Hovey’s Outdoor Adventures – Muzzleloading Marvels
Modern muzzleloading guns and new components have enabled the best of percussion revolvers to be considered as deer-hunting handguns for the first time, and BPI’s Dudley McGarity discusses the CVA Electra muzzleloading rifle which employed a novel electric ignition system.
As much a discussion on marketing new products as about guns and components, Dudley McGarity the CEO of Black Powder Incorporated, the parent company of CVA, and Kaido Ojamaa, the developer of a more effective bullet for muzzleloading revolvers, talk about the problems of product design and launch from the viewpoints of an established company and a private entrepreneur.
On this show the listener shares Hovey’s experiences with these new products as he goes through initial tests which demonstrate that the stainless steel versions of Ruger’s Old Army and Cabala’s Buffalo revolver (made by Pietta in Italy), can develop 500 ft.lbs. of muzzle energy with hunting-weight bullets by using loads of Hodgdon’s Triple Seven FFFg powder.
This testing is documented on blog posts as well as in a series of six YouTube videos, “Modern Percussion Revolvers Parts 1-6.” In this series a number of revolvers were shot and the results included spectacular double and triple fires when maximum factory- recommended loads were tried in one gun. This Traditions revolver was a retro-design of the 1873 Colt Peacemaker cartridge gun to the percussion system. Low-pressure loads worked satisfactorily, but top-end loads caused repeated multiple fires.
Initial shooting of the Electra revealed that the ignition system caused no problems, but that the front sight was too low to allow the gun to be sighted in for ranges closer than several hundred yards. As an expedient, the rear sight was removed and satisfactory results was obtained by using the attached scope base as the rear sight and the front sight as a “bead,” as in a typical single-barreled shotgun. This expedient solution would allow killing shots to be made on deer out to about 40 yards – the typical effective range of smoothore muzzleloading muskets. Scope sights will allow much better work to be done with this gun in future episodes.
The Electra can be used with Pyrodex and Triple Seven pellets, provided that the pellets are “crunched” on the top of the breech plug. Further shootings will be done with loose powders to prevent any possible failures while hunting.
Two of the guns, the Ruger Old Army and the Electra, while mechanically successful, have been discontinued. In both cases the guns were superior to any competitive products, but limited demand reduced sales to the point where they were withdrawn in favor of more popular products.