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?