CVA .54 Hawken for the record books

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bpd303

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I just bought a CVA .54 caliber Hawken from our local pawn shop for cheap. The guy at the shop said that the previous owner could not get it to shoot and the gun has never been fired. I dropped the ram rod down and it appeared to have a load in it, although the previous owner said he had pulled the ball and just put the rifle up.

The rifle was made in '86 according to the serial number 86 396xxx and it does not look like it had ever been shot. I figured it had been dry balled and the load that was pulled was a second load.

When I got it home I took my ball puller and when I tried to engage the screw it felt & sounded like it was hitting steel not lead. I then tried to use a grease fitting to push out whatever was in the barrel but it wouldn't budge and grease just blew out around the nipple threads.

I then dropped my bore camera down to see what was up and was surprised to find the breech plug had never been line bored for the patent breech but was just a solid plug. I then pulled the bolster to confirm this and sure enough no flash channel was drilled into it.

I have a call into Deer Creek Products to see what they say. I'm thinking that I will have to line bore it myself.
 

necchi

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Wow! That is a unique thing. Haven't ever seen one like that.
Messed up drums yes, but never a factory original drum without an index hole drilled in it!!
:doh:
 

Zonie

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Having to drill the hole for the breech shouldn't be too great of a problem.
Just remember to get the drum aligned at the correct attitude before you do the drilling.

Here's what CVA had to say about their design.

 

bpd303

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I just talked with Jim at Deer Creek Products and he was very helpful. When I described how far the ram rod went down the bore, stopping about an inch & a half from the bolster, just like it had a load in it he said that it was plugged by CVA and sold as a non-firing gun. He advised that he could probably pull the breech plug and get the extra plug out then line bore it for around $10.00.

It will be sent to them asap. Then wait to hear the results.

This is the first time I had ever heard of CVA making non-firing replicas.
 

swathdiver

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Got a CVA Hawken replacement .54 caliber barrel once that hadn't been rifled, oopsk!
 

necchi

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bpd303 said:
I learned that Deer Creek now has a web site. It's not complete so if there is something not listed a call will usually get you what you want.
http://www.deercreekproducts.net/
Wow! That is a huge benefit for all of us as well as them!!
 

Ken Cormier

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WOW What a messed up deal. The good thing is now you have a new never fired gun. That is cool :hatsoff:
 

cynthialee

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swathdiver said:
Got a CVA Hawken replacement .54 caliber barrel once that hadn't been rifled, oopsk!
Did you keep it or send it back? a .54 smooth rifle from CVA would be a rare bird.
 

Billnpatti

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"....he said that it was plugged by CVA and sold as a non-firing gun."

If it came from the factory as a non-firing gun, would the barrel be safe to shoot? :confused: I doubt that it was ever proofed since it was never intended to be fired. I'd be sure to make certain that the gun was safe to fire before I ever put a load into it. Think pipe bomb.....held close to your face.

BTW, why in the world would they ever make a non-firing gun? That is the first that I ever heard of CVA making a non-firing gun. :idunno: But, that is not surprising because there are a lot of things that I have not heard of. As Shakespeare said "There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
 

swathdiver

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Sent it back of course! :cursing: Now I wished I'd kept it if only for versatility.
 

bpd303

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Those questions crossed my mind too. Hopefully Jim at Deer Creek will be able to answer them after he inspects the barrel. I'll give him a couple of days, the barrel was delivered to them last Friday afternoon.
 

Zonie

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I've never heard of a non-firing CVA before either but Deer Creek does know a lot about CVA guns.

Perhaps CVA (who was an import company who never actually made any of the guns they sold) wanted to sell the Spanish guns to some people who lived in some Country, State or City that forbid owning a working rifle?
 

Billnpatti

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Sounds plausable to me. Either that or it was intended as a display.
 

necchi

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All MR that say "Made in USA" where assembled here but only a few hundred barrels where made here, barrels where made in Spain and shipped over as blanks and assembled here, all the locks and other peripheral parts where made in Spain
and assembled here, once the barrels had the Spanish proof marks they where made and assembled over there except for a few that where assembled at the CVA custom shop which has always been Deer Creek Products
Deer Creek Products bought the mythical Douglas barrel machines decades ago, and they did make about 500 anniversary issues of the MR.
 

bpd303

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I just talked to Jim again. He advised that the plug could not be removed and he called someone he knows at CVA for more information. The plug is installed in such a manner that it cannot be removed without ruining the barrel, even if a hydraulic press was used. He did not know how many of those barrels were made but said they were rare.

A new barrel with breech plug and bolster installed (in the white) cost $87.00 + shipping.

They will ship the new barrel tomorrow, along with some other parts I need for another rifle (sear & set trigger screws) along with my original barrel.

Now all I have to do is decide whether to blue or brown it and I'll have a rare CVA barrel to boot.
 

bpd303

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The UPS guy delivered the barrel yesterday. What great service from Deer Creek, the cost was $85.00 and the serial number is 85 353***. It was a little stained but no rust and still had the milling chips from the rifling in the bore mixed with a heavy grease. After getting it all cleaned, I decided to blue it and it looks good & stock. Next step is to take it out and see how it shoots.
 

45leadflinger

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How did your CVA 54 shoot for you after you got it finished? Sounds like even tho you had to buy a barrel you still got ya a nice leadflinger.
 
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