3 Best Muzzleloaders For Under $300

The cost of hunting and shooting supplies continues to rise, so finding a bargain is important to the dedicated outdoorsman. Muzzleloader hunting provides the opportunity to enjoy shooting while spending less money. This makes muzzleloaders a very cost effective hunting and shooting option.

Modern muzzleloaders have come a long way. Today’s inline muzzleloaders are much easier to use and are much more reliable than those made even just a few years ago. In order to help keep your costs down, we have reviewed the 3 best muzzleloaders for under $300.

1. CVA Optima Muzzleloader– This is an overhauled version of CVA’s original design. Sporting a 26″ fluted stainless steel barrel, weighing just under 7 lbs and having a breech plug which requires no tools for removal, the Optima is a rock solid gun for its price. This break barrels action is smooth and it’s out of the box trigger pull is just about 2.5 lbs. At about $275, this is a great muzzleloader option for the hunter how wants to invest in just one muzzleloader for their arsenal.

2. Traditions Pursuit Ultralight Muzzleloader– Weighing in at just over 5 lbs., the Ultralight has a 26″ chrome fluted barrel with a CeraKote corrosion resistant finish. The trigger breaks at about 3 lbs. of pull and the breech plug comes out with a few twists. With an average price of about $290, this muzzleloader option is a good choice for the hunter who finds himself hunting in the thick woods as this lightweight gun is quick and easy to shoulder.

3. Thompson Center Impact– The TC Impact Muzzleloader is a break action muzzleloader weighing just about 6.5 lbs and sporting a 26″ barrel. The break barrel mechanism, which doubles as a hood for the closed breech along with the hammer not accepting a spur makes it difficult to mount a scope on the Impact. The most expensive of the list coming in at about $300, Thompson Center Impact is an ideal gun for a beginner or youth hunter due to its adjustable stock.

Muzzleloader hunting provides the outdoorsman with several wallet friendly options to keep them shooting. The advances in projectiles and propellants as well as the accuracy and handling characteristics of these guns, combined with affordable prices help to keep avid hunters in the fields longer during the season.

The 3 best muzzleloaders we have highlighted above represent the hottest bargains in shooting available. As a dedicated hunter, you should own at least one.

Source by Keith Cantelmo

Burris Eliminator: The First Rangefinder Scope With BDC

Several years ago a number of well-known manufacturers of the rifle scopes have decided to move into a new direction. They were going to integrate laser rangefinder into a rifle scope.

The main idea was to make a shooter’s life easier by excluding extra equipment. Besides such rifle scope allows to measure the distance to the target almost instantly and shooter can use this information for ballistic adjustments.

Range estimation is very helpful for the shooter. If you ever shot at the distance of 300 yards and further – you will agree that serious experience and trained eye are needed to accurately determine the distance. Even though you have the distance you still need to spend some time to make the elevation (trajectory) adjustments because the range of adjustments on rifle scope is limited. Let’s take a look how it works.

You have estimated the distance to the target and are starting to turn adjustment turret to the right direction. If turrets are opened then you are lucky. If they are covered with the protective caps then there is a possibility that your targeted animal will sneak out.

That is why Burris went even further in the developing rifle scope with built in rangefinder. In their Eliminator scope Burris have implemented ballistic calculator. It simply calculates ballistic trajectory for your specific caliber and shows you illuminated aiming point for that precise distance.

There used to be three different models of Burris Eliminator scopes: Eliminator, Eliminator 2 and Eliminator 3. However in 2014 Burris has discontinued Eliminator 2 since they have introduced the new Eliminator III 3-12×44.

Basic Eliminator model

The first model of Eliminator series is pretty simple, so I will just briefly review it. Burris Eliminator comes with magnification range of 3.5-10x zoom. Its objective is 40 mm in diameter. This scope has range estimation and bullet drop compensation ability for the distance up to 550 yards.

Despite the fact that Eliminator 2 manufacturing has discontinued, it is worth to review this scope as it is still on the market.

Burris Eliminator 2

Burris Eliminator 2 is the rifle scope with magnification of 4-12x and objective diameter of 42mm. It has built in rangefinder and the ballistic calculator. The maximum estimated distance is 900 yards. The list with ballistic data of more than 1500 factory cartridges is included.

All you need to do is to find your cartridge and enter the data to the scope’s menu. The data you should be looking for is the bullet drop value in inches at 200 yards when sighted in at 5o yards or the drop at 500 yards when your gun sighted in at 100 or 200 yards. If your cartridge is not on the list you need to find its ballistic data on the box with ammo or at the manufacturer website and simply enter them to the scope.

I am not going to duplicate the user’s manual here but if you want detailed instructions on how to program Burris Eliminator 1 or 2 scopes visit the Eliminator’s product page at http://www.GGRifleScopes.com/Burris-Eliminator-1/.

After you entered the needed data the procedure is following: you are placing the rifle scope’s crosshair at the target and push the bottom to turn on rangefinder. Then illuminated dot will appear on the vertical post of the reticle. You need to use this point for hold over. Note that with Burris Eliminator scopes bullet drop compensation technology works at any magnification.

Burris Eliminator 2 allows you to estimate the distance and compensate for the bullet drop at the distance up to 1000 yards. Second model has remote control that you can use for more convenient shooting. Burris Eliminator 2 has build in inclinometer that allows shooting at any extreme angle.

As a matter of fact Burris Eliminator 2 and Eliminator 3 are unique rifle scopes. It is very innovative functionality to the rifle scope that nobody had ever implemented before. Even more expensive competitor’s scopes look pale comparing to Eliminator scopes.

Of course many of the professional shooters will not throw away their favorite analog rifle scopes. However they buy Burris Eliminator scopes constantly for their collection and just for fun shooting. Main buyers are those who want to reduce the efforts and resume the accuracy or those who just don’t want to waste time preparing for the shot and carry additional equipment.

Windage adjustment is one more thing that takes time to prepare for the shot. The experience and trained senses are required to choose holdover point even if you know the wind speed and its direction. Burris has decided to take care of this problem as well.

Burris Eliminator 3

Burris offers innovative system for windage compensation in its Eliminator 3 models. There are two models of this scope: Burris Eliminator 3 3-12×44 (new release in 2014) and Burris Eliminator 3 4-16×50.

These scopes allow you to make precise shot at the distance up to 1200 yards. Eliminator 3 has built in rangefinder and it automatically calculates trajectory of the specific cartridges that you use. After that it shows you illuminated holdover point.

New X96 reticle allows you easily compensate for the wind. However windage compensating system is not fully automatic. You still need to determine the speed and direction of the wind.

Burris Eliminator 3 requires some thinking from you. X96 reticle has mil dots from the left and right side of vertical post. These dots are used for holdover to compensate for the wind. X96 reticle will display windage compensation value for 10 MPH wind in addition to the distance. This is the value of the dots on which you need aim left or right. You still need to determine the wind speed and direction. Then you can use dots value for 10 MPH wind as a guideline to determine holdover for the current wind.

Note that with Burris Eliminator 3 windage compensation method works at any magnification. Burris Eliminator 3 has adjustable objective that allows you to adjust parallax from 50 yards to infinity, remote control and build in inclinometer for shooting at any extreme angles.

The last but not least question you might have about Burris Eliminator is on what type of weapon you can mount it? All Eliminator models easily calibrated for muzzleloaders, slug guns, rim fire or center fire rifles.

Source by Vitalii Gorbatskyi

The Monarch Riflescope 8-32x50ED SF BDC Monarch Series of Riflescopes

The test was carried out on the Monarch Riflescope 8-32x50ED SF with BDC reticule that is top of the range in Nikon’s Monarch range, coming in the shops at around $700 – $800 against a list price of $980. You might be able to get it cheaper than $700 but I haven’t found it.

It is certainly a beautiful-looking instrument, and was crystal clear all the way down to the x32 zoom. However, let’s start with a discussion about the company itself, because if you are going to purchase a Nikon riflescope you want to know the background. This instrument has to be reliable under all conditions, so how does Nikon stand in the riflescope market.

The company is well known for its optical products, most people being familiar with the Nikon camera range. Over the past few years, the firm has being trying to make a name for itself in the hunting scope market, and now offers a range of hunting optical equipment including binoculars, rangefinders and spotting scopes and now riflescopes particularly designed for the higher end of the hunting market. So the Monarch has not just appeared from nowhere, but has a good pedigree.

The riflescope range offered by Nikon is the Prostaff, the Buckmaster and the Monarch, in that order. The Prostaff are the entry level products, intended predominantly for amateurs seeking a telescopic sight for their rifle, but not wanting to pay too much. However, they are good quality, and you get a lot for what you pay. It’s a pity that the quality of the other two ranges does not increase proportionate to their price, but that would likely be impossible to achieve.

While the Prostaff range offers a good quality basic scope, the Buckmasters are better in that they offer a wider range of magnifications and objective dimensions, and also better light transmission. These are three very important properties in a riflescope, and while they are important improvements, the jump in price from that of the Prostaff is a bit too steep to warrant just these differences. And then we come to the Monarch, and it is that on which we will focus (sorry!).

This is Nikons best, beating the other two hands down in all features. The problem with the Monarch is that that there is too many of them: they are subdivided into a range of different products and it is not easy for the uneducated to know which is best for their needs. For example, you can choose from the Monarch original UCC 3-9×40, the African, the Gold, the X series or just the plain Monarch, which I shall refer to as the standard. So what’s the difference between these?

It would take too long a review to explain the differences between all the Monarch models, so I shall stick to the standard 17″ long Monarch Riflescope 8-32x50ED SF with BDC which is excellent for serious hunters.


The entire range offers the 1″ main tube that Americans prefer, and 4x magnification range. The starting power options start at 2 and increase to a total of 7 possible starting points to 8, through 2.5, 3, 4, 5 and 6. With these magnification ranges come the objectives: 2-8×32; 2.5-10×42; 3-12×42; 4-16×42; 4-16×50; 5-20×44; 6-24×50; 8-32×50. With various other options, you can purchase 24 different scopes in the standard Monarch range.

Of these, this review is of the last in that line-up, the 8-32×50 with ED labeled glass, standing for Extra-low Dispersion that offers improved sharpness and color-correction, particularly at higher powers (20x or over). Our scope also had a BDC – bullet drop correction – reticule that compensates for bullet drop over specified distances on the reticule. The actual model number we tested was Nikon #8480, the pinnacle of the Monarch series.

Eye Relief

Anybody familiar with Nikon Monarch scopes will know about the Eye Box technology that offers four inches of eye relief and 4x power magnification. What that means is that you can aim with your eye 4 inches from the eyepiece – this offers at least four inches recoil before the eyepiece hits your eyebrow. When I tested the scope the 4″ was OK at 32x power, but al lower power you could take your eye even further away, but only by about an inch or so. The Nikon Monarch riflescope 8-32x50ED is better than many variable power scopes where the optimum eye relief varies considerably with power. It is better to be fairly constant so you can get used to a certain stance in shooting – you don’t want to be switching too much between powers with a variable power riflescope.

Optical Properties

The Monarch 8-32x50ED was particularly clear and bright, even for the 50 objective lens. The ED glass has been explained, but it sure makes a difference to the clarity, particularly at higher magnifications. Apparently this ED glass has been used on Nikon’s telephoto lenses as standard, and has been applied to the Monarch riflescope – but only to the 8-32×50 as far as I can ascertain. It also offers excellent color compensation.

Nikon also have what they refer to as an ‘Ultra Clear Coat’ on their lenses, claiming it to boost the transmission of light through them to 95% as compared to the 90% of the lower-priced basic Prostaff range. This really is excellent, particularly in low light conditions.

The SF in the model name we tested means that it is fitted with a side parallax adjustment, SF standing for Side Focus. This works as normal, only it has a locking device whereby you pull out a locking ring to free the adjustment, make your adjustment, and then push the ring in to lock it in place. The adjustment then can’t be moved by accident. The adjustment moves in 1/8 MOA clicks offering precise parallax adjustment at ranges from 50 yards to infinity. The same 1/8 MOA adjustment is available on the accessory target-style windage and elevation adjustment knobs and caps.

Bullet Drop Compensation

Nikon’s Monarch BDC models offer BDC reticules which possess four circles on the bottom half of the vertical reticule axis, corresponding to 200, 300, 400 and 500 yard holdovers for standard cartridges. For magnum cartridges, with higher muzzle velocities of about 300 fps, they are each 100 yards higher.

Simply target using the appropriate circle for the appropriate range and cartridge type. This is a fairly simple no-frills BDC system that still requires a bit of skill and know-how to use accurately. BDC does not come as standard, but each scope can be configured using the system, so if you want it you have to specify.

Unexpected Extras

The model we tested came with a couple of useful accessories: a sunshade and two flip-up lens caps. That makes sure you can’t lose your lens caps. Apparently they are only available with this scope model, although they can be ordered as after sales accessories from Nikon for lower priced models such as the Prostaff and Buckmaster range.


This is a good riflescope with some very useful features. The standard book price tag is possibly a bit high but you can it for over $200 less online, so in that respect it is very well priced for what you get. The glass is very clear with excellent color and the extra features are worth having, particularly the side parallax locking ring that helps maintain the setting even when knocked.

Perhaps the 32 power magnification is a bit high for this scope, unless you have a rest or bipod when using it, and the 20 MOA internal adjustment is perhaps not quite enough for longer distances. Nevertheless, for its intended use it is a magnificent riflescope and you will have to look far and wide to get better value for money (at the online price) than the Nikon Monarch 8-32x50ED SF BDC.

Source by Mikhail Orlov

How To Adjust The Parallax Settings On Your Rifle Scope

Deer Hunting

What the heck is Parallax? I asked the same thing when I first started looking to upgrade from iron sight to a good rifle scope. This guide should give you some insight into getting the best focus out of your Bushnell scope, or any other adjustable parallax scope for that matter.

Have you ever looked through a higher power scope and noticed that if you move your eye off center to the edge of the exit pupil, the reticle seems to move across the target? Well, that shift happens when the parallax setting is not properly adjusted for that distance. Some have mistaken the parallax adjustment as a focus or even a range finder, but it is neither of these. The parallax adjustment, when set properly will insure that the reticle is positioned correctly on the target; as though your crosshairs are a part of the target, unmoving, as if they were painted on, just for you. Of course if your scope is not a “target” or a “varmint hunting” rifle scope, you probably don’t need to be concerned with adjusting the parallax setting. In most hunting scopes the parallax is negligible, in fact I have a good friend that hunts regularly and he didn’t even know what I was talking about when I asked him. I don’t hunt, but I love to spend a Saturday at target practice. So to me, any small increase in accuracy is defiantly welcome.

Most of the higher power scopes, with a power of 12 or more, will have an adjustment ring at the end of the Objective bell (the end closest to the target). Usually the parallax adjustment ring has the suggested settings printed on them, so you can just dial in the range you’re shooting from. The problem is these suggested settings are rarely as accurate as they could be. So why should you go through the trouble of getting yours “just right”? Why not just use the suggested setting? Even if you’re a great shot, you could easily shrink the size of your groups by as much as 30%, just by taking the time to properly set the parallax adjustment on your scope. Many shooters don’t even realize that even with a few adjustments they could greatly affect their shooting performance. Let’s face it, the documentation that came with your scope isn’t a real blessing when it comes to learning how to use it, they just assume you already know.

Now that you have an understanding of what parallax is, it’s time to fine tune your scope for increased accuracy. I’m going to assume you have already zeroed in your scope and that it’s properly sighted in. You will need to set up your rifle so it is securely positioned on a bench. A shooting rest with a vise would be best. Dial in the suggested setting on the parallax adjustment ring for the range that you’re shooting from. Now, look through the scope and shift your eye back and forth, left and right so you can see if the crosshairs seem like they are moving across the target. Experiment with the adjustment ring until you have eliminated the illusion that your crosshairs are moving. When you think you’ve got it perfect, take a little white-out liquid paper and make a mark on the parallax adjustment ring so you’ll know where to adjust it later. Some people paint their mark or score it into the metal, but to start with I prefer something that’s not so permanent until I’m absolutely certain about the position. Next, go ahead and take three to six shots and see how your grouping has improved. Nice, huh! Don’t stop there, move your target 50 yards back and repeat the process. You might as well find the perfect settings for all the ranges that you typically shoot from in 50 yard increments.

If you’re in the market for an affordable rifle scope that will really go the distance I can recommend two models from the Banner series of the Bushnell Scopes line of rifle scopes. The 1st is Bushnell Scopes Banner 6-18×50. This is a long range target scope that is also great for varmint hunting, and it’s parallax focus can be adjusted from 10 meters to infinity. The 2nd is Bushnell Scopes Banner 6-24×40. This long range target and varmint scope features a mil-dot reticle which is my preferred style of crosshair. Both can be purchased for around $120.00, so they won’t empty your wallet. To view these and other Banner series Bushnell scopes please visit my Bushnell Scopes page.

Happy Hunting,

Source by Richard Degray

Accu-Ranger Reticle With Redfield Revenge Scopes: Quick Aiming Without Rangefinder

Have you ever been faced with a situation when your target ran away while you were preparing your shot? If so, you will have wondered if there is any way to resolve this issue. Consider that you need to allow a period of time in which to determine the distance to the target if it’s far away, and that then you need to find an appropriate point for holdover or to adjust the elevation knob. After all, you need to find the most comfortable position from which to make a precise shot. You can consider yourself lucky if the game stays in the same position while all this preparation is taking place. But what if it doesn’t? The timing in such a situation is quite critical.

Redfield has solved this problem. The Revenge hunting scopes series features the unique Accu-Ranger reticle. With this reticle you can quickly determine the distance to the target and make your shot without any delay, whilst keeping your eyes on the target at all times. It may sound like some expensive rifle scope with laser rangefinder − but, in fact, it’s not. The range estimation performs by virtue of the scope’s optics and mechanics, and that is what makes this scope affordable. Let’s see how the Accu-Ranger reticle works.

The upper vertical post has hash marks called brackets. Each of these brackets refers to a specific animal. All you need to do is to turn the magnification ring until an animal’s body appears between the bracket and center of the reticle. There is another horizontal line that moves along the upper vertical post while you are changing the magnification. The vertical post has numbers from two to six, which refer to 200, 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards. When you have got your game between the brackets, look at the upper horizontal line. If it has stopped at number four, it means that your game is 400 yards away. Now just use an appropriate aiming point for hold over and make your shot.

As you can see, the system is very simple: bracket the animal and make a shot. The price is really affordable for a scope with range estimation ability and a ballistic reticle.

To ensure that the Accu-Ranger reticle meets the requirements of every hunter, Redfield has designed four different types: Crossbow, Hunter, Sabot ML and Varmint.

All these reticles come with brackets for 16″ and 25″ targets, while the Varmint reticle features an 8″ bracket. The 8″ bracket can be used for prairie dogs or other similar-sized varmints. The 16″ bracket will be correct for a deer, while the 25″ bracket is designed for elks and coyotes.

The Accu-Ranger Crossbow is a unique reticle in this series and was designed especially for crossbow hunters. This reticle estimates the distance up to 60 yards and has holdover points for the same yardage.

The Accu-Ranger Crossbow reticle is designed to be used with different velocities. At higher magnification, this reticle works well with arrows or bolts that have 425 fps velocities, whilst at lower magnification, this reticle is good for use with 250 fps cartridges.

This reticle comes with the Redfield Revenge 2-7x34mm.

The Accu-Ranger Hunter reticle is designed to be used with elks, deer, coyotes or other animals of similar size. This reticle allows you to estimate the distance up to 600 yards, and has holdover points for the same yardage.

The center of the Accu-Ranger Hunter reticle is calibrated for a distance of 200 yards. This reticle is great for velocities of 2900 – 3800 fps, and works with the following cartridges: .338 RUM, .338 Win Mag, .300 WSM, .300 Win Mag, .30-06 Springfield, 7mm Rem Mag, .280 Rem, .270 Win, .270 WSM, .25-06 Rem, .243 Win, .22-250 Rem, and .223 Rem.

The Hunter reticle is the most popular in the Accu-Ranger series and comes with the following scopes:

  • Revenge 3-9×42
  • Revenge 3-9×52
  • Revenge 4-12×42

The Accu-Ranger Sabot ML reticle has the same estimation range as the Hunter reticle (200-600 yards) and is designed for muzzleloaders and shotguns. However, its aiming points for bullet drop compensation are calibrated at distances of 150, 200, 250 and 300. Center crosshair is zeroed at 100 yards.

The Sabot ML reticle can be used with cartridges of most velocities. At high magnification settings this reticle works fine with 45 caliber plastic tipped bullets (250 grain, 2200 fps).

The Accu-Ranger Sabot ML reticle is available in the Redfield Revenge 3-9×42.

The Accu-Ranger Varmint reticle has an 8″ bracket for prairie dogs as well as 16″ and 25″ brackets. This reticle works well with the most flat shooting cartridges with velocities of 3100-4000 fps. The Varmint reticle is universal. You can use it either for varmint or big game hunting.

The Accu-Ranger Varmint reticle allows you to estimate the distance and hold over for the bullet drop at a distance of up to 600 yards. This reticle is designed to be used with the following cartridges: .300 Win Mag., 7mm Rem Mag, .270 Weatherby, .270 WSM, .270 Win, .25-06 Rem, .243 Win, .223 WSSM, .223 Swift, .220 Swift, .22-250 Rem, .222 Rem, .223 Rem, and .17 Rem.

The Varmint reticle comes with the Redfield Revenge 4-12×42 and the Revenge 6-18×40.

The only drawback with the Accu-Ranger reticles is that they are designed to work for particular animals. However, they can also be used for similar-sized objects. If you are hunting prairie dogs, deer, elk or coyotes, you will usually find that Redfield Revenge scopes are just right for you. At a price range of $139.99 – $249.99, these scopes that have range estimation ability and bullet drop compensating reticles are a very good deal indeed.

Source by Vitalii Gorbatskyi

Types of Schmidt and Bender Scopes

Schmidt & Bender is a German company that is known for its high quality optical glasses. It is one of those rare companies that do not manufacture various kinds of optical devices. It, rather, specializes in manufacturing riflescopes. Another USP of Schmidt and Bender scopes is that these are hand assembled. The kind of quality and precision that they offer is exceptional. Countries, like, Hungary place special orders with this company. The uniqueness in these riflescopes lie in their precision and the way they ensure good quality for each product. This makes the S%B products one of the best in the industry.

Features of Schmidt and Bender Scopes

Thus some of the features that are constant in every Schmidt and Bender Scope are:

High quality optical device


Ideal for Close shots with high magnification

Illuminated reticles

Impressive focal point

Suitable for both short and long range huntings

Types of Schmidt and Bender Scopes

As far as types are concerned, these are the following collections that is offered by Schmidt and Bender:

Classic product line for hunting.

Exos Line for hunting

Stratos line for hunting

Zenith product line for hunting

Police Marksman (PM) product line for the military and law enforcement

Police Marksman II (PM II) product line for the military and law enforcement

MILITARY MK II product line for the military

Description of Different Types of Schmidt and Bender Scopes

Let’s start with the Exos range. This range of rifle scopes generally exceed the 8X zoom and comes with exclusive technical features like the FlashDot reticle or the CC mode. This model is suitable for being used for both long and short range huntings. The CC mode provides a handle on the parallax. It sports an elegant design and has unique functionality. Even at low magnifications, this scope can be perfectly used for accurate viewing.

Next on the list is the Stratos line that is ahiled as the next generation rifle scope. It sports innovative technology with 5X glass zoom. You can also adjust the lighting within the scope manually. These adjustments will depend on the personal preference of the hunters. Armed with the FlashDot technology of lighting, the Stratos line has brilliant optics provide a constant contrast with the entire field of view at differing magnification ranges.

The Zenith line is probably the best model suitable for hunting. Their slim appearance and aesthetic appeal are some of the USPs of this model. This model too is provided with FlashDot technology. In fact this technology was first introduced in this range. The change from the smallest to the largest magnification on a 180 ° rotation of the magnification was first introduced in Zenith scopes. Presently it offers 4 different kinds of glasses.

The Classic Range is one of the oldest and finest model offered by Schmidt and Bender. It has faced tremendous development and a facelift in the recent past. their robust build ensure that these can be used in the toughest hunting conditions. Thus, these are quite popular with the passionate hunters.They offer the riflescopes with constant variable magnification.

PM II High Power, PM II Ultra Short and Police Marksman riflescopes are perfect for military and other defence personnels. For precision from extremely long distances, these are perfect pieces. Sporting high end technology these are perfect for identifying distant targets.

Thus, the Schmidt and Bender scopes provide a wide variety of chance for the serious shooters and hunters. Over the years they have developed a reputation for themselves and are still going strong.

Source by Issac Reynolds