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Login Name Post: C.V.A. 50 cal Pistol Loads        (Topic#211355)
Posts: 4
09-23-07 02:00 PM - Post#463881    

Can you help with loads for a CVA cap and ball pistol? ball size, patch thickness, amount of powder. Thanks

58 Cal.
Posts: 2254
09-23-07 05:12 PM - Post#463937    

    In response to dogwarden

Can you give us a model name or describe it for us?


Posts: 4
09-23-07 05:37 PM - Post#463946    

    In response to Don

I don't have a model. It has a belthook on it. It looks like a pirate pistol, single shot, barrel approx. 11 in. hope that helps regards Dave

Posts: 7692
09-23-07 06:45 PM - Post#463971    

    In response to dogwarden

What caliber is it?

58 Cal.
Posts: 2147
09-23-07 08:51 PM - Post#464030    

    In response to dogwarden

If this is the pistol:

then it's .50 cal: .490 round ball with .010 lubed patch, 40 to 60 gr fffg real black powder. This one has an 8" barrel, however. It's measured by dropping a dowel (or the ramrod) into the barrel and measuring the lenght of the rod inside the barrel.

The caliber should be stamped on the barrel. If not, mike the barrel; it'll either be .50 or .45 caliber.

If it's a .45, change the ball size to .440, otherwise use the same combination and load.

Edited by mykeal on 09-23-07 08:53 PM. Reason for edit: Spelling. Or is it speling?

Posts: 26197
09-23-07 11:18 PM - Post#464088    

    In response to mykeal

The Blue Book of Modern Black Powder Values shows several CVA pistols that it could be.
In addition to the Hawken shown above, they made a "Kentucky Pistol in .45 or .50 caliber (10 1/4 inch barrel), a Mountain Pistol in .45 or .50 caliber (9 inch barrel),Siber Pistol in .45 caliber (10 1/2 inch barrel) and a Tower Pistol in .45 caliber (9 inch barrel).

All of these except the Hawken Pistol are Percussion ignition guns. The Hawken was offered in both Flintlock and Percussion.
Mykeal's suggestions for a ball diameter and powder load could be used in any of them although I would go as low as 30 grains of powder in the .50 caliber gun making the load range 30-60 grains.
In the .45 I would suggest 20-45 grains of powder as a good range to work in.

If the gun is a Percussion style gun, the #11 percussion cap size should work without problems. The #10 caps may be too small and not fit the nipple properly.

As for powders, you will find that real black powder works best in any of these guns.
If the gun is a Percussion style, the synthetic powders like Pyrodex, 777 etc will work but you may have some mis-fires if you use them.

For loading pistols, I prefer a fairly loose ball/patch combination to ease loading so I would suggest a .010 or .012 thick patch.
The thicker .015-.018 patches will work in your gun without any danger however they may be difficult to start into the barrel and ram down to the powder charge.


58 Cal.
Posts: 2147
09-24-07 05:57 AM - Post#464139    

    In response to Zonie


I have the Kentucky pistol; they also made a Colonial pistol kit in percussion with a 6" barrel:

and of course the Philadelphia Derringer kit with a 3 inch barrel:

both in .45 caliber.

You are right about the loads; my notes indicate I never shot the Hawken at 30 grains, so I can't say anything about it. I did not do a good job of testing various loads back then; my notes say I liked 50 grains best but the data doesn't support that so I have no idea why I wrote that in the notes.

I did use 20 grains in the .45 caliber guns, testing up to 50. I should have looked that up before posting my comment above. In general, 30 looked to be about right; the Derringer completely skews the results, of course. Anything over 30 grains in that gun was a complete waste of powder. But fun, nonetheless.

Posts: 4
09-24-07 04:39 PM - Post#464331    

    In response to Rebel

It is a 50 cal. It appears to be C.V.A. Hawken

smokin .50 
70 Cal.
Posts: 4471
smokin .50
09-24-07 05:40 PM - Post#464346    

    In response to dogwarden

mykeal hit the nail on the head! A very good friend of mine just shot at and hit a gong out at 135 yards using this same pistol. With the .490 ball and .010 pre-lubed patch and 40 grains of real 3Fg Goex. He uses this gun at 25 yard matches with 30 grains and cuts single hole targets with it! Good luck with your pistol and WELCOME to the Forum!


Posts: 4
09-24-07 07:11 PM - Post#464377    

    In response to smokin .50

Thanks for the info and the welcome,it's a great and very usful site, regards Dace

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