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Thread: CVA Hawken .50 loads?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    CVA Hawken .50 loads?

    Getting ready to start shooting muzzleloaders again. Got my dads 50 cal it is in like new condition. We used to shoot it using a measure for the powder. Its missing. Been so long we can't remember how much.

    It shoots .490 patched round ball good. Thats all we used when I was younger. What is the range of powder charge for this gun. Want to start with something the kids can shoot and work up to a good deer load.
    “Expect the rapidly expanding homeschool movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary forms needed to rebuild a free society with constitutional protections,” he said. “We cannot expect a federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.” Ron Paul

  2. #2
    Boolit Master wellfedirishman's Avatar
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    You might want to start with 50 grains (by volume) of FFg or a substitute, and work up in 5 grain increments (within your kids' comfort level).

    I have a CVA Hawken 54 cal that shoots great, 3-4 inch group at 100 yards with a round ball and patch. I generally shoot a full load of 80 grains of FFg in it, and it kicks pretty hard with that.

  3. #3
    Boolit Man


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    I've got a .50 cal CVA Hawken, I use 50 grains of FFF Goex BP, a .015 ticking patch, lubed, and a .490 round ball. Works for me, very accurate load in my rifle. A good starting place.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    My favorite is 85 grains of FFF Swiss behind most any of my 50 PRBs. Less for the kids shootin or plinkin. 50 gr. is OK for shots on deer under 50 yds. but you need more velocity and power for longer shots. Keep it under 100 yd with the 50 RB, even with more powder, and you'll be OK. 10
    10 gauge: as per Robert Ruark, "use enough gun"

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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I shoot seversl different 50 cal rifles and mostly shoot either 50 gr FFFG for ranges up to 75 yards and 80 gr for ranges between 75 and 125 yards. Both loads are accurate in my CVA 50 as well as both my other rifles. For kids I have loaded as little as 15 gr of FFFG and my kids did pretty good at 25 yards shooting those loads when they were under 10 years old and shooting PEE WEE matches. For Deer hunting 80 or 90 gr of FFG or 70 to 80 gr of FFFG will do the trick with round ball out to around 100 yards.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    You can go on line to CVA and it should say the max charge. If I remember right for CVA it's like 80gr for the 50. You could even drop the charge down for kids if you want to like 35 or 40 gr. Whatever they could handle comfortably.
    Aim small, miss small!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Went on CVA site and can't find anything about older guns. Just marketing for new stuff.
    “Expect the rapidly expanding homeschool movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary forms needed to rebuild a free society with constitutional protections,” he said. “We cannot expect a federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.” Ron Paul

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks for the input from everyone. Great place.

    I'll probably work in the 40-60 gr range to start. Get the chrony out and see what happens as charge wt goes up. Look for the sweet spot. Should be well below the max charge. 50-75 yards is good enough for the woods in missouri, going to try there for some whitetail.
    “Expect the rapidly expanding homeschool movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary forms needed to rebuild a free society with constitutional protections,” he said. “We cannot expect a federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.” Ron Paul

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I thought CVA would still have the safety data for their for their older guns they no longer manufacture for safety reasons. Most places do. I downloaded a TC scout manual and it hasn't be made in quite a few years.
    Anyway I dug through my manuals and found an old one or two really. They are mostly generic to cover all of a certain type, in this case sidelocks. One manual chart says max for 50 85gr fff or 90gr of ff. The other says 100gr ff so go figure. Anyway in my opinion (and I am in no way recommending this) you could double the charge with real black or pyrodex not 777, without damaging the gun. BP is very inefficiant at a certain point and you are just wasting powder. I wouldn't bother going over 100gr and probably wouldn't bother going all the way to 100gr myself.
    Aim small, miss small!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    My alll around load, except for if a kid wants to try it, is 70 grs FFF real BP and a .490 PRB. Works well for everything I've asked my CVA .50 to do. Keep it to about 100 yds or so, and that rifle should handle any whitetail you can find.

  11. #11
    for target 55 gr. 2f, for hunting 90 gr. 2f. of course every rifle different . work up till accuracy falls off. Remember , when hunting you only get one shot in a clean gun, no fouling shots. this what I used / use in all my 50's past & present.
    As far as the load working @ 100 yards I don't worry about that as the farthest shot I ever took with my flintlock was about 40 yds. For deer hunting I practice at 25 out to 50 yds.
    "there is a limit to everything"
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Most of my deer have been well under 50 yds.

    But I primarily bow hunt or, handgun it. My rifles get carried once in a while.
    “Expect the rapidly expanding homeschool movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary forms needed to rebuild a free society with constitutional protections,” he said. “We cannot expect a federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.” Ron Paul

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I've got a 20 year old CVA Hawken that I just took to the range this morning.
    Last fall, I shot it before deer season and it wouldn't group. I suspected I was using different patches than I used to shoot (it hadn't been hunted or shot much in a few years).

    Went to Wal Mart last night and bought some pillow ticking, went this morning and dumped 90 grn FF, lubed the ticking with Bore Butter, shoved down a speer .490 ball, and she made the same old 1" group (iron sights, about the best I can do) at 50 yards she always did.

    I used to shoot 85 grn FFF but thought I'd try 90FF. I chronied it last fall and the FF load ran about 1800fps to the FFF load's 1700fps. I don't know for sure but I'd suspect pressure is lower.

    In a couple of weeks I've got some buddies that are gonna be pretty ill with me at the "Walnut Match". I also suspect that guns gonna get toted quite a bit this fall.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Sometimes when BP guns get older and their shootin drops off, you can move up to a slightly larger ball and it brings the accuracy back up.
    Aim small, miss small!

  15. #15
    Black Powder 100%
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    load

    MZ rifles are no different than the other kind when it comes to loading. Each one will have a favorite range of powder to use. My T/C Hawken 50 cal has a 1-48 twist which is a trade off twist. The best for RB is the 1-66 range and the conicals will be lower than the 1-48. It will shoot both good but one better. Your patch size can be changed from .15 to .18 and the T/C conicals along with the Lee REAL and Horandy Plains bullets may give great hunting loads. My point is that nothing beats you trying them all and seeing what you and your gun like.
    Shooter of the "HOLY BLACK" SASS 81802 AKA FAIRSHAKE; NRA ; BOLD; WARTHOG;Deadwood Marshal;Bayou Bounty Hunter; So That his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I was told by an old fart and he showed me how to find the load for a black powder rifle.
    Start with about 60 grains and keep upping the charge till you no longer get the boom,you want it to crack when it goes off.
    And he told me about shooting over snow or a sheet to find out if all the powder is burnt.
    Hope this helps some.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    i saw mention of a good load for kids we run generaly 25-30 gr of 2fg 777 for our 4H muzzleloading program

    we are using this in 50 cal thompsons hawkens style , percustion with pillow ticking and .490 ball the kids do most of their shooting at 25 yards and for that distance it is just fine

    if you have a breach plug pull it and look to see if you have a larger than rifling cavity at the breach make sure you charge fills that , my inline has this , the side locks we use for 4H do not. they just started at a normal 50 gr and worked down 5gr at a time till they settled at 30 being a nice charge. it gets the ball to the target just fine and doesn't beat the kids up at all they have 50 scored shots plus practice if the load is to heavy it wears them out

    almost any powder at all will get the patched round ball out the barrel, i had someone seat a ball on no powder , well they thought there was powder but i didn't think so after 5 caps , i pulled the nipple it was definitly clear . i took the primer for the flinter and put maybe 3gr of powder and got it worked down then put the nipple back on carfully and capped and the ball was tossed from the barrel and make it 50 feet or so before hitting the ground

    that finished the decition that we are getting a co2 device to clear those , does any one know of a co2 device for clearing barrels that fits on a refillable tank


    another reason 30 gr is a good kids charge , they could drop a triple charge and while they get a surprize they are still safly withing the limits of the gun

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    just bought one, should be here by friday.

    now i have to go find some linen at good will for patches.

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