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Posted: 10/13/2018 2:56:35 PM EDT
My first post in this forum. I am a complete novice on Black Powder weapons, so I will hopefully get some guidance here. My great-uncle I was visiting with in California were talking about firearms the other day. He has some great older weapons, which I will be inheriting some day. He said he wanted me to look at a firearm an old friend gave him, and it has been collecting dust in his wine cellar (On a farm, he owns a vineyard, and it is an actual wine cellar, longer story). He brought out an older muzzle loader, which did not function as is. The barrel is heavily pitted on the outside, the wood is not great, there are parts missing. He says if I want it as a project, it is mine. Not wanting to shy away from a project, much less liberating a rifle from California, I take him up on it. He also gave me some collectibles from WWII, especially a bayonet that was brought back from Germany by my Grandfather, his brother.

Anyway, the rifle, after some internet research, is a Connecticut Valley Arms .50 Black Powder, HAWKENS, and made in Spain. ("Spain" right on the barrel.) I was able to tear it down after visiting some decent youtube videos, and determined that the firing mechanism was just fouled, due to loose bolts. There are various parts missing, which were easy to find, and I ordered.

So my question: What to look for to make sure it will work, is it worth it to put time and effort into this rifle, and if it is worth it, what items do I need to buy and or use to start shooting a black powder rifle? I am kind of excited to break into this type of shooting, and this was the push I needed.

Photos:



Link Posted: 10/13/2018 3:20:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2018 3:22:21 PM EDT by 44-40pro]
I would recommend getting a copy of the Lyman Black Powder Handbook. Pretty much all the info needed to get started in shooting holy black. Dixie Gun Works and Mid South Shooting Supply are good sources for the various tools and supplies as well.

As for the gun..........I would disassemble the gun and go after the barrel with a few pennies and some Kroil or other penetrating oil and clean it up as best as you can. Then degrease with acetone and reblue following the instructions for using "Blue Wonder Gun Blue" available from Midway, Amazon etc. This will give you a nice looking appearance for the gun while still leaving the aged, weathered look. Or you can use flat files and really clean up the gun. I wouldn't.

The CVA guns were inexpensive but very functional intro level black powder guns back in the day. As long as all the lock parts are working properly and safe,there is no reason not to add it to your shooting/hunting arsenal. They can be very accurate if you take the time to find out what bullets (round ball/conical) it likes and what powder charge works best for said bullet. It probably has a faster 1-28/1-48 twist which will stabilize RB and conicals more than adequately. Don't remember CVA making 1-60 twist rifles (intended for RB) but they may have.

I shot a lot of Fla and Ga deer with my Lyman Great Plains rifles back in the day. Very satisfying to bring game home with a BP rifle and home cast bullets
Link Posted: 10/13/2018 4:58:41 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By 44-40pro:
I would recommend getting a copy of the Lyman Black Powder Handbook. Pretty much all the info needed to get started in shooting holy black. Dixie Gun Works and Mid South Shooting Supply are good sources for the various tools and supplies as well.

As for the gun..........I would disassemble the gun and go after the barrel with a few pennies and some Kroil or other penetrating oil and clean it up as best as you can. Then degrease with acetone and reblue following the instructions for using "Blue Wonder Gun Blue" available from Midway, Amazon etc. This will give you a nice looking appearance for the gun while still leaving the aged, weathered look. Or you can use flat files and really clean up the gun. I wouldn't.

The CVA guns were inexpensive but very functional intro level black powder guns back in the day. As long as all the lock parts are working properly and safe,there is no reason not to add it to your shooting/hunting arsenal. They can be very accurate if you take the time to find out what bullets (round ball/conical) it likes and what powder charge works best for said bullet. It probably has a faster 1-28/1-48 twist which will stabilize RB and conicals more than adequately. Don't remember CVA making 1-60 twist rifles (intended for RB) but they may have.

I shot a lot of Fla and Ga deer with my Lyman Great Plains rifles back in the day. Very satisfying to bring game home with a BP rifle and home cast bullets
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Great info to start! I ordered the book, and will do some more research into the rounds. My neighbor is really good with weapon and stock refinishing, so I may make it a project. I did clean the hell out of the barrel inside with warm water and a brush. Came out with a lot of rust and crap, but it looks pretty clean afterward. I have an endoscope that I was able to take a good look at the interior.
Link Posted: 10/14/2018 3:54:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/14/2018 3:56:30 PM EDT by DocGP]
You took a good look at the breach with the endoscope? Made sure there wasn't an old load in there??

Really common to find in older, hand me down muzzle loaders.

I have 3 older CVA's that I have refurbed. Mostly just need corrosion removed and such. Mine all have pitted barrels but shoot fine for plinking.

Doc
Link Posted: 10/14/2018 5:07:11 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DocGP:
You took a good look at the breach with the endoscope? Made sure there wasn't an old load in there??

Really common to find in older, hand me down muzzle loaders.

I have 3 older CVA's that I have refurbed. Mostly just need corrosion removed and such. Mine all have pitted barrels but shoot fine for plinking.

Doc
View Quote
Yep, I originally thought there was a load in it, but it was just the bolster and nipple was all plugged up with gunk. Once I took the nipple off, I could blow through the barrel, and knew there was no charge. Only then did I run soapy water and then the endoscope. I had to change the hot water four times to get it clear, it was horrible. I have some cleaning supplies coming, so I am going to work it a bit more next week. The parts should arrive by then as well.
Link Posted: 10/14/2018 6:53:46 PM EDT
There's a very good chance it's rifled 1 turn in 66". My dad still has one that I used in 4H competition 30 years ago that is 1 in 66. With 50 grains of FFG, a .490 round ball, and a .010 patch it would cut ragged holes at 50 yards if the shooter was good enough.
Link Posted: 10/14/2018 7:08:49 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/14/2018 7:09:20 PM EDT by aztrooper]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By jmt686:
There's a very good chance it's rifled 1 turn in 66". My dad still has one that I used in 4H competition 30 years ago that is 1 in 66. With 50 grains of FFG, a .490 round ball, and a .010 patch it would cut ragged holes at 50 yards if the shooter was good enough.
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Good to know. I was thinking of starting with a 50 grain load, I have the stuff to get started up on order. Since i have to get my tikka 300 wm dialed up for the upcoming deer hunt l, so I am going to get everything together and do it all in one day.
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