Need help! Buying my first ML

Discussion in 'Muzzleloader Hunting' started by CBS, May 14, 2018.


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  1. CBS

    CBS Well-Known Member

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    Ok, drew a tag. Never owned one, only shot a couple. Not new to shooting and reloading. Have a couple custom rifles and some semi customs. Now I need to decide what to do with this purchase.

    Looking for something to shoot 500+ going to mount either a nightforce or zeiss. Hunting in Utah, hopefully someone knows more about the regs than I do.

    Here are 4 options I'm considering:

    Custom muzzleloader- used, less than 200rds cost is $2k

    Cooper- new, $1700

    Remington ultimate muzzleloader new, $750ish

    Savage ml10 ii $900ish I'm not typically a savage fan but I'm keeping an open mind.

    Open to any and all opinions!
     
  2. ENCORE

    ENCORE Well-Known Member

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    You're going to have a rough time going beyond 500 with black powder or substitutes, that is for the required bullet energy at that distance.

    Smokeless propellant is not muzzleloader legal https://wildlife.utah.gov/rules-regulations/942-r657-5--taking-big-game.html

    If it were me, I'd go with the Remington Ultimate Muzzleloader (RUM) and immediately have the Arrowhead Sporting Goods (ASG) replacement breech plug installed. There are three who are installing the replacement breech plugs, Luke Horak, Levi Reed (Utah) and Jeff Fisk. Its taking the RUM to a whole new level. BH209 can be used with the new BP's without worry of gas cutting nipples, and with heavier charges other production muzzleloaders are not capable of.

    http://arrowheadsporting.com/asggen2_uml.html
    https://lrcustomsinc.com/
    https://www.facebook.com/Bestill-Creations-Custom-Muzzleloaders-583021805207339/
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  3. Bigeclipse

    Bigeclipse Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry to break the news to you but you will not be able to get past 500 yards with a ML. Even beyond 300 is difficult at best. Go join some of the muzzleloader forums with the competition muzzleloader guys. A muzzleloader that shoots 2in groups at 100 yards is typical. 1.5in is great and sub MOA is on the rare side and has a lot to do with more than just the muzzleloader quality itself (for example how hard you ram the projectile, to fouling shots, and how you swab in between shots...etc) Even if you are lucky enough to have a 1inch gun at 100 yards things change drastically past 250 yards. Competition muzzleloader shooters are aiming to go 1.5-2MOA at 300 yards as an FYI which is a 3-6inch group. Distances beyond that and it gets even worse. Lots of people jump into the muzzleloader game expecting to do what a rifle can do and it is just simply not possible. If you came on here saying you wanted to hunt elk out to 300 yards then id be saying will be tough but definitely doable. Anything past that is just not ethical imho.
     
  4. Rick Richard

    Rick Richard Well-Known Member

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    To shoot 500 yards is doable, but it will take a custom and shooting smokeless powder. Customs are not cheap and will most likey cost close to the same as a custom rifle. As mentioned, smokeless powder and a nonsaboted bullet will be needed. Now the problem with that is that most western states do not allow smokeless powder in a muzzleloader season. So with that bit of information, you may need to rethink your expectations and adjust accordingly. Good luck on your hunt and keep us posted on how it goes.
     
  5. Jr1972

    Jr1972 Well-Known Member

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    You should check the Utah regulations as well. Some western states don't allow certain muzzleloaders and optics.
     
  6. ENCORE

    ENCORE Well-Known Member

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    500yds is a poke, but its certainly not that a muzzleloader won't do it. Its rather there's enough bullet energy remaining. A friend of mine has pulled off 1,000yd shots with one of his muzzleloaders at steel.
    I believe you're off considerable on how well competition shooters actually can shoot and the groups they're capable of. 1" groups at 100yds with the right equipment is normal and common, actually less than MOA at 100yds. Throw in a rear bag or full rest and it will amaze people how accurate a muzzleloader can be, and at long range.
    Now not everyone is going to pick up even a complete custom muzzleloader and shoot tiny groups, rather that be at 100yds or 500yds. It takes a lot of bullets sent down range, more than anything knowledge of the wind and complete confidence.

    Here's a couple BP Xpress targets. The 500yd target is my first ever 3 shot attempt at 500yds, with the target witnessed and signed.

    IMG_0263.JPG

    IMG_0146.JPG
     
  7. Timnterra

    Timnterra Well-Known Member

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    You will have a hard time shooting 500yds in Utah with a muzzleloader simply because magnified optics are forbidden. Looks like the rules in Utah are the same as here in SD. No smokeless powder and no magnified optics allowed. With that said you will want to use blackhorn 209 and either a full form .45 cal or sabot in a 50. If you are a DIY kind of guy, Check out arrowhead sporting goods. Luke is selling pre-fit brux barrels with his breach plug for very reasonable princes. Get a Remington action stock and trigger and You can put together a better muzzle loader than you could buy off the shelf.
     
  8. CBS

    CBS Well-Known Member

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    They changed the rules. Magnified optics are now allowed.
     
    ENCORE and Timnterra like this.
  9. ENCORE

    ENCORE Well-Known Member

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    https://wildlife.utah.gov/rules-regulations/942-r657-5--taking-big-game.html

    R657-5-10. Muzzleloaders.
    (1) A muzzleloader may be used during any big game hunt, except an archery hunt, provided the muzzleloader:

    (a) can be loaded only from the muzzle;

    (b) has open sights, peep sights, or a variable or fixed power scope, including a magnifying scope;

    (c) has a single barrel;

    (d) has a minimum barrel length of 18 inches;

    (e) is capable of being fired only once without reloading;

    (f) powder and bullet, or powder, sabot and bullet are not bonded together as one unit for loading;

    (g) is loaded with black powder or black powder substitute, which must not contain smokeless powder.

    (2)(a) A lead or expanding bullet or projectile of at least 40 caliber must be used to hunt big game.

    (b) A bullet 130 grains or heavier, or a sabot 170 grains or heavier, must be used for taking deer and pronghorn.

    (c) A 210 grain or heavier bullet must be used for taking elk, moose, bison, bighorn sheep, and Rocky Mountain goat, except sabot bullets used for taking these species must be a minimum of 240 grains.

    (3)(a) A person who has obtained a muzzleloader permit for a big game hunt may:

    (i) use only muzzleloader equipment authorized in this Subsections (1) and (2) to take the species authorized in the permit; and

    (ii) not possess or be in control of a rifle or shotgun while in the field during the muzzleloader hunt.

    (b) "Field" for purposes of this section, means a location where the permitted species of wildlife is likely to be found, but does not include a hunter's established campsite or the interior of a fully enclosed automobile or truck.

    (c) The provisions of Subsection (a) do not apply to:

    (i) a person lawfully hunting upland game or waterfowl;

    (ii) a person licensed to hunt big game species during hunts that coincide with the muzzleloader hunt;

    (iii) livestock owners protecting their livestock; or

    (iv) a person licensed to carry a concealed weapon in accordance with Title 53, Chapter 5, Part 7 of the Utah Code, provided the person is not utilizing the concealed firearm to hunt or take protected wildlife.

    (4) A person who has obtained an any weapon permit for a big game hunt may use muzzleloader equipment authorized in this Section to take the species authorized in the permit.
     
  10. Timnterra

    Timnterra Well-Known Member

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    That helps ! I wish they would do that here
     
  11. pooldoc

    pooldoc Well-Known Member

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    I have been hunting elk since 1962. Started with the old 30 06 and switched in later years to a customized Ruger Number 1 in 300 WM. About 20 years ago I turned to Muzzle loading. In my humble opinion 500 yds is a stretch for the 300, much less a MZ using any of the blackpowder substitutes. Not enough retained energy to do the job. Yes there are guys out there that can make a hit at that range with a smokeless MZ, but it takes a person willing to spend a lot of range time under all types of conditions and ranges to be make it work. You can't get that type of experience at the local gun club. The elk is a wonderful trophy and I hate to see people flinging lead at those long ranges and wounding animals just because they read about it in a book or magazine. If you decide to go that route enroll in one of Len's classes and be willing to spend the time, energy and money to do it right.
     
  12. CBS

    CBS Well-Known Member

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    Not real sure why my thread has turned into "ethics of long range hunting ". I'd like opinions about the choice of muzzleloader. Opinions about anything else should be posted somewhere else. Without offending anyone I'd like to stay on the topic. Please refrain from discussing other topics in this thread.
     
  13. pooldoc

    pooldoc Well-Known Member

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    Not trying to make this an ethics issue. Elk are tough animals and can carry a lot of lead. The hard cold facts are found in the ballistic tables. Bullet drop and retained energy for black powder or substitutes ML's at 500 yds are not on any charts I've seen. Remington shows a 23.5 inch drop at 300 yds for the RUM. Several charts indicate that at 200 yds BH 209 has a retained energy of 1,350 fpe. using 120 gr. and a 300 gr bullet: most writers suggest that you need at least 1200 fpe to kill an elk. Draw your own conclusions.
    Given that smokeless muzzle loaders can't be used in most Western states I'd opt for a new Cooper MZ. They make a top quality weapon and all the reviews have been favorable. I understand they are rated for a higher maximum load of BH 209 that anything else on the market. I'm not sure if all the problems with the Remington breech plug have been solved when using BH209. I'm not a fan of pellets.
     
  14. ENCORE

    ENCORE Well-Known Member

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    Some of the Coopers have been decent shooters, certainly not all and their attempt at .45's was not good at all. However, the Cooper rifles are not rated for any higher charges of BH209 than any other mass produced rifle. Its 84grs by weight or 120grs by volume.

    You might have missed the post above about the newly designed breech plug for the Remington Ultimate Muzzleloader. The new ASG design completely and entirely corrects any issues with breech plugs in the RUM. It eliminates the PP head space, brass and nipple, it also uses the same modules used by smokeless shooters. It makes the RUM completely capable of shooting BH209 without any risks of gas cutting.

    NOTE...……… THE REMINGTON ULTIMATE MUZZLELOADER AND/OR THE ULTIMATE FIREARMS INC RIFLES, ARE CAPABLE OF CHARGES MUCH HEAVIER THAN ANY PRODUCTION MUZZLELOADER. DO NOT USE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IN ANY OTHER MUZZLELOADER! ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR OWNERS MANUAL.

    The RUM and the UF muzzleloaders are capable of handling very heavy charges of BH209 and if shooting the maximum charges (160grs V) of BH from either, velocity is 2,400fps and when shooting a 300gr bullet, you're should be good for elk (1,200fpe) to nearly 400yds.