Smokeless Muzzleloaders

Carsyn.22

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Feb 6, 2018
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84
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Warman, Saskatchewan
Hey all, I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a gunsmith in Canada that will do smokeless MZ? I'm thinking of something built on a modern bolt action.... preferably a sub caliber (I know I'm lucky, I have no restrictions for hunting season, just has to load from the muzzle!)
I know about Arrowhead, Hankins, and Bestill but those are all Stateside and I'm hoping to avoid the hassle of getting a gun across the border.

Another option might be to have one of the above makers do the barrel and ship it up to Canada for a local smith to assemble/headspace, I should ask them directly about that though.

For now I am really just fishing for a viable option!
 

Lobber

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Feb 22, 2016
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Wyoming
Not overly familiar with import/export laws with Canada, but might have an idea for you... I ordered a .45 McGowen Remage barrel and had them fit an Arrowhead breach plug. You can have the go/no go gauges sent with the plug and you could do the Remage barrel install to your action yourself once you get the barrel with breach plug from McGowen. Assuming that would work for you since none of those parts are serialized..?

My rig shoots awesome with that McGowen Remage and Arrowhead breach plug.
 

Longshot284

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Apr 22, 2017
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75
I did a remage setup straight from Arrowhead. Super easy to screw together and headspace. Things a tackdriver! I would think a barrel and breach plug could ship to Canada??
 

ENCORE

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Apr 6, 2011
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Near a lake with no fish
Hey all, I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a gunsmith in Canada that will do smokeless MZ? I'm thinking of something built on a modern bolt action.... preferably a sub caliber (I know I'm lucky, I have no restrictions for hunting season, just has to load from the muzzle!)
I know about Arrowhead, Hankins, and Bestill but those are all Stateside and I'm hoping to avoid the hassle of getting a gun across the border.

Another option might be to have one of the above makers do the barrel and ship it up to Canada for a local smith to assemble/headspace, I should ask them directly about that though.

For now I am really just fishing for a viable option!

Call Luke...........
 

Carsyn.22

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Feb 6, 2018
Messages
84
Location
Warman, Saskatchewan
As far as I am aware I would need to have import permits even for just the breech plug. Encore is probably right, no doubt Luke has had other Canadians interested in his products....
 

Wolf76

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Jan 5, 2014
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926
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Grandville, Michigan
If it were me........ I would NOT use the variflame system.

I do use the variflame system without issue and was a big improvement over the 209 primer. There are better systems (although much more expensive). My smokeless encore shoots MOA or better and didn't cost thousands of dollars. I've seen your set up and it's impressive to say the least. Be aware most won't spend that much on any gun, let alone on a SML. I won't speak for the OP, since he hasn't said what the budget, application, or shooting distances would likely be.

FWIW... large rifle primers were much more accurate in the variflame system than magnum primers.
 

Coldfinger

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Feb 20, 2020
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NY
Hey all, I'm just wondering if anyone knows of a gunsmith in Canada that will do smokeless MZ? I'm thinking of something built on a modern bolt action.... preferably a sub caliber (I know I'm lucky, I have no restrictions for hunting season, just has to load from the muzzle!)
I know about Arrowhead, Hankins, and Bestill but those are all Stateside and I'm hoping to avoid the hassle of getting a gun across the border.

Another option might be to have one of the above makers do the barrel and ship it up to Canada for a local smith to assemble/headspace, I should ask them directly about that though.

For now I am really just fishing for a viable option!
You’ve got Cecil Epp up there in Canada with PR bullets. I got one of his smokeless barrels on a savage action. Shoots great very simple conversion to do yourself if you secure an action. He’s probably got them in stock depending on the length you want. I had no problem having him ship the barrel to the USA. Also Jeff Hankins usually has barrels ready to ship as well. I’m going to try one of his barrels some day.
 

Carsyn.22

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Feb 6, 2018
Messages
84
Location
Warman, Saskatchewan
You mentioned budget, yes there are going to be limits, lets just say those $4k plus custom rifles aren't going to happen for me...
I plan to make my own stock to save that cost.
a donor savage can be found for under $500 and then sell of the extra parts for spare change.
The barrel plug and sizing dies would be the unknown for me right now.
For now I'm just shopping around to see if I can get sorta what I want and what the cost might be

Application is for hunting, (mostly deer, there's a chance it could be used for elk or moose) I spend more time afield in muzzle season than rifle and enjoy the season more because of better temps and less competition from other hunters. I will plan on practicing with it a fair bit too. If I can get good with it out to 400 yards or so then I would consider using it as my only hunting rifle besides the good old 30-30...

I currently use bullets from Cecil in my omega but 200yards is really about the max for a traditional inline, recoil is definitely there as well, that's one reason why I am looking at sub cals and perhaps a brake. I will check again but I don't think Cecil uses anything smaller than .45 as that's the smallest legal size for hunting in MB, (I lived there for a while).

Thanks for all the suggestions!
 

Coldfinger

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You’ve got Cecil Epp up there in Canada with PR bullets. I got one of his smokeless barrels on a savage action. Shoots great very simple conversion to do yourself if you secure an action. He’s probably got them in stock depending on the length you want. I had no problem having him ship the barrel to the USA. Also Jeff Hankins usually has barrels ready to ship as well. I’m going to try one of his barrels some day.
Just a word to the wise tho, make sure to remove the ramrod before shooting!!!!!! Don’t laugh. My brother wanted to use mine I built off a Savage 110 action. Needless to say he shot at a doe with 41 grains of A5744, fed 215m primer, Parker 250 grain ballistic extreme, a 7000 grain solid aluminum ramrod and brass spin jag. 7 stitches later a ruptured cornea, black eye, bloody nose, and bruise going from his collar bone to sternum I’d say recoil was extremely stout. Action breech plug and barrel thankfully for him stayed intact. Several stout loads after completely disassembling it and then shooting with a long string and sandbags I gave it a go to hunt with again. Actually held it’s zero completely tearing down and checking for bulges and stripped threads! It was only his second and sounds like last time muzzleloader hunting! I said when you pray tonight just be thankful it was a rifle action and good barrel!!!! He’s ok 3 months later except had a heck of a flinch shooting my creedmoor with a scope!!! I won’t post pics as he’s in law enforcement but I was mortified when I saw his picture on his way to the emergency room!
 

Carsyn.22

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Feb 6, 2018
Messages
84
Location
Warman, Saskatchewan
There are definitely some things to watch out for in muzzleloading, checking and double checking and a good system to develop good habits can mitigate those things. The ramifications of a mistake like that have potential to be much worse with smokeless for sure.

I know a guy that has a savage smokeless, lent it to his brother, gave him powder, load info and instructions how to load it. His brother said that thing kicks like nothing else and didn't want to hunt with it because of that, turned out he had loaded by volume not weight....!!!!! When I heard that I said he was fortunate that thing didn't blow in his face.
I have no idea on powder or load used but that is just a bad bad mistake no matter what.
 

Coldfinger

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Feb 20, 2020
Messages
1,131
Location
NY
There are definitely some things to watch out for in muzzleloading, checking and double checking and a good system to develop good habits can mitigate those things. The ramifications of a mistake like that have potential to be much worse with smokeless for sure.

I know a guy that has a savage smokeless, lent it to his brother, gave him powder, load info and instructions how to load it. His brother said that thing kicks like nothing else and didn't want to hunt with it because of that, turned out he had loaded by volume not weight....!!!!! When I heard that I said he was fortunate that thing didn't blow in his face.
I have no idea on powder or load used but that is just a bad bad mistake no matter what.
Seems like my brother would have offered $50 for the new ramrod and spinjag lol🙈
I never did find it.
 
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