The DIY Hunter


In 2015 both Dallen and I drew muzzleloader deer tags in Utah. With only owning one muzzleloader, that being a TC Encore, we were in need of another one so that both of us could hunt together.

This mule deer hunt will be Dallen's first time hunting with a muzzleloader and he's a little nervous about the idea of not hunting with a rifle for the first time.

I like my TC Encore however for the price I haven't been particularly happy with the really heavy trigger pull of 6 pounds, a trigger pull that is going to require a gunsmithing to correct. Also the issue the Encore has with Winchester 209 primers, that include the Winchester made Triple 7 primers, being a hair too long for TC's tolerances. These primers prevent the hammer from being cocked unless you open and close the action several times to bend the primer.

For my second muzzleloader I've had my eyes on the different varieties of CVA Accura muzzleloaders. CVA has a bunch of varieties to chose from. I thought really hard about the 30 inch barreled Real Tree Max-1 Long Range version but given I am restricted to a one power scope the extra weight of the longer barrel was not going really going to extend my range.

In the end I decided to go with the Nitride rust proof finished, stainless, 27" barrel. At first appearance the Nitride finished muzzleloaders look like they are traditional blued barrels that can rust from the corrosive black powder and substitute powders. However, CVA is using stainless barrels and making them even more rust proof by applying a Nitride chemical finish that chemically alters the barrel inside and out. A process the military has been doing for some time now. These barrels are as rust proof as they get which is perfect for muzzleloaders.

One of the first things I quickly noticed with this muzzleloader is the trigger pull. Wow, it breaks consistently at 2 1/4 pounds. Very nice! And the trigger pull is easily adjustable with a set screw located directly behind the trigger guard. I have no plans of adjusting the trigger as it feels great at 2 1/4 pounds but I probably could easily adjust the trigger even lighter. For now I'm going to leave the trigger right where it's at. This trigger is amazing especially compared to the 6 pound trigger pull that isn't adjustable on my more expensive TC Encore muzzleloader.

The CVA Accura V2 comes with Quake Claw sling. Quake Claw slings are what I place on all of my hunting rifles... well the Browning version of these slings. Browning sells the same slings under the name of Clincher. Claw\Clincher slings are rubber over-molded over a nylon strap. I find these slings to grip on my shoulder the best keeping my rifles from sliding off my shoulder.

CVA Accura V2 muzzleloaders also come with a nice single piece Dead On scope mount. This scope mount, mounts securely to the barrel with three screws.

With a scope mount and sling provided all I needed was a scope. Given Utah's restriction to only 1x scopes it really limits down the list of scopes to chose from. Over the past several years I have been setting up almost all of my rifles with more tactical like scopes that allow for me to use Strelok Pro Ballistics Calculator app to calculate the needed amount of MOA to dial on the scope for any particular shot. I have come to really like the Vortex line for rifle scopes. Vortex offers great tactical features in many of their scopes, at a price that is very reasonable given the features and they have the best warranty in the industry.

Vortex started offering a 1x24 scope a couple years back so I went with that scope for this muzzleloader. This scope has a much greater field of view than the Nikon 1x20 that I have on my TC Encore and like the Nikon I can remove the elevation cap from both 1x scopes and dial up MOA for a longer shot.

To get the muzzleloader on paper to sight it in I removed the breach plug and looked down the barrel to get it bore sighted. This process takes just a couple of minutes and has always worked great at getting me on paper without any fancy equipment.

I have learned from shooting in the past that loose powder has given me more consistent velocities and accuracy over powder pellets so loose FFG Triple 7 powder was all I tried. To sight in the CVA I brought 300 grain PowerBelt and 300 grain Hornady SST bullets. I have liked the SST bullets accuracy from the past but also wanted to see how the popular PowerBelt bullets would shoot.

Both bullets shot equally well. Given how I have shot in the past I like to run a butter bore cleaning patch through between each shot. This works great for using the plastic sabot Hornady SST bullets however I have learned that PowerBelts shoot better with a dirty or saliva cleaning patch between shots and not a butter bore patch.

After I had the muzzleloader sighted to be dead on at 100 yards I set out my target at 200 yards and placed a couple milk jugs out at various ranges to shot at. I decided to go with the Horandy SST bullets given the higher ballistic coefficient. When I get a chance I will try saliva patches with the PowerBelts and see if I can get better accuracy than the SST and if so I will switch to them. As best as I could find the 300 Gr SST has a BC of 0.25 and the 300 Gr PowerBelt's BC is 0.214.

In the video on this page you can watch me hit milk jugs at 200, 147 and 167 yards. This was a 1, 2, 3 shot hits in succession. I slowed down the video of the 200 yard shot and you can clearly see the bullet traveling on it's path to the milk jug. Strelok Pro gave me 2 MOA for the 147 yard shot, 3 MOA for the 167 and 5 MOA for the 200 yard shot. I'm going to really like this muzzleloader!

I have been really busy during the month of August working with an attorney to get Dallen eligible with the UHSAA to play basketball for his senior year at Layton Christian Academy. Because I have been so busy I just didn't have time to hunt for elk with my bow this year like I like to do but I'm super excited to be using this CVA Accura V2 on a muzzleloader elk hunt come the first of November as well as my mule deer hunt in September.

Next up, muzzleloader Utah deer hunting where Dallen gets a nice buck at 192 yards with this CVA Accura V2

CVA Accura V2 Nitride Barrel Vortex 1x24

My CVA Accura V2 with Nitride finished barrel - a pretty nice looking modern muzzleloader.


Weight of CVA Accura V2 with Vortec 1x24 Scope

With a Vortex 1x24 scope on this CVA Accura V2 the overall weight comes in at 8 pounds 11 ounces.


Bore sighting CVA Accura V2

With the breach plug removed I am bore sighting by looking down the center of the bore and aligning this by adjusting the scope to match where the bore is pointing.


View of muzzleloader target through Vortex 1x24 scope

Here is a view of my muzzleloader targets at 100 yards through the 1x24 Vortex muzzleloader scope. Given the lack of any magnification in the scope these targets have a large dark circle with a one inch fine grid in the center to help with scope adjustment.


CVA Accura V2 Nitride Powerbelt velocity

100 grains of Triple 7 FFG power behind a 300 Gr PowerBelt was showing right at 1900 FPS on the Chrony.


CVA Accura V2 PowerBelt 100 yard 3 shot group

300 Gr PowerBelt three shot group at 100 yards with a 1x scope. Not too bad of a group at just under 2 1/2 inches. I also like groups that hold tight vertically and vertically this group is under a half inch. Horizontal variance can be effected by the wind which is out of my control and there was a little wind when I was shooting but not really strong.


Hammer Spur CVA Accura V2

The hammer spur on the CVA Accura V2.


Access to 209 primer on CVA breach plug

The 209 primer protrudes out of the breach plug with plenty of room to easily remove a spent primer with your fingers.