California Newbie Looking for First ML

Discussion in 'New to Muzzleloading' started by Kopfjager, Jun 12, 2019.

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  1. Jun 12, 2019 #1

    Kopfjager

    Kopfjager

    Kopfjager

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    Greetings all! My name is Nick and I just drew a late season, muzzleloader, either-sex deer tag for the central coast in California. This puts me in the position of having to get myself my first muzzleloader! I have tons of experience with centerfire/rimfire firearms, but this is a first for me. From reading the regulations, it appears that my only restrictions are that I have to use open sights and at least a .45 cal projectile. Would that be correct? Can I use any ignition system type? I'm guessing a 209 is the simplest? That being the case, I'm seeking recommendations for a rifle. Wanting to stay around the $600 range, and am not averse to going used. Also any other advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated!

    Regards,
    Nick
     
  2. Jun 12, 2019 #2

    FredB

    FredB

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    I've never used a 209 system, but it sure doesn't seem simple. A look through some posts here, there are numerous discussions about problems with special breech plugs, vent liners, primer brands fitting specific guns, etc, which all have to do with making bh209 work right. Sounds complicated. Maybe it's not. With #11 percussion caps, I push a cap on the nipple, pull the trigger, and it goes bang. The powders used are dirtier, so the questions to solve are to swab, or not to swab, between shots, and how many shots between cleaning. Under casual use, screw in a new nipple, once a decade or so.
     
  3. Jun 12, 2019 #3

    GM54-120

    GM54-120

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    Really, ive seen plenty of posts where percussion has failed to fire. Ive seen plenty of posts where a nipple has been peened by the hammer and caps no longer fit. Ive seen plenty of posts where the flash hole in the nipple has worn out or needs to be drilled out for better ignition.

    Personally i dont see changing a $5-$6 vent liner to be all that much harder than changing a $8+ nipple. Seems very similar to me. Upgrade to a $30 tungsten bushing instead of a vent and we are now talking about 1000s of shots on a flash hole instead of 100s.

    I dont think ive seen a post yet where a 209 could not reliably ignite any powder other than BH209. There are many good BH209 plugs out now and T/C has been making them for years. Omega/Encore and Impact just to name a few.
     
  4. Jun 12, 2019 #4

    GM54-120

    GM54-120

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    Bolt action or a break action? There are tons of good break actions available starting around $250. Unfortunately the nicest one from CVA (Accura Mountain Rifle) is not available with open sites

    How big a rifle do you want to lug around? The CVA Optima V2 in nitride has a reasonable weight and cost. Far below your max even with an additional breach plug. A older T/C Omega also fits that bill extremely well but they are getting harder to find.

    If you have a Encore or Pro Hunter frame already you can buy a nice custom ML barrel for them within your price range too.
     
  5. Jun 12, 2019 #5

    BuckDoeHunter

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    Navigating California's Regulations is a bit ...challenging ...could they have made it more difficult?

    I would get a CVA Optima V2, load it with 110 grains of BlackHorn 209 powder and a 250 grain Barnes TEZ bullet (it's all copper if you need no lead), and use a Winchester 209 primer. You will need to buy another breech plug to use BlackHorn 209 powder, it's around $30 IIRC.
     
  6. Jun 13, 2019 #6

    Kopfjager

    Kopfjager

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    Am I able to run either a bolt or a break action? What are the advantages/disadvantages of both? I don't have anything from T/C at this time, so I'm starting completely from scratch. As far as weight goes, I'm not one to cut the handle off my toothbrush to save ounces, but I'm western hunting and not hunting from the truck, so I definitely don't want a pig either.
     
  7. Jun 13, 2019 #7

    Hatchet Jack

    Hatchet Jack

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    Find yourself a good used TC Omega. Either online or at a gun/pawnshop. You will probably pay somewhere between $250 to $400 for one. They are a great, simple and accurate gun.
     
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  8. Jun 13, 2019 #8

    10ring1

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    Yes! To the Omega
     
  9. Jun 13, 2019 #9

    richie332

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    If you are not limited to black powder or black powder substitutes, then I would seriously look at going with smoke-less powder in a properly put together rifle. Then you could still use a 209 ignition system but, if allowed, an ignition system that uses Large Rifle Primers. https://hanksprecisiongunparts.com/
     
  10. Jun 13, 2019 #10

    FredB

    FredB

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    I'll have to take your word for it about 209 stuff. I'm just saying, personally, with #11's I've never had to buy a new breech plug, never had a brand of cap that didn't work with my gun, and never had to use a drill bit for cleaning. I think I've replaced two nipples since 1995. I think I can count on one hand the number of times I failed to complete proper post-cleaning/storage procedures, and the nipple was too clogged to fire. A simple error on my part, easily remedied by poking a paperclip through the nipple. I'd likely switch to 209, if it was legal in Idaho. But for simplicity, and reliability, I'm just telling the new guy, I've been very happy with #11's.
     
  11. Jun 13, 2019 #11

    GM54-120

    GM54-120

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    http://www.eregulations.com/california/hunting/mammal/general-big-game-regulations/
    https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting...he-nonlead-ammunition-regulation-take-effect-
    https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Hunting/Nonlead-Ammunition/Certified

    During the California Muzzleloader Hunting Season – Wheel-lock, matchlock, flintlock or percussion type, including in-line muzzleloading rifles using black powder or equivalent black powder substitute, including pellets, with a single projectile loaded from the muzzle and at least .40 caliber in designation. A projectile is defined as any bullet, ball, sabot, slug, buckshot or other device, which is expelled from a firearm through a barrel by force. Under the provisions of a muzzleloading rifle only tag, hunters may only possess muzzleloading rifles as described in subsection, equipped with open or peep type sights only.

    Only legal muzzleloaders allowed in muzzleloading seasons.
b. In-line muzzleloaders are legal.
c. Must be single-barrel that fires a single round-ball or conical projectile.
d. To hunt deer, pronghorn or bear, they must be minimum of a .40 caliber.
e. To hunt elk or moose, they must be minimum of a .50 caliber.
f. From a .40 caliber to a .50 caliber, bullets must weigh minimum 170 grains.
g. If greater than a .50 caliber, bullets must weigh minimum 210 grains.
h. Shotshell primers are legal.

    Only open or iron sights allowed in muzzleloading seasons. Fiber optics and fluorescent paint incorporated into or on open or iron sights are legal. Scopes or any sighting device using artificial light, batteries and electronic gear are prohibited during muzzleloading seasons.
l. Sabots are prohibited in muzzleloading seasons. Cloth patches are not sabots.
m. Smokeless powder prohibited in muzzleloading seasons. Black powder and black-powder substitutes are legal.
n. Electronic or battery-powered devices cannot be incorporated into or attached to muzzleloader during muzzleloading seasons. ***During California Muzzleloader Hunting Season, Muzzleloading projectiles must be certified California legal. This includes Barnes T-EZ & T-MZ, Hornady GMX/MonFlex, and Thor bullets.***

    So
    No lead projectiles starting July 1 2019 anywhere in Cali.
    No scopes
    No smokeless
    209 primers are legal
    Sabots and pellets may depend on the season. Its a bit confusing. Check with your local authorities. Some specific hunts might have more restrictions than statewide regs
    40cal minimum for deer, bear and pronghorn 170gr minimum bullet weight
    50cal minimum for elk and moose...210gr minimum bullet weight for larger than 50cal.

    I see no restriction on the kind of action. Bolt vs break action or Omega type (falling breach) doesn't matter. Single barrel is the only action oriented requirement. All are legal so its personal preference.
     
  12. Jun 14, 2019 #12

    Doccbst1

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    For that price you can get about anything. You just have to decide if you want traditional for authenticity or modern inline for performance. If it was me I'd go .45 Cal, less choices on bullets but improved accuracy. You can buy online and have shipped to your door with no FFL. Knight, TC, Cva all have fine rifles. Get one Blackhorn ready. Go look at ata local retailer and see what you like and fits/suits you the shop/research online gun auctions, online firearms sales buds, Cabela's, bass pro, academy, muzzleloaderdotcom. Etc. i did and plenty out there. Blackhorn is cleaner, triple7 is great but gotta swab. No sabots it seems in Cali so Barnes, Fury, or other full bore for bullets, avoid powerbelt. Plenty of info here on bullets, search and read everything you can find.
    Of all my hunting ML is my favorite.
     
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  13. Jun 14, 2019 #13

    rugerbh103

    rugerbh103

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    After reading through the CA regulations I couldn't be happier my family left CA when I was young.
     
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