View Full Version : What muzzle loader should I get?

Northslope Nimrod
December 1, 2004, 07:00 PM
Looking to deer hunt with it next year. Someday I may try elk but for now I'll stick with my rifle on that hunt. I would like a long barrel for distance. I don't want to pay over $300. Less is better. I want easy loading, not too heavy. Inexpensive primers etc. Want to put scope on it. (red dot or 1X) Any suggestions. I really want to stay inexpensive but don't want junk. Good value.

4V50 Gary
December 1, 2004, 09:00 PM
If you want long range, go with a reproduction Civil War minie rifle. A decent one will shoot out to 500 yards. Mine is a Parker Hale (1st Generation) Enfield and I have a Parker Hale mold (made by RCBS).

December 2, 2004, 08:02 AM
Go To Bass Pro Shops.com and start shopping!!!!! Click on the Hunting link. I think its black powder or muzzelloaders. You`ll find it. SUPER Specials!! Well under $300 and you can pay with a credit card over 6 months! Good shopping and good Hunting.

Ruger # 1
December 18, 2004, 12:54 PM
Without offending anyone, all I can say is buy a Knight, TC, or a Remington. I started out cheap and it was the worst mistake I could have made. If you shop around a little, you should be able to find one of those brands for under $300. I have a Knight, and I love it. I had a Redfield scope on it for a while, but I recently switched to a peep sight, mainly because our Ohio ML season coincides with a lot of snow and sleet. Very annoying trying to keep your scope clear! Good Luck!

December 20, 2004, 11:47 PM
As 4V50 Gary stated. Go with a rifled musket, and make some paper cartridges using waxed paper.
The scope, a problem. And is it really needed.

December 21, 2004, 11:37 PM
Midway recently had CVA inline magnum .45's for $65 , I have one, it does very well up to 150 yds, past that , the drop is so much it is" hail Mary" shooting much past that unless you have practiced a lot at the longer ranges, have quick adjustable sights and a good laser rangefinder and plenty of time to do everything you need to do.
Don :)

4V50 Gary
December 22, 2004, 01:27 AM
OK, at THR I recommended a Lyman Great Plains. Here at TFL I suggested an Enfield.

Both are good.

The former is more traditional for hunting. The latter is used predominantly by reenactors. However, if you want range and umph, go modern. Go with the Enfield with the minie ball. I was shooting offhand with my Parker Hale Enfield at the range at Carson City. My target was a paper cup at 350 yards. I didn't hit the cup, but I consistently was getting a 6" group near it. If I adjusted my point of aim, I could have made that cup dance. Only the best riflemen could do that with a round ball rifle at that distance. With a minie gun, it's easier for amateurs like myself.

I have both and like both. But if we're talking strictly about one blackpowder long arm for hunting, I'll take the Enfield.

February 12, 2005, 11:14 PM
look at NEF huntsman or sidekick they cost about 130 to 150 dollars bran new there made in theUSA and are vastly superior in quality to the spanish made rifles CVA &traditions the NEF guns are real good shooters as good as any actually better than a lot of them and they are very stong rifles made on a smokless powder action (Topper shot gun) they wii last a life time

February 13, 2005, 01:22 PM
I am very disappointed in my NEF Sidekick.

If your goal is to simply increase the rifle season length, I would say try to increase your budget and get a T/C Encore or the Savage smokeless powder muzzleloader, if you state allows smokeless powder muzzleloaders, as mine does. Even if your state does not allow smokeless powder, you could still shoot black powder or BP substitute in the Savage. I've also heard a strong recommendation for the Optima rifle before, which is made by ???.

If your goal is to have a traditional, *primitive* hunting season, then look at one of the primitive style rifles.

4v50, if the Enfield rifles, etc., are that good, then wouldn't they perform even better with conical bullets instead of balls?

February 14, 2005, 07:01 PM
the savage should only be used by an experianced shooter these gun are dangerous in the wrong hands to the shooter these things have a documented history of vary serious safety problems I have been in the gun business 30 years build muskets locks stocks and barrels from scatch we have tested the savage rifle and came to the conclusion that the rifle is dangerous to the shooter and that is based on the fact that we had no problem blowing out the breech plug at our proof station I suspect that some body will really get hurt and savage will with draw the rifle and suffer from leagal problems as Far as the NEF Huntsman and side kick are excelent rifles thats not to say that some people are not happy with them the vast majoity of the customers that have bought them highly regard them and of 10 or so I have randomly tested I found them to be as good or better than most of the Modern inline rifles barring none very accurate and reliable and well made and inexpensive

February 15, 2005, 02:30 PM
Good Day Northslope, Hope all is well with you today. Boy you really opened up a large can of worms here. Unfortunately with firearms you get what you pay for. This is never as true as in muzzleloaders. Many bargain products are documented accidents waiting to happen. You will be good money ahead if you stay with T/C’s, White’s, Austin & Halleck, and Savage. The 10ml is the safest muzzleloader you can buy anywhere for any price. This cannot be disputed. You might want to jump around to a few sites dedicated to its use and see what you think. Here are a few links you should enjoy!



Stop in and say hello!

February 15, 2005, 02:59 PM
the savage should only be used by an experianced shooter these gun are dangerous in the wrong hands to the shooter these things have a documented history of vary serious safety problems I have been in the gun business 30 years build muskets locks stocks and barrels from scatch we have tested the savage rifle

The only thing you have said that has any basis is "wrong hands." All guns are dangerous in 'the wrong hands," as are telephone poles and hot coffee. :barf:

In the 14 year history of modern smokeless muzzleloading Henry Ball designed rifles, not one single breech plug has ever failed. That is inclusive of 129,000 PSI clinical testing.

In the last six consecutive years of Savage 10ML productuction and sales, no shooter has ever been injured, nor any bystander. It is the most overbuilt, safest muzzleloader ever made.

Only one muzzleloader is on the market that is 100% proof tested prior to shipment to the consumer: that is the Savage 10ML-II.

All Savage centerfire rifles have a designed in safety factor of WELL over 100% compared to required wall thicknesses as defined by Lame's Equation.

The Savage 10ML-II, specifically, has a designed in service factor of 250%. The barrel used on the Savage 10ML-II should look familiar-- it is their magnum barrel, the same barrel as used on their .458 WinMags married to the Savage short action. The same certified GBQ steel, the same rigorous testing and quality control. Apparently, you have never visited the plant in Westfield, MA where they are made. I have.

Despite the type I and current 10ML-II both having been proven to withstand 129,000 PSI without any damage-- no current Savage recommended load exceeds so much as 40,000 PSI.

It is the safest muzzleloader ever made. That's why I shoot one with great pride. That's why my 76 years young father shoots one. And that is also why Savage Arms CEO, Ronald Coburn, enthusiastically shoots and hunts with one as well. :o

February 15, 2005, 03:42 PM
Dang it IndianaHunter and Randy,
You guys beat me to it.
oconnell, I for one would love to see your data on the alledged Savage 10ML-II breech plug that you supposedly blew out. I want to see that loading data, as in: powder(s) used, charge weight(s), bullets size(s), bullet weight(s), primer(s), sabot(s), type of strain gage equipment, how that equipment was installed, the poressreu reading results, and photo evidence of the supossedly blown breech plug.

You can send it to me in an e-mail or PM. Thanks.

February 15, 2005, 04:32 PM
No problem, 1SHOT1KILL, I’m just keeping them on the straight and narrow.

February 15, 2005, 08:02 PM
I have been to Savage Arms many times My brother worked there for years I have several freinds that work there and several that have retired from Savage arms I am well acquainted With savage arms All Have treid To point to is The M10mlII is not for people who have no experiance If many of the mistakes that are commonly made buy the inexperianced were made with regard to the Savage It will spell disasterThats what I tested for 250 gains mixed smokless powder taken out of 30 30 cartidges shotgun shells and no 556 cartridges and two bullets realy rocked the savage but it survived how ever when we loaded it with a double load one on top of the other we where unable to open the breech because the breech plug blew out The savage rifle is the strongest Muzzle loader on the market But can be broken buy some of common errors in muzzle loading and buy inexperianced people doing silly things Recomending the Savage rifle to the inexperianced person is Like Buying your teenaged son a new high powered sports car The savage is for the experianced muzzle loading rifleman Savage has come long way from the aufull junk that came out of Westfield in the 70s they now are one of the premire rifle makers in the country

February 15, 2005, 08:17 PM
If many of the mistakes that are commonly made buy the inexperianced were made with regard to the Savage It will spell disaster

It should be difficult for you to explain just how, now entering its 6th year of production, it never has. :rolleyes:

February 15, 2005, 10:34 PM
250 grains of mixed powder? Two bullets? And it didn’t blow up, Cool… Now for those of us who can read a manual and stay within factory loads we are good to go! All kidding aside it would appear this test validates the strength of our beloved firearm. Unfortunately that cannot be said for many of the lesser expensive imports that have flooded our shores and stores. Those have blown using book loads of black powder, Pyrodex, and 777 with many injuries documented. If you do not like smokeless powder muzzleloading, that’s fine. If you do not like Savage Arms, that’s fine too. I guess my final question is! Are you really Toby Bridges? :confused:

February 15, 2005, 11:59 PM
NO Iam not Tobby bridges but you clearly like your savage and that fine and if you are having good results that excellent I have conveved the results of a test wich was carfully and safely conducted I own one of these Savages as well and you are also right many of the inported rifles are some what questionable most american made rifles are good and alot better than the spanish booby traps that are flooding in when We read the report by person in question we decided since we were playing with several of these rifles we would see how much it can take well it will take alot but you can break it yes you really can there are several people out there really up set at this well I m sorry its only a rifle its not your first born What do you work for Savage arms the sales figures on that rifle are not indicitive of takeing over the muzzle loader market cva sold more spanish booby traps T/C sold more muzzle loaders dont see the smokeless powder taking over any time soon

February 16, 2005, 05:30 AM
We read the report by person in question we decided since we were playing with several of these rifles we would see how much it can take well it will take alot but you can break it yes you really can there are several people out there really up set at this well

Do you really believe that there is any consumer firearm made anywhere that cannot be 'broken' if misused? :confused:

Negligent use and intentional destruction of a firearm just takes no great rubbing together of braincells. :eek:

February 16, 2005, 09:26 AM
OK, oconnell, so let me try and get this straight. You state that:
what I tested for 250 gains mixed smokless powder taken out of 30 30 cartidges shotgun shells and no 556 cartridges and two bullets

So, you pulled the bullets on 30-30 Win. cartridges, 5.56 (.223 Rem.) cartridges, and cut open shotgun shells, and dumped the mixture of those powders, totalling 250 grains, down the bore, seated two bullets of undiscribed weight, then primed it and fired it? At this point I am very tempted to state some very harsh opinions about your mental capacity and IQ level.

Being that the breech plug and the 10ML-II did not let go all together is a testoment that Savage has come as close as anyone ever has to idiot proofing a firearm. Your own statements of your own irresponsible and unsafe actions, speak volumns of the strength and safety factor of the Savage 10ML-II.

I would strongly recommend that you take a both firearm safety and reloading safety courses. The life you save very well may be your own. Some people just should not be allowed own or handle firearms period.

February 16, 2005, 09:42 AM
After reading a few posts by oconnell I had to join this site. His posts make me want to :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf: :barf:

He clearly has no idea about the Savage, or any other firearm for that mater. I strongly suggest that he visit all 3 of the sites that several others have listed, and read a little bit about this rifle before he posts more BS like what I have read on here.

February 16, 2005, 03:00 PM
1SHOT1KILL, as it pertains to the false or misleading information on the Savage10ml-II I could not have said it any better than you. Your experience and knowledge are second only to Henry’s himself. However, I would like to add a bit to the overall debate. Again, this is my humble opinion so let’s all keep that in mind.

Having grown up hunting the fields and woodlots of central and southern Indiana I’ve hunted may types of game animals and used many legal weapons to harvest them. The weapons used have been dictated by the game laws set forth by the state DNR and voted on in the state legislator. From my first rabbit harvested with a wrist-rocket sling shot at 10 years old to my most recent deer harvested in December of 2004 with my 10ML at 46. I’ve used the laws of my state, the knowledge of the area hunted, the knowledge of the game I’ve pursued, and the training with the weapon to make a clean ethical harvest.

Now if Indiana gave a special hunt to those using longbows over compound bows I would put down my PSE for the weekend and go buy the best longbow I could afford and practice reflex shooting to improve my skills. If Indiana went to a truly primitive black powder hunting season like some areas of the west and Pennsylvania then I would buy the best weapon of that particular legal description and become proficient enough to ethically harvest a deer using that weapon. It has been said by some who know me well that if we were to open a deer season where you dropped from a large limb with a knife in your teeth onto the back of a deer and with one quick slice created a clean harvest then I would be the first to sign up. That might or might not be true!

Hopefully this wondering tale of day’s gone bye and hunts still to come will show all of us that we are really all on the same side.

Humbly submitted,

aka, Pat Allen

February 16, 2005, 03:36 PM
IndianaHunter, point well stated and understood. I too, regardless of whether it be rifle hunting, muzzleloader hunting, bow hunting, changing oil in my vehicle, or hanging new shelves for Mrs. 1SHOT, try my best to have and use the best tools and equipment for the job at hand, within my meager resources, of course.

When it come to muzzleloading hunting, the actual muzzleloader is the tool in which the hunting is conducted with. Example, when nailing a 2x4 stud in place, the hammer is the tool in which the nail is drive in place with. A saw is the tool in which the 2x4 iscut to the correct length. etc.

Rifle, muzzleloaders, and bows, are just tools in which we utilize to cleanly take the game with. The actual preparation, scouting, studying terrian, studying animal movements/habits, stand placement, scent elimination, physical conditioning, weapon practice, etc., and the hunt, is pretty much the same, regardless of the tool that we use to take the game with.

Here in NC, if they were to all of a sudden go back to strictly blackpowder and flintlocks only, then I would have the best flintlock I could possibly afford to build. The same with bows, if compounds were not allwed anymore, I would simply pull my first bow off the wall, a Bear Kodiak Magnum recurve, and go back to hunting with it, like I did 25 years ago.

If they dictated that only sharp rocks on the end of long heavy wooden lengths could ever be used to deer with, then I would have me the best sharpest rock on the end on the best wooden length I could get.

February 16, 2005, 05:15 PM
The responsible use of any firearm is the best way to prove it's worthiness....- as I've stated before any dumb_ss can blow any gun up with enough powder and ball-My opinion on the member using a bunch of pulled mixed powders borders on whether he is a lunatic or ? :eek: and then to state that the gun is unsafe after he did that- I don't know if his education comes into play or just his sanity-the Savage is probably the safest yet most criticised muzzleloader by uninformed shooters- Part of which comes from Savage not putting up the mega bucks on advertising the rest do- these guys should look into it closer-and see the quality- some of these same shooters that dismiss it stand behind a "tradition flag"-ie -its NOT sporting or its NOT a ML if it shoots smokeless - I disagree completely. I still enjoy shooting 3F Black powder in my 45cal Wm. Moore target rifle or showing smoke with friends with one of my old sidelocks but as stated earlier I want to hunt with the BEST tool available- and for me it's the Savage 10MLII- hands down.

February 17, 2005, 09:25 PM
If you are really looking for some such thrill, a bunch of id- uh , hunters in Arkansas and Florida hunt hogs with dogs and go in for the kill with a 6" knife.
I bet that is a hoot, might try it myself if I was 50 years younger.
Don :D

February 17, 2005, 09:32 PM
Actually I'm hog hunting in April but will be using my Henry Ball Savage 10ML-II backed up with my .480 Advantage..

February 18, 2005, 05:55 PM
I have read a lot of storries about hog hunting with a knife. I even met a guy here in Indiana that does that when I was trying to find places to hunt hogs. I have no idea how he gets hogs as often as he does with where he said that he goes. i have ridden 4 wheelers on the same piece of state property, and have not seen any hog sign at all.

February 19, 2005, 07:27 PM
Ah me, whatever happened to respect for tradition. A Messner or a Falchion was what was used for that particular hunting.
Either way, not exactly easy on the pigs...

February 28, 2005, 10:23 AM
Dang - I don't think I'm brave enough to go against a full grown russian boar with an extended bowie knife :eek: - I'll use my Savage 10MLII for the same reason I use a drill press instead of a brace and bit to drill steel- more efficient and faster - (read humane on the kill) - Tradition has it's place but so does innovation- just look at history :D

April 6, 2005, 09:09 PM
here is a good reason!
Little time between shots, no more than 3 min.
Only two patches down the bore all day.
3 shot groups

Group 1 Barnes 300 MZ
45.2 5744
209-A primer

April 19, 2005, 08:21 PM
If your state allows smokeless powder then the above group should be a good reason for the Savage 10-ML-II :cool:

April 20, 2005, 10:19 AM
Indiana, that group would be at what distance please?

Gary, can you explain why the Enfield replica civil war rifle using a minie is so superior for long range shooting than say, the Savage 10 - I just don't get how it could be that much better. Better velocity and therefore trajectory over all other MLs by a wide margin? How can that be, esp. as compared with the smokeless powder ML of the Savage 10. P.S. IIRC, now that I think about it, a "minie ball" is not a ball at all, but a conical bullet, correct? Still, I don't get how a replica rifle can be so superior in either trajectory or accuracy to something like an Encore or Savage 10 let's say. :confused:

4V50 Gary
April 20, 2005, 07:48 PM
First Freedom - As to the English made Parker Hale Enfield, I know it shoots good with the minie casted from the mold they supplied. I cannot attest to how well it shoots with other bullets including the English Pritchett Ball. The latter was used by the Confederates during the war and they were able to attain kills out to 1,000 yards with it. Of course, ask the shooter to repeat that shot and he might just miss. Historically the Enfield was the weapon of choice for the Confederate sharpshooter both in the Army of Tennessee and for the Army of Northern Virginia. It was the best general issue arm for long range shooting in its time. The target guns or Whitworth rifle were superior though but there were trade-offs in terms of weight, amount of training for familiarization and cost.

However, as to how the Parker Hale Enfield stacks up against a Savage 10ML, I don't have first hand experience with the latter. I gave my opinion as to only the crop of Civil War repros. A good place to look would be to see what matches (and what guns are permitted).

April 28, 2005, 11:17 AM
OK, thanks Gary.... :)