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arrowflipper's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 578
What to buy????

Years ago I decided that I NEEDED to start hunting with a muzzle-loader.  I talked my wife into buying me a CVA 50 cal. kit.  (the only gun she has bought me in 45 years of marriage)  I put the rifle together very carefully and it turned out great.  Wasn't all that great of a shooter, but hey, I didn't know the difference.  Less than a year later, we were broken into and that rifle was stolen, just one week before the black powder season opened.

A few years later I went out and got myself a Lyman Great Plains kit.  ( I taught wood shop at the time)  I put that one together and it turned out beautiful.  I hunted with it and took an elk and some deer.  I still have that rifle today, but it's about 20 feet long and very, very heavy.  Not what I would call a rifle to haul around all day while climbing hills.

I picked up a Thompson Hawkin in 50 cal.  Don't remember if I ever took it hunting but ended up giving it to my grandsons.

Which brings me to today..... if I were to go out and pick myself up a new black powder rifle, what should I get?  Do I buy "in line"?  Do I go with a long barrel or short one?  Why?  What caliber?  Synthetic or wood? 

So many questions...... and they all need answers.  Help me, help me, help me.  I'm just a guy that flings arrows so how would I know?

Critter's picture
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Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4423
It all depends on where you

It all depends on where you are going to be hunting.  I believe that you said that you lived in Washington and I believe that Washington, Oregon, and Idaho require the rifle to have a exposed hammer and use caps instead of shotgun primers.  I myself have two muzzleloaders, a Thompson Center Renegade 54 caliber and a T/C Triumph in 50 caliber.  Both are legal here in Colorado but I am restricted on the type of powder and bullets that I can use here.  Now there are other states that the powder and bullet type doesn't matter.  So where is your primary hunting going to be done at? 

Ca_Vermonster's picture
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Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
TC is a great gun, and I also

TC is a great gun, and I also like Knights.  Then again, I like some of the CVAs too, like the optima.  They all make good muzzleloaders.

I would go with a .50 or .54, as Critter says.  I have the .50 myself.  To me, that is the most widely held, and most popular.  The .45 seems to not be very popular, for whatever reason.

As for barell length, you will find most of the name brand guns are within a couple of inches, so I don't think it makes much different.  I used to have an old flintlock CVA, which like your Lyman, was really, really long.  I don't think you will have that problem though with a

hunter25's picture
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Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
Other than the legal aspects

Other than the legal aspects for the area you are going to be hunting like has already been pointed out I think most of the rest of your questions are mostly personal preference. Are you a traditional sort of guy or lean more to the modern stuff? Look at your hunting rifles you have now, are they mostly wood stocks or do you prefer the synthetics with them? For me if I was loking to use a scope and was hunting with one just for the season choice then it would be the most modern accurate one I could afford. If it was to enjoy the season and the use of this type of gun then I would stick with something like you have already tried before.

I only have one experience with a CVA inline when I bought a Firebolt a few years back. It was very accurate but would misfire occasionaly. This was a bolt action model and those are all out of production anyway. I picked up a new Remington Genesis cheap but have not had a chance to try it yet.

The only one I have killed a deer with is an old Cabela's Hawken in .54 caliber. Not as accurate as the inline but out to 100 yards was good to go and knocked em flat with those big slugs.

Whatever you choose I'm sure you'll have a good time with it.

Rem2arms's picture
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Location: Currently Whitehall,NY but soon to be back to Whiting,Vt
Joined: 02/28/2011
Posts: 195
I've only had used three

I've only had used three different black powder rifles. My first was a T/C Hawken in 45 caliber. It was a great rifle I thought and did take a couple deer with it. Then I bought a Remington 700 , blued barrel, black synthetic stock using caps for ignition. It worked ok and was accurate as heck once I sighted in in with the right load of FFFG. Yes, I use FFFG and have for many years now and have never had it fail on me.

Then I was on a club site and seen a fella who was selling his Remington 50 Cal, SS  with a black Syn stock and used the 209 primers, I couldnt pass it up and got a great price, $250 with the case included. I use that rifle faithfully now and have taken many deer with it. It's a little heavy but accurate and trustworthy.

I recently found out that Remington stopped producing them, why I have no clue but I wrote them a letter but to date they haven't responded, figures. Anyway, Thats my choice and my opinion. Thumbs up

Black powder,12-18-2.JPG
Black powder,12-18-2.JPG36.74 KB
mainecoast's picture
Location: Downeast Maine
Joined: 01/27/2011
Posts: 21
American made

I too felt that same "NEED" last fall, so I decided it was time to get into muzzleloading.  I asked many of my friends and family about what to buy, and found out that Thompson Center was the only muzzleloader still manufactured in the U.S.A.  Last fall I purchased a TC Encore 50cal with a wood thumbhole stock.  It was one of two rifles bought for a father son hunt that never happened.  The rifle had never been fired when I purchased it.  As a matter of fact, it still hasn't been fired as winter set in before I could purchase the scope.  When the weather finally straightens out, hopefully I will get a chance to finish setting it up.  Here is a picture of the rifle.

T-C Encore 50cal.jpg
T-C Encore 50cal.jpg1.62 MB
groovy mike's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539
be legal

definitely find out what is legal in Washington.  I know that you are a traditional implement sort of fellow, but I also know that you are a practical lets put meat in teh freezer sort of hunter.  If it is legal in Washington I would buy the newest fangled most effective inline that you can get and think of it as a single shot rifle with an extended season.  Don't even call it a 'primitve weapon' in your head because it really isn't.  Its a killing stick to put another deer in the freezer.  If you want to play mountain man, buy a smooth bore flintlock and try to shoot birds and bunnies with a handful of gravel but don't think it's for killing deer.  Just my 2 cents.....

sdwolfden's picture
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Location: Custer, SD
Joined: 09/07/2010
Posts: 83
I had the idea to get a

I had the idea to get a muzzleloader as a way to extend my hunting seasons.  I bought a CVA Wolf 50 cal.  My thought was, not to stick a lot of money into it just in case I didn't like it.  Well, I love it.  My wolf has taken 4 deer in 3 years and 2 of them dropped where they stood and the other 2 didn't run more than 25 yards.  I use  100 grains of Pyrodex pellets and 295 grain Powerbelt bullets.  During our muzzleloader season, we can't use scopes so the fiber optic sights work great.  IMHO CVA are good guns at a reasonable price and I can testify that they do the job.

Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 382
Maybe Not A CVA Accura V2

Just finished reading a product review in the March issue of American Hunter magazine on this rifle and based on what I read I wouldn't put this one in the running for a new muzzleloader.  For $600 retail the rifles ramrod guides and the front sight blade worked loose after just a few days at the range.  That's not what I'd be looking for with that much money spent.

The author of the review also had an interesting comment on the thumbhole stock that I hadn't considered before as I've never used one.  With exposed hammer rifles, pulling the thumb out of the stock to work the hammer is awkward at best.  This isn't something I'd want to be thinking about when I've got a critter working it's way into range.

I'm old school with muzzleloader so my choice is and would be a  classic side lock weapon.  That said, after determining what is legal in the area(s) you'll be hunting in, for ease of use and maintenance I'd suggest a stainless barreled composite stocked .50 caliber inline rifled for bullets (as opposed to round ball) and equiped with a quality peep sight.  As it seems every other brand is compared to the similar model Thompson Center, it looks like T/C is the standard and you can't really go wrong with one.

FrontierGander's picture
Location: Boncarbo,CO
Joined: 12/01/2008
Posts: 87
CVA Accura V2 is one hell of

CVA Accura V2 is one hell of a gun for little money.

My brother with his V2, 120gr Blackhorn209, CCI 209 Magnum primers, .451" Harvester PT Gold in a long black crush rib sabot. This was from 153 yards.

Location: SW Mtns. NM
Joined: 05/04/2008
Posts: 227
I got a TC Z5 Omega a few

I got a TC Z5 Omega a few years ago and love it. Put a Nikon Omega scope on it . I use BH 209 powder and 250 TMZ Barnes sabots. Get good groups out to 200 yrds. Now I just have to fill an elk tag with it,was unsuccessful last year,tough hunt.

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