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Cva Optima Elite 45-70 Misfires


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#1 LivingLegend

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 10:52 AM

I was just doing research on the CVA Optima Elite 45-70 and came across your forum. I recently purchased a CVA Optima elite 45-70 from Gander Mountain. Stopped at a nearby gun shop and had my Nikon scope mounted and bore-sighted. So my wife and I headed to the Izaak Walton League to zero my purchase in. I was shooting Remington 45-70 gvmt 405 grain ammo.

I shot 8 rounds and had walked each shot in until I was almost dead center. This is when the problems started. The next two rounds misfired. The primer was dented but the bullet did not fire. Then the next 3 shots fired with no problem and then the next 2 shots misfired. I had 2 new boxes of Remington ammo and 1 box of ammo over 25 yrs old. The gun misfired with ammo from all 3 boxes.

So I took the gun back to Gander Mountain and talked to the sales guy that sold me the gun. The clerk took the gun to the back and test fired 3 rounds thru it and had a misfire. They have signs up all over the place saying that firearms are non-returnable but the clerk said since it was so close to the opening of rifle season in PA and there was clearly a problem with the rifle he would exchange the rifle I bought with the only other CVA Optima Elite 45-70 they had in stock.

Fast forward to Monday morning - back at the range. Had the scope transferred and bore sighted again. Started to walk the ammo to t he center and after 7 shots I had 2 misfires. I shot 3 more and had another misfire. Tried all 3 boxes of ammo and had a misfire in each.

So I called CVA and the customer service guy told me that there is known issues with the 45-70 government ammo having misfires because of the shoulder tolerances. He said I should research the ammo issues and find a manufacturer who doesn't have problems. He said I could send it back but it probably was withing SAMI guideliines.

Does anyone on here have any suggestions? Should I call Remington and ask for replacement ammo? Take the gun back to Gander Mountain and see what they will do? I'm at the end of my rope.

#2 Spirithawk

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 12:04 PM

I was just doing research on the CVA Optima Elite 45-70 and came across your forum. I recently purchased a CVA Optima elite 45-70 from Gander Mountain. Stopped at a nearby gun shop and had my Nikon scope mounted and bore-sighted. So my wife and I headed to the Izaak Walton League to zero my purchase in. I was shooting Remington 45-70 gvmt 405 grain ammo.

I shot 8 rounds and had walked each shot in until I was almost dead center. This is when the problems started. The next two rounds misfired. The primer was dented but the bullet did not fire. Then the next 3 shots fired with no problem and then the next 2 shots misfired. I had 2 new boxes of Remington ammo and 1 box of ammo over 25 yrs old. The gun misfired with ammo from all 3 boxes.

So I took the gun back to Gander Mountain and talked to the sales guy that sold me the gun. The clerk took the gun to the back and test fired 3 rounds thru it and had a misfire. They have signs up all over the place saying that firearms are non-returnable but the clerk said since it was so close to the opening of rifle season in PA and there was clearly a problem with the rifle he would exchange the rifle I bought with the only other CVA Optima Elite 45-70 they had in stock.

Fast forward to Monday morning - back at the range. Had the scope transferred and bore sighted again. Started to walk the ammo to t he center and after 7 shots I had 2 misfires. I shot 3 more and had another misfire. Tried all 3 boxes of ammo and had a misfire in each.

So I called CVA and the customer service guy told me that there is known issues with the 45-70 government ammo having misfires because of the shoulder tolerances. He said I should research the ammo issues and find a manufacturer who doesn't have problems. He said I could send it back but it probably was withing SAMI guideliines.

Does anyone on here have any suggestions? Should I call Remington and ask for replacement ammo? Take the gun back to Gander Mountain and see what they will do? I'm at the end of my rope.


I'd suspect the ammo. Personaly, I've had so many problems, with a variety of Remington ammo, to the point I simply won't buy their brand.

#3 mudduck

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 12:10 PM

Try a box of Hornady ammo. Never had any problems with their 45/70 stuff. 325gr FTX

#4 Jeremiah

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 12:22 PM

My thoughts have already been echoed.

With so many different ammunition manufacturers, you would actually be doing yourself a disservice, in my opinion, to not try several others. I've had great success with Federal and Hornady Leverevolution in my 45-70.

As to Remington... if it is an ammo issue I'm not sure what having them replace what you have will accomplish. (Since it would seem to be a total Remington issue and not just a problem with a few boxes or batches.)

As to CVA... I know that they have made a nice push the past few years. But, I have still never owned any of their firearms. I am still a Thompson/Center fan, if that says anything.

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#5 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 03:20 PM

My only other suggestion other than already offered is to check the firing pin to be sure it is free. If it has a striker inside a bolt see if you can remove it and clean the spring and inspect things carefully. Sometimes a new rifle will have protective grease in there that could gum up the works.
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#6 LivingLegend

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 05:44 PM

Thanks for all the quick replies. I called the manager at our local Gander Mountain where I bought the gun and he is going to personally deliver it to their off-site gunsmith to look at the transfer arm issue that was raised on another thread on this forum. The manager was great - he offered to take the gun to his gunsmith, have it checked out and then will give me a refund even though it is against company policy. He is the kind of manager that thinks customer service is more important than corp BS.

I am a little PO'd at the customer service guy at CVA though - he basically said any problem with the gun is directly related to ammo issues only and they would not stand behind their product.

#7 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 06:03 PM

Your problems and the ones I have personally encountered over the years is the reason I do not own a CVA. I actually thought that their customer service had improved lately but your experience proves otherwise. My arsonal of black powder guns includes 5 or 6 front loading rifles but none of them are CVA. I own several Investarms flintlocks but they are Italian as my son's Lyman. I do own a Traditions that I have had numerous problems with. Traditions are made in Spain too. I have an inline made by Knight and love it.
If God had a refrigerator would your picture be on it.
Remember the Ark was built by amateurs, the titanic by professionals.

#8 sticknstring

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 07:32 PM

I know this is an old thread but I'll throw this out there just in case the mystery hasn't been solved. ANY break open action type gun(Encores and Optimas) at some point or another are going to encounter head space issues. Each individual gun is different and you need not assume cause its new that it should be "good". I know Thompson honors a replacement if it is at a certain degree of error.
It is fairly cheap to remedy depending on the severity. Living legend-if you havn't solved it yet, I would strongly urge you to test it. There are several sites on the net where you can find the tools, instructions and acceptable tolerances.
People might think I'm nuts for building a long range gun with an encore frame...and maybe I am :rofl:! I've just completed this routine with my encore, it directly effects accuracy so I don't want to overlook it. I will tell you it started with remington ammo misfires, and I just figured it was the ammo. I had some core-lokts I bought on sale and I thought it was a good opprtunity for me "save a little". I was on a "MLD issued tags" deer lease and on another lease with state issued 5 tags county deer lease(I was harvesting 10-15 whitetail a season) , plus shooting hogs and axis deer year around-ammo was getting expensive! I couldn't get 1/2 a box of rem. ammo to shoot!! I have been shooting that remington ammo(sitting in the game room closet for 2 yrs) to "rough"sight in a tactical scope I just put on the gun. Every round fired! I dealt with Kurt at Mike Bellm's website-he is my "go to guy"-look up headspace issues info. on his site(excellent read on these issues)... Good luck




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