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January 24, 2007

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Discussion Topic: Should In-Lines Be Out for Primitive Seasons?

From Washington/Idaho’s The Spokesman Review:

It's gun today, gone tomorrow for some Idaho muzzleloader hunters under new rules adopted Jan. 11 by the Idaho Fish and Game Commission. . . .

The rules adopted by the commission require, among other things, that muzzleloaders use all-lead bullets, open sights and loose black or synthetic black powder. The weapon must have an exposed, pivoting hammer and an exposed ignition using only flint or percussion-type caps.

In other words, in-lines are out in Idaho, and the hunters who’d bought them, as well as the gun-shop owners who stock them, are out of luck. But whether the new rule is fair to them is not the question. The question, though familiar and perhaps even old at this point, is one we’ve never discussed on this blog before: Should in-lines be allowed during primitive-weapon seasons?

Comments

Joe Ware

The only thing wrong with in-lines are the special seasons most states give for their use. With the advancements in muzzleloaders narrowing the gap between "primitive" and "modern" weapons,the special seasons are probably in jeopardy in more states. If anyone is a "primitive weapons purist",they would hunt the regular gun seasons with them. But,I would bet most "primitive" weapons hit the gun cabinet once the regular gun season opens. Same for bow hunting,particularly where baiting is involved.

Craig

A primitive season should be limited to the weapons it was intended for...a primitive weapon. I dont disagree with hunting with inlines, but they are killing the traditional sport of hunting with orininal replicas from the 1700-1800's. I hunt during the regular gun season with a sidelock percussion and during the muzzleloading season I use a flintlock...which I took deer with both this year. That was more of a hunt than shooting one over a hundred yards away with scope mounted modern muzzleloader.

Tony

Today, there is hardly any difference between an inline muzzle loader and a single shot rifle. If the special season goes out the door, they should only be used in the regular firearms season.

jstreet

I say leave the inline in and take the scopes off. That does away with the main advantages of an inline rifle. 75-100 yard shots become the norm when the glass comes off.
Jim

Woody

In Lines are a fine weapon, and I say let people use inlines in the regular season, but in my opinion, they are not in the spirit of "primitive weapons". A Primitive weapon to me, means external hammers and no optical (glass) sights.

Proline

I'd rather throw a rock than hunt with a side hammer, unless you like shooting at a running deer. Leave the inlines alone, if over harvesting is an issue then shorten the season. Less wounded deer should be the main priority.

Phillip

Primitive weapons seasons were created for folks to hunt with primitive weapons. The idea was to offer a chance for those who wished to be challenged by archaic technology that limited their range and effectiveness to enhance the spirit of the hunt without having to compete with modern weapons in the field.

The idea wasn't to see what kind of loopholes and technicalities we could exploit by creating high-tech front-stuffers that outperform some centerfire cartridges. Someone is always looking for a way around the system.

The alternative to banning certain categories or types of muzzleloading rifles during primitive weapons seasons is to simply do away with the primitive weapons season altogether. Why have it if the participants prefer to hunt with modern front-stuffers? May as well take to the woods with slug guns, lever actions, and revolvers too.

Those who would justify the inlines by making the argument about the effectiveness of the high-tech guns vs. the old school are missing the point. A round, lead ball is deadly effective IF the shooter has the skill and forebearance to use it properly (accurately and at proper range). Sure, there's always a risk of misfire, flash-in-the-pan, or a wet powder charge. That's the challenge of primitive weapons hunting, and the whole idea of having a separate season for the handful of folks who are willing to learn to do it right and live with the occasional inconsistency of powder and ball.

If you need fiber optic sights, guaranteed ignition, and high-velocity, long-range ammunition then why not just stick with modern firearms? Or buy that modern muzzleloader... and then use it during regular firearms season.

Trent M.

Is it worded as "Primative Season" where everyone else is. Here (Indiana), it is just "Muzzleloader season", nowhere in the regs does it say anything about it having to be primative.

Matt Mallery

In lines should not be allowed during the muzzleloader season. Muzzleloaders are supposed to be a challenge and that is why they have a special season. An in line is nothing more that a modern rifle that meets the (current) legal requirments for the black powder season. Crossbows are not allowed during bow season are they?

In lines are just for hunters that want to hunt the special season. They do not care about the traditions of a traditional blackpowder rifle.

SteveC

It’s fairly clear that we’ve long cross the line regarding what passes for primitive nowadays. The states opened up these special seasons decades ago with a much different intent - and spirit – in mind.

Aside from this, there’s more than an element of truth that many, if not most, hunters have embraced technology a little too closely. As a result, hunting skills and traditions are becoming casualties to meaningless “special” seasons and the almighty dollar.

It’s taking less and less effort to get your buck and with that we get less and less satisfaction with our achievement. Is that really what serves hunting best or is this just about killing animals?

Trent M.

Steve, I have to disagree with you. I suppose if we wanted to we could go back to chasing animals off cliffs and get our sense of acheivement that way.

I understand the spirit of your point, but honestly, what is wrong with wanting to be as efficient as possible when it comes to taking animals? I understand that some people will exploit whatever technology is out there to make their job easier. Others however, just look at new technology as a new way to go about hunting.

The Pawesome

I don't disagree with being efficient, but the keyword here is primitive, period. Use the in-lines during the regular rifle season. There is no reason why a more primitive weapon such as a flintlock or percussion muzzleloader can't be as efficient as the most modern rifle on the market today. It's all about knowing the limitations and capabilities of the weapon you are using and also of the hunter using it. Practice good hunting ethics and shooting until you have the skill to utilize the weapon properly.

dw

Is it a primitive season or not?

Change the name or keep it primitive.

O' course, to some folks anything less than .50 BMG is "primitive." ;^)

dw

Lee B.

Well, what does it matter what your using when the basic point of having the season is to assist in the harvist and management of populations....
I know your herds can't be hurting that bad that they need to cut out inlines...
Personaly, if it will benifit the herd at all, then yes, but there are alot of other ways to control that. Seems a little out of the realm of where government should be.

John B. Horton

This is certainly a point to ponder. With booming deer populations why would we want to "hobble" hunters by reverting to more primitive and arguably less effective weapons.Although in my estimation a primitive type hammerlock rifle using loose powder and percussion caps will make you more aware of the fact that you need to have it all in one sock so to speak.On the other hand the new inlines with optics and cutting edge ballistics get the job done very well thus contolling the deer herd.Isn't that one of the main reasons that we are hunting in the first place.Unless the deer herd in your state is suffering I feel it should be up to the hunters as to what they should use. Years ago when they opened archery seasons for deer there weren't compound bows. Hunters used recurves and stick bows. Was there a problem when compounds hit the woods? In Oklahoma where I hunt we could stand another season so why not have a "primitive muzzleloader" hunt only.

martin

Here in the Southern zone of NY where its shotgun/muzzeloader only, limted range due to population and terrain ,guys are buying these inline muzzeloader so they can shoot outpast 100/150 yds. w/the accuracy and energy of conventional rifle.So whats the difference w/hunting with scoped/lever action 35 Rem or any other rifle????? The Laws and Regs.need to be examined!!

tom

In NJ there is no modern Rifle season. This is because of the population density, there is no difference between some inlines and some rifles.

If the state has restricted rifles for safety reasons the legislation needs to take a hard look at the cabilities of the new inline rifles.

.308 MAN

I READ ALL OF THESE POSTS AND ALL OF THEM HAVE A GOOD POINT, BUT THIS IS HOW I FEEL ABOUT IT- ONE GUY SAYS THAT IT MAKES THE HUNT BETTER WHEN USING A TRADITIONAL, THATS FINE FOR YOU, BUT WHAT ABOUT US THAT GET THE SAME FEELING FROM AN IN-LINE. THERE IS NO GAURANTEE THAT HTE GUN WILL GO OFF. I CAN GO ON ABOUT THIS ALL DAY BUT, I WONT. THE LAST THING I WANT TO SAY IS -PEOPLE WE ARE HUNTERS THAT MUST STICK TOGETHER, IF YOU WANT A TRADITONAL THATS GREAT, IF YOU WANT A IN-LINE, THATS GREAT, DON'T WORRY ABOUT EVERYONE ELSE. I HUNT WITH A BOW, RIFLE, AND AN IN-LINE AND LOVE THEM ALL, BUT SOMETHING I LOVE MORE THAN THEM IS THE FACT THAT I GET TO HUNT!!!!!!!!BOTTOM LINE-WORRY ABOUT YOU!!!!!!

Mike Diehl

Despite the advertising hype, in-lines are not ballistically speaking very different from many other MLs. Anyone using an in-line and imagining great 250 yard shots will have to practice alot. With sufficient practice, that in-line will be as accurate in his hands as, say, a "traditional" ML like a Sharps buffalo rifle. It won't be as accurate as a Civil War period bench-rest muzzle-loading side-hammer sniper rifle, even if you put the optics on the in-line and leave them off the sniper rifle.

What most amuses me is suite of myths perpetuated by the "traditionalist" faction. One myth holds that a centerfire cartridge allows one to take thousand yard shots or something. Heh! Another myth is that the traditionalist" suffers some sort of handicap. Successful hunters aren't successful because they use centerfire rifles; they're successful because the do the needed pre-season scounting, know the landscape, practice with their firearms, and try to get close before they shoot. Yet another myth is the snobbish superiority with which the "traditionalist" dismesses the authenticity of the hunting experience of the in-line ML hunter. All three myths are shattered by any reasoned examination of the facts.

An authentic Civil War muzzleloader can shoot as accurately as any firearm ever made out to distances of six hundred yards. Regardless of how your rifle loads, knowing where to hunt and how to stalk are more telling as to success.

In light of these facts, in-lines are qualitatively the same as any other muzzleloader: 1 shot, followed by a substantial interval before you get another shot.

One step "faster" in the evolution of the action is the breech-loading action. Followed by that the other hand operated mechanical actions (lever, pump, bolt), and after that the semi-auto gas operated action.

Parsing the "muzzleloader" seasons into a special "in-line" or "not in-line" season, or forcing in-line muzzleloader hunters to use the "general firearms" season, makes no sense because the difference is all in the action used to chamber a new round, and nothing more.

But if we're to have different seasons based on the action of the firearm, perhaps there should be a special "lever action season," and a "bolt action season" and a "breech-loading centerfire season" and let us not forget the "breech-loading paper cartridge season," a "buckshot only season," and a "semi-auto season." We can make each season one weekend in length. And for each season, be sure that the use of any *other* kind of action is prohibited.

Fortunately in my state the law specifies "Muzzleloader" tags not "traditional firearm" tags... and we are spared the expense of the luddite legislative buffonery of states like Idaho. When I hunt with my Savage 10ML-II next fall, the 250grain jacketed slug will be pushed out the barrell by Accurate Arms 5744. Anyone who thinks this isn't genuine enough ML hunting will have to languish in anguish.

Butch

Yeah, what Mike said.

David L. Pedigo Sr.

I guess if the state law reads "Primitive" then that's what we have to use. We don't have that here in Indiana...yet. I don't have a problem with using a primitive weapon. I do reenactments myself. However, not everybody does. So what's the big deal between different types of muzzleloaders? If you put a cap on it and powder or pellets in and have to stuff a bullet in with a ram rod then to me it IS a muzzleloader... period. Now, we don't need guys running around with machine guns trying to kill Bambi. However, I feel there are WAY TOO many restrictions being put us now. One by one we are slowly losing our rights and freedoms to politicians deciding what is best for us.

Cody

It should state that an original
type lock mechanism of that time "1700/1800's" period must be used to be legal for muzzle loading hunting.

Mike Diehl

Not primitive enough. I think we should hold "primitive firearms" standards to the truly primitive. Matchlocks only. Anything else is a "modern" firearm.

Lee Young

Inline muzzle loaders offer no advantage over (traditional ML)only the hunter makes the difference.If we must have a rule change make every one go back to matchlocks And then wait for the uproar from the coonskin cap folks.fair is fair !!!!.

Lee Young

Inline muzzle loaders offer no advantage over (traditional ML)only the hunter makes the difference.If we must have a rule change make every one go back to matchlocks And then wait for the uproar from the coonskin cap folks.fair is fair !!!!.




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