CVA Buckhorn .50 Caliber 209 Muzzleloader
Great Gun, Great Value
I purchased this gun as an upgrade. I've been shooting a T/C Hawken style .50 for the last few years and got tired of the antiquated design and wanted something more modern, however I didn't want to spend too much since I only hunt 2 or 3 days a year during muzzleloader season.
After doing some online research and looking at various guns I decided to go with this one. I have been thrilled with my decision.
This gun is an entry level inline that anyone can use. I have mounted a scope and can keep a reasonably tight group at 100 yards. I say "reasonably tight" because there are so many different variables to consider when firing a muzzleloader. Just a few grains of powder more or less can effect the shot placement.
I have been firing Powerbelt bullets and have tested between 75 and 100 grains of Pyrodex. I have found that 75 is adequate for the size of deer I'm hunting and the distance of my shots.
This gun is very durable and is well built for the price. Disassembly for cleaning is very easy and makes cleaning a snap. They give you all the tools required, but all you need is an allen wrench and the breech wrench which comes with the gun. I have a bore rope that I run through the bore. Cleaning takes about 15 minutes.
The only reason I'm giving this review 4 starts instead of 5 is because it is somewhat difficult to put in a new primer and remove the primer after firing. This isn't a big deal when you aren't trying to load in the heat of the moment, but when you are reloading to take a quick shot it can be a little difficult to get the old primer out and a new one installed. I keep my pocket knife handy in the field and use it to pop the old one out and then it just takes a few seconds to get the new one situated in place. This may be something that is common to all inlines, but I've never fired another so I don't know.
Overall I highly recommend this gun. I have had it for one season and took a buck and a doe with it. I'm looking forward to the new season starting in two weeks so i can take it out again.
In closing I'll say that the selling point for me on this gun was when I was doing some online research. If you Google "The Truth About CVA" you'll find a blog by the CEO of CVA. On that blog people ask him questions and he gives them direct answers. I love the fact that the CEO is accessible and addresses customer comments (and complaints) directly on that blog instead of you having to call some 800 number. I was floored that a CEO was making himself so accessible and that was the ultimate selling point for me.
October 13, 2013
Forget the price, buy it for the accuracy!
I started muzzleloading with a very cheap, mid-90's inline. I lived in a rifle hunting state where the muzzleloading seasons required open iron sights, open breech, no pellets and no sabots at the time, so I was just muzzleloading to try something new at the range, and to hopefully gather enough ML experience by the time the Army moved me again to be able to function in a ML/shotgun state without having to start from square 1. I quickly learned it would be worth upgrading to a Buckhorn (yes, it was an UPGRADE - I still have that first rifle, but I only use it as a cheater bar on my 3/8" ratchet wrench handle!), put a decent Bushnell scope on it, and picked up a variety of conicals, saboted bullets, and PowerBelts as well as 4 different types of FFg-equivalent BP substitutes and a few brands of primers. Without indemnifying myself by sharing the exact recipe, I was able to use a "poor man's" rifle, a $40 3-9x40mm scope, a BP substitute powder plagued by notoriously bad reviews, a well-accepted saboted bullet that really doesn't cost much, and the cheapest primers in town to get 3-shot groups just under 2" at 100 yards. Velocities off of my Chrony F1 report nice consistency and best efficiency with about a 130 grain load; going above that seemed to get more smoke and thunder, but little more velocity and slight declines in accuracy. Zeroed 1" high at 150 yards, I can hit inside an 8" paper picnic plate every time out to 250 yards with a center hold and that means I'm done worrying about rifles, optics, loads, etc. - I can focus on animals, habitat, and tactics now. Or, at least I could, had I not let my best friend talk me out of the rig, leaving me to start over from the ground up with another make/model... but that's for another review. Bottom line is that if you're a centerfire guy like I was, heading to a shotgun/ML state (and most such states allow your ML during their shotgun seasons too) the CVA Buckhorn lets you get into the muzzleloading game for less than $500 for rifle, scope, rings, bullets, powder, primers, full arsenal of loading and cleaning goods including a good range rod & some speed loaders, and probably even some other accessories such as a rifle case, sling, scope covers, and a decent plastic toolbox to keep everything organized and in one place. You can always upgrade bits and pieces over time, but I'm writing this in mid-July with full confidence that for under $500, if you have solid fundamental marksmanship skills, you can be ready for an Iowa/Illinois/Indiana/Ohio deer season by the end of September with just a few range sessions and very little capital. Those four-figure-as-shown ML rifles in the hands of the big guys with the big hats on TV are nice, but none of the animals harvested on cable television or in the anonymous public wildlife areas on the Midwest's back roads would ever know the difference.
July 17, 2011
Great for the money
I live in Ohio, I bought it to hunt deer, I went out the first season and got a doe with it. For less than $400 in everything I got a deer during the last ditch muzzleloader season. On mine, the open sights are horrid! The rear sight is all the way to the left and it still shoots left at 70 ft. I just mounted a scope on it, but havnt had time to sight it in. Friend told me that would remedy the inaccurate open sights??? Very easy to clean! Very easy to operate and reload. For the money, you cannot beat it.
August 8, 2011
This gun is a great shooter. I let my brother shoot it a couple times and he didn't believe me when i told him I paid under $150 for it. It's as accurate and easy to use as guns that are 2-3 times as much money. The first day out I shot 3 shots to get the scope hitting the bullseye at 40 yds then moved the target to 100yds and was shooting inside a 2" group for my next 10 shots. The only thing I found odd was sometimes after firing the bolt would go back open, and sometimes it would be closed against the primer, or half open with the primer smashed sideways in the chamber. I assume the shot was forcing the primer backwards and pushing the bolt open, which would sometimes catch in the "open" position. The kick with 100gr of 777 pellets and a 245gr powerbelt was about half that of a 3" 12 gauge shell.
January 14, 2010