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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Went over to my parents' house to take over some knick-knack souvenirs from my recent Colorado/Bandlands trip, stepfather hands me a Connecticut Valley Arms .50 Hawken black powder muzzleloader, double set trigger...can't help but feel like I'm getting the better end of the deal here. Unfortunately, my knowledge of black powder is limited, I have some reading to do. In the meantime, a few pics, maybe someone with one of those magic books can reference the serial number ( 86 369018 ) and give me an idea of when this was manufactured? I know it's a replica, I know it was made in Spain (a kit, I think?). The furniture on it looks in pretty good shape, the brass needs a good polish. Barrel rifling looks good, very few rounds were ever put through this, if any. The outside needs a good cleaning for a small amount of flash rust and probably re-blued. Any technical data it such a parts list or exploded view would be very welcome as well. I can pay the freight if anything needs to be mailed, vs. scanned data. I'd like to put the shine back on this, although they don't appear to be particularly valuable. (iirc, they resell for around $250?) As a replica piece, I can't think of any reason to not clean it up. But, you guys are the experts, I just come here for the politics.

A few lame pics: (I'm assuming the 700K p/cm2 is the max rated pressure for the rifle. Unfamiliar with the hallmark stamps, and what the F . 2 stamping means.) The CVA website has no information on this piece on their webpage.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, here's where I'm at with it: Did a takedown and got the barrel out. Surface corrosion at the bolster (yeah, I've been reading) is a little more significant than the pic shows. Minor surface pitting as a result at the bolster and where the barrel sits against the tang. Got into it with some fine steel wool to get it stopped and get some oil on it, but as expected, it's damaging the bluing (I expected I might have to have that redone anyway, there's surface up around the muzzle as well, I'll worry about serviceability first and appearance later). Got the nipple out, but had to wrench on it pretty good. I think the threads into the bolster are OK, and after cleaning, nipple goes back on and tightens, but I'll probably replace the nipple. As I understand it, that's a commonly replaced item anyway, seems like. What I have here is a low time, low use rifle, but as you said, horribly kept/stored. I did what most of the videos suggest. After some good copper brush scrubbing of the insides with Hoppes 9, Rem action cleaner (I don't have any Ballistol) and watching all the brown liquid coming out, I boiled a pan of water and ran it through with a funnel. Wash, rinse repeat 2x more times. I'm pretty happy with how the barrel looks in as much as I am able to see it.

My problem right now is this: I want to inspect and clean this barrel from the other end. But, until I get some more expert knowledge here, I'm hesitant to go further into a teardown. So, two questions: Is the bolster removable? What is the screw on the outer part of the bolster, does that serve as a kind of maintenance port for cleaning? If so, it ain't budging, which makes me wonder if the bolster itself will need replaced. Second is the breach plug. This barrel has the hooked plug, and the question here is also whether or not that is removeable. It looks to be threaded, but again, I'm hesitant to touch either the plug or the bolster, since I suspect these items may need to be indexed when installed. Seems to be true at least for the bolster, otherwise the nipple won't align correctly to the hammer cap, correct? That said, I REALLY want to get into the back side of that barrel and insure it cleaned up adequately. I can't get a light in there to see it end-to-end. I won't consider it safe until I can verify that the corrosion hasn't harmed it back there internally. I'm big on visual inspection, and after talking to my stepdad some more, this looks to be a case of it sat for ~30 years unused and not properly prepped for storage. Mostly I'm worried about that bolster and that outer screw I can't budge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the replies. One other question…what is that F (bullet point symbol) 2 stamped on the barrel? Is that telling me to use FFg/2Fg powder for that barrel? I’m just guessing here. I don’t know what that or the other two hallmark symbols stamped on the barrel are…
 
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