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Old 07-08-2005, 11:02 AM   #1
Boone & Crockett
 
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Default CVA Mountain Stalker

I've been planning to buy a muzzleloader forthe upcoming whitetail blackpowder seasons this fall, and itjust so happens that a friend gave me a CVA Mountain Stalker .50 recently. My first impression was that it's a cheap piece of junk, but I've handled it and decided that I'll give it a try while I get started with BP hunting. An American-made Kentucky or Hawken rifle would be great, but I'm not in a hurry to spend a lot of money, if you know what I mean.

I still need to do some reading before I go out to shoot it, and I might even take an NRA BP course. The initial problem is that the former owner lost the manual, and that makes me a little nervous, being a BP newbie. I know it's a .50 with a 26" bbl, but that's about it. I have a few question for those who have used this rifle before.
[ol][*]What kind of loads can/should I shoot? I'm fairly certain it wouldn't hold up to magnum powder charges, but how much can it? The twist rate is 1:32", so which projectiles would probably give me the best accuracy?[*]What kind of percussion cap does it use? I'd imagine it's designed for #11's, but I want to be sure before I go and do something I regret.[/ol]
Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:31 AM   #2
 
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Default RE: CVA Mountain Stalker

Must be some friend to just give you a gun. Wish i had friends like that.

Anyway start with powder charges measured to the same cal. as the gun. ie 50 cal gun starts with 50 grains powder. Increase by increments of 5 grains till the groups fall apart.

The bullet question is tougher. Just like centerfires some guns just like certain bullets and wont shoot others, Afraid the answer there is trial and error. But thats the fun part anyway shooting and figuring this stuff out. Round balls with light powder charges will surprise you!(at reasonable ranges)

If the gun is older ,and i think the stalker line is, it will be the number 11 caps for ignition. I like to use Hot Shot nipples because the flash hole is a bit larger for more reliable ignition. While shooting I like to do a hasty cleaning every 3rd shot. solvent patch followed by one soaked in alcohol then dry patches. Keeps loading easier since it cut down on crud in the barrel. This works for me you may experiment a bit and find something ya like better.

Dont forget accesories like bullet pullers and patch pullers youll never know frustration till ya have a misfire in the field and forget your bullet puller!!!

The best guys for info on here are Cayugad and Triple Seven. I never seen them give a bad bit of advice and I've learned quite a bit from both.

Good luck!
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Old 07-08-2005, 01:10 PM   #3
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Default RE: CVA Mountain Stalker

Quote:
Must be some friend to just give you a gun. Wish i had friends like that.
Well, he paid under $100 for it new, and it was taking up valuable storage space in his garage for several years. I did him a favor.

Quote:
Anyway start with powder charges measured to the same cal. as the gun. ie 50 cal gun starts with 50 grains powder. Increase by increments of 5 grains till the groups fall apart.

The bullet question is tougher. Just like centerfires some guns just like certain bullets and wont shoot others, Afraid the answer there is trial and error. But thats the fun part anyway shooting and figuring this stuff out. Round balls with light powder charges will surprise you!(at reasonable ranges)

If the gun is older ,and i think the stalker line is, it will be the number 11 caps for ignition. I like to use Hot Shot nipples because the flash hole is a bit larger for more reliable ignition. While shooting I like to do a hasty cleaning every 3rd shot. solvent patch followed by one soaked in alcohol then dry patches. Keeps loading easier since it cut down on crud in the barrel. This works for me you may experiment a bit and find something ya like better.

Dont forget accesories like bullet pullers and patch pullers youll never know frustration till ya have a misfire in the field and forget your bullet puller!!!

The best guys for info on here are Cayugad and Triple Seven. I never seen them give a bad bit of advice and I've learned quite a bit from both.

Good luck!
Thanks for the tip on powder charges. I'm going to get some round balls & patches and a few different sabot slugs to start out with. What I've read on rate of twist seems to suggest that round balls don't perform as well as conicals and sabots in the newer guns with higher rates, like 1:32. But I won't know for sure without trying. Thanks again for the help.

Cayugad has helped me with some basic questions before, so I'll wait for more responses before taking this thing to the range.

One additional question came to me: is the breech plug removable in the Mountain Stalker?
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:45 PM   #4
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Default RE: CVA Mountain Stalker

First off, the breech plug does not come out of that rifle. If you try to remove it you will damage the rifle. My Mountain Stalker Manual (I have a .54 caliber) says your rifle has a 1:48 twist. There was a real problem when they were selling these rifles, they advertised them as a 1:32 but in reality they were 1:48 twist. Perhaps you got a special one. You can check the twist with a tight fitting patch on a jag by pulling it up and counting how much of a revolution it makes in a certain distance.

The Mountain Stalker weights 5.5 pounds so if you load it hot, it will kick like the devil. You can soften the recoil by taking the plastic butt plate off. Inside you will see a hollow stock. Push a rag down into the hollow to the bottom. I then took some #4 buck shot and vacuum sealed it in a plastic bag. I then sealed it again, and form fitted it to the hollow. I pushed that in the stock and put another rag on top of the buckshot to keep it in place and replaced the plastic butt plate. I added about a pound and it made all the difference in the world for recoil.

The max charge for that rifle is 100 grains of FFg according to the manual. If you load 100 grains of powder I do not think you are going to want to shoot more then that. In my rifle I shoot 80 grains of powder with a wonderwad between a patched roundball. The accuracy is exceptional. If your rifle truly is a 1:32 twist, then I would suggest some pure lead conical bullets. CVA Buckslayer sold through Cabela's should shoot good with about 80 grains of FFg. Start them out at 70 grains and work your way up 5 grains at a time. Also since your sighting in the rifle swab between shots. Since this is a sidelock, I swab with pure 91% isopropyl alcohol. It helps stop the hangfires and misfires. I run a wet patch and then two dry ones.

Another one I would try is REAL conicals. In .50 caliber the reals should shoot real well. I would use a wonderwad between the powder charge and the conical. I think they are a 280 & 320 grain conical. I would have to check my molds to be certain (I make my own for both the 50 & 54). REALs shoot excellent out of my Stalker, but the best is still the roundball.

You might want to try some .490 roundball with a .015-.018 patch. Start them out at 60 grains and work your way up. Do not adjust the sight until your sure you found the load you like. Your rifle might really shoot them well.

The idea of the hot shot nipple is an excellent one. I never keep the factory nipple in any of my rifles... Also if you e-mail CVA they will send you a manual for the Bobcat/Stalker. Actually they send you a manual for the CVA Sidelock Rifle Warranty Information. You used to be able to down load their manual off the web but since they stopped making the sidelocks I will not say that is the case... I also changed out those sights for a cheap set of STAR DOT FIBER OPTICS SIGHTS that I bought at Wal Mart for about $22.00. They really made a difference. Although I deer hunted with my Stalker that first fall I got it and shot three deer with it. The furthest being 40-45 yards and three deer never knew what hit them. I was shooting roundball.....

Good luck with your rifle.
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Old 07-09-2005, 09:35 PM   #5
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Default RE: CVA Mountain Stalker

Quote:
Good luck with your rifle.


I can't thank you enough for the guidance, cayugad. I was hoping to get pointed in the right direction and actually got off running. Have a good one!
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