Pro's and Con's of the cheap inlines


June 30, 2009, 12:02 PM
Never shot a black powder gun, Never owned one.
I would like to get one to shoot as a "plinker" just for fun.
I see so many options out there today it is hard to get a grip on which inline I want. I asked the 19 year old clerk with 30 years experience at Gander and he sounded like a car salesmen selling a bulldozer.
Could you guys give me a few pointers? I'm looking to plink steel targets at less than 100 yrds. on the cheaper end of the scale.

I shoot a lot of 357 mag's but ammo is getting too expensive and black powder almost seems therapeutic like reloading bullets on a single stage press.

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June 30, 2009, 01:29 PM
There's dozens of models, many having different types of actions and features.

Even if they were all about the same price, each model has its own set of drawbacks which takes some study to become familiar with.
If you go to the Cabela's website and look up the user reviews, there's often a lot of useful feedback about the model.
But that doesn't mean that you'll like it even if it works great because of a feature or two that you'll find that you won't like. But you'll then need to live with it because you bought it.

Now this is a good shooting base model CVA rifle, and there are other similar ones from other companies with similar or different actions that may or may not shoot just as good. What will make a person happier for the same price, how well it shoots or how it fits, or how hard is it to insert the primer, or how easy is it to clean, how good is the trigger, how long is the barrel, or how much does it weigh... etc?

So you need to become familar with some of the various models, features and feedback so that you don't have a reason to be disappointed in the end.

Traditions often has some on sale in their Bargain Bin. Their break actions have a good reputation and the nickel finish that they apply is really nice and durable too:

Try to narrow your choice down to some specific models in your price range and then ask for information about that model or type of action.
There will also be the need for extra accessories, scope, powder, bullets, scope mount etc... that can add another chunk of change.

June 30, 2009, 02:39 PM
Some of the inline models seem to be stupidly cheap. But then you're working with an insert that you cap or prime and breech load. Seems a little like cheating to me. Although they obviously make for a more reliable hunting experience in poor weather.

For just a little more there seems to be some external hammer percussion models that provide more of a classic look and feel being wood and metal rather than plastic and metal. For fun shooting and target plinking I think you'll get more fun and pride of ownership from one of these but without the cost and commitment of a genuine antique.

Likely if you're at all patient something used will show up soon so you can save a little on the cost.

June 30, 2009, 03:55 PM
Inlines tend to have fast twist rates that lend themselves well to conical and sabot shooting, but not so much for patched round balls.

If you are looking to shoot cheaply while getting the best possible accuracy, you may want to consider something with a slower twist rate. 1 turn in 48 inches is ok but 1:66 or 1:72 seems to be ideal for shooting patched round balls.

Do yourself a favor by researching ammo costs before you decide.

June 30, 2009, 04:11 PM
Very cool! Thanks you guys. That was ten times more than store offered.

June 30, 2009, 04:16 PM
A lot of new inline shooters don't realize that in order to get really good long range accuracy from some inlines, the more expensive bullets are required which can cost as much as a .357 round or more without including the powder and primer.

Sure there are cheaper bulk bullets and bulk sabots to experiment with and the accuracy can then also end up being very satisfactory. But there aren't any guarantees when it comes to the accuracy of muzzle loaders or inlines even when shooting expensive bullets.
So the resulting cost of the bullets that are required to shoot good groups at 100 yards or more from any inline can be highly variable.

Plinking and target shooting with patched round balls can be less expensive and they're usually always easier to load. More folks use inlines for hunting while sidelock muzzle loaders are generally more suitable for target and recreational off hand shooting & plinking with open sights.
Inlines do require heavier powder charges to obtain good accuracy and are more ideal for better hunting performance, especially at longer range using a rifle scope.
Lots of folks enjoy shooting both types of guns.

June 30, 2009, 04:22 PM
Cheap inline shooting though is a good way to get into black powder. you will learn a lot by doing making it easier to go even further with other black powder purchases.

June 30, 2009, 04:39 PM
Can you shoot a cheaper lead round ball in a 1 in 28 twist barrel?
Just for giggles what kind of speed do you get out of an inline with a mag load?

June 30, 2009, 05:02 PM
One can shoot round balls from a 1 in 28" but only with lower powder charges and/or the accuracy will be virtually non-existant with most guns.

Top velocity with most guns is around 2000 feet per second depending on the barrel length and load.

Mark whiz
July 1, 2009, 02:08 AM
My old inline percussion cap Knight USAK will shoot patched round ball fairly well (2" to 3" groups out to 75 yards) with around 70 to 80gr of 777powder. Pushing the powder charge higher in a 1-28" barrel like this will definitely reduce that accuracy though. It's great for plinking at paper or more reactive targets like cans, bottles, clays, etc. Very addictive. :D

For better accuracy and a bit more expense, buy boxes of Hornady 300gr .45cal XTPs and bags of MMP sabots to go with them. With the right load, they are almost as accurate as any sabot bullet on the market and cheaper than about all of them too.

July 2, 2009, 08:23 PM
Thompson Center actually magnetic particle inspects their barrels for cracks, just like a Real gunmaker does. Also one can actually get replacement parts from Thompson Center.

Nice to get one's more deadly toys made by honest-to-gosh professionals.

Over the decades they have been in business this company has learned a great deal about making good, solid muzzle-loading arms.

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