There has been some discussion on the forum about the CVA Optima and BlackHorn 209. I thought by shooting mine I could kill a couple birds with one stone per say.
I have read of popping several primers prior to shooting to "fake foul" the barrel so the first shot is not off so much. In the past I will report that the first shot was usually out of the group. But following what I read, I popped 4 CCI Shotshell Primers before even loading the rifle. The rifle was swabbed to clear it of any oils, or grunge that might have accumulated PRIOR to the shooting of the four primers. I used Rusty Duck Black Off and then two dry patches.
I set the target out at 52 yards according to the range finder. The CVA Optima I own is not the V2 model. Although it does have the quick release breech plug, a Black Horn 209 breech plug, and a Stainless Steel Barrel. It also sports a 3-9x40mm Cabela's Powderhorn scope. As some remember these came on sale for dirt cheap. I purchased a number of them. And have had excellent luck with them. Anyway ... 52 yards Also this rifle is sighted in at 5 yards with 26 grain Scorpions.
It was 78 degrees, windy (enough to blow the sabots off the table) wind moving left to right across the target. And VERY SUNNY. Almost a glare sunny. The load was 100 grains of BlackHorn 209 measured by volume in a see through measure. The dark blue sabots 40/50. And the 200 grain BLEMISHED Shockwaves. I purchased these Shockwaves knowing they were listed as Blemished.
the first three shots... I can live with that. It looks like popping those four primers made a difference in the way the rifle shot. I will add, the CCI primers are FILTHY BEASTS. They really carbon up the joint. But if they caused that... give me filthy.
Since three shots don't tell me much. Or anyone wondering what kind of load the Optima might like... I shot off a total of seven shots at 52 yards. Then moved the target back to 94 yards for longer shooting.
To say I was not pleased with that seven shot group would be a lie. The A at the bottom was because I had moved the target back (to save walking) and then shot one round at 94 yards.
A-D other then C was a good group. By this time I was all walked out with my bad knee. But C kind of surprised me. This is a guess, as I really felt I did everything right off the bench. These are blemished bullets. Could this have been caused by such a factor. Has anyone else that purchased these blemished shockwaves found similar results? The slight shift to the right I am guessing is wind. As I mentioned it was windy. Very windy at times. So A,B, and D made a good group. C boggles the mind.
Calling it a day I went in the house and started cleaning the rifle. The easy out breech plug held true. With just fingers, I spun that out of the rifle. It was a BEAR to clean. The CCI primers really fouled the thing.
I think cleaning that took the greatest amount of time. It was all Q-tips and solvent work. But we got that done. The barrel came clean in two patches of Hoppies #9 solvent. And Birchwood Casey Barricade finished the job.
Over all it was a good day. The rifle never had a misfire. And the accuracy was exceptional for me. This I would call a good deer hunting load if what I read about the 200 grain Shockwave is true.
"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, a total wreck with a big smile on your face."