Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Black Powder and Primitive Weapons

Some observations from todays muzzleloader shooting.....

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RipTombstone:
Went out with the muzzleloaders this morning to sight in my boss's gun, and also to sight in a friends gun. Both are inline .50 cal, and both are decorated with a scope.
My boss has a nice New England Firearms break open, and a nice scope on it. It uses 209 primers, and is basically a nice gun.
My friend has a Traditions brand gun and scope combo. It is also a break open, and uses 209 primers.

Well, the NEF gun has to have a little plastic disc thing to put the primer into in order to put it in the gun. This to me seems wrong. I woud much rather see a system that the 209 goes directly into the breech. If this little plastic thing breaks, wears out, or is lost, you are out of luck.
Other than that, the NEF is a pretty nice gun for an inline. The scope is easy to remove, and the fixed sights are still on the gun.

Now the Traditions gun has a nice primer setup, with it fitting directly into the breech, BUT my friend removed the rear sight to allow his scope room to come back further. Not a problem you say?
I had to laugh to myself, as he pulled his rifle to his shoulder and said, "Hey, my scope is crooked".
Seems the crosshairs come completely loose inside the brand new scope. His shot with the broken scope was not anywhere close to minute of deer.

So, if you are looking at the muzzleloader as a survival tool, make sure that it is the simplest system you can still make work for you. You can add a scope, but make sure you dont have to rely on that scope. Make sure that you dont have to rely on a simple little piece of plastic to make it fire. Get a system that doesnt need anything but a primer or cap to function.

Myself, I still use a sidelock of one form or another, and little #11 caps,  and have iron sights. One of mine has fiber optic sights, which are nice, but they are also a little fragile. I have had to replace a set of those once already.
RipT

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