I'm interested in buying a muzzleloader but have absolutely zero experience.
In SD we cannot use scopes and I would only use it for deer hunting.
Don't need top of the line but want better then bottom line.
maybe $350-$400 range.
I have a Knight disc extreme that I have been very happy with. I put a Williams peep sight on it. Its very reliable even in wet weather. I even put it under water for 40 minutes once just to prove to my friend it would still fire and it fired perfectly!
Are you positive you can't use a scope in SD? In ND we can't use a powered scope so I, and many others, put on a no magnification scope. Nikon makes a decent no magnification scope (1 power). It seems almost impossible, and certainly unethical, to make any long distance shots with most muzzy open sights. Even a 1 power scope is a vast improvement over open sights and requires little practice compared to open sights. This is all assuming you are looking to buy a newer inline muzzy and not a traditional one.
I use an omega and never have had an issue.
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The CVAs with Begera barrels are worth looking at.
you can use a non magnification scope. I can see how this would be very helpful!
I know a few guys that use red dot scopes and really like them, I just dont like to rely on a battery or anything electronic. I had TC no magnification scope on mine when I used to only use it in UT where it is legal. I switched to the peep sight when I went to CO where the scope wasnt legal. I used it a couple seasons with the factory fiber optic sights but I didnt really like them and found I didnt pull the bead down into the rear sight when things happen fast (atleast thats my story on missing a nice buck and Im sticking to it! lol). I used it 1 season with the peep sight and fiber optic bead and the piece of beep broke when I needed it most so I changed it too after that. Im very confident in the peep sights out to 150-200 yards and I dont care to shoot an animal any farther then that anyways so the setup works good for me and its legal anywhere.