3 Top Modern Muzzleloading Rifles

Top Modern Muzzleloading Rifles

Are you familiar with muzzleloading rifles? Today, let's talk about what it is and what are the top models sold in the market today.

What Is a Muzzleloading Rifle?

A muzzleloading rifle is, as the name suggests, a rifle where you load the projectile and powder through the muzzle.

This is distinct from modern firearms, which use full cartridges with their own powder charge fed into the receiver from a magazine near the grip.

These weapons are modern variations of the old flintlocks and muskets that hunters of bygone centuries used to hunt game and wage war.

You load your cartridge and/or powder (sometimes they have attached powder charges) by stuffing the cartridge down into the muzzle using a ramrod.

You then take aim and fire as you would with any other firearm.

Why Use a Muzzleloading Rifle?

These days, hunters used muzzleloading rifles almost exclusively. There are three main reasons why they might do this:

  • They enjoy the historical authenticity that firing a muzzleloading rifle brings to their hunting experience. Many hunters attest to there being something special about marching into the woods with a muzzleloaded rifle in search of prey.
  • Muzzleloading rifles are not as restricted as traditional firearms. This means muzzleloading rifle hunters benefit from exclusive hunting seasons when there aren’t as many hunters in the woods. This can also sometimes be the only time to hunt some animals when they’re in rut.
  • Other hunters might enjoy using muzzleloading rifles for the increased challenge. These rifles are not as accurate or as powerful as modern hunting rifles in most cases. So it takes extra skill and preparation to make a clean shot.

Whatever your reasons might be, there are plenty of top modern muzzleloading rifles (or “inline” rifles) available to choose from.

Best 3 Muzzleloading Rifles

1. CVA Optima V2

This top-tier rifle comes with a 3-9×40 scope, so it’s ready for hunting almost right out of the box.

It also features several additional intelligent design choices, like an ambidextrous stock and a special hammer spur for easy manipulation.


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The ramrod (the pole that you use to stuff cartridges down the muzzle) is made of stainless steel, which helps it to be removed easily and last for a long time.

Furthermore, the rifle is comfortable to use with a proprietary recoil pad. All in all, it's an effective and comfortable inline muzzleloading rifle that experts will love and beginners can more easily get used to.

2. Thompson Center/Impact! SB Muzzleloader

This .50 Cal muzzleloader rifle is very affordable, especially compared to many top-tier modern hunting rifles.

It includes a rifle scope, case, rings, and base all in a single purchase; there's lots of value for money here.

Impact SB muzzleloading

It also features an easy-to-use break-open action, providing a unique muzzleloading style that sticks to the old-fashioned and authentic experience muzzleloaders live, while being a bit easier for beginners to grasp.

An additional speed breech plug makes the rifle even easier to use. The stock is weather-resistant and has a removable spacer if you want to extend or shorten the length of the pull.

3. Traditions Vortex StrikerFire Muzzleloader

A bit more expensive, but just as worthwhile, this muzzleloader rifle comes with a protective and aesthetically appealing Cerakote finish on both the barrel and the action.

This ensures the rifle will last for a long time to come and is protected from both rust and general abrasive damage.

It also comes with a factory-mounted scope, a comfortable synthetic stock and forend, and an accelerator breach plug.

Vortek StrikerFire muzzleloading

It even comes with an automatic de-cocking mechanism that prevents it from being fired whenever it’s opened. As such, it’s a safe and effective weapon for muzzleloading enthusiasts.

Overall, muzzleloading rifles provide an old-fashioned but still enjoyable hunting experience for those who take the time to learn to use them.

Let us know if you’ve tried any of the above rifles or if you have another favorite that we didn’t catch!

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published on June 15, 2020, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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