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Joined: 08/26/2010
Posts: 13
Break-Action vs Bolt-Action ML

Im researching ML's as I might have to end up using one for my hunt this year. My initial research shows I can find a ML legal (#209 prohbited and cap must be visible before firing) for my state and there are two different styles (break-action or bolt-action). I'm happy that I won't have to use my old T/C Traditional Cap ML!!!

I'd like to see if there are any major complaints about either style.

I'm looking at the following ML;

  • T/C Northwest Explorer (break-action)
  • Traditions Vortek Ultra-Light Northwest Edition (break-action)
  • Traditions Evolution (bolt-action)
  • CVA Elkhorn Pro (bolt-action

Can anyone provide me with their opinions on any of these ML? Complaints about Bolt vs Break action?

hunter25's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Colorado western slope
Joined: 11/13/2009
Posts: 3040
I have not hunted with a

I have not hunted with a muzzle loader for a few years now but the last time I did I was using a bolt action. In my opinion I would not get one unless you can really check it out as the bolt system in mine was clumsy and slow for getting another cap on, there was just not enough room in there. Without the use of a capping tool to reach in for you it was almost impossible to get a cap on at all. It was quick with a capper but if you lost or broke it you would have a rough time. The break open seems like a much easier option to deal with for me.

Mine was a CVA firebolt by the way and I have no experience with the ones you mentioned.

Joined: 08/26/2010
Posts: 13
Good point. I went and

Good point. I went and checked each model out at the local gun dealer yesterday and I will have to side with you... the rear-break would be much easier to put a cap on without a cap-tool. There seems to be more room to get your fingers in there vs the small area of a bolt action.

The both actions felt good. Like you said, I could see how, if you were in a hurry the bolt might be an area of concern.

Another question I though of is barrel twist. One of the T/C has a barrel twist of 1:48 and the others all have a twist of 1:28. I will primarily be hunting Elk and possibly using it to hunt deer in a short-range hunt. For my purpose should I be concerned about barrel twist?

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4413
The slower rate of twist of

The slower rate of twist of 1:28 would be best for shooting sabbated loads.  Where you are at I believe that you need to shoot pure lead bullets so a 1:48 would be best for you.  In all reality with the restrictions that are put on your hunting season I would just go with what you are familiar with and use your traditional ML, it will work quite fine for elk or deer.  The only real pluss that I have seen with a inline vrs a traditional is weight.  I personally killed 3 elk and 5 deer with a T/C Renegade and open sights over the years.  You also talk about speed in placing a new cap onto the nipple, one thing about using black powder in a ML is that they are slow to reload.  With quite a bit of practice I was able to get off 3 shots in a minute with good accuracy when I first started to ML hunt years ago but that was with speed loaders sitting right in front of me with everything ready to go. 

Joined: 08/26/2010
Posts: 13
  Would the 1:48 ROT shoot


Would the 1:48 ROT shoot the sabbated loads as well and still provide decent range/accuracy?

You are correct, I have to use lead bullets in a Muzzle-loader only hunts.

One of the main reasons for wanting to upgrade to something modern is the gun could be used in one of my short-range weapons hunts. I have a Model 870 and with #00 that I currently use in the S.R. hunt, but I'm limited to about 50yards. I can use the #209 primer, along with a scope as well as Sabot rounds and get a increase in range.

I agree, it's going to take some figuring out which load and bullet work for me as well as practice to get a decent chance at a second shot. I def like the speed loaders thou. 



FrontierGander's picture
Location: Boncarbo,CO
Joined: 12/01/2008
Posts: 87
1:28 will do best for

1:28 will do best for conicals and sabots.  1:48 is kind of an inbetween rate for conicals and patched balls.

Joined: 08/26/2010
Posts: 13
that's kind of dissapointing,

that's kind of dissapointing, as the rifle I really liked (T/C Northwest Explorer for design and budget) has the 1:48 ROT.

thanks everyone for the insight on the ROT.