Choosing a Riflescope for a Muzzleloader
A thick cloud of smoke. The smell of sulfur as it blows back into your face. The split second of anxiety waiting for the cloud to clear so that you can look to the spot where the target once stood, wondering if you made a good shot. This is the essence of hunting with a muzzleloader.
Choosing a riflescope for a muzzleloader is dependent upon ballistics, for the rifle’s sake; quality, for your sake; cost, with the thought of your wallet (and spouse!) in mind. We designed and developed the TURION riflescope with every gun hunter in mind - centerfire rifle, slug gun and muzzleoader. However, no matter the optics you choose to sit atop the modern design of your primeval hunting weapon, here are some factors to consider.
Muzzleloaders are designed to shoot with about the same accuracy as centerfire rifles. You won’t get quite the distance or the velocity, but unlike the in-lines that consumed the market a decade ago, the modern blackpowder rifle is long shooter. You won’t have a tough time finding a good brand, just see what Jim Shockey and some of the other pros are shooting.
Now that you have a muzzleloader, you can create as much of a punch as you want. The average deer hunter is going to shoot between 100 and 150 grains of powder (now in pellet form, usually 50 grains a piece). If you’re out in the Midwest against big-bodied deer and long distances, kick it up to 200 grains, no problem.
The key is practice. Sight your riflescope to 100 yards fluctuating the powders and see what works best for you. Perhaps 100 grains is too light while 200 has the velocity but kicks too hard.
Bullets for blackpowder rifles have also evolved considerably. Could you imagine if we still shot lead balls? PowerBelt bullets, for example, are easy to load, shoot at top speeds and are super accurate with the capability of passing throughs some pretty thick-skinned animals.
Like we mentioned above, taking the landscape you’re hunting into consideration is important. You may need to kick the crosshairs up to a 200-yards center if longer shots are imminent. If you adjust your powder charge, the hand-turned turrets of the TURION 3-9x40, which are ¼” at 100 yards, will allow you to do so quickly and efficiently (it won’t take a whole box of powder pellets).
The classic 3-9x40 TURION riflescope will give you the field of view you need for the eastern woods and the distance for the Midwest and western prairies or Texas scendaros. And if you really want to get serious about shooting long distances with a muzzleloader, choose the Impact BDC option and add a custom turret, which can be calibrated in just a few simple steps using our Impact Ballistics Program.