It is undeniable that muzzloading is on the rise. With the surge of modern in-lines and many states embracing them as well as expanding primitive weapon seasons more people are being exposed to a sport that was seen as less mainstream. Some people would have it that way, and show not so vieled disgust at the new technology and people that are flooding "their" woods during special seasons.
The traditional group is well established with many matches and meets around the country, however one has to admit it can be a niche crowd. The influx of people and money into the muzzleoading sport is not ruining the neighborhood but instead adding variety and many fresh faces.
You cannot deny that muzzleloading and blackpowder is addictive! Once you get hooked it is a slippery slope. I know my Traditions Buckstalker ( pictured above ) was not alone for very long, much to the chagrin of my better half. The new rifles and expanded seasons are drawing many people that previously thought muzzleloaders were only for reenactment or people that enjoy buckskins and fringe, lots of fringe. Personally I wear a t-shirt, jeans and a ball cap when shooting my muzzleloaders but if you feel the need to go traditional that is the great thing about this sport, the wide variety can and does appeal to many people.
Cost is another big factor, the increased production and demand of the modern pieces drives costs down. That also opens the market for competition and innovation. Us as the consumers are the ones that ultimately win. I hope people can embrace the fact that growth and change is not detrimental. The growth raises awareness of the ease and accessibility of muzzleloading and blackpowder. With increased safety the governments and regulating bodies allow the sport to grow without feeling the need to regulate. The safety and ease of modern designs and powder technologies make the sport easier to introduce to younger participants, which is the true new face we need to put on muzzleloading. The next generation should have a chance to enjoy this sport the way we do!