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CVA Optima - first day out on the range


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Took my CVA Optima to the range today. First time shooting a muzzy. Want to get it ready for bear season in October :)

First, I like the gun. The trigger is crisp, the recoil is easy and light. There's nothing about the gun I don't like. And it seems accurate. I only shot 10 times, and the first was completely off paper (LOL, had to move up to 20 yards just to see where it was going) but the bullet was tracking nicely where I was expecting it to when adjusting the scope. So there were no flyers or anything like that. I also chalk that up to the light recoil - no flinching to have to worry about. I was only at 50 yards. I got it to within 1" - 2" group... I'll do another range session to make sure I'm nicely zero'ed at 50 and then I'll bring it out to 100 and see how it performs.

Now, as for pellets. Holy cow! These things are dirty! 9 of the 10 shots I used 100gr of White Hots pellets (2 pellets). The gunk that remains in the barrel is just crazy after just one shot. I had to clean the barrel after every shot. One time I tried to load without cleaning the barrel and I could not get the bullet to seat all the way down (I was using PowerBelt 250gr bullets). The ram rod just stopped about an inch from where it normally did. There must have been so much gunk in the way I couldn't get the bullet seated all the way down. I tried unloading it (removed the breach plug, dropped the two pellets, but still couldn't push the bullet in or out in either direction with the rod). I had to put the pellets back in, and just primed and pulled the trigger to get the bullet out (luckily, it did shoot out of the barrel even though it wasn't fully seated against the pellets).

I also bought a pack of Triple-7 pellets that I had with me. So on my 10th shot, I decided to use 2 of those pellets instead of the White Hots to see how they were. Still dirty, but I was surprised that it seemed to me the Triple-7 were slightly cleaner than the White Hots (and everything I heard about the White Hots were that they burned cleaner then all the others). I didn't experience that at all.

But in any case, Triple-7 or White Hots, those things are Dirty with a capital D. Now I know why some of you don't mind paying the premium for Blackhorn209 powder. If it is true that BH209 powder isn't nearly as dirty, I'm probably going to use that. I just need to go find some in stock. I really want to try that powder and compare to the pellets. I did buy the BH specific breech plug because I did plan on trying it out - but now I REALLY want to try it out.

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