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Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

Feature Article:
Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

Please use this area to post comments or questions about this feature article.

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

Great article! I'm really glad to see that you dispell some of the myths about modern inlines being able to down an elk or deer at 200 yards.

It's also nice to see that you mention the fact that in most Western states (at least in CO, where I live!) pelletized powder, sabots, and scopes are all illegal during the muzzleloader season. This means that the modern inlines have no functional advantage at all over a traditional caplock rifle. The only advantage that they have is that their look and feel is more familiar to most riflemen.

Again, great article.

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Joined: 04/22/2003
Posts: 19
Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

Great article - I concur on the subject of range. One thing I noticed-a slow twist (1:60 or slower)is for round balls and the fast twist(1:32, or faster)is for conicals and sabots. In your article you stated fast twists were for round balls.

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[ This Message was edited by: rkensparc on 2003-04-23 13:09 ]

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Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2003
Posts: 394
Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

"Keep in mind, however, that certain muzzleloader barrels are cut with a fast twist for shooting round balls, and others are rifled with a slow twist for shooting slugs."

Hey! You're right. I didn't even notice this. I guess my mind just automatically switched them. Obviously a simple mistake, but this is exactly backwards.

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Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

Glad you enjoyed the article, I hope it is useful in getting people started in becoming a longhunter.

You are correct about the slow versus fast twist. This slipped past my review, thank you for pointing out the problem.

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Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 46
Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

Very good advice in this article but I would only add 2 things. If you choose to use a flintlock my suggestion is you should use shooting sticks to steady the gun and/or shorten your maximum range. You can make your own sticks out of willow.
The other thing is there is a new product out that is amazing. It's called Ultraborecoat. A friend turned me on to this stuff. I have used it in my custom flintlock, a Knight in-line and a Shiloh Sharps Black powder cartridge gun. You order a kit that contains cleaning instructions,the solution and a degreaser. Follow the directions carefully and get ready to have fun. This stuff coats the bore filling in all the tiny grooves and cracks in the metal that grab lead, copper and powder fouling. It also protects the bore from rust. I no longer need to swab the bore between shots. The other day I shot my longrifle 15 times without cleaning at all. Just load and shoot there was no excess crud build-up or loss of accuracy. The kit contains enough solution to treat at least 4 guns all for $40. You can check it out at http://www.Ultracoatingsinc.com. I figure to save enough on cleaning supplies to pay for it.

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Joined: 08/26/2005
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Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide
rkensparc wrote:
Great article - I concur on the subject of range. One thing I noticed-a slow twist (1:60 or slower)is for round balls and the fast twist(1:32, or faster)is for conicals and sabots. In your article you stated fast twists were for round balls.

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[ This Message was edited by: rkensparc on 2003-04-23 13:09 ]

My father in law has an old 25 year old .45 cal caplock with a 1:48' twist. For almost 50 years he used round balls flawlessly, than 2 years ago he noticed that they would go from a 2 inch group to a 4 inch group. Last year, he tried round ball all day, and he couldn't get them to pattern for anything. He is old school, gave me crap for having an in-line and all that, but mine still uses #11 caps. Anyhow, I suggested powerbelts, and he laughed and said they wont work for his gun. I told him I would buy him a pack, and if they didnt work, he wouldn't be out any money. We went to the local gun store and bought him a pack. Now I use the iron sights on my in-line, and at 100 yards can get 3 shots in a skoal can, but mind you my ml is a 1-32' twist. He loaded his uphis ml with 90 grain of pyrodex and a powerbelt. Within 3 shots, he got them close, and after those adjustments, his shots were all hitting in a skoal can at 100 yards too! He now swears by powerbelts. He got 3 doe last year at 70 yards, and missed an 8 pointer when his gun failed to fire. He said he had accidentally put to much oil in when he was cleaning. Brick Wall,) but other than that all been good so far. In fact, he was out shooting the other day, and once again, dead on and 3 shots in a skoal can. Now I gotta get mine out and get it ready

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Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 46
Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

When I plan to go hunting I swab the gun with denatured alcohol before loading. It gets the oil out. Just practice so you know where that first shot from a clean bore is going.

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Joined: 08/26/2005
Posts: 46
Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide
Del in KS wrote:
When I plan to go hunting I swab the gun with denatured alcohol before loading. It gets the oil out. Just practice so you know where that first shot from a clean bore is going.

Thanks for the tip Del, I will have to try that myself. I will use any tips I can get for ML hunting, being as I am still a newbie myself to it after 4 years. Learn something new every year.

I am 27, and a NRA Member too, going on 5 years now.

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Joined: 05/30/2008
Posts: 46
Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

Jason,

Mix 1/3 Murphies oil soap 1/3 Denatured alcohol and 1/3 Hydrogen Peroxide. It makes the the best and least expensive black powder solvent you will ever use. Store in a dark bottle to protect the Peroxide. This stuff melts fouling like a snowflake on a hot stove. Also I have borecoated all my Black Powder guns.
That stuff is amazing it prevents rust, limits fouling and makes the gun easier to load without cleaning between shots. You can get it at Mack's Prairie Wings or online at ultracoatingsinc. Just make sure you apply it exactly by the directions. you will love the stuff. There is enough in 1 kit to treat 5 or 6 guns. It also works great on bullet molds and breechplugs. Good luck hunting this is my 48th year and still can't get enough.

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Joined: 07/31/2007
Posts: 635
Muzzleloader Hunting: A Beginner's Guide

That remedie sounds neat. I might try it this fall.

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