Resources for Muzzleloader Beginner

ritter26

Newbie
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
2
Hello,

I recently joined Rokslide. I'm interested in understanding the best resources for learning muzzloaders.

I live in Idaho and have 10+ years of rifle and 3 years of archery big game hunting experience. Beyond the Rokslide forums, I'm curious if there are any good books or other resources on muzzleloaders focused on northwest big game hunting so that I can reduce the learning curve.

Best regards,
Kyle
 

OrangeMan73

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
66
Good luck. It was my first year smokepoling last year and I waited until a few weeks before my tag before I started learning how to do it. Its not too difficult, just make sure you practice your steps for reloads so its not something you use anything but lizard brain for. Also practice for the "clicks" for when the cap doesn't go off. It honestly feels like archery as far as hunting "style"... you just get to bump the range out a bit.

Sorry not much help for literature, but you'll learn enough of it here.
 
OP
R

ritter26

Newbie
Joined
Apr 3, 2022
Messages
2
Thanks for the tips. I'm excited about getting about a chance to hunt during the rut and get to extend the range compared to a bow.
 
Joined
Mar 15, 2020
Messages
77
Location
Upstate New York
I think the biggest learning curve to muzzleloaders are developing shooting loads. I use blackhorn 209 and weigh the powder on a scale to be precise. Do not just visually measure powder in tubes by volume it can be very off and dangerous. Another important part is keeping your gun clean and having the necessary muzzleloader accessories.
 

eltaco

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
May 18, 2013
Messages
457
Welcome to the site.

Last year was my first year hunting muzzy as well and I had to swallow a lot of archery pride to take that plunge. Really enjoyed it when I finally did. I ended up harvesting my bull within archery distance anyways, so for me the experience was identical other than I didn’t have to question my shot or track blood!

First thing to know is muzzleloader supplies are extremely hard to come by right now. Start looking early and call everywhere in your region to find what you’re looking for. I ended up finding Blackhorn 209 and 100 Federal 209A primers, but I suppose I called around 40 shops to find that.

This lesson hurt pretty bad, but I had a Lyman muzzleloader I was planning to hunt with when I put my name in for the elk draw. Once I drew I knew that I couldn’t shoot sabots in CO so picked up a Thor sizing pack and found that a 0.503 round would drop straight to the breech plug. Not ideal. I’m the end, I couldn’t get a full bore conical to fit that rifle and ended up buying a used Knight due to limited supply. Great gun, but didn’t plan for the expense and also a Mountaineer at nearly 9# wouldn’t have been my first choice.

Next, you’re going to see a lot about powder volume. Know that weight and volume are two completely different things. BH209 weight is 70% of volume, so if I’m loading 100gr (v), I measure out 70gr (w) on a scale. I scale measure everything, because it’s not terribly time consuming and I feel more confident in performance. Maybe overkill, but it’s part of the enjoyment for me.

Next for me was that I started with way too low of powder charge weight. I had very erratic flight below 100gr (v). I’d put two next to each other on target, and the next would completely miss. Totally random, but eventually learned my particular gun prefers 110gr (v) and higher. I landed on 115gr (v) and can shoot sun-MOA at 300yds with it.

I ended up with Fury Universal Fit 320gr bullets and quite enjoy them.

As with everything, your results may vary and your powder, bullet, etc may require a substantially different load. Be safe and start light until you find what your gun prefers.

I’d also research cleaning, as it’s completely different from rifle and shotguns you may be familiar with.

Best of all, enjoy the journey! Though I gave up archery elk for the season, I learned a new skill and took quite a liking to it!
 
Last edited:

OrangeMan73

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Messages
66
I'd echo the spending time on powder measuring. I never did put a whole lot emphasis on it and never could get smaller than a pie plate at a 100. Personally think I and the gun can do better.
 

Deerhunter6250

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 21, 2019
Messages
207
Cleaning the gun is huge, especially the breach plug, make sure the fire (spark) from the primer can get to the powder to ignite it, make sure the breach plug is dry from oil and water. I put a williams peep sight on my traditions muzzleloaer and I use 110 grain by volume blackhorn 209 powder with Thor bullets in Colorado. I bought a light weight muzzleloader because I don't like toating heavy guns when I'm covering a lot of miles. I also bought a different muzzle loader for states that allow scopes and have it set up with sabot bullets and 110 grains by volume blackhorn 209. Good luck.
 
Top