In 1985—which I am still occasionally shocked to realize is now ancient history—Missouri gunsmith Tony Knight changed blackpowder shooting and deer hunting forever when he invented his inline MK-85 rifle. Prior to that time, the T/C Hawken, which any mountain man of the 1840s would have recognized, was state-of-the-art. Given easy-care rifles and extra “primitive” seasons, Americans became a nation of blackpowder deer hunters and other manufacturers started making inlines.
Remington came up with a Model 700 blackpowder rifle in 1996 in both ML (blued) and MLS (stainless) in .50 and .54 caliber based on the Model 700 short action. The bolt had a round hammer in place of a firing pin. The whole action was enclosed and protected from the weather. Never very popular, it lasted until 2004. A new magnum version has recently been reintroduced.
Alexander’s Model 700 ML
We all have guns we won’t ever part with. The first time I realized this was the day I shot my first deer with this Remington 700 muzzleloader. My dad bought this sometime in the mid-1990s when we were still living in Nebraska; however, it had never seen any serious use until we moved to Iowa. I hunted unsuccessfully for a couple of years before I finally got a shot a doe and missed with a smoothbore slug gun. After that, I suggested to Dad that I use something with rifling. Two days later I got a nice 5×4 whitetail buck for my first deer with this muzzleloader. I’ve never read a good review of these guns and it’s not the most accurate smoke pole I’ve seen come down my side of the Mississippi, just don’t tell that to the bucks that adorn my wall. Technically, Dad still owns this muzzleloader, but it lives in my safe until I bring it out for another season and I won’t ever part with it for as long as I’m on the right side of the dirt.
Please keep the old gun pictures coming to firstname.lastname@example.org. My gun picture pantry is getting a little bare.