We sell our Remington 700ML 209 conversion to folks who hunt all 50 states and even Canada. And I must say that I've seen some states make folks jump through a bunch of hoops, while others don't. Its all tied to each state's rules varying drastically. Some are simple, common sense, and easy to follow (and I expect easy for their game wardens to enforce). Others, require someone to have a law and engineering degree to determine what they can take to the field for any given hunt.
(You can read more about our 209 conversion by clicking the image above)
So if you are considering our conversion, I hope to help those who live in those troubled states with some simple facts:
1. Our system uses 209 shot shell primers
2. It completely seals the 209 primer into the breech plug
3. These rifles we convert use inline actions
4. You can use any Black Powder or black powder substitute with our kit (Pellets, loose powder, whatever... just follow the Remington manual/directions on the bottle for quantity of powder to use)
So for most states and most hunts, you won't find a better option than our 209 conversion. It will take the old Remington 700ML/MLS and Ruger 77/50 and turn them into reliable big game harvesting brutes. However you are responsible for researching the rules for your individual state.
The main question should be "Do the rules allow 209 shot shell primers? Next question would be "Does it prohibit sealed in-line ignition systems?" As far as I know Canada, and most of the US allows sealed breech 209s. I think Idaho, Oregon are the only exceptions to sealed breech 209's (and that is only on some dedicated muzzle loader hunts... ie you can use a sealed breech muzzle loader during the regular firearms seasons in many states). There are other special hunts in other states (Pensylvania, Montana, etc) that don't allow inlines much less 209's... but we'll ignore them (because they already ban the 700 ML/MLS and Ruger 77/50's just for being in-lines). So long as you can use 209's and seal them up, you won't find a better option for your rifle.
If you hunt somewhere where you can use sealed ignition on one hunt but not another, we sell entire bolts so you can swap the rifle between sealed 209's and the original leaky OEM system.
Trying to better understand our clients' needs, I've spent the last few hours reading the various rules the 50 states have for muzzle-loader hunts. I lack the literary skill to describe the dull throbbing pain those regulations produced in my skull. I appreciate simple common sense approaches to regulations, so I feel it's time to get on my soap box:
It seems traditionalists with lofty notions have hi-jacked hunting regulations in some states, and verbose rule writers dominate most others. To me, hunting regulations should be simple and boil down to promoting the safe and effective harvesting of the right number of game animals in a jurisdiction. I believe in individual freedoms, and always felt hunting, and the choices I made while hunting were a great expression of that freedom. So I don't understand why anyone would stand by and allow their state to -force- people into using ignition systems, powders, or projectiles that would be anything other than those most probable to make a safe, quick, humane kill. I'm all for those who want to do it like their forefathers did. But to force anyone to hunt in that manner, especially if it is less effective, is nuts. There is a reason we developed better ignition systems, better powder, and projectiles: its called progress. Today we have better options that kill better, make better wound channels, and tend to produce less lost or wounded game. These same better ways are safer, and don't blast the shooter with blow back and primer fragments. Those traditionalist ideals seem to have produced regulations that go counter to safe, humane kills, and true liberty.
Some would argue that complex regulation that forces old, out-dated, less effective means, reduces the number of game taken. I can see restricting someone to a single shot rifle with open sights doing that, but other wise, I doubt that prohibiting modern sabots, hand gun bullets, etc will reduce the number of game shot at.
So I'd argue that the rules that force traditional solutions probably increase the number of animals wounded and lost. And thus they probably reduce the number of game that get drug out of the woods. On the surface that produces statistics that say the number of animals taken was reduced. The significant difference being: the wounded animals that are not recovered are not recorded as kills. Wounded animals typically suffer a slow painful death. Making regulations that encourage wounding game is a shame. It's especially shameful quoting tainted statistics to make the case.
I haven't seen a state with ideal regulations but I think Wyoming's was as a simple as they get. You can be sure sure you are in compliance, and game wardens know what to enforce:
“For taking of bighorn sheep, elk moose, mountain goat, black bear, grizzly bear, deer, mountain lion, antelope or gray wolf by the use of a firearm a hunter shall use:
Any muzzle-loading rifle or muzzleloading pistol handgun of at least .40 caliber and firing a lead or expanding point bullet using a charge of at least 50 grains of black powder or its equivalent.”
And while I don't endorse the stuff below that prohibits multiple barrels, or restricts propellants (some rifles are designed to use smokeless powder: they produce more energy, and thus are more humane killers). Anyways I am partial to how Utah's reads and gives solid guidance on projectile selection to promote humane kills:
“To hunt big game with a muzzleloader, your muzzleloader must meet all of the following requirements:
It can be loaded only from the muzzle and can use either open sights, peep sights, or fixed or variable zoom scope. It can have only one barrel, and the barrel must be at least 18 inches long.
It cannot be capable of firing more than once without being reloaded.
The powder and bullet — or powder, sabot and bullet — cannot be bonded together as one unit for loading.
It must be loaded with black powder or a black powder substitute. The black powder or black power substitute cannot contain smokeless powder, but may contain some nitrocellulose.
To hunt big game, you must use a lead or expanding bullet or projectile that’s at least 40 caliber in size.
If you’re hunting deer or pronghorn, your bullet must be 130 grains or heavier, or your sabot must be 170 grains or heavier.
If you’re hunting elk, moose, bison, bighorn sheep or Rocky Mountain goats, you must use a 210-grain or heavier bullet, or a sabot bullet that’s at least 240 grains.”
Truly over all, I favor Virgina's rules; I wish all 50 states would adopt them as I feel they are a good balance on allowing freedom of choice but guaranteeing common sense, killing power (sorry muzzle loading pistol guys), and safety. I think they do a good job of bringing clarity to folk who are familiar with the issues and variety of rules from across the nation:
“Only muzzleloading firearms, .45 caliber or larger, loaded from the muzzle of the gun. Muzzleloading firearms must be single shot, capable of firing only a single bullet or saboted bullet (.38 caliber or larger). Flintlock, percussion, or electronic ignitions are permitted. It is unlawful to have in immediate possession any firearm other than a muzzleloading gun while hunting with a muzzleloader. (See exception for valid concealed handgun permit holders on page 18.) It is unlawful to use muzzleloading pistols. Must use at least 50 grains of black powder or black powder equivalent. Smokeless powder is allowed in muzzleloading firearms designed for it. Never use smokeless powder of any type in any quantity in a muzzle-loading firearm that is not specifically designed for it. Scopes are permitted. For the purposes of transportation in a vehicle, muzzleloading firearms are considered “unloaded” when all powder has been removed from the flashpan, or the percussion cap, primer, or battery has been removed from the firearm. For complete safety, shooting into soft ground should empty a muzzleloader”
I'm sure any state could care less about my opinion. If you live in a state with crazy muzzle loader regulations that just don't make sense, I urge you to engage your legislature and adopt a simple solutions that promote quick safe humane kills over traditional ideals like those I offer above.
Regulations change, and errors can be made. Please read your states rules and don't rely on anything I posted here as being infallible. Last Edit: Dec2021 to add Montana to the list of states with silly regs.
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