CVA Staghorn...low end, high output!


February 2, 2004, 10:38 AM
I know there are a ton of in-line options out there....

I fell into in-line blackpowder because a buddy gave me a Staghorn his brother-in-law disliked. I'd watched my dad clean his CVA Hawkins design over the years and was NEVER going to get into that type of post-shooting "work".

So, I end up with my first blackpowder gun. I never, ever wanted to own one, but my buddy "made" me take it out and shoot. I did and was hooked enough to sight it in this past fall so I could extend my deer hunting.

To make the $89.00 gun usable for my fading eyes, I added a Williams peep-sight and a lower profile CVA front sight/blade (to match the peep configuration).

I used Triple-7 non-corrosive powder and 210 gr. Cabels's Sabots and the 209 ignition option (the Staghorn comes with two breach plugs, one for caps, the other for primers)

Low-and-behold...after these minor modifications, it took me less than 30 minutes to have this gun (off the bench @ 100yds) grouping 3-4" time and time again!

What I did not realize upon first blush, the gun is easier to clean than most of the higher end in-line guns I've been around! No removing the stock or trigger group....just unscrew the rear cap and take out the plug! Not too bad! This was a major "selling" feature for me!

For the money, this seems to be a real "value" in-line...similer to the Makarov...a low cost carry performer.

I honestly don't expect to "upgrade" to another in-line gun. It certainly did the job this fall...I whacked a nice 10 point at 100 yards and followed up with a doe at 20 yrds.

I thought I'd post this because not everyone wants or can afford a nice Omega or Encore. The Staghorn is not a very fancy "meat gun" but it sure is nice being able to get two additional weekends of deer season without spending a ton of money! Heck, it's also fun to shoot at the range!

Just my .02 cents


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August 30, 2008, 12:56 PM
I am the same way about my traditions buckhunter! Easy as all get out to clean and very accurate fore me!

August 30, 2008, 01:26 PM
if you want a really good shooting load, try a 385gr hornady great plains conical with 80gr pyrodex rs.

August 30, 2008, 09:42 PM
I use Barnes sabots in my Staghorn and they group around 3" @100 as well. This is a great rifle for the money. I woudnt advise shooting 150 grains of pyro through it though.

August 30, 2008, 11:14 PM
You guys are giving me the "itch" to get that gun out and run a few down the pipe. It was great shooting today, but we did not shoot any black powder. In a day or two.

I appreciate the load suggestions.


August 31, 2008, 09:52 AM
Have had a CVA Staghorn since 1999. That gun has killed about 20 deer and over 80 hogs. I own other muzzleloaders but the Staghorn goes with me on walking hunts because it is light and very accurate. My Staghorn load is two 50 grain Pyrodex pellets and the .430 240 grain XTP bullet.

Frontier Gander is spot on. The gun loves 70-80 grains of Pyrodex and a 370-grain TC Maxi-Ball or the 385 grain Great Plains bullets.

August 31, 2008, 02:48 PM
The Staghorn was the predecessor to this CVA .50 Blackhorn Magnum which I bought unfired
from a friend's father recently because he's ill.
It's feels like a comfortable & solid rifle. I just need to call CVA to get the capping/decapping
tool and the allen wrenches needed for disassembly before I can shoot it to sight it in.
This is my first 209 rifle since my other inlines are earlier generation .54's that use the
#11 cap (which I prefer). I bought it in part because I have so many 209 primers that
I bought on clearance anticipating that I would eventually buy a 209 shooter someday.
Isn't buying the ammo before actually having the gun to shoot it with the way that it's
sometimes meant to be? :D

August 31, 2008, 03:29 PM
I do not own another rifle of any kind with a better trigger than the original Staghorn I own. It has no safety and no other fancy "mechanisms" on the gun to keep the shooter from sending the charge up the barrel solidly on target.

For $79.00...I know of no equal...and it's really easier to clean than my Omega.


August 31, 2008, 10:01 PM
This Blackhorn Magnum also has a nice trigger as almost every brand of conventional plunger (or striker) action inlines do. It's just a simple trigger mechanism that releases the bolt and it's usually well tuned before leaving the factory.
The trigger on a Marlin ML-54 plunger action that I have is also exceptionally smooth and light, so I know just the kind of trigger that you're describing that your Staghorn has.
That's in stark contrast to many of the inexpensive CVA sidelock triggers sold over the years. I once sent one back to CVA to have it worked on because it was so stiff it actually hurt my finger trying to pull it.
I guess that CVA finally made up for some of those horribly bad triggers that they produced in the past! :D

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