Here goes: ML basics for western hunting

wildcat westerner

Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2009
Hello, we are trying for quality hunts in New Mexico for muzzleloading. Everyone has some experience in our group except me. I know that rules require iron sights now in New Mexico. My experience is with target shooting to long range with center fire rifles, and I had been a senior member of the P&Y club years ago as a bowhunter.. I have read there are extremely expensive ML rifle available and am curious as to accuracy requirements for these ML,weapons where 300 yards would be a long shot for most hunters, especially with iron sights.
Long ago I was allowed to shoot a Sharps rifle with its special globe front sight and vernier rear sight mounted on the wrist. I was amazed at its accuracy.
Now I would wish to learn about modern developments with regard to a ML rifle capable of accuracy for Mule Deer. I have seen lots of opinions on U Tube and wish to rely on the members of this forum to give me their experienced opinions.
As to sights: the Williams western seems impressive to me. Would there be any practical advantage to 300 yards with using a vernier sight mounted on the wrist of the stock! Due to the sighting radius?
As to bullets: apparently there are bullets made that fit the barrel without a sabot and are easier to reload for a second,or more, shot. If I choose a 45 caliber for deer, which bullet would you recommend for accuracy in that caliber? I assume all these bullets are made of soft lead and should expand significantly on impact.

Thank you in advance,



Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2012
Western Colorado
A lot of questions but to help keep your post at the top, I can tell you what I use. First, I only hunt elk with my muzzleloader, it’s a cva optima .50 caliber. I shoot blackhorn 209 behind a federal 350 bore lock only out to 100 yards. With that combination my shots were still low so with a little bit of re engineering on the front sight I finally got it to hit center at 100 yards. Before I did all that, I investigated those Williams western globe sights, I probably would have bought them to try but at that moment, no one had them in stock. I think the character Dirty Harry summed it up best, every man has to know his limitations, mine is 100 yards with an open sighted muzzleloader. Good luck with your endeavor and to a successful hunt.