I keep waiting and hoping to see, hear or read about muzzleloader hunting with big bore calibers. Unfortunately everyone seems in a rush to turn their smoke pole into an inefficeint version of their bolt action -06 (or .270 or whatever). I always giggle (or frown) when I see an .50 inline with a 4x12 scope stuffed with the now cookie cutter load of 150 gr of wonder pellets under a saboted light for caliber pistol bullet. The scope reticle is pre-calibrated to ranges out to 250 yards or more and the bullet isn't even .50 cal but rather .45. Just how a 250 yard shot at an animal with this rig is any more challenging or impressive than the same shot with the old .308 I haven't figured out yet. On the other hand, hearing about someone sneaking up to chip shot range and killing a big game animal with a controlled shot from a large bore and I know I'm listening to someone who prides themselves on hunting and not just shooting.
Reading the article, I can't quite get behind a load using 200 grains of FFg. I'm not so much concerned about damaging the gun (although possible with some lower or questionable quality imports) as much as I wouldn't want to waste the powder. I'll bet a significant amount would end up unburned on the ground. Much more than 120 gr would be too much & I'll bet the best loads for efficiency and accuracy would be between 90 and 110 grains.
There is something about the look and feel of a bolt action rifle with a walnut stock that pleases me. Call me old fashioned, but the character of the rifle I choose to own is equally as important to me as how that rifle performs.
I’ll be the first to admit that the lack of weight in a carbon fiber stock is awfully nice when chasing elk in high country and that any synthetic could help a bit when mother natured decides to rain on your parade. My own preference, however, is to...