CVA Buckhorn .50 cal. 777 powder charge and #11 caps?


February 3, 2013, 05:31 AM
I sometimes hunt with my CVA Buckhorn .50 caliber using 777 powder and a #11 cap. This may be a combination not well known but it makes my muzzle loader legal for traditional muzzle loader hunts here in Idaho.

Being it has iron sight and I'm using granulated powder, a number 11 cap and the combination of a different breech plug and number 11 nipple allows the cap to be seen it does comply with all the rules. As well I shot a non-jacketed bullet (Powerbelt 295 grainers) so all's on the up and up with Fish and Game.

If I don't draw a rifle hunt for Elk this next season I'll be going out with my Buckhorn for Elk again.

What I have found to be accurate in this muzzle loader is a powder charge of 92.6 grains of the 777 that I measure out on a digital scale and keep in my speed loaders. Some people have laughed at me for the digital scale to measure my charges but it's just the way I do it and I'm not going to change this part of my muzzle loader hunting.

Deer season before last I took a deer in an extended open tag hunt but that was a 50 yard shot that hit in the sweet spot and dropped the deer in about 30 yards.

Last time out for Elk I made what looked to be a good shot on a cow Elk from 154 yards as the blood could be seen in the right spot and running down the animals leg after she got oriented and took off. Nine miles or so later the blood trail dried up and my freezers belly didn't get filled with Elk, nor did mine.

So with that I'm sold on the thought I should speed up my bullets some.

The Buckhorn is a magnum muzzleloader capable of handling 150 grains of powder unlike my shoulder that wants to whimp out after about 10 shots of 102 grains of 777.

So in order to not waste powder, bullets or my shoulder I thought I would ask in the off chance some of you may be running the same rig, what's your best powder charge?

If you are running the 209 caps I'm still interest as your charge may differ in accuracy a bit in my smoke pole anyway. I'm just looking for a base line to work from without developing a flinch response every time I pull the trigger on my buckhorn.

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February 3, 2013, 08:36 AM
i scope and sight in a dozen or so muzzleloaders every fall. i recommend the BuckHorn for those starting to hunt with black powder guns. The BuckHorn has two action screws to hold the receiver/barrel solidly in the stock, a feature lacking in some expensive brands. For accuracy the gun can't be beat.

The BuckHorn guns i sight in are usually set up for 209 primers. 90 weighed grains of 777 is a good healthy powder charge. i would recommend a 300 grain .452 Hornady magnum XTP bullet for elk. If you must use conicals the 370 grain TC Maxi-Ball is a good bullet.

777 powder is more powerful than Pyrodex and BP. Do not exceed 120 measured grains of 777.

February 4, 2013, 02:43 AM
The XPT is a jacketed bullet which isn't legal for my traditional muzzle loader hunts here although the TC bullet you mentioned should be.

Thanks for the note on the 777! I havent gone over 102 grains and if I do it won't be much over!

February 4, 2013, 03:54 AM
you'll need to up the Powerbelt to the 348gr version for elk. The 295 just doesnt have the poop behind it and tends to fragment very easily.

I'd recommend the 348gr aerotip with 80 to 90gr pyrodex RS.

The 385 or 410 hornady great plains bullets are also a must try bullet in the cva buckhorn.

February 5, 2013, 03:22 AM
The 348gr aerotip is another jacketed bullet or at least it looks jacketed in the pictures I checked out which would get me busted on the traditional hunts. Not so sure the plastic tips would be legal here either, at least for the traditional hunts.

Now those Great Plain bullets look like something I'll have to check out. Thanks!

I prefer to stick with the 777 though as it is so easy to clean up after.

February 5, 2013, 01:25 PM
no, check into the lead series powerbelts, better yet they have the 348gr flatpoint powerbelt. look at the lead series.

February 5, 2013, 02:30 PM
I'm not at all familiar with the projectiles you're using (I use roundball in my frontstuffers) I agree that what you need is more bullet, not more velocity. A .45cal cast bullet of proper hardness in the 250-260gr range at 900fps will exit on any broadside shot, even elk. If your lung shot is not exiting, your bullet is either too light or expanding too quickly. Higher velocity will only make it worse.

February 5, 2013, 11:30 PM
WYLIE1 THE great plains bullet works great in my 1-28 twist barrel yours is a 1-48 twist I think? maybe wrong. I load the 395 gr sized .501 spg lube with 90 grs. of 1.5 Swiss BY VOLUME ! runs over the Crony 1525 FPS This is big medicine on any critter. The 1-48 twist will only stabilize a slug of weight and length to 200yrd and some maybe at that fps. Prue lead will hold together and will preform.

February 6, 2013, 12:56 AM
Thanks frontiergander,
I just found the 348 grain lead Powerbelts on the net today and will be most likely to try them first as I do like the Powerbelts although it seems prices are up on them if I remember correctly. Pretty sad when when a .308 cartridge of just last year matches the price of a muzzle loading bullet!:eek:

Thanks, that's the direction I'm taking.

The Great Plains 395s are a lower cost option now in my computers favorites as well as the 348 Powerbelts. The CVA Buckhorn has a 24 in barrel with 28:1 rifling. Oops I guess the would be 1 in 28 inch rifling.

I may have to start casting bullets at the expense of these things anymore. I'm having a hard time justifying the expense for what they are. A box of 50 .308 jacketed bullets costing $35 comes to $0.70 a bullet and a 20 lot of Powerbelts cost just over $1 each! :eek:

Then again I'm not sure it would be all that cost effective to cast bullets either. Tire stores locking up used lead these days?

February 6, 2013, 10:24 AM
They sell a hell of a lot more .308" bullets than they do muzzleloader bullets. They're a small production, niche item.

Casting bullets saves A LOT of money over even the cheapest commercial bullets, at the expense of time. You really have to do a lot of shooting to justify it. I wouldn't go setting myself up for casting if I were only shooting 100rds a year.

February 7, 2013, 02:48 AM
I wouldn't go setting myself up for casting if I were only shooting 100rds a year. Completely understood, I looked at the expense and just couldn't justify it for myself.

Along the route I have taken I have found even some custom bullet fabricators are less expensive than the Powerbelts, I'm in the midst of research now as some have had bad reviews, and I don't need issues.

February 7, 2013, 12:45 PM
check into the Harvester ( Scorpion PT Gold sabots. You can get 50 of them for cheap and they are one heck of a bullet. Use the Harvester smooth "black" sabot. Push them with 90-110gr T7 and you should have a very cheap range/hunting bullet that will anchor what ever it hits.

I highly recommend the 260gr PT Gold.

February 8, 2013, 12:30 AM
Thanks but I can't use the sabots either, loads of rules from the traditional hunts here.

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