What's the difference between an inline muzzleloader and a flintlock muzzleloader, if anything?
The difference between inline and flintlock muzzleloaders is in the ignition system and generally in the performance of the firearm.
Flintlocks date back to before the French and Indian War, even though many are still produced and used today - it is what I have. In order for a flintlock to fire, the hammer strikes the frizzen causing a shower of sparks to ignite powder in the pan. That small ignition then penetrates the breech through the touch hole and ignites the main powder load.
In-line muzzleloaders are the newest and generally the most accurate of blackpowder firearms; they are what most muzzleloading hunters use now. In-lines use a sealed primer to create the ignition which ignites the usually pre-measured powder load.
Outdoor Dan had a great answer to this, just to add some clarification, the Flintlock's flash pan ignites along the side of the gun, then the spark is directed sideways into the barrel, in order to ignite the load of black powder.
An inline got the name because the primer is directly behind the black powder charge, and therefore "inline" with it. It is more similar to a modern cartridge case, without having a cartridge.
Some states my restrict what kind of black powder rifle is allowed for hunting. While many states allow inlines, there are some that want muzzle loading seasons to be more primitive and require flintlock or percussion caps.
Inline muzzleloaders are for morons who can't shoot. The only difference between a modern rifle and an inline muzzleloader is the modern rifle uses a metallic cartridge. Otherwise you still have a scope, a primer, perfectly measured pressed powder pellets and Sabot'd expanding bullets. A flintlock uses granulated powder, patch and round ball, powder in a flash pan, and a piece of flint stone to make a spark against a steel frizzen to ignite the powder and fire the rifle/musket. No scopes, open sights. I'm a gun builder and have built over 100 flintlock rifles and muskets. 99% of my hunting is with my flintlock long guns. I have a musket for small game, a .36 cal. for raccoon, squirrel, coyote and other critters and a 50 cal. for deer. I fill my tags every year. IMHO, it should be illegal to call an inline a muzzleloader and to be used during muzzleloader season. (BLASPHAMY) Here's a pic of one I made.
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