Dangerous Guns?


August 20, 2008, 09:28 PM
Been lookinging into some Traditionand CVA rifles online. Have found alot of info claiming the rifles were very unsafe to shoot? Anything to worry about here?

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August 20, 2008, 11:16 PM
I guess it would depend on what they were proofed to. I see other than Traditional shooters packin' 100-120gr of whatever ain't BP and wonder what happened.:eek:
I use 60gr of ffg or fffg on my Zouave 1863 Remington and accurately hit my mark up to 300yards. My Tennessee Poorboy too. So I guess it's up to the Shooter and how it's used. I have heard a simular rumor also , maybe it was a batch, maybe one rifle.:confused: More will be revealed.:what:


August 20, 2008, 11:59 PM
yea maybe! I only use 100grn charges and what I read was about the 150? That may be the :evil:

August 20, 2008, 11:59 PM
Would you care to provide a reference to 'a lot of info'? I've been shooting CVA rifles for over 30 years, and I know of no such information. They did recall several guns for defective barrels about 10 years ago, and if you call them with a serial number they will tell you if it's one of those affected.

I suspect you've been reading Randy Wakeman's rants about CVA. I'll just say that his concerns are not borne out by the public record.

August 21, 2008, 04:28 AM
Ah Jees!:rolleyes:


August 21, 2008, 11:47 AM
i looked into this as many others did too. The only unsafe rifles they had were around 1996 on a certain type. These were all recalled. Todays cva rifles are safe to shoot with proper loads. They are no more dangerous than any other brand.

August 21, 2008, 01:18 PM
Don't shoot any gun that is not proofed to that pressure. BP or otherwise.

CVA where Proofed to 10,000 PSI or a few years ago. I do not know if they changed.

Loyalist Dave
August 21, 2008, 01:38 PM
The problem with muzzleloaders is the larger room for operator error. Don't properly seat that projectile or shot column on the powder or wad, and see what happens! Doesnt' matter who makes the gun or rifle! (That's just one example - so it's tough to know why a barrel might fail or bulge in some cases.)

The next problem is these folks who think that if 70 grains works very well, then 140 grains should work twice as well.

There are some really BAD shots out there, who depend on huge calibers with whopping big charges to compensate for poor shot placement. GAD!:banghead: They tend to be very poor juges of distance to the game animal as well. Most deer east of the Mississippi is taken well under 100 yards. (I can't say about other areas of the country) My muzzleloader with a 70 grain charge of 3Fg gets an average of 1500 fps at the muzzle. None of the deer that I have harvested in the past four years using this rifle, and the previous one that I owned, would've known the dif if I had increased my load to 100 grains for a MV of 1800 fps.

One of the previous posts mentioned using only 60 grains in a Zouave, which is a .58 caliber conical projectile about 3 time heavier than my bullets, yet it too will hammer deer. There really isn't a reason to use a max load (imho).

To equate a known to an unknown....., IF one was to shoot CorBon ammo out of a 1911A1 all the time, it would shake the gun apart very quickly. The same is true if you load your ML with CorBon like loads every time.


August 21, 2008, 01:52 PM
From what I have seen, the CVA get flack as there barrels are tested at 10,000 PSI, which is good enough for older BP loads, but in the manual it recommends that one use loads that are closer to 25,000 PSI. unless it has been proofed at that level, shooting a 25,000 PSI load for something proofed at 10,000 PSI is not sound.

Note, I never fired a BP gun, but the Proofing goes with ANY gun. if the Spanish Steel company proofs it at 10,000 PSI, then it should be safe to do loads in the 10,000 PSI range.

August 21, 2008, 01:58 PM
Drgong - where did you get your information about CVA (or their barrel supplier) proofing barrels to 10 kpsi?

August 21, 2008, 02:35 PM
I checked from a number of sources that the spanish steel used is proofed at 700 kp/cm2 , which translates to ~10,000 PSI.

However, I put a note that they may have recently changed the level that is proofed.

August 21, 2008, 07:50 PM
Ok, how about one?

I'm not being facetious here - I really would like to follow up on that. I'd appreciate an answer, please.

August 21, 2008, 08:24 PM
The only things about proof testing, or the lack thereof, that I see is the stuff claimed by Randy Wakeman. I also see no references that can be checked to back up claims. I am also suspicious of the practice of "proof testing".
The idea of tying my rifle to a tire, overloading it, and then firing makes me very nervous. Just because it stood up to that punishment, does it mean that it is now weakened to the point that a normal heavy load is going to blow it up? If a company tests a barrel out of a large batch and then discards the barrel, fine, but what does it really prove? For a quality product, how many times does the proof test fail when all the other quality checks show it to be OK?:confused:

August 21, 2008, 08:43 PM
I have a CVA 45 cal. flintkock mountain rifle I built in 1977 and I have shot 70 to 100 grains of powder in it and never had trouble with it,allthough 100 grains of powder was a waste of good powder, 65 to 70 worked the best, dropped a deer 174 yds with it, varified with range finder(LUCK SHOT), but all the same it dropped it.

August 21, 2008, 09:11 PM
The mark is the three circles together that form a pyramid shape for Spanish barreled Black powder rifles.

According to C.I.P, which is the international euro standard, kinda like our SAAMI standard body, there requirement is that BP rifles meet the standard of 700 kp/cm2 . Basically, it not saying it going to explode if you put more pressure on it, it is just that it has never been tested at that powder load. Thus it might be in your best interests to proof it yourself. Fire it three times with a pull of a string, and if it does not go "boom" your good to go.

This is a copy of the C.I.P that goes over the proofing.


The main guy who talks about this is Randy Wakeman.

August 21, 2008, 09:46 PM
I have a CVA Bobcat that I bought about 15 years ago & it does have a barrel from Spain that is proofed to 700 kp/cm2 & so far I'm still here.

I've used up to 90gr. of FFFG Goex & 777 3F in it with .490/.015, .495/.010 PRB's & a 320gr. Lee REAL bullet with good sucess although it likes a load of 80gr. 777 3F with my .495 PRB & 70gr. FFFG Goex with the Lee 320gr. REAL bullet & like most of y-all if a lesser charge works why push it with more for medeocre results.

August 21, 2008, 10:29 PM
I am not a muzzle loader just as a guy who buys a bow and shoots it a few times before season is not a bowhunter. I would however like to get into it and just want to start right. I read the articles by that randy fellow but have failed to find anything else about CVA/TRADITIONS ANYWHERE. I also doubt wally world would sell the rifles if they really did have these issues! I currently own a traditions buck hunter but was thinking about getting a break open. Anyhow thanx alot for your replies I honestly feel I would be safe as long as I was smart and didnt over charger or other stupid things that stupid people tend to do!

August 21, 2008, 11:16 PM
The modern steel used in muzzle loading barrels today is many times stronger than the steel that was used in previous eras. For many of us, it just doesn't seem credible to say that modern Spanish muzzle loaders aren't safe for the modern loads that they are designed to shoot.
What if a person learned that they are actually strong enough to adquately handle twice the recommended powder charges without any safety problems?
If the law in Spain requires that a certain standard be met through proof testing, then why would the proof mark mean that it's the maximum load that can be fired and not exceeded?
Maybe the proof mark doesn't mean that at all then, but rather only that the proof law requirement was met. The proof mark proves that it's at least that strong, not necessarily that it's the maximum rated strength of the steel.
How many American barrels are proofed and whether they are proofed or not, does it make anyone worried about the integrity of the barrel?
No one really worries because of the fact that modern steel is so much stronger than the inferior barrel steel that was used in previous eras. :)

August 21, 2008, 11:17 PM

The document you provided says the standard for .44 to .69 cal is 1400 bar (kg/cm2), or 20,300 psi. Where's the 700 bar requirement?

You might as well know, Wakeman has no credibility with me. If all you have is his work, let's not waste our time. If, however, there's more, I'd like to see it.

August 22, 2008, 09:38 AM
You might as well know, Wakeman has no credibility with me. If all you have is his work, let's not waste our time. If, however, there's more, I'd like to see it.

How about this

I will email CVA and ask at what pressure there rifles are proofed at and get it from the horses mouth. Will that solve it, as the other sources I never know if they are quoting wakeman or not.

I sent a email, will let you know how they respond.

August 22, 2008, 04:32 PM
I had my CVA flintlock worked on one time,(ramrod tip stuck in barrel),and I took it to a shop named Flintfocks, this fellow built custom flintlocks only and I asked him how much powder it would take to blow this gun up. His reply was," you could fill it clear to the end of the barrel and it wouldn't blow up". He said only so much powder would burn, the rest would be blown out the barrel probably a big ball of fire.He also said, he wouldn't recommend trying it.

August 22, 2008, 05:01 PM
That i dont know about and would not want to see or try. i have used up to 150 grains pryodex 50/50 pellets in mine. I have also used 120 grains of 777 and 120 grains of pyrodex and 130 grains of goex. With that being said. i now only use about 90 grains of goex. Why because i learned its not how much powder its coming up with the right powder to load ratio. once figured out this is what gives you the accuracy

August 22, 2008, 09:16 PM
I agree Scrat, when in doubt, throw up a white bed sheet, back up 10yds and shoot at it, keep reducing the charge untill theres on black marks on the sheet, Perfact powder charge for that gun.

August 22, 2008, 10:04 PM
Probably just a slip of the pen...you don't shoot AT the sheet, you shoot OVER it...NO black marks...

August 24, 2008, 10:18 AM
your right mykeal, my bad!!!!!!!

August 24, 2008, 02:13 PM
"The problem with muzzleloaders is the larger room for operator error. Don't properly seat that projectile or shot column on the powder or wad, and see what happens! Doesn't matter who makes the gun or rifle! (That's just one example - so it's tough to know why a barrel might fail or bulge in some cases.) ..."

Truer words were never spoken! Everyone should read Loyalist Dave's post of Aug. 21, print it out, carry it in their wallet, and the next time some joker talks about using 150 grains of FFG in his smokepole, hand it to him.
There is entirely too much Magnumizing going on with black powder guns today.
Case in point: the .45-70 rifle. In the old days, a 405 gr. lead bullet at 1.300 fps took moose, deer, bear and even the big bears.
Today, the way people talk, you'd think it was nothing more than a squirrel load. The very same mindset accompanies black powder today.
How the heck did Mountain Men take elk, moose and grizzly with a patched, lead ball of .50 to .58 caliber?
Has game become tougher?
Show up at an elk camp with a Hawken pattern .50-caliber rifle, using a lead ball over 80 grs. of FFG, and all the "modern" hunters will tell you it's no good for elk.
I knew an old guy in the St. Joe River drainage of Idaho who got his elk every year with just such a rifle and load.
The trick? He was a marksman and didn't depend on power to replace proper bullet placement.
He stalked close, instead of taking impossibly long shots with the latest Wunderbullet over the latest Wunderpowder.
Throw more and more powder down your barrel if you must, but please let others at the range know what you're doing so we can take cover.
I used to think that Congress had the highest per-capita rate of idiots. Now I believe that shooting ranges have exceeded that rate.

4v50 Gary
August 24, 2008, 02:19 PM
What Gatofeo says is right on the mark. It's not the size of the bullet or the powder behind it that counts inasmuch as it is where one puts the bullet that counts.

August 24, 2008, 02:27 PM
Gatofeo - have to agree as someone who never shot blackpowder, but knows historical loads that these "magnum" loads are crazy.

August 25, 2008, 04:48 PM
those dangerous CVAs were made in 1995 and 1996. They have a breech plug issue.

My guess is, You are reading Randy Wakemans stuff?

Ask him about Toby Bridges Savage muzzleloader and i bet you'd get a real hateful email from him as he is a bit testy when you mentions problems with products who pay his bills.

CVA will NOT give out barrel pressure #'s as a lot of stupid people out there would then have info to go off of and start working up small # Smokeless loads that either meet their tested pressures, or fall under their pressure chart.

kentucky bucky
August 25, 2008, 05:23 PM
No gun is "idiot proof". With normal BP loads, they are safe as long as the gun is in good shape . How many have blown up using normal loads? I've not heard about it.

August 25, 2008, 06:02 PM
Gastafeo is right but its not just there either. Its not just in black powder. I shoot a lot of other guns too and reload for other cartridges. What amazes me is how so many people are maxing out loads for their guns. Just the other day someone was posting asking people about max loads for their 9mm. It just does not make sense. People forget. its about starting low and working up a load to get a desired results not shooting the most you can without having the gun explode. Im going to copy and paste what i wrote in the reloading pages.

here is the link.

what i wrote.
I have been looking at this post all day. however i have not read it and really dont care to. I will just post one thing.

id love to post my results but at the same time i fringe when ever i hear go with max loads or higher. You need to work up a load. Not to see how hot you can get it. To see what is right for the bullet you are using giving you the best results at a target at a given range. With that i have some loads that are at or near max. Then i have a lot others that are not. Most pistol loads are standard what gives me the most accuracy. I just dont see how making a load at max or over max loads. If all im going to do is go to the range and shoot at paper targets at 15 yards or at steel targets at around 25 yards.
Any how thats my take
Maybe it makes a difference on how fast you put a hole in a piece of paper. Now when shooting distance rifle its important to work up a load but at the same way your not trying to max out the bullet. Im trying to hit a target at a given spot with a given bullet. This may take a few different powders to achieve my desired results. not maxing out. If i have to max out i may be using the wrong powder.__________________

August 25, 2008, 06:47 PM
A barrel has three pressure limits. Maximum working pressure, maximum design pressure, which if sound engineering practices are followed, will be twice the maximum working pressure. Proof pressure will be 130% of maximum working pressure.

Since the design pressure is twice the maximum working pressure we already know a sound barrel will take the working load. The purpose of proof firing is to reveal any hidden flaws in a given barrel. It's meant to be a non-destructive test (At least for a good barrel.) so the pressure is not run up to the maximum design pressure.

All this said, there is a problem with the marked proof pressure on BP barrels from Europe. As mentioned above, 700 kp/cm2 translates to around 10,000 psi. Now it's not much of trick to get 24,000 psi with a black powder load, so something doesn't jibe. I'm not sure just what doesn't jibe, as I've never heard of anyone blowing up a modern BP firearm by the simple expedient of over loading it. (All bets are off with air space between charge and bullet, barrel obstructions, bad breech plugsm, etc.)

August 25, 2008, 07:26 PM
I sent a email to CVA, still awaiting the responses to what they are proofed to.

August 25, 2008, 07:46 PM
Have found alot of info claiming the rifles were very unsafe to shoot? Anything to worry about here?

First, there are all kinds of claims by mostly one man. That man has been kicked off most of the muzzleloader web sites. He has never shown a picture of a post 1999 CVA inline gun that was destroyed using BP or a BP substitute.

Second, some of the first CVA inlines had some blow up problems related to the breech plug. The current crop of CVA inlines are just as strong as any other inline guns.

Third, few, if any, US makers proof test their BP guns.

August 25, 2008, 08:04 PM
I wonder why the guy still has a web site to this. you figure CVA should sue the heck out of him. i know i would.

August 25, 2008, 08:05 PM
To sue him would give him some publicity, which is really all he craves and the reason he still maintains his web site. He's probably getting off on this thread right now.

The real reason is that in order to win anything from him they'd have to be able to show that he had caused them some damage, and I don't believe they can do that because he hasn't done any. Everyone who comes across him pretty quickly recognizes what he is.

August 25, 2008, 09:06 PM
hes a trash talker too on powerbelt bullets.

Follow the recommended loads on the sheet that comes with them and they are excellent bullets.

Magnum loads are made to sound like gods gift to muzzle loading. Truth is, most rifles dont shoot worth a damn with 3 pellets.

August 25, 2008, 09:18 PM
powerbelt bullets are friggen awesome. they are just tooo darn expensive

August 25, 2008, 09:28 PM
I dont mind the cost for hunting. If i shot a lot during the off season, oh shucks i do shoot a lot in the off season lol.

I shoot whats accurate and dependable. To heck with the cost.

Look at prices we pay for gas! At least the bullet will put food on the table LOL.

I get them anywhere from $13-17 at a local store.

September 7, 2008, 07:15 PM
I have five muzzle loaders, one being a cheapo .50 cal CVA Apollo that I bought years ago in Virginia Beach. I sent in the waranty card like I usually do and a some years ago received a notice to stop shooting the rifle until I received a new barrel. I called them and read the serial number to them over the phone and they sent me a similar looking barrel which I installed. In the instructions they said to throw the old barrel out, which I eventually did....And they never mentioned what the problem was. Its a cheap rifle with a cheap scope, but it served me well. Its killed more deer than my Knight, or the three other rifles (side locks) that I've used over the years. (It really knocked the stuffin out of the last deer I killed down in Jarvisburg, NC.) It will always print less than 1.5 inches @ 100 yards and prefered .45 cal Hornady XTPs with sabots over 100 grains of FF or two 50 grain pellets.
Currently I've deceided to take up the fight again re the three pellet .50 cal. Knight versus sub 1.5 accuracy @100 yds. All I know its its starting to cost me some serious jack. My next try will be the Barnes TMZ saboted rounds, probably in the two hudred plus catagorie. I thought I would quickly see really decent accuracy with the three pellet pyrodex charge in the expensive Knight, but switching bullets vs changing the powder charge has tested time and money...

September 7, 2008, 10:28 PM
they told you to throw the barrel out because it was more than likely the barrel with the serial number that ended in 95 or 96. Those were the years they had breech plug issues.

September 11, 2008, 02:32 PM
Gatofeo:I laughed when I read your post,how right you are.I was thinking of the ouldtimers who servived on 25/20,32/20.44/40 ect.and of course on muzzle loaders.I was a machinist and am trying to think of how thin a barrel would have to be to blow at 10,000lbs.my I model smith in 32 long doesnot and its far thinner than any muzzle loader.look at shotguns the hold 15,000 and are next to paper thin.:uhoh::rolleyes:

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