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Of all the deer hunting I do I get my most enjoyment with a muzzle loader.  I have killed a truck load of deer with a Muzzle Loader.  

Now I will freely admit that my guns are not your old style percussion guns but they are very much advanced weapons.  

I have 4 different guns they all wear scopes 2 45Cal's a Knight Disc Extreme and Gonic and 2 50Cal's a Knight Disc Extreme and a CVA Mountain Rifle.  The Gonic I dont shoot often they are no longer made and you can not get parts for them this gun was custom made for me buy the owner before he died.  The 2 50's I do shoot but I always grab the 45 Knight.

Using a load of 100grs Blackhorn209 and a 200 Gr Hornady SST bullet this is a honest 200 yard gun.  I have the gun sighted in 2 inches high at 100 it is 3/4 inch high at 150 and 2 inches low at 200.  At 200 yards it is still carrying 1353 ft lbs of energy and is traveling at 1745 fps it is a very flat shooting round.

I can spend hours at the range shooting these guns it is slow and time consuming but very enjoyable at the same time.  I watch the guys with gun come in that have Mags they blast away for 30 minutes or so and that it they are done me I have maybe shot 10 rounds in that time frame.

Walking out the door to sit in a stand I am likely going to take the ML over any other gun I have.

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they also are my favorite I like the Hawken style with iron sights myself, have a Lyman Great Plains in .54 that I really like to use

down here all muzzle loaders are considered small game guns so I can hunt turkeys with my .54 rifle and also shoot wild hogs during small game seasons

I use patch and ball

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Round ball .498 with a .10ks linen patch and it is a flint lock that was custom built.  Haven't hunted the ML season for some years, should get my butt out there for it again.
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I like my Thompson Center Triumph.  Light and accurate.  Its to bad the bore is junk.  Loading a second round requires smashing the ramrod up against a tree.  I sometimes carry my muzzleloader even when I could carry a shotgun.  

Haven't shot it in a while, time to make some smoke and get ready.

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My cheap TC Black Diamond Inline .50 is my backup if I dont score a deer during regular firearm season. I've been fortunate during firearm seasons so have only carried it a few times and have never shot a deer with it. I always shoot it pre-season to make sure the 4x scope is still on and give it a thorough cleaning when the season is over. It still looks like new. So, Im far from a traditionalist (I know modern inlines are not traditional), more a pragmatist I suppose.
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.50 cal Southern Mountain rifle I built some years back is all I use for hunting anymore. .490 patched RB has taken a lot of critters for me.

Also hunt with  a .58 cal Remington Zouave with Minie's and a Hawkens with patched RB on occasion . Never did get into the in-lines.

Virgil

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I used to have a knight that I really enjoyed. I have since then sold it to fund my bird dog/upland addiction. When it comes to deer hunting, I enjoy bow hunting, so I am working on getting rid of my deer rifles as well. Where I hunt, rifle season is pretty easy and a guaranteed kill whenever you want. I actually pick the days on which I am going to harvest a deer while rifle/black powder hunting. With a bow, that is not the case and this year I will be using the bow all year long
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My ML is a .50 CVA Optima stainless. It's a very good shooter. We can't use the classic high power deer cartridges in Ohio so it's my go to gun over the slugs for gun season. But if my now 14 year old son is hunting he uses it. I started him at 80 grains at 11 years old and he had no problem. Last season he advanced to my adult load, two 33gr White Hots and a 225gr power belt. That's equivalent to 100gr black powder. He killed a huge Texas wild sow with it at age 11.  We could only carry out the back straps and hams but estimates of its weight from the pics are around 350-400 pounds.  They recently legalized straight wall centerfire rounds here but I'm happy with the ML. Cheap and fun to shoot.
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Here in PA we have a special deer season for traditional flintlocks.  It runs concurrent with late archery.  It starts the day after Christmas and goes till the 3rd Saturday.  For years this has been my favorite season next to archery.

I shoot a .50 cal Lyman deer stalker with .44 cal hollow point pistol bullets in a .50 cal sabot. 85 grains of powder.  I have had better luck with this setup than round balls but several guys I hunt with beg to differ.  They don't necessarily shoot more accurate but often leave a much better blood trail than a roundball.

There is nothing like seeing a deer on the ground after that smoke clears!!

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X 2 ..flintlock season is a hoot. Lots of action , not always a kill tho. Flintlocks don't like to fire sometimes and it can be frustrating  to have the deer stand there while you try to get the gun to go off..then have the critter just trot off...chuckling to its self. We have a group of us (up to 20 at times ) that get together  and drive. It is a whole lot of fun.  You have to have a sense of humor and be able to laugh when things don't go quite right .
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  • 3 weeks later...

I have probably the cheapest level inline knight and it is a tack-driver but it has no soul.  

A couple of years ago Dad passed along an older .45 Spanish built Hawkin type rifle from the late 60's and despite it having a ridiculously tight (~12:1) twist it throws a patched round ball like nobody's business. I had to lighten the springs a good deal because it had a #15 trigger (not kidding).

These are at 50 yards and the cardboard is not new, so ignore what looks like 'flyers'. I have yet to take a deer with it but maybe this is the season.

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21227834869_cfc6dc248d_z.jpg

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If you are using a modern inline that uses 209 primers do your self a favor and shoot Blackhorn 209.  It measures the same as BP so 80 grs of BP is 80 grs of 209.  The difference you will see is in how clean it is to shoot with BP or any of the other BP substitutes you get crud in the barrel after a few shoots so each load stacks higher until you clean it.  With BH209 there is no crud each load sits right where the first load did.  I can shoot 50 rounds downrange and never need to clean the barrel due to fouling crud.

You clean the rifle with regular solvent NO WATER just like you clean your shotgun or rifle oil when clean and your done.

Velocity is higher then BP and you have to use a shotgun primer but recoil is less.

It is all I use now I highly recommend it

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I have a ridiculously inexpensive CVA Wolf that I left with Iron Sights.   7 shots through it, 6 to sight it in the 7th was a monster buck.  I like it.... a lot.
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I have a ridiculously inexpensive CVA Wolf that I left with Iron Sights.

That's what I did with my Wolf too. I've only shot at one deer with it and it collapsed within a couple yards of where it was hit.

I can't say that I prefer a muzzle loader to a nice rifle but Ohio's black powder season in January offers the chance to hunt when there's snow on the ground. We rarely have a good snow for the traditional season the week after Thanksgiving.

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