The Knight Bighorn Rifle ~ 10/18/1999
Knight equipped the Bighorn with a fine set of fully adjustable iron sights which are more than adequate, but since I "turned 40" this year and my old eyes are not what they used to be, I configured this rife with a 4 x 40 scope. The Bighorn's receiver is drilled and tapped for scope mounts, so all you have to do is bolt it down.
Ignition:This rifle can use either the "tried and true" #11 primer caps or the much larger, and the bit more expensive "musket cap". The musket cap is supposed to be much "hotter" than the #11's and even sports a hotter shower of sparks than the #209 shotshell primers that can be used with Knight's Disc rife. And from the sound of the muskett caps "POP", it is pretty hot indeed!
Using the #11 primer caps seemed to work well, but just as we found last year with the Disc rifle using the #209 primers, the musket caps seemed to consume all of the powder charge which accounts for less fouling, and seems to provide a much hotter ignition. Nothing scientific here, just visual observation. To change ignition type, you simply swap out the nipple that is attached to the breach plug to either the #11 or the musket cap.
If you have fat fingers like I do, it was not easy and felt a bit awkward to place a cap on the nipple the first few shots. There is not a lot of room to place your fingers into when the hammer assembly is cocked and you have a scope mounted. After a few shots however, you get the hang of it and its not a big deal, you can pop them right on. While at the range I did have a few of the musket caps that "stuck" inside the hammer assembly after firing and I had to pry them from the hammer with a small knife to remove them. This was after several rounds being fired however and a bit of residue was starting to build up in this area, so this should not be a problem in the field and if you keep your rifle clean.
Powder Charge:The Bighorn performed well with the black powder substitute-pellets, but I can not justify the extra expense for the pellets other than simply for convenience. The black powder substitute granular performs equally as well.
I am from the old school and still love real black powder, there's nothing like the smell of "real" black powder and a huge cloud of smoke on a cold November morning in the deer woods.
The best performance and tightest groups I achieved with the Bighorn was with 100 grains of FF black powder. As with the Knight Disc, the Bighorn is capable of magnum like performance and can accept up to 3 of the 50 grain pellets or up to a 120 grain load of granular powder, but this year, same as last, I am not after moose or grizzly here in Tennessee, but this gun can handle a big load if you like horsepower and don't mind a little recoil.
Bullets:I shot several types of projectiles through the Bighorn. From 240 grain sabots all the way to 400+ grain conical's. The heavy lead bullets did not seem to group as well as I would like down range, but did perform reasonably well at 50 yards. The lighter bullets with the sabot jackets shot much tighter out to 100 yards. And as always, there are many other bullets on the market, but as usual, time and resources would not allow us to test them all.
Field Load:For this Fall, the combination I will be packing will be 100 grains of FF black powder topped off with a 275 grain, .44 Cal., jacketed hollow point sabot. As always, I zeroed in at 50 yards, not 100 yards as most would say I should, but I am taking this thing to "my deer woods", and I rarely shoot out beyond 75 yards, and a zero of 50 yards has always served me well.
Cleaning:The gun breaks down for cleaning by simply removing 2 screws. One that separates the barrel from the stock, and the other removes the trigger assembly from the barrel. The breach plug is then easily removed with the special tool that comes with the rifle so you can easily run cleaning patches completely through the barrel. Just thoroughly clean the barrel and all components, lube where necessary, and reassemble. Be sure you read the assembly/disassembly and cleaning instructions that are found in the owners manual carefully before you begin and you should not have any problems. Like all muzzleloading firearms, it needs cleaning after each use and as always, the process is a bit messy.
Conclusion:Another fine rife by Knight! It is well balanced, easy handling, reliable, straight shoot'n, and easy to clean and maintain. If you are thinking about buying your first muzzleloader or purchasing a new one, this one deserves a good look.
For more information, you can email Knight Rifles at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure and tell them you saw them here on TnDeer.Com!