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Winchester X-150 Problems


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#1 deerhuntny

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 02:55 PM

Does anyone know the truth about the possibility of a Winchester X-150 blowing up with a 150 grain powder load? I can find information but no answers as to weater this is a real problem or not. CVA made the gun and I have ask them with no results. I do know the gun dropped in value very fast after the article about it came out. Buy a Winchester and own it for generations might be a thing of the past if true. Thanks

#2 Jeremiah

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 03:30 PM

Unfortunately, I don't have any first-hand knowledge of that firearm for you other than, as you, I have heard that the Winchester X-150 is basically a CVA Firebolt. I can say that CVA has been taking a bit of a beating of late. I can also say that it seems the days of buying anything, much less a firearm, and having it handed down for generations seems to be over, in general.

Example: There are individuals here who swear by Mossberg shotguns over just about any other brand. Yet, I've had two Mossberg 500s completely fail; one was at the weld between the barrel and magazine cap ring. The barrel literally fell from the gun when picked up. (I still thank God it was a new firearm and was never fired in that condition!) Of course, I also have a Mossberg 835 that, other than having a terribly sloppy action, has been a champ. Flip side: All of my Remington 870s have been superb. But, some here have had nothing but problems with theirs. So, I'm thoroughly convinced that anymore it is basically the "luck of the draw" with these things. (Who was doing quality control on the day your gun was made? Were they on top of things or slacking? Was it a Friday or Monday? Has the company been outsourcing to China or any other cheap labor source? etc. etc. etc.)

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#3 Jeremiah

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 08:54 PM

Just a little more here...

I did some research on CVA as we've had, as I mentioned, a bit of a run here of late of folks having issues.

I found this site which may be of interest to some.
http://randywakeman....ersAHistory.htm

I do not know the author, nor can I vouch for anything they have put online. So, I guess that we must read with caution. Of course, I am thinking I'll stick with my T/C just in case. :eek:

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#4 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 30 November 2010 - 09:20 PM

deerhuntny I do not have experience with the Winchester X-150 but do know that winchester does not make them. Same thing for the Remington Genesis. I have read that both are made in Spain by CVA. According to my "Black Powder Loading Manual" by Sam Fadala he has shot the Win X-150/50 with 2 50 grain pellets and 3 50 grain pellets of Pyrodex. If you are not going to try the really long shots 2 pellets equaling 100 grains is quite sufficient. His chart shows that shooting a 375 buffalo bullet which is a bore size bullet the muzzle velocity with 2 pyrodex pellets is 1522 FPS and with 3 50 grain pellets the muzzle velocity was 1777. He got good accuracy with both the 100 grain and 150 grain load. He states in bold letters that 3 pyrodex 50/50 Pellets is the maximum recommended load. He also says that the maximum load listed in bold should be used with caution.

Do you have a manual for the Winchester as it should tell you the max load. I have been burning powder with a front loader for many years and will not hesitate to say that a 150 grain load is a whole pile of powder. Infact my hottest load in any of my front loaders is 90 grains of actual powder and I do not feel in the least undergunned. I also have read of an actual test with loads from about 70 grains to 150 grains all shot through a chronograph and not much was gained from 120 to 150 grains. If I recall correctly this man gained about 200 fps every 5 grains till he got to 120 grains and from 120 grains to 150 grains he only gained 85 fps but a great deal more recoil. I am not telling you it is safe to shoot 150 grains from a Winchester X150/50 but that the company must have tested it at that load. I will tell you that with 150 grains of any of the powders you will get major recoil which tells me it is a real horse trying to tame it.


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#5 cayugad

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 12:50 PM

I am guessing you purchased a Winchester X-150 in .50 caliber and now read or heard there were issues with it blowing up. And this of course concerns you. Well I have heard the same horror stories. The problem we have with most incidents where a muzzleloader fails is this. We normally are not privileged to the court settlement and documents of agreements because of court mandated hush orders.

When a rifle fails (usually means the barrel blows up) there is a number of reasons it can do so. The first and foremost we consider is the manufacturer's improper building of the rifle. This suggests that the manufacture of what ever brand, built a rifle and because of substandard material or craftsmanship the rifle failed. BPI is the parent company of CVA, Winchester, New Frontier, and others. Traditions Arms, also produce Remington muzzleloaders. These seem to be the most common in rifle failures, but they are not the only buck in the woods. Knight has had failures, Savage (the Toby Bridges incident), even Thompson Center. And this can happen. Some line worker might have an off day. Some shipment of barrel steel was wrong. Who knows? But this can and I am sure has happened.

Besides manufacturer defect, there is loading issues, projectile issues, and over all maintenance issues of the rifle. For instance, was the rifle over loaded with more powder then the manufacturer suggested? The injured party of course claims NO. I loaded it properly. And I have no reason to doubt them. BUT I will tell you from personal/range experience shooting thousands of rounds each year, that I have dumped a lot of powder on the ground. What I mean is, while on the range, I got distracted. And because of the distraction forgot the order of my loading. Just a while back I was shooting a Remington Genesis. A friend was watching. While loading, she interrupted me with questions which of course I answered. But I suddenly realized I lost track of where I was. I was sure I had to dump powder. So I filled the measure was about to pour into the rifle, but my operating procedures made me stop. I put the full powder measure (120 grains) down. I turned the rife over and shook. Out fell 120 grains of powder. So I was about to shoot a 240 grain load if I had not caught myself. But I would have sworn in court I did not double load the rifle. These kind of things happen.

Also some rifles are magnum and some are not. KNOW WHICH RIFLE YOU HAVE. Also know the manual and loading procedures for your rifle forward and backward. For instance, I was given a CVA Staghorn MAGNUM as a gift. It was my first inline rifle. I was excited. I'd shot muzzleloaders for ages and knew all there was about them... right? Wrong!! I was shooting 120 grain loaded with large conicals. A forum member was kind enough to point out to me that I was above the manufacture's recommendations. So I did a strange thing. I read the manual. And they were right. With loose powder, my magnum was restricted to 100 grains of powder, and no conical over 400 grains. I was shooting a 460 grain conical. If the rifle had blown up... who was at fault? Some rifles allow 150 grains of powder but only in pellet form. Others allow it in loose form. Know which one you have before you load that rifle.

Another real eye opener is... magnum loads while they might sound magical and the answer to muzzle loading.. are not necessary. Most of the time with magnum loads you do not get the best accuracy out of a projectile. I would much rather have an accurate projectile I can place and have it 200 fps slower then one I can not hit with as well and be 200 fps faster. Magnum loads are not necessary. They are a marketing gimmick. Even the experienced shooters that shoot rifles that can handle 150 grains of loose... their loads for the most part? 110 grain maybe 120. My Black Diamond XR can shoot 150 grains of loose powder. Its max load.. 110 grain of powder. So don't be fooled into the magnum trap. Lower the powder charge, shoot more accurate, spend less money on powder, and be more safe. An example.. 65 grains of Pyrodex P and a 460 grain conical penetrated 8 inches into poplar wood. Do you think that with that same load I would shoot a deer? Of course I would.

But back to your question. Is my Winchester X 150 safe? If you have doubts, take the rifle to a gunsmith and have it checked. If you still have doubts... sell it and get a muzzleloader you are comfortable with. Like I mentioned, I shoot a CVA Staghorn Magnum and a Remington Genesis. Both of them have the Spanish barrels. Both of them are excellent shooters. Could I guarantee they will not blow up in my face? Of course not. But then I would have to say the same thing for my Knights, and Thompson Centers. What I do is KNOW the manufacturer's suggested loading guidelines and never exceed them. In fact I hardly ever come close to the max loads, but that is because the rifle is more accurate with less powder. I maintain my rifles in near new condition. My Staghorn which has a nickel barrel has a stain in the breech. No danger to the gun, but other then that you would think the barrel is new. Most of my rifles show wear marks on the crown of the muzzle. Again, no danger to the rifle. They are just shot too much. But by playing by the rules, using loads that are accurate and not magnum loads, I never worry when I pull the trigger on my rifles. If I had the slightest worry that I would hurt myself, I would never do this sport.

If you decide to keep your Winchester then clean it will. Know the manual. I would personally load 90 grains of Pyrodex RS and a 250 grain Shockwave and see what it does. It might surprise you. Use loose powder and save some money. If you do want to shoot pellets... two pellets can kill a moose. Ask any of the hunting movie stars. Most of them never shot more then that until the magnum craze came around. Keep your rifle clean and well maintained, and just enjoy it.

This is just my two cents. By the length of my rant it might be a half dollar... :rolleyes:
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#6 PA RIDGE RUNNER

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Posted 02 December 2010 - 09:38 PM

Deerhuntny First you can trust Cayugads comments as I look to him as a muzzleloader mentor of sorts. We both put a few loads downrange a year. I am not sure how long he has been shooting muzzleloaders but suspect it has been more than a few years. On most subjects he and I see eye to eye. I started shooting a muzzleloader back in about 1976 shortly after PA started its special flintlock deer season. Back then it was a flintlock and patched round ball (prb) and for the most part out of a 1:48 twist. That rate of twist kept our powder load to a max of about 80 grains. I used 75 grains and the prb and literally drove it all the way through the deer I shot. I am not recoil sensitive but I have shot both a 54 cal with 120 grains and a 58 cal with the same load and was sharply punished by recoil from both of those rifles. I have never shot 150 grains as I do not own a rifle that has that as a max load and do not want the punishing recoil from that load.

Things can get confusing enough even as Cayugad said at the range. I have been distracted many times but twice I have loaded the rifle with a bullet and no powder. I recall one gent I once hunted with that put the powder in but no bullet and left a black streak in the snow. What I am getting at is things like that can happen to all of us. Something like not seating the bullet all the way onto the powder can have disasterous results because that is no longer a bullet it is a barrel obstruction. I have seen a box of pellets listed as magnum pellets and the recommended max load with them is only two 50 grain pellets. It behooves all of us to pay very close attention to our components and loading procedure.

I read somewhere that the Winchester 150 name is actually what the max powder load is. Muzzleloader shooting to me and many others is a lot of fun but does require attention to detail as you are actually doing the same thing as a modern day reloader does when he reloads ammunition. We are just doing it in the barrel instead of a brass case.
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#7 FrontierGander

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Posted 09 December 2010 - 08:04 PM

Does anyone know the truth about the possibility of a Winchester X-150 blowing up with a 150 grain powder load? I can find information but no answers as to weater this is a real problem or not. CVA made the gun and I have ask them with no results. I do know the gun dropped in value very fast after the article about it came out. Buy a Winchester and own it for generations might be a thing of the past if true. Thanks


You're reading artiles by someone whos employer was injured by a recall CVA. The recall rifles were made in 1995 and 1996. I think 98% have been recovered.

I owned the X150 for around 4 years before i sold it off for something new, boy how i wish i had that rifle still. The Winchester muzzleloading like is actually built by CVA, they had a deal going when Winchester was still in business. In my opinion the Winchester brand was the seed that got CVA's quailty a jump and they really took off after that. Stainless steel barrels, solid stocks, good triggers, this was only offered on the Winchester Line up while CVA was still testing waters on weather or not the people would say a bit more for a better quality muzzle loader. To me, i feel the Winchester line up is what made CVA what it is today.

The X-150 will handle 150gr maximum powder charge, This load should never be done with loose powder due to the barrel not being able to burn it up. It is intended for pellet powder only.

That X150 is it is anything like mine was, 90gr Pyrodex RS, winchester w209 primers and a 385gr hornady great plains conical. 5/8" groups ALL day long at 100 yards. That rifle was an absolute tack driver.

Once you get more comfortable with the rifle, i do have some modifications you can do with it.

KEEP IT! Those articles are nothing more than scare tactics meant to scare others away so the other guy can line his pockets. That writer does reviews on TC and savage "hes also a savage salesman"

#8 Scooter

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Posted 21 August 2012 - 06:41 AM

deerhuntny,
I have been using my X-150, for many years, with great results. The enclosed owners manual states "100 gr. max load, with any loose powder" 150 gr. with pellets. This is an older 'Slam Fire" type inline, and has some draw backs, as compaired to the newer, closed breech type rifles.
I have done some upgrades, to improve it's performance, including epoxy bedding, as the stock attachment is a VERY poor design. The stock is hollow in many areas, and rifle to stock attachment enhancement, can really improve your longer range results.
I have also replaced the 209 ignition system with a Vari-Flame adapter, by Precision Rifle. I highly recomend their products. Give Cecil a call, and check his Web site. Great people.
I have two nice 8Pt. Bucks on the wall, taken with this rifle. It shoots 1.5" groups @ 100 Yds. the issue is, can I? No not always.
Anyway, 95 Gr. Triple 7, / 2F / 330 Gr. Extreme Elite / Small Rifle Primer = venison easy @ 100 - 125 Yards. What more could you want from a front stuffer?
Hope you kept the rifle,
Scooter

#9 Spirithawk

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:34 PM

One of the most important things to do is always mark your ramrod the very first time you load your muzzleloader. Load it with the charge and projectile you intend to use and with the projectile seated on your powder charge, and the ramrod sitting on top of it, mark the ramrod at the end of the muzzle so that from then on a quick glance can assure you you have loaded properly. It will take away the question of, " Did I put in the powder charge or even the correct powder charge?"

Next many muzzleloaders claim to handle magnum 150 gr loads but not all of them actually will. Read the owner's manual cover to cover and it doesn't hurt to do an online search to see if said firearm has a history of problems. As in the case of your Winchester you sometimes get very conflicting info. In a case like that I choose to be on the safe side. There's too many excellent muzzleloaders available, in all price ranges, to take a chance with one that could cause you bodily harm.


A case in point; I recently owned a CVA Optima Pro. My son has two Optima's, a 209 and a Optima Elite, and both, so far, are great rifles. My Optima Pro was quite accurate but after just one season of hunting with it it had problems locking closed. Just picking it up by the barrel would cause it to break open. A little filing and buffing on the frame fixed the problem but next it got to where it wouldn't stay cocked unless the hammer was pulled back as far as it would go. Then it would drop the hammer with just a slight jolt. Not safe by any means. I sold it at a gun show for parts and bought myself a 209 x 50 barrel for my T/C Encore. The quallity of the Encore is evident just picking it up. Far above anything by CVA.

I've long been a T/C fan, been shooting muzzleloaders for over 30 years, and Thompson Center's track record is hard to beat. Now I have a muzzleloader I have 100% faith in. To me that means everything. It makes for a much more pleasant hunt when you have faith in your firearm rather than worrying if it will function properly or if it's even safe.

It should also be noted that more often than not a full magnum load of 150 grains is not the best, nor most accurate, load for a rifle. Often you end up with a lot of unburned powder residue in your barrel and accuracy is often much better with a lighter load. In fact many bullets perform better with lighter loads. Pushing them too fast and too hard causes them to punch through without fully expanding.

Edited by Spirithawk, 22 August 2012 - 08:44 PM.





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