I'd love to have a really nice Hawken, I have a TC but a custom one would be wonderful. Or a Jaeger with a sidelever percussion.
After reading all the posts, I guess I weigh in about my ML preferences. I'm not a purist, I hunt ML because here in Colorado it's about the only way you can hunt public land during the rut with a firearm. I have an inline TC Black Diamond that I bought in a pawn shop for $100. Shoots well enough, but sure not a tack driver and a little cumbersome loading the primer. I also found out this last season it really doesn't do well in the rain. Too many parts exposed that rust a little and then get sticky real quick. Had to take it completely apart a couple of times in the field to get the bolt to trip when the trigger was pulled. Probably going to get me an Encore if I keep ML hunting.
I really couldn't care less if you use a traditional or an inline, both are front stuffers and use black powder (or BP substitutes). IMHO sights should not be optical ( except in cases like Old Hunter) and I don't like sabots and pellatized powder. I suppose if I lived in a state where these were legal and I used them, I would favor all of them, don't know as I havn't had that experience....yet! I am looking into a New Mexico ML hunt where all are legal. So we will see............
Thanks for all the responses guys! I didn't expect anything like this when I started the thread. I have still not made a purchase but because of all of your help, I am less in the dark than before.
Finally made up my mind and am going to get a new ML. My choices are down to 2....TC Encore Pro Hunter or Pro hunter FX or a CVA Accura. I will need to actually see, hold, caress these before I make my choice. I'll be heading to the Grand Junction Cabelas and will really get to feel them. i'll also be researching a new sleeping bag. I reread all the posts and everyone really had good suggestions/ideas.
I've gone back to a traditional sidelock in .54 cal. I'll shoot a round ball (PRB) for mule deer, and a 425gr lead conical for elk.
While doing some more research today i ran across a thread on a websitediscussing the CVA Accura with the Beraga barrel. Seems there have been several problems with these barrels rupturing. Anyone have any info about this?
If that's true, that's disheartening. I've been eyeballing the Accura MR for a while now.
Bergara barrels have not been blowing up. Some of the older CVA guns before Bergara barrels had a problem, and they were recalled.
Some guys are on the warpath to make CVA look bad, because they're getting paid to do it, and are sponsored by other companies. Randy Wakeman being one of them. Rumors spread fast. Even if they aren't true.
Muzzleloaders are different from CF guns. Everybody who owns one is a reloader, but have no clue how to do it. Too heavy of a charge, barrel restrictions, double loads, and the worse one of all. Using smokeless powder is the cause of these accidents.
I would stay away from a CVA, even though I own an older CVA .54 cal. If I was to buy a new one I would buy a T/C. Yes the CVA had some problems but not all problems were operator error. If operator error were consistant across the board, then you would have a hell of a lot more failures with T/C, since there are more T/C'S out there than CVA's. Yhis is not the case however. The problem is in Spain where most of CVA's barrels are made.
Old hunter gave me sound advice on getting my cva dialed in and it is shooting well. less than a one inch group at 100 yrds with a peep sight. while being complaint to colorado black powder regs. I did my home work and the barrel problem is not with the Bergara as old hunter stated above. I had a pro deal with TC at the time and I opted for the cva because many have done well with conicals with them and I never was able to get my TC omega to shoot conicals at all. The cva you can set the spacing on the firing pin nut to stop blow back around the primer, resulting in cleaner gun and better accuracy.