Looking to get a muzzleloader


Active Member
I'm looking to get a muzzleloader to extend my hunting season. Couple years ago I bought a Bear bow with the same idea, Bow season starts Sept 1 here, but we picked up a fair amount of new farm ground and some custom work so my Sept-Nov is pretty much full. Well still take some time for mid Nov rifle season. But muzzleloader season is the whole month of Dec so I have some more time to hunt.

What would be a good starter muzzleloader kit? I've really looked at the CVA Optima V2 packages and so far the reviews have been very good. Any other mid range one's to look at?

Finally would anybody be interested in a Bear bow? I can't remember the model offhand but I can get some pics. It comes with the whole package, stinger stabilizer, some Cabelas arrows, target heads, trufire release, a Block target and a couple other targets. It's only been target shot, maybe 150 times.

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IMO Thompson Center makes a better gun than CVA I have owned guns from both companies and much prefer the TC. The next thing I would look at is ease of cleaning. I know there have been great improvements in breech plug styles over the past few years. Muzzleloaders are a gun that needs cleaned frequently.
I shooter CVA Optima V2. If ease of cleaning is concern, there isn’t an easier gun to keep clean. I recommend using the Blackhorn 209 as propellant and it is even easier yet to clean.

Can’t say a bad word about Thompson, they make great gun. To me, CVA is a great value proposition gun.

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I have always liked CVA over T/C(unless it is ML only). Lately, I have been looking at Traditions. They have really stepped up their game.
I’m partial to avoiding starter guns/bows. You save $ in the long run. I own a couple knights that have been outstanding. 250g Barnes bullets at 2200 FPS shoot into 1” and are devastating! I feel late season MZ Hunt is way underrated. Big bucks are focused on putting on calories.
I have a little CVA wolf and love it. All I will say is get it in SS......black powder is corrosive and nasty stuff and sure enough you will for some reason set it aside after shooting it and not clean it.....and then forget....SS is far easier to deal with. I am not familiar with all the other makes out there. I don't know why it took folks so long to use a threaded breech plug and a break-open type design.
I have the TC Endeavor 50 cal with a Nikon 3X9 BDC. I shoot 3 triple 7 pellets and a 250 gr TC bullet. I can put all my rounds in a paper plate at 250 yards.
I also have the TC Encore thumbhole laminated stock with a 3X9 Nikon with a BDC and shoot the same loads and same results as above. Both Rifles are stainless steel barrells. I love these rifles and would not consider any other brands.
My friendly cleaning tip once you get one.... Hot soapy water and bore butter are your friends. Also, some kind of grease or anti-seize for the breech plug will save you money down the road(we charge $25 and any new part(s) to get a seized up breech plug out).

I use a gallon bucket and run tap water as hot as it will get, fill the bucket about 1/4-1/2 and put about 5 drops of dish soap in it and scrub until it doesn't turn the water black any more. You will have to fill the bucket several times or you can't tell if the water is clean. Put a light coating of bore butter on a patch and run it down the barrel. If you are storing the rifle, put a heavier coat of bore butter in the barrel and pull the breech plug and place it in a zip-loc bag until you get ready to shoot it again. Use your favorite oil on the outside of the barrel.
TC impact, break action, I shoot 2 pyrodex pellets with T/C Shockwave bullets with the yellow sabo, works amazingly. $250 I last saw

X2! bought my dad one this year. 189$ @ Dicks sporting goods. I sighted it in for him and was a tack driver. Easy to take out the breach and clean. Nothing wrong with that gun at all for the price. Simple, easy to clean, cheap and accurate. Couldnt ask for anything more. Was impressed for sure
I'm very pleased with . . . well, it's now called a Thompson Center Strike, but mine is an LHR Redemption. This was my first foray into modern inlines. I've been hunting with a .54 TC Hawken since Regan's first term. The Strike/Redemption gave me my first out-of-the-box 100 yard shot on the paper with cast lead R.E.A.L. bullets. I found that amazing.

See: First Looks .. .

Speaking of cleaning tips, I found Ed's Red does an amazing job on the residue inside my new ML. It's a homebrew smokeless cleaner. The Redemtion accumulates quite a bit around the breach plug. An over night soaking in Ed's Red (wrapped the plug in a 2X2 patch) and it wiped clean in the morning.

Here's the link to the recipe: http://www.frfrogspad.com/homemade.htm
IMO you can't go wrong with either T/C or CVA muzzleloaders. Just pick the one that looks to be the best for your type of hunting. I have a .50 cal barrel for my Encore that's put several deer in my freezer, although I don't use it anymore. It groups about 1.5" at 100 yd. with Power Belt bullets and that's plenty of accuracy for 150/175 yd. shots.

BTW, Doc is spot on with his cleaning tip. Bore Butter is the best friend a muzzle loader ever had !