Sunday, February 20, 2011

Traditions Buckstalker: Reviewing a Budget Brush Muzzleloader

  Traditions Performance Firearms designed the Buckstalker to be a compact and maneuverable firearm that offers many features and quality for a good value. The Buckstalker  I am reviewing is the black synthetic / nickel model with a Traditions Scope Kit. A standard sling and slip on recoil pad was added to aid in comfort and transporting through thick brush. We will cover range performance as well as a few hunting possibilities. Read on to see how the short barreled budget brush gun stacks up!


  • Black synthetic stocks / Nickel metal finish
  • 24" .50cal Barrel with 1:28" twist rifling
  • Tru-glo Fiber Optic sights / Drilled and Tapped for scope
  • Dual Safeties - Cross block Trigger and Firing Pin Block
  • Traditions LT-1 Alloy frame
  • Projectile Alignment System 
  • Weight: 7-1/2 lbs
  • Solid aluminum ramrod
  • Extended ambidextrous hammer spur
Buckstalker with added scope, sling and recoil pad
Quality and Finish:

 Out of the packaging the Buckstalker is lightweight but solid. The fit of the barrel to the action when closed is very tight and the action closes with a firmly and holds strong. Overall the nickel finish is smooth with no nicks or marring visible. The stocks are a Monte Carlo style, black synthetic with checkering in the grip areas, nothing fancy but durable and functional. The trigger pull is crisp and smooth out of the box. Nothing feels loose or out of place. While a value buy they put plenty of quality workmanship into these firearms. Field stripping is very easy requiring only one screw in the fore-stock to be removed.

  The Traditions Scope kit includes all parts needed to securely mount the scope. Traditions markets this kit to fit "most in-line muzzleloaders" and is a good budget buy for a 3-9 x 40mm scope, with rings and 3 different bases to choose from.

Range Results:

The Buckstalker has a light 3 lb trigger pull that is surprisingly smooth for what Traditions considers a budget rifle. We setup several times on the range with multiple shooters and combinations of loads. The maximum recommend loads are 150gr ( by volume ) equivalent of black powder or 130gr of Triple Seven  following recommended 15% load reduction. Loading was very easy with the PAS on the barrel, this system removes the need for a short starter and lets you seat your projectiles consistently. We were able to find 2" or better groups out of all the different powder and projectile combinations we tried. Best results were 1-1/2" groups with 100gr of Blackhorn 209 and 250gr Hornady SST bullets and sabots. We were also able to routinely hit small steel targets past 210 yards with this combination, giving the 24" barrel the ability to soundly reach out and touch whatever you are hunting in most situations. The Traditions Scope also performed excellent, holding tight groups through several range sessions, cleaning and a bit of abuse in the woods.

 As a hunting rifle the short barrel and light weight allow you to easily slip through tight brush and thicket, which is exactly what we did on several occasions. The durable stocks and finish held up to a decent amount of wear and tear in thick brush without showing any signs of having been abused. The scope also held true while being beat around in the woods. If you prefer to stay in a blind on an open draw the short barrel is easy to handle while allowing 150 grain maximum charges to push your projectile of choice out to 200 yards or better. Whether you stalk or hunt the open draws and pipelines this rifle will perform if you do your part.

Final Thoughts:

 The Buckstalker lives up to its billing as a compact, lightweight and feature packed budget in-line muzzleloader. The quality and features can be found on rifles that retail for twice as much as the Buckstalker making it a steal. The Buckstalker and Traditions Scope Kit allow you to hunt for less with the confidence you  have a durable rifle that will last season after season. It is a quality muzzleloading brush gun that wont break the bank.

To learn more or get links manufacturers and retailers go to the Muzzleloading Reference Guide.

For even more pictures and videos go to our Multimedia  page.


  1. What a DEAL!!

  2. I recently bought a black/blued model BuckStalker. I had a Traditions Yukon B-4 and loved that gun but I must say that the BuckStalker is even better. With the break open design,easy to remove breach,lightweight and crisp trigger this gun is sure to please even the seasoned muzzle loader. For the price there is not another gun with the features of the BuckStalker. As with all muzzle loaders you have to find the load/bullet combo that works best,but once you do this gun is a true "go to" gun.If you are in the market for a "Biggest Bang For The Buck" muzzle loader, THIS IS IT..HANDS DOWN!!! Traditions really did this one right!!!! Great Review!!!!

  3. I baught a green/blued Traditions Buckstalker as I was sighting the scope I notticed one imperfection; the scope rings tighten from one side when I tighten them it actualy made the scope visibly crooked approximately 5 degrees off set from the barrel, that would not allow the crosshairs to compensate for the difference. Now I have to buy new rings, but other than that minnor issue as far as the gun is concerned it shoots just as good as my friends T/C that he spent well over $1000 the only difference is I will hunt in rain snow sleet or hail and he wont take it out of the house.

  4. Just picked up my BuckStacker in Alloy and Black with the Scope 2 days ago. Haven't fired at a deer yet, but it only took 9 shots, out of the box, to get 2" grouping at 100 yds (300gr SST and Shockey's "Gold" compressed powder) I find the trigger a little light but like the double safety. Can't wait to see "Brown in the Scope" on tomorrow's opener

  5. Just fired my new black/ blued model for the first time. Did the suggested precleaning, and used T/C bore butter to lube the barrel, really eased loading. Used bore butter patch to clean/ lube barrel every 2 or 3 shots. 250 gr. bullet/ 100 gr. load of triple seven. Was sighted in and test fired at 25 yds and 100 yds in 13 total shots. Action is very smooth, trigger pull is perfect with smooth let off. Break open works very smooth and the 209 primers fall right out may have to finger tap them but no prying. Very happy with it. Cant wait to get a deer in my sights.

  6. Bought my Buckstalker last year and love it. I got a doe with it last year and a seven point last week. This gun is very easy to load and clean with the break open breach. Last week my patch didn't come out after I ran it into barrel to clean before reloading. It took very litle time to pull the breach plug and clear the barrel. I keep a small ratchet and socket in my pack instead of the provided breach tool. Makes for faster breach removal. Very crisp trigger pull and tight fit on all components. I definitely recommend this for a beginner or seasoned hunter.

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  49. i love this gun i shot my first deer with it and the deer ran 20 feet before it fell i shot the 6 point buck right in the heart where i was aiming now i am going bear hunting with it and i hope i get one.

  50. Last year I bagged my first deer in over 30 yrs with a Buckstaker G1 Nickle, light, accurate, easy to care for, love it and will more than likely never replace it!

  51. I had a boil in my ass. My brother stepped of 100 paces, turned and as I bent over he shot the BuckStalker. Busted that boil in 1000 pieces.
    Thanks Traditions!

  52. great rifle got my buckstalker blackblued last year first day of hunting i got a 150lb doe one shot 100yds
    this year first day got my second 160lb doe with this rifle now all my hunting buddies are getting one.
    i'm allowed two deer here in nova scotia i'll get back to site if i get another which i'm sure i will.
    best of luck this season guys

  53. It's good that it's lightweight

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