Muzzleloading firearms bring forth visions of blackpowder, white smoke and fur-clad mountaineers, not of modern high technology. However the .50-caliber, in-line, break-action CVA Accura MR combines both old and new, delivering a powerful and accurate rifle. Unlike classic muzzleloaders, the inline design keeps the primer directly behind the powder charge and provides faster and surer ignition.
All CVA muzzleloaders are made in Bergara, Spain, a region known for its gun-making history. This facility also produces outstanding rifle barrels, which are used by major modern centerfire rifle manufacturers. CVA, however, is the only muzzleloader that uses these barrels.
The Bergara barrels are fluted for reduced weight and made from stainless steel, which adds a much-appreciated level of corrosion resistance and natural weatherproofing. Since blackpowder and its substitutes have a tendency to produce a fair amount of fouling, this helps prevent rust and aids in cleaning. The combination of high-quality manufacturing and button rifling produces an extremely accurate barrel. In fact, CVA guarantees that the Accura will be "The Most Accurate Muzzleloader You've Ever Shot-Or Your Money Back."
This rifle comes in several variants but many will find the MR, which stands for Mountain Rifle, to be the most appealing. This rifle is clearly intended for rough going in wooded environments and is built to withstand harsh weather. With a 25-inch barrel and 40-inch overall length, the rifle is handy and gets you though the brush without getting tangled up. The aluminum receiver also keeps the weight down to just over 6 pounds, which makes it easier to tote.
The barrel and receiver feature a WeatherGuard finish, which is a hard ceramic that both adds corrosion resistance and provides a very attractive desert-tan coloring. The synthetic stock is designed to survive the elements and also helps reduce weight while increasing strength. On the MR model the stock features a hardwoods camouflage pattern and SoftTouch rubber grip panels at the pistol grip and fore-end to reduce slipperiness in wet weather. A thick and soft CrushZone recoil buttpad not only keeps the rifle firmly on the shoulder, but also helps tame recoil.
While no sights are provided with this model, CVA does include its DuraSight DEAD ON one-piece scope mount which makes installing your favorite scope very easy. There is clearly a lot of attention paid to the design of this rifle to make it convenient and easy to use. The trigger guard has a built-in lever that releases the hinge for the break-open action. This gives the shooter access to the breech plug, where the primer cap is inserted.
The breech plug itself is incredibly convenient and features a patent-pending quick-release system. The shooter can unscrew and remove it with no tools needed. This provides complete access to the barrel for cleaning from the breech or unloading without having to fire the gun. CVA is the only company currently offering this system. CVA, it seems, thought of everything with this rifle. The ramrod even includes a palm-saver polymer base that makes loading much easier and more comfortable, and the hammer has a cocking spur that can be switched from the left to right side for ease of use with a scope mounted. The very crisp, single-stage trigger pull is also adjustable from 3 to 4.75 pounds, according to CVA.
On the range, the CVA Accura MR was a pleasure to shoot and proved extremely accurate and fast loading. Indeed, for someone like me who is used to traditional muzzleloaders (from matchlocks to flintlocks to percussion), this rifle is amazingly advanced. Using 100 grains of blackpowder ,the recoil was very manageable but as might be expected measured velocities varied from a high of 1,574 feet per second (fps) to a low of 1,222 fps. This may be a factor of how tightly the bullet is seated as well as the cleanliness of the barrel.
For accuracy testing I used the Konus Pro 275 with muzzleloading ballistic reticle with an illuminated center dot (blue or red). The reticle on this scope provides bars to compensate for bullet drop out to 275 yards. Firing from a benchrest at 50 yards, I found that my groups improved dramatically as I got used to the rifle. I also found that if I cleaned the barrel after each shot it was easier to reload and improved the accuracy. Needless to say, there was a large amount of white smoke which obscures the target temporarily and also a lot of fouling.
CVA has been in the business of making muzzleloaders since 1971 and is currently the bestselling brand on the market today. This distinction has been well-earned as the quality of this rifle clearly shows.
CVA Accura MRConnecticut Valley Arms (CVA)1685 Boggs Road, Suite 300Duluth, GA 30096(770) 449-4687www.cva.com
Mechanism Type: break-action muzzleloading rifle
Overall Length: 40 inches
Barrel Length: 25 inches; RH, 1:28-inch twist
Weight: 6 pounds, 3 ounces
Trigger Pull: single-stage; adjustable
Sights: none; drilled for scope mount
Stock: synthetic camo; LOP-14 inches; drop at heel-1.5 inches; drop at comb-1 inch
Metal Finish: WeatherGuard
Accessories: Quake Claw sling, DuraSight scope mount, Palm Saver ramrodSuggested Retail Price: $612
SHOOTING RESULTS (50 YDS.)
.50-Cal. Cartridge Vel. @ 10' Energy Group Size In Inches100 Gr. Hodgdon (F.P.S.) (Ft.-Lbs.) Smallest Largest Average50/50 Pyrodex Pellets
Powerbelt Bullets 1,431 1,341.08 1.10 2.70 1.85295 Gr. Copper Series HPSD 116
Measured average velocity for 10 rounds from a 25-inch barrel with a Competition Electronics ProChrono chronograph. Range temperature: 46.9 F. Humidity: 43%. Accuracy for three consecutive, five-shot groups at 50 yards. from a sandbag rest. Abbreviations: HP (Hollow Point).