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.
Let me start off by saying that I am a scaredy cat.
For someone that spent 3 years in 82nd Airborne jumping out of all manner of military aircraft, my friends find this ludicrous - but... it is what it is!
Climbing stand? Yep, still scared - put me up 15' and that is about it.
Ladder stands? I am better in these - but still cautious.
Chain on stands? Used to love them, now they terrify me.
I was once ridiculed for putting chain on stands waaaay too high - some of my friends...