Muzzleloading's 2007 Blowback Awards
Again, it is the time to single out muzzleloading offerings that are the most influential, the most surprisingly good (or bad) in performance, or are remarkable in other ways. It is certainly a matter of opinion and your results may vary.
Once again, these comments are not formed strictly from my own experiences (though many certainly are). They are also supplemented by feedback from hunters and shooters around the country.
MOST INTERESTING RIFLE OF THE YEAR
2007’s vote goes to the Knight KRB7, the “Knight Rolling Block.” First looks can be deceiving and that was the case at the 2007 SHOT Show. The production KRB7 has surprisingly good handling, good built quality and a good trigger. It is also a good value; that makes the KRB7 a surprise to me, and a very pleasant one at that.
SCOPE OF THE YEAR
They have been coming out in dribs and drabs, but the Sightron SII “Big Sky” series has made the moderately upscale scope field more crowded and I reagard it as the most significant new scope series introduced in 2007.
MOST IMPROVED MUZZLELOADING COMPANY
I have to pick Knight Rifles. Knight has had a series of hits and blunders and, sadly, one of their hits (Knight Disc Elite) was discontinued. As much as I resented the Revolution and to lesser extent, the Vision, I’m impressed with the KRB7 Rolling Block and have high hopes for the Knight KP1. 2008 has a new break action muzzleloader coming from Knight as well; it seems that Knight is finally introducing some good product that might stick around for a while.
SABOT OF THE YEAR
The strongest sabot on the market, available in only one version, the MMP Orange .458 / 50 sabot hits the mark when used with Barnes Original .458 300 grain S-S SP bullets or the Hornady #4500 300 grain hollow points. No single sabot and bullet combination can be the best for all muzzleloaders, but this sabot is magic in the Savage 10ML-II and some Knight Rifles.
PRODUCT OF THE YEAR
Western Powders “Blackhorn 209” propellant, not due to hit distribution until March of 2008, obsoletes pellets and all other corrosive propellants. Finally, a high-performance, consistent, muzzleloading propellant that does not rot your bore, suggest that you throw water into it, require exotic cleaners, or grab and hold moisture.
GOLDEN FLEECE AWARD
MDM, the winner last year with some nutty bullet claims, joined PR Bullets with their “Precision Rifle” nutty ballistic coefficients and “new” clumsy ignition systems based on the old Knight Magnum Elite “Posi-Fire” system of the mid 1990’s.
Likely the greatest rip-off today in muzzleloader land is the nose-bleed overpriced non-proof tested, falsely advertised Ultimate Firearms “BP-Xpress” starting at $1600, or those with still more money than brains can enjoy their “Carbon Stealth” model, built on a Remington 700 action for only $3750. Not proof tested, not hand-bedded, not recommended for use with smokeless powder; the most money you can possibly waste in muzzleloading with a single stroke of your pen. P.T. Barnum would be proud.
STUFF TO WATCH FOR IN 2008
Look for more information on Blackhorn 209 powder, the Knight KP1 rifle and whatever else the 2008 SHOT show suggests.
Copyright 2007 by Randy Wakeman. All rights reserved.