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Help me pick a ML

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Old 04-02-2013, 07:31 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: AZ
Posts: 230
Help me pick a ML

Well a little bit of background, long range shooting and loading are nothing new to me, but front-stuffers are. I've shot them here and there, but never developed a load for one, or owned one. On a long chance my mom drew a ML bull elk tag. I need to get a ML and get it shooting good out to 100yds by Sep. I'd like to get a muzzle loader that I could do something with in the future. A few years ago I was set on a Savage ML10-II. I'd like something I could reach out to 300yds. Further would be better, but I don't want to wrap up a bunch of money into a custom ML that gets used once every 5-10 years. I've seen a few customs that are very impressive, but ML aren't really my thing. Am I on the right path looking into a Savage. Any other suggestions?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:05 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: AZ
Posts: 230
Re: Help me pick a ML

Did a little more research, looks like smokeless powder is out in AZ. From AZ hunt regs "loaded through the muzzle with black powder or synthetic black powder"
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Old 04-03-2013, 07:26 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NE MI and a lake with no fish
Posts: 344
Re: Help me pick a ML

Also consider that some states do not allow saboted bullets during their dedicated muzzleloader seasons but, I believe they're allowed during the regular seasons. This must be a consideration, as some will shoot conicals better than others. Although some of those rifles that won't shoot a conical good, they will shoot a Thor great. Another bullet option for those states not allowing sabots......

Big difference between a whitetail and elk but, I know hunters that have taken deer at 300yds. Muzzle velocity starts to drop and bullet energy drops off significantly too. I'm not an elk hunter but, someone should be able to tell you the minimum recommended bullet energy for elk.

I prefer shooting Blackhorn 209 propellant. There are a ton of reasons for that. I'd highly suggest you consider it but, make sure when purchasing a muzzleloader that the breech plug is designed to shoot it. Many of the CVA rifles require either a replacement breech plug or modification. T/C rifles need no modification and will shoot it right out of the box. Blackhorn 209

I'm partial to the T/C Pro Hunter and have been a T/C shooter since the Encore platform came out. If..... I had the opportunity to hunt elk, my choice of propellant would be BH209, with CCI209M primers and I'd switch from my usual 250gr Barnes TMZ to the heavier 290gr Barnes TMZ bullets. With BH209 the maximum charge is 120grs (V). I currently shoot 110grs (V). If my groups held, I'd shoot the max 120gr (V) load.

Good luck with your decision.......... practice, practice, practice
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Old 04-03-2013, 11:13 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: 4422′44″N 1082′35″W
Posts: 3,821
Re: Help me pick a ML

I had a TC encore when they first came out i only shot it a few times but it seemed like a pretty legit setup. If I were to buy another id look into the TC lineup. they seem to have it figured out

Anything less than overkill is underachievement!

" Real elk guns start with the number 3 or bigger and blow two holes, one in and one out." - My Dad
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Old 04-04-2013, 05:04 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 234
Re: Help me pick a ML

Young buck, if you are a LR shooter you would like the Sav. ML. You can use the Blackhorn 209 powder and I have shot it in my older TC. Sold the TC because I like shooting bug holes since I reload. There are all kind of variations of loads you could use to shoot in the Savage. They also will shoot sabot less if needed. You would not be disappointed.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:25 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Carey, Idaho
Posts: 963
Re: Help me pick a ML

Well, since you asked, I'll give you my opinion. First off, I'm a traditional guy with muzzleloaders and archery. Don't want to step on toes but in my opinion and FOR ME, they both are a close range primitive endeavor. So, that being said, you can't go wrong with a T/C hawken. You can shoot round balls and conicals out of that. I also have a Lyman and a pedersoli which also both shoot great. I think someone else said it but practice, practice, practice. And if you know anyone that already shoots a smokepole, you would be way ahead of the curve to get with them and learn all you can. They are actually really easy to shoot but you can make mistakes.
Congrats to your mom and good luck.

"Every man has a purpose---------mine is to be behind a rifle.........."

"I'd rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than be in any city on earth." ---Steve McQueen
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:57 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Wolfesville, MD
Posts: 773
Re: Help me pick a ML

I have a TC Hawkins flintlock that I've hunted with, but since I bought a Savage ML and converted it to 45 Cal. The TC sits in the safe. Just too much trouble cleaning it every time I shot it.
The SML's can shoot non saboted loads basically in one hole. The real cats meow for me is a converted 700 ML to a 45 cal or smaller.
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