Smokeless muzzleloader recommendations

AKMoose

Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2020
Messages
5
Location
Alaska
Hi 88Mustang, last year I converted a Savage model 110 into a muzzleloader. I bought the Precision Rifle conversion kit and was very happy with it. I shot sub MOA with a scope and about 2” groups at 100 yards with iron sights. I killed my first muzzleloader bull with it at 212 yards with iron sights.
 

Bullmark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
434
Location
Roanoke Va
Once u go smokeless you’ll never look back. I’m not rich by any means so when I bought a custom smokeless it wasn’t without some serious thought and research. For me, the majority of the serious hunting I do happens during muzz seasons. In my home state (Va), some the best times to hunt deer coincide with muzz season, usually Nov1-14. The only other state I hunt is iowa, where I bought a piece of land 15yrs ago, and there is no rifle season.,.,,so it’s muzz there as well.
There are more options now than when I bought my first smokeless 9-10yrs ago.
It all depends on your price point.....but if I had to do it all over I would consider 3 routes, which range in cost from $1200 to $5500...roughly.
1. Hankins custom rifles sells a converted CVA 45-70 single shot. Basically he takes the factory rifle (which you could provide or he will) and installs his breech system and turns it into a smokeless. I’ve had 2 friends go this route and they couldn’t be happier. Both shoot .5 MOA pushing a 325gr Pittman at 2600fps. Very flat out to 300yds and enough energy to kill anything well beyond. Cost approximately $1200 all in and out the door.
2. Have a reputable builder build one using a trued Rem700, Win70 or similar factory action. I would make sure they’ve built them before. My ‘smith, who is amazing, quoted me $3600 for top shelf components with a Win70 action. Note: don’t overlook how heavy one of these builds can end up. U can save $$ by using a laminate stock but it will weight it down.
3. You could say *** and buy a total top end component build, that will rival any centerfire for accuracy.
I bought a McWhorter before there were very many other options. It was an original that used a sabot. I’ve since sold it and had them build a bullet to bore....so no plastic sabot....and ridiculous ballistics and accuracy. For me I could justify the purchase way more than a nicer hi end rifle. I get to use it more.
Good luck....u may luck out and find one for sale but most guys fall in love with theirs and tend to keep. Although I did see one for sale on this site in the classifieds.....laminate stock and light heavy but great price and well know builder. U could buy and restock if too heavy.
Take care
 

winelines

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
57
Location
Annapolis, MD
I'll second Hankins conversions. 5 or 6 years ago he converted the Rem muzzleloader on a 700 action to smokeless. New barrel and ignition system. Great gun. Shoots 3" 5 shot groups at 350 yds. It is heavy. Best suited to stand hunting. Using 275 gr Parker bullets (no sabot) and IMR 4198 pwder.
 

Bullmark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
434
Location
Roanoke Va
I'll second Hankins conversions. 5 or 6 years ago he converted the Rem muzzleloader on a 700 action to smokeless. New barrel and ignition system. Great gun. Shoots 3" 5 shot groups at 350 yds. It is heavy. Best suited to stand hunting. Using 275 gr Parker bullets (no sabot) and IMR 4198 pwder.
Ha....I had to laugh when I read your post. I also owned one of those “ultimate muzzleloaders” built on a 700 action.
I had just bought a little tract of land in Iowa and was desperate for a smoke pole that could shoot 300yds. So I came across this old guy....out of Michigan, and he talked his build up and convinced me to buy one. It shot 4 pellets and had a neat ignition system using primed pistol brass.....357 I think.
He even sold me the scope and the gun arrived ready to roll. This was spring time and I had plenty of time to be 100% ready for late season iowa whitetails.....distance be damned this year.
Well over the next 6 months I spent countless hours at the range. Used 2 bottles of bp solvent and enough patches to make a blanket for Andre the Giant. I had the Leupold scope (can’t recall which model but I remember it was $1400, and this was 12-13 yrs ago) remounted and then checked on another rifle....the scope was fine. The gun would not group....and I’m not talking about the occasional slick bore flyer, or even 1.5” groups at 100. It was a sprayer.
So I call the old guy in Mich.....and I have respect for my elders.....shoot I’m 51. He must have been in his late 70s at the time. I was cordial and friendly and explained the issue. He couldn’t have been a bigger horse’s ***. Basically told me I couldn’t shoot. To which I replied that he was likely correct but I had a friend, who has shot on a Team USA Long range squad and once held the world record for 1000yd with a .308, also shoot it and spend a weekend messing with it. He got the same results and opined that the barrel was likely not up to par. The old guy had the gall to suggest that I fly to Mich and he would personally teach me proper shooting techniques. I mean he was over the top. I send the gun back.....he keeps it a while and supposedly put another barrel on it. Not convinced he did, but I could manage to shoot around 1.5” groups at 100 IF and only if, I swabbed between each shot.
I ended up trading it for a Banks Tower blind and feel positive I got the better end of that trade.
Im glad Hankins could make yours into a real shooter.
As a final interesting twist, several yrs later I happened to be staying in the same lodge with the owner of custom rifle co., who shall remain nameless. He was carrying his new smokeless build and was showing it off by exploding pumpkins at 400 and 500yds. I told him about my exp with the Mich guy and as it turns out, his company had decided to start building a few smokeless muzz’s a year or so earlier. They were going to use the same guy to supply the barrels. After some quality control they punted the idea....apparently his barrels were garbage and didn’t meet even the lowest standards for tolerances. He also commented on what a character the old guy seemed to be. It really is a small world.
 

ENCORE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
1,152
Location
Near a lake with no fish
I think the Remington Winelines was mentioning was the 700ml and not the RUM?

Ultimate Firearms uses Lothar Walther barrels. I do know of a couple that just wouldn't shoot accurately. I have a friend who has one of those that isn't very accurate. However most of them will. The one I had would put 5 in an inch at 400yds.
Ken is a character alright.........
 

Bullmark

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
434
Location
Roanoke Va
He was a character indeed. I appreciated his straightforward attitude, but he just refused to believe that the gun would not perform. Keep in mind this was 12-13 yrs ago and before the Rem Ultimate Muzz. I’m pretty sure he built it back then off a R700 action, but not positive.
Had I discovered BH209 I may have fared better and the clean up wouldn’t have been so labor intense. The guy I traded it to says he uses BH209 and it shoots decent out to about 150. It’s his backup, so he’s satisfied.
I live in Va and if I didn’t hunt Iowa and occasionally elsewhere, where 300yd + shots are in play, I’d continue to use an Encore and BH......I never have a shot beyond 200 in my home state. But once u get a taste of the smokeless, see the accuracy and lower maintenance, it’s hard to imagine going back.
 

mcnanysa

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2020
Messages
90
Location
Northeast Ohio
If you come across a Savage 10ML-II pick it up. They've been out of production for a bit. They seem to be few and far between on the auction sites, but do pop up occasionally. I've had mine since 2004, and use it every year. It's incredibly accurate for a "nothing fancy" smokeless muzzleloader. I've seen reasonable prices and "way too stupid" prices, but you'll probably be around the $1,000 range. The attached picture is from 200 yards... the three shot group was during sight-in with a new batch of SST's. Consumable parts (vent liners, etc.) are still readily available.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_4430.JPG
    IMG_4430.JPG
    640.7 KB · Views: 58

ENCORE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 6, 2011
Messages
1,152
Location
Near a lake with no fish
He was a character indeed. I appreciated his straightforward attitude, but he just refused to believe that the gun would not perform. Keep in mind this was 12-13 yrs ago and before the Rem Ultimate Muzz. I’m pretty sure he built it back then off a R700 action, but not positive.
Had I discovered BH209 I may have fared better and the clean up wouldn’t have been so labor intense. The guy I traded it to says he uses BH209 and it shoots decent out to about 150. It’s his backup, so he’s satisfied.
I live in Va and if I didn’t hunt Iowa and occasionally elsewhere, where 300yd + shots are in play, I’d continue to use an Encore and BH......I never have a shot beyond 200 in my home state. But once u get a taste of the smokeless, see the accuracy and lower maintenance, it’s hard to imagine going back.
I know Ken personally and have for years. Can't count the times we've had lunch together. Ken is like a car salesman on Red Bull most of the time, even in his 80's. LOL I'm one of the few that he won't BS with, as he knows me to well. His health has gotten worse and his grandson Nick I believe is running UF Inc. now.

The guy that has the UF now, he should HIGHLY consider replacing the entire OEM ignition system with the breech plug ignition system from Arrowhead. Believe me, I can tell you stories about those rifles that will make you set back and go hummmmmmmmmmm.
BH209 will eventually gas cut his breech plug. The only thing he can do from that point, is to send it to Okemos and have it replaced. Head space is and even with a new breech plug be an issue. The PP primer carriers are a major problem too. Head thickness can vary up to .020", which makes proper head spacing impossible.


With the ignition system from Arrowhead, he'll never have to worry about gas cutting or replacing the breech plug. He'll be able to shoot all the BH209 he wants. Guys are finding EXCELLENT accuracy at long range with Fury bullets.
Because his OEM breech plug will not come out, he'll need to send the barreled action to Arrowhead. The OEM plug will require drilling the center out, then a large EZ-out is used to remove the remaining threads. Luke at Arrowhead perfected this quite a ways back.
 

winelines

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
Messages
57
Location
Annapolis, MD
I'll second Hankins conversions. 5 or 6 years ago he converted the Rem muzzleloader on a 700 action to smokeless. New barrel and ignition system. Great gun. Shoots 3" 5 shot groups at 350 yds. It is heavy. Best suited to stand hunting. Using 275 gr Parker bullets (no sabot) anIMR 4198 pwder.
I think the Remington Winelines was mentioning was the 700ml and not the RUM?

Ultimate Firearms uses Lothar Walther barrels. I do know of a couple that just wouldn't shoot accurately. I have a friend who has one of those that isn't very accurate. However most of them will. The one I had would put 5 in an inch at 400yds.
Ken is a character alright.........
It was Remington's Ultimate muzzleloader, just released about 5- 7 years ago. I never fired it as built. Just bought one and sent it to Hankins for conversion. Got back a great barrel, bedding, a good ignition system and a die to form bullets to the barrel. My load produces 2800 fps out of the barrel.
 

like2fly

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2016
Messages
18
I wish smokeless ML's were legal for ML hunting seasons in my state.

I wish I could find power and primers to buy for it.

I wish...
 
Top