Friday, November 15, 2013


The NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING website has grown...a lot...since last year. In fact, as this is written, this year the site has already added 61 new pages...and intends to add 4 more to the 2013 Article-Report menu before the end of the year. Between now and the first of the year, efforts are also being made to upscale the look of the site a bit as well. To help the nearly 150 or so pages currently found at to download quicker, the navigation of the site is being made less cluttered by publishing a series of navigation pages, eliminating the huge drop down link menu that often took 20 or 30 seconds to download. Here's a look at how the 2013 Article-Report menu page has been simplified -


This issue of the newsletter spotlights the shooting with two new rifles...what's happening with our muzzleloading industry...added coverage of muzzleloading on the website...and more - including a call for more muzzleloading hunters to send a comment to the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners in support of legalizing Blackhorn 209.

For more info and more links, go to - NAMLHUNT Newsletter - Summer-Fall 2013

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Legislative Alert! Petition Filed With Nevada Board Of Wildlife Commissioners To Repeal Or Amend A Ban On Blackhorn 209!

The State of Nevada is the ONLY state to ban the use of this modern top-performing muzzleloader hunting propellant by name. Take a few minutes to send the Nevada Wildlife Commission a message - that muzzleloading hunters need to make those decisions...not a board made up of affluent residents who do not hunt with a muzzleloader...or who, very likely, have never even shot a muzzleloader. For more details and where to send your e-mail, go to the following link...


                                Get Involved...Send An E-Mail!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blackhorn 209 Performs Extremely Well Out Of The New Redemption .50 Caliber Rifle

The most reliable load I've ever shot out of a modern No. 209 primer ignition rifle has easily been 110-grains of Blackhorn 209 behind the 300-grain Scorpion PT Gold bullet and Crush Rib Sabot. This is my "go to" load when I hear from anyone having accuracy problems with their rifle. It always seems to do the trick. Those I do hear back from are generally tickled with the accuracy...and when they get the opportunity for a shot on a deer, pronghorn or elk, they're usually pretty ecstatic about the knockdown power as well.

So, it shouldn't come as any surprise that any time I receive a new .50 caliber No. 209 primer ignition rifle model for testing, this is the load I "go to" as well.

That was exactly the case when one of the new break open Redemption rifles arrived from LHR Sporting Arms, of Rochester, NH. I quickly mounted one of the great 1-6x42mm Hi-Lux Optics 30mm tube Professional model scopes on the rifle, using the base that comes already mounted on the frontloader. With just four shots, I had this rifle pretty much sighted in at 100 yards. The first 3-shot 100-yard group punched with the rifle...load...and scope measured right at an inch across center-to-center.

Here's a look at this new rifle from a new company - a rifle that is likely to be with us for quite some time.

Toby Bridges
Blackhorn 209

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Muzzleloading Continues To Evolve!

Have any of you NOT yet shot and hunted with Blackhorn 209?

While a few other so-called "black powder substitutes" have claimed to be the powder that revolutionizes muzzleloading - this is the only black powder substitute that truly lives up to the claim. This report takes a look back at the accelerated evolution of muzzleloading from the late 1830's and on into the 1860's - then shares how this modern formulated powder has done more today for modern in-line ignition rifles than any other product during the past 25 years of in-line muzzleloading.

The article/report published at this link takes a look at the 25 to 30 year period prior to the Civil War...and how muzzleloading went through a very stepped up evolution as rifle makers and shooters refined the elongated conical twist bore bullet rifles...and telescopic rifle sights (a.k.a. "rifle scopes"). Muzzleloading has gone through a similar stage of evolution during the past 25 to 30 years - with the popularity of the modern in-line ignition rifles...introduction of the saboted muzzleloader bullets...and the development of several black powder substitutes.

This article/report features the exceptionally accurate Dixie Gun Works reproduction of the hexagonal bore Whitworth long range rifle...the well made Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics copy of a circa 1855 Wm. Malcolm rifle scope...the superb accuracy of the .50 caliber Traditions VORTEK Ultra Light LDR in-line ignition rifle...and of course Blackhorn 209. Check out all of the qualities and benefits this powder brings to today's muzzleloading hunter.

If any of you are attending the NRA Show in Houston, TX this coming weekend, be sure to drop by the Leatherwood/Hi-Lux Optics booth and say hello. I'll be working the show with them. Also, the good folks from Blackhorn 209 will be at the show as well...look them up if you have any questions about the powder.

Toby Bridges

America's No. 1 Source For Muzzleloader Hunting Information!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tony Knight - The Pioneer Of Modern In-Line Muzzleloading Dies

                                        December 21, 1945 - March 18, 2013

William "Tony" Knight passed away on March 18, 2013. The world of muzzleloading has lost one of its greatest contributors, and he will be sadly missed by all who truly knew him. He was one of the greatest people I've known in my lifetime, and at one time my dearest and closest friend. My hope is that in spirit he's up there still running the hills and hollers of northern Missouri, chasing those big whitetails and long bearded gobblers...with his favorite dog Ginger at his side. Let us never forget him. - Toby Bridges, NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING

NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING has published a tribute to Tony Knight...

Go To

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Versatile Harvester Muzzleloading Crush Rib Sabot Can Tap The Performance Of A Wide Range Of Bullets

Harvester Muzzleloading's excellent Crush Rib Sabot, shown here with the company's 260-grain Scorpion PT Gold bullet, turns many .451" to .458" diameter bullets into great muzzleloader hunting bullets.  This post on the Harvester Muzzleloading Hunter blog shares some great sabot-bullet combinations, shot with hefty charges of Blackhorn 209.  Discussed is one sabot-bullet-Blackhorn 209 load, shooting a 400-grain .458" semi-spitzer bullet that has the ability to surpass the performacne of Knight's .52 caliber rifles and loads.

Blackhorn 209 Hunter is an affiliate blog of the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING website at

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Nevada Department of Wildlife Ban Of Popular Muzzleloader Hunting Powder Is Discriminatory - And Likely Illegal!

Following Is The NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING release that has been sent to most major media providers in the state of Nevada - plus to the shooting & hunting industry and major outdoor media.

          During the summer of 2011, the Nevada Department of Wildlife took away the right for muzzleloading hunters in the state to use a modern formulated propellant that not only makes loading and shooting a rifle of muzzle-loaded design less tedious and more reliable, but safer as well.  That new powder is being marketed under the brand name Blackhorn 209, by Western Powders of Miles City, MT.

            In July of 2011, NDOW sent a notice to all hunters who had drawn a  "muzzleloader only" Nevada big game tag, announcing, "The department has recently received numerous questions regarding the use of Blackhorn 209 during the muzzle-loading only season. Per NAC 503.142 (1) only blackpowder or a blackpowder substitute such as Pyrodex or Triple Seven may be used as a propellant. The use of smokeless powder is prohibited."

            This warning went on to distinguish that what separated Blackhorn 209 from the other two powders mentioned, Pyrodex and Triple Seven, was the fact that the newer powder relied on a nitrocellulose base rather than the carbon base used to produce the other two black powder substitutes.  NDOW published this warning in its August issue of OUTDOOR EDUCATOR as well.

            At the September 2011 Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners Meeting, under the topic issue "Muzzleloader Black Powder Legal Issues", Chief Game Warden Robert Buonamici told the nine-member board that prior to the hunting seasons his Division (Law Enforcement) had received quite a few calls as to whether or not if Blackhorn 209 powder was legal to use during the state's muzzleloader seasons.  He admitted that his staff did not know, so researched the issue - first referring back to the adopted regulation code which prohibited the use of smokeless powder during the muzzleloading hunts.  He pointed out to the commissioners that the U.S. Department of Transportation has designated Blackhorn 209 as a smokeless powder.

            The call to outlaw the use of this powder was made entirely by Chief Buonamici and the NDOW Division of Law Enforcement.  What Buonamici failed to share with the Board of Wildlife Commissioners was that also sharing the very same North American and United Nations hazardous materials classification codes (NA3178 and UN0499) which he used to deem Blackhorn 209 "illegal" are all other "black powder substitutes", including the two "legal" powders mentioned by name in Nevada's muzzleloader hunting regulations - Pyrodex and Triple Seven.

            All are classified as either "smokeless powder for small arms" or as "propellant solid - smokeless".

            Through correspondence with members of the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners, the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING Association has been told that the regulation, as it stands, can be attributed to bad information and bureaucratic status quo within the Nevada Department of Wildlife.  That bad information came from NDOW's administration, and many of the originators of the regulation are now gone - including Director Ken Mayer, who has been fired, for the second time.

            "Nevada's ban of Blackhorn 209 should make sportsmen question many other non-serving hunting regulations on the books around the country.  We were told that to change the regulation in Nevada is a slow process, and that process would require that a petition first be filed - even though those serving on the Board of Wildlife Commissioners are now aware that the regulation was railroaded right through by a biased and agenda driven  high ranking individual or a division of NDOW.  Strangely, it was done so without any opposition from the Commission.  The legality of how this exceptionally poor and bogus regulation has been allowed to stand needs to be investigated...and perhaps have its day in court ," states Toby Bridges, founder of the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING Association.

            Nevada is the only state to ban the use of Blackhorn 209 powder.  A couple of other states, namely New Mexico and Utah, had considered a similar ban, but realized that since the powder shared the very same federal and international regulations governing other black powder substitutes, such a ban would run into tremendous opposition from muzzleloading hunters.  Collectively, the modern "non black powder" muzzleloader propellants are now used by more than 90-percent of all muzzleloading hunters.

            What has made Blackhorn 209 so popular among the fastest growing segment of muzzleloader hunting, those who have switched to equally modern in-line primer ignition rifle models, is the cleanliness of the powder.  Other modern muzzleloader powders leave a great deal of fouling in the bore, and for best accuracy that fouling has to be wiped from the bore after each and every shot.  The light fouling left behind by charges of Blackhorn 209 does not affect the accuracy of the load.  In fact, many shooters have shot all morning or afternoon, firing upwards of 50 shots or more, and still maintain great accuracy without cleaning the bore once.  That cleanliness also means that there is a lot less chance of not getting the projectile properly seated directly in contact with the power charge.  Firing a muzzleloader with the projectile setting an inch or two off the powder charge creates an extremely dangerous situation.

            The new powder is also far less corrosive than the powders named "legal" in the Nevada regulations, and due to its nitrocellulose base, Blackhorn 209 granules are far more uniform and result in extremely consistent volume measured charges.  This in turn produces the most consistent accuracy.  Perhaps NDOW's fear of the powder is that it is too good, allowing the state's muzzleloading hunters to more easily make a clean and effective harvest of the game being hunted.


        For more on nitrocellulose and Blackhorn 209, go to-   


Monday, February 4, 2013

Response To Nevada's Ban Of Blackhorn 209 During Muzzleloader Only Seasons

Following is an e-mail sent to the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners in regard to the Nevada Department of Wildlife ban on the use of Blackhorn 209 during the muzzleloader only hunts in that state...
Dear Nevada Wildlife Commission;  

What does the State of Nevada have against nitrocellulose...or Blackhorn 209? 

The manner in which the Nevada muzzleloader hunting regulations attack this powder, by brand name, shows extreme prejudice - and likely violates interstate commerce laws. The Nevada Wildlife Commission needs to give all of this very serious thought, and truly question those responsible for such a stand against a revolutionary new muzzleloader propellant that is now taking muzzleloader hunting by storm across the country. Should there be any personal bias involved, it could end in some extremely costly legal litigation. 

The manner in which the agency and the commission allows several powders, by brand name, to be used during the muzzleloader only season, then bans the use of another powder, by brand name, is extremely discriminatory - especially since the powders, including Blackhorn 209, all share the same technical classification - as determined by the U.S. Department of Transportation - and the United Nations. 

Over the past 12 months, the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING website has had more than 1.7 million visitors, and they are now reading about how the Nevada Wildlife Commission and the Nevada Department of Wildlife are wrongly robbing Nevada's muzzleloading hunters of the opportunity to go afield with a superior muzzleloader propellant. Here's a link to a report published Sunday, February 3, 2013. 

I would be very interested in hearing from any of you in defense of such non-serving muzzleloader hunting legislation. The end of this week, NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING will issue a release, addressing this issue, that goes out to much of the media there in Nevada, and to the national outdoor media and to the shooting & hunting industry. 

Toby Bridges

Saturday, January 19, 2013

As For Innovative Muzzleloader Hunting Products...2013 SHOT Show Was Extremely Lackluster!

When it comes to any excitingly new products for the muzzleloading hunter, the 2013 SHOT Show was, for the the most part, pretty "Ho Hum".   Muzzleloading wise, it was the most lackluster SHOT Show I've attended, and since the first of these shows in January 1979 (St. Louis, MO), I have only missed three.

One very shining exception was a brand new rifle being introduced by Traditions Performance Firearms - the .50 caliber VORTEK StrikerFire. This is an extremely slick new break-open design, held in this photo by company president Tom Hall. While this new approach eliminates a hammer that protrudes up behind the firing pin of the receiver, it still offers all the convenience of an exposed hammer...but with an added element of safety and even more convenience.

The internal firing mechanism is "cocked" by pushing the StikerFire System button forward with right or left thumb (the rifle is truly ambidextrous). Once cocked, a trigger block safety mounted on the trigger housing allows the rifle to be safely carried until a shot is taken. To "uncock" the rifle, one simply pushes the (silver) release button shown at right. It's that simple. (Opening the action also de-cocks the rifle.) The advantages of this system are a snappier lock time and the ability to mount a scope lower and closer to the axis of the bore, which tends to equate to more consistent accuracy.

The new 28-inch barreled design weighs in at just 6.25 pounds, and will surely be a dream to carry in the field. We are slated to receive one of the very first test guns in May, and will run a complete report on this before the end of that month. Starting retail price will be $489, for a black synthetic stock with a tapered, fluted and CeraKote finished Magnum Chromoly barrel. The rifle offers other new features as well, which we will fully detail on the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING website when we publish the test report in May. Our powder of choice will be Blackhorn 209.  Don't miss it.

For updated info on this rifle, go to -


Thompson Center Arms' website still proclaims... "T/C’s OMEGA™ Will Revolutionize the Way Hunters Think About Muzzleloaders for Years to Come" ... However, I can't help but wonder if the company is already doing some serious downsizing. The Omega was not even displayed at the 2013 SHOT Show.

In fact, the only models on display were the Triumph...the Impact...and the Encore Pro Hunter. There was nothing that "muzzle-loaded" that was truly new. To put it nicely, T/C's huge booth was mostly void of guns, with easily 90-percent of the display devoted to center-fire rifles. The 2013 SHOT Show was the 35th of the annual "Show of Arms", and as I pointed out earlier, I've missed just three of the shows. One thing I've noticed in the past has been that when a rifle that has been loudly touted as one which "Will Revolutionize the Way Hunters Think About Muzzleloaders for Years to Come" is suddenly absent at the SHOT Show, it generally means the model is being phased out.

There's a new in-line rifle making operation bringing another innovative break-open inline model, known as the Redemption, to the market. Those behind the new venture are primarily former T/C management that either chose not to move from the Rochester, NH area when T/C's Smith & Wesson owners decided to relocate the company to Springfield, MA...or who were downsized out during the move.

While the company, known as LHR Sporting Arms, was not displaying at this year's SHOT Show, several muzzleloading writers I ran into shared that they would be doing test reports on the new rifle. Prior to the SHOT Show, NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING also corresponded with the marketing manager of the company, and hopes to bring you a report on how well this new rifle performs with Blackhorn 209.

For more on the rifle and the new company, go to -

It hurts me to say that, with only a few exceptions, the muzzleloading industry has become extremely lame. Right now, less than 20-percent of the companies offering muzzleloader hunting products are keeping the industry alive - the other 80-or so-percent seem to be just along for the ride. - Toby Bridges, NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Through 2013, the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING website will feature a series of Blackhorn 209 pages, which will thoroughly take a look at every aspect and every quality offered by Blackhorn 209 powder. 

The first of those pages can now be found at the following link -

Scheduled for February will be a feature article/report that takes a look at why so many muzzleloading shooters and hunters have turned to the new powder.  That article/report will be titled "Is Blackhorn 209 Too Good?" 

Tell us what you think about the powder in the comment section of this blog post, or drop us a line at

Toby Bridges
Blackhorn 209 Hunter

Through 2013 The NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING Website Is The Place For Blackhorn 209 Load Data And Information On Hunting With This Powder

I did not spend a lot of time on this blog through 2012. All of my effort was put into rebuilding the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING website, at . Late in July 2011, my former website hosting service (Homestead/Intuit) apparently decided that a muzzleloader hunting website was not appropriate for them...and without any reason or notice simply pulled the plug - losing nearly six years of research and writing.

As angry as I was at the time, I've now come to realize that they actually did me one huge favor.

2010 was the all time best year for the website published at, with some 350,000 users during the course of the year. Fact is, 2011 was on track to slightly top that...until the anti-hunting gang at Homestead shut the site down. August of 2011 was a hectic one for me as I scrambled to find a new, appropriate and better hosting service - which I did with FatCow. The last week of that month and all of September was spent getting a new start under a new and more appropriate web address.

It took a couple of months for many of you to find the new site, but once you did, thankfully you kept coming back on a regular basis. I quickly learned that FatCow does a much better job of getting article/report topics published into the internet search engines - and by the end of December 2011, monthly traffic was up around 35,000.

Well, as we moved into 2012, traffic just kept growing...topping 100,000 for the month of July alone...more than 200,000 in each of October and November...and nearly reaching 300,000 for the month of December. In all, some 74,000 unique visitors used the NORTH AMERICAN MUZZLELOADER HUNTING website 1,553,000+ times during 2012.

And I would like to thank the folks at Homestead for making that happen. If you had not pulled the plug on the's doubtful that traffic would have topped 400,000 to 450,000.

What has kept muzzleloading hunters coming back has been the wide range of great muzzleloader hunting articles and reports. All of those newly published pages can be found at -

We've gotten a great start on the 2013 Articles & Reports menu as well. In just the first week of this new year, three new pages have been published...with one or two more scheduled for the month of January. In all last year, we added 50 new pages. We really are not planning to top that number this year...but we do expect to bring you the same great variety of muzzleloader hunting topics through the coming year. Here's a look at the start of the new lineup -

One of our primary goals this year is to better utilize this get many of you sharing information right here.

It's going to be a great year...visit us and on the website.

Toby Bridges