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Adisiwaya

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I've shot deer with my mosin quite a bit. I'm 27 trying to get into muzzle loading so I can show my kids more than what I was taught at a younger age. I have a old cva gander hawken 50cal. I can't find any info on this model or the year or the load it should be taking. I bought this years ago for 75$

I've shot it a few times adjusted the back site.

Here's what I'm looking for

How to tell the year?
What load it should take for deer?
Any value to it?
What scope can I put on it as it's already seemed to be drilled for one before I got it. Would like something as my right eye isn't the best anymore.

Any helpful tips for someone getting started is much appreciated

received_815545939203515.jpeg
 

tenngun

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Gun is from the 1970s or after. First big one was Thomson Center. Then CVA Navy arms ect followed suit.
There are ample ways of mounting a scope on one, often low power, about 4x.
You would have to check with a gunsmith.
You should be able to shoot ball or some sort of conical in it. In general around a hundred yards is your top range. So a low power scope serves well.
You can also use a tang mounted peep. As you know there is a bit of smoke off these guns and that can be hard on lenses.
Scope or not, practice, and practice at variable rangers. 90% of my deer were at fifty yards or less. One at eight several less then twentyfive. You need to know where to hold to get a good hit.
Clean it well, clean it like your cook ware, or like R Lee Ermy is your drill Sargent.
It will last your life time.
Charges should be in the 70-110 grain range for a ball, 70-90 for a conical.
Welcome to an addiction.
 

Adisiwaya

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Thanks a million. What kind of charge would you recommend I use? Can't find much info. 90 grains or 120 for deer? I have been using plastic backed conicals. Seem to shoot pretty straight once I adjusted the rear site.
 

tenngun

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Get rid of the plastic.
A .15 patch greased with a black powder lube like bore butter, crisco, olive oil or lard, and .490 ball.
In conical go with a maxi ball, or CVA real
Load for you most accurate shot. 70 grains 3f or pyrodex p will send a ball through a deer at 100 yards. Going higher then a hundred grains won’t buy you any killing power or range, just increase your recoil and likely open your groups.
 

Jaeger

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Listen to Tenngun. All good advice. 70 grains 3F is pretty much a perfect load. If you are going to go modern with a scope, at least go old-fashioned and period correct with a cloth-patched round ball! If you are at a range and damp swab after every 2-3 shots, you should be able to shoot tight groups with that gun and round balls.
 

Adisiwaya

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No where round me had the patches or balls... just the 50 packs of plastic backed hollow points... Guess I'll be on the search for them when I get home next. Is there a reason why you guys don't suggest plastic backed ones besides the balls? The one shop said they don't recommend them as they have tendency to wabble in the barrel?
 

Kansas Jake

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1# Since this is a traditional site here we don’t discuss the saboted bullets i.e. plastic.

2# They are very expensive.

3# Patched round balls are more than adequate for deer out to and a little past 100 yards if you can hit the vitals.

Round balls are easy to order if not available in your local area. They are also easy to cast without a huge investment. Molds run around $20 from Lee.
 

Adisiwaya

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Can
1# Since this is a traditional site here we don’t discuss the saboted bullets i.e. plastic.

2# They are very expensive.

3# Patched round balls are more than adequate for deer out to and a little past 100 yards if you can hit the vitals.

Round balls are easy to order if not available in your local area. They are also easy to cast without a huge investment. Molds run around $20 from Lee.
Can you recommend a site online to order them?
 

Kansas Jake

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Midway USA, Grafs, Track of the Wolf, maybe Cabelas or Bass Pro are just a few. I would order .490 for your rifle to start. You will need patch material too, but I would just pick up a yard of pillow ticking from JoAnns or Walmart. Don’t get too fancy about stuff to start. Just get out and shoot the thing. There are numerous threads on this site on patch material and lubes etc. Don’t get overwhelmed until you have a chance to shoot and just enjoy the fun. BTW welcome.
 

tenngun

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Most of those or all those companies offer precut patches in several thicknesses.
All offer pre lubed. In general stay away from those. The stuff left on weakens the weave and they start to fall apart when shot.
You should get a short starter or ball starter. It makes it easier to get your load in the gun.
Those companies offer patch lubes, and you will get in to experimenting with different lines, but don’t get overwhelmed.
I’m going to get poofs at me, but in general lubes won’t get much difference from different lubes.
There are swaged ball, produced in presses but are in less choices. Or cast that come in a lot of sizes. Your gun will most likely shot best with .490 / .15 but down the road you may try .485/.20 or .24 patch, or .495/.15 or .10 patch or a .490 and .20.
Try 70 grains by volume to start. Few people shoot much above or below that. Try 90 and it can give you a little extra umph and still group well
 

Grenadier1758

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Oh, @tenngun, I know you meant to say 0.015" (fifteen thousandths) thick patch. For that matter 0.024, 0.020, 0.015 or 0.010. that extra 0 is very important. You'll never get those quarter inch thick patches down the barrel.

Patch lubricant is important too. At this stage of @Adisiwaya's journey into traditional muzzle loading, a cheap bottle of olive oil from the Dollar Store will do just fine as a starting patch lube. I would recommend that you stay away from that shop that says patched round balls wobble in the bore. They may have sold you some substitute powder that doesn't leave fouling. Don't believe it. Get some 0.015" thick patches, not the pre lubricated version as those are often old and the patch material is often deteriorating. Use 0.490 diameter balls. These seem to match your CVA Spanish barrel pretty good.

Cleaning is simple. Use tap water. Your barrel is hooked. Remove your ramrod and the wedge. The barrel will lift out of the stock. Remove the nipple and put the breech into a bucket of water with a squirt of dish washing soap. With a damp cleaning patch you can effectively flush all the fouling from your barrel. Dry your barrel and protect the bore with a rust inhibiting lubricant.

Now, then, how old is your rifle. There should be a proof stamp on your barrel. Since you have a Spanish barrel I don't know the date code for the Spanish proof houses. Lets see some pictures of the stamps on your barrel.

For hunting, a load of 70 to 85 grains volume is more than adequate for hunting deer. While I believe black powder is the best choice, you may only have access to one of the substitute powders such as Pyrodex or Triple Seven. Do be aware that all fouling from any of the powders is corrosive. Clean soon after shooting.

Welcome to the hobby. I hope you find it enjoyable.
 

bud in pa

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Adisiwaya You have just gotten a whole bunch of good info from experienced people. Follow their advice , as most on this blog have years of experience.
 
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.490 round ball, 15 thousands cotton patch make sure the sizing is washed out of the material (if you have a set of calipers use them if not go some where like a harbor freight and buy a set they are pretty cheap) to measure the thickness of the material, Crisco or olive oil for lube just enough to lightly coat the patching material, I use a strip about 1and 1/2 inch wide or there about, charge the barrel with 80grns. 3f goex (if you have access to it) bye measure into the barrel lay the material over the barrel place the ball on the material and start the whole thing into the barrel about a inch or so, use a sharp knife and cut the material flush with the barrel crown, using your ram rod push the ball and patch snug in short strokes (SHORT STROKES) on top of the powder (be sure to grasp the rod about 5-6 in. above the barrel) this way you do not flex the rod and risk a broken rod through your hand. Prime the rifle and BANG your on your way to a fascinating hobby and a empty wallet ( I cannot state about loading with the subs like triple 7 or pyrodex all I shoot in my guns is black powder, but I do believe they are also loaded bye volume just like the holy black)
 

Eterry

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One thing not mentioned is a black powder measure. Black powder and its substitutes are measured by VOLUME not weight.
So I suggest getting a brass adjustable powder measure with a cut off spout, it makes spills less frequent. I didn't use a starter for a long time, but they definitely are useful.

For plinking you don't need a super tight fit, you shouldn't have to hammer the ball down the barrel. I wouldn't bother with measuring pillow ticking until you become more comfortable just loading, shooting and cleaning your rifle.

No one has mentioned use ONLY BLACK POWDER or a SUBSTITUTE! Many a black powder rifle and its owner have been seriously injured by using smokeless powder. Don't do it!
Don't ever act like they do on movies and pour powder directly from a horn or flask into the barrel... that's asking for trouble.

If you're at the range you can get by with spit patches, that's taking a few cut patches and acting like it's chewing tobacco. We're not talking about soaking wet patches, so if the taste of cotton cloth doesn't agree with you then crisco or any vegetable oil will do. Once again, we're not talking about soaking them. You can put a few damp patches in a ziplock bag.

You can order 100 .490 round balls from track of the wolf for under 15 bucks, plus shipping. They also have powder measure and starters. Check them out.
Good luck
 

Adisiwaya

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Bought some more stuff from a gun shop I forgot existed. 100 .490 lead round balls. Patches both lubed and non lubed... Black powder too. 10 oz black horn. Powder measure and some plastic tubes to have pre measured amount. New nipples. This gun shop told me my gun won't fire worth shit with the tube pressed black powder. Was nice enough to show me how to clean everything and so that. Love the small town gun shops.
 

deermanct

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Black horn 209 won't work in your rig. You need REAL black powder or something else like Pyrodex RS or P.
Black horn 209 is a different propellant not suited to traditional muzzleloaders.
 

kje54

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Bought some more stuff from a gun shop I forgot existed. 100 .490 lead round balls. Patches both lubed and non lubed... Black powder too. 10 oz black horn. Powder measure and some plastic tubes to have pre measured amount. New nipples. This gun shop told me my gun won't fire worth shit with the tube pressed black powder. Was nice enough to show me how to clean everything and so that. Love the small town gun shops.
Take the Black Horn back, it's not made for traditional black powder guns. You want real black powder or if you must Pyrodex RS or P as deermanct said.
 

Adisiwaya

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Yupp my dumbass didn't realize that till I got home. Good enough reason to buy another muzzle loader right? LMAO took 3 caps to get it to fire like yupp this isn't right. Guess I cant trust gun shops selling me everything...
 

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