That is 2 different questions. Traditions has an inexpensive ML but you get what you pay for, IMO the tc encore is the best because of the oppitions that come along with it, buy one and end up with 100 defferent guns some time down the line as money allows. Just my thoughts.
I'll recommend the Lyman GPR in .50 perc. as a trad. ML and any kind of the Traditions break open ML in .50 as a modern one. The newest model is the buckstalker. It has break open system and is available in .50.
Like most everything else there is certainly something to "you get what you pay for". That being said I shoot a Traditions break action and have no problems or issues. I uncategorically reccomend it for someone just starting out.
rjr, I shoot a CVA Optima and would recommend it to anyone. It shoots great and is easy to clean. It fit right in with my budget as well. Whatever you decide on though, if this is your first, welcome to the world of muzzle loader hunting. I am sure you will love it.
First of all, if you haven't gone winter backpacking, it needs to happen in the near future. It puts a very unique twist on the summer version of the activity. Yes, it's cold but it's nothing that being prepared can't remedy. Beyond it's therapeutic and recreational value, I think it is a very good tool for the big game hunter as well. I don't think that you can spend too much time getting to know the ins and outs of the area that you hunt. And there is no better way to gain experience in...