Muzzleloaders have come a long way in the last ten years. The in-line technology has made these guns as accurate as many center fire rifles. This is especially true if you have the ability to put a high powered scope on the gun.
The CVA Accura V2 is quickly becoming one of the favorite weapons of choice for the Sportsman’s News team. The original Accura has been out for several years and has been my personal gun of choice since inception, but I have now upgraded to the V2 series. CVA has taken what was already an extremely accurate and well valued gun and made it better.
The new Accura V2 is equipped with a 416 stainless steel 27” fluted Bergara Barrel. The Bergara barrels are manufactured in Spain where some of the best custom gun manufactures have resided for hundreds of years. Ed Shilen is a pretty common name to many bench rest and long range shooters and has made a life out of bench shooting and making barrels. Bergara contracted Ed Shilen to consult on their barrel manufacturing and it has paid off in the accuracy of these new muzzleloaders. The 27” barrel makes for a full powder burn even with magnum loads. The new Quick Release Breech Plug or QRBP is the big hype with this new gun, and it works just as advertised. I have shot twenty plus rounds out of the gun and just screwed the plug out without any tools. Some of the other muzzleloader companies claim to do this, but after testing, they don’t live up to the reputation. This is a benefit for unloading the gun during field outings. The advertised weight of this gun is 7.3 pounds and it was exactly what our production model weighted out of the box. You can pick this gun up with either a standard stock or thumbhole model. The gun is 42” overall length and has a 14.5” pull. It comes equipped with fully adjustable front and rear fiber optic sights and is also drilled and tapped for scope mounts. The sling that comes with it is called the “Claw” and is now mounted on every one of my rifles. This thing simple won’t fall off of your shoulder. Claw is an understatement. This is just an all around great rifle and it is top quality.
Having a great rifle is only half the battle. Knowing how to use it is the other half. Twenty years ago, I was interested in learning about hunting with a muzzleloader and I had a tough time finding anyone doing this type of hunting and even more trouble finding someone to share their knowledge with me. The day of the internet has made that much easier, but I want to share my recipe for getting started and enjoying these great guns to their fullest.
Once you buy your CVA Accura V2, you will need the accessories to go with it and those are all available at Sportsman’s Warehouse. I personally like to shoot loose powder instead of pellets. These are two different forms of black powder acceptable for your gun. Pellets are preformed cylinders of powder which are usually premeasured at 30 and 50 grains. These are very simple and eliminate the need for a powder flask and powder measure. Since I shoot loose powder, I need a powder measure as well as a powder flask. The flask stores my powder and the measure is a small brass device that can adjust the amount of grains I shoot in my gun. You will also need a bullet starter to help get the bullet headed down the barrel. This can be done with the ramrod that is included with the gun, but isn’t as easy on the hands and why I recommend the special tool. You will be shooting a lot while you work up your load and you want it to be an enjoyable experience. Bullets or projectiles leave a ton of room for argument so I’m just going to provide my personal preference and what shoots the best out of my personal gun. I shoot 250 grain Powerbelt Aerolite bullets. I can get sub one inch groups at 100 yards with this bullet and 110 grains of Blackhorn 209 black powder. This is my recipe for a deadly combination.
At initial setup with your gun, I recommend that you mount a high powered rifle scope onto your gun of at least 9 power whether you will be hunting with a scope or not. Nikon makes the Omega model which is specifically designed for muzzleloaders and is great especially if you will be hunting with a scope. However, many states won’t allow for you to hunt with a scope, but this will allow you to work up the best load for your gun and take a good portion of the human element out of the process. These guns are capable of firing 150 grains of powder, but I usually start with a lighter load and increase with 10 grains of powder after 3 shot groups. I clean my gun after each 3 shot group and continue to do this until I get a bullet and powder combination that will get me one inch or better groups at 100 yards. Once, I have my best load, I move out fifty yards and see how much drop I am experiencing and document the correct yardage for the circles in my Omega. If you will be hunting with a scope, you are good to go. Practice often and get comfortable shooting your gun. If you are in a state like Colorado or Nevada that won’t allow a scoped gun, it is now time to dial in your factory sights. Since you know the load that gives you the best groups, you can be assured that sight picture and adjustment is the only thing you need to work with now.
Once you pick up one of these great guns and dial it in, you will see why it is our muzzleloader “Pros Picks”. You can spend a lot more money on a muzzleloader, but why would you?