Re-barreled my St.Louis Hawken

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FrontierGander

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May 19, 2008
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Boncarbo,Colorado
So earlier today while I was looking through my stock pile of parts, I found a 15/16" .50cal CVA Hawken barrel with the 1:48 twist and deep rifling. It was the horrible 3 step crown design which makes loading patched round balls a real booger because its so tight.

The barrel was not a drop in. I know, Traditions, CVA, should be the same thing, but no. The CVA Barrels hooked tang was longer and had a different angle on it. I spent some time fitting it to the traditions tang until the barrel fit in nicely with just the tiniest amount of pressure when you seated it fully in the stock. The drum was way off, so I removed it, cleaned up all the threads and de-greased everything. Re-installed the drum with a little blue loctite on it to keep things firm and got the nipple lined up perfectly with the hammer. I can even use a musket cap without any issues.

Next, the barrel tenon on the cva hawken barrel is 2" forward of where the traditions goes. So off to the vice and I used the tradtional hacksaw/file method and got it done nice and tight. Everything lined up perfectly, wedge key is really snug to where I have to tap it out. And that is the way I like my wedge key to be.

I installed some spare sights and late this evening, I loaded up 70gr 3fg gearhart owen, .020" patch, .490 round balls and went for a test shoot!

First try at 65 yards. Final 3 shots of the evening were at the bottom. Super happy! I really want this barrel to shoot conicals. I HATE the crown on this barrel with patched round ball. This crown design has a bad habit of cutting patches. Luckily today, all recovered patches looked like new. Very smooth loading barrel, just a bit tight at the muzzle due to that 3 step crown design. When I brown the barrel, I'll use a little brass shim stock and fill in under the rear sight dovetail to snug it up a bit.

And yes, I am looking for a 54cal barrel to fit to this one now!! LOL

I'll try some conicals in a couple days and see how they do.
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FrontierGander

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Staff member
Joined
May 19, 2008
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15,426
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Boncarbo,Colorado
Turns out that this barrel shoots conicals excellent! Now I can go clean the hell out of my traditions barrel and just shoot round balls in it. This cva barrel is TIGHT. That 395gr plainsman bullet i shot today required a short starter to pop them into the muzzle. I'll be doing a little lapping in that barrel to smooth out a tight spot i felt 3/4 way down.

Overall, I am very pleased and will continue some load development. 395gr plainsman, 70gr gearhart owen 3fg at aprox 65 yards.
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Winter Hawk

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Joined
Dec 26, 2015
Messages
150
That's looking good! How do the conicals load with the "triple crown" muzzle?
 

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