just picked up first BP rifle
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  1. #1
    Corporal
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    Default just picked up first BP rifle

    Just got handed a CVA Hawken in .50 as my first BP gun and have a few questions:

    was told it was a number 11 percussion cap, is it possible to swap to shotgun primer?
    would all no. 11 caps work or would it have to be CVA branded?

    cursory google searches have come with 70-90 (depending on bullet weight) grains of pyrodex, Triple 7, or 2f; any recomendations?

    I read to start with .490 round ball with a .15 patch. it wasn't specific to the hawken, just a general 50 cal jumping off point. Anyone else have other insight?

    i already ordered a bullets starter, new rod (the one that came with it lookes liek it might be cracked, but it loks cool so it stays in the gun), powder measure, patches, and bullet puller.

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  3. #2
    General Twogunwilly's Avatar
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    My first CVA uses #11 caps with no conversion available when I was looking. Shotgun primers are way way more reliable, if there's a conversion available, get it. Get some power belt bullets & Triple 7 powder or pellets, you'll get a lot more shooting time before you'll need to clean it. Generally I believe with modern ML's the formula is diameter of the bore (50 x 2) equals grains of powder. If it's a magnum you can go to 150 grains.
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  4. #3
    Sergeant RSCamaro's Avatar
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    I have a CVA Buckhorn Magnum and it shoots marvelously for what it is. I get better accuracy from full bore size ammunition. I don't particularly care for sabot style or round ball. I use Pyrodex FFG or Pyrodex pills or the white pills (don't remember the name off hand) which seem to burn a bit cleaner. That point is moot since it is necessary to clean the firearm after you are done for the day anyway. I don't take either my rifle or my pistols out very much just because they can be a hassle to clean after a long day. Good luck with yours though.

    ...Ron
    2% People! All you have to be is 2% smarter than whatever it is you are working on. Jeesh.

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  6. #4
    Major
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    Most Sidelock BP rifles have 1-48 or 1-66 trist that usually don't shoot sabots well. The slow twist was made for round balls or conical's. Sabots shoot better in 1028 twist barrels.

    No shotgun primer conversion I have ever heard of..

    Start with 90 gr and work up 1/2 gr. at a time shooting more than 1 round to see which charge works best.

    CCi, rem, or any other brand of #11 caps will work.

    Pellets may not work well in the model you have.

    If you get 777 use 3F for better consistency and it is water cleanup and not as corrosive as Pyrodex or BP.

    If I still had my shop in Groton NYI would be more than happy to help you out. I will still try to answer any ? I can.

  7. #5
    Colonel HighlandLofts's Avatar
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    Enjoy your new to you rifle, I have several rifles and pistols. Go on YouTube for some good blackpowder videos of loading to shooting and then on cleaning.

    I like shooting round balls, I buy the .490 balls and the pre-lubed patches. You'll have a ton of fun with it, but give yourself enough time to clean it after shooting it, if you don't you'll be SORRY, it will rust FAST if not cleaned properly.
    Walk Light, Carry a Big Stick & Never Walk Away, Teddy Roosevelt
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  8. #6
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    thanks for the replies. i grabbed some .490 round ball at a local shop for dirt cheap, said they'd been on the shelves for a long time. Have some prelubed .15 patches on order.

    I'm no stranger to cleaning, i have a handful of milsurd rifles that need to be scrubbed out due to corrosive ammo, i know its a different animal but the process remains the same.

  9. #7
    Colonel HighlandLofts's Avatar
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    Shooting the BP revolvers are really fun, it slows it down some and extends my range time.
    Walk Light, Carry a Big Stick & Never Walk Away, Teddy Roosevelt
    Don't Take Your Guns To Town, Johnny Cash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMMp_llzBT4
    NRA, WAC "Washington Arms Collectors"
    1 million people attended Obama's inauguration, but only 14 had to miss work

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