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Tony Knight, Inventor of Knight Rifle, Dies at 67

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April 01, 2013

Tony Knight, Inventor of Knight Rifle, Dies at 67

By Scott Bestul

We’ve lost yet another man who changed the face of modern deer hunting. Tony Knight, inventor of the Knight Rifle—the first mass-produced in-line muzzleloader—died Monday, March 18, near Plano, Iowa.

Knight set the hunting world on fire in 1985 when he introduced the MK-85 (the initials were his daughter’s), a rifle he produced in Centerville, Iowa. Though the in-line design initially drew as many critics as it did adherents, Knight was a tireless champion for the inclusion of in-line rifles into blackpowder seasons that had been dominated by sidelock guns. He was wildly successful; within a handful of years, in-lines had not only gained wide acceptance, but also a huge market share.

I interviewed Tony just a couple of years after the MK-85 hit the market and found him to be a friendly, intelligent man, as well as a great interview. He was, I believe, a little surprised by the hoopla created by his first in-lines.

“The only reason I came up with the design was because I listened to my friends (who had used sidelock guns on elk hunts), and they were complaining about misfires. I thought I could come up with something better,” Knight told me during that session.

Well, he obviously did just that—and changed the face of muzzleloading forever in the process.

Comments (4)

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I remember when Knight came out with the in-line design. I thought it was the coolest thing but I still never gave up my sidelock.

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Hey Dave, lets do a muzzleloader match up. knight versus thompson center. I'm in the market for a new muzzleloader and I am leaning towards a TC triumph bonecollectore series. What say you???

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from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

BTH OHIO is going to have a 2 day season in mid October for blackpowder does only

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from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I've driven through Centerville, Iowa several times. It's on Highway 2, not very far from the Missouri/Iowa border. I never knew a gun company resided there though. My condolences go out to the family of Mr. Knight.

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from buckhunter wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I remember when Knight came out with the in-line design. I thought it was the coolest thing but I still never gave up my sidelock.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

Hey Dave, lets do a muzzleloader match up. knight versus thompson center. I'm in the market for a new muzzleloader and I am leaning towards a TC triumph bonecollectore series. What say you???

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from deadeyedick wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

BTH OHIO is going to have a 2 day season in mid October for blackpowder does only

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jerry A. wrote 1 year 2 weeks ago

I've driven through Centerville, Iowa several times. It's on Highway 2, not very far from the Missouri/Iowa border. I never knew a gun company resided there though. My condolences go out to the family of Mr. Knight.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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