Dad's 81 Christmas Kit

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cap222

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Hello All,

I recently picked up an old CVA kit that I don't believe had ever been finished.
Marked "To Dad : Christmas 1981", It must have been a gift to a loved one at some point. I don't have much more information than that so I hope to gather some advice from y'all.
45 CVA Right side.jpg
It is a CVA in .45, I am not sure of the model.
I am missing sights and several screws. The ramrod is missing as well. The dowel is just for show.

The lock seems to function, although the hammer clearance on the top of the nipple is tight. The tang also sits proud of the stock.
45 CVA Lock Detail.jpg
45 CVA Lock Detail 2.jpg
I am extremely wary of those stock pins. One misses the barrel key entirely. Neither pin is perpendicular to the barrel.
45 CVA Forestock Pin 1.jpg 45 CVA Forestock Pin 2.jpg
The stock has a strange raised finish on the wood grain. I've not seen anything like it before. The camera doesn't really pick up the surface variation that is felt on the hand. I have no idea how this might have been finished previously. Probably a healthy dose of neglect.
45 CVA Right Stock.jpg

Ive also found a couple cracks in the stock behind the lock.
45 CVA Stock Crack.jpg

My plans are to hunt with PRB this season, and when I have some more time this winter, I may dive into a full refinish.
I have other options for hunting, so if this project is not safe to use as is, I would prefer to put some time into making it a shooter.

Some questions:

Would you feel comfortable pouring powder and stuffing a PRB as it sits?
Those stock cracks will need addressed. What should I do about that tang? Inlet the stock further and bend it to fit the stock profile?
The forestock pins are not correct. Should I fill and redrill before firing?
The lock is not adjusted. The trigger pull is really tough at the moment. I see a screw to adjust to reduce the sear engagement. Is there anything else that I need to do to the lock other than cleaning?
When I cleaned the barrel, a huge amount of sludge kept pouring out of the bore. Soap and boiling water till clean. I thought the barrel was browned, but perhaps it was just oiled and left to oxidize. Were these kits shipped in the white?
I am missing some bits and pieces, Brass stock cap screw, Ramrod, front Thimble screw and Sights. Anything else that you notice that will need to be replaced?

If you see anything else that I missed, please let me know. I can take more pics to show detail.

Thanks for checking the thread,

Cap222
 

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Loyalist Dave

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So you have a vintage, CVA "longrifle" kit, circa 1981. I have the same gun, finished, in my basement. So if "sludge" is coming out of the barrel when hot water is poured in, it might never have been fired. That could be vintage Cosmoline or whatever the Spaniards were using for Cosmoline at the time, OR..., that could be vintage 3-in-1 oil. (It will shellac over time.)

The raised grain on the stock is simply because the stock was never properly finished. I can see the "striping" effect of the milling machine in one of your photos. I just bought a vintage CVA SxS kit, and the marks are the same. Best to remove all the metal from the stock and start from scratch. I'd Citristrip the finish, sand it down, then stain with Fiebing's medium brown leather dye, then rub in tung oil with 4-0 steel wool.

As for the barrel pins, yes you can fill the holes and redrill them, or not worry about the one that isn't holding, and simply fill that hole. The forward ramrod thimble is an easy find at Track of The Wolf , but likely won't match, Get a proper ramrod blank too, and sights may be purchased there as well.

You mentioned filling the stock holes and redrilling, so it sounds like you know how to mitigate stock issues. The lock mortise stock cracks, as you pointed out need to be mitigated. For the folks that are new to this hobby or if this is something they haven't ever encountered, most often a small hole is drilled perpendicular to the crack and a piece of hardwood dowel is epoxy'd in place to reinforce the wood.

STOCK CRACKS CVA KIT.JPG


Now the nipple is just a tad off, and you might see if that drum can take a slight more amount of turning, but be careful as that Spanish CVA barrel may not like that. You might see if a different brand or size nipple sits slightly lower. That's a common problem with the 1980's CVA's btw.

As for the proud tang, I can't tell from the photo if the drum is flush with the lock plate? If it is, the only fixes are take a file to it to reduce it, which might make it too thin, or cut the rounded portion of the stock at the tang area away, glue in enough new wood so that when you re-inlet the tang, and smooth down the new wood insert, the tag is no longer proud. That's a lot of work, I'm sure you can tell, and it's a CVA, so.... IF you do the latter option, then you want a dark brown dye as the wood likely will stain different. A lot of the guys who filed down the tang also "glass bedded" the breech area of the barrel to support the stock, and distribute the recoil so the tang bolt wasn't taking so much pounding.

STOCK CRACKS CVA KIT B.JPG


You're right that tiny screw on the tumbler is how you adjust the trigger pull.

As for other missing screws, they are likely metric thread. Kind of a pain to find replacements

The barrel is likely a 1:60 twist. Might be 1:65, 1:66, as they vary for that time period but they are always slow, so patched round ball. A .440 with a .015 patch and some good lube should work very well, using 60-70 grains of 3Fg to launch it. Should take deer without worries.

LD
 

tgfrench

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Before twisting on the drum to align the nipple, remove the lock and check for how the barrel is let into the stock. I believe that once you get the barrel properly seated the nipple alignment will settle itself out. Maybe? It's sad someone butchered up such a nice kit only to "lovingly" passing it off to dear dad.
 

VAN

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A lot of the original parts like screws, sights, barrel tinons and pins can be found at Deer Creek Products under CVA Kentucky Rifle Parts. They list quite a few parts for that gun. I have that barrel salvaged from a 1980's kit that was missing a lot of other parts in a gun I built, and it is really an accurate shooter. I got the original sights from them, and they shot dead on just as installed. The barrels in kits were shipped in the white and needed to be draw filed and sanded smooth before browning. They are out of the front sight for the Kentucky, but it looks like the Bobcat front sight is the same only iron instead of brass & is in stock. I got a lot of parts from them as I bought several old kits that were clearance with parts missing once at a sidewalk sale to use the barrels in other gun builds.
 
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mmull56

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You need to bend the tang to the right angle and remove enough wood under so that the drum sits down in the saddle of the lock plate. Don't remove too much and make sure that the tang screw threads into the trigger plate, this should make your hammer/ nipple config. more correct. If those cracks are just on the inside I would stabilize with super glue then you can work on the barrel pin that was miss drilled, drill press works best, measure twice then measure again. deercreekproducts.net has CVA parts.
 

russellshaffer

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Thin super glue will work for those small cracks. Just run the glue in to fill the crack and then put it away for a day or so. A puddle of glue will not set instantly but it will cure eventually. Even if the crack doesn't end up being completely filled the glue will stop the crack from progressing. A trick learned from repairing crashed model airplanes. If it was me, I would take a really good look at the bore - some of those old CVA's and Jukars had very roughly machined and rifled barrels. I have 4 of them and 2 have very nice mirror finish bores and the other 2 are rough but shoot fine.
 

cap222

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Gents,
Thank you for taking the time to point me in the right direction. I just checked out Deer Creek Products. They have a fastener kit for sale that replaces all the screws on this kit. Since I have let a screw or two fly before, I am going to get the full replacement set.
They are out of front sights, so I will look elsewhere. Can anyone point me to the correct height front sight? Here is a link to the "sporter" sight that I plan on using.

LD,
Thank you for the modified pics that show the stock fixes.
I could believe that sludge was cosmoline. It pooled up in my cleaning bucket and stuck to everything it touched. Ive cleaned dirty barrels before, but never had so much material come loose. Learning that kits may have shipped with protectant rather than oiled, that makes sense that this kit may not have been fired. The gentleman who sold me the rifle said it had never been fired. But I've found stuck sabots in "never fired" barrels before. I stole my wife's cleaning steamer and steamed the barrel from both ends. The bore is clean now.


I will take some pics as I progress. Thank you all for the recommendations.
 

hanshi

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If you like tinkering with mistreated rifles then you should have little problem getting this dude in fighting shape. Missing parts can be had or substituted and stock cracks can be fixed. I think the restoration will require disassembly but is likely within your ability. Lots of help here already and more can be had for the asking. Good luck!
 

cap222

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hanshi,
I do enjoy tinkering in general, and mistreated rifles are some of the most fun to tinker with.

I relieved the tang pocket of the stock, and now the barrel is sitting more properly. The nipple clearance is no longer an issue and the drum is centered in the lock plate.
However the tang is still proud of the stock. I marked the area of the tang that would need to be ground away if I were to try and profile the tang to the wood.

Should I file to profile or should I heat and bend that tang?
Is that part cast? Has anyone ever bent a similar tang?
Will that part bend with a propane torch or should I locate some MAPP gas? Something hotter yet?

I would hate to futz up this barrel by messing with that tang.
If I shoot the rifle as is, with so little of the rear tang engaged to the stock, am I asking for trouble? The rear of the barrel is flush against the stock pocket and making contact with the wood.
 

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@cap222,

Has the tang bolt been drilled through to the trigger plate? Is the trigger plate tapped for the tang bolt?

The first step should be to square up that radius under the tang. That needs to be filed square to be able to properly bend the tang.

Make a template of the curve of the stock at the breech. Use that template to match as you bend the tang.
 

cap222

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Hello there Grenadier,

The trigger plate is drilled and tapped to accept the tang screw.
I believe I understand your recommendation, but just to be sure I thought I would ask a couple clarifying questions

Do you mean that heating and bending the tang is the proper method to finish a kit?
Also you recommend removing material under the tang as marked in this pic?
Tang Marked 5.jpg
 

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