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Question for muzzleloaders ??

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by oldbrass, Jan 24, 2012.

  1. oldbrass

    oldbrass WA Active Member

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    Any muzzle loaders out there?I live in Washington.I tried archery for the long hunting season and its not my cup of tea. A friend of mine gets an elk almost every year muzzle loading and suggests I try it. I`ve never fired a muzzle loader. I looked at the state regs and sais (Exposed primer only) and no 209 primers. can an inline qualify for this? This is all new to me so I`m just testing the water here. what would be a good starter gun for a left-hand shooter, must be .50 cal or better for elk.
    Any and all comments would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I would assume an inline would count as long as you can see the PRECUSSION CAP with the action closed. It must be as they say exposed to the weather. MANY of the new Muzzle loaders would not qualify since the cap is inside of a closed compartment (like ahead of the bolt in a bolt action muzzle loader)

    Thompson Center Encore, Pro Encore, Pro Hunter FX, Triumph, Omega, Impact, would not qualify

    Thompson Center, Northwest Explorer Triumph™ - Thompson/Center
    And their Traditional Hawkins style rifles http://www.tcarms.com/firearms/mzTraditional.php would qualify but do not come in left hand any more.

    IN Traditions the left hand Hawkin style in precussion would fit your needs Hawken .50 Caliber Percussion (Left Handed)-Information

    All of their other Muzzle loaders appear to be sealed ignition

    Knights Bighorn Rifles while not left handed do have an open breach and can use a precussion cap ignition.

    CVA On first look doesn't make any that would quailfy any more.

    Another option would be to travel to somewhere like the Gun Room in Springfield Oregon where they have maybe hundreds of new and used rifles and see what you like.
  3. fry

    fry pacific north west Active Member

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    Have been happy with a rem 700ml. Don't think they make them anymore. ML are fun to shoot and fun hunt with.
  4. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If I read the reviews correctly the Remington 700ML which hasn't been made since 2005 also uses (or has as an option) a 209 primer ignition as well as a weather shroud.

    If the rifle can be used with a precussion cap and without the weather shroud I guess it would qualify. Though its not a rifle built in left hand.
  5. aheider

    aheider Oregon New Member

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    I have been very successful with a .50 caliber Knight Bighorn (used to be called a Wolverine). It has an open to the weather breech and can use no. 11 caps, musket caps, or a 209 ignition depending on the breach plug. I believe the rifle comes with all three. I use no. 11 caps and 100 grains (by volume not weight) two F (ffg) Triple Seven powder under a 385 grain Hornady Great Plains conical bullet. That load shoots great in several Knight Bighorn rifles. I have also swithced the rear sight with a Williams peep sight in the rear most scope base holes. I like the peep sight better but YMMV. I have killed antelope, blacktail, elk, mule deer, and whitetails with that setup.

    I'm not sure if Knight makes an actual left handed rifle however I think it would work fine. The safety will be on the right side.


    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably not the right person to give input because I really enjoy Muzzleloader season. But I cotton more toward the traditional style and stay away from neo-contemporary modern firearms and optics and methods. I need the meat to feed my family but now the experience supersedes the need to have hi-viz sights, poly monte Carlo stocks, gore tex jackets et al. When i can take time off to go, I prefer to hunt in traditional wool clothing with a traditional Hawkin style .54 rifle using a ball and patch and real Goex FF black powder! Too many folks are fearful to learn the old ways but for me the spirit of Muzzleloader season is to live and hunt likemy forefathers. Regardless of how you do it, enjoy hunting with primative arms! I guess I'll retire to my canvas cabin tent now and check on the wood stove and light my pipe!
    ogre, Sling Blade, mjbskwim and 3 others like this.
  7. ogre

    ogre Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    OFADAN expresses my own feelings most admirably.

    Oldbrass, as far as traditional styled muzzleloaders go, some left-hand shooters find the hammer in a caplock or the cock and frizzen in a flintlock rifle to be very distracting. If you also find that to be true perhaps you would be well served with an underhammer rifle.

    My own underhammer is a semi-custom 62 caliber Zephyr rifle. It is definitely elk medicine.

    Be forewarned that black powder and white smoke can be very addicting.
  8. badclam

    badclam willapa bay Sunny SW WA Active Member

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    I've hunted muzzle loader in WA. for about 30 years. I started out with a CVA kit rifle in 50 cal. that my father had put together. We used patch,ball,#11 caps,FF black powder,wool clothes ect. It's all we had and there was no internet to order up anything else. In the rain here on the coast we had a lot of problems with misfires.Nothing like snapping caps at a big bull only to finally scare him away. Fortunately the local hardware store kept up on trends and soon enough I had a 54 Cal. Hawkins style rifle that used musket caps ,which are way more water resistant. Then came Buffalo Balls. A conical soft lead bullet that needed no patch,weighed a ton,and had a hollow point. This really made our smoke poles lethal for elk. The big conical's made it a lot easier to put the elk on the ground. We always got our animals with the patch and ball, but many animals got away wounded and were never found. I feel ethically a patch and ball in the hands of most hunters is not enough for elk. Eight years ago I bought a Knight Bighorn which is an inline muzzle loader designed to be legal in states with more primitive muzzle loader laws. In 8 years I have killed 12 elk and lost none with the Bighorn. It is stainless steel so it doesn't rust up like blued rifles. If you buy a traditional style muzzle loader and shoot it in the rain,your rifle will start to rust before you can reload it. Well maybe not quite that fast, but almost. Real black powder makes corrosive chemicals when it burns. I have gone from traditional to modern muzzle loader because it is a more effective weapon. Some would say that takes away from the real spirit of muzzle loading. I don't agree. I still have 1 shot and have to use open sights. I think the pioneers who used their rifles to survive would approve of the modern muzzle loader rifles. I however do not want to see glass optics or 209 ignitions allowed. Then everyone would start hunting during muzzle loader season. With the open sights you have to get close no matter how flat shooting your rifle is. In 2009 I shot a Roosevelt Elk that made it into Boone & Crockett. It's the #14 Roosevelt in WA. state taken with a muzzle loader. With all the logging roads being gated around here the bulls are getting bigger. Not because of less hunting as much as less poaching. We go deeper and deeper every year finding more opportunity.

    So as far as the purist muzzle loaders that will mostly tell you my Bighorn rifle shouldn't be allowed. Well if they rode their horse out to the hunting grounds,are hunting with a flintlock rifle,are wearing clothes they made from animals they killed,cast their balls,and traded chickens they raised or gold they panned for their powder,my hats off to you and I'll except your criticism. The rest of the so called purist are some were in the middle,using pickup trucks,cellphones,and refrigeration,and IMHO have no right to cast stones.