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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have pulled out my CVA 50 Cal Hawken BP/Cap rifle to begin shooting again. It's been at least 12 years since I fired it so I need a suggestion for powder charges. I would like ballpark (target - hunting) charge recommendations for the following bullets. For now I will be loading Pyrodex RS and I think it is a 1:48 twist. First bullet is a T/C cast 350gr Maxi-Bullet and the second is a 260gr REAL LEE Cast bullet. I will also shoot a Hornady XTP saboted bullet but I think I have the data for that one. Before I retired this gun I remember it as a reliable shooter.

Thanks,

Redwing
 

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Gun Digest BP Loading Manual Pg 175

The loads suggested indicated below should give you a start. Not exactly specific to your chosen projectile, but in the ballpark we shall get.
Note; 110 grn is max load recommended but I would try 3f instead of 2f for a bit more velocity. With the short 28" barrel I would expect better burn from 3f. I would also try a tighter ball (ie .495 with .008 patch instead ) to increase starting pressure* This will put the round ball load well in terminal load for big game.....
Bullet Powder MV ME 100 yd vel 100 yd energy in foot/lbs
.490 rd ball 90 gr 2f 1712 1152 959 362
177 gr 110 gr 2f 1939 1478 1008 399
w/ .015 patch
225gr Sabot 70gr 2f 1585 1255 1292 834
90gr 2f 1726 1489 1381 953

300gr Deerslayer 70gr 2f 1395 1297 1139 864
90gr 2f 1515 1529 1212 979

385g BuffaloBullet 70gr 2f 1125 1082 888 674
90gr 2f 1379 1626 1076 990
* note; The pressure required to start moving the bullet is critical! most target shooters crimp bullets in brass case after reloading to insure the pressure is the same for each load as it begins to move... I have seen by using tighter patch/ball in .50's has improved my shooting measurably.. Too "slippery" a load will cause erratic results. I also suggest you wipe once after every shot (unless a quick 2nd shot is required to finish off game) to control bore fit.

I think this will give you the direction you need to be headed. BTW, I have hunted big game in Wyo (incl elk, deer, & antelope) with a .50 BP rifle since I was a nipper (under 20 anyway) some 30+ yrs ago. In fact my very 1st rifle was a .45 kit gun I got from a guy who thought "kit" meant screw it together & go. He got frustrated & I got great deal...

Well, Enjoy & be careful, DOC
 

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90 grains pyrodex or 777 is what i use, no matter the bullet. maxiballs are deadly and accurate, but kick real good. sabots are much more shoulder friendly. i hardly ever shoot balls, except just for fun every once in a while. i used to shoot 110 grains, bullets would blow right through both sides of deer, they'd run 50 to 80 yards, dropped my load to 90 grains, it rolls their A$$.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the info. I can use that information as a great starting point. I will let everyone know how things work out.

Thanks again:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks a lot for the link to the manual. I looked at CVA but didn't find that. The manual with the additional practical field loads given me above really put me in a good place to start shooting the ole girl. I built this rifle back around 82 or so and when hurricane Katrina came I lost the .54 cal barrel in the flood. Of course the manual and all of my records I use to keep went also.

Thanks again, and good shooting.:)
 
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