It's hard to compare the capabilities of long-range black powder rifles to their centerfire counterparts. Nevertheless, muzzleloaders still have a space in the outdoor world with their massive knockdown power, traditional appeal, and unique hunting seasons. The definition of "long-range" varies from person to person, and long-range hunting is a somewhat controversial and contentious subject. However, I won't get into the details of that debate in this article.
Recent advances in bullets, propellants, optics, and manufacturing technology have resulted in several new models. Modern variants are much more capable than their predecessors from just a few years ago. Gone are the days when muzzleloader hunters are limited to 50-75-yard shots.
Are you interested in finding that balance between primitive hunting while utilizing heavy knockdown power and precision accuracy even at long ranges? Here are some of the best available muzzleloading firearms on the market today that will make you feel confident when you need to take that long-distance shot.
CVA Accura V2 Long Range
The Accura V2 is CVA's top-of-the-line muzzleloader (above the CVA Wolf and Optima) and has an excellent reputation among hunters for reliability, ease of use, and exceptional accuracy. It sports a 30-inch Bergara barrel, a corrosion-resistant nitride finish, a thumbhole stock, an adjustable trigger, and a single-piece scope mount.
CVA is so confident in the Accura V2 Long Range that they offer a full money-back guarantee if it's not the most accurate muzzleloader you've ever shot. Add it all up, and you have a solid, long-range muzzleloader at a very reasonable price.
Traditions Vortek Strikerfire LDR
The "LDR" in the name stands for "long-distance rifle," and that's what the Traditions Vortek Strikerfire muzzleloader is. As the name suggests, the Vortek Strikerfire LDR uses an internal striker instead of an external hammer to strike the primer. This results in a faster lock time (the time between sear release and the firing pin striking the primer) and allows for the muzzleloader scope to be mounted closer to the bore.
Combine these features with a highly regarded match-grade trigger and a high-quality 30-inch barrel, and you have a tremendous long-range muzzleloader that's easy to shoot.
Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader
Remington took a giant leap in front of the competition when they designed the Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader. Built on a standard Model 700 action, it uses a primed centerfire magnum rifle casing instead of a 209 primer or musket cap. This muzzleloader produces such a hot spark it safely fires loads up to 200 grains of powder (50 grains more than most other muzzleloaders).
For this reason, the Remington Model 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader can fire higher-velocity and flatter-shooting loads than virtually any other muzzleloader. It is undoubtedly one of the best long-range muzzleloaders in production worldwide. It is about as far from a traditional muzzleloader as you'll get.
Thompson/Center Encore Pro Hunter XT
Would a list of the greatest long-range muzzleloaders be credible without mentioning Thompson Center? It's perhaps one of the most accurate muzzleloaders on the market today, a standard you would expect to see from T/C.
The Encore Pro Hunter XT features the company's Quick Load Accurizor and its patented Speed Breech design, making cleaning much more efficient than its competitors. The main thing I noticed about this gun was how much lighter the recoil was than the muzzleloaders I used in the past.
This gun retails at around $800, making it slightly more expensive than other muzzleloaders. However, considering the WeatherShield coating, ambidextrous Swing Hammer, and industry-leading accuracy and power, you'll see why it's worth the extra dollars.
Gunwerks makes top-of-the-line precision shooting systems and has developed a well-deserved reputation for producing some of the best long-range rifles. They designed the Gunwerks Muzzleloader using the same principles so that it may be the best long-range muzzleloader on the market.
The Gunwerks Muzzleloader doesn't come cheap, though. Then again, no other muzzleloader can offer a realistic shot at 1 MOA accuracy out to 500 yards, either. Suppose you're lucky enough to draw a coveted big game muzzleloader tag and need a gun that provides long-range accuracy and bone-crushing power. In that case, this Gunwerks muzzleloader is the right fit for you.
When appropriately sighted and you feel comfortable with the shot, the Gunwerks Muzzleloader will provide everything you need to make that shot of a lifetime count. It will have you punching your tag before you know it.
READ MORE: TOP 5 MUZZLELOADERS FOR HUNTERS
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