Looking at starting up blackpowder shooting....


August 14, 2008, 07:22 AM
...this all stemmed for my hunter safety course where the instructor went through several examples of firearms and honestly I've never thought about blackpowder but once shown, I felt drawn to it. I'm looking at my first rifle and will be using this for the range and for hunting.

The model I was looking at was the Thompson Omega with thumbhole...

Link here... (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/pod/horizontal-pod.jsp;jsessionid=J2RIWSB2ERKTRLAQBBISCN3MCAEFEIWE?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/pod-link.jsp_A&_DAV=MainCatcat20712-cat20815_TGP&rid=&indexId=cat20815&navAction=push&masterpathid=&navCount=1&parentType=index&parentId=cat20815&id=0033476&_requestid=7229)

I do NOT want a "traditional" blackpowder for my first rifle (read this as no flintlock) but wanted everyone's opinion. How would you rate this line from Thompson?...the feedback on Cabelas is very good for it.

Two additional questions...

Is there a good rifle blackpowder hunting forum? and two...any good dealers out there for these rifles? I use bud's guns and whittaker guns for my online purchases in the past.

Thank you!

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August 14, 2008, 08:09 AM
Actually, here's the model I was closely looking at...

Bud's Gun Shop (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/16870)

August 14, 2008, 11:04 AM
Cabelas cabelas cabelas.

My first black powder rifle i purchased was a cva buckhorn. In one way im glad i bought it as it really got me into shooting black powder. in more way s than i can imagine. In another way i wish i never bought that rifle but bought another type of rifle.

Pros and cons. I purchased the cva buckhorn as its a bolt action style rifle. However What i never knew is that its kind of a pain. Loading is just like any other. However you need that special tool to put in the primer. Then the cleaning is just so darn hard. Especially around the bolt area. With that i have been studying all the inlines.

Off the subject on shotguns. The two best shotguns i own are NEF Pardners one in 12 guage and one in .410. They both have drop down barrels. NEF has been making drop down shotguns and rifles longer than any other Gun maker out there. They know what they are doing and have been making a quality product that every one knows. Just check out the shotguns forum and do a search on NEF then look at the results you will see.

Back on the subject with this my thumb does not need a hole to go through. However my next inline will be a NEF only question is which one. IM kinda leaning towards the traditional black and walnut stock. Not because its the lowest price. But because i have two shotguns that would match the .50 really good. Here is the link to the NEF sidekick. also you can read the reviews. Good thing about cabelas is they have a forum and they have a buyer reviews.

NEF Heritage.

NEF Side kick

Cabelas main bp rifle inline page

As for cabelas they are a very good company to purchase bp guns both revolvers and rifles. They stand behind there product and are very good as far as just calling up and asking questions.

August 14, 2008, 11:21 AM
I vote against an inline........JMO

August 14, 2008, 02:35 PM
Inlines are great for hunting. They're accurate and reliable, but the bullets are more expensive for target shooting than what it costs to plink shooting patched round balls out of a sidelock percussion rifle.
I don't think that the model matters all that much when it comes to inlines. The Omega is certainly one of the most accurate and expensive models, and TC has a lifetime guarantee which is "priceless".
You should shoulder the gun and see if it feels good to you and to see how it operates.
What you need to know about muzzle loaders is that they must be cleaned after every shooting session and very often between shots if shooting saboted bullets (because they are tight to load).
Only the newest Blackhorn 209 powder doesn't create quite as much powder fouling, but it is twice as expensive.
Some folks are just as happy with a less expensive model if they can get it to shoot good.
But if you're a stickler for accuracy, the Omega has a great reputation.
If you want to know more about its track record, then visit the black powder subforum on the website listed below. Frontier Gander posts on both of these forums and he and others will let you know just how well Omega's shoot!
Good luck with which ever model that you decide to purchase. :)


August 14, 2008, 03:57 PM
Also check your local hunting restrictions for black powder seasons. I don't how common it is, but in these parts you can't hunt BP season with an in-line. No sabots, propellant pellets, 209 primers, gas checks, jacketed bullets, or optics either.

.38 Special
August 14, 2008, 05:12 PM
It seems to me that blackpowder "enthusiasts" tend to use "traditional" guns -- not necessarily flintlocks, but traditionally styled guns -- while the inline crowd is just looking to take advantage of additional hunting time and could barely care less what kind of gun is required.

I guess that's a long way of saying that I don't understand somebody wanting to "get into blackpowder" with a scoped inline.

Each to his own, but I think if the OP is really interested in blackpowder shooting he would do well to investigate the various rifles and not automatically rule them out in favor the inline -- especially if he is one of those unfortunates who has been told that inlines are the only reliable or accurate blackpowder guns.

August 14, 2008, 05:23 PM
Virginia and NC are the two states I'll be hunting in and both have very liberal requirements for muzzleloading (NC just says "muzzleloading" while VA says it has to be 45 cal plus 50 grains of powder plus a scope is allowed).

As for .38 special's comment...I can see his point. But how can you be an "enthusiast" if you've never used a blackpowder before? I've never shot one, my family/dad has never shot one, and I've never even held one...but it seems like it would be fun. The only way I think someone could skip the initial phase of a newbie blackpowder shooter would have some secondary interest (i.e. history). My secondary interest is hunting while firearms is my primary interest and if I missed a deer on my first hunt because I'm not a "seasoned" blackpowder hunter...I bet you can guess how much longer I'd be a muzzleloader. Answer...not very long.

I love firearms, I think I'll like blackpowder, but I don't see a need to go "full bore" initially and make it hard on myself... I could see more people trying blackpowder this way and then giving it up.

.38 Special
August 14, 2008, 05:33 PM
Hey, I'm an enthusiast of Ferrari F1 cars from the 50s and 60s -- and you can better believe I'll never own one!

IMO, a traditional caplock is the easiest way to get started. I have seen more difficulties arising from inlines than capguns -- but I am admittedly biased.

And really, if the inline floats your boat, then there's no reason at all not to go for one. I just run into a lot of people who have been told that the inline is the only reliable, accurate, manageable blackpowder rifle, and I hate to see people thinking that.

August 14, 2008, 06:47 PM
JoseM, with all do respect, at what distance would you encounter a Deer in N.C.? 50, 60, 100, 150 yards at the most? Why would a person need a scoped inline to drop a Deer at that distance? Let alone some of the troublesome inlines out there. I'm not an inline person I served in the beloved Infantry and inline that was enough.
Do yourself a favor and pick up a Hawken, be it T/C, Lyman Great Plains Rifle, or Traditions Hawken, Cabelas Hawken for cheaper price.
Trust me on this if you want to get into BP and have fun do it this way...the first 200 lb. Buck you drop with it will hang with you longer that that Hawken you used may if you ever do sell it...I was so damn sorry I sold my T/C Hawken .50 but did replace it with two others, a .58cal 1863 Remington Zouave(that's 300yd easy killer) and a Tennessee Poorboy Mtn. Rifle .50...Have fun and it's your choice...
I have never used a scope on a deer or bear hunt.


August 14, 2008, 07:13 PM
best muzzleloader I found for hunting is a enfield 58 cal muskatoon. easy to load and fast.

August 14, 2008, 07:44 PM
I have more fun hunting with my poor mans 50 cal flintlock.

August 14, 2008, 10:43 PM
And really, if the inline floats your boat, then there's no reason at all not to go for one. I just run into a lot of people who have been told that the inline is the only reliable, accurate, manageable blackpowder rifle, and I hate to see people thinking that.

Theres truth in that statement. Ive been shooting BP since around '76 and while I'll grant that rocklocks are not really a good start unless one is really willing to learn (hopefully from someone thats knows the idiosyncrasies), a traditional cap lock is as reliable as an inline and with a little lock and breech tuneup as fast on ignition. Even then a caplock ignition is not all that slow such that one requires a hold like flints mostly do. But for some the hammer fall near the cheek can be distracting I suppose...

The real difference twixt the in line and the traditional caplock is appearance and rifling twist when you get right down to it. Something that traditional rifles can be had with equivalently fast twist barrels on an aftermarket basis. Even then the Hawken std of 1:48 does a fine job with both RB and slugs (within limits) and the new stuff is not going to have issues with the stouter loads anymore than the in line has.

But as state and quoted, iffen ye want an inline go for it, theyre just not my cup of tea.


August 17, 2008, 01:33 AM
"...don't understand somebody wanting to "get into blackpowder" with a scoped inline..." Anything that extends your time in the bush is a good thing. Don't want an in-line myself, our stupid laws require them(and re-production percussion locks) to be registered just like any other rifle, but if an in-line gets one guy hunting or just shooting, we win.

August 17, 2008, 02:51 AM
Jose, I will humbly suggest that you consider looking at this (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/36_440/products_id/33671) rifle. With regard to performance, versatility, and resale value, I really don't think you can go wrong for the extra $91.

August 17, 2008, 07:52 AM
WYD - I can't really find anything about a better performance with the Encore vs the Omega. The Encore would allow a change in barrel/calibers and I don't really care about resale (I tend to keep my firearms forever)...so the difference I care about would be the performance, cleaning, and price (I like the camo model which is much more expensive). The research I've done says that both rifles are very good. Is there anything in particular you can tell me about? Thank you.

August 17, 2008, 11:21 AM

the omega is a fine rifle, buy it, and go shoot us a nice deer with it then post the pictures. if money doesn't matter get the encore or better yet a savage that can handle smokless too. but in the end a hunter is a hunter and a dead deer is just that, well dinner too. and the omega will do real well for ya.

August 17, 2008, 12:23 PM
Well JoseM at least you asked... if you don't want to learn about the Traditional BP Rifle then your title "Looking to start up BP shooting" is not correct...you just want to know what kind of inline to buy for hunting season, not about black powder Shooting.
Hopefully you'll stick around and be open minded enough to learn more about it. It's always good to see a new BP shooter having fun and experiance a kill with a rifle from the past. Or if inlines are your thing and inlines alone good luck and happy hunting.

a few fifles/carbines to look at:what:
1861 Enfield carbine .58 cal
1863 Remington Zouave .58 cal
1853 Sharps Slant Breech
Hand made one of a kind tack driven Hawken
Lancaster Rifle .50 Handmade
Now if none a these float yer boat...go buy that omega inline:cool:

Loyalist Dave
August 17, 2008, 04:53 PM
IF you get an inline, then you MUST get a scope. Sorry but the stock iron sights on those things are way to large for good shot placement beyond 25-30 yards (imho). If all you are looking at is 40 yards and under, then buy the inline barrel for the Mossburg 500, and save some money. Inlines are NOT any more reliable in bad weather than a caplock! They ARE quite expensive to shoot.


Them newfangled, Enfield, caplock, rifled muskets in .58 are dang accurate, fast on reloading, and hammer everything from deer to moose!

I prefer a more civilized .54 flintlock longrifle with a swamped barrel, shooting a patched round ball. Save that for later.

JOSE do yourself a favor, and do it right! You won't be sorry. (Look I have a scoped inline, ..., I use it for teaching hunter safety these days...., works fine, shoots straight, but not nearly the same as what I hunt with.)


August 17, 2008, 05:02 PM
Thanks for the "encouragement" but I actually stopped by Dick's today and held the Omega with Thumbhole and it passed "the test". I felt NICE in my arms. The cost was $399.99, so almost a full $100 less expensive from what I was looking at (this is the camo, ss fluted barrel, and thumbhole). If I like this one, I will probably get a revolver for Christmas (assuming I've been a good boy in the eyes of the wife).

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