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new guy with a few questions

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new guy with a few questions

Old 07-08-2005, 09:51 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Yorkton,Saskatchewan Canada
Posts: 296
Default new guy with a few questions

hello everyone I have been a long time bowhunter but just recently decided to trade my bow in for a smokepole, Now my questions are I am looking at a brand new cva optima pro(50cal) I have read its a good pipe for entry level(also on budget and it fits in that budget) is this true. And second how many of you put scopes on your guns, I understand that in some places its not allowed but in places that it is do you put one on or just go open sights? Thanks Oh ya any recomendations on powder and bullets etc.
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Old 07-08-2005, 11:11 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Wabash, IN
Posts: 826
Default RE: new guy with a few questions

Welcome to the wonderful world of smoke, Snowman.

I think the Optima Pro will do you just fine and may well be the only BP firearm you'll ever need or want (unless you catch the "bug" like the rest of us).

On the whole (can't answer for everyone) I think probably 90%+ of the people who buy in-line muzzleloaders usually put a scope on them - it just seems to fit the species of "modern muzzleloading". And there is nothing wrong with it as long as you can use a scope in the areas where you hunt. Personally, I use a scope with see-thru mounts on my Knight, just so I have the option of using either depending on the circumstance, lighting, and how my oldeyes are behaving on a given day.

As far asload recommendations go............I suggest trying LOTS of things in order to find what works best in your rifle. All of these guns tend to develop their own personalities, likes, & dislikes and you have to find what it likes.

That said, I personally like to use the 777 loose powder, it's more powerful than any other powder per volume and it's pretty dang clean. Some guns do develop problems with a "crud ring" buildup in the barrel after firing, making swabbing a cleaning patch thru the bore after each shot a necessity (which is a good habit ANYWAY, just not convienent on hunts sometimes). Loose Pyrodex RS would be my next powder choice, followed by the American Pioneer powder in 3fg cut. Of course there is always the standard true Black Powder like Goex, Swiss, or Elephant powders if you can find them locally - powerful, but a lot dirtier & smokier (which can be fun anyway).

For bullet choice, I advise staying away from the very light bullets a lot of dealers are pushing to get higher velocities - they may go fast, but when pushed with a LOT of powder, they also tend to be inaccurate. My Knight doesn't like any bullet under 300gr and I think that is a good rule of thumb..........but lots of folks get excellent accuracy with bullets in the 250gr range - again, different guns have different tastes. But specifically, I would say to try some Hornady 300gr XTPMag sabots and 300gr SST sabots. Both of these tend to be very accurate in about any rifle - just have to find the powder charge they like

Speaking of powder charge, I highly advise NOT getting caught up in the Hyper velocities spewed out by manufacturers selling Magnum load guns. In 99.9% of the rifles on the market, the 150gr magnum loads are not very accurate. Fast, yes - accurate, no. You need to systematically work up a loadfrom a lower level and work up in 5gr increments to find your most accurate load. For instance, my Knight loves 80gr of 777 powder with either of those 300gr Hornady sabots. Deadly accurate out to 100yds and produce 1500fps muzzle velocity out of my 22" barrel, with 1500ft lbs of energy.................plenty of punch to kill anything in North America.

One other suggestion here too - as far as breaking in a new rifle. Shooting plastic saboted-bullets only will never "break in" the gun. You need some hard contact with the rifling to smooth things up for best accuracy. To do this, I suggest shooting a couple dozen Patched round balls or lead conical bullets (like the Hornady Great Plains) before you worry much about accuracy. This will break in both the gun and the operator as you learn the Ins & Outs of operating the gun - never a bad idea. The other break in option is to get some Bore Paste (such as J-Bs, Iosso, Flitz, Remington) and work 8 or 10 patches of the stuff through the bore in short, fast, descending strokes. This will take the "edge" off of any manufacturing quirks in the bore and have it ready for serious shooting.

These are all just tips that Ipicked up on along the way and they all helped my shooting - hopefully they'll help you too.
Mark whiz is offline  
Old 07-09-2005, 06:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: chiefland Florida USA
Posts: 5,417
Default RE: new guy with a few questions

Mark Whiz ; gave some good advice.what I have found over the past 40 years of B/P shooting.is do a lot of shooting with maxie balls or buffalo balls to clean and breakin the gun. there are always a few burrs in the barrell from the factory. that is what you need to clean out.
Then you can get serious about the loads and sightening in the gun.I have scopes on all my guns,(mostly because of my eyes).some states don't allow scopes.
The more you shoot the gun,the more accurent it will get , (to a point).have fun and enjoy the gun.you have plenty of time to get it ready to hunt with.
try different [powder and bullets.:::::: I use pyrodex;(100 grn.) a 295 gr. powerbelt bullets.works great with my gun out to 125 yards.
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Old 07-10-2005, 03:57 PM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Greenfield, IN
Posts: 953
Default RE: new guy with a few questions

I just got a new Omega w/ the SS barrel. What all needs to be done to "break it in" and to "season" the barrel? When shooting the conicals or patched round balls... do you use a normal volume of powder or lighter loads? Or does it matter?

Also what's the best cleaners for this barrel?
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:57 AM
Typical Buck
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Wabash, IN
Posts: 826
Default RE: new guy with a few questions


Forget the concept of "Seasoning" a barrel. That applied to the old cast iron bores of history, but not the modern steel of modern muzzleloaders. Break-in should be just how cayugad or myself spoke of above. Shoot at least a couple dozen patched round balls or conical bullets through it and you're ready to go. The strength of the loads really doesn't matter, just realize your Omega's bore is twisted too fast to give great accuracy with ball; and conicals can be a hit or miss accuracy-wise too. By keeping your charges a little lower you will get better accuracy. Myself, I'll use 60 to 70 gr of 777 with a .490 patched ball and 80 to 90gr of 777 when using conicals like the Hornady 385gr Great Plains or the No Excuses 460gr conicals. Those loads actually shoot pretty well for me - I'd hunt out to 100yds with the conicals ansd probably out to 75yds with the balls.

But understand, while firing these for break-in accuracy is unimportant. Use the time forfocusing on your loading &offhand firing technique with the target no more than 25yds away. Then when this is done, clean the rifle well, choose a bullet you want to try ( the 300gr Hornadys I mentioned are a good place to start) and get it sighted in and a good load worked up with it.

For cleaning, I use a 50/50 solution of Simple Green & water and it has always worked well for me. There are several BP specific cleaners you can use, but a simple soap & water solution like mine works as good as any of them and is cheaper. Just don't use a petroleum-based cleaner like good ol' Hoppes #9 that you would use on a centerfire firearm................petroleum & black powder shooting don't mix.
I do prefer to use a CLP type oil for protecting the bore after I'm done cleaning though.............but I always patch this out before I shoot the rifle so I don't have any "petroleum" issues.
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Old 07-11-2005, 08:41 AM
Dominant Buck
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 21,193
Default RE: new guy with a few questions

I think the Optima Pro is one of the most under rated rifles out there on the market. I have seen some of the groups that rifle will shoot, and read some of the range reports of the rifle and to say the least, they are most impressive. Are there better rifles out there on the market? Sure there are. Any time we get a rifle some other company probably has one as good or perhaps a little better. Does that mean we have to spend the bigger dollars to get the best of the best? That is a personal decision of the person doing the shooting...

I do not think the Optima Pro is an entry level rifle. In fact I dislike that term. No rifle is entry level based on company or cost. Most all in line rifles will shoot respectable groups out to 100 yards once you find your sweet load. Some of the differences in rifles usually can be determined by the kind of steel in the barrels, the trigger assembly and function, the smoothness of the action, the rifle's appearance and finish,overall dependability of the parts,overall costs of the rifle to shoot, and last the warranty... Consider all them and you can determine yourself if the rifle fits your needs. In my book that makes the Optima, as well as many other lower cost rifles a good investment in a well made rifle.

I shoot a CVA Staghorn Magnum as many here know. It was the least expensive of the CVA inline rifles. I think it was $89.00. Is this an entry level rifle? Probably.. Does it shoot? You bet, and I have the range time behind the rifle to prove it.

As I do mention, there is the barrel pressure testing issues with the rifle, but to many, myself included, this is not a deciding factor. If it was, CVA would not be one of the top rifle selling companies in the United States. They sell a good product at a good price. I do wish they would have stayed a little more in the Traditional rifle side of the market, but again that was a CVA marketing decision and last time I looked, I was not on the board of directors.

As for the scopes on the inline rifles. Again, all a matter of personal choice and State hunting regulations you might face in use of the rifle. I have three inlines. One of them has a scope, one has a RED DOT, and the other has afiber optic sights. I have all the bases covered that way.. How much you want to spend on the scope is another matter. I personally go the inexpensive route for scopes. I get the Bushnell Banner Dusk to Dawn with the extended eye releif. I like at least 4"s of eye relief. The reason I go with this scope is, cost, optics, and warranty. They are not going to break the bank, the optics I found are excellent. Good light gathering ability and clearity. Bushnell has a great warranty. Always had always will. Also, my Black Diamond XR is a fowling devil When I am done shooting the scope is covered in fowling, which I clean off of course. I have noticed now that some of the finish has suffered from this constant fowling and cleaning. Well the scope was only $65.00 it will not break my heart to replace it three years down the road. If I even need to... The scope is holding up very well. The only thing I would have done different is I should have went to a 3-9x40 model. I like the 1.5-4.5x32 but on the range the extra power would have been handy and at extreme distances (something we are getting into for fun now) would have been nice to have... If all your shots are 100 yards and under, a straight 4X would do you just fine, but for a few dollars more, you can get more options...

As usual, Mark Whiz gave some great advise as did the others on break in of the rifle. Shoot the patches roundballs or maxi ball. I get mine from http://www.blackjackhill.com/ Black Jack Hill. Great place to do business with and great people to deal with. Breaking in of the rifle is a good way to learn the trigger of the rifle, head position of the rifle, and just have a good time.

Good luck with your rifle and keep us posted on how it is shooting for you...
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Old 07-11-2005, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Michigan USA
Posts: 174
Default RE: new guy with a few questions

Snowman69, you might want to look at the New England SPS-056 Stainless Sidekick Muzzleloader 50 Caliber. I just did a search and they are $207 at Wall-Mart. Not sure how that compare to other places, but one that you should consider.
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