Well you know my answer since I learned so much from you. I use both if I'm with two people.
But if I am by myself I have both with me mattering on what the stand looks like. Truly I haven't killed anything with my shotgun yet. I had the chance to use it and I grabbed the rifle instead, bad mistake
I admire your confidence regarding your choice in harvest tools. You truly use a real "Smoke Pole". The black-powder rifle in some states opens up a true advantage with regards to increased drawing odd percentages. I have great interest in pulling as many tags as I can over a given season. Specifically in some of the more difficult areas to draw.
Ok - the punch. What are you using and what is in your estimation the best black-powder rig? This is a two answer question. I need to get a primitive and a modern black-powder rifle to be able to play the game correctly in the various states; from deer to moose.
BTW: Your Avatar displays a very respectable Swine...Strong work! Work Ranch (Bert Claasen)?
How did you know Bert was the guide? You must have some inside knowledge...or read one of my other blogs. It weighed 250#. The rifle is a Thompson Center Omega and I was using a Barnes Expander MZ 250-grain bullet in a black MMP HPH-24 sabot and 100 grains of Pyrodex Select powder. The shot was just under 60 yards, as I remember, and was a double-lung shot. It went about 200 yards and piled up against a tree. It had been living high on alfalfa and the meat is delicious!
Now, your other question. I'm partial to T/C's and own three of them. I have a 45 caliber Hawken, a 50 caliber Omega and a 54 Grey Hawk. The Hawken uses #11 percussion caps, the Omega is a modern in-line and uses 209's and the Grey Hawk is also a percussion but uses musket caps. Since you want both a muzzleloader and a center-fire rifle, why not go with the T/C Encore Pro Hunter? It is both. Buy either the muzzleloader or the rifle and get an extra barrel. I personally would get the muzzleloader with the camo thumbhole option and then just get the rifle barrel in the 308 caliber. That way, you have one great rifle that does both. The only thing you might run into is a problem with the sights. Some states require "primitive" sights on a muzzleloader during muzzleloader season so you'll need to be able to remove any scope to shoot iron sights. You can use a muzzleloader during regular rifle season with a scope though.
Let me know what you decide on and I'll be glad to help you out with suggestions or ideas. Have you ever had a muzzleloader before or would this be your first one?
Well...I have never met you or read your posts. But from the picture (avatar) you look to be below the high hill in the Johnson. And the jeep looks like Kris's jeep (Bert's wife). Bert is a good friend of mine. Bert and I have been hunting together for 21 years. I also remember seeing a picture of you in the bunkhouse. I don't recall the Work Ranch farming alfalfa - barley perhaps? They are tastey non-the-less. I am hunting with him on July 1st (dark of the moon).
What I meant by primitive and modern was - a primitive black powder and a modern black powder(scoped, 209, etc.). That way I can put in for just about any state with the muzzle loader. I have never owned one, but I know that there are some rigs out there that are capable of accurate long shots. What do you know about these rigs www.ultimatefirearms.com ?
Those are some of the new high-tech muzzleloaders and I don't know much about them. They are muzzleloaders only because they are front-stuffers. Almost everything else about them is like a modern high-powered rifle. Most of the ones I've read about use smokeless powder and are accurate out to around 500 yards and more. They are also really spendy! I sent an email to you with my cell phone number. Call me when you get a chance.
Re-reading your post brings up a couple of points. I have hunted California, Colorado, Utah, Texas and Arizona. All are different and it depends on what you hunt. For example, in California, you can't have a scope on a muzzleloader during muzzleloader season. In Arizona, you can. As I remember, in California, I think you can use any propellant but in AZ it must be black powder or a BP substitute so a muzzleloader shooting smokeless powder wouldn't be legal there. Don't hold me to being absolutely correct on those examples as I didn't research each states laws. Colorado is under fire now by black powder shooters because of bullet restrictions. Something about the length must be so many times longer than the diameter or something like that. To top that off, some sources say you can measure the poly tip of the bullet to make it a legal length and others say you can't so the same bullet could be legal or illegal depending on who you talk to. I usually shoot a Hornady HP/XTP bullet in my Omega. When I went for the hog, I had to use a Barnes Expander MZ bullet because Bert's place is in the no-lead "Condor Zone". I worked at Lake Powell last summer, which is on the AZ/UT border. When I hunted coyotes, I stayed in UT because they don't require a license or anything. AZ requires a license to hunt coyotes. Other than the license/no license issue, anything goes when hunting coyotes. I think you could even use a howitzer if you wanted to. As far as extending hunting seasons to include the muzzleloader season, in most states, you would have to use a "primitive" muzzleloader with iron sights. Some states exclude an in-line as a "primitive weapon" so it can't be used during a ML season at all. Now, for the general season, ANY muzzleloader in any configuration can be used. Any sights, any ignition system, any powder. I don't know of any state that makes any restrictions to a muzzleloader during the general rifle season. It's only during the muzzleloader season that you have to watch the regulations. So, with that rifle you referenced earlier, you could use it during the general rifle season but, in most states, you would have to take the scope off during muzzleloader season and in one state I know of, you couldn't use it at all because it uses an in-line ignition system, which they don't allow. Hope that helps.
I just got back from the range. I have been trying to work up a load for the Hawken. I had been using Pyrodex Select powder (FFg) but wanted to try out a finer grain (FFFg) powder since the Hawken is 45 caliber and THEORETICALLY should shoot better with the finer powder. It did! The best group I had with the FFg powder was a 1" group at 50 yards (open peep sights). The FFFg shot a one ragged hole, half-inch, four-shot group. That works for me! The 'yotes are in trouble now!