Which Muzzleloader is best for the money??

Guys, I just read an article about a new front loader built on a Howa action. I don't remember which rag it was in but it handles 5- 50 grain pellets and has some awsome balistics. It's ignited by a 45 long colt case (I think) with a mag rifle primer in it.
Edge - Right now I'm shooting 58gr of Hodgon Lil'gun, 250gr sst, ballistic bridge, and harvester sabot. I've got some decent groups with just the harvester sabot, but I just about cut the groups in half with the use of a ballistic bridge.

Ah, Lil'Gun, one of my old favorites! I have shot at least 12 pounds in my Savage.
I have used sub bases for the last 4 years, but found that 1 out of ten shots would be a flier, which I attribute to the sub base. I moved to slower powders and no longer need the sub base. Just food for thought.

edge - that's interesting, I thought I was experiencing an occasional flier when the clean barrel had <10 rounds through it. I am considering other slower powders, Lil'gun seems little touchy. It can be hard to every speck of powder out of those vials and when the gun won't shoot with 57.5 or 58.5 but exactly 58gr, it makes me want to explore the powders that use upwards of 80gr. I did get some good groups with 80+ of H4198, which initially I was worried it would be hard to ignite in colder weather. At any rate, this would give me a chance to play with loads that don't use the sub base. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif
I'm building mine on a pardner 12ga shotgun. There shouldn't be any problems. They can also be built on a ruger #1, but I thought that was overkill.

I've never heard anything about the swinglock. That great that another Smokeless is performing well. I heard the NULA's a awesome as well.

Shooting from are clean bore is a problem with ML's. The first shot is off. But like you said, is you leave it fouled you rust the barrel.

Shooting from are clean bore is a problem with ML's. The first shot is off. But like you said, is you leave it fouled you rust the barrel.

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This brings up some different opinions on technique!

Since this is Longrangehunting.com, IMO, EVERY shot will be from a clean barrel.

Unlike our centerfire friends, if you take a spotting shot you will need to stand to reload. Once you lose the position I see no reason not to swab the bore before reloading. I think that for absolute consistency this is critical.

I am not talking about close-in hunting accuracy to 200 or 250 yards, but at longer ranges perhaps starting at 300.

Edge, I was not speaking about swabing between shots when I said clean bore. I was refering the the situation where your come home after shooting the weapon and clean it. I do not like to leave mine overnight after shooting T7 or Pyrodex. I also do not like a shiny bore either. I can't always blast one off either before going into the woods.

I think when shooting the dirty stuff like T7 you have to swab. American Pioneer and Black Mag3 and those Ascobic acid based powders don't require swabing. But, the fact is sometimes pyrodex give the best accuracy.

That is why I'm a fan of smokeless. You can leave it fouled like a centerfire and get centerfire consistency shot to shot.

My reasoning for smokeless being the way of the future is simply that almost everyone who buys an inline is doing so because they want centerfire performance. Smokeless narrows the gap even more!

I just have to add that I find it disturbing when Knight and T/C and other companies who do manufacture smokeless poles wave the safety flag. I realize they do not want to lose market share, but the safety flag is the banner of the anti gun people!

I mean why not ban treestands because people don't wear a safety harness? Heck, lets get rid of cars because people may not wear their seat belts. Power Tools?
I had a call today from "the man" as far as in-line muzzleloaders goes. He just happened to have started the whole game back in 1985. We briefly discussed this topic.

Safety is the primary issue - irregular and uncontroled pressure spikes happen with smokeless and that is how it is. You may be lucky and are staying in a safe zone, but there is a very unsafe zone and it happens. The "guru" of smokeless powder had his Savage blow up on him, detonated is more correct. Split the scope in half, barrel went downrange, splinters all over hell. Safety is not an issue, right...

You guys have fun, this is about fun, but be carefull. Tony has forgotten more about smokeless shooting than most guys could dream. Even commissioned a study by one of the best ballistics experts in the industry and was told to stay away from it. Was told a lot more but you guys don't want to hear that kind of stuff. He also told me about the relative situation with the state agencies, again, you guys don't want to hear that stuff, so be it.

For those who don't know who the guru of smokeless is, his first name is Toby, he worked for Savage and his blowup was not pretty.

I have made clean kills out to 343 yards with two Pyrodex pellets and an A-Frame on a hell of a tough animal (huge nilgia bull). We have made a bunch of kills at or past 300 on Texas hogs while testing the Shockwave bullets that ended up on the market. We will work in steps, the next step might be 350, it may never get that far. What is going on with smokeless is very dangerous for the sport if velocities ever significantly exceed what the blackpowder subsitutes average, simple as that. Colorado might end up being the tip of the iceberg after all. If people buy to get "centerfire performance" they are fooling themselves.
I am out of here.
Ian, with all due respect...

There is a lot more to the Toby story than meets the eye. He had a falling out with Savage right before his gun exploded. How come with such damage he wasn't hurt?

He admits to using duplex loads (mixing powders), and likewise admits to using powders not recommended by Savage.

Perhaps he intentionally blew it up? Not so far fetched when you consider the relationship between he and Savage.

The guys at SMI have been making smokeless ML's since 1985. They have sold over 500 since then and have ZERO problems.

Why don't you mention CVA and the other cheap extruded metal ML's that have a horrific safety record?

Explain to me why its not safe. You spiking pressure answer is absurd.

Is using pyrodex in a CVA and not cleaning it safe?

Please answer just 1 question:

Why is it ok for Knight and T/C to recommend 150 grains of pyrodex when Hodgekins say never to use more than 100?

Give me a break.

Toby Bridges article about the savage Blow-up.

With such detonation, amazing that no-one was injured! Yea, right.

He says in the artice that the savage is not safe for smokeless or even triple 7 :

"Savage Arms has lied to ALL Model 10ML II owners. This rifle is no where as smokeless powder compatible as the company would have all of us believe. Quite honestly, it is not even Triple Seven compatible. The lack of an adequate seal at the front of the breech plug allows Triple Seven fouling to seep into the airspace surrounding the breech plug snout, where it quickly builds and hardens, siezing the breech plug."

So apparantly he is complaining that the rifle is GENERALLY unsafe and not simply a smokeless issue.

Toby also says that is would be ok with the original Henry Ball designed breech plug.

"Back in July of 1999, I accompanied muzzleloading rifle patent holder Henry Ball, of Greensboro, North Carolina to present his design for a "smokeless powder muzzleloader" to Ron Coburn, C.E.O. of Savage Arms (Westfield, Massachusetts). For nearly two years, I had been shooting and testing several rifles built on Ball's patented design, and found the system fully capable of safely containing the much higher pressures of smokeless powders, which back then amounted to loads of Alliant 2400 and IMR-4227."

Well Ian? Is he saying that smokeless is not safe or the Savage is not safe?

He tested a smokeless for TWO YEARS!!!

Please tell me that you are warning everyone on this board to NEVER EVER shoot a Sako or Tikka rifle!!!


If I recall, this Sako blew up on the first day of shooting...are they still in business...are folks still shooting them...

Please let me know ANY Major BP Rifle manufacturer with a PERFECT safety record............


PS Toby continued to shoot Savage muzzleloaders, with smokeless after his blow-up.
PPS The Savage was not NEARLY as bad as this Sako blow up!!
Ian,Do you own a Savage?It is painfully obvious that you do not.Or how could you make such comments concerning the Sav.?Are you just parroting what a disgruntled employee has to say about the employer that let his sorry arse go?Did you happen to notice the cooper wash in the big blow up picture?How does that happen with a sabot encased bullet?Notice the bulge is forward of the breech plug area?What about all of the sponserships he has lost?Guru? That is laughable!I do not have any respect for a man who tried to extort more money from his employer.The only thing that blew up was his head!I DO own and shoot Savage10MLs and can attest to the fact that they are indeed safe to shoot.Am I comparing my self to Toby?NO,I would NEVER do that! Just mentioning his name, leaves a foul taste.By the way, there is only one known blow up.Tobys!The only real question here is,how long was the string?????????????There has been people leave the ram rod in and shot it!Blow up?NO!How about that for a barrel obstruction!Sure it ringed the barrel, and that is all.I do not think other muzzleloaders could take that.Can the Savage be blown up? Sure it can!2 XTPs upside down on top of a duplex charge and a very long string!!There are other reasons why ole Toby was let go by Bill Ball and Savage. I do not care to rehash all of his BS.If you do a little research you can find out for your self that there is more to the man than what meets the eye.Modern Muzzleloader would be a good place to start.Follwed by Dougs Message Boards.There you will find people who are actually qualified to speak on the Savage10ML.Rick
Not much else to say here other than I would like to direct you to many Pressure Traces that do NOT indicate random pressure spikes.

There are powders that are unpredictable and should not be used in the ML's. The Traces reflect that also. Oh I will be willing to bet the "Guru" of ML mentioned earlier probably has more knowledge than anyone else on BP guns, but I doubt anyone on this planet has the same level of hands on load testing, accuracy testing and Pressure Tracing that our old friend RB has.

Just visit the Smokeless Board that Edge linked earlier and see what has been going on in the smokeless ML world.

I am sure glad this board is here to allow "going against the grain" of mainstream modern gun hunting. A lot of hunters out there think 1000 yd guns for hunting is just a shortcoming of hunting skills (get closer). Of which I totally disagree and enjoy the challenge and intrigue of long range shooting also. But the murmurs are out there.

The same arguements of safety have been here since the beginning of the hunting sports, which was safer throwing a rock or shooting a self bow, don't know, but I do know which was the most effective in a praticed users hands.

Heck the same arguement still goes on every day between the recurve and hi speed compound bow shooters. So, I guess it should be normal that the arguement continues between BP and smokeless.

Ian wrote: Since I am a Contributing Editor with them I do a certain amount of features and product tests. Obviously the 6 page feature that resulted was significant advertising for the companies that supported me. T/C was a big part of the backing I got, they were going to introduce the Encore in .416 Rigby so that was the obvious rifle to use.

The arguement however does tend be much sharper when $$$$ and livings are what is stake, more so than effectiveness, performance and shooter preference!!

Dang didn't mean to be so long winded, sorry guys /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif
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