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Discussion Starter #1
......I have a CVA Optima 50.cal...with a Nikon 3/9 on top. This weekend I tried sighting it in. Started out with 150 grns of loose powder and 223gr powerbelts at 50 yds. Icould not get a decent group for the life of me. lowered to 120 grs...still the same. Lowered again to 100 grains and tried 190 gr sabots. A little better, but very disappointing and I do not feel confident out to 100 yds. Barrel was swabbed after every other shot. Looking for any others that may shoot this gun and the best load and bullet they've found.
Thanks, Chris.
 

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One of my buddies with a CVA had to go to lead slugs to get a decent group. Sabots are nice but I would rather shoot a tight group. You may want to give it a shot.
 

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I would try heavier other than lighter. I thought the same thing once and went down to 185 gr sabots.... never again. They just dont have enough punch to do an effective job. I shot a 8 pt a few years back with the 185's, twice. He never reacted. Just ended up walking away. No blood, no nothing. I thought I whiffed. I ended up finding him later that afternoon on my way back to the same stand. He went about 250 yards. With two holes in his chest. That was with 100 gr powder.

I now shoot 348 or 295 powerbelts with 150 gr triple 7and have not had any probs. One thing though, most of these new smokepoles need a couple of shots through them before they start to pattern well. I would not swab it out until it starts to get tough to load bullets.

Another recommendation will be to shoot as much powder as recommended for the gun. Its not very often to get a solid kill with less than 100 grains without having to trail the hell out of them. And they usually dont bleed too much with a muzzleloader hit due to lack of pass thru.

Personally, during black powder, since its usually during the prerut/ rut time frame, you are most likely to see a bruiser. Do you really want to have less power and punch when you have the biggest buck of your life 50 yards out ( this is speaking from experience).

Its just my 2 cents.
 

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use 2 tripple 7 pellets behind a 250 grain lock and load sabot and you will get very nice groups. I shoot a cva and had very tight groups at 50 yards I even had a 2 shot 3/4 inch oval. you are trying to push a light bullet too fast. you are probabally stripping plastic off the sabot as it goes down the barrel. you need to use a good plastic solvent and clean the barrel good before you try again
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks guys,
295Powerbelts seem to be the favorite among the majority. Gonna give them a whirl with 100 grains and than move up.
 

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Don't swab after every shot. The more you shoot it the better it will get. I also shoot lead bullets. The powerbelts look nice but seem to blow thru without doing much damage.


DEAN
 

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Clean the barrel with a damp patch followed with a dry patch after every shot. For breaking in a new barrel use Bore Butter to season the barrel just like a cast iron frying pan. I run a lightly lubed patch before loading every time. If you are sighting in do it with a clean barrel every shot, just like that first shot in the deer woods. I use 3/50 gr Triple Seven pellets with a 250gr Hornady SST sabot ignited by a Winchester Muzzleloader 209 primer. 2.5 inches at 100yds from a 22 inch T/C Black Diamond w/3x9 scope. I couldn’t get Power Belts to work in any of my muzzleloaders. Loose powder? Only use that for the Flintlock.

Good Luck,
Walt
 

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I have the exact same setup, CVA Optima with a Nikon Buckmaster 3-9/40mm. I agree with most of the board, trying to push a ~140 grain bullet with 150 grains of power is like strapping a Triton engine onto a Kia. I use 100 grains of powder and a 245 grain powerbelt bullet. This provides good grouping and knockdown power. Before you hunt, clean the barrel and then shoot a blank 50 grain load (I use triple7). This "tightens up the barrel" by adding a slight residue which adds better friction for the bullet when it travels down the barrel. Then load and get ready for Mr. Brown Coat to come a walkin by.

Powerbelts rock.
 

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Blank 50 grains? that sounds dangerous as $hit

I'm pretty sure my old man has a CVA and had bad grouping with the sabotted bullets... he uses the lead bullets now (cant remember the name...buffalo bullets?) and does fine. He figured this out before the powerbelts came out... they might shoot good too.

I own a knight... cheapest one at walmart... I shoot 165-185gr sabotted noslers with 90 grains of pyrodex powder and it groups tight at 50 yds (1" group) with fantastic knock down powder. I dont have a scope, though I've toyed with the ideas but I dont shoot beyond 50 yds.
 

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Just a thought to all you guys posting here...if you are still shooting Pyrodex, you really need to try Triple 7 or even better Clean Shot ( also American Pioneer- available at Green Top) and you will never shoot pyrodex again.

1. Pyrodex is very corrosive.
2. Pyrodex is very hard to clear out of your barrel.
3. Pyrodex is very conducive to seizing your breech plug.
4. Pyrodex stinks. (Dont think that deer cant smell that stuff!)
That is just my own personal opinion of the stuff. I have killed deer with it, but it seems that we spend much more time shooting at the range than shooting at game. So would you rather spend more time cleaning your gun getting ready to hunt or actually go hunt. Plus with the Pyrodex, you almost have to clean pyrodex after each shot, but with the cleaner burning less corrosive powder/pellets its just not necessary.

I know that they are more costly but are well worth the extra few bucks ( no pun intended).

I dont want to step on anyones toes, but it really might help some of you guys save a little time. Give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
......I don't feel confident that Amercian Pioneer pellets are equally the same in weight as they claim. They are square...some slide down the barrel and others you have to jam down the barrel. I like to measure my powder to be sure.
 

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Chris, I too tried power belts but the didnt work out. I have a buddy that has about 3 packs for sale 295 grain 25$ he is switching to barnes. I used all of my pyrodex and went to triple 7 last year it's hotter than pyrodex and shot higher. My favorite bullet for my usa knight is the knight 300 grain lead sabbot and 100 grain of loose powder. Get a good rest or a vice and site in a inch and a half high at 50 yrd. until you get good groups then move on to 100yrd. I killed a 8pt. pinto a few years back at 125yrd. and he was walking so i figured if i put it on his neck he would walk into the shot, he stoped and the bullet went dead center of the neck. Also I use thompson ctr. #13 cleaner when the mark on my ramrod is higher than normal, allways follow with a dry patch and bore butter. Good luck Bill
 

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Damn Crow, you still using No.11's????? Might as well hunt with a club . You can get conversion kits for about 25 bucks, I saw them at Green Top this past weekend. 209's are much more reliable. The last day I hunted with no.11s...had a 150 inch buck directly under the stand. I pulled the trigger and the gun went "pppssst." Luckily, I was able to get another one on before the buck got out of range and was able to get another chance.

I learn well from all the multiple mistakes that I routinely make[grin].
 

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My opinion is why mess with a good thing. I bought a box of those Tripple 7 pellets before I realized I needed a 209 primer, and then decided it wasnt worth the trouble. Its still a pain to clean...but that really doesnt bother me that much.


I'm going to have to go home and look at the gr size of the bullets I use...because I think I might have lied up above.


Also... if anyone wants a box of 50 cal 50 grain Triple 7 pellets let me know. 1 year old, been in dry storage the whole time, I did open them once just to see if they looked much different...but they've been sealed up good ever since.
 

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Crow Bait, shooting a blank 50 grain pellet is not dangerous, unless someone is looking down the barrel when you shoot. In fact, Civil War reenactors use blanks when shooting at each other. I also got that advice from several blackpowder articles. By the way, I also read that bore butter is useless. Of course you can't always believe what you read.

Hope you work it out. Like I said, I have the identical set-up and get good grouping with 100 grains of 777 and a 245 grain powerbelt. It could be the scope, a defective barrel or (dare I say it) the shooter. Be sure and use a good rest, remount the scope (to check the mounts and fasteners) and take a good look down the barrel (unloaded). Check the grouping at 25, 50 and then 100 yards.

Good Luck, Hope you get a monster buck!
 
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