New to Black Powder - Input

Discussion in 'Black Powder Shooting / Muzzleloaders / Handguns' started by LurpyGeek, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek Active Member

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    I've fired a few muzzleloaders owned by other people, but beyond that I don't have much experience with black powder rifles. My brother would like to get some for he and his son so I've been looking at prices on the internet. Can anyone recommend any good quality but inexpensive brands / firearms? He's basically looking for .50 cal inline, but beyond that just value for the price.

    Thanks for your input.
  2. ironsight65

    ironsight65 New Member

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    CVA makes some decent rifles for the price. I have heard some complain that they are poor quality. They are on the lower end of the price scale, and you can certainly get higher quality, say in a Knight. However, I have 2 CVA's and have been very happy with them. One is a caplock and one is an inline. It all depends on what quality you want,
    how much you want to spend, and how much you will use it.
    I was at a gun show last weekend and a guy had several new CVA inlines for as low as 105 bucks. Almost bought another one for myself.
    I like the CVA's and would recommend them as a good rifle for the money.
  3. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    CVA's do have good prices and they are realiable
  4. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    Another vote for Connecticut Valley Arms. CVA guns are not the quality of Thompson/Center, but for the price they are decent blackpowder guns.
  5. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek Active Member

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    I had heard some pretty negative things about CVA inlines (failures, explosions, losing limbs, etc.), but it was from a questionable source. I knew I could come here and get good info. It sounds like CVA's quality is just fine as long as you don't overload them.
  6. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    The bad things you have heard are usually comin from unsafe dumba$$e$
  7. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    There are some pretty good sources on the CVA and Traditions in-line failures, and there is a discussion in another thread in here about it...and some pretty good evidence that CVA and other Spanish barrels are not proofed to the pressures generated by the loads they even suggest in their manuals, along with anecdotal stories of the "blow-ups...." Most of the Spanish barrels are only proofed to about 10-11000 PSI, when 150 grains and a tight heavily seated bullet might reach 30-40,000 or more....


    HOWEVER, it seems it is ALWAYS when guys read the manula and it says it will shoot 150 grains, so they load up a new gun with 150 grains of pyrodex and jam down a slug or ball.


    I personally think ANYBODY shooting 150 grains from a .50 is CRAZY....and blackpowder is funny, usually the LIGHTEST loads are the most ACCURATE, and 75-100 grains FFFg will kill deer well out to 150, maybe even 200 with a good hit, so WHY push it??? The extra power will NOT give you accuracy....and heck, the "Mountain Men" probably used handmade "country gunsmith" "unproofed" barrels, and used probably only 50 or 60 grains to save powder, and probably killed BUFFALO much less Indians with those loads....



    My son's CVA sidelock likes 85-95 grains of FFFg behind a 245 gr. ball-et, is accurate, and has plenty of power....


    The more expensive T/C, Knight, etc, ARE properly proofed, so will take the power, but you specualated "low price....."


    Keep the CVA or Traditions to practical and sane limits and you won't have any problems.....for the price.

    And yeah, there IS a "scandal" if CVAs blow with CVA "suggested loads," but the problem is with the "suggested load," in my opinion.....


    You say you are new to BP, so make sure you buy a Dixie cataloque and read the "Information" section...you will learn more about blackpowder shooting than you ever thought you could just from there....
  8. You might want to consider a kit-built gun, Lurpy. I've built two of them, both T/C Hawkens, one in .45 and the other in .54 caliber. The advantage is that the kits are generally a bit cheaper than a finished gun, and you have the fun of building and finishing them to boot. It's quite a lot of work with files and such, but quite satisfying when it turns out. Both rifles I have, they're cap locks, work extremely well and shoot quite accurately.
  9. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    The 1st black powder rifle I ever owned was a CVA rifle. I was shooting matches and not doing very well. I lapped and glass bedded the barrel and smoothed out the action. That made a 100% inprovement and I was competivive. The rifles can be made to shoot. Some smart a$$ dentist made fun of my rifle at a match. That's another story. Anyway, I had a Hawken built by a custom maker to replace my broken CVA rifle and at the end of two years, I had 37 black powder rifles. Most of them custom built.

    I don't like in-line BP rifles or Pyrodex. It ain't natural.

    Kits are available from Track of the Wolf or Dixie Gun Works that are alot better than anything CVA,Traditions,or T/C sells. Plus you will have hours of enjoyment assembling and finishing your new project. :) You will pay more ( $566 for a Southern Mountain Rifle in .45 cal) but it's worth it.
  10. rick's red dawg

    rick's red dawg New Member

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    cva has a real nice inline i believe it is called cva hunter and the american knight is a nice gun and not that expensive i shoot a hundred grains of powder with a hornady 45 cal sabot 240 grain xtp it will drop them in there tracks if you put in the right spot i got my knight used for 167.00 out the door with a 3x9 scope fiber optic sights see thru monts and sling and was very pleased good luck
  11. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    AMEN, Shooter!:cool:

    About the ONLY thing I could add to that is "Your wife HAS to complain about the smell when you are using the kitchen sink to clean 'em!";)
  12. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Polish, not at my house. :D

    I always used the 2 liter Coke bottle full of warm soapy water. A piece of tubing thru the lid that would fit the nipple and a wet patch on the ramrod down the barrel. Pulling up on the ramrod will pull the hot,soapy water from the bottle. Do that a few times to remove all the crud then run a few dry patches and your done. :)
  13. Polish, if you REALLY want to see the wife complain, try touching off a small patched powder charge (without a ball loaded!!!) in the house. Wives can get really tense about that I found . . . something about the smell of rotten eggs on the furniture. :D
  14. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    Wait until you fill the tub with hot,soapy water to clean 3 flintlock barrels then "forget" to clean the bathtub ring. Then the wife comes in to bathe.

    She put me under "house arrest" for two weeks. :rolleyes: Oh, well.
  15. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    PS, I do that all the time, I'll set off a pan of FFFFg to see if old Sparky is a sparkin'!

    And when I hear her yell, I figure it's working fine....:cool:


    And actually the tube through the nipple works fine for a CAPLOCK, but the flintlock is another story...that's why I usually use the kitchen sink!
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2006
  16. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    The flash hole on some of my flint rifles would unscrew and I could screw in a small nipple. Works the same then.
  17. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    That's one thing I like about my son's CVA we built, it has the wedge, so it's easy to take down, and clean, but my Hopkins Allen Flintlock is pinned, so I USUALLY don't take it down, so it's a lot tougher to clean....


    In fact, I USUALLY don't use soap and water on it so I don't ruin the stock, but just get liberal with the "Spitbath" and brushes and patches until it's clean.....


    But now that you said it, you just reminded me I could do that to mine...I DO have a drill press, and a tap set...and I have seen those kits down at Friendship...HHhhhmmmmm.....
  18. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member

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    I had a really nice custom built ,full stock Hawken .50 that had wedges. Easy take-down. I think Bob Watts built that one or was it from the Hawken Shop in St Louis.
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