View Full Version : Cva

August 8, 2004, 07:27 PM
Hi guys,

I was looking at my Midway Usa catalog when I noticed this 1851 Navy BP Revolver from CVA. That's the first time I heard of the company. Are they good? Also the revolver have brass frame, can it take the punishment? Any Cowboy shooter use this for SASS competition?


August 8, 2004, 11:04 PM
Conneticut Valley Arms (CVA) has been around for many years. They started off selling Hawkin Rifle kits back in the '70's. They are a fine and respected manufacturer. I have one of their in-line .45 caliber magnum blackpowder rifles and it is a tackdriver. Their blackpowder pistols are as good as any of the low to medium priced guns available. As for SASS competition, they would probably work well as beginning equipment but I doubt that they would stand up to heavy use for more than a season or so.

August 9, 2004, 08:53 AM
I looked at their web site and find no revolvers or traditional pistols listed any more. It seems they have gone to the guns that have developed so that hunters can use modern firearms in the primative seasons.

The complaint about brass frames is that they stretch out very quickly and become unusable due to head space. We have one that has this condition and another that , even after considerable shooting, is so tight that the cylinder won't turn unless you help it along with your off- hand. It will shot and five of the six chambers hit pretty close together. The other throws way out of the group. The revolver has two chambers of .454, one at .457, one at .453 and the other at .449. This doesn't make a lot of sense as it seems that they would have to go to extra effort to get it so screwed up but that's the way it is.

August 9, 2004, 09:13 AM
It seems that they stop producing their revolvers, does that mean there won't be any parts available if you break a part?

BTW, thanks for the replies.


August 9, 2004, 03:20 PM
We have the notion that most of their revolvers were made by Armi San Marco which is defuncto. The same type of revolvers are presently made by Pietta and at least some parts are available though various sources- most recently VTI Gunparts (search engine) VTI is a businesslike concern supplying parts for Uberti and Pedersoli. They have gotten some parts from Pietta and hopefully they will be more successful in prying a continuous supply out of that company than others have been.

It is possible that Uberti parts will be a close enough fit to work too. The springs usually just drop in while the hand and bolt are usually oversized and have to be hand fitted. This is a trial and error process but if you can match them to the dimentions of the originals, the job is a bit easier.

Some parts and kits of essential parts can be found through Brownelles, Numrich gun parts and Dixie and with the Colt type revolvers, many of the parts made for the Single Action Army will work or can be fitted.

August 9, 2004, 06:56 PM
My advice would be to get an Uberti or Pietta steel frame model from Taylor's or MidwayUSA (they are Taylor's too). Taylor's are standing behind their product, I can proof it.

Both, Uberti and meanwhile Pietta are on top of the BP-revolver manufacturers.

Brass frames are cheap, and if you don't shoot them too much, and with no full power loads, they will survive some years. But, if you intend to shoot it every week, and experiment with it, steel is the only way to go.

WARNING: shooting blackpowder revolvers, pistols, and rifles, may be hazardous to your wallet and lead to BP-addiction!

August 10, 2004, 04:09 PM
How does one load BP pistols? What else do I need suppose I buy one of these revos?


August 11, 2004, 09:05 AM
Are these the accessories I need to shoot a BP revolver. The specs says rifle only...What are the nipples for? If these are all I need besides the powder and primer then I'm ready to buy today from Midway.



edited to add - Do I need sabot?

August 11, 2004, 01:36 PM
What you need in my opinion:

Round balls, 0.375 for .36 cal revolver, 0.454 for .44 cal revolver.
Goex FFFg or Pyrodex P powder
Ox-yoke Wonder-Wads
Percussion caps #11 or 10 (depends on what the revolver-manufacturer suggests)
Powder flask and/or measure
Gunsmith screwdriver-set
Kleenbore pistol-cleaning kit
Muzzleloading book

Loading sequence:

1) pour recommended abount of powder into each chamber (leave 1 chamber empty if you don't shoot right away)
2) seat a wonder-wad with the rammer onto the powder
3) seat a round ball with the rammer FIRM on the wad/powder making sure that there is NO GAP between ball and wad/powder
4) put caps on the nipples, pointing the muzzle DOWNRANGE

After a session, you have to clean the iron with hot water (just do a search for the procedure here on the forum). After 2 or 3 sessions, you have to disassemble the whole wheelgun and clean all the innards (here come the screwdrivers into play).

Best idea in my mind is always to get a book (or more) about the topic to learn what I'm going into.

August 11, 2004, 03:27 PM
Rob- thanks for the reply but I got a few more questions. Just bear with me here ok?

Why do I need to put a wad between the ball and the powder? I saw a video at Cabela's and he didn't put a wad between those two. Not that I don't trust you but I just want to know the reason behind it.

What would happen if there's no wad? Is it safe.

I take it, one session means one firing range day.


August 14, 2004, 03:22 AM
The wad is used primarily to seperate the powder from the projectile, it holds the powder in the chamber and seals it from moisture, it also keeps the hot gases created by the burning powder from melting the rear of the projectile and leading the barrel. A wad is also needed to protect the powder from contamination from the bullet lube if you leave the chamber loaded for any extended period of time. The reason the video showed the shooter not using a wad was because they were shooting immediately after loading (although a wad occasionaly will help keep the bore clean).

FYI - Sometimes several different types of wads are used at the same time (usually in rifles and shotguns). Some are lube wads, some are cushion wads and some are spacer wads.

January 30, 2005, 04:21 PM
CVA is not manufacturer they dont make any thing many of their rifles are made in spain by Ardeasa the revolvers were made in Italy by the same manfacturer that suplied Navy arms San Marco of Brescia and Gardone Val trompia The Italian cap and ball revolver has been on the market for many years and are fine guns parts are not a problem they are tempermental. Cva rifles and single shot pistol are basicly cheap junk made in spain though can be made to shoot well they usually dont shoot well and after some use dont shoot at all I have sold 100s of them they are what they are Cva has allowed many people with a low budget to own and shoot black powder they are what is refered to as entry level product even their current stuff is substandard there quality is still iffy

January 30, 2005, 08:44 PM
The pistol supplied was made by Pietta for CVA. I haven't shoot it yet though.


February 1, 2005, 10:04 PM
very good its a little newer it should be fine as long as you dont put a million shots throug it

March 16, 2005, 01:24 PM
I completed a CVA revolver kit (brass frame '51 Navy) several years ago. A few of the parts in the kit were so poorly made, the gun could not be completed with them. I was able to get replacement parts through Dixie Gun Works. Since the gun is basically a colt clone, many of the parts for a colt would fit. I had no trouble putting it together with the replacement parts. The gun does not get a lot of heavy use, but ~12 years later it still shoots fine.

Mike Weber
March 16, 2005, 05:04 PM
The Pietta revolvers made nowdays are not bad quality I own several Pietta revolvers. I would aviod that brass framed model and go with one of the steel framed ones. You'll get many years of shooting enjoyment from a steel framed revolver. As has been said in this thread CVA's are cheaply made guns and considered an entry level blackpowder gun. My very first blackpowder gun was one of the Spanish made CVA flintlock Kentucky rifles it was very poorly made and I got rid of it ASAP and bought a higher quality rifle.