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Old June 26, 2012, 05:50 PM   #1
tatartot
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.32cal muzzle loader question

I just bought a CVA 32 cal muzzle loader from a friend.What would be
a good powder load to start with & how high would be to much?Thanks

TT
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Old June 26, 2012, 06:08 PM   #2
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If I recall right the rule of thumb is half the caliber, so 16 grains.

However, you didn't say rifle or pistol, some of these short barreled pistols probably don't need more than 7-10 grains, where as a rifle might do better with 20-25. Wait for more replies on that rifle number, I haven't owned a BP rifle yet. Did have a short .32 pistol and 10 was plenty
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Old June 26, 2012, 06:12 PM   #3
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It's a rifle, & I plan to hunt rabbits & small game with it.

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Old June 26, 2012, 06:40 PM   #4
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15 to 40 grains of 3f or pyrodex pistol .310 roundball
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Old June 26, 2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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Shoot 30 grs Black Powder and a .315 ball and .017 patching and you will
be good.
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Old June 26, 2012, 07:05 PM   #6
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Pretty neat and lots of fun !!

Sounds like you got one of the CVA Squirrel rifles. You are going to get a list of various shot-strings and they will all be in the ball park. This is why you then will have to put in some range time and come up with "your" optimum load. Regarless, stick with the FFFG.

As mentioned, the rule of thumb is that the Min propellant load it 32 and the Max, is 64. .....


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Last edited by Pahoo; June 27, 2012 at 09:20 AM.
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Old June 26, 2012, 08:51 PM   #7
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could be a cva varmint
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Old June 27, 2012, 09:12 AM   #8
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Pahoo nailed it.
Start low shooting at 50 yard targets. Start at 10 grains and work up. I'll take and educated (40+ years ml experience) and say you will end up at about 15 grains using real bp.
One of your biggest problems will be finding a good ramrod. I reccomend brass, stainless steel or Delrin. Do not, ever-never, never-ever, try to use a hardware store dowel rod. You will hurt yourself.
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Old June 27, 2012, 09:45 AM   #9
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Be sure to lube your patches, or you WILL mess up a RR, trying to ram a ball home.

If your rifle's new, I would suggest ensuring there's no burrs around the inside of the muzzle/crown/rifling by rotating some emery cloth around the edge with the ball of a finger/thumb for several turns.

.
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Old June 27, 2012, 09:54 AM   #10
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OOPS

Quote:
Pahoo nailed it.
Well, not quite as the rule of thumb on long-guns is; the caliber is the min and the max, is 2 X the caliber. That would make it 32 and 64 for this .32. Somewhere in between, you will find your optimum load. ....

One safety point that I always stress, during our safety classes, is to read your manual. I'm sure in your case, you don't have one but if you contact CVA, they might be able to help you. My old CVA 1988 manual, reads as such, for your .32;

.32; RB@.310, Patch @ .012 to .015, Min load@ 35 of FFG, Max-load @ 60 FFG

I really find it hard to accept their listing of FFG and will would stick with FFFG.
Quote:
Do not, ever-never, never-ever, try to use a hardware store dowel rod. You will hurt yourself.
Great advice and at least stick with good old, straight grained Hickory. ..
All my Range-rods are delrin or poly-glass combination. My show rods are Hickory.



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Old June 27, 2012, 04:41 PM   #11
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Most 32's will shoot more accurate with FF.
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Old June 27, 2012, 08:25 PM   #12
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I had a CVA "Squirrel" rifle at one time. I used a .310 ball with a ticking patch. If I remember correctly, I used 30 grains of FFFG. You'll just have to work up your load for what works best for you. A lot of different factors thrown in - ball size, patch thickness, lube, etc.

I purchased mine used down at Friendship one year - a left handed rifle and it was scoped. It was a fun little gun to shoot and a great little gun to squirrel hunt with.

General rule of thumb on a rifle is 1 grain per caliber size. i.e. - 32. cal - 32 grains, 40 caliber - 40 grains (black powder). That's a good place to start and then go up/down as needed. I was taught to shoot BP by an old gunsmith when I was a kid - back int he early 60s. He was in his eighties at the time and had always shot BP and primarily did restoration work on muzzleloaders. As he used to say . . . "use what powder is necessary to get the job done . . . anything more than that is a waste of good gunpowder". Of course that was back when I bought black powder from him and it cost a whopping 75 cents a pound - caps were 50 cents a tin.
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Old June 28, 2012, 03:47 AM   #13
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tatartot
Cub Dixie cal.32 by DP, invert lock percussion and flint.

perkussionlock: bullet .315", Patch .0079", BP 15,43gr. Swiss N2
flintlock: bullet .315", Patch .0079", BP 26gr. Swiss N2
foto: target 50m/54,68yd
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File Type: jpg Pennsyl-96b.JPG (59.3 KB, 15 views)
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Starr SA 1863 .44 org., Whitney Navy .36 org., Zimmerstutzen .117 org., Colt Lightning .44-40 org., Lancaster Hammerless 12ga org.,GEW 88,Tryon .45 DP,Sharps Carbine and Sporting .45 IAB,D.H.Hilliard .40,Barlow .40,Cub Dixie DeLux .32 DP,Colt 1861 Special Musket .58,Billinghurst .451,Gallager .54,Hatfield .32 DP,Rigby .451,Shotgun Coach 12ga.DP,Endfield .58 PH, Tingle .36

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Old July 4, 2012, 08:30 AM   #14
enyaw
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I don't go by the rule of thumb since it's off some. Like a 50. cal.with a starting load of 25gr.? That's funny with a .490-495 ball. I like to read and check out the reliable info. Blackpowder loading manuals is a good start.
The 32cal. is in the FFFg powder catagory. Start load 20gr. is good fer squirrels and such. Logical Max is more like 35-40 gr. FFFg. Loading manual goes up to 50gr. FFFg.
Last 32cal. I built years ago liked 22gr. pretty well. The barrel was 26 inches. Sighted in and used 22gr. for the best group then regulated it to point of aim and went walking the fields. Shot two ground hogs in the pasture at over a 100 yards and killed both. One went in the hole never to see daylight again and the other just sat there and waited for me to walk up and do the "coup de graise". It was shot thru the shoulders. Clean thru.
Anywhoooo....shooting ground hogs at a hundred with a 32cal. is ridiculous with round balls. ha ha ha Ethical with the ball(not conical) is more like 35 yards.
The same load for a 36cal. min and max is like 20-40gr. FFFg
Rule of thumb is......FFg for everything larger than 45cal with 45cal the transition point so the 45cal. uses FFg or FFFg. and "everything smaller uses FFFg powder". The 32cal. works best with FFFg powder and.....FFFg Swiss is the best I think.
My loading manual shows loads from 10 gr. to 50 gr. with 30 as optimum. It notes the 10gr. load is adequate for close range small game.
Good place to start for finding a good load is checking groups from the bench on paper.
I like a good accurate load in the twenties. Like 22gr. FFFg. for squirrels. Then 30-40 fer a max fer turkies or ground hogs. If a 32cal. can shoot well with 40-50gr. FFFg it would be good fer close coyotes.
Well that's my opinion on the 32cal. That's all with the ball.
The conical is good in a 32cal. if the twist in the rifling is good and fast. The heavier conical would like more of the FFFg powder. Probably start around 30gr. FFFg and max at around 5o gr.FFFg. I'd bet on 40gr. FFFg fer a good load in a fast twist with a conical bullet.

Last edited by enyaw; July 4, 2012 at 08:46 AM.
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Old July 4, 2012, 12:42 PM   #15
bubba15301
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i load 40 grains pyrodex p with a 0310 rb and 015 patch. in a cva varmint
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Old July 6, 2012, 12:06 AM   #16
mustanger
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The rule of thumb I keep hearing is, start with the same grains as the caliber and increase it by 5 grains after shooting a 3-5 shot group at each incrament. When the groups open up back down 5.
The Cabelas manual says that 30 grains 3f bp is max, and 24 grains P Pyrodex is max.
I get the impression they are a bit conservative.
Comments, or opinions please.
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Old July 6, 2012, 02:38 AM   #17
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You better stay with 40 grs as a Max. Small calibers like the 32 can have very
High pressures. Much more than say a 50. 30-35 grs of Goex fff Black Powder
Will give you everything you need. I have over 50 years experience in this.
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Old July 6, 2012, 11:10 AM   #18
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We need Range-Time and have fun

Quote:
I don't go by the rule of thumb since it's off some.
Ah, that is why it's called "the rule of thumb" and not the "Optimum" ...

What you are trying to achieve, is your optimum load, working within a window. Odds are that it won't be Min or Max. listing. No one can tell you what that is but your rifle will let you know what it likes. There are just to many factors involved but easily understood. Range time is in order.

What mustanger has listed, is completely in line and a great place to start, regardless of your "Shot-String". I have no problem with you starting with the listed 25grs. .....
Loading, shooting, stepping up and cleaning between groups, will also come into play but will work these thing out as well.

One thing that too many Front-Stuffers lose sight of, is having fun and enjoying the day. I once shot with a group of in-liners that were so caught up in every detail, that they gave me a headache; just not any fun !!!

Be Safe !!!
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Old July 7, 2012, 08:43 AM   #19
enyaw
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Knowing a decent place to start with the powder is impotant so there isn't a lot of wasted time getting to the fun part.....hitting stuff like cans and sticks and squirrels fer supper and all.
Once the powder amount is assertained the sighting in and grouping is next. After a run down on loading and safety and all.
I always tell folks to shoot for "group" to find the sweet load that has the accuracy.
Shoot for group? Aim at the bulls eye every time and study the group size and don't try sighting in for point of aim and point of impact untill a good group/load is found. Once a good load is found then "sight er in".
Having an idea of what the rifle type is used for is helpful.The 32cal. ? Small game like rabbits on one side of the spectrum and turkies or ground hogs or maybe coyoytes on the other end. That lets you have an idea what you want in min or max loads for a particular cal. muzzleloader.
Going to be target shooting or squirrel hunting then start near minimum and if yer going for bigger small game then start near maximum.
Knowing what the min and max is can be helpful and lead a pard to what they want quickly.
It's a good thing to have a good idea what the manufacturers recommended max is.
One thing I watch out for is a person that says things like," I have a million years experience doing this". That means to me that they either know what they are talking about .........or don't know what they are talking about.
What's that saying? Separate the wheat from the chaff?
That's why I like to remind people to check with reliable loading manuals and the like.
Having a book like the Lyman BlackPowder Loading manual is always helpful when one is getting into blackPowder rifle shooting.
I got one of those manuals and others back a million years ago (watch out fer me since I may not know what the heck I'm talking about) when I was first starting out.
What is amazing is the number of different size 32cal. round balls there are to choose from.
Some refer to using thicker patches if a ball seems loose for a certain gun. I don't refer people to go to the thicker patch till I first refer them to the next bigger ball size.
There's a rule of thumb fer that type thing. The ball needs to be close to .005 in. smaller than the land diameter of the rifling in the barrel. You know like in the case of 50 cal. rifles. Some have land diameter of .495 in. (most American 50 cals)and take a .490 ball and some have a .500 in.(most Italian 50cals) land diameter and take a .495 ball.
I don't remember what the land diameter is for 32 cal. but can be different between Spanish and American and Italian rifles. There's .311 size and .315 size and .319 size 32cal balls. I''d recommend a person measure the land diameter of their barrel to pick the right ball size right off the bat. Eliminate one variable right in the beginning.
You know.....so a person doesn't try every powder amount known to man looking for a good load while using the wrong ball size for the barrel. You gotta know the starting point for powder amount but also know the right ball size too.
Even the right lube fer the patch is important to know from the beginning. The lube can be as important to the load chain as anything else.
Also...swipping the bore between shots when testing for load is a good thing to know.
Let me see.....am I rambling on and on and on again?
Anywhooooo....know how to lead slug a muzzleloader rifle barrel for land and groove diameters is a good thing to know. Have something reliable to measure to know what's inside the barrel.
Put a dowel rod in the barrel that comes close to the muzzle and with a rubber hammer tap an oversize ball in and then use a short piece of dowel and the rubber hammer and obtuate(bump it up) the lead in the barrel to fill the grooves and all and pull the lead out with a ball puller. Or use Cerrosafe that's made to slug chambers and all.Measure the land and groove diameters of the barrel off the lead slug pulled out of the barrel.
You can use calipers ifin you use them well enough if......there are an even number of grooves in the barrel. Uneven number of grooves? Use the lead slug if it's seven grooves and if it's a "five groove or three groove" rifled bore......have a gunsmith measure it fer ya.
If you don't want to do that then.....try each different ball size with each different patch thickness and stick close to min. powder amount thru that trial and you could find the best ball size fer the rifle.

Last edited by enyaw; July 7, 2012 at 08:49 AM.
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Old July 7, 2012, 09:09 AM   #20
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I got one of those manuals and others back a million years ago
I must have told people a million times not to exagerate.
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