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Thread: CVA Hunter in 44 Magnum

  1. #1
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    CVA Hunter in 44 Magnum

    I have not picked it up yet, but it should be here sometime next week. In the meantime, I have been scouring and digging to see exactly what I want to shoot in it.

    I do know that I want to shoot the heavies, and so I have the Lee 310 grain mold on the way also. Now I am just trying to narrow it down to powder.

    My goal is to have a good deer gun for shots up to 125 yards or so. I am going to put a fixed power 4x on it.

    The thing that is hard seems to be sifting through all the pistol load information, and the fact that most rifle load data is for the lever guns.

    Ive never loaded for the 44 mag before, so I do not have any of the 'normal' powders used for it. I do have Unique and will be working with it to start out.

    It seems that H110/W296 is the go to powder other than that right? I know 2400 is popular, but I have not seen it around in a long time.

    I'll be sure to keep this updated as I work with the gun, but am hoping I can gleen some more information than what I seem to be finding about using the 300+ grain boolits in the 44 mag rifle. Like I said, most information is geared toward pistols(I do understand they are safe to shoot in rifles) and most data is centered around 240 grain boolits - not the heavies.

    Is 110/296 as hard to work with as some say? Would Unique get me where I would like to be?

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    If you go to the Hodgdon load data site and look under "rifle" cartridges you can find data for .44 Mag out of a 20" barrel with several boolit weights and powders. GF

  3. #3
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    My brother before taking sick just got this daft rifle and drill d a nice buck on the second day of MI rifle season; I shoot the heavies in my rifles so loaded some for my brother, over H110, the Hornady 240 xtp shot so well he went with that but this rifle seems to have the right twist for the heavies cause the 310s and the 280s both shot very well.
    He wanted the big boys, the rifle gets final say; the 240's xtp we loaded shot so well that at one point we called a cease fire cause he thought he was missing the target all together, 1 hole at 50 yards, the back of the paper showed it was more than one, he was skeptical so I put blue tape over the hole,next shot centered it, told him to then shoot the corners of the 2 inch wide blue tape. When you have that kind of shooting you go with that load no matter what YOU await to use; the last group at 100 was exactly 1.4 inches for a 3 shot group .

  4. #4
    Boolit Master OlDeuce's Avatar
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    Your going to like that .44 !!!!! Ol Deuce
    Do the Best with What you have !

  5. #5
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    That one is going to make meat.

    If it shoots that good you don't worry about nothing else. That is minute of deer heart right there.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nagantguy View Post
    My brother before taking sick just got this daft rifle and drill d a nice buck on the second day of MI rifle season; I shoot the heavies in my rifles so loaded some for my brother, over H110, the Hornady 240 xtp shot so well he went with that but this rifle seems to have the right twist for the heavies cause the 310s and the 280s both shot very well.
    He wanted the big boys, the rifle gets final say; the 240's xtp we loaded shot so well that at one point we called a cease fire cause he thought he was missing the target all together, 1 hole at 50 yards, the back of the paper showed it was more than one, he was skeptical so I put blue tape over the hole,next shot centered it, told him to then shoot the corners of the 2 inch wide blue tape. When you have that kind of shooting you go with that load no matter what YOU await to use; the last group at 100 was exactly 1.4 inches for a 3 shot group .
    Thanks for the info. I may eventually try some jacketed rounds, but for now I would like to stick with cast. Its hard to stick with something like that though when you are getting accuracy like you talked about. I'll deffinitely keep this in the back of my head for future use.

    What kind of loads were you working up with the 310s?

  7. #7
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Here is something I just found this morning. I thought I would share it with you all. I am guessing some already have this book. It sure would be nice if they kept making them, and updating them.

    http://marvinstuart.com/firearm/Manu...gtonMagnum.pdf

  8. #8
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    TCLouis's Avatar
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    If the 310 shoot in a rifle like it does in my SRH, your load quest is done.
    Won't quote amount since that will likely vary with your gun, but H 110 seemed to fit the bill.
    I would at least start with the 2400/H110/W 296 trinity.
    Nothing is impossible for the person that does not have to do it.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCLouis View Post
    If the 310 shoot in a rifle like it does in my SRH, your load quest is done.
    Won't quote amount since that will likely vary with your gun, but H 110 seemed to fit the bill.
    I would at least start with the 2400/H110/W 296 trinity.
    I sure hope it does. I have come to the conclusion that I will just have to start with 110/296. I can get other powders, but would have to order them. Those two are the only ones I have available locally. I have read enough now that I feel comfortable using them. I just was not sure about it before.

    I REALLY hope I can get the 310 to shoot well in the rifle. It has the 1:20" twist so stability should not be an issue at all. I will hopefully be trying things out toward the end of next week.

    I am going to start with ~19 grains and work my way up. I am pretty sure I will end up around the 21 - 21.5 grain mark based on the fact that 95% of people who shoot that boolit use that load.

  10. #10
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    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    I have a CVA Scout II in 44 mag. it loves the 240gr. Hornady xtp on top of near max. loads of 296. 1775 fps and accurate.
    I also load a Nei 235gr GC boolit at 1650 fps over 2400....it is almost as accurate.
    My CVA has a 20-1 twist and should be good with heavier boolits....but seeing how it shoots with the other two, why bother?

  11. #11
    I'm thrilled to read about this gun... It's next on my list. I have a microgroove Marlin 44so I need something to shoot smaller boolits in.

  12. #12
    Boolit Grand Master

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    My go to powder is IMR4227 for my Marlin. I tried H110 and didn't like it as much. Part of that though is that the IMR4227 can be downloaded and is useful in other cast boolit cartridges like .308 Win and .303 British.

    I wanted to go with heavy boolits but found that anything over about 270 gr. wouldn't remain stable with the 1:38" twist. 300 gr. Hornady's were keyholing by 100 yards. Heavy cast did a bit better but not much. A 300 gr. WFN design might do okay and some say they do. 265 gr. cast shot well to 200 yards so I stick to 270 gr. and under with good results.

    If the CVA has 1:20" twist you should be good with the heavy bullets/boolits though.

    I will be watching for range results! I might be interested in a CVA .44 mag. myself!

    Longbow

  13. #13
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hodges View Post
    I have a CVA Scout II in 44 mag. it loves the 240gr. Hornady xtp on top of near max. loads of 296. 1775 fps and accurate.
    I also load a Nei 235gr GC boolit at 1650 fps over 2400....it is almost as accurate.
    My CVA has a 20-1 twist and should be good with heavier boolits....but seeing how it shoots with the other two, why bother?
    I hear ya, but I do have my reasons for wanting to go bigger - I just hope that I don't find that it shoots better with the lighter ones. I know that a 240 grain boolit is all I "need" for most of my hunting, but I got the gun specifically because of the twist rate in order to shoot the heavier ones.

    It was a tuff call because I almost opted for the 45-70. However, I liked the efficiency of the smaller pistol case.

    Its good to hear that this gun will shoot good with the 240's though.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    My go to powder is IMR4227 for my Marlin. I tried H110 and didn't like it as much. Part of that though is that the IMR4227 can be downloaded and is useful in other cast boolit cartridges like .308 Win and .303 British.

    I wanted to go with heavy boolits but found that anything over about 270 gr. wouldn't remain stable with the 1:38" twist. 300 gr. Hornady's were keyholing by 100 yards. Heavy cast did a bit better but not much. A 300 gr. WFN design might do okay and some say they do. 265 gr. cast shot well to 200 yards so I stick to 270 gr. and under with good results.

    If the CVA has 1:20" twist you should be good with the heavy bullets/boolits though.

    I will be watching for range results! I might be interested in a CVA .44 mag. myself!

    Longbow
    I actually have thought about using 4227 because I do have a little in stock for my 308 cast loads. It seems to be popular around here also, but hopefully it will show up soon. If the W296 doesnt work I'll give it a go.

    When I first decided to get a 44 Mag I was going to get a lever gun. But after doing all the looking around I realized that the 1:38" twist was going to potentially hurt my chances to do what I want with the 300 grain boolits. So I opted for the CVA. I was eyeballing the new Henry's, but I know CVA has a great trigger and great customer service, so I decided to go this route.

    I am really looking forward to shooting it. I am going to pick up my brass today, getting my scope and 310 grain mould in the mail today, so I will be doing some casting tonight/tomorrow.

  15. #15
    That's great. I will add, I wanted a 357 rifle so I went with the traditions after many good reviews, but never holding one. After receiving it, the CVA is a nicer fit and finish. I'll be owning a 44 mag CVA soon.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Picked it up today. I’m really happy with it. I got the scope mounted, but ran out of time to develop some loads. The gun feels great. Going to be a perfect woods gun.

    I had some 44 special I loaded for a friend. I had some extra so I decided to just see how it shot. The loads were standard Skeeter loads. I shot at a target about 20 yards away and they were all over the place. Very interesting to me.

    I was shooting more off hand than steady though. So who knows if it didn’t like the load of me. I did a quick slug, and it came out looking good. I need to do it better, but preliminary results are a groove diameter of .430”.

    Pictures and more tests to follow. It was interesting shooting those special loads though. They sounded way different than any other gun I have.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
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    The cva I shot in 44 mag was really accurate. The load that he used was lead commercial cast bullets with IMR 4227. I wish I knew the weight of the bullet. 5 shots at 100 yards all touching one ragged hole. I only shot a few groups with it but the worst group I got that day was around 1 1/2

  18. #18
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    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    I hope you removed the sight rings that came with the rifle, cleaned and remounted it. I didn't with mine and was having a devil of a time getting my cast loads to shoot well, after it shot Jkt. stuff just fine. It turns out the one piece scope mount and rings were mounted with crud in the screw holes...they had loosened after a few shots and the mount was wobbling a bit.
    I took it off cleaned everything, checked carefully that the screws were not bottoming out, and all has been well since.

    I know better than to trust the factory mounting.....but every once in a while I need to be reminded. Good luck with yours.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hodges View Post
    I hope you removed the sight rings that came with the rifle, cleaned and remounted it. I didn't with mine and was having a devil of a time getting my cast loads to shoot well, after it shot Jkt. stuff just fine. It turns out the one piece scope mount and rings were mounted with crud in the screw holes...they had loosened after a few shots and the mount was wobbling a bit.
    I took it off cleaned everything, checked carefully that the screws were not bottoming out, and all has been well since.

    I know better than to trust the factory mounting.....but every once in a while I need to be reminded. Good luck with yours.
    Yep. I took them off, cleaned them up, then put a dab of locktite on them. Last year I got a torque driver in order to be able to do things "proper", so I tried to look up the torque specs and could only find that the base be set at 25 and the rings at 20. They seem to be holding. I always mark a few lines on the scope, in a place its not so noticable, just to be able to visually check if it has moved.

    There was a lot of residue under the base, and a little bit of stuff in the holes but not much.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master newton's Avatar
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    I checked again this morning and it really seems like the barrel is slugging right at .429" for the grooves and .420" for the lands. I am going to do it one more time soon as I get a better slug to work with. I used a 45 cal round ball the first time and a 45 cal lee REAL bullet the second time. Both of them are kind of hard to work with so I am going to pour a soft slug in a 45 cal regular boolit mould I have. Regardless, I know for sure that the groove diameter is NOT over .430" which is absolutely astounding to me. It makes sense why a lot of people are having good luck with accuracy.

    I think my accuracy(lack of) last night was just a combination of several things. I am not putting much stock into it really. I just wanted to shoot it real bad so I shot what I had available. I am sure once I get the 310's loaded up into magnum brass I will see the gun shine. I am going to play with IMR 4227 first, and if I cannot get the accuracy and velocity I want then I will switch over to 110/296. 1500 fps is my goal, but accuracy trumps that. If I can achieve both with 4227 I'll be tickled.

    I thought about what the noise of the shot reminded me of. It really sounded like a morter round being shot. Like a high pitched hollow sound. It was interesting to say the least. I have never shot a big bore rifle, only handguns. 30 caliber is the biggest rifle I have ever shot.

    Once it gets nice out I promise pictures. I have to say that I was going back and forth between this one and the SS Scout version. I am glad I went with the Hunter. It just seems like one of those guns that is going to see a lot of use.

    One thing I will say, I used my digital fishing weight scale to measure it this morning. Of course I have the scope on, a Simmons 4x32, but it was registering just over 7.5lbs. I figured it would be lower, but I guess the scope and rings do add that much to the weight of the gun. I did not measure it without them, but it was supposed to be 5.8lbs.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check