Forgive me, I'm very green when it comes to muzzleloaders. I've been doing my own research and handling some guns the past few weeks. I'm looking to purchase a gun for my son. He is currently 8 and just harvested his first deer during youth season with a 20 ga. He is hooked and wants his own gun. After some thought I've decided to get him a muzzleloader instead of a slug gun so that he can take advantage of the late season in a year or two. After looking at several guns in a lot of price ranges I'm pretty much settled on two: CVA Optima and Traditons Pursuit XLT Ultralight Both guns feature a camo synthetic thumbhole stock and stainless barrel. They're currently priced within $10 of one another at most stores...right in the $325 range. The CVA is a little shorter and a pound heavier. Both good for a youngster as the weight should help a little with recoil. It also looks to have a better breach plug design. The Traditons felt better in my hand. It also comes with fiber optic sights...something I'd have to buy for the CVA. Both guns appear to have nice online reviews and good quality ratings. I'm leaning towards the Traditions just because I liked the balance and feel the best. Does anybody here have any input or advice? Am I overlooking anything? I'm sure this could be just like a Ford vs. Chevy or Hoyt vs. Mathews vs. Bowtech argument. I'm hoping for objective opinions if anybody has one!