View Full Version : Grandpa's Hawken...HELP NEEDED!

lives in trees
November 26, 2010, 12:03 AM
Hey all, this is my first post.

I have my grandfathers old CVA Hawken, that he built as a kit years ago. Its a percussion. He has since passed, and im looking to get it cleaned up and out in the woods.

I pulled it all apart today, and my findings were as follows.

The lock looks pretty dirty, and it seems as though a new one, or an excellent cleaning is needed. Also the set trigger is very stiff, while the main trigger has alot of creep before it goes off. The barrel is in pretty rough shape. also the brass on the foreend has some pitting in it.

I called CVA and they were absolutely useless.

So, I would like to rebuild it but need some help. Hopefully this is the place to get actual information from those who know the deal. Here we go so please bare with me.

1. Is it possible to get all new replacement brass for this gun to replace the pitted brass and If so where?

2. Where can I get a direct fit replacement lock for it? And how do I know what I need? Is the trigger creep adjustable or the set trigger???

3. Finally, I was told green mountain makes a barrel with a 1:70 or somewhere near there twist for patches/round balls. Does anyon know which I will need or have you used them? If not are there any replacement barrels I can purchase with a better twist rate since I would like to replace it?

I plan to lightly sand down the stock and refinish it as well as replacing all the hardware with fresh brass screws.

I want to get it in top shape once again, but obviously after hours of searching have come up with zero!

Please Help!

Any input is greatly appreciated.

November 26, 2010, 12:37 AM
Once you replace everything on it all you're going to have of your grandfathers rifle is a refinished stock. A CVA Hawken is only worth 100 bucks or so and you're going to spend twice that replacing everything. Why not just clean it up and hang it on a wall and buy another one just like it to use? As far as Green Mountain barrels go they're not a drop in fit for a CVA. They are for the Investarms and TC Hawkens. CVA used a drum breech and everybody else uses a snail or patent breech. You can find everything you need for it on Gunbroker.

November 26, 2010, 12:38 AM
.... "Hello, I'm Jimbob, and I like guns....(fellow 12-steppers: "Hi, Jimbob!)....... I can't just let these poor basket cases rot......"

I'm Jimbob ..... It'd be cheaper to buy another gun........... but it was Opa's, sooooooooo.....
I called CVA and they were absolutely useless.

Of course: they want to sell you another gun.

1. Is it possible to get all new replacement brass for this gun to replace the pitted brass

Correct me if I'm wrong, Great Hive Mind, but the brass fittings have squat to do with anything but cosmetics, and Brasso does wonders with ........... wait for it ......... brass.

2. Where can I get a direct fit replacement lock for it? And how do I know what I need? Is the trigger creep adjustable or the set trigger???

It's a CVA (Walmart of Muzzle Loaders). Clean it up, adjust it the best you can .... if you break it, you are only out a few bucks. Be careful, learn as you go ..... It's a traditional gun .... if you wanted to pay for results, you'd get an in-line .... but where's the fun in that? It's the journey, not the destination: Anybody can buy a round the world ticket, but they can not, in the end, say they have walked this Earth...........

3. Finally, I was told green mountain makes a barrel with a 1:70 or somewhere near there twist for patches/round balls. Does anyon know which I will need or have you used them? If not are there any replacement barrels I can purchase with a better twist rate since I would like to replace it?

What twist rate does it have now? What is it FOR? What is it that you are going to use it FOR? Hunting? Best results (IME) are had with bullets, as opposed to round balls ..... I have a flintlock (flinchlock?) .45 cal (1:66 for round ball) and a .50 (1:48 for Minie' ball bullets)caplock Hawken.... I have seen twists as fast as 1:32 for sabot'd pistol bullets.

I have had a lot of fun shooting both of my front stuffers, but when I go Muzzleloader hunting again, it will be with the .50......

My advice: clean it up and shoot it. Go from there. How bad canit be: You are shooting!

November 26, 2010, 09:17 AM
I don't know what you mean by the barrel being in "rough shape". Often a good cleaning and wire brushing will show the barrel to still be serviceable. A pitted brass nosecap isn't fatal. Polish the brass and call the pits 'beauty marks'. Someone who is familiar with muzzle loaders can tune up your trigger/lock in about an hour, it is not a difficult process.
Instead of spending big bucks, I bet you can do most of what is needed yourself to make the rifle a shooter again. The CVA Mountain Rifle (not Hawken) was, and is, a good commercial built rifle.
Do not attempt to remove the breech from the barrel. That takes some knowledge and experience.
If you attempt to tune the lock yourself, do get a good mainspring vice first. I suggest the one made by North Star. DO NOT USE VICE GRIPS you will ruin the mainspring.
Tuning is a matter doing a lot of smoothing of rubbing parts, assembly, try, disassembly, reassembly, try again, can take a while and requires patience but can be done.
Good luck.

November 26, 2010, 12:12 PM
You can buy any part you need for it from "Deercreek" at Waldron Indiana.
When CVA went out of the side lock muzzleloading bunisness, he bought
their inventory of parts. A new barrel is around 85.00

Doc Hoy
November 26, 2010, 12:23 PM
....Check the laws in your area. In some states IIRC, muzzle loaders must be flintlock in order to qualify as a primative weapon. I am not a hunter and it has been a very long time since I spoke to anyone seriously about hunting but in PA percussion weapons were not considered primative.

If it is important for you to hunt with the rifle, you should make yourself familiar with the laws. If hunting is important, you may want to consider a modern rendition that is designed to optimize performance for hunting.

On the other hand there is real value in restoring this rifle to a shooting stance. If it were my grandfather's rifle I would fix it up just because.

Doc Hoy
November 26, 2010, 12:25 PM
Welcome to the congregation. The hymnals are behind the pews. Grab one and start singing.

November 26, 2010, 02:33 PM
If it was mine I'd boil the lock and then wire brush any remaining gunk. After that blow it off with some compressed air and hit it with some gunscrubber to make sure all the water is out of it. For the trigger get some proper screw drivers and start working on it, you can figure it I sure.

For the barrel hot soapy water followed by T/C bore cleaner and then if you need it JB bore paste to get the roughness out of it.

Strip and oil the stack with tru oil or linspeed oil and call it good.

If you just have to have a new barrel green mountain makes a good one. Also check to see if theres a NMLRA club in your area.

4V50 Gary
November 26, 2010, 02:57 PM
Brass - just polish it. If you don't have a buffer wheel, sit there with a can of Brasso and some rags. When it's shiny enough, you won't notice the pittings. Heck, sometimes they're casting pits when the foundry didn't heat the molten brass enough.

The barrel. Draw file it or polish it and then rebrown it. It's no big deal. The main thing is to clean the bore and make sure that it can still shoot. A pitted bore can still be an accurate bore.

Lock. Find someone with a vibratory cleaner and immerse it. That'll get the junk out. As for trigger creep, you're going to have to work on it and I know those locks are coil spring, not the older "V" springs found on the originals. I can't give you advice on how to adjust it but you can start with a parts diagram.

November 26, 2010, 03:03 PM
ackpine ... Agree
I have one of these GrandPa M/L's and I'm that same person. It was my first T.C. Hawken model back when you only had two choices on propellant. Sold it to a friend of mine and he really abused it. Even drilled the barrel to mount a lazer. Lost the original rear sight.
Sad Tale, eh ?? .... :(

Many years past and he offered to sell it back to me as he was now into InLines. Yes, I bought it as is and will keep it as such. I do have fond memories of when I started this Great Adventure into M/L's and have a Grandson that I know will enjoy as is. ..... :mad:
Life's not fair but it's still great !!! ... ;)

Be Safe !!!

November 26, 2010, 05:45 PM
If you mean this gun is in rough shape as in dirty and grimey, thats one thing and would call for a good boiling out and cleaning of the entire gun including trigger ass'y.
Brake cleaner is a great grime remover to be used in the trigger ass'y. It dissipates very quickly.

Boil and scrub your barrel out to see exactly what you have.
As 4V50 Gary said a pitted barrel can still be an accurate barrel.

If there's lots of surface rust in the barrel, try soaking it in transmission fluid and wire brushing it. Repeat till fairly clean.

Even though your ml may not be of much monetary value, IMO,doesn't mean it's not necessarily worth a little/lot of elbow grease getting her back in shape. I've got a few guns I've redone that belonged to relatives that might not have meant anything to anybody else but I enjoyed the time working on them and have been satisfied with the end results of them. Plus you can look at it as a learning experience.;)
I also agree with the line of thought that if you replace everything with new, you don't have the gun you were left with so I'd try to make do (within reason) with what I had from the start.

Also, if I remember correctly the CVA mountain rifle had a lot of creep in the trigger when it was new.Not saying it couldn't be tuned a bit. When the trigger was set the creep dissappeared.

lives in trees
November 27, 2010, 04:45 PM
For those who actually gave sound advice thank you. To the few who scoffed at the idea....well theres a few on every forum.

Anyway...regarding hunting with the gun...yes I can. Inlines and older styles are permitted. Im in NJ....the only regulations are a minimum caliber and no electronic ignitions.

I realize the brass is only comestic, but If im going to tear it down and clean it up...Im going to do it right, the way it was when he assembled it.

The lock has flat bars that actually look like l;eaf springs on a truclk. (for lack of a better description) Theres only one tiny spring on the whole assembly. Maybe its a 1/16" in size.

Ill have so pictures of it and such, and maybe someone can explain adjustment.

Archery...both target and hunting is my game. I do take the shotguns out but Im more of a bowhunter. If Im going to take a ML out, its going to be this one. The inlines are almost a joke. 250 yards with my buddies and Hornady sabots, and theyll hold 3" groups off a lead sled (cleaned and swabbed every round.

4V50 Gary
November 27, 2010, 07:02 PM
Leaf springs like a truck? Sounds like the classic "V" springs.

OK, work on the bearing surfaces. Where the sear contacts the tumbler need to be polished. Also, the bearing surface of the tumbler against the (inside part) of the lockplate should be flat. Any angle will cause it to gouge the lockplate as it rotates. You may want to look at the V spring and see that it doesn't cause any scratch marks on the inside of the lockplate.

That tiny spring is your sear spring. It returns the sear to its position of rest after the trigger is released. The bigger spring is your mainspring. It provides the downward thrust that causes the tumbler to rotate. The rotation of the tumbler is what makes the hammer fall.

When the lock is working smoothly, hit it with lamp black and install it into the mortise of the stock. Tap lightly on the lock plate and then remove the lock. You're checking for high points in the wood. That will be indicated by the black left on the wood from the blackened parts of the lock. With a chisel, remove a sliver of the blackened wood and try again. You want to make sure that moving parts are not impeded by poor fitting to the wood.

the rifleer
November 27, 2010, 07:17 PM
Try soaking the lock in carburetor cleaner. Its not going to hurt anything and it may get all that crap out of there and make it useful again.

November 27, 2010, 07:27 PM
lives in trees,

I agree with Hawg(2nd post after yours), but I will further that with my opinion. I would spend and would be willing to have it fixed even though it costs money because it is a sentimental firearm and family. Pay someone to do it if you think you are over your head, otherwise you should be alright. Get it in firing condition, shoot it two or three times tops, and hang it on the wall knwoing you can use it whenever it is needed(but don't shoot it unless you have to). Buy another very similar weapon and use that for firing. Thats what I would do, but this is your decision. Take all the advice you like and leave the rest behind. Good luck+it sounds like a nice firearm. I cherish the items I have that used to be my Grandfather's.

November 27, 2010, 09:04 PM
a cva hawken in the condition you described is worth $100 but one in good to great condition is going to be running in the low to mid $200's.

deer creek products will have the parts that you need. New barrels are around $85

they only have a phone number 765-525-6181

ive done a lot of work on those hawken rifles over the past 2 years so if you need any help getting it back up and running, feel free to ask.

joe sixgun
November 28, 2010, 12:46 AM
Brother, spend how ever much you are comfortable with. true a CVA is a $100.00 piece, but Grandpa's gun, no matter the brand name........Priceless!

November 28, 2010, 09:06 AM
The lock has flat bars that actually look like l;eaf springs on a truclk.

Yes, flat mainspring. That is why I reccomended a true mainspring vice to remove it. Using pliers of any kind you stand a chance of ruining or even breaking it. A mainspring vice makes the job simple.

November 28, 2010, 09:33 AM
All the CVA springs I've ever seen were V springs. Vice grips work fine on them.
The weak part of a CVA lock is the pin that supports the end of the spring.