not fair to the bow hunters and not legal.

I don't like to see modern rifle hunters in the muzzleloading season. It is not fair to the muzzloading hunters and is not legal.

The inline muzzleloader is a modern rifle. It is not legal in some states for use in the muzzleloader season and should not be legal in others.

Jimmy Mac
August 12, 2002, 11:36 AM
I have helped several people get started in muzzleloading. I have coached a lot more than I can remember in my 30 years of muzzleloading.

Muzzleloading shooters and buckskinners are some of the nicest people in the world. In my 30 or so years of going to muzzleloading shoots and primitive camps I have never met anyone that was a "snob".

I have to yet meet the very first a-hole.

These people will help you anyway they can if you want to get started in this sport.

It is people like this that lobbied to get the muzzleloading season started. Why should they go out of their way to ne nice to those that invade their season with modern firearms?

They are not being nice to us.

Alex Johnson
August 12, 2002, 11:39 AM
The biggest complaint I have with some of the newer inlines is the fact that manufacturers are trying to build muzzleloaders that will act like centerfire rifles. I've seen one such rifle that will even work with smokeless powders making me really wonder where this is all headed. Personally I think that regardless of the muzzleloader you choose you will still in most cases be restricted to one shot and you have to learn how to make the most of that shot. Unfortunately I see the day coming rather quickly when the federal government takes notice of these "ultra" modern muzzleloading rifles and starts treating them like modern firearms with all federal restrictions that go along with them. This concerns me to a degree since I enjoy building muzzleloading firearms and I don't want to see the day when I have to obtain and FFL to order my components through my popular muzzleloading catalog. I realize that this is inevitable in the future, but it pains me to see it happening so fast.

As far as hunting with inlines goes I've hunted with a TC scout pistol before and found it to be an exciting way to deer hunt. I don't doubt that many other shooters are taking the time to learn to shoot these guns accurately and to hunt responsibly. However, I have noticed a surprisingly large number of people in our area buy inlines and go hunt with them without bothering to fire more than a couple shots from them. Even had one individual ask me to sight his inline in for him so it would be ready when he took it into the woods. I'm sure these people are the exception and not the rule, but I sometimes think the manufactures are partly to blame for these attitudes with there methods of advertising.

August 12, 2002, 12:10 PM
Jimmy Mac: I'm not doubting that muzzleloaders are nice people as a rule. But I don't appreciate immediate disrespect the moment I mention that I shoot an inline muzzleloader. It seems that some traditionalists immediately assume that any inline shooter is a lazy slob and an unethical hunter. Alex is right. There are plenty of lazy folks who have no business in the woods during hunting season. But they shoot their centerfires about the same as they shoot muzzleloaders.

As you should have seen from my only other thread on this board, I'm new to muzzleloading. But I bought my muzzleloader at the beginning of August so that I'll have three full months to experiment with different loads, make sure I can shoot this thing accurately, and when the time comes, make ethical choices in the field. I still have to load the thing from the muzzle. I still only get one shot at the game. Maybe the gun will be a bit more accurate at 150 yards, but that's a moot point for me since I hunt in fairly dense wood where most shots are 50 yards and under.

The hunting season here in Tennessee is already short enough--particularly when compared to surrounding states. If I can get in three or four extra days with my muzzleloader, then I consider it money well spent. That doesn't mean, however, that I'm going to shirk my preparation. The prep will be also be time well-spent because I'll still be working on the basics of shooting.

So many folks are hung up on the equipment. And really, this is the only place where I think a kind of snobbery rears its ugly head. But like I said previously in this thread, both inlines and flintlocks use the same basic technology--spark, powder, bullet. I'm with Scott Evans here in that I'd prefer folks just let each other alone and not worry what the next guy is hunting with.

Alex: I hope you're wrong about the possibility of federal restrictions in the future. That would be a most unfortunate effect of the new designs. But if only inlines are affected by such restrictions, I suspect that a lot of traditionalists will be quite happy.

August 12, 2002, 12:26 PM
I just sold my CVA plainsman cap - n - ball rifle, and bought a sweet inline...

WHY? easier to clean (removable breech plug) and easier to unload (removable breech plug)

and because it is a "muzzle-loader" hunt...

SOME states have a "primitive" weapons hunt... those are for cap-n-ball & flintlock guns and straightbows...

muzzleloading simply referrs to a gun loaded from the muzzle...

it matters not ONE BIT, to me what you or any other person thinks of my inline... afterall, it meets the requirement of the law, and I like it!

if you wanna rid the world of inline mzzleloader hunting, start lobbying for "primitive weapons hunting only"

but as long as there are "muzzleloader hunts" you are out of luck... and those of us posessing inlines say "oh well, YOUR opinion mattters not!"

Jimmy Mac
August 12, 2002, 03:07 PM
For a while there you had to do the papers on any inline that used the shotgun primers. The ATF changed their minds after a while.

August 12, 2002, 04:13 PM
FWIW, I've been doing some more reading online about muzzleloading, and found this thread over at Hunter's Talk. http://talk.hunters.com/room_157/1351.cfm#10128

Sounds remarkably similar to the debate we've had here. Good arguments on both sides of the fence, but like here, people are sticking to their guns (pun intended).

August 14, 2002, 07:49 AM
I wonder if there were "traditionalists" in Daniel Boone’s day? I can see them trying to stop the use of those fancy rifled bores because that was just a new way to cheat.

Jimmy Mac
August 14, 2002, 08:38 AM
Back then your rifle kept you alive. There was no cheating.

Cheating comes in games with rules. Just like in the muzzleloading season. Using a modern gun is cheating.

August 14, 2002, 08:51 AM
it is only cheating if it is against the rules...

in My state, it is not against the rules, so it ain't cheating!

August 14, 2002, 10:17 AM
Back then your rifle kept you alive. There was no cheating.

Seems to me that the Native Americans stayed alive pretty well until Europeans started bringing rifles into the Americas. Was it "cheating" when whites shot Indians armed with real "primitive" weapons?

If there were "traditionalists" during the days of Daniel Boone, Davey Crockett, Kit Carson, et. al., then I imagine they were using bows, spears, and atlatls.

It's all about perspective.

August 14, 2002, 02:14 PM
Original Intent, Nostalgia vs. Progress, and Legitimacy.

Original Intent.

No, I wasn't around 200+ years ago. But, I can read the written works of our Founding Fathers and, through their words, get a pretty good handle on their original intent, without being a psychic. If you prefer a "living, breathing" interpretation, from our modern leaders (Bill Clinton, perhaps), then I guess that's; Our freedom, your choice.

Reminds me of the example often used by Dr. Walter Williams, a noted scholar. Allow me to paraphase;

Let's you and me sit down and play some poker, and the rules be "living". After you bet all your money, I'll inform you that today's interpretation says that my 2 pair, beats your full house.

Hell of a way to play a game, conduct a hunting season, or base a legal system. In fact, our legal system is not based upon interpretation, but rather "Precedence". You know, when you look BACK at the way the law was intended to be enforced. Every now & then, a judge will come up with a NEW "interpretation". But, in the vast majority of cases, this new interpretation is reversed on appeal. (Just ask the US 9th Circuit.) Precisely because of the law's original intent.

But, I digress . . . . . .

Now, I (and alot of traditional muzzleloaders) WAS around 20+ years ago, and therefore can speak with some first-hand authority, when it comes the original intent of these special muzzleloading seasons.

Nostalgia vs. Progress.

These special seasons were set aside with the express purpose of EXEMTING THEM FROM PROGRESS. They were spawned by nostalgia. A time capsule, if you were. Not an mechanical engineering exercise to see how far modern science can push the closed-breach envelope.

Sometimes I get the feeling that in-line shooters are trying to educate me about the wonders of modern technology, as if I didn't know any better. I know that round lead balls are aerodynamically inferior to boat-tailed-polymer-ballistic-tips. I know that loose black powder is harder to load and clean than pyrodex and smokeless. I know that flintlocks are more prone to moisture contamination than encapsulated primers. I know that scopes can help me aim at longer ranges and in lower light. I know. Believe me, I know.

Yet, we traditional muzzleloaders chose to ask for a season, NOT INSPITE of these limitations, but rather BECAUSE of them! To challenge ourselves, to make it hard, to miss the trophy of a lifetime due to a "flash-in-the-pan", or to maybe, just maybe, collect the trophy of a lifetime, even if it's only a doe, by overcoming the obstacles that muzzleloaders throw up in front of us.

Now, I'll admit it. We (traditional muzzleloaders) BLEW IT!!! When we asked for a special season, we never imagined that some shooters/manufacturers would go so far to stretch, manipulate, and change the spirit of the muzzleloading season. Boy, were we wrong.


Imagine, right now, that there were no special muzzleloading seasons. If a bunch of in-line shooters tried to lobby the various state game commisions for a special "muzzleloader" season, they would be laughed at. Why? Because the modern in-line does not differ, significantly, enough from a modern centerfire, to warrant a special season. Even when I hunt with one of my centerfires, rarely is more than a single shot necessary. I'm not bragging, it's the same with all of the other modern rifle hunters that I know. The only things that really make a difference are: faulty ignition and limited range due to open sights and low velocity/blunt projectiles.

Have you noticed that, in some locations, in-line muzzleloaders are replacing modern repeating shotguns with slugs, when hunters are given the option? Something is way out of wack here!

Modern in-lines are not a legitimate line of firearms. They are simply mutants, resulting from improperly crafted regulations. An evolutionary dead-end. A hundred, or even a thousand, years from now, Winchester 70's, Remington 700, Leupold Scopes, etc. will be looked upon as great examples of 20th Century sporting arms. Traditional muzzleloaders will still be remembered and respected as the weapons that forged a fledgling nation. In-lines will be remembered not at all.

Rocks, spears, bows, flintlocks, caplocks, centerfires, they all may be merely rungs on man's ladder of hunting tools, but the discriminating hunter can tell the difference.

Jimmy Mac
August 14, 2002, 04:29 PM
Very good post.

Exactly right.

Jimmy Mac
August 14, 2002, 04:33 PM
I wonder how many inlines would be sold every year if they were not allowed in the muzzleloader season?

3 or 4 perhaps?

August 14, 2002, 06:07 PM
Good point..Man I didn't expect this thread to get so busy. I agree I think Inlines are a slide downa slippery slope in some ways..

Jimmy Mac
August 14, 2002, 07:33 PM
Shooters all during history have looked for ways to improve their shooting and hunting skills without shooting and hunting.

August 14, 2002, 10:26 PM
Not so fast, BluRidgDav.

Original Intent. . .
isn't quite so easy, though many would like to think so. That's because a sense of original intent provides security. It frees one from having to think through the intricacies of an issue, and it erases doubt. Advocates of original intent, often political extremists (left or right) or religious fundamentalists, claim they know exactly what "intent" lies behind a law, a religious passage, or even a piece of literature, but they forget the complex historical situation which produces any document. They also deny the fact that language is unstable. That's its very nature.

Predictable that you'd use Bill Clinton to produce a knee-jerk reaction, but you know full well that Republicans are just as guilty as Democrats when it comes to nitpicking language and interpreting the Constitution. Your poker analogy is interesting but flawed. In that scenario, who makes you the dictator of rules?. My claim was that intent and language are debatable and interpretable--not that rules can be shanghaied from on high.

Yes, precedent is the primary foundation of our legal system, but every single day, laws and precedents are interpreted variously. By lawyers, by judges, by juries, by legislators, and by folks in the executive branch. Would you argue that those nine folks in SCOTUS have no place interpreting the Constitution?

You're never going to sell me fully on original intent. That's because language and motives are too complex to ever pin down to a single intent that everyone will agree upon. Even at the moment of conception, the waters are sometimes muddy. If "original intent" helps you sleep better at night, so be it. But the world and its history are far more complex--particularly when it comes to producing a text grounded in language.

That said, your strongest argument is that you do have greater insight into the original intent behind muzzleloading season. My response, however, is: so what? I'll repeat again. Intents change. Maybe not in your mind. Maybe not in the minds of your traditionalist friends. But from the perspective of inline shooters and a great number of state governments, the current intent of the muzzleloading season is to allow hunting for folks who shoot a firearm that loads from the muzzle. Pretty simple. I'm not all that worried about original intent, though you think I should be. I'm concerned with current intent, and I don't really care who it ticks off.

But then, what about a state like Georgia? They just got their muzzleloading season a few years ago. Gun hunters there, if I'm not mistaken, gave up a portion of their season for muzzleloading. Inlines were around and had been for quite some time. Inlines are legal under Georgia's rules.

Nostalgia vs. Progress. . .
No one is stopping you from reliving the past and challenging yourself with antique weapons. I'm certainly not trying to push modern technology on you. Please don't try and push your gun of choice on me. Is it so hard to live and let live?

Legitimacy. . .
Again, we're arguing at two ends of the spectrum because language is open to interpretation. In your mind, legitimacy is shaped by nostalgia, original intent, and your own subjective desire to have a portion of the season exclusively for traditionalists. In my mind, legitimacy is shaped by concerns for hunting, game management, my state legislature, and my wildlife division. I don't see that legitimacy changing anytime soon.

August 15, 2002, 02:39 AM
This is an interesting thread, as it usually is where ever it crops up. And the arguments are right along the same lines; original intent vs what is legal.

Problem is (mainly a problem, for people who shoot true muzzle loaders), both sides are right: The original intent WAS to provide a season for muzzle loaders, at the time synonymous with primitive hunters, to give hunters who chose primitive equipment a chance to hunt deer in less crowded conditions with equipment that was more of a challenge to use. However, now even that God-awful Savage ML that uses SMOKELESS powder is legal in some muzzle loading seasons.

What the firearm companies have done is produced a rifle that for all intents and purposes is no different than my single shot bolt action - except it loads from the muzzle. Heck, remove the breech plug and some of them even CLEAN up like my centerfire rifle.

People who purchase and use scoped in lines during a blackpowder/muzzleloader season are taking advantage of the equipment race that has outstripped legislative intent/wording.

I don't hunt with a muzzle loader, but I fully understand and agree with the guys who hunt with true muzzleloaders when they express outrage that these scoped modern rifles are allowed in the woods during what is supposed to be a primitive season.

I say lets combine all the firearm seasons into one long any gun season. Within a week of passage of such laws gunbroker.com would be choked with in-lines for sale. Jeezus - Wally world sells an in-line rifle kit in a frigging blister pack hung on the wall along side the cleaning suplies.

In an any-gun season the true primitive hunters would be right there, along side everyone else, with their flinters and sidelocks, hunting as they always have. The erstwhile in-line owners would be in the woods with their scoped centerfire rifles just like me.

THEN, approach the game commissions and get the primitive season reinstated, with language specific enough to make sure blasphmeous creations like inlines never scar our landscape again. All you'd have to do is show them 9law makers) the in-line sales for the year(s) following the blending of the seasons; then the game commissions could infer the intent of the hunters who went afield with high-tech scopes mounted on stainless steel, synthetic stocked, bolt-action in-lines, with totally protected ignition systems, firing a saboted 50 cal projectile over # grains of smokeless powder.

I believe the end result would be much different than what we are dealing with now. It would be much more like CAS, who took the mistakes learned in IPSC, and PPC, where equipment races ruined the sport(s) for the average Joe, and clearly defined what would be, and would NOT be, allowed in THEIR sport; thus keeping it fun for all.

Jimmy Mac
August 15, 2002, 08:30 AM
I will say this again.

The muzzleloading season was put in place in most states long before the inline was even thought of.

The muzzleolading season was started so BUCKSKINNERS AND MUZZLELOADING RIFLE ENTHUSIASTS to have a season away from modern hunters using modern guns.

This like the Constitution is not up for debate. It was written in plain simple English so even a 6 year old could understand.

Jimmy Mac
August 15, 2002, 08:35 AM

You are correct. Several people hunt with their muzzleloaders during the modern gun season. they do so because they enjoy their rifles and the sport of the hunt.

No one I know enjoys their inline enough to use it in the modern season.

Inline owners see their rifles as a nessary evil. They need it to hunt in the muzzleloading season and they don't even like to shoot it much less clean it.

They see it as a easy way to hunt without learning how to use a real rifle.

August 15, 2002, 08:52 AM
And I see it as using what I want to, in a wayI want to use it...

i still have toload it 1 shot at a time, down the bore from the front like you do...

I just cap it with a shotgun primer instead...

I still shoot round balls in it...

I use REAL FFg BLACK POWDER in it...

but I use shotty primers...

I HAVE been known to use it in standard season (I sometimes hunt a spot where 70 yards is all you can see...)

part of the fun is that you get to shoot your gun once a day, EVERY day... (I don't leave it loaded)

but so what if it takes a shotty primer...

does it load any faster than yours? (shooter/loaders SKILL determines this, NOT rifle design...)

does it hurt YOU in any way, Jimmy Mac? and if so, HOW? what harm is done to you, and in what way?

August 15, 2002, 09:10 AM
Exactly, Hemicuda.

This year, I plan to try my inline during centerfire season as well.

I've been lurking over at BlackpowderShooters Talk. The more I read, the more I think I'd like to try shooting a flintlock. Who knows? Next year, I might just pick up a Lyman Great Plains kit and try the gun during muzzleloading season.

But if I do, will I complain non-stop about the inline shooters with whom I share the woods? No, I won't. I'll worry about my business, and let the next hunter worry about his.

August 15, 2002, 09:20 AM
I almost forgot my manners.

Magnumdood, welcome to TFL. You'll find a lot of knowledgeable folks and some decent debates here. Take off your coat and stay a while.

Alex Johnson
August 15, 2002, 10:08 AM
Every time I open up an issue of Muzzleblasts I see the pictures of trophey animals taken with muzzleloaders. It seems these days that many of the guns being used are inlines. I guess I don't have too much problem with people using these guns for hunting, but I do feel they are missing out on some of the enjoyment that many of us get from hunting with a truly traditional muzzleloader, enjoying the history and challenge of it. And really there is more challenge when using a gun designed over 200 years ago, there are more chances for missfires, problems the environment can spring on you, there is no guarentee that you'll have 100% success even if everything else goes right. But that all combines to make the hunt all that more enjoyable when you do bring home meat because you know that it took a bit more skill than hunting these days normally requires. That's what I enjoy about the sport of traditional muzzleloading.

August 15, 2002, 10:38 AM

Thank you for the welcome!

Another issue to consider while using scoped in-lines during blackpowder/muzzleloader/primitive hunts: Public perception.

Perception was alluded to in a previous post; feed some venison to friends, then show them the flinter/side lock percusion you took the deer with. Or, bring out the scoped in-line and show your visitors that. I don't believe most people would really care at that point - you're at home, etc...not in the field. However, in a primitive season I don't believe the average American would expect to see a scoped rifle used in the field. Granted, it's a muzzle loader by definition because it's loaded from the muzzle - but, the in-lines look so much like center fire rifles a casual observer would likely not know the difference. I'm sure some mouth breathing anti-gunner would love to capture a photo of an inline hunter during a primitive season and post that photo in one of the silly liberal rags with the included inflamatory caption under it.

We already have anough problems from the likes of Diane Feinswine calling anything with a scope on it a sniper rifle without adding to the propaganda.

August 15, 2002, 12:06 PM
The bottom line is that muzzle loading seasons WERE set up by traditional hunters FOR traditional hunters. Like CAS, ML season was anti-progress and anti-technology. It was SUPPOSED to be set aside from improvements. It was NOT an attempt to set back the clock to 1860, wind it up, and see how guns would develope this time. We already know how that turned out.

And to repeat myself, anyone who argues differently is not being honest with himself or his fellow hunters.

Now, as to the question of . . . . . 'Why do I care?'

Because, in-lines are now the equal of a single shot cartridge guns, and this is creating problems for hunting in general.

Fairness, Conflicting Interests, and Hunting with Technology.

Why should a hunter armed with an ultra-modern, scoped, in-line rifle be given a SPECIAL season, over a hunter armed with a single shot cartridge shotgun? The very legitimacy of a special ML season is being challenged by cartridge hunters, AND RIGHTFULLY SO!

Many special ML seasons are scheduled during critical times of the year, like during the "rut". This has real consequences for game management. Due to the increased lethality of in-lines, and the vastly increased number of hunters using them, game departments are starting to constrict the ML seasons. From a harvest standpoint, it's now as if there are TWO gun-seasons, instead of only one. Traditional ML's, with their limited hunting effectiveness and even more limited shooter appeal, caused NO such concerns. Burgeoning deer herds have postponed some of this, but not everywhere, and not for long anywhere.

Soon, I suspect, we will be back where we started. One season.

Ultimately, in-lines will ruin it for EVERYONE. We will loose the special ML season, and alot of in-line shooters will have wasted alot of money on guns they no longer need, and never really wanted. That's too bad, and could have been prevented.

What's really sad, is that this in-line vs. traditional issue is just a preview for the bigger conflict that ALL types of hunting are going to face in the future (if not already); TECHNOLOGY !!!

If we as hunters can't control ourselves when it comes to re-creating an old-fashioned muzzleloading season. How are we ever going to control the technology that is flooding into the regular seasons? LASER's, thermal imaging, scent-control-suits, etc., etc., etc.


Hunting is, by it's very nature, an anachronistic pursuit. Most of the world's population gave it up for farming about 8,000 years ago. America got a new lease on hunting life, due to a fortunate gift of history & geography. Today, NONE of us NEEDS to hunt. We LIKE to hunt, but we'll all get by without it. Hunting will continue, ONLY as long as the non-hunting population tolerates it. 20 million hunters (and decreasing), 280 million non-hunters (and increasing), you do the math. If they see us as having no self control, no "sportsmanship", using every possible gadget to take advantage of, and kill our game, then they will replace us with other less visibly offensive solutions. Like contract sharpshooters using NVG's and sound-surpressed automatic weapons at night. It's already happening! The deer will still die, but out of sight, so the public will FEEL better about it.

I've been accused of using emotionalism to make my point. Guilty as charged! Humans are emotional critters, and we ignore that fact at our peril. My "dinner with ole Betsy" example is an actual tactic, that I have used, successfully I might add, to win over non-hunters. And like it or not;

Davey Crockett beats Robo-Hunter in a landslide at the voting booth!!!

Happy hunting, while it lasts.

August 15, 2002, 01:26 PM
What Dave said!

Wow...I'm gonna copy that and file it for future 'in-line' threads.

Excellent Dave!

August 15, 2002, 01:39 PM
My CVA inline is equal to my single shot 30-30 Topper H&R? WOW... that is cool news to me!

Now, both are scoped...

but I can shoot the 30-30 farhter, and ALOT quicker than I can my inline...

my inline is still good only to about 100 yards... even WITH a saboted pistol bullet...

my 30-30 can (and HAS) killed at 200+ yards...

I can shoot the 30-30 single shot about 4 times in the time it takes me to shoot and reload the CVA 1 time...

and it AIN'T due to a lack of practice... I average 500 shots a year or so, playing with my CVA... (used 2 pounds of powder already this year, and season ain't until December here, and I haven't gotten into full-swing practice with it either...) even with the TC speedloaders, I can't shoot the front-stuffer that fast... it ain't gonna happen...

it is FAR from equal to a single-shot rifle... heck, even my 45-70 Trapdoor Springfield is 3 times faster for shot #2... and my Ruger #1 in 243 is WAY FAST comparatively...

that is FAR from equal... just because i like an enclosed primer, and a hotter primer doesn't mean it isn't "fair"... and sorry if you dislike my gun... I didn't buy it to please you! I bought it because it pleases ME...

Jimmy Mac
August 15, 2002, 02:59 PM
I don't think the inline offers any read advantage. You are not going to kill anything with an inline that I can't get with my flinter or my cap lock. I have been shooting these guns weekly for years.
I don't miss. I know how to make them sure fire. A missfire is my last worry in the woods.

The BS hype and propaganda from the inline makers would make you think that there is a huge advantage there but the only advantage they offer is they are more reliable when dirty.

I hunt with a clean rifle.

August 15, 2002, 08:10 PM
BluRidgDav, you make some good points in your last post and have given me some food for thought.

I'm not entirely sold on the idea that inlines are any worse than flintlocks when it comes to public perception. Almost all of the anti-hunters I know object to the death of the animal at human hands and not to how it died. I'm not sure that liberal soccer moms in their Volvo station wagons really delve too much into hunting technology. Most folks these days know so little about firearms that the term "flintlock" means little or nothing to them. Of course, these are the same folks that happily gobble down their McDonald's hamburgers and like to think that all deer should die of old age and go to deer heaven.

And if Jimmy Mac is right in that inlines offer no real advantage, then the antis don't have much room to argue that technology is getting out of hand.

I'm still going to use my inline, given the short span of TN's season and the fact that I have to hunt when I can. I hunt on public land, and I don't like to hunt much on the weekends. That cuts down on my time even more. I bought my muzzleloader to give me three or four extra days in the season, and I plan to use them. It's my legal right, and I have no moral misgivings about my decision. Like I said before, live and let live.

But I was serious about looking into a traditional muzzleloader for next year. If they're as challenging as you make out, then I ought to like them. I'm always up for a challenge.

August 15, 2002, 10:29 PM
I'm not entirely sold on the idea that inlines are any worse than flintlocks when it comes to public perception. Almost all of the anti-hunters I know object to the death of the animal at human hands and not to how it died. I'm not sure that liberal soccer moms in their Volvo station wagons really delve too much into hunting technology. Most folks these days know so little about firearms that the term "flintlock" means little or nothing to them. Of course, these are the same folks that happily gobble down their McDonald's hamburgers and like to think that all deer should die of old age and go to deer heaven.

And if Jimmy Mac is right in that inlines offer no real advantage, then the antis don't have much room to argue that technology is getting out of hand.


I agree with a lot of what you observe. But, the one thing anyone who watches TV recognizes is a rifle scope. And thanks to TV once again, the general public is under the mistaken impression that having a scope on a firearm virtually assures you will hit what you want to hit. As a matter of fact, the less a person knows about firearms, the more likely he/she will believe a scope makes a hit 100% guaranteed. Just take a look at the various proposed 'sniper rifle' restrictions/laws that crop up more and more frequently in the federal and state governments. The central theme is a rifle, any rifle mind you, that has a scope on it – any scope.

I won't give up my scoped rifle anytime soon...but I believe that allowing scoped in-lines during muzzle loading season really has the potential to give the hunting community a public relations black eye.

August 17, 2002, 05:34 PM
We've only had a muzzleloader in Georgia for about three years now and the DNR specifically had inlines in mind when they started our primitive weapons season.So in my state it would be incorrect to say that our primitive weapons season was started for the mountain men,buckskinners,ect.

OTOH,I don't like yuppies buying cage traps and using them to trap in the furbearer trapping seaon.The trapping season was started for men to use real traps,but if they want to use their cage traps I won't stop them.

August 19, 2002, 10:01 AM
I have to agree with Jimmy Mac.
I think that the spirit of the muzzleloading season is primitive.

Could be wrong but I think in NY State they used to call it primitive season. Then muzzleloading, next it will be blackpowder season.

I agree it's legal to use inline, but I think it conflicts with the spirit of the original intent.

I don't think they opened up the extra week just so hunters could go out and bag more deer.

Why not just make the season a week longer and use whatever you want?

Question: Bow hunters. Do you think you should be allowed to use crossbows during bow season?

August 19, 2002, 10:06 AM
Teltech,crossbows were just legalized for bow season in my state and only a small minority of hunters objected in the polls.

Dave McC
August 23, 2002, 06:40 AM
Ladies and Gents, my $.02....

I've been using various BP guns since the 60s, when Pop got into Civil War Centennial re-enactments.

When Md started a ML Season, I had the first combination license sold in the county. I've taken deer and some small game with Round balls, Minie balls, Maxi balls, and so on.

Outside of a H&R "Huntsman", a break open 58 caliber M/L based on their shotgun action, none of my 10 or so BP rifles have been an inline. I like the old stuff better, and it works for me.

Last year was pretty busy, so I only fired three shots from my TC High Plains Sporter.

The first one was to check zero. It was perfect.

Shots two and three were at deer. Checked in both of them, and neither ran more than 50 yards after center of shoulder hits.

And while I was doing this, my two closest hunting buds were having misfires with their inlines. One missed out on a very nice buck when his Remington 700 ML misfired. The other lost a chance at a meat doe with his Encore.

I've never had a glitch in the field with a classic ML. And I like the simplicity,history and looks of the older style stuff.

Back when I could bowhunt, I used a longbow while those two guys used state of art compounds, releases, carbon arrers and so on. They may have taken more deer, but sure didn't have more fun.

So here's my policy statement....

I care not a whit if the next hunter over is using a bow whittled out from a fencepost or something belt fed and lazer sighted as long as he or she is hunting legally, safely, ethically, and mostly hits where it counts.

What counts is what we hold in our hearts, not what we hold in our hands.

(Dismounting from pulpit)....

Jimmy Mac
August 23, 2002, 08:08 AM
It seems that you can't hunt with a dirty gun even if it is an inline.

Jarhead Ed
September 18, 2004, 02:28 PM
Sorry for brining up an old topic.....I just bought a new inline muzzleloader last night. For me, it was the only way to go. For one: I have four children, so the use of my income extends far beyond my personal weapon collection. And two: Here on Camp Lejeune, you have there are two weapons you may use....Shotgun, or Muzzloader. For $100, the choice is pretty obvious. Even in kit form (which I'd love to build) you can't top the price.

I've been shooting muzzloaders since long before they were cool, and have worn out more than one barrel. Yep, I cut the cards, split the ball on a double bit axe, threw a tomohawk, and hit that 200 yard gong more than once. Here's a novel idea, instead of pushing all the elitist crap, you could try welcoming folks to community. Never met your first muzzloading arsehole?? I did. In this thread.


September 19, 2004, 04:23 PM

First, THANK YOU for your service to our Country!

Second, I wish you luck during the coming deer season(s).

Last, This thread's been "dead" for over two years.
There's no need to dig it up, just to call folks bad names.


Jarhead Ed
September 19, 2004, 04:37 PM
Holy Smokes! I hadn't realized it was over two years....al I saw was "8-23"....

Anyway, I'm sure you can understand how someone can feel passionately about this topic regardless of which side he chooses....and I'll leave it at that.


September 27, 2004, 06:06 AM
There shouldn't be any disagreement on tradition or traditional rifles vs in-lines. Truth is, in-lines would have been the natural evolution of the
sidelock muzzleloading rifle, had that evolution not been interupted by development of the breach loading cartridge rifle. ;)

October 19, 2004, 07:15 PM
Sure the thread is "closed" but I should be able to add something to the whole point of the question at hand.

First is cost, sure you can get nice sidelocks for 300 dollars, even less if its an unfinished kit. But anyone can go to walmart and purchase an inline rifle with everything except caps and powder for well under 200 dollars.

Second comes accuracy and stopping power. Even though we have been hunting for different lengths of time we should all be able to admit that putting a ball, sabot, conical, minnie, and or maxie ball into a deer in a way that it cause death as quickly and humanely possible.

When Jimmy Mac says he can put his ROUND ball into a deers heart at 100yards everytime and get that deer, he simply scares me. A round ball from a rifle just wont have much kinetic energy at that range, so we shouldnt take shots like those with a roundball. Sure a sidelock with a maxie ball could drop that deer quickly, and even the 310grn .451 sabots i use can if i wanted to at 200 yards, but whats the point if your hunting in heavy woods like i do?

Charles S
October 19, 2004, 08:26 PM
Dave McC got it right.

What counts is what we hold in our hearts, not what we hold in our hands.

I hunt with a compound bow. Do I think that I am more or less correct than anyone else? I welcome anyone to the hunting fraternity and I will not disparage or attempt to outlaw anyone else’s equipment.

We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. Franklin

I truly admire the bow hunters who choose to make their own bows and hunt with wooden arrows. I will never achieve that level of competence, nor will I have that amount of time. Should I quit hunting?

I really think we need to accept everyone who chooses to hunt and attempt to educate all hunters in an effort to eliminate the slob hunter and the slob hunter perception.

Just my thoughts,


November 8, 2004, 11:29 PM
What happened to your style?
You only managed to misspell one word in Post # 22, amazing!
Have you been scamming us all this time? :rolleyes:

November 8, 2004, 11:47 PM
Are you aware inline ignition has been around since at least 1836?
WOO-WOO, every one who used a revolver before , during , and after the Civil War[including revolving rifles and carbines and all the other inventor's ideas that did not involve side hammers , chipped stone, pyrites and strikers or slow matches]
were cheating and trying to steal YOUR SEASON! :rolleyes:

January 6, 2005, 05:07 PM
i came upon this thread and couldn't resist to comment.now that i'm here,i feel too complacent to wanna reiterate against another man's philosophy of hunting how to.i'm sure if dan boone was here he'd pick that the dangbernedest straight shootinest and easiest to maintianancest gun this side of the missipp he could find.i also bet a nickel he'd check out one of them fancy shooting quick eyeballin scopes too.......them bears are fast,i'm tellin ya.
anyway,i think muzzleloadin is fun as all tarnation and hope you do too.....adieo :)

January 6, 2005, 07:57 PM
No doubt about it,

"Dan Boone (would) pick . . . the dangbernedest straight shootinist easiest to maintianancest gun . . . (with) one of them fancy shooting quick eyeballin scopes too".

But, I don't see how that should entitle him a special season in which to hunt?

All you in-line fellas need to start sneakin' your Glocks and AR-15's into all the Cowboy Actions matches that you can. Cause we all know that everyone has a Right to as much Range Time as he can get. There's no use lettin' all those Single Action Purists have that one whole weekend, all to themselves. Besides, Wyatt Earp woulda packed a tricked-out CQB autoloader with laser sights to the OK corral, if'n he'd a had one, Right?

January 8, 2005, 11:11 AM
i shoot inlines H&R huntsman but I hunt with 75 cal brown bess or if the weather is real nice i will use 75 cal matchlock musket the modern muzzle loading rifles are neet but lack any tradition or history wich is 80% of the sport What iam trying to say is inlines are not blackpowder muzzle loaders what they are is modern rifle shoot pyrodex &777 plastic sabots jacketed bullets That just happen to be muzzle loading its kinda cheaten and should not be allowed during black powder hunting season that should be restricted to pre 1865 orignals or reproductions the inlines should be used during the regular season as many of these rifles have the preformance of modern high power rifles and in states like mine where you can hunt deer with a shotgun or muzzleloader only these inlines are an atractive option

January 8, 2005, 12:24 PM
Y'know, I'm not a hunter. I'm a guy who likes to goto the range and shoot. I was out of this hobby for many, many years but I recall once, about a decade ago, at one of the PA Gamelands ranges seeing a guy with an inline rifle (not that I knew thats what it was called til now, mind you).

The feeling I left with that day was one of wonder, mostly "what's the point?" It just doesn't seem nearly as fun, in its way, as shooting an old-style muzzleloader. I can understand why both sides of people are up in arms over this, but most of all I agree with the oldschool muzzleloader types.. If you're gonna do it, do it the right way. A high-tech inline rifle doesn't seem any different than a centerfire rifle, except one comes in convienent brass carrying cases, and one you've got to put together yourself.


I guess there's no point to this post, other than to throw in support behind the tradiionalists. Then, you're also talking to a guy who still believes in carrying a 20# view camera on his back, and loading each sheet of film by hand. Sure, a digital camera may take (almost) the same picture, but in a smaller, lighter, vastly more convienent package.. But it ain't the same, not the same at all.