Wow, that's a lot to take in. Let me first preface my reply by saying that I don't own an inline muzzleloader. So, it's good that this is mostly just academic.
Now, I don't often take to the field with rifles. But, when I do, I prefer unscoped. (Hmm... That sounded very "Dos Equis Commercial".) So, that much is right up my alley. As best I have gathered, I should
be able to expect something like a T/C Triumph or Encore to reach out there comparably to a centerfire rifle of modest caliber, provided the load has been worked up properly. (I'm sure that's very generalized and likely nowhere near the entire story. But, it should serve my purposes where this posting is concerned.)
Personally, I would probably load the Triumph with APP Gold. (Yeah, everyone's favorite
. But, you know what? I've used it before and liked it just fine. I definitely liked the clean-up and ignition was never a problem for me. So, it certainly shouldn't be any issue in a .209 primer inline.) My projectile of choice would likely be a sabot. I've used Shockwaves in the past and they seemed fine. (I would certainly have tested SSTs and Powerbelts out of this firearm as well and would likely be using whichever performed best from the bench.) Seeing as how the farthest I can comfortably see to shoot with the naked eye (and farthest distance that I regularly practice at anyway) is 100 yards, I am positive that this firearm enables me to accomplish the task. (If my flintlock can, and it can, then I know the inline can.)
Scoped: Honestly, that probably only buys me another 50 to 100 yards of visibility with the typical 3-9x40s I run. I would think 150 yards with a scoped Triumph sounds do-able.
LOL The first pic looks like the doe is definitely on alert... staring a hole right through you. I'm definitely hoping that deer does some serious calming down before I even consider shooting. (Looks like a decent-sized doe, by the way.)
Well, truthfully, I'm probably aiming for #3 with either scoped or unscoped rifle. I'll admit that #2 is very
tempting. (I know many a hunter whom have folded deer up putting one into their ear like that.) But, it's just not my bag. I've always personally gone to the vitals (heart/lung) and that doesn't generally change regardless of my weapon of choice. (Though I do become more bold about not avoiding "shoulders" as much with firearms as compared to archery equipment, for example.) Somewhere around #3 looks like it has a good chance of taking the heart and, at least, the opposite side lung as well.
I'll be eagerly awaiting the replies of others.
Always interesting to see everyone's take.