Idaho guy in the market for his first Muzzleloader - what do I look for?

Marmots

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Last Fall I accompanied my girlfriend and her family on a muzzleloader cow elk hunt in Idaho’s beaverhead region. I had already committed to a rifle tag in another unit so I was just along as a glassing hand and a beast of burden.

We had a great time and I caught the ML bug hard. ML season seems to be where the action is and I liked it a lot more than hunting the early post rut like I’m used to. Long story short, I’m in the market for an Idaho-Legal Western-ignition ML.

So now I have some questions for you folks. How would you scope out a deal on a ML? Is there generally a good time of year to buy one or an annual deal that runs somewhere?

I’m not in any hurry to buy, but I know muzzleloaders.com is having a sale on the Knight Wolverine and the Knight DISC until the new year. For the wide open hills of Southern Idaho a DISC would be a better choice than the wolverine, as the wolverine is kind of a brush gun, right? Is $300 for the wolverine or $500 for the DISC a screamin’ deal, or do you think a better deal will likely come along sometime before next October?

I really appreciate any input. I’m a rifle and recurve hunter who is completely out of his element. Whatever I do get, I'm planning on setting it up with a peep sight and spending a lot of range time with it.
 

sabotloader

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Last Fall I accompanied my girlfriend and her family on a muzzleloader cow elk hunt in Idaho’s beaverhead region. I had already committed to a rifle tag in another unit so I was just along as a glassing hand and a beast of burden.

We had a great time and I caught the ML bug hard. ML season seems to be where the action is and I liked it a lot more than hunting the early post rut like I’m used to. Long story short, I’m in the market for an Idaho-Legal Western-ignition ML.

So now I have some questions for you folks. How would you scope out a deal on a ML? Is there generally a good time of year to buy one or an annual deal that runs somewhere?

I’m not in any hurry to buy, but I know muzzleloaders.com is having a sale on the Knight Wolverine and the Knight DISC until the new year. For the wide open hills of Southern Idaho a DISC would be a better choice than the wolverine, as the wolverine is kind of a brush gun, right? Is $300 for the wolverine or $500 for the DISC a screamin’ deal, or do you think a better deal will likely come along sometime before next October?

I really appreciate any input. I’m a rifle and recurve hunter who is completely out of his element. Whatever I do get, I'm planning on setting it up with a peep sight and spending a lot of range time with it.
I am not sure you will get any better deals later in the new year. Hunting season is over and it is a long time till June/July when sales pick up. Manufactures and dealers are trying to move rifle now!

I believe your assumption that the DISC would probably better the better option for you is correct. Either rifle is a viable option, but the DISC would give you more options as to what you might do with the rifle.

This is my Idaho DISC - set for Idaho hunting during ML season



Another advantage that you might enjoy is that you could use the same rifle during the regular rifle season with 209 ignition and a scope... This is not a DISC but a Knight Ultra Lite... 1st picture shows it set up for ML season and the second for regular rifle deer season.

NECG peep sight mounted on scope blocks for ML season



Change the factory fron sight to a different setup - not necessary but I believe this setup presents a better sight picture



Then during rifle season, which I now hunt with a ML also - I pull the peep off and install a scope.

 
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Marmots

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Sabotloader, thank you for your detailed response, it's much appreciated!

Any muzzleloader I get will probably be relegated to Muzzleloader season, unless I get an opportunity for a depredation hunt that requires a short-range weapon. During any weapon season, it would be hard to leave my Tikka at home!

I think I'm going to order the DISC Extreme but I'm going to make one last cowardly attempt to cheap out before I commit.

How do you folks feel about the CVA Wolf Northwest? It's currently $229 at Cabelas, and I'm sitting on $150 worth of giftcards right now.

So I have the option of a $500 DISC Extreme or a $79 CVA Wolf.

I think "buy once, cry once" applies to firearms more than anything else, but on the other hand money is tight. Do you think the DISC is worth the extra cost? I do anticipate 150 yard shots and consistent bad weather.
 
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Marmots

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Well, I ended up finding a Knight Bighorn on Armslist.

I got the rifle, two lbs of 777, several boxes of bullets, several boxes of german musket caps, some tackleboxes full of assorted speedloaders and tools, a redundantly silly amount of cleaning supplies, and a big duffle bag to carry it all for $225.

This forum has been awesome. If I hadn't been lurking here I wouldn't have known what to look for and wouldn't have found that deal. I'm really excited to get to the range and come up with some new questions, haha.
 

LaGriz

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Marmonts,
I have owned a .50 Cal Knight Bighorn rifle for several years that I won at auction while attending a RMEF Banquet . The weapon came with both the musket cap and the 209 rifle primer ignition. The Knight is equipped with a 26" bull barrel and I have never used the musket cap ignition as it was not required where I hunt. Best accuracy has been with a 209 primer, 105 gr. of loose triple-7 powder pushing a 250 gr. Shockwave (boned) bullet in the super glide sabot. The scoped rifle is capable of impressive 100 yard accuracy with this particular load. I don't know your restrictions in Northern Idaho. I was intrigued with the peep sight/fiber optic combo in the pic from sabotloader. Only wish my eye sight was better as I really like a peep sight when I could still focus well enough to use one. I did however, manage kill a 2005 cow elk in a Colorado OTC unit using a power belt load and iron sights. The shot was 45 yards and went were I pointed at. IMHO the power belts were less than ideal in my bighorn. If I could have legally used another load I would have done so. Good luck with your rifle!

LaGriz

Tip: Once you get a pet load you are happy with, I recommend you insert your ramrod (while unprimed of course) and mark it with a pocket knife. This will allow you to check the load (while unprimed of course) after riding a quad or to verify if the weapon is loaded or not loaded or not.
 
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Marmots

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Idaho
Marmonts,
I have owned a .50 Cal Knight Bighorn rifle for several years that I won at auction while attending a RMEF Banquet . The weapon came with both the musket cap and the 209 rifle primer ignition. The Knight is equipped with a 26" bull barrel and I have never used the musket cap ignition as it was not required where I hunt. Best accuracy has been with a 209 primer, 105 gr. of loose triple-7 powder pushing a 250 gr. Shockwave (boned) bullet in the super glide sabot. The scoped rifle is capable of impressive 100 yard accuracy with this particular load. I don't know your restrictions in Northern Idaho. I was intrigued with the peep sight/fiber optic combo in the pic from sabotloader. Only wish my eye sight was better as I really like a peep sight when I could still focus well enough to use one. I did however, manage kill a 2005 cow elk in a Colorado OTC unit using a power belt load and iron sights. The shot was 45 yards and went were I pointed at. IMHO the power belts were less than ideal in my bighorn. If I could have legally used another load I would have done so. Good luck with your rifle!

LaGriz

Tip: Once you get a pet load you are happy with, I recommend you insert your ramrod (while unprimed of course) and mark it with a pocket knife. This will allow you to check the load (while unprimed of course) after riding a quad or to verify if the weapon is loaded or not loaded or not.

Idaho has some relatively strict rules. No 209 primers, primers have to be exposed to the elements when the rifle is ready to shoot, no magnified or battery powered optics, no sabots, and bullets have to be of solid lead or lead alloy and within .01 inches of the bore diameter.

Oddly enough, solid lead powerbelts are allowed. This is because IDFG says the plastic skirt serves as wadding rather than a sabot. I'd suspect this might also have something to do with the fact that powerbelt is an Idaho company. I appreciate the anecdote about powerbelts not running well in your bighorn as otherwise I would have probably started my load research with them.

For Idaho restrictions, my boss and a couple of my buddies swear by 460 grain No Excuses bullets over 70 grains of 777, so I'll be ordering a No Excuses 50 caliber sizing pack and fiddling with that soon.

I appreciate the tip about marking the ramrod for your pet load. That's very clever.
 
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