In Line Muzzle loaders?


August 27, 2006, 01:28 AM
Gday- I have recently entered the world of BP muzzle loaders.
Something I have come across are the inline muzzle loaders-> how are these different to a modern cartridge rifle (once loaded) and why are there special hunting seasons for them?


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August 27, 2006, 09:46 AM
begin rant/personal opinion/ The only thing that the inline has in commen with traditional muzle loaders is that they load from the front, they are an abomination and should be banned from all special seasons/ end rant

If you want to hunt the way of your forefathers go with a sidlock, cap or flint, with patched round ball. There are a lot of reasonably priced rifles, in kit or finished, Hawkin and Longrifle, that will shoot well. The inline rifles were built for people that want to hunt the muzzlegun season with a "high power rifle", and are pushed by the builders as a "magnum". A patched round ball, backed by a good powder charge, has and will continue to kill game reliably out to 100yds. The secret is to be a good enough hunter to get within this range limitation. That is hunting, and not just shooting!

There is a very good Black powder forum on this board. A lot if info available, and some frendly folks to help.

Livin in Texas

August 27, 2006, 10:15 AM
Seems when ever someone mentions in-lines, ill informed biasis's surface from the traditionalist ranks. The in-line ignition design has been around since the 1600's, it wasn't until Tony Knight (Knight Rifles) revived it in the mid 1980's did it become what it is today.

Knight advanced the idea of a removeable breech plug so the shooter could clean the rifle like an ordinary cartridge gun. He also improved the rifles by using adjustableTimmney triggers, modern style stocks & safeties, and pre-drilled for scope mounts. The first ones were introduced in 1985 (hence Knight's MK-85)....since that time Knight and other manufacturers have improved ignition systems with a variety of existing centerfire primers.

Nothing wrong with the traditional flintlocks and percussion rifles, they all load from the muzzle just like an in-line.

To answer your question about the differences between blackpowder and cartidge rifles....ballistics of BP are similar to that of straight walled pistol rounds. They do not have the range or speed of a centerfire rifle. The reason they have special seasons varies from state to state. In some states these are viewed as primitive firearms, to use them in centerfire hunting seasons is considered by some to be a handicap. Other states do not offer centerfire rifle hunting seasons, the ballistics make them more suitable for heavy populated flat areas. Blackpowder and shotgun ballistics would fit these areas better.

Have three Knight's, very happy with all of them. I bought them because they solved all the short comings I didn't care for in the traditional offerings.

August 27, 2006, 07:10 PM
They are still a muzzleloader.

Try sticking one of those brass suppositories in them and they will not work.

Powder patch ball still works on them even when using pellets and sabots, if you think it doesn't reverse it.

I am a flintlock shooter. The last 14 head of big game was with one. I see no advantage to using an inline and do not care if one uses one or not they will still be muzzleloader hunting.

August 28, 2006, 01:06 AM
I'm a sidelock shooter (Lyman .54 GPR) myself because that's what I prefer MY muzzleloader to be.

There is nothing wrong with using an inline if that's what you desire.

The inline vs. traditional arguement is a red herring and completely without merit just like the traditional/compound/crossbow arguement is in archery/bowhunting.

Or the EBR/AK vs. traditional sporting rifles.

Just a bunch of elitist jackasses hastening their demise by division from within while the antis stand on the sidelines and cheer us on.:fire: :cuss:

B.D. Turner
August 28, 2006, 04:49 PM
I have just gotten into inline muzzleloaders and like them very much. I have owned several traditional muzzleloaders both caplock and flintlock. The 209 primed inline is much more like a modern rifle than any of the others. The accuracy is on par with or better than some centerfire rifles.
If someone does not like inlines that is up to them but don't put them down because the Revolutionary war was not fought with them. Cave men used rocks an sticks to hunt so how far back are we going to carry this thing???

August 28, 2006, 05:02 PM
My modern, in-line muzzleloader has precisely ZERO (0) advantage over a traditional arm, IMO.

My rifle happens to be a T/C Encore, the new Prohunter model. But no matter how advanced the design, or how many high-tech materials and methods are used in it's manufacture, it STILL loads from the front. And blackpowder ballistics are blackpowder ballistics. You can only get so much performance out of charcoal! ;) My rifle happens to shoot great with real GOEX FFg, thank you very much.

The clincher for me is that the Encore fits me and feels better than any of the old-style sidehammers (and I've fired a few and own one, albeit a cheap one). If a Hawken was as comfortable to me, I probably would have bought it instead.

I will never look down on anybody shooting an inline, nor will I consider it a huge advantage over a more traditional system. And those 150gr loads the manufacturers tout? I'll pass thank you. 100-110gr of loose Pyrodex RS or GOEX 2f is all I need.

Good luck and good shooting, no matter what your preference is!

August 28, 2006, 05:13 PM
I am always amazed at the traditional ML guys trying to seperate the modern inline ML guys. To me, this type of division amoung people in the same sport is detrimental to the entire sport, and hunting in general.

The modern muzzel loader has evolved from the traditional ones and should be accepted as such without the infighting. Dividing us into two groups only weakens us both. "Divide & conquer" is a predictable tactic of the "anit-hunting" groups and we should guard against it. As an example they may try to outlaw percusion caps during muzzel loading season when / if they hear it is an advantage to the hunter.

If you want to dress up in buckskins and use flint locks knock yourself out. Get out there and enjoy yourself, get into your sport. Just don't look at the other guy and say he is doing it wrong. It degrades us both.

Now, where did I put those wax impregnated patches? :)

August 28, 2006, 05:15 PM
So what you are saying is that if technology had progressed with the exception of use/invention of the cartridge the inline muzzle loader would be the state of the art today.

August 28, 2006, 05:23 PM
NICE - I like it, very smart.

For those who seek traditional arms just remember that the flintlock / percussion weapons of yesteryear are only modern developments of matchlocks and they of previous arms and so on and so on.

If mankind had not started out trying to improve a rock we would still be living in caves!

I would be more than happy to own one and shoot it.

August 28, 2006, 08:57 PM
I really don't know...I'm quite happy with my .50 Sile Hawkens, which has harvested several one-shot killed deer, and is easy to load and fire...and provides me a lot of fun at the range. Built it from a kit in the early '80's.

I also own a Traditions .50 in-line...won it as a door prize about ten years ago. Gonna have to dig it out and try it out one of these days...have never fired it.;)

I suppose the Hawkins just looks prettier to me than the in-line, which just looks like another one of my many cartridge rifles, but doesn't have the range or speed of any of them. As the ballistics are the same, why not go for pretty? After all, muzzle-loading shooting is for fun, not utility.:p

Ed Ames
August 28, 2006, 09:36 PM
I have a T/C Omega I bought a few years ago. It doesn't really fit me all that well, and the standard plastic sights are an Abomination Unto Ed... I'd be much happier with the little brass sights usually found on "traditional" BP rifles. Or maybe that was just me... I'm used to partridge sights... T/C is "line up the dots and the front sight will be down in a valley formed by the rear sight" which bugs me.... I simply couldn't retrain myself to ignore the "sights" (top edge) and just line the dots up... if I concentrated it would shoot at "three dot point of aim".. but if I just mounted and fired it the bullet would be high by a foot or more. Horrible design. OTOH I love the laminated stock and the rifle itself (barring a few design flaws) is great.

I'd done a fair amount of C&B revolver shooting when I got the T/C, so I wasn't new to BP... but I was new to BP rifles. I've since fired a traditional (a Hawkens I think it was)... my next BP will be more traditional... I'm still kicking around thoughts on which type.... maybe a double. ;)

I didn't buy a BP rifle to get any hunting advantage...I've never hunted with it at all actually. I bought it as a target practice toy. It kicks out a nice cloud of smoke, is relaxing to shoot, and it hits a target pretty good with the peep sight I put on it. I've been considering hunting with it... maybe later this year or next I'll go stalk pigs with it (again, no season advantage to using it... pigs are year round with whatever you are packing)... but if not I'll still enjoy having it. Just as I'll enjoy having the traditional BP when I get it.

The main difference I see is the twist. IIRC, most traditionals are 1:48 or the like. Inlines are set up for sabots and spin 1:28 or thereabouts. But there are traditionals with the faster twist. Other than whatever effect that has, both will fire the same projectile with the same speed and accuracy. You can't even say the sights are an advantage... :evil:

August 29, 2006, 12:22 AM
I have been building traditional muzzleloaders for aruond 28 years, or so. I am currently building a 75 caliber Germanic flintlock rifle, but I own an in-line. If a man wants to hunt a state like PA or West VA, whats wrong with using an in-line rifle, where you might be offered a 150 -200yd shot? I only have x amount of time to hunt, so I make every shot count, like I always have. There's nothing like a December flintlock hunt, and I've hung with the best of'em. Modern muzzleloaders will always have a place in our sport.

August 29, 2006, 02:32 AM
Rembrant, I applaud you! I am strictly a sidelock traditionalist and won't voice my opinions or reasons , cause I have found that they are mine...LoL!
But I must say your answers and dates in history are correct. Although the In-lines of today aren't the same as they were invented as.
Your rifle is beautiful and that's the first time I ever said that about any in-line. Good job, my hat's off to you.


1911 guy
August 29, 2006, 08:57 AM
Smokeless powder will always have a decided adge in power over BP. Just the nature of the beast. Even the newest, fandangled, hyped up inline is good for no more than 150-200 yards, and that's a stretch. BP burns slowly compared to smokeless, that's why pressures are so much lower. Less pressure equals less velocity.

Now here's the catch to modern inlines. They're all touted as being able to handle 150gr of powder behing a sabot and bullet. Fine, but with slow burning powder you're burning about the last 50gr in the air in front of you. You get more pressure with no more velocity payoff. BP is what it is, and it is fun. Marketing, however, cannot change balistics.

If you want one, get it. You'll most likely come to enjoy it. Just doin't expect it to perform at extended ranges just because it resembles a cartridge rifle.

August 29, 2006, 09:00 AM
Jus GOTTA stir this pot! Whatcha talkin there smokeless advantage? Ya means ifin ya caint hunt an get close? :)

4v50 Gary
August 29, 2006, 09:18 AM
A comment was made asking what was wrong with using a modern (in-line) gun that will reach out to 150-200 yards? Lest we forget, the minie ball gun of the Civil War can reach out to over double that distance. Don't overlook a Civil War repro if you're into hunting.

August 29, 2006, 12:54 PM
I think the ballistics-aspect gets over-hyped on the inlines, honestly.

Sure, you CAN pour 150gr of powder (or pelletized equivalent) into them. Sure, it is perfectly possible to drive a 300 gr saboted slug at over 2000fps with this setup. Congratulations! We've reached magnum revolver cartridge in a rifle ballistics with a huge increase in noise and recoil.

I will hunt with and enjoy shooting my Encore inline. But I will always remember what it is: A slow loading, smoky equal to my .44 Magnum Marlin lever gun. That is fine with me though; I like the .44 and I definitely like the muzzleloader.

Now if only I could save enough money for a nice Hawken's, we'd be in business! :cool:

August 29, 2006, 09:14 PM
Sorry boys! 150 gr. is a magnum no more!

1911 guy
August 30, 2006, 08:09 AM
Talking about hunting ranges, I'd be hard pressed to take a 200 plus yard shot with a muzzleloader. Assuming I had confidence in good shot placement, the performance of a roundball, minnie ball or even a modern bullet from a sabot would be unreliable at those velocities. I'd rather buy burger than lose a cripple. Poking holes is fun and can be done at ranges far beyond those that limit ethical hunting. I just keep my hole punching on paper, not fur.

Heck, I don't even go more than 250-300 with a scoped .308 Win. due to my own ability (or lack) to place a bullet in the boiler room with absolute certainty.

BP Hunter
August 30, 2006, 12:15 PM
I've always enjoyed in-line muzzleloading. My Traditions .50 cal can easily group 2" at 100 yards with a scope. My favorite is my Savage 10ML smokeless. I best i did with it was a one shot kill of a coyote at 176 yards - measured with a lazer finder.

August 31, 2006, 08:48 PM
Looks like I'm outnumbered!

I still don't like them stainless barrel, plastic stocked, scoped, 209 primed, plastic sabot, JHP, pill loading..............THINGS!

Livin in Texas

September 1, 2006, 07:20 AM
Some ol dead guy said somthin bout HANGIN TOGETHER ER SEPERATE.

Ya dont gotta have a inline Oneshooter, but we's all onna same team. Jus cause tha guys usin a carbon er aluminum bat dont mean he aint playin baseball.

Ah likes rag chewin myself an hawkins jus fine, but i aint cryin ifin an inline stops at my door!

GOSH! a thousand posts!

September 1, 2006, 04:41 PM
GOSH! a thousand posts!

You'r not working hard enough Thom!!!!

September 1, 2006, 05:52 PM
Keeper quiet! Tha MANN already sayin ifin i gots free time ta post i gots time ta work! :)

September 7, 2006, 09:03 PM
:banghead: Traditional or inline who cares as long as your shooting black powder. Most of the guys I know who started with inlines end up with one or two cap locks. One of them bought a flint lock!:what:

1911 guy
September 7, 2006, 09:07 PM
Gofer has hit the nail on the head. In-lines aren't wunder guns, but they are an introduction to BP for a lot of people.

September 7, 2006, 11:02 PM
^^ I agree completely. I've had my CVA Optima Pro for under a year and have only fired it once, but I'm already thinking about getting a traditional BP rifle in the future just based on info I've picked up while researching bullets, lubes, etc. for my gun.

September 13, 2006, 12:26 AM
Vairochana i too just got my first muzzle loader, thompson black diamond xr. now i just have to learn how to use it

September 13, 2006, 01:26 AM
OK, I'm not a BP hunter. I've owned and shot BP over the years, mainly handguns. I've read all of the posts in this thread and still don't quite understand what the supposed advantages an inline has over a sidelock.
Someone stated that you could use a stiffer load in an inline. Why?
Someone else mentioned twist rate. Couldn't a side lock be barreled with a faster twist?
The only thing I could see is that lock time/ignition time would be a mite faster on an inline (less corners to go around), but I wouldn't think that it would make that much difference under normal circumstances. Precision target shooting, maybe. Or is it strictly aesthetics?
What am I missing?


September 13, 2006, 01:54 AM
Couldn't a side lock be barreled with a faster twist?
It can, and they're available. Green Mountain sells 1:28" twist octagon barrels for shooting sabots in cap locks.

I still don't see a major distinction between an inline muzzle loader and some of the "primitive" cap locks. If you get a 209 conversion kit and a 1:28 twist barrel for your cap lock, does that make it "too modern?"

This whole thing begs the question: if you demand that black powder seaons should be for "traditional" rifles, why draw the line at cap locks? After all, it could be argued that a cap lock has a big advantage over a match lock or flint lock. Heck, if people were arguing that the distinction should be made between flint locks and cap locks, it'd make more sense to me.

If the big distinction is lock time, would the traditionalists argue that underhammers are too modern? After all, they have the same theoretical inherent advantage of an inline (faster lock time).

September 13, 2006, 02:28 AM
[QUOTE]would the traditionalists argue that underhammers are too modern?[/QUOTE

An old gunsmith I used to know handmade several two shot twist barrel mule ear (side slappers) ML's. They were
patterned after something from the 1850-60's. I wonder how the ML hunters would look at them?


September 13, 2006, 05:05 AM
I will just point out here that my new toy is a flintlock Pennsylvania rifle. I have also played with a variety of smokepoles from matchlocks to '53 Enfields.
I don't know that the inline guns are so popular here in Oz; I have never seen one.
The reason for this being that we don't have dedicated ML seasons.
A fair number of people hunt with Blackpowder guns but a lot are used for fun and competition.
I asked the question as I am unfamiliar with the inlines and I come from a reenactment background (medieval) so they seem a bit of a strange idea.

1911 guy
September 13, 2006, 08:55 AM
Because market research shows most people don't think. The rifles will take 150gr of FFg or pyrodex, but the last 50gr burns in the air in front of you. Before every deer season I watch everybody burn up the grass at the range. BOOM! Then the powder lies smoldering in the grass. Back off to 100gr. You'll get nearly the same velocity with much less pressure.

September 13, 2006, 01:20 PM
Modern or traditional, in-lines and any other modern style muzzleloaders are still black powder guns, which are loaded from the front! This forum is not for traditional guns only, but all black powder guns. I build, own, and shoot both with great pleasure and much enjoyment! Good shooting to all, no matter what path yun's choose:scrutiny: :evil:

September 13, 2006, 04:12 PM
I shot the more traditional caplocks first and then progressed to woods hunting with an inline. Besides what has already been said, I think inlines have more reliable ignition even when using an #11 cap instead of a 209 primer.
The modern shaped stocks are usually more ergonomic and better designed for mounting a scope.
While I don't shoot at long ranges when hunting with either style of rifles, I've always preferred using a scope for hunting, even back when only a 1X scope was legal for use here.
Although 99% of the time that I'm shooting muzzle loaders, I simply enjoy shooting patched round balls the most. ;)

September 13, 2006, 11:10 PM
Artcap: You should come to Ohio and try the 75 caliber Germanic short rifle I am working on! I hope it will be complete for the Ohio 06' muzzleloader season which runs Dec. 27-30 this year. The ball will be a 540 gr with about 110 gr of powder to shove er' downrange. Will be great for deer and many larger game species. I will post pictures on this forum throughout its construction. Bigiron Barrel Works are cutting rifling in my barrel blank as we speak!

September 14, 2006, 02:43 AM
That's really interesting, and sounds to be very similiar to having a rifled 11 gauge barrel (.751).
I'm curious about what rate of rifling twist you'll be using to stabilize that large caliber ball?
Thanks for the invite! :)

September 14, 2006, 09:14 AM
Ballistically, the inlines are no different than a traditional muzzleloader. You can take a bullet and powder charge being equal and shoot them out of the same caliber, barrel length, etc and the numbers will be close to each other.

I do find that the inlines are more forgiving of bad weather. Here in New England we can get all kinds of weather in one week and even in one day. One day you are hunting in blowing snow and cold, then later that day it changes to rain. That is where I like the inlines.

September 14, 2006, 10:55 AM
OK, I’m seeing a few advantages of the inline over traditional types. (More weatherproof, easier scope mounting, etc. Nothing major) It seems to be boiling down to personal preference. (With a bit of prejudice thrown in.)
Kind of like back action locks vs. front action locks, single set triggers vs. double set, and so forth.
Apparently the main complaint is that even though they use the same bullet, the same powder, fired by a separate primer and are loaded from the front, they look like a modern rifle and not a traditional ML. Isn’t this akin to those that that would outlaw AR-15’s and other semi-auto rifles of the same type because they “look like” the evil full auto assault rifles?

As for having “special” seasons for ML’s, I guess I fall into the camp that asks "why should ML’s get special treatment". If it’s for the “traditionalist” experience, that can be had during a regular season. (Yes, it would be harder to “compete” with a modern rifle, but think of how much sweeter a successful hunt would be under these circumstances. And besides, is it about “competition” at all?) I should mention that where I hunt you aren’t likely to get a shot at much more than 100 yds. (Brush, trees, etc.) so ML or cartridge rifle doesn’t make that much difference.
If it’s for deer population control, lengthen the regular season, raise the limit, etc. If it is to “give the deer a chance” (IMHO, a silly reason), why not require smoothbores?

I guess that if I really wanted a “traditional” challenge, I would go with a smoothbore flinter. (well, maybe I would allow myself some rifling:evil: ) , but I wouldn’t (currently) have to worry about someone out there with an In-Line Flintlock.:neener:


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