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Hey Fellas,

Looking for a little input here. I currently shoot a Knight Bighorn using a No#11 cap in 50 cal. This gun was recieved as a gift. It works fine and I have no real issues with it. However my son has taken interest in going with me now and I would like to buy another gun. Heres where I need help. It's been 5 years since I started muzzleloader hunting. It seems that the guns have progressed in leaps and bounds since then like everything else. Let's say I have 500 dollars to spend on a new gun. The primary features I'm looking for are accuracy and ease of cleaning. What specific makes and models do you guys reccomend and why?
Any help would be appreciated
Thanks!
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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For that amount of money, you can pretty well latch onto any of the quality muzzlestuffers out there. As far as accuracy, depends on what type of projectile you want to use - roundball, get the older style caplocks with 1:66" twist. Conicals, the plains type hawken style with the 1:48". The saboted jacketed pistol bullets, the in-lines or the rifles having 1:28" twist. If scope mounting is considered, the in-lines.

Cleaning, probably the in-lines have the edge in this department.

The big thing with muzzleloaders these days seems to be the ability to load 3 pellets of pyrodex or bp equalivent for a 150 gr powder charge. That's well and good, however, that heavy of a load will knock the snot out of you, especially with the synthetic stocked lightweights. You'll be better served to keep the loads down around the 100 gr (.50 cal) or less range and try for accuracy there. That means just about any style of bp rifle holds no edge over another as far as ability to print good groups. Depends on the individual rifle and how comfortable you are using it.

Know this doesn't really answer your question, but truthfully, it's Hobson's choice trying to give a definitive answer.
 

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If you don't mind shooting a non-traditional muzzleloader, I would purchase a stainless steel in-line type for ease of cleaning and long lasting durability. Since you probably won't be shooting 150 pyrodex pellet charges, unless you're a glutton for punishment, I would get a rifle that offers priming options that do not exclude the No 11 cap and musket cap. I don't believe the 209 system is optimum for non magnum, non pyrodex pellet, loadings. I think the force of the primer drives the bullet off the powder charge before ignition fully occurs. I can' prove it, but I suspect it based on a slightly used stainless Encore barrel I just took on trade. If you are going to use a scope, make sure you buy a rifle that doesn't spray the bottom of the scope and rings with the corrosive priming mixture, I had this problem with my TC Black Diamond and ended up putting a peep sight on it. I really like my TC Black Diamond, it's short, light, easy to carry, and very accurate. The TC muzzle system is also very nice for ease of loading. The quick twist rifles, mine at least, will shoot round balls accurately so long as you back the powder down to 60-70 grains.

If you want a traditional style rifle, you'll have to wait for more replies. I have no experience with them.
 

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kciH, did you see some bulging in the encore barrel?
kciH said:
If you don't mind shooting a non-traditional muzzleloader, I would purchase a stainless steel in-line type for ease of cleaning and long lasting durability. Since you probably won't be shooting 150 pyrodex pellet charges, unless you're a glutton for punishment, I would get a rifle that offers priming options that do not exclude the No 11 cap and musket cap. I don't believe the 209 system is optimum for non magnum, non pyrodex pellet, loadings. I think the force of the primer drives the bullet off the powder charge before ignition fully occurs. I can' prove it, but I suspect it based on a slightly used stainless Encore barrel I just took on trade. If you are going to use a scope, make sure you buy a rifle that doesn't spray the bottom of the scope and rings with the corrosive priming mixture, I had this problem with my TC Black Diamond and ended up putting a peep sight on it. I really like my TC Black Diamond, it's short, light, easy to carry, and very accurate. The TC muzzle system is also very nice for ease of loading. The quick twist rifles, mine at least, will shoot round balls accurately so long as you back the powder down to 60-70 grains.

If you want a traditional style rifle, you'll have to wait for more replies. I have no experience with them.
 

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I'm not seeing any bulging, but the way it's shooting it seems like the primer is blowing the sabot/bullet off the powder charge before the powder really get burning. The problem with this barrel is that the 209 is the only way to go. I'll try some black powder in it and see if that makes a difference. There's a guy on here that is selling some sort of modified breech plug that takes 22 hornet cases that are shortened to act as a cap also I think. I'll probably just sell the thing. I think they've gone too far with the 209 primer deal. I've never had any problem, of any kind, getting No 11 caps to light a 2 or 3 pellet charge of Pyrodex in my Black Diamond even when it's below freezing. I like the idea of having the cap concealed from the weather, but I don't like the 209 ignition.
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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I agree, kciH -

When I want more ignition, I'll use the musket cap nipple. The 209's are sometimes hard to dig out of the nipple on my Black Diamond, anyway.
 

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Back when Pyrodex first came out it was obvious that it was going to be harder to get started than BP. I was shooting flintlocks only then and there was no way I wanted to mess with loading a duplex load and all that. I am down to one can out of 25 I bought so long ago that I think I only paid about $1.50 a lb. for it. No dealer here will even consider setting up to meet all the legal stuff to stock BP, and I won't subject myself to the beating it would take to get it shipped direct. My Grandson is getting into shooting and that can will not last long. It looks like I will be getting the old chemistry set out before long. I have done it all before, from digging the dirt out from the chicken coop to drying it in cookie sheets on the roof. It has always been an example of govt. solving a problem that did not exist anyway. It is not a dangerous process, it is always wet until you dry it and then it is just the same as having a can of store bought around. What gets people hurt is trying to force dry the mix. Everything was fine until they made a law against common sense. Oh well. I was just wondering if you saw signs of overpressure from ball moving ahead. If it is moving, some variable overpressure will be there. It will hurt accuracy, may hurt worse.
 

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swampsniper,
I'm not really worried about overpressure, although maybe I should be. I'm getting a lot of vertical dispersion which is often indicative of extreme velocity spreads. I haven't played with the barrel that much, because I just got it and it's been 100 degrees here. I'll try some loose Pyrodex and some Triple 7, and if I have to some BP. If all that fails, I'll sell to someone else, just like it was traded to me.
 

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Hi, eracurt:
I'm not so sure there's been that many advances in the last 5 years. Old stuff in new packages and things we don't need, like 150 grain 3 Pyrodex Pellet charges. Some of the bolt gun companies' products haven't panned out too well either.

If you're thinking in-line, why not stick with Knight. He put inlines on the map, and I hear he's still makes a good rifle, while some of his competition has come and gone.

If you want a traditional rifle, the favourite now is the Lyman Great Plains Rifle (GPR) in 1 in 60" twist for round ball and the Lyman Great Plains Hunter in 1 in 32" twist for conicals and sabots. Even better, Lyman sells the other twist barrel at a reasonable price, so you have the best of both worlds with no need to sight in when you switch projectiles. If I was more serious about smokepoling, I'd trade off my T/C Hawken on one and be rid of the awkward grip and the compromise 1 in 48" rifling.

The traditional styled guns with keyed barrels, like the T/C Hawken and the Lyman GPR clean up in 15 minutes.

Bye
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the input fellas, I am kinda thinking the new Thompson Center Omega might be a good choice, any thoughts!
 

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eracurt,
The Omega looks like a nice rifle, and has good features. As I said in a previous post, unless you're planning on using full power 3-pellet loads, you may want to look at something that gives you ignition options that are not limited to the 209 shotgun primer. A rifle doesn't always shoot well with just pyrodex pellets, epecially three of them. You may want to use loose pyrodex,777, or Black Powder in order to get the accuracy you want with the projectile you want, and I'm not convinced that the 209 ignition is the best for all applications.
 
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