“Long range”/ smokeless muzzleloaders

PrairieHunter

Active member
Joined
May 17, 2018
Messages
944
Location
Laramie, WY
Well, I've always found Brent's insight on traditional firearms interesting. From what I've read he's pretty much an expert on the topic and I trust his opinion. Plus, I still shoot a basic blackpowder muzzleloader with percussion caps because that was all that was legal when I started back in Washington state. I have a slight disdain for the fact that muzzleloader seasons, in some areas, offer very little restriction over typical rifle seasons due to the allowance of "newer" equipment.

I'm actually kind of hoping the thread derails a little more so Brent can further explain the ong range blackpowder shooting he's been talking about.
I have no doubt that Brent would love to tell you all about his adventures with traditional muzzleloaders. If you read his posts in this thread he has been pretty much begging someone to pay attention to what he has to say. So far you are the only one buying what he is selling.

This happens quite often, but most people stop after the first few tries. Like jumping on a thread about 6.5 CM and telling everyone they need to shoot a 45 70, the true long range gun while rambling on with some stories about buffalo, cowboys, and indians. Or jumping on a crossbow thread to claim there are no advantages and that recureves will do anything a crossbow will do. So now Brent wants you to believe that there are no advantages to modern muzzleloaders and he can't figure out why they are so popular and nobody is interested in his traditional way of shooting anymore.

It comes off more as being desperate for attention than being a amabassador for traditional muzzleloaders. But if you are interested by all means go for it. But for what the OP asked this has nothing to do with his question about smokeless muzzleloaders and Brent pretty much derailed the thread.
 

SandyCreek

Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
140
Location
Iowa
Prairehunter, your post, like AssawomanGunsmith, suggests you don't have much experience with long range muzzleloaders. Pretty much everything in your post is simply wrong. As a person that regularly shoots to 1000 yds with muzzleloaders, I'm pretty confident of what they can and cannot do. There is a rich tradition of long range muzzleloading, going back to 1874 and beyond. The best quality blackpowder and percussion camps are neither more corrosive, less consistent, nor less accurate that smokeless. You can buy a long range muzzleloader off the shelf for about $1700 these days, though it will need to have its sights replaced. Long range bullets are pretty well worked out as well. There is a whole world of blackpowder long range shooting you probably have never seen, much less tried. You might be surprised.

And then there is the smokeless muzzleloading of the late 1800s by early guncranks like Harry Pope and crew. Their methods, of course, would not apply to legal muzzleloader hunting but I'm not sure if that is AssawomanGunsmith's goal. Again, there are many way to skin a cat. But most people don't know more than one.
lol......wow..thats laughable at best..hahahaha
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
1,868
Location
In the middle
Prairiehunter, your reputation proceeded you. Your last post was predicted by others and they proved to be correct.

Obviously, you have never fired a long range blackpowder rifle at long range targets so you don't know much about their accuracy.

Obviously, you have never shot one over a chronograph either, so you don't kno w much about their consistency.

Obviously, you haven't shot blackpowder cartridge rifles much either since you would know that serious target shooters look for the mildest possible primer to ignite their loads - with many using custom made cases so they can use small pistol primers and even then put a card-stock wad between the primer and powder to further dampen the primer.

Obviously, you have never owned and operated a blackpowder rifle with real blackpowder or you would know better than to repeat the internet pabulum about corrosion.

Long range muzzleloaders are pretty damn cool guns. Here are a few pictures from the 2018 match at Oak Ridge where Whitworths, Henrys, Rigbys, and a few other makes were exhibited AND many shot in competition.

Whitworth

I believe this is a Henry

Probably a Pederoli Gibbs
Wrist rests are used only at 800-1000 yds. Inside of that, it is all sling only.

Some matches allow cross sticks.. This is at contemporary Henry - approximately, firing at 300 yds.

This year, we also shot 1000 yds unsupported, no sling, no wrist rest, no crosssticks.
Many of us would have like to try this original Henry owned and operated by Bill Roberts - I believe there are only 3 of these in existence. Note there are two complete trigger sets on this rifle. He is using the front set in this photo.
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
1,868
Location
In the middle
Another view of it. The rifle above it, is also a Henry with an adjustable comb much like an Anschutz.

This is another way to shoot prone from the International Match that was held Australia in 2017. The shooter is a Kiwi and he is quite good. His rifle is a contemporary version of a Billinghurst underhammer.

Also shooting a contemporary Billinghurst is American and reigning World Champion Ray Hanson.

All of these rifles are .45 caliber. All of the bullets are over 500 grs. No one had prettier bullets than the very patriotic and embossed Spanish team. At 570 grns however, they did not shoot very well.


It was a really fun match with the Americans sweeping pretty much everything for the first time ever. We won individual and team first places at short range, short range team event, long range individual and team event and the overall aggregate. The next International championship will be this August at Bisley in England.

So, I guess I do have a bit of familiarity with shooting long range muzzleloaders. You should try them sometime. You might be surprised, but rumor has it, that you aren't much interested in learning new stuff.
 

VAspeedgoat

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Messages
2,274
Location
Timberville, VA
Brent, is the whitworth what the Confederacy used against the gatlin gun during the civil war? My rifle history is limited but I remember something like that.
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
1,868
Location
In the middle
VAspeedgoat, it was an English made rifle that was used by the Confederacy in the Civil War to shoot Union Generals. There were no Gatling guns in the Civil War that I am aware of. They came just afterwards. Spencers and Henry lever rifles (not related to the Alexander Henry long range muzzleloaders) were the only cartridge rifles of note in the Civil War. `
 

mdhunter

Active member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
790
Location
Maryland
VAspeedgoat, it was an English made rifle that was used by the Confederacy in the Civil War to shoot Union Generals. There were no Gatling guns in the Civil War that I am aware of. They came just afterwards. Spencers and Henry lever rifles (not related to the Alexander Henry long range muzzleloaders) were the only cartridge rifles of note in the Civil War. `
Everyone’s history was mislead by the “Outlaw Josey Wales” I guess...lol
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
1,868
Location
In the middle
They might be right. I just googled it since I dont know much about them. Wikipedia says yheybwre "used occasionally" by the Union Army. News to me.
 

VAspeedgoat

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 4, 2014
Messages
2,274
Location
Timberville, VA
I had a guy tell me they were used but with little success because of a long range rifle the Confederacy had. When you mentioned whitworth it brought back the memory. What the guy said was that the sharpshooters targeted the magazine guy. When he came to the side to load he was in the open. After one or two dead soldiers, others were reluctant. Found it pretty interesting.
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
1,868
Location
In the middle
That sounds like something that happened at an individual battle. I don't know if Whitworths were particularly common and at every major battle or not. Sound like Gattlings were much less common.

Both sides did a lot of sniping with long range rifles. There were some bench rifles that were more or less machine-rifles in the sense that they were not held by a person. They did some amazing (but probably quite lucky also) shooting.

Civil War stuff is not my forte or interest, but there was a strong beginning to long range rifles at that time. This was also happening in England (hence the Whitworths, Rigbys, Henrys) which were the absolute apex of muzzleloaderdom. And from this type of shooting (post war) both the British National Rifle Association and then the American NRA were born. And from that, the greatest rifle match in history was fired in 1874 on Creed's Farm (hence the term Creedmoor) in what is now Queens, New York. There are many articles about this match and how it was won on the last shot in semi-heroic fashion and how it was lost in almost equally momentous mistake. The best article was published in (I believe) The New Yorker magazine. Ah, it was a grand time. The Americans shot new-fangled cartridge rifles - mostly Remington Rolling Blocks and a few Sharps 1874s, the Irish, representing the best of England, shot Rigby muzzleloaders. The best of the best on both sides. It was awesome.

All of this is leading up to a 150th Celebration of the match in which both muzzleloaders to be held in 2024. Any of you could be there - and even win. I know I'll be there but will I shoot a muzzleloader or a cartridge rifle? I can't decide. But I'll be there.

Hmmm, I got a bit carried away. ah well. Get a gun and jump in.
 

ImBillT

Active member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
553
I wonder if Brent is trying to suck you in with nostalgia and beauty and doesn’t want you to care about the size of the groups, or if he wants you to step into his trap before showing pictures of the tiny groups they shoot. Brent, you must know that pictures of shooters, and beautiful old guns, is not proof of how well they shoot. I used to shoot F-class with a guy who had come to the dark side from Schuetzen and who also had a pile of old Ballard actions smithed by Harry Pope. There’s no doubt that black powder can be made to shoot quite well muzzle loader or not.

While this isn’t on the topic of the thread, I feel the same way about muzzle loaders as I do archery tackle. If you want to set aside tags for your “primitive” weapon and enjoy higher drawing odds and better season dates, then you should have to use a self-wood bow, or wood bow backed with non-modern materials, no sights, and leave the range finder at home. If you want to use a compound bow, slider and range finder, or a Garmin Xero, then more power to you, but you should have to do it in the ANY WEAPON SEASON. The same goes for muzzle loaders. If Brent’s methods don’t tickle your fancy, then you don’t fit into the category that the muzzle loader season was really supposed to target. The law is the law, so obviously most folks are going to do whatever they can that fits within it. The laws should be changed, and the tag numbers for archery, muzzle loader and any weapon seasons should be adjusted to give the about the same drawing odds as the any weapon season. Season dates should be changed as well. States gave a bunch of tags and prime season dates to “primitive” weapons under the guise that no one was going to kill anything anyway and now a Rem700 in 30-06 is more primitive than 90% of the archery and ML tackle in the woods.
 
Last edited:

mdhunter

Active member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
790
Location
Maryland
I don’t think the system is completely broke. Heck, we could give a physical fitness test prior to the tag allocation. Got a Body Mass Index of 35? Your fat enough to get a rifle tag that will make up for your lack of mobility. Got a BMI of 19, you only get a tag for a stick and a string (go get’m stud), lol.
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
1,868
Location
In the middle
ImBillT - I don't have any pictures of great groups since I do not often shoot for group with muzzleloaders. I can give you some scores shot in competition.

That said, I don't feel that long range muzzleloaders - even traditional ones - necessarily belong in a muzzleloader season, most of which were fought for and conceived as short-range weapons seasons. Restricting muzzleloaders to bullets not longer than 2 calibers, for instance, would accomplish that. Or simply make them roundball seasons, ala' Pennsylvania. Whether you hunt with a godawfulugly plastic/stainless inline or a rocklock is a matter of whether you have taste for aesthetics and art, but has nothing to do with effectiveness. Shooting long range rifles does - and a 300 yds muzzleloader belongs in the regular rifle season in my opinion because they do affect what others experience.

Bowhunting could be dealt with in much the same way. Make them pulley-free and range is instantly compressed. And range is what matters. The further out you can reach, the more efficient you are as a hunter and the more impact you will have on game populations. I have no hope any of that will ever happen.

Meanwhile, I did not get the impression that the original poster was really looking for a hunting rifle.

Mdhunter, I see that we have reached the end of the line for intelligent, thoughtful conversation.
 

ImBillT

Active member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
553
Brent - Scores would be relevant data if you include the diameters or the scoring rings and course of fire.

Yes as far as archery is concerned, removing pulleys would make the majority of the difference, but laminated glass, and being cut to center shot are definite advantages as well.
 

BrentD

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2018
Messages
1,868
Location
In the middle
I'm all in on any sort of reduction in bow technology. The majority of the archery seasons were conceived around the glass-wood laminate recurves by Bear, Pearson, Redwing, etc.

Lets see, a 100-5x last year at 200 with 1 MOA x-ring (standard NRA targets are all 1 MOA x-ring, 2 MOA 10-ring) 92 @300, 88 @600 and 61 with two misses at 1000. Only good enough for first loser.
 

mdhunter

Active member
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
790
Location
Maryland
ImBillT - I don't have any pictures of great groups since I do not often shoot for group with muzzleloaders. I can give you some scores shot in competition.

That said, I don't feel that long range muzzleloaders - even traditional ones - necessarily belong in a muzzleloader season, most of which were fought for and conceived as short-range weapons seasons. Restricting muzzleloaders to bullets not longer than 2 calibers, for instance, would accomplish that. Or simply make them roundball seasons, ala' Pennsylvania. Whether you hunt with a godawfulugly plastic/stainless inline or a rocklock is a matter of whether you have taste for aesthetics and art, but has nothing to do with effectiveness. Shooting long range rifles does - and a 300 yds muzzleloader belongs in the regular rifle season in my opinion because they do affect what others experience.

Bowhunting could be dealt with in much the same way. Make them pulley-free and range is instantly compressed. And range is what matters. The further out you can reach, the more efficient you are as a hunter and the more impact you will have on game populations. I have no hope any of that will ever happen.

Meanwhile, I did not get the impression that the original poster was really looking for a hunting rifle.

Mdhunter, I see that we have reached the end of the line for intelligent, thoughtful conversation.
Wow...Plenty of fun suckers in this world when the word "LOL" doesn't mean "laugh out loud".

Are you trying to save an animals life by changing the weapon season or just trying to move the tag to someone else who would harvest it? Will fewer animals be injured before harvesting them if we go to the most primitive weapons possible?

Somehow I bet these biologists are measuring the population, sustainable population, harvest rates, etc. I think a critter that ends up in the freezer counts the same regardless of how he gets there. We can move the tags around but I think the end game is the same. Like it or not, there is a number that meets that quota.
 

ImBillT

Active member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
553
I'm all in on any sort of reduction in bow technology. The majority of the archery seasons were conceived around the glass-wood laminate recurves by Bear, Pearson, Redwing, etc.

Lets see, a 100-5x last year at 200 with 1 MOA x-ring (standard NRA targets are all 1 MOA x-ring, 2 MOA 10-ring) 92 @300, 88 @600 and 61 with two misses at 1000. Only good enough for first loser.
I didn’t expect y’all to be using standard targets.
 

ImBillT

Active member
Joined
Oct 29, 2018
Messages
553
Wow...Plenty of fun suckers in this world when the word "LOL" doesn't mean "laugh out loud".

Are you trying to save an animals life by changing the weapon season or just trying to move the tag to someone else who would harvest it? Will fewer animals be injured before harvesting them if we go to the most primitive weapons possible?

Somehow I bet these biologists are measuring the population, sustainable population, harvest rates, etc. I think a critter that ends up in the freezer counts the same regardless of how he gets there. We can move the tags around but I think the end game is the same. Like it or not, there is a number that meets that quota.
My reason for moving to primitive archery tackle depends on the situation. In TX everyone gets five whitetail tags. The number of deer taken wouldn’t really change, but there would be more of them on the opening day of rifle season. Archers basically get first pick. In states where tags are drawn archers in many cases better draw odds, and in some cases better season dates. That originally came with the disadvantage of a stick and a string. A compound bow may not be a rifle, but has gotten to be a pretty major “improvement” over a long bow. Yes, you could throw the extra tags into some other pool if success rates dropped.
 

Firedude

Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2015
Messages
155
I wish I had better knowledge for you but my state limits us to black powder or equvalant. So do with this info what you will.
As far as new stuff I've shot a traditions (my stepdaughter's), a higher end Knight (my hunting buddies chosen gun), and the Remington ultimate smokeless. The first two used Clean Shot (now All American) because we cant use smokless here. And both shot well out to 200 yards after tuning bullet, charge, lube, etc. By well I mean consistently hitting close to center on paper plates. So like 3 inch groups. The Remington shot as good if not a little better. We didn't put a ton of effort into it because it's not Idaho legal so perhaps we didn't see it's highest possible performance. As far as functionality it was a good gun. I have no doubt it could do better as far as accuracy. As with any muzzleloader it takes effort and time to see what works best for you and your gun specifically. I think if I were shopping for one I would focus on quality not hype. My first muzzleloader was a cheap but advertised well _____ brand. After 2 years the the bullets would drop to the bottom halfway through loading... I never shot full charge at any time but the barrel was no good.

I tend to lean towards traditional. I shoot a Lyman Great Plains Hunter. It was the most accurate gun I found at the time. If Idaho legalizes .45 for elk I'm ordering a Rigby Sporting rifle.
 
Top