putting green in greenhorn


Well-Known Member
Jul 31, 2010
Rathdrum Idaho
OK greenhorn question. New to muzzle loading and would like some good old fashioned information. Want to hunt deer and elk here in north Idaho and trying to decide between old school or inline. To get started which one would be better or is that a more personal preference? If one was to buy one of these used what are keys items to look for?
There's one piece of advice that I'll start with right off the bat. NOTHING when it comes to shoot'n or anything else for that matter, is more true.

Dad (R.I.P.) always said, "If you don't have the money or time to do it right the first time, where are you going to get the money or time to do it over?"

The above mentioned, you're asking a question that depending on the shooter, he/she is going to provide their preference. There are shooters that WILL NOT change from a Knight to any other muzzleloader and feel if they did so, it would be committing a sin. Others are brand loyal and there's nothing wrong with that either, rather it be CVA, T/C, Traditions, Knight or any of the other manufactured brands.

The issue in some of the western states of having to use a sabotless bullet (dah) is old school who had enough pressure on Fish & Game to try to keep it traditional. That said...... There are bullets (Thor) that do not require sabots and are excellent bullets if in a "no sabot zone".....

I've owned and shot all those brands but, IMO the finest production muzzleloader that you can purchase today, is the T/C Pro Hunter. The FX model is a dedicated muzzleloader, the XT has the speed breech and the 209x50 has the 1/4 turn. The Encore platform rifles are the only production rifles, that you can modify, upgrade parts and easily change trigger pull weights. All rifles except the FX, will allow you to change barrels to centerfire or shotgun. All the T/C rifles will shoot Blackhorn209 propellant without modification of the breech plug.

Other manufacturers have rifles that shoot very well also and very accurate. However, when you pull it out of the box, that's what you have.

Quality optics is what makes the rifle. PERIOD. Buy the best that you can afford and mounting it on a muzzleloader, don't let some "behind the counter" guy talk you into a multi-retical scope. Totally unnecessary. However it is great marketing on the manufacturer's part.....
where I live scopes, sabots, or 209 primers are not allowed nor is pyrodex pellets. Have a friend who had problems with the flash hole being corroded when he got the rifle. I am gonna assume the flash hole part of the nipple assembly where cap goes, can these be replaced with nipple assembly with larger flash holes for better ignition ( not saying it is remedy for proper cleaning ) just for more consistent fire.
So much of your answer depends on what you are looking to achieve. What is the reason or purpose you are now wanting to take up muzzleloading? If it is: better chance of getting drawn, or better chance of getting a trophy because the ML season is during the rut; then a modern inline rifle with a tuned scope is what you want.

If you are getting into ML for the challenge or the romance of doing it the way it was done 150 - 200 years ago. Then a traditional rifle (percussion or flintlock) can't be beat. For me, I found little satisfaction with the modern inline rifles. They performed just like modern rifles and there was no challenge for me. I eventually went back to the traditional style for the sheer thrill of doing it the same way it was done by my GG Grandfather: Up close and personal. Very satisfying to know I measured up. To each his own.
Here in north Idaho elk season has been shortened do to hard winters and wolves so there is a extra 2 week season in late November so was hoping to poss gain extra chance at getting one.
Sounds like a modern in-line would serve you best. Lots of good models out there to choose from. Good luck in your search.
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