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General discussion -> Black Powder -> Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice
 
Message Subject: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice
Jono
Posted 12/10/2010 2:20 PM (#4158)
Subject: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


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Hi all,
I want to get into BP hunting. Considering the limited amount of time I have, I want to do this on a budget if possible.

I found a sale on Traditions Buckstalker rifles for $150.

I'm curious if these are good, safe, and accurate guns? Pros/Cons? How about power and bullets? Are there combinations that are better than others for this rifle? I only need to be accurate to 100yds as I hunt fairly tight terrain. 150yds would be the max.

I've read online about concerns with spanish made barrels (CVA and Traditions both spanish made I believe) being underrated for the amount of pressure from modern pellets like pyrodex but I can't seem to find any accounts of actual problems. Is there more to this story and reason to beware?

Any help for this rookie appreciated,
Jon
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Ballistic
Posted 12/11/2010 9:57 PM (#4163 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: RE: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


50010010010025
Location: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
I have one, and have killed several deer with it out past 80 yards. Longest shot was 150, dropped a doe in her tracks. I dropped a nine pointer last year with it. never twitched.

I'd recommend using granular powder, the burn is faster and I believe with that rifle you will have way fewer misfires...like zero. I use 100 grains Pyrodex and a 295 grain Powerbelt bullet. The gun needs attention to make sure it's cleaned well after use inside and out, and it will last you for years.

Great rifle for the price.

Check the Sportsmans Guide website for combo prices on that rifle and the CVA Optimas.


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Jono
Posted 12/13/2010 8:38 AM (#4170 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


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Hi Steve. Thanks a lot for the info! How old is your buckstalker in that picture? I can't tell but looks like a bolt? The one I'm looking at has a hammer/pivot break design. I uploaded a picture.

The CVA Optima is appealing to me. Seems like a lot of "modern" features for the money. I'm also looking at a CVA wolf which I think is a close comparison to the buckstalker but hand removeable breech and just a little more money. Sportsmen's prices are pretty good. Been looking locally at Scheels and Gander too.

Thanks again for the help, I appreciate it.
Jono


Edited by Jono 12/13/2010 8:40 AM



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TJ DeVoe
Posted 12/13/2010 10:36 AM (#4173 - in reply to #4170)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


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Posts: 313
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I have a CVA Wolf I won at a banquet a number a years ago and that was my primary muzzleloader the last few seasons prior to getting my Thompson/Center Endeavor this past year.

The CVA Wolf isn't much to look at, but don't let that turn your head from this gun. The Wolf is by far the most deadliest and accurate guns we have in our gun safe. That thing for some reason is dead nuts on, just crazy how accurate a $100 something dollar gun is.

I'm using two Pyrodex pellets with a .245 grain Powerbelt bullet, two inch groups at a 100 yards no problem, even tighter at 50 yards. For the money, I would highly suggest this gun if your on a budget. The breech plug is very easy to remove and it comes with the tool to do it.
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Jono
Posted 12/13/2010 2:31 PM (#4178 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


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Thank you TJ,
The wolf now has a tool free breech. I've been poking around now and I think my choice is between a cva optima or wolf. They seem like a great value for the money. I won't hunt enough to justify a big spend so ya I'm looking in a mid to low price range.
I think the traditions buckstalker is off the contender list.
Jono
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Ballistic
Posted 12/13/2010 7:14 PM (#4181 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


50010010010025
Location: Rhinelander, Wisconsin
I think I've had that rifle for about 5 years. Good gun. I really like the Optima, easy to use and clean, and a tack driver, with a scope for about $225.00.
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Jono
Posted 12/14/2010 11:03 AM (#4182 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


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Posts: 15
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Thanks again to both of you. I'm going to keep looking for a deal. Of the two, the optima is choice 1, wolf is 2.
Steve, can you pm or email me where you are finding scoped optimas for 225. The 2010 models I'm finding via online are north of 300.
Have a great day,
Jono
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Grass
Posted 12/14/2010 1:00 PM (#4183 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: RE: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


Regular

Posts: 94
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Location: Seymour, WI "Home of the Hamburger"
I got my CVA Optima at Scheels about 4 yrs ago. It came with a sling, but no scope for $200 even. Great gun. I'm shooting 100 grains of loose pioneer powder, with 295 grain power belt bullets and have 2" groups at 100 yrds. CVA makes a product called barrel blaster for cleaning the rifle. I highly recommend it as my group size was cut in half after I started cleaning it with barrel blaster.

Grass,

Edited by Grass 12/14/2010 1:02 PM
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TJ DeVoe
Posted 12/14/2010 1:02 PM (#4184 - in reply to #4182)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


Extreme Veteran

Posts: 313
100100100
http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/search/search.aspx?r=MainHeader&...
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Jono
Posted 12/14/2010 2:18 PM (#4185 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


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Grass, thanks for the load info. I am definitely interested in hearing from anybody who want to weigh in on what loads work for the guns I'm considering.

TJ, I found that link but the picture and product description leads me to believe this is the old model. It lacks the new breech and the break release is in a different spot. Not knocking it but I want to buy the new model and those scoped out are in the mid 300s. I will call them though to confirm this but the website makes it look like its new old stock they are selling.

Thanks to both of you for the help!
Jono
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Jono
Posted 12/14/2010 3:05 PM (#4186 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


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Posts: 15
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Just confirmed w/ CVA that the model on Sportsmen's is old.

The cheapest I've seen the new model without scope is on prairie arms website for $225.39 plus shipping to a licensed dealer. Bad news is they are out of stock. The camo version with scope and case is $344.99 but again out of stock.

I've got plenty of time to buy so just being patient and doing the homework.

I asked CVA about loads and they weren't the most forthcoming but said a 295 powerbelt with two pellets (100 g) whitehot should shoot decent groups. Anyone have experience with that set up?

Thanks again,
Jono
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Jono
Posted 12/14/2010 3:10 PM (#4187 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


Member

Posts: 15
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Hey Grass, I see you are in Seymour. I'm in Eau Claire.
Jono
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Grass
Posted 12/14/2010 4:23 PM (#4188 - in reply to #4187)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


Regular

Posts: 94
252525
Location: Seymour, WI "Home of the Hamburger"
I'm not an avid black powder shooter, but all of the reports I've read indicate loose powder produces better groups than the pellets.
The Pioneer powder that I bought came with pre-measured loose powder in clear plastic tubes that had rubber tops on them. Very easy to use, just dump the powder down the barrel. When I used all the pre-measured tubes up, I just bought a can of loose powder and used that to refill the tubes.
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twells
Posted 12/15/2010 11:10 AM (#4192 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: RE: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


Extreme Veteran

Posts: 536
50025
Jono,
I picked up my CVA Wolf this fall from Fleet farm and purchased a base and scope for it seperatly and came to right around $260.00. If you are just getting started in it I would recomend getting one with a starter kit as it will include some of the basic things you will need and use. When I first start with the smoke pole I spent about $75-$100 to get the things I felt I needed to get going with it. Most of the time it is only about $10-$25 bucks more for that package.
With my Wolf this year I am holding nice tight groups at 50 yards using 100 grains of Triple Seven powder and 245 grain powerbelt bullets. I feel comfortable out to 100 yards with this setup and aim point doesn't change. it is just the area I hunt that I don't need to go out any farther. This year shot was the first shot at a deer and it was a whopping 15 yards.
Good luck and enjoy. I think I may enjoy that almost more than the regular season or just may have to carry the smoke pole for gun season.
The removable breech plug is great to have. One word of advice is to get a bullet puller. I put the stock off the barrel this year trying to pound out a bullet at the end of the day. I got it fixed the next morningand back in action but a puller would have saved a few words and frustration.
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Jono
Posted 12/15/2010 11:49 AM (#4193 - in reply to #4192)
Subject: RE: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


Member

Posts: 15
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Hi twells, thanks for your input. There are some good deals on a camo finish wolf scoped with a case for about 279 or so. Seems pretty appealing. The optima is a little more gun for just a little more money so I'm debating whether its worth it or not at this point to spend a touch more knowing I will probably hunt 4 days a year with a muzzleloader.

Seen quite a few reviews saying that the wolf is an accurate gun especially at the price point.

Let me ask you about the sights. The few negative reviews I've read are about the sights either not mounted correctly making the gun impossible to sight in or they break off and have to be fixed. Did you have either of these issues?

I'm planning on a scope but the sight issue is something I'm interested in.

I hunt chequamegon and I'm in the same situation as you as far as range. If I know I'm solid out to 100 yds, I'm golden. The longest shot I've had in 10 years of hunting those woods is about 60 yards.

Thanks,
Jono
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twells
Posted 12/15/2010 12:12 PM (#4194 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: RE: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


Extreme Veteran

Posts: 536
50025
Hi Jono, As far as the sights on the CVA's I have not had a problem with on this gun or my Buckhorn I had. I actually like them for open sights. I guess I was lucky and didn't have to adjust those right out of the box. That maybe to the distance that I am shooting. If it was longer than 100 I may have had to but just worked on zeroing it in at 50-75 yards. The Thompsons are very nice guns and a couple of people in our group have them but for the 2-3 days a re year I get out the Wolf and the buckhorn have served me just fine. I would not hesitate to buy another Wolf again or if the kids get old enough and into it for them.
One word of advice on buying a package from a store in WI if you are getting one with a scope is to look at the scope to see if it is single power. I have seen some good deals until you look at the scope and it is only single magnification. Not that it is a bad thing but if you are putting a scope on it and plan on it being a adjustable or fixed power scope it could be a disappointment to find out after the fact.
When I started with this I bought a very affordable gun to get started. Well after 4 years I upgraded to the Wolf. Yes I could have spent a lot more but for the amount of time I get out it fits me just right. This year when I was looking there was 3 things that I wanted the gun to have or do. Shoot accurately, breakaway removeable breech plug, and put a scope on it. it is like anything else you can spend as much or as little as you want and have it work for you. I looked at some of the Traditions and for me felt the CVA's just dropped in nicer for myself. Plus being left handed I also like the fact that the hammer could be switched over for a lefty. I think most of them are that way now. The other thing with the CVA's I lked is the way the action breaks. The Thompsons were a touch different that I preffered to go the way I did. One other word of advice is to get out and shoot it to play around with it. It is amazing what they guns will do when you spend some time playing around with them.
What area of the Chequamegon are you hunting? We are hunting up around the Winter area.
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Jono
Posted 12/15/2010 12:23 PM (#4195 - in reply to #4158)
Subject: Re: Traditions Buckstalker - need testimonials, advice


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Posts: 15
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I'm between hayward and clam lake along 77. Love the big woods. Wish I had more time to spend out there.

Sounds like we are like minded with the use pattern. The CVA optima is my first choice but given the time to ML hunt, I can get a rig that will give me the same functionality you were looking for (tool free breech, break action, scope, accurate shooter) for roughly $100 less.

I know I would be happy with the wolf but resisting the urge to spend a little for slightly better gun in the optima.

The gun/scope/case package I found online is a good combo. The scope is a3x9 Konus. I see Cabela's puts their own scopes on their cva packages. I'd prefer a lower power scope. I have a 1.5x5 Leupold VX-III on my Rem 7600 30-06 carbine. I love the wide field and its plenty of power. That said for the price I can live with the Konus if I go this route.

Jono
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