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Best Muzzleloaders for 2022

Best Muzzleloaders for 2022

2021 was a year full of unique and exciting challenges and we are very excited for 2022. Our team was back at SHOT Show this year and enjoyed meeting with people from throughout the muzzleloader community. Traditions released several new muzzleloaders, while CVA teased several new products that will be released later this spring. With this in mind, we are excited to present our list of the best muzzleloaders for 2022. Our team strives to provide unbiased and accurate information so that you can make an educated decision when buying a new muzzleloader.


Best Long Range Muzzleloader for 2022

CVA Paramount Pro Muzzleloader

When considering long-range muzzleloaders, we focus purely on what gun is going to perform best at ranges beyond 250 yards. While centerfire rifles are capable of much more than this, we consider 250 yards long-range for muzzleloaders using black powder and bullets with lower ballistic coefficients (BC's). Based on these considerations, the CVA Paramount Pro, CVA Paramount HTR, CVA Accura LR-X, Traditions Vortek StrikerFire VAPR LDR, and Remington 700 Ultimate Muzzleloader were all contenders for this award. The CVA Paramount Pro was our winner last year but with the return of the Remington 700 UML, the Paramount Pro has some serious competition. All of these muzzleloaders are capable of sub-MOA accuracy beyond 250 yards, and carry enough energy to ethically take game at those ranges. With all things considered, the CVA Paramount Pro .40 caliber muzzleloader was the clear winner here.

The CVA Paramount Pro .40 cal stands out from the rest because of the ability to produce high velocities, flatter trajectories, and incredible accuracy at well over 300 yards. This muzzleloader is equipped with a Greyboe™ stock, TriggerTech trigger, and VariFlame ignition. This muzzleloader also features a premium stainless steel Bergara barrel coated with Nitride and CeraKote for additional protection. This gun performs like a custom muzzleloader for a fraction of the price. If you’re looking for the ultimate long-range muzzleloader, the Paramount Pro .40 cal is the gun for you!

 

SPECIFICATIONS/OPTIONS
CVA PARAMOUNT PRO
Caliber
.40 CALIBER MAGNUM
Fluted Barrel
26" FREE FLOATING BARREL
Trigger
TRIGGERTECH™ TRIGGER SYSTEM
Muzzle Brake Ready
THREADED BARREL
Barrel Finish
CERAKOTE® & NITRIDE™ PROTECTION
Sling Attachments
BOTH STANDARD AND FLUSH-CUPS
Sling
QUAKE CLAW® FLUSH CUP SLING
Twist Rate
1:20"
Stock
GRAYBOE™ FIBERGLASS STOCK
Ignition
VARI-FLAME IGNITION
Collapsible Ramrod
INCLUDED
VariFlame™ Tool
PRIMING TOOL INCLUDED
VariFlame™ Adapters
10 INCLUDED
Range Rod
ONE-PIECE RAMROD w/ PALMSAVER HANDLE
Ramrod Pouch
MOLLE POUCH
Scope Mount Compatibility
REMINGTON 700 PATTERN
Scope
NOT INCLUDED
.40 Caliber Bullets
15 POWERBELT™ ELR BULLETS INCLUDED
Weight
8.2 LBS
Lifetime Warranty
YES

 

Best Mountain Muzzleloader

Traditions NitroFire VAPR

With more hunters applying for muzzleloader tags in western states, the Mountain Muzzleloader segment has seen increased demand in the past few years. Innovations in muzzleloader technology have alleviated much of the inconvenience experienced with older models and allow hunters to ethically take longer shots that are common with western hunting. Every ounce matters while hunting the western backcountry so mountain hunters are most interested in a lightweight gun that is corrosion resistant and capable of maintaining accuracy in harsh environments. Based on these standards, our picks were the CVA Accura MR-X, CVA Optima V2, Traditions Pursuit XT, Traditions Vortek StrikerFire VAPR, and Traditions NitroFire VAPR. When considering all the features in these muzzleloaders, it came down to a battle between the Accura MR-X and the NitroFire VAPR. While these guns are both extremely capable, we think that the Federal FireStick ignition gives the NitroFire VAPR a slight edge, however, if the FireStick ignition is not legal in a specific state, then the CVA Accura MR-X is a very close second.

With its lightweight design and durable CeraKote finish, the Traditions NitroFire VAPR is the ultimate mountain muzzleloader. Reliability is crucial when selecting a mountain muzzleloader and the Federal FireStick is the most reliable ignition system on the market. The FireStick features the ultra-efficient Hodgdon Triple Eight powder and is completely water-resistant. The NitroFire is also one of the safest muzzleloaders available due to its FireStick ignition system and integrated trigger safety. Because of its lightweight 6.5 pound design, the NitroFire is easily carried in a mountainous environment. These features have convinced us that the Traditions NitroFire VAPR is the best mountain muzzleloader for 2022.

 

SPECIFICATIONS/OPTIONS
TRADITIONS NITROFIRE VAPR
Caliber
.50 CALIBER MAGNUM
Trigger                        ELITE XT™ TRIGGER
Safety
DUAL SAFETY SYSTEM
Barrel
26" FLUTED BARREL
Barrel Finish
BURNT BRONZE CERAKOTE® PROTECTION
Sling Attachments
SLING SWIVEL STUDS
Sling
NOT INCLUDED
Twist Rate
VAPR 1:24"
Stock Color
VEIL™ WIDELAND CAMO
Ignition
FEDERAL FIRESTICK™
Ramrod
ALUMINUM RAMROD INCLUDED
Breech Plug
NO BREECH PLUG REQUIRED
Open Sights
DRILLED AND TAPPED
Scope Mount
DRILLED AND TAPPED
Weight
6.5 LBS
Lifetime Warranty
LIMITED LIFETIME WARRANTY

 

Best Mid-Range Muzzleloader

Traditions Pursuit VAPR XT

The fact is that most hunters are not looking to shoot 300 yards, hike 15 miles into the backcountry, or break the bank with the purchase of a new muzzleloader. Because of this, mid-range muzzleloaders are the most popular and versatile guns on our list. Our qualifications for mid-range muzzleloaders are a gun that is capable of shooting 200 yards and can be purchased with a scope for under $500. The guns that we considered for this award are the CVA Optima V2 Nitride and the Traditions Pursuit XT VAPR. With all things considered, we believe that the Traditions Pursuit VAPR is the best option in this category because of the lightweight and ergonomic design. While this gun lacks the Nitride treated barrel, its 5.8 pound design, CeraKote coating, and overall feel distinguish it as the best mid-range muzzleloader.

The Traditions Pursuit VAPR XT is one of the lightest muzzleloaders on the market. The Pursuit features the 1:24” twist VAPR barrel to better stabilize heavier bullets at higher velocities. This allows the Pursuit to shoot further distances with better accuracy. Additionally, the Pursuit VAPR’s XT trigger is one of the lightest weight and crisp triggers in this price range. The trigger safety is one of the features that we like most, as this is something that many muzzleloaders do not offer. This muzzleloader is perfect for the hunter looking for a lightweight and versatile gun that won’t break the bank!

 

SPECIFICATIONS/OPTIONS
TRADITIONS PURSUIT VAPR XT
Caliber
.45 or .50 CALIBER MAGNUM
Chromoly Barrel
26" ULTRALIGHT TAPERED & FLUTED
Corrosion Protection
PREMIUM CERAKOTE™ FINISH
Rifle Stock
MATTE BLACK
Accelerator Breech Plug
YES
Fast Twist Barrel                   1:24" TWIST RATE
Quick Relief® Recoil Pad
YES
Quick-T™ Ramrod Handle
INCLUDED
Ambidextrous Hammer Extension
YES
Sights
WILLIAMS™ FIBER OPTIC SIGHTS
Drilled and Tapped for Scope Mounts
YES
Solid Aluminum Ramrod
YES
Overall Length
42" OVERALL LENGTH
Ignition
209 PRIMER IGNITION
Adjustable Drop-Out Trigger
FACTORY SET @ 3 1/4 LBS
Total Weight
5.75 LBS
Rifle Frame Construction
LT-1 ALLOY FRAME
Rifle Grips
TEXTURED COMPOSITE GRIP
Loading
SPEED LOAD™ SYSTEM
Dual Safety System
YES
Fast-Action Release
YES
Traditions Lifetime Warranty
YES

 

Best Budget Muzzleloader

Traditions Buckstalker XT

It’s no secret that gun prices have increased exponentially in the past decade. This is partially due to new technology, but also the rise in raw materials and inflation. New muzzleloaders retailing for $1,000 can be difficult to justify for many hunters, especially those that only use muzzleloader season to fill the freezer at the end of the year. Guns in this category are available with a scope for under $350. Currently, the Traditions Buckstalker XT is the only muzzleloader that meets these criteria. It has become increasingly difficult to offer a muzzleloader with a scope at this price point, however, this is important to our company and is one of the reasons that we designed our own Muzzle-Loaders.com Genesis scope, to help bring better value to our customers.

The Traditions™ Buckstalker XT features the premium XT trigger. The XT Trigger is the same trigger that is found in the Pursuit VAPR muzzleloaders. With the XT Trigger, affordable price point, and great fit and finish, we consider the Traditions Buckstalker XT the best budget muzzleloader for 2022.

 

SPECIFICATIONS/OPTIONS
TRADITIONS BUCKSTALKER XT
Caliber
.50 CALIBER MAGNUM
Barrel
24" BARREL
Corrosion Protection
BLUED FINISH
Rifle Stock
BLACK COMPOSITE STOCK
Accelerator Breech Plug
YES
Elite XT™ Trigger System PRECISE & ACCURATE TRIGGER PULL
Recoil Pad
YES
Twist Rate
1:28 RATE OF TWIST
Ambidextrous Hammer Extension
YES
Sling Swivel Studs
YES
Drilled and Tapped for Scope Mounts
YES
Fiber Optic Sights
NOT INCLUDED
Overall Length
40" OVERALL LENGTH
Ignition
209 PRIMER IGNITION
Accurate up to 200 Yards
YES
Total Weight
6.35 LBS
Rifle Frame Construction
LT-1 ALLOY FRAME
Speed Load™ System
WITH QUICK-T™ HANDLE
Safety System
DUAL SAFETY - REBOUNDING HAMMER & TRIGGER BLOCK
Solid Aluminum Ramrod
YES
Traditions™ Lifetime Warranty
YES

 

Best Northwest Muzzleloader for 2022

CVA Accura MR-X Northwest

Northwest muzzleloaders are a niche market and there are only a few models that are legal in Oregon and Idaho. To be legal in these states, an inline muzzleloader must utilize a percussion cap ignition. Currently, Idaho requires the ignition to be exposed to the elements, however, Oregon no longer requires this. Because of these regulations, manufacturers are required to design a different firing pin and breech plug to comply with these two states. Additionally, both Oregon and Idaho muzzleloader regulations restrict hunters to open sights only. With these requirements in mind, we considered the CVA Optima V2 Northwest, CVA Accura MR-X Northwest, Traditions Pursuit Hardwoods, and Traditions Pursuit Northwest LDR. Because of the features and versatility of the CVA Accura MR-X Northwest, we chose that muzzleloader as the best northwest muzzleloader for 2022.

The CVA Accura MR-X Northwest wins out because of its feature-rich design. The MR-X is lightweight and maneuverable allowing it to be easily carried for long distances. The forestock is able to be removed without tools for a hassle-free breakdown process. The Accura MR-X is also resistant to corrosion thanks to its Nitrided and CeraKoted Bergara barrel. With all of this in mind, we consider the CVA Accura MR-X Northwest to be the best northwest muzzleloader for 2022.

 

SPECIFICATIONS/OPTIONS
CVA ACCURA MR-X NORTHWEST
Caliber
.50 CALIBER MAGNUM
416 Stainless Steel Fluted Bergara™ Barrel
26" BARREL
Barrel Twist
1:28 TWIST RATE
Barrel Finish
NITRIDE & CERAKOTE™ CORROSION PROTECTANT
Ambidextrous Stock
SOFT-TOUCH CAMO STOCK
QRBP - Quick Release Breech Plug
NORTHWEST QRBP
CrushZone® Recoil Pad
YES
Threaded Barrel
3/4x24 THREADED BARREL
Reversible Hammer Spur
YES
Quake® Claw Sling
STANDARD
Cocking Spur
YES
Ignition
MUSKET CAP IGNITION
Drilled and Tapped for Scope Mounts
YES
Williams® Sights
REAR PEEP & FRONT FIBER OPTIC
Overall Length
41" LENGTH
Carbon Fiber Ramrod
COLLAPSIBLE RAMROD
Adjustable Trigger
YES
Total Weight
6.7 LBS
Length of Pull
14.5” LOP
Lifetime Warranty
YES

 

Best Youth Muzzleloader

Traditions Buckstalker XT Youth

Unfortunately, the youth muzzleloader selection is quite slim. The Traditions Buckstalker XT Youth is the only muzzleloader currently available that features a length of pull suited for children, however, the build quality and features of this muzzleloader make it the perfect gun for any youth hunter.

The Traditions Buckstalker XT Youth offers the same features as the standard Buckstalker XT but with a stock suited for youth hunters. This gun is lightweight and nimble, but also has a trigger safety, which is a huge asset for youth muzzleloader hunters.

 

SPECIFICATIONS/OPTIONS
TRADITIONS BUCKSTALKER XT YOUTH
Caliber
.50 CALIBER MAGNUM
Barrel
24" BARREL
Corrosion Protection
BLUED FINISH
Rifle Stock
BLACK COMPOSITE STOCK
Accelerator Breech Plug
YES
Elite XT™ Trigger System PRECISE & ACCURATE TRIGGER PULL
Recoil Pad
YES
Twist Rate
1:28 RATE OF TWIST
Ambidextrous Hammer Extension
YES
Sling Swivel Studs
YES
Drilled and Tapped for Scope Mounts
YES
Fiber Optic Sights
NOT INCLUDED
Length of Pull  13" LOP
Overall Length
39" OVERALL LENGTH
Ignition
209 PRIMER IGNITION
Accurate up to 200 Yards
YES
Total Weight
6.35 LBS
Rifle Frame Construction
LT-1 ALLOY FRAME
Speed Load™ System
WITH QUICK-T™ HANDLE
Safety System
DUAL SAFETY - REBOUNDING HAMMER & TRIGGER BLOCK
Solid Aluminum Ramrod
YES
Traditions™ Lifetime Warranty
YES

 

Honorable Mentions

With this list of great muzzleloaders, there are a lot of guns that didn’t top the charts in any category, but we still consider incredible muzzleloaders. Because there are a myriad of options when considering which muzzleloader is right for your budget and application, here are two other guns that we think are worth considering for your next purchase. Of course, our team is always happy to walk you through the process of picking out your new gun! 


CVA Paramount HTR

CVA Paramount HTR

Though the CVA Paramount HTR does not include all of the features found on the Paramount Pro, it still performs at an extremely high level. The ballistics produced by the HTR are almost identical to those of the Paramount Pro as both are offered in .40 caliber. The Paramount HTR also features an adjustable cheekpiece for complete cheek weld customization. It would be impossible to create a list of the best muzzleloaders for 2022 without mentioning the CVA Paramount HTR.

 

SPECIFICATIONS/OPTIONS
CVA PARAMOUNT HTR
Caliber
.40 or .45 CALIBER MAGNUM
Fluted Barrel
26" FREE FLOATING BARREL
Trigger
ADJUSTABLE
Muzzle Brake Ready
3/4x20 THREADED BARREL
Barrel Finish
NITRIDE™ PROTECTION
Sling Attachments
BOTH STANDARD AND FLUSH-CUPS
Sling
QUAKE CLAW® FLUSH CUP SLING
Twist Rate
1:22"
Stock
HTR ADJUSTABLE STOCK
Color                  REALTREE™ HILLSIDE CAMO
Ignition
VARI-FLAME IGNITION
Collapsible Ramrod
INCLUDED
VariFlame™ Tool
PRIMING TOOL INCLUDED
VariFlame™ Adapters
10 INCLUDED
Range Rod
ONE-PIECE RAMROD w/ PALMSAVER HANDLE
Ramrod Pouch
MOLLE POUCH
Scope Mount Compatibility
REMINGTON 700 SA PATTERN
Scope
NOT INCLUDED
.45 Caliber Bullets
15 POWERBELT™ ELR BULLETS INCLUDED
Weight
8.2 LBS
Lifetime Warranty
YES

 

Traditions Vortek StrikerFire VAPR LDR

Traditions Vortek StrikerFire VAPR LDR .45 Caliber

The Traditions Vortek StrikerFire VAPR LDR has been a staple for muzzleloader hunters since its creation and this year, Traditions added a .45 caliber option. The StrikerFire LDR’s 30” 1:24” twist VAPR barrel increases velocity, allowing you to take ethical shots at long range. These features cause the Traditions Vortek StrikerFire VAPR LDR to stand out as a top-tier muzzleloader.

 

SPECIFICATIONS/OPTIONS
TRADITIONS VORTEK STRIKERFIRE VAPR LDR
Caliber
.45 or .50 CALIBER MAGNUM
Recessed De-Cocking Button
STRIKERFIRE SYSTEM
Steel Barrel
30" ULTRALIGHT TAPERED, FLUTED BARREL
Corrosion Protection
PREMIUM CERAKOTE™ FINISH
StrikerFire™ Internal Hammer
YES
StrikerFire™ Slide to Cock
YES
Rifle Stock
BLACK COMPOSITE STOCK
Accelerator Breech Plug
YES
Fast Twist Rate
1:24 RATE OF TWIST
Solid Aluminum Ramrod
WITH QUICK T HANDLE
Drilled and Tapped for Scope Mounts
YES
Sights
NOT INCLUDED
Overall Length
46" OVERALL LENGTH
Ignition
209 PRIMER IGNITION
Adjustable Drop-Out Trigger
TAC2™ TRIGGER SET @ 2 LBS
Total Weight
6.8 LBS
Rifle Frame Construction
LT-1 ALLOY FRAME
Rifle Grips
HOGUE™ COMFORT-GRIP
Loading
SPEED LOAD™ SYSTEM
Dual Safety System
YES
Traditions Lifetime Warranty
YES

 

Conclusion

Overall, 2022 is shaping up to be an excellent year for anyone looking to pick up a new muzzleloader regardless of your budget or experience level. If you’d like more information on any of these muzzleloaders, the images below will direct you to the individual product overview pages. Additionally, our friendly and knowledgeable customer service team is always happy to discuss muzzleloaders and accessories. Feel free to reach out to our team at sales@muzzle-loaders.com or 1-855-236-5000

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