New from Knight Rifles: .50 Caliber Ultralight Muzzle Loader

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About Robert Farago

Robert Farago is the Publisher of The Truth About Guns (TTAG). He started the site to explore the ethics, morality, business, politics, culture, technology, practice, strategy, dangers and fun of guns.

24 Responses to New from Knight Rifles: .50 Caliber Ultralight Muzzle Loader

  1. avatarLance says:

    A 18th century 50 cal assault rifle LOL!

  2. avatarCliff says:

    Am I missing something? If this is a muzzle loader, why does it have a bolt action?

    • avatarMark N. says:

      These rifles are built with the primer cap at the breach, and a bolt action is used to fire it. Most of these rilfes also have an easy removal system for the plug to allow for fast and thorough cleaning.

    • very good question

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      Because the priming cap will be put onto a nipple under the bolt, and the firing pin is contained within the bolt as it is on conventional cartridge actions.

      Known as an “in-line” muzzle loader, you can remove the bolt and then the nipple from the rear of the barrel, which makes cleaning the barrel so much easier than on conventional muzzle loaders.

      • avatarCliff says:

        Thanks for the info. Last muzzle loader I shot was a Green River .54 Hawkin. Not at all like these models!

    • avatarO.E says:

      They are designed to be ‘ergonomic’ and ‘modern’.

      I don’t care for it, my flints and frizzen with clear “FIRE IN THE (touch) HOLE ” is all that is needed.

  3. avatarWill says:

    I may have to get a muzzleloader since I can’t fond ammo shoot anything else these days. :(

  4. avatarإبليس says:

    So that’s what they’ll call an “assault rifle” in 40 years. If you use old-school black powder the cloud will help criminals escape! Smoke should only be used by licensed magicians.

  5. avatarMark N. says:

    Ah, reminds me of the day I got into a squabble over the veracity of a the longest sniper shot in the Civil Wartha killed General Sedgwick (rumored to have been over 800 yards but measured at 550) with a gentleman who claimed that it was not possible to shoot a blackpowder rifle more than 150 yards because of the bullet drop. Rifles like this demonstrate that it is indeed possible and repeatable at 400 yards.

    • avatarjim says:

      This sounds like a joke but I’ve run into it in several books presented as fact: I believe Sedgwick was the general during the Late Unpleantness (as we call the conflict in the more genteel parts of the South) whose last words to a concerned aide were “Oh, nonsense, they couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist……”

  6. Thank you, TTAG! A review that a living antique like me could identify with. :) More seriously, I would suggest to every shooter that they try a little muzzleloading. It is a wonderfully relaxing sport, and you can get amazing accuracy from a front stuffer if you do your bit. I love Knight MLs too – one of my favorite hunting guns (in BP and Shotgun only for deer Ill-Annoy) is my .50 cal Knight ML. With its favorite load of 90 gr of 2F powder pushing a flat nose 320 grain cast bullet it shoots so accurately at 75 yards that many of my friends who have hitherto been skeptical have become impressed. Most have taken shooting and hunting with muzzleloaders up as well. Let’s hope that your team gets hooked to this kind of shooting and hunting and that we see more reviews of these and other less than “Modern” sporting rifles as well. Good shooting!

  7. avatarThomas Paine says:

    no ffl needed. Shhhhhhhh!
    anyway, i can’t imagine that the trajectory is anything short of rainbow.

    • avatarDyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      The trajectories are indeed more bowed than a >2500 fps smokeless rifle, but they’re repeatable with good powder measurement, modern bullets and modern weapons.

      The sheer mass of the bullets means that they do serious killing at extended ranges, even tho they’ve probably gone sub-sonic.

  8. avatarJoe says:

    I just took a deep breath and it tasted like fresh air. Thank you for posting something more about firearms and less about politics.

  9. avatarJoe says:

    What a refreshing post. Thank you for this one.

  10. avatarMike S says:

    Yeah after my first muzzleloader season, I stopped bothering to take my 12ga out for shotgun season. Just hunt with my .50 straight through.

    To anyone considering taking up hunting, take note- many states with seasons split by firearm type, or with geographic limitations on implements will allow “primitive” firearms in any of the other seasons/zones. In other words, buy a muzzleloader first. It will afford you the widest opportunity to hunt, and you really aren’t giving anything up but the follow up shot. My .50 outshoots my 12ga all day long.

  11. avatarDr. Kenneth Noisewater says:

    ISTR that traditional musket balls were .68 caliber?

    • avatarMark N. says:

      Depends on the year in question. The Brown Bess, unsed for two hundred years by the Brits, was .75. Muskets in the Civil War were generally .57 or .65, until replaced with rifled muskets in .57. Hunting rifles from the 1700s on made in America varied from .31, .36 .45 to .50 calibers, but with “regular” militia muskets in larger calibers.

      One of the other interesting aspects of BP rifles s that balls, being spheres, stabilize with versy slow rotationsal velocity. A lot of the large caliber guns are a 1 in 65 twist.

      • avatarJim B says:

        The standard American Civil War rifled musket the Springfield Model 1861 was fired a .58 caliber Minié ball. At the start of the war most troops were issued smooth bore .69 caliber muskets. As the war progressed there were all sorts of bullets and cartridges used. The Berdan Sharps was a breach loader of .52 caliber that took paper cartridge and had a clever capping device. Of course Lincoln insisted that the Army adopt the 7 shot repeating Spencer that fired a metallic rimfire cartridge called .56 caliber but the bullet was actually .52 caliber. By the end of the Civil War most of the cavalry had Spencers only to end up with single shot more than a decade later at the Little Big Horn.

        Then of course there were the .44 Henry rifles which the government only purchased around 2,000 but were privately purchased by many soldiers in the North.

        All the different munitions played hell on supply of course and many officers didn’t like breech loaders or repeaters because they felt the troops wasted ammunition with such rifles. Sound familiar? Think of the three round burst vs full auto.

        So what caliber they used in the Civil War doesn’t have a single answer although .58 was the most common. The rifled musket firing a .58 caliber Minié ball was a huge advance although it doesn’t seem that way to us. Very few of the Civil War generals understood how this changed everything and gave a enormous advantage to the defenders. Lee, who many think was the best tactitian of the Civil War didn’t understand this or he would have never ordered what became known as Pickett’s Charge. Most commanders were still using Napoleonic tactics that worked for inaccurate smooth bore muskets but were ineffectual against the modern weapons of the time. If you think the military learned its lesson all you have to do is see the tactics in France in 1914 to see that the military can be obstinate.

  12. avatarO.E says:

    Of all firearms its the muzzleloader that I have a fondness of dedication to. So far it proves to be the BIGGEST legislative hurdle tha Government will not be able to tackle without throwing us into era that predates ancient Rome. Everything that follows in the wake of the vorderlader is in all practicalities wise an accessory to THE FACT and is not necessarily the fight that makes us at war with regulation minded bureaucrats.

    The Government cannot regulate brass/steel tubes, it cannot regulate the crude propellants, it cannot regulate the metals.

    I am member to the fundamentalist camp of firearm enthusiasts.

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