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.
Others have offered up a sighting of roughly 2 inches high at 100 yards as a good sighting scheme. In my own experience I have come to favor a sighting of 3.5 inches high at 100 yards. This allows for the individual to hold dead-on (directly in the middle of the top and bottom) the animal out to roughly 350 yards.
Magnum calibers such as the 7mm Remington and 300 Winchester will extend this slightly. At 400 yards I hold directly on the backbone of the animal. The drop at this range allows the...