I feel like this is TC (Thompson/Center) week. First Lil’ Ebbs and her TC Hot Shot review last Friday… THEN my TC Dimension follow up post… Finally Dad jumps in with a comment on TC Weather Shield. GOOD GRIEF! Thompson Center Arms should be paying me!
The fall is definitely upon us. I don’t know about you guys but for me it honestly felt like summer was never going to end. Fortunately for midwesterners that means multiple deer seasons rest on the horizon. Most of which have off-and-on bow hunting through January interspersed with rifle season in November, a muzzleloader (aka primitive firearm) season later and many now have antlerless only rifle seasons as the weather gets colder.
Living out west our primary muzzleloader seasons actually happen during September or October, which is opposite to what I was accustomed to growing up in the Midwest. Primitive firearms season always seemed to fall when the weather was coldest, sometime between November and the New Year. So the grit you fought the elements with was mightier and the cloud of smoke that billowed from the storied smoke pole was exaggerated. I still haven’t really adjusted to the early muzzleloading seasons in the West yet. In fact, I’ve got a TC Endeavor Weather Shield .50 cal sitting at home right now that STILL hasn’t been fired!!! I’m thinking a review will be headed our way soon.
My last deer (a 2 year old Missouri doe pictured above) taken with “cap & ball” tackle came the week after Thanksgiving in 2010 with a Thompson Center Pro Hunter wearing a 26″ stainless/fluted Bergara 50 caliber muzzleloader barrel and topped with a Nikon Omega muzzleloading optic. Things had been slow for a few days with nasty weather so we decided to get on our feet and push the deer out of their bedding area. I set up at a tree facing the North where there was a good crosswind to prevent being winded and Dad set off the long way around the lake to the West of us so he could push through a cedar grove. Sure enough a few minutes later 2 good sized does came bounding out toward the East. I was able to get them to stop in a small window about 100 yards away by giving my best hoot owl impersonation. Without hesitation I lined the larger of the two up in the Nikon Omega scope, let out a breath and pulled the trigger. Nothing… then BOOM! A delay fire. Fortunately I’m no rookie to the muzzleloading game and had ingrained in my routine the habit of following through with my shot. Meaning I didn’t pull off the rifle as soon as the hammer dropped.
The result? A 250 grain .50 cal [saboted bullet] missile traveling 112 paces through the woods at a meager 1800 fps punctured both lungs and delivered one of the tastiest corn fed Missouri whitetail does I’ve ever sunk my teeth into. She ran about 50 yards and pilled up. Ray Charles could have followed the blood trail.
Have you ever tried shooting a muzzleloader? Does it interest you? Does hunting with one seem pointless because you only get one shot? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.