10 Muzzleloading Rifles to Ignite Blackpowder Sales

From vintage to modern day, muzzleloading is more than a flash in the pan.

10 Muzzleloading Rifles to Ignite Blackpowder Sales

Not long ago, I drove straight into the path of a rain-wrapped tornado and suffered some large hail dents in my RAM Laramie as a result, just to shoot a handful of blackpowder and centerfire rifles at CVA and Bergara’s Long Shot Tour, hosted at Fossil Pointe Shooting Grounds, near Decatur, Texas. I joked that even large hail and damaging winds couldn’t keep me from scoring blackpowder impacts on steel; of course, Bergara had a wealth of centerfire hunting, precision and small-batch rifle systems on the shooting lanes, too. I own an Accura PR but do not get to shoot muzzleloaders as much as I would like, so media range days like this are a great way for me to keep my finger on this segment of the firearm industry’s pulse.

I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest — scoring consistent impacts on steel out to 400 yards with the CVA Paramount HTR was exciting, to say the least, and it was the furthest I have shot any muzzleloading system. I also scored sub-MOA grouping with a couple Accura rifles. My range day takeaway was clear: There has never been a better time to shoot blackpowder rifles! Sure, modern day muzzleloading has seen respectable interest over the past half-century, but the past 20 years, moreover the past decade, has seen fever-pitched interest rise in blackpowder pursuits, and given what was revealed to us at CVA and Bergara’s Long Shot Tour, the best is yet to come. All this is to say, muzzleloading is more than a flash in the pan. So, here are 10 muzzleloaders more than cable of igniting your blackpowder sales.

Davide Pedersoli Brutus 94 Hardwoods Breakup

“The philosophy of Davide Pedersoli was and is to refer to history, offering superior quality reproductions of historical firearms.” As such, the company, founded in 1957 and headquartered in Gardone Val Trompia, Italy, is respected worldwide as a premier producer of repro muzzleloaders — but it didn’t begin that way. Davide Perdersoli did not begin with muzzleloaders at all. From 1957 to 1960, Pedersoli exclusively produced shotguns. Muzzleloader production began in 1960, and by 1973, Davide Pedersoli muzzleloading rifles had become so popular the company ceased shotgun production altogether.

For today’s retailers offering reproductions of historic muzzleloading rifles, the Davide Pedersoli .50-caliber Brutus 94 Hardwoods Break-Up is a great example of heirloom quality craftsmanship and is designed for rugged hunting adventures. The Brutus 94 boasts a Mossy Oak Breakup camo stock and forend and measures just over 40.5 inches from buttpad to muzzle. Additional features include a 23.75-inch barrel with 6-groove rifling and 1:24 twist. Similar to traditional centerfire hunting rifles, the Brutus 94 weighs just a tad over 8.5 pounds.

Davide Pedersoli Rolling Block Musket Primer Hardwood Rifle

When it comes to muzzleloaders, catering to traditionalists is a must, and Davide Pedersoli is a master producer of reproduction muzzleloaders — case in point, the .50-caliber Rolling Block Musket Primer Hardwood Rifle. Modeled after the 150-year-old Remington rolling block, Pedersoli’s Rolling Block Musket features a perfectly reproduced action, rich walnut stock and forend, and a beautifully engraved receiver. According to reviewers, the Rolling Block Musket includes a crisp 5-pound trigger, perfect for hunting and also great for target shooting. Like the Brutus 94, the Rolling Block Musket includes 6-groove rifling and a 1:24 twist, but on a 28-inch barrel. While the longer barrel means a longer overall length of 44 inches, weight is comparable to the Brutus at 8.6 pounds (www.davide-pedersoli.com)

Traditions Firearms NitroFire .50-Caliber

Traditions lines of muzzleloaders, centerfire rifle and pistols, and accessories are extensive; in fact, considering the company’s array of offerings, Traditions Firearms is the most diverse. With respect to muzzleloaders, if your customers are looking for pistol reproductions from trader days gone by, Traditions has them. If they are looking for complete muzzleloader packages, they have those. Finally, if your clients are looking for modern inline muzzleloading rifles, Traditions’ options are still varied. That said, two popular consumer options worth considering for retail stocking are the NitroFire .50-Cal Muzzleloading Rifle and the Buckstalker XT .50-Caliber Muzzleloader Redi-Pak.

Tradition Firearms’ NitroFire .50-Caliber Muzzleloader pushes the blackpowder rifle envelope, with help from Federal and Hodgdon Powder, with an industry first: the Firestick. Federal’s Firestick is a completely encapsulated charge employing a primer and Hodgdon’s Triple 8 blackpowder. The shooter places the Federal Firestick in the breech, installs a 209 primer into the primer pocket, then loads a saboted bullet down into the barrel with a ramrod, and it’s ready to shoot. The NitroFire rifle and Federal’s Firestick couldn’t make blackpowder shooting easier or safer, making it a great solution for new enthusiasts.

Unfortunately, the process also give the ATF a little bite — it does require a Form 4473 dealer transfer. That said, the NitroFire is drilled for scope mounting and boasts a 26-inch fluted, tapered, chromoly steel barrel with 1:28 twist, dual safety system, aluminum ramrod with Quick-T handle, and an Elite XT trigger. According to Traditions, the Elite XT Trigger “is designed with a rebounding hammer and manual crossblock trigger safety.” Traditions Firearms NitroFire appeals to virtually any modern-muzzleloader fan with finishes in Mossy Oak, Go Wild Rockstar, Realtree and black in scoped or no-sight models.

Traditions Firearms Buckstalker XT .50-Caliber Muzzleloader Redi-Pak

Muzzleloading, including working with blackpowder, can be intimidating for new shooters, so offering a complete kit is a great way for retailers to ease novice minds without shattering budgets, while also mitigating the need to round up every basic component — everything is packaged together in the Traditions Firearms Muzzleloader Redi-Pak except powder and primers or flints. Every Redi-Pak includes bullets, round-handle ball starter, fast loaders, cleaning tools, solvent and grease, inline nipple pick, 209 capper and of course, a Buckstalker XT .50-Cal Muzzleloading Rifle. The rifle features a lightweight, blued, 24-inch, chromoly steel barrel with 1:28 twist, synthetic stock with black finish, 209 shotgun primer ignition system, Accelerator breech plug, Elite XT trigger, dual safety, ambidextrous hammer extension and a Quick-T ramrod handle. Redi-Pak Buckstalker XT kits are available with or without a riflescope. (www.traditionsfirearms.com)

CVA Paramount HTR

Founded in 1971 as Connecticut Valley Arms, CVA is recognized worldwide as a premium producer of modern inline muzzleloaders, and here in the U.S., as the industry’s best-selling blackpowder brand. The company started as a traditional sidelock blackpowder manufacturer and also produced the DIY builder kits I remember seeing ads for as a kid. In 2021, CVA inches ever closer to centerfire rifle performance; in fact, CVA’s new Paramount HTR as an example, the company now attains comparable velocities (2,400 fps to 2,800 fps), sub-MOA accuracy and jaw-dropping, repeatable, long-range impacts. According to CVA, the Accura line also continues to be a fan favorite, and enthusiasts are sure to appreciate the new 2021 MR-X model.

The recent unveiling of CVA’s Paramount HTR (short for Hunter) Muzzleloader Rifle created significant blackpowder industry buzz related to purported long-range capabilities. The Paramount HTR is designed for optimum performance from Blackhorn 209 super-magnum charges and PowerBelt ELR bullets (225-grain for .40-cal. and 285-grain for .45-cal.). Available in .40- and .45-caliber models. For accuracy, Paramount HTR rifles boast a free-floating, nitride-treated, stainless steel Bergara barrel and match-grade TriggerTech trigger. Bergara has long been known for producing world-class barrels. Perfect for hunting as well as precision shooting, the Paramount HTR also features a lightweight synthetic stock with adjustable comb, internal aluminum chassis and camouflage finish. Customers looking for precision long-range accuracy and longer, more confident shots during muzzleloader season, the Paramount HTR is sure to be a top choice.

CVA Accura MR-X

Still touted as “the most accurate break-action muzzleloaders ever made,” Accura has been a cornerstone of CVA success for years now, and the MR-X (Mountain Rifle) is a welcome addition to the lineup.  New for 2021, the MR-X is perfectly suited for hard-core hunting in exceptionally wild places; of course, the shorter, lighter design also is great for us flatlanders hunting in heavily wooded areas and thickets. The Accura MR-X includes a synthetic stock with camouflage and black finish options, as well as an adjustable comb, and a Bergara 26-inch, nitride-treated, stainless steel barrel complete with a Cerakote finish. Accura MR-X muzzleloaders also feature a quick take-down design for easy cleaning and compact carry, and a collapsible carbon-fiber ramrod. Accura MR-X muzzleloaders are available in .45- and .50-caliber models. (www.cva.com)

Thompson/Center Arms Impact!SB

An industry-changing collaboration between Warren Center and the K.W. Thompson Tool Company gave rise to Thompson/Center Arms (TC) in 1967. At the time, Center and Thompson produced Warren Center Contender break-action handguns, and in 1970, the company began production of muzzleloaders, beginning with a Hawken-style rifle. The rifle was an immediate success, and TC was credited with laying the foundation for the modern-day muzzleloading industry. Since then, Thompson/Center Arms has diversified. The company still produces high-quality, traditional reproduction muzzleloading pistols and rifles, but continues to produce modern handguns, centerfire rifles and inline blackpowder rifles, too. Two ultra-popular rifles from the Thompson/Center lineup sure to appeal to demanding shooters at both ends of the price-point spectrum are the Impact!SB and the Pro Hunter FX.

Thompson/Center Arm’s Impact!SB offers premium break-open-action, single-shot performance at a remarkably low price point — perfect for next-generation, cost-conscious and novice muzzleloading shooters. The Impact!SB features a sliding hood design for more efficient loading and cleaning, triple lead Speed Breech for faster breech insertion and removal, 1-inch stock spacer to adjust length of pull, fiber optic sights and a blued magnum 26-inch barrel. The Thompson/Center Arms Impact!SB is available in .50-caliber and handles up to 150 grains of blackpowder. (www.tcarms.com)

Thompson/Center Arms Pro Hunter FX

The Thompson/Center Arms Pro Hunter FX takes the best features of the Encore Pro Hunter XT and fits them into a more affordable blackpowder rifle without the Encore’s interchangeable barrel feature. As for features, your discriminating clients can expect the best. The Pro Hunter FX boasts a Weather Shield break-open action, 26-inch fluted barrel, FlexTech recoil-reducing stock, engraved frame, QLA Muzzle System and TC’s new Speed Breech 3 breech plug. Other features sure to win over your adventure-seeking customers include a reversible swing hammer for easy access under optics and enhanced ambidextrous use. The Pro Hunter FX is available in .50-caliber with black or Realtree finish.

Lyman Trade Rifle

143 years after William Lyman’s No. 1 Tang Sight was unveiled, improving the Vernier sight for precision shooting in less desirable light conditions, Lyman Products Corporation is still alive and doing fine in our beloved firearms industry. Best known nowadays as an industry-leading reloading equipment manufacturer, Lyman’s product line is actually pretty diverse and includes muzzleloading rifles. The good news for diehard traditionalists is that Lyman’s muzzleloaders, like Pedersoli, hold fast to purist traditional percussion and flintlock designs. One such muzzleloading rifle sure to be a customer favorite is the Trade Rifle.

The Lyman Trade Rifle features a European walnut stock with brass accoutrements, casehardened-finished lock, single trigger, blued 28-inch octagon barrel with 1:48 twist and open dovetail sights. The Trade Rifle’s length of pull is 14 inches and overall length and weight are 45.5 inches and 8 pounds, respectively. Lyman’s Trade Rifles are available in .50-cal. and .54-cal. percussion and flintlock models.

Lyman Deerstalker

Like the Trade Rifle, Lyman’s Deerstalker certainly looks the vintage part, but it also sports modern-day features muzzleloader hunters are sure to appreciate, like a thick rubber buttpad and open, adjustable fiber-optic sights. Vintage aesthetics include a rich walnut stock, single trigger, delrin ramrod and a 24-inch octagon barrel, blackened to eliminate glare, with 1:48 twist. The Deerstalker measures 41 inches with a 14-inch length of pull, weighs just 7.5 pounds and is available in both .50-cal. and .54-cal. with flintlock and percussion ignition systems. Lyman also offers the Deerstalker in a .50-cal. flintlock for your left-handed customers! (www.lymanproducts.com) 


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