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New to Muzzleloading

33774 Views 53 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Plainsman
Hello, I am new to muzzleloading. New as in I dont have one yet and have never fired one. I've been reading about it online. From what I can tell, there are several different types of muzzleloading rifles to choose from. What got me interested in the first place was that I like to work with wood, and have a fairly decent collection of woodworking tools in the shop here at the house. I was looking at getting one of those kits where you build the weapon. They all seem to have the wood part built and you just need to "finish" it. That seems like a fair idea for the first one but I would really like to build my own stock after the first one. Then there are terms like "inline" and "smokeless" that I just have not worked out in my head yet.

So, I said all of that to ask this of yall, ¿where should I start?

Mike D
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Yall must be suspicious of us new guys or something, I woulda thought that someone on here might have an idea on where to start, what to stay away from, that sorta thing.

Mike D
Here is my 2 pennies. I have been shooting for a long time and have recently got into BP. After lots of research I decided to go with an in-line ML. I bought a T/C Omega. I found it to be the best "Bang for your Buck". I didnt need any fancy stuff, just a good shooting rilfe. In-line describes a modern BP Rifle. Your powder and bullet are loaded through the barrel just like others but the difference is in how the powder is set off. In-Lines (basicly) use a shotgun 209 primer that is inserted in a breech plug that sits behind the powder charge. Then you close the breech, pull the hammer back and let it fly. Traditional ML uses various types of primary ignition devices to set off the powder. But the powder and bullet are loaded the same way, through the barrel. There are a lot of other people on this site that are much more experienced than I am but since I have already gone through all the research, I just thought I would let you know what I learned. I am saving my pennies now for a traditional BP rifle but that is a ways away. As far as the kits go, I have read mixed reviews. Parts missing, holes not lining up and so on. I have also read some very good reviews. Since you like to work with wood, any wood related problems you could probably fix. I have gone totally modern with my ML. I use the BH209 sub for my powder. A T/C 250gr Shockwave Bullet, 209 Federal Shotgun Primer, and a Williams Peep. The only thing I dont have is a scope. Thats because it is not legal to hunt with a scoped ML during ML season in CA. Now that I have the peep, a scope really isnt necessary. I am very confident with my ML out to 150yds. More practice and I should be able to take game out to 200yds, with no problem. Like I said, I have been shooting and hunting for a long time and all the cartriges are already made. My puzzle now is to find the right load and the right bullet. Hope this helps. I am pretty sure that Smokeless Powder is not for ML use. Please correct me if im wrong.
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Ive built several from kits and several from scratch.

Check out this website.

Lots of good stuff, kits, parts for scratch builds, you can even mixmatch individual parts to create your own "kit".

For a first build, nothing can beat a Lyman Great Plains Rifle kit. Minimal wood working skills are required, its mostly just sanding and finishing with minimal wood removal. This was my first build and let me tell you their quality is top notch! I got real lucky with mine and got a beautiful piece of walnut with some curl in it! If you already have the tools and some wood working knowledge, you can usually slap one of these together in 20 hours or so. Not to mention, the Great Plains Rifle is one heck of a shooter. Note, it is a slow twist barrel designed for patched round balls. Mines in .54 caliber and it will shoot 1" groups at 100 yards all day long.

Dont listen to these in-line guys. Youll have way more fun with a real muzzleloader. :lol: :wink:

Theres also something about building it yourself too. Makes you appreciate it much more.

Heres the latest one. .50 cal Lehigh flintlock longrifle. Built from scratch.

Gotta love flintlocks!
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Just cuz I dont have a "Real Muzzleloader" doesnt mean I dont have any fun. I get lots of enjoyment from shooting my In Line ML. I bought it so I can extend my season and its very reliable in inclimate weather. I also stated that I am saving up for a traditional ML. I believe that mjdtexan was looking for information about ALL KINDS OF MLs. You should let him make his own decision about what to get. All I did was to offer my advice. I didnt cap on anybody for shooting a traditional ML. Dont cap on me. I tell ya what, I KNOW my rifle will fire in ANY weather condition 100 out of 100 times, will yours? How about horizontal rain or sleet? I value your opinion, but dont cap on in-line shooters. Live and let live. 8)
Lighten up Powerfisher, it was in jest. Hence the :lol: :wink: .

Powerfisher said:
I tell ya what, I KNOW my rifle will fire in ANY weather condition 100 out of 100 times, will yours? How about horizontal rain or sleet?
With proper precaution, yes. Short of dunking it in a lake.
My apologies. I didnt get to shoot or clean a gun yet today and I am having withdrawl symptoms. Im stuck at a desk right now......suffering. Didnt mean to take it out on you. :beer:
+1 about Track of the Wolf. Another source is Dixie Gun Works but I'd look at TotW first.
Thank every one of yall for the replies. I really like the look of that weapon in the photos. It seems like I need to shut up and read alot of yalls post for a while and then ask some more questions. Looking forward to reading about yall exploits. I will let yall know what I decide. I am going to unload some antique outboard engines and get into the Black Powder scene

Mike D
I have a question. Why do the bullets and sabots come packed in the box seperately?
So you have some thing to assembel.
Stead of buying tose little bitty bunches by a full box of pistol bullets and a couple of bags of sabots. Cheaper that way too.

:D Al
Powerfisher said:
I have a question. Why do the bullets and sabots come packed in the box seperately?
I agree with AlleyOoper. In fact it is actually a minimum competence test to make sure that inline shooters can do something more than just pull the trigger..... :D :) :D

Just pulling your leg there...!

Mike, I got into ML here in TEXAS in 1980 purchasing a CVA Mountain Rifle kit used and assembling it. I knew no one in ML, and for at least 2 years learned everything either in a book or on the range.

Retrospectively I learned that a Thompson Center "Hawken" is a higher quality (mainly the lock), though the CVA IMHO was mostly OK, but Spanish made. The Thompson was also a less authentic, but still high quality.

I agree that Track of the Wolf is first rate source. Dixie Gun Works is ok, but often more expensive than should be in my experience. TOW is run by folks who seem to really care. Dixie is now run by decendants of the founder.

I also agree that the Italian made Lyman GPR is perhaps the best over the counter gun you can buy, though I have no particular experience with the kit version. And a GPR will usually shoot with the best guns there are.

I think you will find there is still "some" wood working to do, but the kit guns are 90 or 95% shaped, some more, some less.

If you want a modern inline you will find it generally cheaper to buy than a traditional (among other things that market is 10x the size), but more expensive to shoot. Plastic Sabots cover a multitude of sins of poor tolerances inside the barrel, and still shoot extremely well. That comment comes from "Doc White" who is a purveyor of these types of guns, among other things and can be found at his website.

Let us know what you do!


btw, BBJ, Great Pic! Love those rocklocks myself!
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rogerw said:
Let us know what you do!!
I will let yall know what I do. Still doing a bunch or reading and deciding and the reading and redeciding and the rereading and changing my mind again. I'll get there though. Thank Yal all for your help and advice.
I know what your going through since I have done the same thing recently. I am still doing it just not at the same level. I am into the best load and projectile combo now. I have put about 60 rounds through my rifle so far and juuuuust about got it down. Have fun.
I really really like the look of this weapon but ifin I am not mistaken are his eyes closed? Is it because of all the "spark" coming out of it?

Mike D
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Not closed, "squintin". I will admit, the first 20 rounds or so they were shut. That spark going off 4 inches in front of your face in unnerving! But you get used to it.

That rifle there is one HELL of a shooter. Ive done several "one ragged hole" 5 shot groups with it at 100. Gotta love that long barrel, balances amazingly, its a dream shooting off-hand, just kind of "floats" in your hands. But due to the high amount of drop she kind of wears on ya after a couple dozen rounds off the bench.
What is that rifle BBJ, a custom or what?

That one was my first scratch build. Its my version (and a loose one at that) of a rifle typical of Lehigh county PA. Started life as a 6 foot long 4"x12" hunk of maple. Got that stock, a pistol stock, and a nice half stock out of it which is slated for a .30ish cal half-stock flinter.
Shouldnt you be wearing eye protection? I thought that was a basic saftey rule for shooting along with ear protection. But I guess you traditional guys are above all that. Heck even my son knows to protect his eyes and ears and he 9. Yall keep capping on in-line shooters. Personally, im sick of it. I wish yall would stop bullying folks like me cuz I bought an in-line first. But, this is your playground and I will find another thats not full of opinionated bullies.
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