View Full Version : Muzzleloading for elk

January 8, 2007, 07:05 PM
I plan on going out to Coloardo for a muzzleloader elk/muley hunt in the next 2-3 yrs. Currently I only have a flintlock muzzleloader that I use and have experience with. I want to but a new in line before too long so I can start practicing with it. I know it's going to have to be iron sights, and load from the muzzle, and I can't use any sabots in Colorado. Any advice on which gun to get?? I have almost 10 years experience shooting and hunting (and mis-firing) with my flintlock, but the word of in lines is all new to me.

January 8, 2007, 08:18 PM
I love my Remington 700 MLR.........hpg

January 8, 2007, 09:06 PM
I'm not 100% sure what the laws are in Col. But in Idaho we have 2 different Muzzelloader seasons , if you go on what they call a primitive hunt you have to use round ball and patch and no inlines are aloud, And only open sights always, so check it out before you jump into it, Muzzelloading is Great, I have taken 3 elk and one Deer with a smoker, in Idaho the seasons are generaly later, and you can bet on some snow, that always make it easer, I still use my old 50 cal. Hawkins,,as for misfires you can buy what they call a supper nipple or if your careful you can just driil the stock one out a size or two, but be careful not to go to big or your get flashback in your eyes,so make sure you read the specks first on how far you can go safely???
just keep the wind in you face ,, have fun and good luck
God Bless

January 8, 2007, 10:06 PM
First of all .50 Cal is the minimum for elk, but you probably have already read the regs since you knew about the no scope and no sabot rule. I've never hunted anything but deer during muzzle loader season. I think that just about any good inline rifle will work just fine. I have some friends who will tell you one brand or the other but all it really matters is that you have a reliable rifle. I also have some friends that only hunt "traditional" with side lock rifles, so you would have company if you wanted to use your trusty flint lock.

As far as bullets go I know people who use the power belts which are legal during our one and only ml season. I've used lyman shocker and maxi-ballets for deer with good success they go completly through and have never recoved one. I use a CVA Deer Stalker rifle, it is a little too cheaply made and hasn't been 100% reliable so that is why I've only used it on deer.

I've heard good things about T/C Omega/Encore, Knights, CVA, and NEF/H&R. If you are looking for a rifle to do double duty look at the T/C Encore or the NEF/H&R Handi Rifles so you can get other barrels. Some of the combo rifles from NEF/H&R will get you a muzzle loader, centerfire rifle, and shotgun for less than the price of a T/C Encore.

January 9, 2007, 01:45 PM
You can use the powerbelt bullets in Colorado, in fact this year that is the bullet recommended by the only decent sporting goods store around Poudre Pass.
I personally have taken a liking to my CVA Optima. .50 cal, break open, synthetic stock,209 primer(the only way to go) and 110 grains of powder (you cannot use pellets in Co.) I like Shockey's Gold Powder.

Accurate and deadly to 150+ on Elk.

The powerbelt bullets open nicely. I will attach a link, to a pic, of a before and after bullet on a whitetail.

Good luck and do some walking before you head to the mountains.


January 9, 2007, 06:04 PM
It'd be hard to go wrong with a T/C Encore or Savage 10ML.

January 9, 2007, 06:17 PM
Thanks for all the info guys. I see in the regulations that the muzzloader has to be loaded from the muzzle. I see a lot of the new Muzzleloader break open, does that mean that they load that way, or do they still load from the muzzle. So why do the call them MUZZLEloaders if they don't load from the muzzle? :confused: Maybe for cleaning purposes? Pardon the dumb in-line questions but I'm from Pa, our smokepoles have to have flint and steel and they still are loaded from the muzzle....so you can see how I'm confused.

January 9, 2007, 06:41 PM
No, break opens still load from the muzzle - they just break open to allow you to put in the primer/cap, then close to keep the weather off the primer. They are also handy when cleaning, after you unscrew the breech plug - you can then easily clean from the breech.

Jack O'Conner
January 9, 2007, 07:27 PM
My friend over in Sturgis hunts in the mts north of Steamboat nearly every year. He has taken some very large bulls with his Thompson Center Hawken in 50 caliber which he back back in the 1970's. It has the "old style" exposed hammer and fired by a percussion cap. But he upgraded the sights a few years back to fiber optic style. Brad tells me he has great luck with the MAXI-ball.

Don't assume the older style cap lock rifles are inferior.

January 9, 2007, 07:35 PM
Well I'm assuming that there are ones that don't load from the muzzle since Colorado says they have to load from the muzzle. So I'm assuming that by breaking it open to put the primer/cap on, that that's not considered loading it from the muzzle...you still have to place your "projectile" down the barrel from the muzzle.

January 9, 2007, 07:54 PM
I like the old style side lock percussion rifles.The Green Mountain replacement barrels for Thompsons have a 1 in28 twist and will shoot as good as anything out there.When I get ready to hunt I take HCFC contact cleaner and spray in the primer socket while turning the rifle 360 degrees barrel down until it runs out the end of the barrel.Then a place a small piece of Saran wrap over the nipple and place the primer over the Saran wrap.I have hunted in all kinds of rain storms with no misfires.Here is a nice deer that I took with only 60 grains of Pyrodex.

January 9, 2007, 08:33 PM
Head to Chuck Hawk's website for some great info on different muzzleloader brands:


Looks like you have most of the rules covered (no pelletized powder, load from the muzzle, no sabots, no scopes or holographic sights.)

I hunted muzzleloader for deer in Colorado this year. I found a 295 Powerbelt pushed by 95 gr of 777 worked really well in my muzzleloader.

Now, at the risk of hijacking the thread, my ML is a Thompson Center Omega, and incidentally, it is FOR SALE.

I just purchased an Encore and I want a stainless 209x50 barrel for it. So, the Omega must be sold to fund that purchase!

I am selling the T/C Omega for $250 + Shipping. If interested drop me a PM.

January 10, 2007, 08:48 PM
LOVE my Encore. This is "just" a Whitetail, but it's my first muzzle-loader animal. The Encore is very easy to figure out and use and is forgiving in my experience. I used a 250 grain Shockwave over two 50 grain 777 pellets. Both shoulders were broken, the range was only about 12 yards, and the deer simply dropped. I'm sure you could find an equally potent load for Elk that it legal for the area you will be hunting. The Encore can take up to three 50 grain 777 pellets, 150 grains total.


January 11, 2007, 03:24 PM
Before I bought the Optima, I had never fired a muzzleloader or had any experience loading or priming one.
I took some good advice from some experienced guys.

I am not kickin the old style muzzleloaders, they were, are, and will be adequite and fun to use.

The break-open I spoke of in the earlier post is for loading primer and cleaning purposes as has been said. It still loads from the muzzle.

The 209 primer can be kept in a bottle of water until you are ready to fire it. It is waterproof. That is only one benefit of that primer but in the mountains during fall weather, it is a good benefit. There are many more.

I also hunted muleys in CO. last fall with my CVA. No luck finding that nice 4X4 but it was a good trip none-the-less.

I would recommend the Thompson Omega or Encore as well as the CVA I shoot. I bought the CVA because it was 125 bucks cheaper than the Encore. If I buy another, I will spend more money on it, now that I know how much I love it.

I would not recommend any muzzleloader unless you plan on practicing shooting for accuracy and loading in the field. Speed loaders are a must for mountain hunting and a muzzle condom. You can find them both in many sporting goods stores. Good luck and have fun.

January 11, 2007, 04:28 PM
Yep, CVA's will get it done. Shot a elk this fall with a $58 and change out the door, CVA Bobcat from Wally's with 100 grains of Triple 7 under a 320 grain T/C mini ball. first shot broke the front shoulder, still weighed 197 grains after breaking the large bone and the second went thru the lungs and was not recovered.

Read the regulations this hunt was a traditional muzzle loader hunt that has to use granule powder and a side lock with open sights, round ball or lead mini ball. No inlines, sabots, 209 primers or scopes.

Don't forget your starter ball. I did and ripped a nice hole in my palm ramming that second shot down the barrel with the rod. Didn't even feel it till I noticed my hand was bleeding. It was a memorable exciting hunt to me, like I had not experienced in a long time.