CVA Optima Muzzle Loading “Pistol”

OK, I know a “pistol” is properly a semi-auto, but CVA markets this single shot muzzle loader as such, so who am I to differ?

When trying to get a deer this season with my Mossberg 500 pump muzzle loader conversion, I again thought it would be “nice” to try a break open ML with a removable breech plug. This feature not only makes good cleaning of the barrel and breech areas easier, but allows for unloading the gun from the breech end, instead of having to shoot a load out. As I once accidently loaded my Mossberg in incorrect order, putting the bullet in before the powder pellets, this would have been a great feature to have on that gun at the time!

This break open ML with 14" barrel and removable breech plug should be a very effective hog/deer gun.

This break open ML with 14″ barrel and removable breech plug should be a very effective hog/deer gun.

As single shot handguns go, the CVA .50 compares closely in size and weight with my .30/30 Contender - also with a 14" barrel.

As single shot handguns go, the CVA .50 compares closely in size and weight with my .30/30 Contender – also with a 14″ barrel.

Contender case and other accessories work well with the CVA .50 ML.

Contender case and other accessories work well with the CVA .50 ML.

This Uncle Mike's shoulder holster I "modified" for a 14" Contender barrel will also work for carrying the CVA ML.

This Uncle Mike’s shoulder holster I “modified” for a 14″ Contender barrel will also work for carrying the CVA ML.

The 4x Leupold handgun scope swapped easily from the Contender to the CVA. If this proves too much magnification for my needs, I'll drop to a 2x scope.

The 4x Leupold handgun scope swapped easily from the Contender to the CVA. If this proves too much magnification for my needs, I’ll drop to a 2x scope.

Finally got to shoot this firearm, and I like it. As a start point, I obtained some 30 gr Triple 7 pellets, and loaded one of these with a 50 gr pellet, to give a charge of 80 gr. Did not have the time to chrono the load, but it was not unpleasant to shoot, although it did knock my un-padded elbow against the shooting table. After bore sighting at home, the hit – with a 292 gr cast lead bullet – was about 3″ high at 25 yards. Certainly as close as bore sighting usually gets! If this load chronos around 1000 fps, this may be the one I end up using.

About MikeH

Texas hunter and fisherman for 50 years, published outdoor writer since 1979, licensed charter boat operator from 1982 to 2013. Past Member, Board of Directors, National Association of Charterboat Operators, current member Environmental Advisory Committee to the DOE and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Married to Dorothy since 2000, one son, Michael who is recently married and living in Nederland, Texas. My wife and I live in Oyster Creek, Texas, near Freeport, and have a hunting property outside of Brazoria, Texas.
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