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Hello, This is my first post. Had to sell my Winchester Model 70 to pay for unplanned car and house repairs. A good friend gave me his new CVA Optima Magnum with Nikon Omega BDC scope. He had just gotten a new TC Encore even though he had never used the Optima. He knew I was down and gave me the Optima.

I'm very excited to make this my favorite rifle but know nothing about muzzleloading EXCEPT it seems that there is a ton of conflicting information! Was all set to use bore butter and "season" the barrel when I start reading that this should NOT be done!

Please help! Two points needed: Anybody who shoots the Optima Magnum....what does yours like for powder and bullet/sabot? Dont have the funds to try too many options. Want to try a few but need to narrow it down quickly.

More importantly....what is the BEST and most affordable way to keep this gun in tack-driving mint condition?

Thanks to all.
 

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I don't have an Optima so I will not comment on loads. Although I have a Staghorn Magnum sold by CVA and with 90 grains of Pyrodex RS and a 250 grain Shockwave or a 245 grain Powerbelt it is very accurate. Take that at what its worth.

To keep any rifle tack driving the importance of cleaning the rifle after each day of shooting can not be stressed enough. There are a lot of ways to clean a rifle. Go to CVA and download the manual for your rifle. That should help. It will also have some loads in it that they suggest.

Another thing to keep your rifle shooting good is once you find the load it likes, keep the same powder, primer, sabot, etc.. be consistent and your rifle will shoot well for you.
 

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i know i wont be the last to tell you this; each smokepole likes differnt loads. theyre like snow flakes. no two are exactly alike. i have a cva wolf, so my load probably wont even come close to working with yours(85-87GR loose with hornady sabot 50-240GR bullet). my father in laws muzzleloader likes 90GR loose with 348GR powerbelts hollow points. mine wont shoot that load for nothin.

i found the easiest way to clean it is to get a 5 gallon pale and pour about 3 or 4 cap fulls of dish soap in the bottom and fill it half way with steaming hot water, and then go to town cleaning as you normally would with solvents. works like a friggin charm.

and by the way, that nikon scope is a very nice peice of equipment. didnt like it on my muzzle loader though, so i put it on a .300 WM. works like a charm.

and good luck. id suggest going with loose powder if youre looking to save money.
 

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from what ive read about this statement is that it only applies to cva's made in 1995-1996, before bergera barrels stepped up their game on quality control. now even the run of the mill standard barrels are top notch. ive used magnum loads, and even for fun(never said i was the smartest guy) over magnum loads in mine. no signs of failure anywhere.
 
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