Patch, And Ball Size Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Percussion Rifles' started by DevilsLuck, May 10, 2019.

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  1. May 10, 2019 #1

    DevilsLuck

    DevilsLuck

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    2141D73B-6844-4264-BCE4-55C7A46ED43D.jpeg I was just recently given a CVA, .50 cal muzzleloader. Can’t beat that price. Thing is... I don’t know much of anything about them. I want to stop at the shop tonight and get some patches, and ball, or other projectile types to try this thing out. What are my options? Any “Do Nots”?Powder charge recommendations would be well recieved as well. I currently have Schuetzen FFFg, and Pyrodex P.
     
  2. May 10, 2019 #2

    Loyalist Dave

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    Well that's a pretty "fast" twist rate...1:32. That tends to be too fast for some patched round ball applications, IF the rifling is shallow. German target rifles of the 18th and 19th century had faster twist rates than the often found 1:48, so it's not impossible that you could shoot PRB well. The current Pedersoli Jaeger has a 1:24 twist rate and it shoots round ball well. It may be, however, that the rifle barrel is designed for the CVA "powerbelt" conical bullets, since the rifle is a CVA.

    So you really should take a micrometer to the bore, and measure between the lands and the grooves, to really know your barrel. That will tell you how deep are the grooves. On the other hand some folks will just go buy .490 round ball, and .015 pre-lubed patches and "give it a try". I'd use 50 grains of powder as a testing load, with the old rule-of-thumb being one grain per caliber when starting out with a new to you barrel.

    I'd also get some Hornady Great Plains bullets or some T/C Maxi-Balls to try out and see if they are more accurate. https://www.trackofthewolf.com/Search.aspx/2?search=bullets I'd only go to the CVA powerbelts if none of the previous bullets shot well.

    LD
     
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  3. May 10, 2019 #3

    DevilsLuck

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    Thank you! I’ll try to get some of each. Depending of course on what’s available at the shop.
     
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  4. May 10, 2019 #4

    Loyalist Dave

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    Mail order is often your friend. ;)

    LD
     
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  5. May 10, 2019 #5

    DevilsLuck

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    Indeed. And impatience is an expensive virtue. But then again; patience is a virtue I’ve never had time for...
     
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  6. May 10, 2019 #6

    DevilsLuck

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    In all seriousness though; if I want to get some trigger time with this rifle, I’ll have to suffer the mark up. Which isn’t really a bad thing either. While I have tons of gun shops around, even a bass pro; none carry black powder supplies, but bass pro. And their section is incredibly small, and getting smaller. The employee told me they were kind of getting out of stocking for BP. Maybe it’s a seasonal thing?
    But there is one shop not too far out of my way that actually specializes in BP, and western. Including period clothing. So I won’t mind giving him some business semi regularly. If for no other reason than to see that he stays in business. It’s a rare resource around here, and there’s no telling when I’ll need something quicker than a few days...
     
  7. May 10, 2019 #7

    Grenadier1758

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    You will likely need to make several trips to get everything you need to go shooting.

    Along with the obvious need for powder, patch and ball, you will need some other supplies to make your trip to the range productive and satisfying.

    You have not told us about the condition of the rifle. What is the condition of the bore? Have you run a cleaning patch to see is the bore is smooth and clean? A patch with rubbing alcohol is a good idea to clean the bore from any oils or grease used as rust preservative. I recommend a solid working rod to use for cleaning and loading as the rods that come with the gun are often quite flimsy. God a cleanin/loading jag as well. A 30 caliber slotted jag to clean the CVA breech is a good addition to the cleaning supplies.

    If you can, measure the land to land bore diameter to buy round balls that are aboun0.010" less than the measured bore size. I recommend that the patching be 0.015" thick and unlubricated as the prelubricated patches tend to deteriorate on the shelf. The result is poor accuracy.

    You will need percussion caps, probably #11. Since the locally available powders will be black powder substitutes, I would get magnum caps.

    Get an adjustable powder measure. One of the few absolutes in shooting muzzle loaders is to never load from a powder flask, horn or container directly. Besides you will want a consistent powder load from shot to shot.

    Finally, get safety glasses and ear plugs so you can enjoy time at the range and not be concerned about the noise when you fire your rifle.
     
  8. May 10, 2019 #8

    Eutycus

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    Like it was mentioned earlier, a .490 ball and a .015 patch then give it a try. CVAs really aren't that picky. I own several but I'm not familiar with that model. Is it one of the newer ones or is it a discontinued model from a long time ago?
     
  9. May 10, 2019 #9

    arcticap

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    The Pedersoli Country Hunter has a 1 in 34" twist and fires PRB's fairly well, at least at what appears to be relatively short range.
    At the end of the video it states the load used was a .495 ball, a .005 patch [.13 mm] with 60 grains of Swiss 3F powder.



    That seems like a tighter load and higher powder charge than I would start with which would be .490 balls and a .015 patch [or .010].
    I would probably start with the equivalent of 40 grains of powder and work up the load in 5 grain increments.
    If you're using 777, that powder can be about 15% - 20% faster by volume compared to other black powder substitutes.
    Many folks who load PRB's in rifles with a fast twist load about 50 grains of powder.

    CVA started making 1 in 32" twist rifles when they were selling their Deerslayer conical bullets for deer hunting which weighed about 300 grains.
    But that can be a heavier than necessary bullet for target shooting that can produce noticeable felt recoil with heavier powder charges.

    The Hornady Pennsylvania conical weigh 240 grains and come 50 to a box for a reasonable price.
    They're similar to the Buffalo Bullet Co. .50 Ball-ets which weighed about 245 - 250 grains.
    They were discontinued but Buffalo Bullet Industries had now moved to Nevada and they can be contacted directly about whether they have restarted production of them or not.
    People often try out conicals with and without a dry felt wad underneath them to help seal the blow by of hot gases and increase accuracy.
    Another light conical is the Lee 250 grain REAL bullet which are harder to find pre-made if one doesn't cast themselves using a Lee mold.
    But some small outfits do sell them.

    1. For Lee REAL .50 250 grain bullets inquire with: Backwoods Lead Works email: oldgravelys@icloud.com

    2. Hornady .50 PA Conical:--->>> https://www.muzzle-loaders.com/hornady-pa-conical-bullet-50-caliber-240-grain-lead-h6617.html

    3, Buffalo Bullet Industries:--->>> https://buffalobulletindustries.com
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  10. May 10, 2019 #10

    arcticap

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    Edit: By the time I did the coversion for a .13mm patch, I realized that the load isn't too tight, but the ball size is not what I would start with.
    But it was too late to finish the edit.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  11. May 10, 2019 #11

    BrownBear

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    I've done a fair bit of playing with round balls in fast twists. If there's a rule of thumb, it's "The faster you want to drive them, the tighter the patch and ball."

    All the fast twists I've encountered have real shallow rifling intended for use with conicals. Patch/ball combos that seat reasonably easily and give usual accuracy in slow twists "appear" to start slipping past the rifling when you get up past about 60 grains of powder. If you want to go higher than that, you're going to have to get lots tighter. And it's going to be harder with a new bore than one that's broken in. The last fast 50 cal I played with (1:32) did fine up to 60 grains with a .490 ball and .018 patch. But groups went to heck with any more powder. I got decent accuracy with 80 grains though when I upped the ante to a .495 ball and .018 patch. You could bruise your hand whacking the short starter to get it seated in the barrel, though. You see lots of match shooters using a mallet on their short starters cuzz they too like real tight combos, and this one was surely a candidate for a mallet.
     
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  12. May 10, 2019 #12

    DevilsLuck

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    I’m not sure. I’m new to this. I know it has a plastic stock with a short forearm, and just what it says on the stamping. I did find that a #10 percussion cap fit it perfectly. Though the nipple was absolutely packed with... well... I don’t know what. A combination of old powder, and rust? It doesn’t look like it was treated roughly. Just doesn’t look like it was cleaned and stored properly. And stayed that way for quite sometime. It took 2 days of soaking in Hopes #9 just to soften up the blockage in the nipple. As far as the bore and barrel go... I still need to get a cleaning kit for that.
     
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  13. May 10, 2019 #13

    arcticap

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  14. May 10, 2019 #14

    DevilsLuck

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    I’ll have to check when I get home. I don’t think I have a pic of the full serial #...
     
  15. May 10, 2019 #15

    Sparkitoff

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    I have had great accuracy with 245 and 295 grain Powerbelt Aero-Tip on 1:32" twist. 70 grains of FFFg up to 80 grains and it was very accurate and deadly on deer and hogs. Not a "traditional" projectile so it is not usually mentioned on this site, but for that twist you need to try it.
     
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  16. May 10, 2019 #16

    DevilsLuck

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    Im new to this, so I’ll try just about whatever the experienced guys recommend.
     
  17. May 11, 2019 #17

    Eutycus

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    Several good choices of "bullets" have been mentioned so far. What type powder/propellant do you plan on using?
     
  18. May 11, 2019 #18

    DevilsLuck

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    Well I don’t have any “plans” per say. I’m brand new to BP. Life long shooter. Cept for BP. So I’m trying not to bring any biases with me from other shooting disciplines. So, what I’ve got on hand now is Schuetzen FFFg, and Pyrodex P. But I’m still amassing what is bound to be more related paraphanaelia.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  19. May 11, 2019 #19

    Eutycus

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    For starters I'd go with the .490 ball , ,015 patch and 50 grains of that Pyrodex. From there and a little experimenting with differant loads you should be able to work up something you rifle likes. Like I said earlier CVAs are not really that particular. I'm sure you'll be hearing some more input here shortly.
     
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  20. May 11, 2019 #20

    Eutycus

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    And did I understand you correctly when you said it has a plastic stock?
     

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