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  #1  
Old 09-04-2010, 09:55 AM
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What round for a CVA Hawken


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Hey all,
I have just recently found more time to spend with my CVA Hawken and have been putting some rounds downrange, but am not too impressed with my accuracy. My Hawken is a .54 cal and I believe has a 1:48 twist. I am shooting 90 grain equiv. Triple 7 with (old) Hornady sabots (.44 cal, 300 gr). The rounds are hitting the paper sideways and are all over the paper, thus I believe not getting the spin I need. The sabots are also mangled when I find them. So here is a small battery of questions to start off:
1. Is the rate of twist not right for sabots?
2. If above is true, what would be better? I am planning on using for hunting deer.

The bore looks great (I spent a few hours cleaning to rule this out) and 90 gr. is what Hornady suggested for a load.
Thanks for any and all your help!!
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  #2  
Old 09-04-2010, 10:54 AM
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With my hawken it likes about 90 gr. bp/pyrodex or about 75gr. 777. Your twist isn't the best for sabots and I like conicals personally. I shoot 385gr. Great Plains Bullets for hunting. Remember 777 loads need to be about 15% less than BP equivalent.
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  #3  
Old 09-04-2010, 12:24 PM
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Some 1-48 twist will shoot sabots but you really have to play with powder charges to find them. Especially in a .54 caliber for some reason.

One of the best deer hunting rifles IMO is a .54 caliber shooting roundball. If your shooting is under 75 yards, there is no doubt you have a deer dropper. I think that 90 grains with a .530 patched roundball would be about right, but start your shooting out at 80 grains and work up from there. I had a CVA Mountain Stalker that I sold. It was a .54 caliber. It loved 85 grains of 777 and a patched roundball. While the rifle was not expensive, it sure opened a lot of eyes when I was shooting paper targets with it that fall getting ready for hunting season. The rifle tuned in so fast with that load, I purchased the rifle in September, and that November shot three deer with roundball out of it. Not one of them made it more then 20 yards after getting a boiler room hit from that roundball. Of course the shots were close range. I think the longest was about 40 yards, and that is the one that ran the furthest, but really, try some roundball.

If the 777 does not seem to work well with the roundball, put a wad between the patch and and powder. I had to or it would eat my patches. It also shot real well with Pyrodex RS.
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  #4  
Old 09-05-2010, 03:42 PM
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Thanks for the help. I think I will try reducing the powder load first. If that doesn't work, I'll try the roundballs and conicals next.
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2010, 03:27 PM
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Not to sure how sabots will work in that rifle but 90gr Pyrodex RS, 295gr Powerbelt, 348gr Powerbelt in our .50 cva hawken is an awesome shooting load at 100 yards.
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2010, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cayugad View Post
Some 1-48 twist will shoot sabots but you really have to play with powder charges to find them. Especially in a .54 caliber for some reason.

One of the best deer hunting rifles IMO is a .54 caliber shooting roundball. If your shooting is under 75 yards, there is no doubt you have a deer dropper. I think that 90 grains with a .530 patched roundball would be about right, but start your shooting out at 80 grains and work up from there. I had a CVA Mountain Stalker that I sold. It was a .54 caliber. It loved 85 grains of 777 and a patched roundball. While the rifle was not expensive, it sure opened a lot of eyes when I was shooting paper targets with it that fall getting ready for hunting season. The rifle tuned in so fast with that load, I purchased the rifle in September, and that November shot three deer with roundball out of it. Not one of them made it more then 20 yards after getting a boiler room hit from that roundball. Of course the shots were close range. I think the longest was about 40 yards, and that is the one that ran the furthest, but really, try some roundball.

If the 777 does not seem to work well with the roundball, put a wad between the patch and and powder. I had to or it would eat my patches. It also shot real well with Pyrodex RS.
My .54 Hawken likes RBs, too - but shoots MAXIs into one hole @100yds w/90grs RS. Nice, mild load that kills deer, hogs, wabbits (bunny & VW) with equal aplomb....
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2010, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usmcdoc View Post
Hey all,
I have just recently found more time to spend with my CVA Hawken and have been putting some rounds downrange, but am not too impressed with my accuracy. My Hawken is a .54 cal and I believe has a 1:48 twist. I am shooting 90 grain equiv. Triple 7 with (old) Hornady sabots (.44 cal, 300 gr). The rounds are hitting the paper sideways and are all over the paper, thus I believe not getting the spin I need. The sabots are also mangled when I find them. So here is a small battery of questions to start off:
1. Is the rate of twist not right for sabots?
2. If above is true, what would be better? I am planning on using for hunting deer.

The bore looks great (I spent a few hours cleaning to rule this out) and 90 gr. is what Hornady suggested for a load.
Thanks for any and all your help!!
ROT not great for sabots, just forget about pistol caliber bullets wrapped in plastic and go with RB or lead conicals. Using PRB start with 60 grains of traditional black powder, shoot three, note where they hit and increase by 5 grains until you get the tightest group not to exceed maximum powder charge. Accuracy should start to drop off after you find the right charge, and just for the time being swab between every shot with alcohol soaked cleaning patches just to keep things relatively the same shot to shot. Remember that T-7 is hotter than traditional powder and you need to reduce your powder charge by 15%; 90 gr. T-7= 103.5 gr. Goex. If you decide to use conicals find ones that are not heavier than 350 grains for your 1:48 ROT, although it's not going to hurt anything if you do, but remember that the max powder charge decreases with conicals, my Lyman .54 has a max powder charge of 90 grains 3f using 450 maxi's.
I would start with .530 sized RB and a .015 thickness pre-lubed patch made of 100% cotton or linen. Later on you can learn to cut and lube your own patches and/or vary ball diameter & patch thickness.
I would trust my .54 to take down almost anything in North America within reasonable distance. Oh, and if using Triple 7 you may need to use magnum caps as it has a higher ignition point.

Good luck, hope this helps.
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  #8  
Old 09-17-2010, 03:42 AM
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I have a Lyman Trade rifle in .54, that has the same 1 in 48" twist. I shoot nothing but round balls pushed by 80g of 3f Goex black powder. That .530 round ball drops whitetails flat. One word of advice is to clean the snot out of your barrel after using plastic sabots, as they tend to gum up the riflings.
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  #9  
Old 09-17-2010, 04:28 AM
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Originally Posted by hawk View Post
I have a Lyman Trade rifle in .54, that has the same 1 in 48" twist. I shoot nothing but round balls pushed by 80g of 3f Goex black powder. That .530 round ball drops whitetails flat. One word of advice is to clean the snot out of your barrel after using plastic sabots, as they tend to gum up the riflings.
I found the same to be true with my Lyman TR. Sabots left a tar like fouling behind and it became near impossible to load after a few shots. After I spent 45 minutes getting one of them unstuck from my barrel (it only went halfway down) I gave them all away. This was long before I had a longer range rod for all my muzzleloaders, pulling anything with your ramrod is a pain.
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  #10  
Old 09-19-2010, 08:16 AM
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I found a .54 CVA Hawkens for a friend of mine as his first muzzle loader. Our first trip to the range he was shooting a .530 ball, pillow ticking patch lubed with Ballistol oil and 80 grains of FFg Goex. His groups were 4 to 5 inches at 50 yards. I gave him some FFFg Goex to try. His groups went to 1 inch. All of my .54's like FFg, but this CVA prefered FFFg. You have to try different combos to find the one your rifle likes. With a .530 ball, who needs a conical. It will down a deer at 125 yards, if you do your job.
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  #11  
Old 09-19-2010, 08:28 AM
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I have a .54 Hawkens. It likes MAXI balls with 100 grains of FFG.
Killed quite a few deer with this combo.

Zeke
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