Without making any bones about it, I do NOT like CVA & Traditions products because from an overall standpoint they are JUNK - by that comment I mean they have quality and design issues with most every part of them - some safety issues but mostly functionality & reliability issues. However, in all fairness, the statements and claims made by Randy Wakeman and the others who parrot these statements and claims are doing so purely to drive their chosen agenda and not to present "facts" in the interest of consumers.
I've made my statements loud and clear, in case you missed them, I have seen a number of safety & functionality issues with guns from the above two named companies - as they relate to SIDELOCKS only, the problems are with poor quality control and lack of craftsmanship. Lock & trigger failures and/or malfunctions resulting in inadvertent discharges (firing when they are not supposed to); lack of sufficient & reliable ignition and so forth. In all fairness, I have detailed the same lack of quality and craftsmanship issues with many Pedersoli muzzleloaders as well. To continue the fairness issue, I've also seen numerous part failures on Thompson Center sidelocks such as broken sears, galled tumblers and broken sear springs.
First and foremost, NO MECHANICAL OR ELECTRICAL DEVICE IS FOOLPROOF!!!! This is why we continuously stress the absolute need for anyone handling a gun at any time for any reason know and follow all the common firearms handling and operation safety measures AT ALL TIMES! I don't care if you buy a $150 CVA or Traditions, a $650 T/C, a $50,000 custom gun or a $530,000,000 bucket-wheel mining machine, any part at any time can fail without warning and improper operation will at some point injure/kill you or someone! I manufacture muzzleloaders, industrial machinery and associated items. I go to great lengths to test and/or specify every part/material used in the manufacturing process meets or exceeds the nominal operational and safety specifications ... but ... that does not mean something can't fail - thus is the reason why electrical circuits are protected by circuit breakers or fuses, it's an insurance policy to help prevent the possibility of catastrophic failure but it by no means can assure absolute protection. All that being said, when any item, including guns, are "built to a price" meaning they are manufactured in the cheapest possible manner so as to sell for the lowest possible price, the only way to achieve this goal is to reduced the manufacturing costs and that is done by reducing the costs of both labor and materials. When you reduce the cost of labor and materials, the result is reducing the level of quality.
Back to the basis of the issue at hand - First off, the "700Kp/cm2" is NOT a "proof mark" of any kind. A quick internet search will bring you numerous documents containing the past and present "proof marks" being used by the proofhouse in Eibar Spain and the above is nowhere to be found because it isn't a "proof mark". Without being able to contact the Eibar proofhouse personally, I have to settle for the word of a gentleman I have no reason to doubt that the "700kp/cm2" stamp is nothing more than an indication the steel meets the minimum acceptable standards - what we here in the USA would know as an ANSI, AWS, SAE, ect. specification - it does not mean the finished product was tested by either organization, it simply means the particular raw material in question was manufactured to meet the minimum acceptable standard corresponding to its identification mark. Example of this is ER70S6 welding wire. Because the number appears on the product does not mean it was tested by AWS or anyone else, it means that wire was manufactured in such a manner as to meet or exceed the minimum requirements for specification of that identifying number. Thus, the "70" portion of that identification number means that a weld bead laid down with that wire must achieve a minimum strength of 70,000psi - that does not mean the weld made will be a 70ksi joint, it means the composition of the wire must produce a minimum of 70ksi and in most cases the actual wire will test well above the 70ksi MINIMUM requirement. The same goes for the 700kp/cm2 marking, it means that steel meets or exceeds the minimum requirement for it to be labeled as such. If one takes the time to look, you can find other Spanish made centerfire guns wearing the same 700kp/cm2 marking in addition to the "actual" proof marks.
Going one step further, just because a particular gun/barrel has a "proof mark" it simply means that it didn't blow-up when it proofed and that doesn't mean it can't blow-up with the next round fired or the 1,000th round fired or the 10,000th round fired. A proof mark does not mean it won't or can't fail especially if it's operated/loaded improperly, it simply means that at the time it was tested it didn't fail. Proof marks are in reality worth about as much as an ISO rating - just because a company has an ISO 2xxx rating does not mean the product(s) they manufacture/sell are any good, it simply means that company has maintained their records properly. If you want to get down to brass tacks, firing an overpressure proof load can actually cause damage resulting in catastrophic failure at a later point in time with a standard pressure load.
A long time ago, I think in the 70's, maybe early 80's? Someone, think it was one of the gun rags did a series of destructive tests on the cheap mass-production ML's, I know CVA was one of them. At some point the stock broke but the barrel held and was strapped to a plank or some such fixturing jig and they continued upping the loads to further levels of insanity. This besides the point, I have seen several good-quality USA made ML barrels that have in fact suffered catastrophic failures but every single one was caused by either a improper operation or because the structural integrity of the barrel was compromised by a modification made after the barrel was shipped from the manufacturer thus making the failure caused by stupidity rather than a manufacturing or material safety issue. By far, the majority of catastrophic failures were the direct result of incorrect/unsafe loading.
If we really want to question proof marks and countries of origin, how about being truthful about where most barrels and other parts come from that are used on the alleged "made in USA" mass-production guns for use with both black powder and smokeless powder. Can you say?... Pakistan, India, China and Turkey to name just a few.
Another thing, how many of our domestic gun parts like barrels & actions are being made on machinery and with tooling that comes from foreign lands like China, Korea, Japan & Taiwan? What about the guns that are made in the Czech Republic, Romania, Germany, Georgia and so forth? Can we condemn Benelli and other high-quality Italian gun makers simply because Pedersoli produces a good amount of junk? Can we condemn all the American electrical equipment manufacturers simply because Federal-Pacific produces junk? Obviously the answer is "no" to all of these questions yet if we choose to accept the agenda-driven hype of a few people who have a vested financial interest in pushing that agenda, then we are simply being ignorant to the facts and making no progress than that which can be had from repeatedly hitting ourselves in the head with a hammer.
Summing all this up - First and foremost is SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY! Know everything about the gun! Pay attention to what you're doing! Don't allow yourself to be distracted when loading! When in doubt, throw it out! - Pull the load rather than taking a chance on firing it! If you don't know what you're doing, don't do anything, get professional help! If there is any question as to the maximum allowable load/bullet you can use in that particular gun is, contact the manufacturer BEFORE trying anything and then verify the information is correct! Common sense goes a long way!
If you buy guns built to a low price, barring the few very rare exceptions, normally you get cheap junk. If you buy a mass-production gun being sold at any price, do some homework and find out where all the raw materials come from and where all the parts are made before handing over your money. If you're buying a custom/semi-custom/handmade gun at any price, do your homework and find out where all the materials and parts come from. No matter what you choose to buy, get the facts, not agenda-driven hype!
"Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything." ~ Harry S. Truman
Liberty is only assured as long government fears the people!