Updated Feb 8, 2022 1:00 PM
My introduction to muzzleloaders began back in 1984 when I, tutored by my father, harvested my first black powder whitetail—a fine fat doe—in Ohio’s Harrison County. The rifle? A Thompson/Center Hawken sidelock percussion gun in .54 caliber, a relic by today’s standards. Some 38 years later, I still have the Hawken, and she performs just as well now.
But to say modern muzzleloaders have come a long way is the understatement of the century. Available are high-tech ignition systems, rust-resistant coatings, synthetic … well, synthetic everything. Optics, projectiles, powders; it’s not quite space age, but compared to the Hawken, it just might be. So, what are the best muzzleloaders in 2022—new, old, and otherwise? Let’s take a look.
- Best Overall: CVA Accura V2
- Best Muzzleloading Shotgun: Pedersoli Classic Standard
- Best on a Budget: CVA Wolf
- Most User-Friendly: Traditions Buckstalker XT Redi-Pak
- Best Long-Range Muzzleloader: Knight Long Range Hunter
- Things to Consider Before Buying a Muzzleloader
- Best Overall: CVA Accura V2
- Best Muzzleloading Shotgun: Pedersoli Classic Standard
- Best on a Budget: CVA Wolf
- Most User-Friendly: Traditions Buckstalker XT Redi-Pak
- Best Long-Range Muzzleloader: Knight Long Range Hunter
- How I Made My Picks
- Final Thoughts on the Best Muzzleloaders
- What is the best muzzleloader on the market right now?
- What is the best muzzleloader that CVA makes?
- What is the most popular muzzleloader used today?
- What is the best grain bullet for a 50 cal muzzleloader?
- Best Muzzleloaders for 2022 | Field & Stream
- Best Muzzleloaders for 2022 | Muzzle-Loaders.com
- 9 Best Muzzleloader Scopes of 2022 for Every Hunter's Budget
- 15 Best Muzzleloaders For Hunters 
- Here's 15 of the Best Hunting Rifles Released at SHOT Show …
- The Best Rifle Scopes in 2022
- Muzzleloader Seasons & County Regulations
Things to Consider Before Buying a Muzzleloader
Sure, you can grab your wallet, run to Bob’s Sporting Goods, and buy the first pretty muzzleloader that catches your eye. But is that really the black powder piece you need? The answers to questions such as caliber, ignition systems, optics, and budget should all be considered prior to purchase.
There are a wide variety of calibers and bore sizes available in muzzleloaders today. The caliber you need is primarily determined by the species of game you are pursuing. You really can’t go wrong with a .50 caliber muzzleloader, whether it’s a modern inline, traditional sidelock, or even a period flintlock piece for big game hunting. Going with a .50 caliber smoke pole means a greater selection of makes and models, a wider price range to choose from, and an almost infinite number of bullet weights and designs. Not to mention the in-the-field versatility you get from a .50 caliber projectile with options from pronghorn antelope to Rocky Mountain elk and black bear. However, the flat-shooting .45 does have its faithful following, and there are those partial to the big bore .54. Both can be good choices for most big game species, pushed with enough powder. If rabbits and squirrels are your target species, then I’d go with either a .32 or .36, and a 12 gauge for those wishing to try shotgunning.
Ignition systems are at the heart of any muzzleloader, providing the spark necessary to make them function. The first of these were flintlocks, where a sharpened stone struck a pan and provided the spark needed to ignite the powder and push the projectile. Next was the percussion cap, a small cylinder of copper or brass filled with an explosive compound that was more likely to go boom when the trigger is pulled than the flints it largely replaced. Now, a re-purposed shotgun primer, the 209, is the most common ignition source, burning hot and fast enough to ignite powder in the most adverse conditions.
Flintlock ignition systems can still be had on a number of muzzleloaders, but they are the exception these days. Hunters in states that have a strictly defined muzzleloader or primitive weapons seasons may have to use these to participate. The #11 percussion cap is also still in use, though they are found mostly in cap and ball pistols, black powder shotguns, and Hawken replicas. Though, it is the 209 primer that can be found in most commercially available muzzleloaders. The reliability of the 209 has made it almost universal. But before you make a purchase, review the regulations of the state in which you plan on hunting to ensure you purchase a legal implement.
Some muzzleloader packages include optics, already mounted on the black powder arm. These are often 3-9x40mm scopes, which work well in the whitetail woods, or just about anywhere else at the distances most muzzleloaders are capable of. Other rifles come without optics, allowing the buyer to make their own selection.
Some states forbid the use of optics during their muzzleloader and primitive weapons seasons, even prohibiting modern sights like fiber optics. Take this into account when looking for your own smoke pole.
The final decision—package, aftermarket, or iron sights which will depend on the style and quality of the optics you wish to add.
Stock Materials and Metal Coatings
You can get replica muzzleloaders that look like they were built during the Revolutionary War and modern versions constructed with stainless steel barrels and synthetic stocks. I enjoy the feel and look of walnut. It’s just nice. That said, the climate in my home state of Washington makes synthetic stocks and rust-resistant/wear-resistant coatings like nitriding—technically, salt bath ferritic nitrocarburizing—a truly wise decision. Wood requires care, whereas synthetic stock materials need less pampering. The choice comes down to personal preference and convenience.
Price is always going to be an important variable when it comes to gun buying. Muzzleloading rifles run the gamut from $335 rifle/scope/gear ensembles to custom pieces of art costing more than $8,000. The best advice is to buy the best you can afford but make sure to do your homework first. Expensive doesn’t always mean good, and inexpensive doesn’t necessarily equal poor quality.
Best Overall: CVA Accura V2
Why It Made the Cut
From Iowa whitetails to Roosevelts in the Washington Cascades, this .50 can handle it all without a hiccup making it our choice for the best muzzleloader overall.
- Caliber: .50
- Barrel Length: 30-inch nitride-treated Bergara Barrel
- Ignition System: Inline, 209 primer
- Weight: 7.6 pounds (rifle only)
- Incredibly user-friendly muzzleloader that is reliable under all weather conditions
- Quick Release Breech Plug (QRBP)
- Northwest (Open Breech Plug/Nipple) option available
- One-piece Dura-Sight DEAD ON scope mount is easy to install and rock solid
- Routine firing pin removal and cleaning necessary
- The 30-inch barrel makes it a tad front heavy
I like the Accura V2 so much I own three of them, and I bought one for my stepson a couple years back. At just over seven pounds, the V2 is a joy to carry all day, but not so light that she’s whippy and uncontrollable. At the heart of the V2 is the weather-resistant nitride-treated Bergara barrel, a component obviously key to the rifle’s performance. CVA is so confident in the barrel’s accuracy that they offer a money-back guarantee if the rifle’s not the most accurate muzzleloader the shooter has ever worked with.
The V2’s design is simple and straightforward, the break-action operation familiar to anyone who has ever packed a single-shot shotgun into the squirrel woods. The Quick Release Breech Plug (QRBP) is a godsend, and truly does work as advertised. The thumbhole stock on the V2 scores an A+, genuinely upping my ability to hold the rifle steady in an off-hand position. A word of warning—it is vital the firing pin assembly be broken down, cleaned, and lubricated lightly any time the V2 is fired to prevent pin lag or, worse, a complete lock-up.
Best Muzzleloading Shotgun: Pedersoli Classic Standard
Why It Made the Cut
This side-by-side hammer gun in 12 gauge performs well, regardless of whether the quarry is spring gobblers or late December greenheads.
- Caliber: 12 gauge
- Barrel Length: Twin 28-inch blued steel barrels
- Ignition System: Percussion, #11 caps
- Weight: 7.05 pounds
- Well-balanced, weighing in at a smidge over seven pounds
- Fixed improved and improved/modified chokes
- Reliable percussion ignition system
- Satin finish walnut stock and engraved sideplates
- Thinner barrels require heavy wads when using non-toxic (non-lead) shot
- Ramrod is slender and prone to breaking as the worst possible time
I’ve owned my Pedersoli Classic Standard for 15 years now, perhaps longer. In that time, I have used her for everything from hunting squirrels and cottontails to ringnecks, bobwhites, prairie grouse, wild turkeys, and, most recently, Missouri mallards and wood ducks.
The Classic Standard is as simple as it gets—twin hammers and triggers, hard steel nipples, slim profile, single brass front bead, and what I see as a gorgeous satin walnut stock. It’s choked rather lightly, but those constrictions can be tweaked through a combination of wadding style, shot cup use, shot charge, and the frangibility of the overshot disk, i.e. by cutting a slight ‘X’ in the disk itself to facilitate breakup.
Either Pyrodex or traditional GOEX black powder will work well in the Classic, but I do recommend the hotter RWS #11 primers for consistent ignition. And I recommend a nipple pick just in case a bit of who-knows-what crawls down the flash-hole. Waterfowlers, take note—Ballistic Products offers heavy walled steel shot-specific wads designed to protect barrels from erosion. I’d highly recommend them with the Classic Standard.
Best on a Budget: CVA Wolf
Why it Made the Cut
The Wolf doesn’t only tie for most user-friendly, but a “Get Started Quick Kit” can be had for less than a good vacuum cleaner.
- Caliber: .50
- Barrel Length: 24-inch blued steel barrel
- Ignition System: Inline; 209 primer
- Weight: 6.25 pounds
- Impressive quality at a ridiculously low price
- Quick Release Breech Plug
- Palmsaver Ramrod is a winner
- Fiber optic sights are good in low light conditions
- Tough to find; often sold out
- Rear (fiber optic) sight mounted too far forward
If you’re looking for a quality entry-level muzzleloader at a reasonable price, then CVA’s Wolf gets the nod. No, it doesn’t feature the high-end niceties of a $1,000 black powder rifle, but then again, it’s not a $1,000 rifle.
The Wolf doesn’t sport a Bergara barrel, but is still a solid stainless—nitride-treated—steel performer when charged with a researched ball-and-powder combination. A short lightweight piece measuring just under 40 inches overall and weighing 6.25 pounds, the Wolf carries well, yet isn’t all over the place in an offhand shooting situation. For those who haven’t spent time with CVA’s Quick Release Breech Plug (QRBP), you should. This most excellent innovation works precisely as advertised, allowing for no-tool removal of the plug, even after multiple shots. The placement of the barrel release ahead of the trigger guard, combined with a reversible hammer spur, provides a platform for lefties and righties both.
As for sights, the Wolf’s fiber optics leave a little to be desired. They take in light well enough but seem a bit delicate for everyday no-kid-gloves use afield. That said, the one-piece DuraSight DEAD-ON scope mount is quick and easy to install, and has, for me, held zero season after season. And the PalmSaver Ramrod: Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? I’ve enjoyed great luck with CVA’s full line of muzzleloaders, and the Wolf is no exception.
Most User-Friendly: Traditions Buckstalker XT Redi-Pak
Why It Made the Cut
Some shooters enjoy complexity; I, for one, do not. Enter Traditions’ Buckstalker XT, as simple a muzzleloader as you’ll find on the market today.
- Caliber: .50
- Barrel Length: 24-inch Chromoly barrel
- Ignition System: Inline; 209 primer
- Weight: 6 pounds
- Redi-Pak includes all shooting supplies, except primer and powder
- Accelerator Breech Plug offers tool-free removal
- Elite XT trigger system breaks clean, with little to no creep
- Left-hand/Right-hand Friendly action and hammer
- Large breech plug cavity requires dedicated and routine cleaning
- Sights and/or scope mount not included on rifle in BASIC Redi-Pak kit
Traditions’ Buckstalker XT is as user-friendly as they come. The front-mounted barrel release is conveniently located, and large enough—but not too cumbersome—as to be operated easily with gloves. Break it, drop in a #209 primer, and you’re ready to go.
In its most elemental format, the Buckstalker XT Redi-Pak includes a .50 rifle with a black synthetic stock. Synthetics are always a ‘plus’ for those who typically hunt in inclement weather. Included, also, are speed loaders, cleaning materials, capper, bullets, and brushes; again, all but primers and powder. What the XT doesn’t include are factory sights, even rudimentary iron sights, or a scope mount.
What you have here are adequate bare bones, with some ‘gingerbread,’ like Traditions’ easy-to-pull Accelerator Breech Plug, and Quick-T handled ramrod. Overall, it is a great choice for an entry-level muzzleloader, with accuracy and reliability that won’t set you back a pile of Benjamins.
Best Long-Range Muzzleloader: Knight Long Range Hunter
Why It Made the Cut
Want a so-called ‘beanfield muzzleloader’ without having to take out a second (or third) mortgage? Then you’re on the hunt for a Knight Long Range Hunter.
- Caliber: .50
- Barrel Length: 27-inch free-floated fluted stainless barrel
- Ignition System: Bolt-action inline; 209 primer
- Weight: 8.4 pounds
- Incredible accuracy with the proper powder/ball combination
- Exceptional fully adjustable trigger system
- Full Plastic Jacket (#209) ignition helps defeat foul weather conditions
- One button releases the bolt; one bolt removes the stock from the action
- Heavyweight, at almost nine pounds
- A long 45-1/2 inches, so she’s not a still-hunting walkabout rifle
During our 18 years as Iowa residents, my wife and I spent many enjoyable days with Bruce Watley, former owner of Knight Rifles, and his crew of dedicated whitetail enthusiasts in Centerville. And during that time, I came to love Knight Rifles and its suite of great muzzleloaders. Perhaps my favorite, however, was and still is the impressive Long Range Hunter (LRH), with which I killed my best Hawkeye State whitetail in 2012.
The LRH is heavy and long to the point of being unwieldy and not meant for a walking piece. These elements do make it damn near perfect for setting on sturdy shooting sticks and sitting at the edge of a cornfield during late December or early January. My personal rifle is topped with an ALPEN Optics 3-9X42 scope. Iron sights were a factory option with the LRN; however, that was akin to slapping a .22 LR on a B-17 bomber and calling her flight ready. It performs best with two 50-grain Pyrodex pellets under a Barnes Spit-Fire TMZ 290-grain bullet (blue sabot).
Ergonomics. Accuracy. Ease of use. Esthetics. Reliability. There’s nothing not to like about Knight’s Long Range Hunter. The bad news? She was discontinued more than a decade ago but can still be found online and, with research, reasonably priced. For now, shooters can buy Knight’s Mountaineer, a close approximation of the LRN, for roughly $1,000.
How I Made My Picks
Every piece of equipment we intend to purchase and, theoretically, use, whether it be a lawnmower, power drill, blender, or cell phone must meet certain personal criteria before we buy it. Early on, we hunters often employ a shotgun approach to new gear. That is, we’ll try many, and gradually over time weed out those that, for whatever reason, don’t meet our criteria.
And that’s the bottom line when it comes to the HOW factor here. Do each of these muzzleloaders meet most of our needs, to make us completely comfortable packing them into the timber, the marsh, or the uplands every day of the season? Rather, does each excel in the following:
- Price: The “perfect” muzzleloader does you no good if you can’t afford it. I understand affordability runs the gamut from low to high. Knowing this, I created a list that likewise offers this low-to-high range…with an emphasis on the middle.
- Handling and Fit: Let’s face it. The “It Just Feels Right” factor does come into play with much of the gear we purchase, black powder arms included. Comfort, handling…they’re important. Esthetics, too. Though, while pretty doesn’t bag a buck, you want to be proud of your arm every time you take it out of the safe.
- Reliability: Cost and appearance be damned. If a muzzleloader doesn’t go BOOM every time I pull the trigger, I’ll have little to no confidence in that rifle or shotgun. Trust and confidence are huge players here. Gear needs to work.
- User-Friendliness: Complexity can be—not always but can be—the mother of problems. Rather, the simpler something is, the less likely it is to run afoul of Murphy’s (infamous) Law. Fewer moving parts doesn’t inherently make something better, but it can help.
- Accuracy: A muzzleloader doesn’t have to be sub-MOA to be an effective and efficient tool in the field. That said, consistent accuracy is certainly to be considered. Can you hit what you’re aiming at with Muzzleloader X time after time?
- Accessory Availability: Plain Jane, like my grandfather’s ’93 Chevy pickup I’ve driven since 2004, works just fine. But sometimes a little bling, necessary or otherwise, is nice. A foundation that allows for accessorizing or easy modifications and customizations can be useful at times.
Q: Why should I consider a muzzleloader?
First, they’re fun. Black powder shooting and hunting really involves the operator/user from start to finish. And for many, it’s an enjoyable challenge to put together a rifle, powder, primer, and projectile combination that performs and meets their expectations. In addition, many states offer special and/or extended muzzleloader seasons for big game, often presenting decreased hunting pressure and increased opportunity.
Q: What is a good muzzleloader for a beginner?
That depends on their overall firearm experience level, as there is some crossover between modern rifles and muzzleloaders. That said, an entry-level rifle like the CVA Wolf Outfit ($255) that includes everything but the powder and primers may be an excellent place to start.
Q: How much does the average muzzleloader cost?
Tough question, as price can and does vary from low to high. The aforementioned CVA Wolf starts at $255; however, a custom-made Gen 2 .50 from Gunwerks will cost the buyer $8,800. On average, a quality .50 muzzleloader will run from $300 to $450.
Final Thoughts on the Best Muzzleloaders
The choices outdoorsmen and women have in muzzleloading rifles and shotguns are light-years ahead of what they were 40 years ago when I first entered the world of black powder shooting and hunting. Today’s modern muzzleloaders are reasonably priced, reliable, user-friendly, and backed, in most instances, by excellent warranties from the manufacturer. Truthfully? It’s difficult to make a poor decision if you do your research, read up, and ask questions.
What is the best muzzleloader on the market right now?
CVA Paramount It just might be the best long range muzzleloader on the market. This . 45-caliber muzzleloader is capable of handling ?super magnum? propellant charges in excess of 150-grain by-volume equivalents of black powder, according to the company
What is the best muzzleloader that CVA makes?
This year, we believe that the CVA Paramount HTR . 40 Caliber muzzleloader is the winner of Best New Muzzleloader for 2021. The CVA Paramount HTR builds off the already successful Paramount platform with VariFlame ignition and Bergara barrel, but with a new hunter-friendly stock and CeraKote finish
What is the most popular muzzleloader used today?
The CVA Wolf is one of the most popular muzzleloaders on the market, and with good reason. These easy-to-use smoke poles pack a lot of value into an affordable package. In chatting with local retailers, the CVA Wolf is easily the most popular gift package for muzzleloaders by far
What is the best grain bullet for a 50 cal muzzleloader?
Most muzzleloaders now in use for deer are . 50 caliber. And most are inherently accurate enough for big-game hunting, assuming they’re properly cleaned, are using 240-grain or larger saboted bullets of sound design and are stuffed with 90-150 grains of propellant
Best Muzzleloaders for 2022 | Field & Stream
Best Muzzleloaders of 2022 Updated Feb 8, 2022 1:00 PM My introduction to muzzleloaders began back in 1984 when I, tutored by my father, harvested my first black powder whitetail—a fine fat doe—in Ohio’s Harrison County. The rifle? A Thompson/Center Hawken sidelock percussion gun in .54 caliber, a relic by today’s standards. Some 38 years later, I still have the Hawken, and she performs just as well now. But to say modern muzzleloaders have come a long way is the understatement of the century. Available are high-tech ignition systems, rust-resistant coatings, synthetic … well, synthetic everything. Optics, projectiles, powders; it’s not quite space age, but compared to the Hawken, it just might be. So, what are the best muzzleloaders in 2022—new, old, and otherwise? Let’s take a look. Best Overall: CVA Accura V2Best Muzzleloading Shotgun: Pedersoli Classic StandardBest on a Budget: CVA WolfMost User-Friendly: Traditions Buckstalker XT Redi-PakBest Long-Range Muzzleloader: Knight Long Range Hunter Things to Consider Before Buying a Muzzleloader Sure, you can grab your wallet, run to Bob’s Sporting Goods, and buy the first pretty muzzleloader that catches your eye. But is that really the black powder piece you need? The answers to questions such as caliber, ignition systems, optics, and budget should all be considered prior to purchase. Caliber There are a wide variety of calibers and bore sizes available in muzzleloaders today. The caliber you need is primarily determined by the species of game you are pursuing. You really can’t go wrong with a .50 caliber muzzleloader, whether it’s a modern inline, traditional sidelock, or even a period flintlock piece for big game hunting. Going with a .50 caliber smoke pole means a greater selection of makes and models, a wider price range to choose from, and an almost infinite number of bullet weights and designs. Not to mention the in-the-field versatility you get from a .50 caliber projectile with options from pronghorn antelope to Rocky Mountain elk and black bear. However, the flat-shooting .45 does have its faithful following, and there are those partial to the big bore .54. Both can be good choices for most big game species, pushed with enough powder. If rabbits and squirrels are your target species, then I’d go with either a .32 or .36, and a 12 gauge for those wishing to try shotgunning. Ignition System Ignition systems are at the heart of any muzzleloader, providing the spark necessary to make them function. The first of these were flintlocks, where a sharpened stone struck a pan and provided the spark needed to ignite the powder and push the projectile. Next was the percussion cap, a small cylinder of copper or brass filled with an explosive compound that was more likely to go boom when the trigger is pulled than the flints it largely replaced. Now, a re-purposed shotgun primer, the 209, is the most common ignition source, burning hot and fast enough to ignite powder in the most adverse conditions. Flintlock ignition systems can still be had on a number of muzzleloaders, but they are the exception these days. Hunters in states that have a strictly defined muzzleloader or primitive weapons seasons may have to use these to participate. The #11 percussion cap is also still in use, though they are found mostly in cap and ball pistols, black powder shotguns, and Hawken replicas. Though, it is the 209 primer that can be found in most commercially available muzzleloaders. The reliability of the 209 has made it almost universal. But before you make a purchase, review the regulations of the state in which you plan on hunting to ensure you purchase a legal implement. Optics Some muzzleloader packages include optics, already mounted on the black powder arm. These are often 3-9x40mm scopes, which work well in the whitetail woods, or just about anywhere else at…
Best Muzzleloaders for 2022 | Muzzle-Loaders.com
Best Muzzleloaders for 2022 2021 was a year full of unique and exciting challenges and we are very excited for 2022. Our team was back at SHOT Show this year and enjoyed meeting with people from throughout the muzzleloader community. Traditions released several new muzzleloaders, while CVA teased several new products that will be released later this spring. With this in mind, we are excited to present our list of the best muzzleloaders for 2022. Our team strives to provide unbiased and accurate information so that you can make an educated decision when buying a new muzzleloader. Best Long Range Muzzleloader for 2022 When considering long-range muzzleloaders, we focus purely on what gun is going to perform best at ranges beyond 250 yards. While centerfire rifles are capable of much more than this, we consider 250 yards long-range for muzzleloaders using black powder and bullets with lower ballistic coefficients (BC’s). Based on these considerations, the CVA Paramount Pro, CVA Paramount HTR, CVA Accura LR-X, Traditions Vortek StrikerFire VAPR LDR, and Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader were all contenders for this award. The CVA Paramount Pro was our winner last year but with the return of the Remington 700 UML, the Paramount Pro has some serious competition. All of these muzzleloaders are capable of sub-MOA accuracy beyond 250 yards, and carry enough energy to ethically take game at those ranges. With all things considered, the CVA Paramount Pro .40 caliber muzzleloader was the clear winner here. The CVA Paramount Pro .40 cal stands out from the rest because of the ability to produce high velocities, flatter trajectories, and incredible accuracy at well over 300 yards. This muzzleloader is equipped with a Greyboe™ stock, TriggerTech trigger, and VariFlame ignition. This muzzleloader also features a premium stainless steel Bergara barrel coated with Nitride and CeraKote for additional protection. This gun performs like a custom muzzleloader for a fraction of the price. If you’re looking for the ultimate long-range muzzleloader, the Paramount Pro .40 cal is the gun for you! SPECIFICATIONS/OPTIONS CVA PARAMOUNT PRO Caliber .40 CALIBER MAGNUM Fluted Barrel 26″ FREE FLOATING BARREL Trigger TRIGGERTECH™ TRIGGER SYSTEM Muzzle Brake Ready THREADED BARREL Barrel Finish CERAKOTE® & NITRIDE™ PROTECTION Sling Attachments BOTH STANDARD AND FLUSH-CUPS Sling QUAKE CLAW® FLUSH CUP SLING Twist Rate 1:20″ Stock GRAYBOE™ FIBERGLASS STOCK Ignition VARI-FLAME IGNITION Collapsible Ramrod INCLUDED VariFlame™ Tool PRIMING TOOL INCLUDED VariFlame™ Adapters 10 INCLUDED Range Rod ONE-PIECE RAMROD w/ PALMSAVER HANDLE Ramrod Pouch MOLLE POUCH Scope Mount Compatibility REMINGTON 700 PATTERN Scope NOT INCLUDED .40 Caliber Bullets 15 POWERBELT™ ELR BULLETS INCLUDED Weight 8.2 LBS Lifetime Warranty YES Best Mountain Muzzleloader With more hunters applying for muzzleloader tags in western states, the Mountain Muzzleloader segment has seen increased demand in the past few years. Innovations in muzzleloader technology have alleviated much of the inconvenience experienced with older models and allow hunters to ethically take longer shots that are common with western hunting. Every ounce matters while hunting the western backcountry so mountain hunters are most interested in a lightweight gun that is corrosion resistant and capable of maintaining accuracy in harsh environments. Based on these standards, our picks were the CVA Accura MR-X, CVA Optima V2, Traditions Pursuit XT, Traditions Vortek StrikerFire VAPR, and Traditions NitroFire VAPR. When considering all the features in these muzzleloaders, it came down to a battle between the Accura MR-X and the NitroFire VAPR. While these guns are both extremely capable, we think that the Federal FireStick ignition gives the NitroFire VAPR a slight edge, however, if the FireStick ignition is not legal in a specific state, then the CVA Accura MR-X is a very close second. With its lightweight design and durable CeraKote finish, the Traditions NitroFire VAPR is the ultimate mountain muzzleloader. Reliability is crucial when selecting a…
9 Best Muzzleloader Scopes of 2022 for Every Hunter's Budget
9 Best Muzzleloader Scopes of 2022 for Every Hunter’s Budget Top Muzzleloader Scopes of 2022 [Nightforce, Leupold, SIG SAUER & More]I’d bet the farm that the smoke poles Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett used never had a muzzleloader scope attached to them. Not to say the legendary outdoorsmen and hunters didn’t make the best use of what tools they had at the time. On the contrary, their traditional woodsmanship set the stage for future armies of plaid-shirt-wearing critter chasers.Fast-forward a few generations; modern black powder rifles are high-tech gadgets our hunting predecessors of yesteryear would barely recognize. Even so, this style of hunting preserves a long-standing hunting tradition, which is why tens of thousands of hunters hit the woods each Fall and Winter to hunt big game with one-shot inline rifles.I made this buyer’s guide just for you in the hopes of pairing you with the perfect piece of glass for your budget. The options for your muzzleloader rifle can run the gamut from high-end Burris and Nightforce scopes to more affordable options from Vortex, SIG SAUR, and Konus.I’d like to think ol’ Boone and Crockett would crack a little smile to learn that people are still using smoke sticks to chase after big games after all these years. It would also be an excellent wager to assert that, if given a chance, they wouldn’t hesitate to take a shot using one of 2022’s best muzzleloader scopes.Of course, neither would you. So, let’s check them out!TABLE OF CONTENTS: BEST MUZZLELOADER SCOPES OF 2022How Do I Choose a Muzzleloader Scope?Best High-End Muzzleloader ScopesEditors Choice – Best in Class for 2022: NightForce NX 8Best Long-Range Muzzleloader Scope: Burris Eliminator VBest Muzzleloader Scope Under $1,500: Leupold VX-6HDBest Mid-Range Black Powder ScopesBest Vortex Muzzleloader Scope: Vortex Viper PST GEN IIBulletproof Option Under $400: SIG SAUER Sierra 3BDXBest for No-Magnification Requirement: Vortex Crossfire IIThe Best Budget Muzzleloader ScopesBest Muzzleloader Scope for the Money: Konus PRO M30Unbeatable Scope Under $200: Burris FullfieldBest Cheap Muzzy Scope: Traditions ScopeExtra Accessories for Your GlassFactors We Analyzed When Rating & Reviewing Muzzleloader ScopesFinal Thoughts: Best Muzzleloader Scope of 2022More Hunting Gear & ResourcesHow Do I Choose a Muzzleloader Scope?Different scopes for different folks!Before you buy the first shiny new muzzleloader scope you see on this list, let’s lay the groundwork for making a wise purchase that’s the best fit for you. It’s important to ask yourself these questions before choosing a new scope:Where do you intend to use your scope?How are you going to use your scope?How long of a shot is your rifle capable of making?How much money can you budget to spend?Furthermore, here are some essential concepts you’ll need to understand: Legal or Not Legal For HuntingUndoubtedly, having a scope on their muzzleloader gives black powder hunters a significant advantage. Adding glass to your muzzy to get the upper hand may seem like a no-brainer, but not everyone agrees with their use in the field. Hunting purists feel scopes take from the traditional nature of muzzleloader hunting and are more akin to a centerline rifle.Several states also hold this stance. A few have banned scopes while muzzleloader hunting altogether, meaning open sights only. In contrast, some states allow non-magnified scopes, and others have no restrictions on their use whatsoever. Check the regulations for the specific state you plan to hunt to ensure compliance.Take a peek at the Vortex Crossfire II if you are in a no-magnification area. Fixed vs. Adjustable ParralaxParallax is the relationship between your eye and your reticle and the target. If the lens isn’t adjusted to the distance you are shooting, there can be significant variation in where your bullet ends up.Unlike centerfire rifles, parallax is fixed on most muzzleloader scopes at a preset distance, usually 50-75 yards. Shot displacement is negligible at these distances, so parallax isn’t as big of a factor. Most muzzleloaders don’t have the range to justify the added cost of being able to adjust your reticle position for long-range shots.For the most part, an adjustable parallax is a superfluous luxury for hunting with an inline rifle. However, some still prefer scopes with a variable setting for more accurate shots at a distance. The record shot…
>7:19There are many incredible options for those that are looking to join the muzzleloader community in 2022 and this video is here to help you …YouTube · Muzzle-Loaders. com · May 20, 20229 key moments in this videoMissing: 2023 | Must include: 2023
15 Best Muzzleloaders For Hunters 
15 Best Muzzleloaders For Hunters  What is the best muzzleloader for you in 2022? I think most hunters will likely agree that the wide variety of different muzzleloader options currently available, combined with the confusing hunting regulations in many states, can make choosing the best muzzleloader for hunting season an overwhelming task. This is particularly true for hunters just learning how to hunt with a muzzleloader or those hunting in a particular state for the first time. To make the situation even more bewildering, not only are the big manufacturers constantly discontinuing old models and rolling out new muzzleloaders each year, but it also seems like many states are continuously updating their regulations as well. So, there can be a big swing in which muzzleloaders are legal to hunt with from year to year. Additionally, one of the few constants in this situation is the fact that it can be really tough to cut through some of the marketing speak a lot of companies use to sell their products. From one hunter to another, trust me when I say that I’ve experienced a lot of that same frustration myself. Since I first started hunting with a smoke pole, I’ve used out several different muzzleloaders. Fortunately, I’ve generally had very good results with the muzzleloaders I’ve hunted with, though I’ve had some close calls. For instance, I was on the verge of purchasing a particular northwest legal muzzleloader to hunt with up in Washington several years ago, but some unrelated life events intervened before I could actually buy the muzzleloader in question. When I was ready to make the purchase again a couple of weeks later, I discovered that the manufacturer had discontinued the model I was about to buy during the interim. They made that decision for several reasons, but I discovered later that the muzzleloader suffered from overall poor quality and subpar performance afield. The last thing any hunter wants is to purchase a poor quality muzzleloader or one that’s not legal to use during muzzleloading season where they hunt. For that reason, I’m sharing my picks of the best muzzleloaders for hunters in 2022 so you can make an informed decision and choose the best muzzleloader for your specific hunting situation. Remember: rules and regulations regarding hunting with a muzzleloader can vary quite a bit from state to state. Certain muzzleloaders may be legal to hunt with in one state, but illegal to use during muzzleloader season during a neighboring state. It’s up to you to check local regulations in order to verify that you’re using legal equipment. Before we get started, here’s a disclaimer: some of the links below are affiliate links. This means I will earn a small commission if you make a purchase. This commission comes at no extra cost to you. This helps support the blog and allows me to continue to create free content that’s useful to hunters like yourself. Thanks for your support. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get started. CVA Paramount The Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader (UML) was the best option for a long range muzzleloader for many years. However, the brand new bolt-action CVA Paramount have likely dethroned the UML as the best long range muzzleloader. In fact, the CVA Paramount was so successful that they’ve followed up on the base model Paramount with the Paramount XTR and Paramount Pro in the last couple of years. CVA markets the Paramount line as capable of taking big game at ranges over 300 yards due to the incredible accuracy of the muzzleloader and the comparatively flat trajectories that hunters can obtain…
Here's 15 of the Best Hunting Rifles Released at SHOT Show …
Here’s 15 of the Best Hunting Rifles Released at SHOT Show 2022 Most shooters have felt the impact of ammo shortages and supply chain issues when looking for a new firearm over the past couple of years, but the gun industry still managed to squeeze out a few new rifles for 2022. And, since there was not a SHOT Show in 2021, a few more rifles launched last year got a nod at this year’s SHOT Show. This rundown highlights 15 of the best hunting rifles seen at this year’s show. Best Hunting Rifles – SHOT Show 2022 Most of the hunt-worthy centerfires this year will be bolt-actions, but there are a few shining exceptions. Benelli Lupo Limited Edition The Benelli Lupo hit the market to wide acclaim in 2020 as the company’s first bolt-action rifle, while combining innovative technology first put forward in the company’s line of premium shotguns. Backed up by a 25-year warranty, this year’s Lupo Limited Edition features an exclusive gloss coating on metal parts designed to prevent rust, corrosion and abrasions. Fitted with a fancy walnut stock, this Lupo version offers a free-floated barrel with a 5/8-24 TPI muzzle, 60-degree bolt throw and stock spacers to customize fit from a 13.8 to 14.75-inch length of pull. An adjustable trigger is a welcome feature, too. Beginning in May, Benelli will introduce the first of three new chamberings for the Lupo series big-game rifles: 6mm Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, and 7mm Rem Mag. The new 7mm Rem Mag -chambered Lupo will be available in May 2022, followed by the 6mm Creedmoor in June along with the 6.5 PRC in July. (benelliusa.com) Franchi Momentum Elite Joining the lineup of Franchi rifles this year are new chamberings for their Momentum Elite models. This year, Franchi adds .350 legend and more options with TruTimber Strata camouflage, and 6.5 PRC dressed in Realtree OPTIFADE Elevated II camo. Momentum Elite features include a cold hammer-forged, free-floated barrel. A muzzle brake mates to the precision-machined DEPENDA bolt-action system, featuring a spiral-fluted, 60-degree three-lug bolt. Franchi added a single-stage adjustable RELIA trigger and intelligently designed Evolved Ergonom-X stock. Retail price should be approximately $900. (franchiusa.com) Bergara Canyon If you prefer the classic fit and feel of a hunting rifle stock without the extra weight, Bergara’s Premier Series Canyon rifle, built on a 100% carbon fiber AG Composites stock may fit the bill. The No. 4 fluted barrel with the 5/8-24” threaded Omni brake allows reduced felt recoil when shooting the heavy-hitting caliber options. The M5 floor plate gives you the ability to customize with either the detachable magazine or a hinged floor plate. The Canyon rifle is the perfect balance of a lightweight and portable hunting rig. The Canyon’s two-position safety is part of the trigger assembly, which is a TriggerTech Frictionless Release Technology trigger. One great feature of this combination allows the bolt handle not to lock in the closed position, which in turn allows the rifle to be unloaded while in the safe position. The Canyon offers two barrel lengths, 20- and 22-inch, with chamberings to include 6.5 Creedmoor, 6.5 PRC, .308 Win, .300 Win Mag, 300 PRC, 28 Nosler and .375 H&H. MSRP hovers around $2,400. (bergara.com) CVA Cascade SB Series CVA jumped into the bolt-action arena with their Cascade rifles not long ago, and new this year are their SB Series models. The “SB” stands for “Short Barrel.” It caters to hunters in tight spaces like hunting blinds. The 6.5 Creedmoor and .308 versions sport an 18-inch tube, while the 300 Blackout sports a 16 ½-inch barrel. The abbreviated barrel mates well with a suppressor, since it’s short and threaded. Retail price is about $670. (cva.com) CZ USA 600 Series CZ is their old models CZ 527, CZ 557 and CZ 550 Safari rifles with the…
The Best Rifle Scopes in 2022
The Best Rifle Scopes in 2022 Not sure what scope to get for your rifle? Look no further. I’ve tested ALL the best rifle scope (plus rifle scope mounts and accessories.) By the end of this guide, you’ll find the perfect optic for your rifle. Let’s get started! What is a Rifle Scope? To put simply, a rifle scope a magnified optic that helps you shoot further out and more accurately. If you’re looking for sights that are meant for close range or CQB, then check out these articles instead: Best Pistol Red DotsBest Red Dot SightsBest Holographic Sights Or if you’re looking to scope your AR-15 rifle, then I highly recommend reading my best AR-15 scopes guide. Otherwise, let’s quickly cover some rifle scope basics and then show you the best optics you can buy for your firearm. Rifle Scope Basics Here’s a quick rundown of some technical terms I’ll be using throughout the guide. Be sure to read it. This will ultimately help you make a better buying decision. Reticle Reticle is just a fancy word for crosshairs. Different scopes use different reticles, besides just the standard crosshairs. Some reticles use a circle, a chevron, a dot, or a series of lines. It all depends on the scope, and different styles of reticles are better suited for different purposes. Eye Relief Eye relief is the distance between the end of your scope and your eye. You’ll want to make sure that you get a scope with enough eye relief that you’re not hitting yourself in the eye with the recoil from your rifle. (This is called “scope bite,” and trust me, you don’t want to experience it firsthand!) In most cases, 3.5 inches of eye relief is plenty of room, but if you have a very high caliber rifle, you may want to look for longer relief. Eye Box “Eye box” refers to an imaginary box that you place your head in when looking through your scope. If you’re not “in the box,” you won’t be able to see the scope’s crosshairs. Some scopes have a larger eye box than others, which means that the scope is more forgiving of things like improper cheek weld or an awkward shooting stance. Parallax The vast majority of rifle scopes use glass lenses, which means that they can only be focused at a set distance. Trying to use the scope outside of this distance produces parallax. Parallax can most easily be described as “reticle wobble.” Basically, if you move your head within your eye box and the reticle appears to move around inside of the scope, then you are experiencing parallax problems. Vortex Optics put together this great video all about parallax and parallax errors: Most scopes are factory fixed for parallax at a certain distance, while others offer an adjustment knob so you can fix your parallax on the fly. Windage and Elevation Windage and elevation refer to those knobs you see on the top and sides of scopes. These are how you adjust your point of aim (also known as POA.) Windage is for left and right, and elevation is for up and down. First and Second Focal Plane This has to do with the physical placement of the reticle in the glass lens. A first focal plane reticle will grow as you increase your level of zoom. This is especially useful for long-range shooting. If your reticle has hash marks for elevation and windage, they will remain accurate as you zoom, since they are changing size. That’s why I recommend FFP optics in my best long range scope review. A second…
Muzzleloader Seasons & County Regulations
Muzzleloader — Texas Parks & Wildlife Department Muzzleloader Seasons & County Regulations White-tailed Deer Jan. 2 – 15, 2023 View White-tailed Deer Muzzleloader hunting regulations for your county. 90 of 254 counties have Muzzleloader seasons. Muzzleloader Only White-tailed Deer Season A muzzleloader is any firearm that is loaded only through the muzzle. Note: A cap and ball firearm in which the powder and ball are loaded into a cylinder is not a muzzleloader. Muzzleloader deer seasons are restricted to muzzleloading firearms only.