So... breaking from my normal, mind-numbing post...
What does one look for in a Muzzle Loader when considering such a weapon for Elk/Deer season?
Rick I use a Traditions Pursuit LT, with 125gr of powder, with 348gr Powerbelts (Aerotips). It does a great job for me!!
I want to try to buy a TC Encore soon though!
Check your local regs, to make sure what's legal. I've heard CO has got some different restrictions on muzzleloaders. When it comes to modern muzzleloaders, personally I like the inline syle muzzloaders, that have the percussion cap inline with the powder charge. Older styles had them off to the side of the barrel. Also, most new guns are set up to shoot 209 shotshell primers as an ignition source (this seems to be the most reliable) they used to use #11 percusion caps, and another style but I can't rember the name now. Some of the newer guns have the capability to shoot smokeless powders, but again some states only allow for blackpowder, or blackpowder substitutes such as pyrodex or Triple7. You might want to consider a stainless barrel to better resist the corrosive nature of blackpowder and its substitutes. Also I like fiber optic sights for states that don't allow scopes during muzzleloader season.
I currently shoot a T/C omega synthetic thumbhole stock, stainless barrel, 3-9 scope, 300 gr. hornady xtp's, 2- 50 gr. American Pioneer Powder pellets, and remington muzzleloader 209 primers. It's a pretty clean setup, and pretty accurate too, I'd say 1 1/2 -2 inch groups at 100 and 4-5 inch at 200.
You'll need to check ya'lls hunting regs, first.
Does Co. allow jacketed bullets or only lead?
Sights or scope ?
Do ya want a rifle that can be switched to a centerfire or not?
No scopes or sabots in Colorado! Powerbelts are ok to use Rick!
I look for a reliability. And so far I have yet to see a muzzleloader out perform my T/C's. If you are looking for a simple cleaning one too checkout the T/C Triumph. Good luck in making your choice. Let us know what you do.:)
I believe you can only use open sights and balls in Colorado.
As far as what to look for...well, it's kinda like bow shopping. Go and handle a few and see which one fits you best.
Here are the Colorado laws regarding muzzleloaders!
MUZZLELOADING RIFLES & SMOOTHBORE MUSKETS
a. In-line muzzleloaders are legal.
b. Must be single-barrel that fires a single round-ball or conical projectile
the length of which does not exceed twice the diameter.
c. To hunt deer, pronghorn or bear, they must be min. of .40 caliber.
d. To hunt elk or moose, they must be min. of .50 caliber.
e. From .40 caliber to .50 caliber, bullets must weigh min. 170 grains.
f. If greater than .50 caliber, bullets must weigh min. 210 grains.
g. Shotshell primers are legal.
h. Pelletized powder systems prohibited in muzzleloading seasons.
i. Cannot be loaded from the breech in muzzleloading seasons.
j. Only open or iron sights allowed in muzzleloading seasons.
Fiber optics and fluorescent paint incorporated into or on open or iron sights are legal.
Scopes or any sighting device using artificial light, batteries and electronic
gear are prohibited during muzzleloading seasons.
k. Sabots are prohibited in muzzleloading seasons. Cloth patches are
l. Smokeless powder prohibited in muzzleloading seasons. Black
powder and black powder substitutes are legal.
m. Only legal muzzleloaders allowed in muzzleloading seasons.
n. NEW FOR 2008: Electronic or battery-powered devices cannot
be incorporated into or attached to muzzleloader during muzzleloading
I have owned several muzzleloaders over the past 30 years and have never been happy with the way any of them shot until I got a TC Encore. Now I am happy with the groups I shoot. I also bought a centerfire barrell and just switch them out (gotta love that) . My best groups came with three 50 grain triple 7 pellets and a 250 shockwave superglide. I wouldn't think twice about a 200 yard shot as long as I had a good rest.
Currently I'm shooting an Traditions E-bolt with great success. Good groupings out to 120 yards with open sights, Looking to upgrade this year an have been looking into the T/C Triumph. I have been known to do alot of walking to get to my stands an want something that is fairly light weight. So far the Triumph is the lightest that I have found an when I shoulder it in the gun shop it was the only one that the sights just seem to line right up for me.
Now just have to get rid of some of my unused bows so that I can fund the new smokepole.
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