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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, my name is Joe, I'm new to this forum.

Anyway I just received a CVA Bobcat .50 caliber black powder rifle, it works great. The thing is this is my first black powder rifle, so I was hoping to get some info from some of you on this forum on the basics and do's and don'ts. It came in a trade from a buddy who needed a stereo for his car and some speakers, so he traded the bobcat, I've been picking guns up at local shops for a year or so now, I've never had a smoke pole before. But is this a decent gun, what are some of the things I should know about it, I know you can get it at walmart, they're not the nicest lookin guns around but it has tru glow sights and he gave me some sabots and some percussion caps. What is the correct powder and measurements for safe firing on this gun?

Thanks
-Joe-
 

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Hello, my name is Joe, I'm new to this forum.

Anyway I just received a CVA Bobcat .50 caliber black powder rifle, it works great. The thing is this is my first black powder rifle, so I was hoping to get some info from some of you on this forum on the basics and do's and don'ts. It came in a trade from a buddy who needed a stereo for his car and some speakers, so he traded the bobcat, I've been picking guns up at local shops for a year or so now, I've never had a smoke pole before. But is this a decent gun, what are some of the things I should know about it, I know you can get it at walmart, they're not the nicest lookin guns around but it has tru glow sights and he gave me some sabots and some percussion caps. What is the correct powder and measurements for safe firing on this gun?

Thanks
-Joe-

The Bobcat also known as the Mountain Stalker is CVA's introduction grade rifle. Most of them had a 1-48 twist which is able to shoot roundball, conicals, and even sabots. The max powder charge for the rifle is 110 grains of 2f powder.

I have a CVA Mountain Stalker in .54 caliber. It is a good shooter. If you have a .490 roundball for yours, get some .015-.018 thick patches. A good lube is easy to make. If you have nothing to lube the patch with, just use olive oil. Apply just a little bit to the cloth.

For patches I go to Wal Mart and get some 100% blue or red stripe cotton pillow tick fabric. Wash it and line dry it. This will remove the sizing from it. Then you can tear strips of fabric off and cut the patch right at the muzzle.



Apply a little lube to the patch. I use moosemilk. And lay that strip of cloth over the muzzle.



Set the ball on top of the cloth and it will center itself. Then take your short starter and drive the ball under the muzzle of the rifle.



It will look like this with the ball set.



pinch the fabric together and cut the patch strip off level to the muzzle. You can now set the ball down the barrel the rest of the way. You have a perfectly center ball and patch now.

If you are shooting Pyrodex RS try 80-90 grains of powder. Just set your powder measure at 80 grains and fill the powder measure. Dump that powder down the bore. Now set the ball as I have shown. Be sure to set the ball firmly on the powder charge. Cap the rifle and your set to shoot. The caps are a #11 cap. Get CCI Magnum or Remington. They are good caps.

I think you will be surprised with the accuracy of the rifle. Mine was so accurate I bought it in September and hunted that November with it. I took three deer with it that year shooting a roundball and 85 grains of powder. I got complete pass through on all three deer.

If there are any questions you have that I can help you with, just ask.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey thanks, so is the tecnique the same with a sabot as it is a round ball or is it just a little different, I've noticed black powder is expensive, about 45 bucks for a container at the local sports shop, do they have different sizes of containers that you can get or are you stuck buying a large container? I've also noticed that they have pellets available. Do these require a special gun or can you use them in any gun?
 

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The pellets are blackpowder substitutes ( Pyrodex, 777, Shockey's Gold, etc), usually available at WallyWorld, etc - and not Holy Black.
Substitutes are also available in loose powder form, in plastic 1lb cans.

The pellets come in gradiations, usually 50gr for the .50 cal pells, but some are available in smaller sizes, so it's possible to juggle loads within those parameters (DONT cut pellets) - but if you want to work to a specific load, loose powder is better.

A volumetric powder measure (scoop) will be needed, since both BP and subs should never be weighed - the charges should only be thrown by volume.

The pellets are ignited via a coating on one end - which end is supposed to be loaded rearward - Soooo, that makes them better suited for inline rifles than for sidehammers.

You should also obtain some sort of capper, to both carry your percussion caps, and to hook them on the nipple after loading.

The saboted bullets are loaded clean, over the powder charge - no patching. The sabot takes the place of the patch.

Most .50 cal BP rifles can be safely shot with powder charges from 90 to 100 gr, with some expressly designed to take "magnum", or three pellet loads (150gr) - but I don't think that would apply to your CVA.
Usually the most accurate loads are those about 10% below full power.

After every day's shooting, your BP rifle should be properly cleaned - NOT like centerfire/smokeless guns.

The best way is to remove the nipple and clean in under a running tap of very hot water ( the heated metal will evaporate any unseen water quickly)
Remove the barrel/etc, from the stock, and sink the rear end into a pail of hot/soapy water (outside),
With a cleaning patch on your ramrod (and maybe a ramrod extension), pump the ramrod/patch up/down in the bore - which will pump the hot/soapy water through the bore, cleaning & flushing it.
After it's cleaned, remove it from the hot water, dry the exterior, and air dry it for a few minutes ( it'll dry rapidly if the metal's hot enough)
Wipe down the exterior with a good gun oil, and run a patch with bullet lube downbore, and you should be good to go until the next session. (it OK to reinstall the cleaned nipple & reinstall the barrel into the stock)


.
 

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Hey thanks, so is the tecnique the same with a sabot as it is a round ball or is it just a little different, I've noticed black powder is expensive, about 45 bucks for a container at the local sports shop, do they have different sizes of containers that you can get or are you stuck buying a large container? I've also noticed that they have pellets available. Do these require a special gun or can you use them in any gun?

With a sabot, just dump your powder and place the sabot with the correct size bullet as a single unit into the muzzle end. Then using your short starter, push the sabot down the barrel as far as you can. Now using your ramrod, finish seating the sabot/bullet firmly down, onto the powder charge.

Black Powder expensive... I pay around $13.00 a pound for it. If some one is charging $45.00 THEY ARE ROBBING YOU. I would not do too much business there. Powder for the most part comes in one pound containers. Some of the subs come in smaller containers like BlackHorn209.

Pellets will work in an inline rifle that shoots a 209 primer. They say it will work in some of the sidelocks like my Black Mountain Magnum. Well I tried it and it fired but not real well. I had to duplex the base to get the best and fastest ignition.

Make sure you shoot only black powder or black powder substitute. The names will be Graf's, Goex, Swiss, for black powder (common ones) and sub powder are Pyrodex RS, Triple Seven, American Pioneer Powder, Pinnacle, BlackMag3, Blackhorn 209, and then it comes in different grains.

1F is cannon powder
2f is rifle powder commonly used in .50 caliber rifles or bigger
3f is rifle powder commonly used in .50 caliber and smaller and also used in black powder revolvers and pistols. Lots of people shoot 3f in .54 caliber and larger caliber rifles.
4f is priming powder.

your bobcat will not shoot pellets. Get a pound of Pyrodex RS at a sporting good store or Wal Mart. The RS stands for rifle or shotgun. Load 80 grains and a .490 ball. It will shoot sabots but you have to play with a lot of sabots before you will find the right one. That can be expensive. If you shoot roundball and work up a load, you always have a fall back to load.
 

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I agree with Cayugad. I picked up 11 pounds of Goex (real black powder) from Powder, Inc for $12 per pound. I picked it up in person, so there was no shipping or Haz Mat charges. If you mail order and include these charges, black powder is still cheaper than a lot of the sub powders. Here are a few places you can mail order from: http://www.powderinc.com/ , http://www.grafs.com/powders/3522 and http://www.mainepowderhouse.com/ . You'll have to try both FFg and FFFg to see which shoots best in your rifle. I would recommend starting off with 60 grains of powder and work up 5 grains at a time, until you find the most accurate load. Another cheap lube that works well and most already have is a can of Crisco. Those .490 balls are very economical and will put a deer down faster than any .30-06! Just be sure to clean your barrel thourghly after each shooting session. Those Bobcats are light, handy straight shooters. Congradulations!
 

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Contact CVA and request a manual. They will send you one for free. You're getting devent general advice in other responses, but CVA will tell you specifically what load limitations are suitable for YOUR rifle.
 

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Hi new shooter,
You are about to learn more about guns than most will. The stuff in stores is mostly modern, for hundreds of years guns used black powder. The first thing is to get over any idea you may have that this is somehow hard. It's not. My first shot was a bull 3 o'clock. That was with a TC Encore at 50yrds with TC rounds (maxi-ball or maxi hunter). I was lucky-I went to the range and a guy helped me. I was shooting a .50 cal and the guy said try 65 grains. I thought that was light from what I had read, but I aimed and darn near dead center. Others at the range soon gathered around and watched as I tried again-same thing, the range officer said that's it. For that load, mark your ramrod so I scrached a line on an unbreakable ramrod ( a very smart upgrade) and I was set. Over the years I found Hornady to be a very good slug. Also you stay away from oil. Use Bore Butter from TC-it keeps the dirt down and the bore starts to hug the round. In winter you need more powder for the same punch. I'd go 80 grains if 65-70 worked over the hot months. It's a bit odd but the bigger the slug often times is more accurate with less powder. Don't ask my why-it just works. Another very important thing is to not panic if she don't fire. Just take off the nipple and pour in some fresh powder and keep shooting till it goes. I learned that one the hard way. I had the barrel off in a bucket of water pulling with a ball puller (something everyone needs) it has a screw on the end and if all else fails that will clear the barrel. Also you need a worm for a lost cleaning patch or piece of mind that it's clear. So forget some darn starter kit. You need an unbreakable ramrod-Bore Butter-Ball Puller-Ball starter-Worm-Powder Measure-and keep some powder in a little plastic bottle along with extra primers and a pin to clean the nipple in the field. Another thing-powder is cheap-there's a lot of shots in a pound and you are paying way too much. The Pyrodex RS-rifle shotgun is plenty good enough. When time to clean use dishsoap in a bucket and work your ramrod back and forth until it spits out water through the nipple hole-remove the nipple and clean seperately-don't lose that nipple on a carpet. Think about where to clean to make a smaller mess--a tip-very hot water at the end will dry quick-then apply Bore Butter-and she will keep forever. Good luck and ask any question any time.
Sincerely,
Michael Sicowitz
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info guys, I'll have to pick up some powder from walmart soon then, I'm looking forward to this new rifle now, I was going to sell it but I think I will try muzzle loader season here in Iowa and see if I can get a deer.


-Joe-
 

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Joe,
Not only will that Bobcat take deer with round ball, but if you have any wild boar around try the T/C Maxi Balls, the Lyman/Hornady Plains Bullet or the Lee REAL Bullet. I believe the Bobcat has a 1 in 48" twist barrel that should handle round ball and conicals well. Here is another forum that is for traditional muzzle loading only: http://www.muzzleloadingforum.com/f...a7525654db83682e61d9f8695107a6d/fbb_uid/9617/ . I think you are going to have a lot of fun shooting that Bobcat. You may want to get a range rod. I get mine from Dixie: http://www.dixiegunworks.com/product_info.php?cPath=22_99_320&products_id=1282 . It has everything you need. I bought my first one about 30 years ago and still use it. Have fun and enjoy.
 

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Also after you have cleaned and oiled your rifle, before trying to fire it again snap a few caps off. This will dry out any moisture and oil. Point the muzzle at a blade of grass or leaf, whatever, and check that the object moves. This will tell you the bore is unobstructed. I have a Lyman Great Plains rifle in .54 cal. I'm a lead scrounger, make my own rd. balls and a 415 gr minie.
 

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Got one. Shot a deer @ 70-80 yards, 'cheap shot' sabots, 80gr pyro cuz I'm lazy & didn't mess with a ball. I will be switching to P&B. Originally had a lot of misifres & delays. Replaced nipple & now it shoots like a centerfire. Definitely get the manual. Start @ 50gr & work up. Strongly suggest never going over 2xthe caliber ie Ø.45 45 -90 grains MAX. From what better people than I have told me, stick with the loose powder. My sis-in-law has taken meny deer with 40-50 gr P&B 54 cal. Clean kills. You will be amazed at what BP's can do. Also too much powder can cause the patch to tear. Go down range & recover a couple of fired patches. They should not be damaged. Sounds complicated but it's not. Oh & if you get a delay (hang fire) keep the gun up & aimed for about 5 seconds. Then treat it as if it could go off at any instant---control the muzzle!
Good luck & have fun.
Ed

We start with smokeless & graduate to BP!!
 

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If you protect the bore with oil, before you shoot, swab it with a patch of isopropyl alcohol (just dampen the patch). Then a couple dry patches. Push a dry patch to the bottom of the breech and pop a cap or two. This will blow the crud out of the drum/bolster onto the patch. It should also have some burn marks on it. This indicates that fire is moving from the cap, through the drum/bolster and into the chamber where the powder is sitting.

With the bore dry then load as usual. If you should get a hang fire, it is sometimes a good idea to check the load. Take the ramrod and make sure the ball or conical has not moved up the barrel. Normally this will not happen. Then cap again and it should fire. If not.. ask yourself... did I forget the powder.

These rifles take shooting and hunting to a level that I find most enjoyable. I have all but given up on the center fire rifles.
 

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Hi all,
I felt the need to add that marking your ramrod will tell you if you forgot the powder. Also, before reaching for the ball puller try taking out your pin and remove the nipple. Put the pin through the nipple and take out a bit of the old powder below the nipple with the pin and pack in some powder you know is fresh. Screw the nipple back down and try it again. Repeat again if she still wont fire. I have done this a few times and it works. Good Luck,
Mike
 
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