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Posted: 9/17/2004 8:03:48 AM EDT
Hi folks,

I am not all that up-to-date on the different brands of muzzle loaders.

I am interested in modern guns with accuracy, reliability and good quality. If I were to do this I'll prolly want a synthetic stock rifle. Features that make it easier/more reliable to use are a plus.

What are the best two or three brands to look at?


- Tim
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:27:19 AM EDT
Savage has one that you can use smokeless in www.savagearms.com/muzzleloader_home.htm
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 9:32:34 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/17/2004 11:27:20 AM EDT by Carbine_Man]
What I'm looking at is more along the lines of Knights, Thompson Center, CVA, etc. and those sorta mfg'ers. Trouble is I don't know what the real-world experience with any of these is.

I was just in a fun store lookng over a variety of rifles of the above brands. I really like the break-open designs and the CVA Optima Pro. The feel is great and I like the longer barrel for a greater sight radius and handling magnum power loads.

Any comments on CVA and the Optima?

- C_M
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 12:59:27 PM EDT
CVA's don't really have that great of a reputation--you can generally get better quality from any of the other manufacturers at all but the lowest price points. Not to put you off--if you like the gun, give it a shot.

The Savage smokeless muzzleloader could be a good choice if your state allows it for deer hunting (MI won't allow smokeless so I don't have one). It is also able to be used the the more traditional BP substitutes like pyrodex and triple seven. There was a recent case of one of these rifle exploding in the hands of an experienced tester--possibly barrel fatigue. To learn more about this rifle try going to: http://dougva.proboards34.com/index.cgi?board=Savage

Thompson Center Muzzleloaders seem (to me) to be the most popular brand of muzzleloaders out right now. I own a TC Encore which has a break open action (CVA based their design on this gun) capable of accepting centerfire barrels as well as a muzzleloader barrel. My best group with this gun was 0.6" center to center with a 200 grain TC shockwave and 90 grains of FFFg 777--this gun will consistently shoot under 1" at 100 yards. I liked the feel of the gun and the ability to get another barrel for it for $250 in pretty much any caliber.

The TC Omega was the "hot" muzzleloader last year. It gave good accuracy--some have reported better accuracy than I've obtained with my Encore--and an easily cleanable barrel at a decent price. Three of my friends recently purchased these. Two have had no problems, and one has been back to the factory three times.

I have no personal experience with Knight muzzleloaders, but they have a good reputation among muzzleloaders. They make a relatively inexpensive "Wolverine" Knight muzzleloaders also have the reputation as being the most accurate shooters.

If you want to learn more you can try here:


Good luck.
Link Posted: 9/17/2004 5:39:18 PM EDT
I looked at the Omega, and there was something about it that I didn't like that much. What I liked about the Optima Pro was the whole feel of the grip, stock and sights. It just worked for me.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 6:08:03 AM EDT
I felt the same way about the Omega--it just didn't feel right--but a lot of people seem to like them. It has a very small trigger guard and a sharp trigger among other things. The TC Encore is a better made firearm in my opinion, and should feel pretty similar the the CVA. Of course it all depends on how much you want to spend--the CVA is probably significantly cheaper.
Link Posted: 9/18/2004 8:21:40 PM EDT
I really like the Knight muzzleloaders. Both of mine are very accurate and have been 100% reliable, even when hunting in the rain for several hours before taking a shot.
Link Posted: 9/19/2004 8:06:53 PM EDT
Look for a Knight Wolverine.There a great rifle.Wont spend much $$ on it and its plenty accurate.Four out of the 5 guys I hunt with use em.I bought an Encore and hate it.Sold it early this year after sending it back to TC several times.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 6:53:23 AM EDT
If you decide to go with a Knight. Cabelas has a great sale on the Knight Disk Elite in synthetic/blued right now.


If you combine that rifle with the $50 rebate from Knight, you can get the rifle for just over $200.

Link Posted: 9/20/2004 8:01:32 AM EDT
I have an Optima. And you are right about the feel. It rocks!! That's why I bought mine. I held it and it just felt better than all the others out there. Let me tell ya, the accuracy is unbelieveable once you get a load worked out. I can get all my shots in the 10 ring at 100yards. No sweat. I have the nickel finish and black stock. Easiest gun to clean out there. Plus cleaning at home is even easier. One screw and the whole thing comes apart.
I feel that this gun is far underrated. It has excellent fit, finish. Very good fiberoptic sights(took out a buck at 100 yards late evening).The accuracy is excellent. The feel is above all. Plus the price is not rigoddamndiculous like Knight with those little plastic thingies that can be dropped. I don't think I could break my gun without using a sledgehammer. Anyway.....I just really like mine!
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 5:09:03 PM EDT
Remington M700 50cal mussle loader.. These seem to be very accurate.. Myself, I prefer traditional style MLs..
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 8:10:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/20/2004 8:11:05 PM EDT by scottryan]
T/C Encore. Don't even think about anything else. Interchangeable barrels for any application (just like an AR-15). The Encore is finished better and is easy to clean.
Link Posted: 9/20/2004 8:29:45 PM EDT
Yea. $$$$$$$$! The Optima has interchangeable barrels too.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 6:58:19 AM EDT

Originally Posted By scottryan:
T/C Encore. Don't even think about anything else. Interchangeable barrels for any application (just like an AR-15). The Encore is finished better and is easy to clean.

Link Posted: 9/21/2004 11:31:58 AM EDT
Thanks everyone for all the input.

I bought a T/C Omega. Went out to the range and had a BLAST! I've rarely fired a muzzle-loader before, and it was cool. I am working on getting a good sight picture and trying different bullets. I've been using a pellet-ized BP substitute (not Pyrodex, some other brand) and I'll just burn that up until I can get Pyrodex 777 pellets.

I have no trouble keeping it on the paper at 100 yards, and with some practice I'm sure I'll be getting better groups.

I am so inspired that I have finalized plans to go muzzleloader hunting. There is a "game lands" area not far away, and I may have it pretty much to myself... I'm psyched!!!!

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