There was a time when we were grateful our muzzleloaders went “boom” when we pulled the trigger. Moisture and excessive fouling were poison to first generation in-line muzzleloaders. We were even more thankful if we hit our target at distances beyond 75 or 80 yards. A 100-yard shot was as much a matter of luck as skill.
Times have certainly changed. Not only are in-line muzzleloaders more reliable than ever, they stand up to the worst weather conditions and even some neglect, thanks to advances in corrosion-resistant technology. The newest crop of muzzleloaders is lighter, too, and they are more accurate than they’ve ever been. At least one manufacturer offers a 200-yard accuracy guarantee. Another builds a custom rifle that shoots tight groups at 500 yards.
Check out all the best muzzleloaders for 2014—you’ll be glad you did.
<h2>Ashland Gun Innovations</h2>Is it cheating? Depends on who you ask, of course, but <a href="http://www.ashlandguninnovations.com/" target="_blank">Ashland Gun Innovations’ in-line muzzleloader</a> doesn’t use blackpower or a black powder substitute. It uses IMR 4189 smokeless powder, the same thing that’s packed in many centerfire rifle cartridges. The bullet doesn’t use a sabot, either. Instead, a .45 caliber bullet is seated straight down the barrel. <p></p> The primer? Well, that’s different, too. Put all those together on a Remington action and you’ve got a muzzleloader that’s accurate out to 500 yards. That’s right, 500. Because Ashland Gun Innovations is a custom gun maker, they can build to a variety of specs on virtually any type of stock. It will cost you, though. <p></p> <strong>Price: $</strong>$2,650 (Basic build)