Why In-Line Muzzleloaders?

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Just for general discussion and my edification, why do Muzzleloading enthusiasts use an in-line?
To me, it's no different than using a modern one-shot cartridge rifle. I live in Pennsylvania and true Muzzleloader Season still requires a Flintlock with open sights. I wholely embrace this. This is what muzzleloading is all about.

So please let me know why you prefer an inline and scoped rifles. I really want to understand.

To be clear, I bought a T/C Impact SB, because T/C stopped making rifles and I wanted a quality rifle at a low cost. I never shot it.
 
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Back when inlines were becoming popular, I had 3 different sidehammer guns that suited my needs for hunting.
I eventually bought a Traditions Buckstalker inline, with a scope mounted and boresighted.
It only took me a few shots to get it sighted in and I took a number of deer with it.
I no longer have that gun but have today, a CVA Optima V2 rifle and pistol, along with a new CVA Wolf that I recently bought from a member here. Haven't shot that one yet.
I also have a flintlock rifle and several percussion rifles and pistols.
To me, the inlines are just a different tool in my hunting toolbox.
Having scopes on them does make my life easier.
I just can't seem to put a scope on a traditional gun.
I target shoot with the sidehammers more than anything else and still on occasion hunt with them.
It all depends on the day or weather conditions as to what gun I'll hunt with.
 

MrTom

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So please let me know why you prefer an inline and scoped rifles. I really want to understand.
You probably would never understand and that's fine. You do your thing, and I won't dun you for it. I do my thing, hence the post. Based on other's commentary and their reasons for hunting muzzleloaders, all muzzleloaders, you should be able to get an answer by reading all of this. But hey, I'd like a flintlock to hang on the wall.
 
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For a lack of any other terminology, I'll just say I 'evolved'. I could still be shooting side hammers, but they don't appeal to me anymore.
My tastes are much different now days. I shoot a lot of target, more than many. I also prefer shooting accurately at LONG RANGE.
I don't find any fault with anyone over which muzzleloader they prefer. I hunt the general season with a muzzleloader, when I could us a centerfire. The guys that do use a centerfire, never have found any fault and/or asked why I use a modern muzzleloader.

We have a nice section you may like: Sidelock/Traditional Muzzleloading
 
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SteveH

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I originally got into muzzleloadoing purely to take advantage of the season which in VA is pretty much the peak rut. I picked up an inline because of the reported reliability and ease of cleaning. To think it's no different than using a modern one-shot cartridge rifle is to assume the only difference is the loading process which, in my view, ignores the need to work up a load with respect to powder (type and amount per shot) and projectile. Figuring out what combination works best in your gun is as much a process with inlines as with "traditional" MLs.

Regarding a scope, I started with a peep and pretty soon realized my eyes suck, so I got some decent optics. No apologies there.
 
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I guess, I come from an era when the only hunters who used a scoped rifle, were old men who couldn't see very well. I grew up and hunted in an area where the woods are thick and most deer are shot within 30 yrds. No one needed a scope for that distance. Now, I'm one of those old men, although, I still prefer open sights.
As far as my Sidelock preference over an in-line, It is the idea of using 18th & 19th Century technology to punch holes or take game. In fact, some of them are so accurate, they will out shoot most (90%) of the in-lines made. See Idaho Lewis' videos of shooting 500 yrds with a T/C Renegade percussion. Everything on the rifle is stock, but the sights, and the type of sights he uses, were available 150 years ago. He proves a Sidelock can consistently shoot MOA or less.
Also, the Whitworth Rifle, designed in the 1850s, is a less than MOA shooter. It was used by Southern snipers during the Civil War.

Is using an In-line and scope like having to use training wheels? No, but they do allow sub-par shooters to shoot well and there isn't anything wrong with that.
 

GM54-120

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Simple, my state offers me nothing to hunt with a sidelock. No season before firearms or an additional tag so why should i use a more primitive method when even smokeless is allowed?

When they can pry a week before firearms away from the archery lobby i would gladly consider a no scope percussion rifle. Until then there is no incentive.
 
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Is using an In-line and scope like having to use training wheels? No, but they do allow sub-par shooters to shoot well and there isn't anything wrong with that.
They also allow average shooters to shoot great, and great shooter to shoot amazingly. Any improvement or technological advancement that helps anyone shoot better is something I would take advantage of. If I were to give a modern inline scoped smokeless powder shooting tack driver to a deer hunter 250 years ago, would he turn it down because it wasnt fair? Would he say it wasnt worth the advantage to make more ethical kills and more easily feed his family? I do not understand the mentality that even questions why someone chooses the way they do.
I know you said you arent judging the choice of guns and optics, but it does kinda sound like youre judging. You said you havent made up your mind but you also said you had made it up in no uncertain terms…
To me, it's no different than using a modern one-shot cartridge rifle. I live in Pennsylvania and true Muzzleloader Season still requires a Flintlock with open sights. I wholely embrace this. This is what muzzleloading is all about.
That sounds like a pretty much decided mind to me. Does PA call it “TRUE Muzzleloader Season”? Or just ML season or primitive weapons season? I used to belong to the traditional muzzleloader forum but had to leave because of that kind of passive aggressive, judgmental attitude that is so prevalent among those who dont want to shoot anything besides flintlocks or sidelocks. I have several sidelocks and love shooting them. I also love customizing them and modernizing them.
Here on The MODERN MUZZLELOADER forum we do not judge anyone for the gun, bullet, powder, or sights they use. We also dont allow political discussion either. I guess what im trying to get at is what you're doing and saying sounds a bit like trolling. I don't mean to offend you, i haven't really decided that you are wrong, I'm just looking for my own edification.
btw ive spent a lot of time and money making my side lock capable of shooting a flies balls off at 300yards because im no idaho lewis.
 

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Also to add that today's world is different from a couple decades ago.
A young person who wants to get into muzzleloading walks in any sporting goods store and inlines are all they see.
For under 500 bucks they can buy all they need to start shooting.
A nice flintlock rifle, usually only custom made is gonna cost a couple grand, so sure they'll get the cheaper setup.
Some people can make similar arguments about traditional bows vs crossbows.
 
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Please take this is some good natured nut busting, with a slight purpose. I just bought my first muzzleloader, and have nothing to offer, other than sarcasm 😄

First, the question on everyone's mind; Do you realize you joined a forum called "Modern Muzzleloader"?
Second question; How do you know we aren't all a bunch of old farts with crappy eyesight and need a 25-82X100,000 just to read the Readers Digest?
Third question; When you go hunting, are you dressed like Davy Crockett and ride your horse to your favorite hunting spot, going deep into the woods with a candle attached to your head for a head lamp?

So far my experiences on this forum have been refreshing from that of other forums. Everyone here seems genuinely interested in helping each other out. Carry on.
 
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I, like a number of others that posted, shoot mostly target; though I truly love the woods in the fall and when the snow is on the ground. I also primarily shoot classic muzzle loaders. (I own 5, all Thompson Centers (2 Renegades, a Hawken, a White Mountain Carbine, and a Cherokee).) I also own two vintage inlines, both TC Firehawks. One is a 32 and the other a 50, but both have walnut stocks and peep sights.

They are all muzzle loaders to me. I’m old enough at 71 to appreciate and enjoy both and do. Try the inlines, compare them with the classics and you might there are good points to each and enjoyment in all.
 
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They also allow average shooters to shoot great, and great shooter to shoot amazingly. Any improvement or technological advancement that helps anyone shoot better is something I would take advantage of. If I were to give a modern inline scoped smokeless powder shooting tack driver to a deer hunter 250 years ago, would he turn it down because it wasnt fair? Would he say it wasnt worth the advantage to make more ethical kills and more easily feed his family? I do not understand the mentality that even questions why someone chooses the way they do.
I know you said you arent judging the choice of guns and optics, but it does kinda sound like youre judging. You said you havent made up your mind but you also said you had made it up in no uncertain terms…

That sounds like a pretty much decided mind to me. Does PA call it “TRUE Muzzleloader Season”? Or just ML season or primitive weapons season? I used to belong to the traditional muzzleloader forum but had to leave because of that kind of passive aggressive, judgmental attitude that is so prevalent among those who dont want to shoot anything besides flintlocks or sidelocks. I have several sidelocks and love shooting them. I also love customizing them and modernizing them.
Here on The MODERN MUZZLELOADER forum we do not judge anyone for the gun, bullet, powder, or sights they use. We also dont allow political discussion either. I guess what im trying to get at is what you're doing and saying sounds a bit like trolling. I don't mean to offend you, i haven't really decided that you are wrong, I'm just looking for my own edification.
btw ive spent a lot of time and money making my side lock capable of shooting a flies balls off at 300yards because im no idaho lewis.
All I received on here as to why anyone uses an in-line, is they want modern technology. That doesn't make any sense to me. A muzzleloader is, by definition, an archaic firearm. So, if people want to mix an archaic firearm with modern technology, that's OK with me, I am not judging. I'm trying to understand. If you felt judged, I'm sorry you felt that way. I'm not used to people being so easily put off.

As far as politics & religion, they are my own beliefs and have no tie-in to this forum. I'm not sure why you brought that up. Unless you're trolling...
 
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A muzzleloader is, by definition, an archaic firearm.
That is not true at all. You can make up things to support your story but that does not make them facts.
All I received on here as to why anyone uses an in-line, is they want modern technology. That doesn't make any sense to me.
You dont need to understand other peoples motives or reasons. Because you cant understand their choices is your problem. Not anyone else's. Just like no one is asking why some people want to only shoot flintlocks.
I believe that you got exactly the responses you were hoping for.
Trying to redirect the trolling is a nice touch but its pretty obvious to everyone what it is you're trying to do.
You could just shoot the kinds of guns you like, make some friends, learn new things, maybe teach others stuff that you know. But coming at this great group of people makes me feel kind of sad that you feel the need to needle others and stir up stuff like a school-yard bully.
 
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I think an inline is a compromise; archaic meets modern. Some states only allow shotgun and ML for firearms when it comes to deer hunting, such as the state I live in, Massachusetts.

I have only bowhunted for deer. I like the challenge it presents, plus the fact that it allows for a longer season. I've been on the verge of buying a shotgun for the two week shotgun season, but really have little interest. To me, a ML offers similar challenges such as bowhunting; you really need to think the shot through before you take it, because that's probably the only shot you'll get. ML will just allow me to reach out a little further than bow. I've had about a half dozen opportunities this year with my bow to take deer, but they were either just out of range or behind enough cover that I didn't want to take a chance with a shot being deflected.

The ML I have coming is a CVA Optima V2 Nitride, with open sights. Hunting here offers limited distance shots, maybe 60 yards at the most. If I find that I need a scope to ensure that my shot counts and doesn't send a wounded deer off to be eaten alive by a predator, then I have no problem attaching a 1-4X24 on it.

I really didn't know people still hunted with a traditional style ML. I figured those were left for re-enactments. Since getting interested in ML, I have gained an interest in traditional MLs. Not enough to go out and buy one right now, but maybe someday. I have a son ready to start college next year, so my splurges have to be minimal, 🤣. This year was a new HK45 and my ML. Who knows, maybe inlines are the "gateway drug" to traditional MLs.
 

GM54-120

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All I received on here as to why anyone uses an in-line, is they want modern technology.
Nope i said i have no incentive to use less than im using now. Plus the sidelock i would like would easily be in the price range of a lower end smokeless build that weighs less. Sure is nice cleaning when i feel like it too. You know, just like i do with a centerfire. I have never worried about rust setting in if i wanted to clean the bore the next day or even next week. I dont need to use water, i would rather use other solvents than water based. Again, i dont use them on my centerfires so why would i want to use them on my muzzleloader.

Seriously if any mountain man back then could get his hands on a MK85 in SS and some fat conicals do you think he would still be happy shooting something less convenient? Same basic technology with percussion caps but with a more lethal projectile and less weight to lug around?
 

bluebanana

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I'm from Massachusetts and we have 3 deer seasons - Archery, Shotgun and Primitive. There is overlap with some of these (e.g. Archery can be used during Shotgun and Primitive, Primitive can be used during Shotgun).

I just prefer to use the "best" weapon for the job at the time so my choice is to use each weapon during the respective season. Primitive allows modern muzzleloaders with scopes so that is what I use as it is a better option for me than my flintlock with open sights. I know another hunter who only uses a flintlock and that is his choice. If we had an additional flintlock-only season then I would use that but it won't be as effective as my modern muzzleloader as it is a superb weapon, and as good a single shot device as any rifle I have.

Bottom line is I think I'm a more effective hunter using the best allowable tool for the job.
 

Steelheader323

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I have multiple of
Both modern and sidelock muzzleloaders..for me it’s a hobby..I like and enjoy muzzleloading of all kinds.. here in Michigan in zone 3 we don’t even have a muzzleloader season anymore..but I do
Still carry them with me quite often in the woods..and to be honest some Modern setups are better than the shotguns and rifles we are allowed to Use here anyways
 
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