Originally Posted by green 788
I'm posting this for a good friend of mine.
He wants to get his 15 year old son a muzzle loader for Christmas, and he's not sure which model and accessories to get.
I am worse than a rank novice where black powder rifles are concerned, but I told my friend that I'd post in a forum where there were plenty of knowledgeable folks and he'd get some good answers.
Price range is under 1000 (one thousand) dollars for rifle and all accessories.
I don't know if the Savage that shoots smokeless powder would be worth the money or not. But I'm sure you guys will know.
The boy is as big as his dad now, so recoil isn't going to be an issue.
I'll be sending my friend Allan the link to this thread, and he'll be checking your responses.
Please be sure to recommend scope and powder and bullets and caps and all other accessories that may be needed.
Thank you all, and may God bless you for helping us out.
If its a designated muzzleloader he would like, my recommendation would be the T/C Pro Hunter FX and he'd be getting his son a great rifle, accurate and reliable. They're selling so many of them, that they may be hard to find. I know of many FX shooters and they just love the rifle. With the right load, it will shoot better than most shooters will be able to shoot them. LESS than 1" three shot groups are common in the hands of a good shooter. With the right load, they're very accurate out to 200yds. Price is around $450 for the rifle only if you shop around.
There's the next step up in the T/C line, which would be the XT. This rifle has the ability to change barrels to either a centerfire or shotgun. Its more expensive but, you can get additional centerfire barrels from .204 up to I believe .375. Its a rifle that can be a multi season/game rifle buy just changing barrels for him as he gets older. It does require a different fore end for either the centerfire or shotgun. I'm very familiar with the Encore platform rifles, having shot them for years.
I would highly recommend starting right out with premium propellants and bullets. I would recommend Blackhorn 209 (BH209) for the propellant. It is loose powder and has to be measured by volume (the right way to learn). Its extremely consistent, you do not have to swab the barrel between shots like other propellants, it has higher velocity, more shots for your money and it cleans up easy with just Hoppe's #9
. This propellant is less corrosive than the other propellants too. It DOES NOT use what they call a "muzzleloader primer". Primers need to be hotter for consistent ignition, especially in very cold weather. CCI209M or Federal 209A are both magnum primers which will consistently ignite properly. Read this entire web site: Blackhorn 209
There are many different, Chevrolet vs Ford opinions about bullets. There are great bullets, good bullets and just plain poor bullets with extremely poor reputations, that can be identified by a simple search of the internet. I've shot many of the different brands at one time or another and have taken many deer with a muzzleloader over almost 40 years. IMO.... there is no better bullet made for a muzzleloader than a Barnes bullet. Each of the different Barnes muzzleloader bullets do exactly what they're designed to do, 100% of the time. Reliable, consistent and accurate. I've shot them exclusively for years and I have 100% confidence in the bullet's reliability, consistency and accuracy. My best groups with this bullet have been, 1/4" at 100yds...... 3/4" at 150yds and 2" at 200yds. That's on my "good days", as I'm getting older and the ol' eyes are not as good as they used to be. Its a premium bullet and yes it will cost more. In this case, you get exactly what you pay for. Read about the Barnes muzzleloader bullets here: Muzzleloader | Barnes Bullets
You'll also want the bullet seating jags. He'll need two, one for the ramrod and one for the bullet starter.
For a rifle scope, its one of the items that you should NOT skimp on and put good optics on the rife. This is very important and no matter how accurate the rifle can be, it will be no better than the optics that are put on top if it. Myself, I use Nikon Monarchs, a personal choice. Nikon, Leupold, Burris, Bushnell and others all make good quality scopes. I happen to prefer Nikon and my second choice would be Leupold. I personally do not like nor recommend multi reticle scopes for muzzleloaders. They're totally unnecessary for the muzzleloader ranges. The only exception that I would consider a multi reticle scope for a muzzleloader, would be for an Ultimate Muzzleloader. However, this rifle is way out of your friend's price range. A quality 3x9 or 2.5x 10 power scope will be great for short or longer range shooting for him. Nikon Hunting Scopes · Leupold
Another accessory that I would recommend is certainly a bullet starter. The larger "T" handles have always been my choice. The bullet seating jag goes on the long end, then you turn it up and there's a hole to fit the ramrod in on the end of the "T". This helps to seat the bullet on the propellant. Hunter Bullet Starter & Ramrod Extension-Information
Other things required would be the cleaning equipment and just about any sporting goods dealer can explain what will be needed. Cleaning patches are a must. You can go just about as "hog wild and pig crazy" as you would want to go with other accessories. Scope covers, slings etc.
WHAT YOU DO NOT WANT TO DO.......... Do not buy cheap and/or hard to use equipment!!! If a new muzzleloader shooter gets frustrated and doesn't get the proper help, he/she will quickly become disinterested and give it up. Not only can this affect him/her with just a muzzleloader, but firearms in general. The initial investment can be as much as you want or can afford but, buy the best possible and find someone to help him learn how to load and shoot it. If its done right, he'll be a muzzleloader for life....
I know this was long but, 40 years expierence goes a long ways. NOT AN EXPERT, just very experienced. Good luck to your friend and his son.