CVA Accura Thumbhole LR Muzzleloader Package w/Konus Pro 275 3-10x44mm riflescope
The Accura LR with its thumbhole stock is one of a kind. At first glance, the thumbhole stock may not appeal to some shooters. (The buttstock has an ungainly shape. The comb has an unusual hump with little drop, while there is a lot of drop at heel. The pistol grip is long and vertical, with an unusually large thumbhole. The forend bulges well below the line of the receiver. -Editor)
Conventional rifle stocks are not ergonomically designed for the human body. They require that we cant our hand down at the wrist when gripping the butt stock, rather than keeping it straight and aligned with the rest of the bones in our forearm. Our grip is not as solid as it could be and the recoil felt at the wrist is more noticeable.
That problem was remedied with the design of the AR platform rifles and their pistol grip behind the trigger guard. The pistol grip allows for a more positive hold and makes it easier to get on target. While a thumbhole stock may not be as aesthetically beautiful as a conventional stock, it is more comfortable to shoot and generally results in more accurate groups. The thumbhole stock of the Accura LR incorporates a pistol grip design similar to that on AR platform rifles. The thumbhole grip on the Accura allows you to hold your gun tighter against your shoulder, thereby reducing felt recoil, as well as flinch. This is why we wanted to try it.
Although it cannot be verified scientifically, most folks shooting a thumbhole rifle state that the subjective recoil seems to be less. That perception is undoubtedly due to the fact the straight-line alignment of the hand and forearm allows for a more natural movement of the upper body in response to the recoil.
Okay, it sounds strange, but after you shoot a rifle with a thumbhole stock, you will understand. Jim was also skeptical until he shot my .300 Win. Mag. with a Boyd thumbhole stock. He noticed the difference right away.
The Accura LR is equipped with a black nitride Bergara barrel. For those not familiar with black nitride treatments (the technical description of the process is salt bath ferriticnitrocarburizing), they are used in many industries to significantly harden the outer layers of steel parts to make them more durable and more corrosion resistant. In fact, when used for rifle barrels, it is more corrosion resistant than chrome lining.
The same black nitride process is used by several automobile manufacturers to harden the moving parts in their engines, rings, pistons, etc. Because muzzleloaders are extremely susceptible to corrosion, this treatment substantially reduces the possibility that your gun will be ruined by corrosion. This is one reason why this rifle comes with a Lifetime Warranty.
This version of the Accura is given the designation "LR" for long range, due to its 30 inch barrel, which is the longest in the industry. The majority of the modern inline muzzleloaders have 26 to 28 inch barrels, which shoot very well and perform superbly in the field. Why then a 30 inch barrel?
The demand came from the belief that muzzleloaders with longer barrels will shoot farther and more accurately than rifles with short barrels. That is certainly true if you have a muzzleloader with a 22 inch barrel, compared with 26 to 28 inch barreled rifles.
It is also a fact that if you are shooting genuine black powder, a longer barrel is needed to insure a complete burn of the charge. However, that problem does not exist with today's modern black powder substitutes, unless you are shooting one of the shorter barreled muzzleloaders mentioned above.
There is an increase in velocity and concurrent increase in the energy delivered on target with a 30" barrel, when compared to rifles with 26 inch barrels. Whether that increase is significant enough to improve the effective range of a muzzleloader is still open to debate. We will leave that argument for another day. (One thing for sure, a rifle with a 30 inch barrel is a lot more hassle to carry in the woods than a rifle with a 26 inch barrel. -Editor)
Now, it is time to see if this new Accura LR shoots as well as expected and if Jim experiences less subjective recoil with the thumbhole stock. We selected the 300 grain Harvester Scorpion PT Gold bullet with a black CRS for our tests. From previous experience, we know the CVA rifles we have reviewed have shot very well with this bullet.
Our normal hunting loads with this bullet are either 100 grains of Blackhorn 209 or two pellets of IMR White Hots. Due to a shortage of pellets, we conducted all of our tests with Blackhorn 209.
Due to the unusual number of windy days in the spring, our shooting of the Accura was delayed until early June. We traveled to the Zia Rifle and Pistol Club range south of Albuquerque, New Mexico early in the morning for our accuracy testing.
The accuracy of the Accura LR was excellent. Our groups at 100 yards ranged from 3/4 inch to 1.25 inches and averaged right at one inch (center to center). At 200 yards, we obtained groups ranging from 1.75 inches to 2.25 inches, with the average being just under two inches. If you are looking for a muzzleloader that has the capability to reach out to the maximum effective range of your powder/bullet combination, this is the gun to get.
If you have never shot a CVA with its Bullet Guiding Muzzle, you have no idea of what you are missing. Most of the other muzzleloaders on the market require a lot of effort to load after the first or second shot. You literally have to pound the bullet starter to get the third and subsequent rounds loaded. That pretty much guarantees it would be impossible to load a follow-up shot with those rifles on a hunt.
Not so with the Bullet Guiding Muzzle. The second, third and even the fourth rounds load as easily and quickly as the first.
The trigger pull on the Accura LR was two pounds right out of the box, very crisp and without creep. We commend CVA for not installing a lawyer trigger on their rifle. With the trigger pull of a target rifle, it was easy to shoot accurate groups.
Our Accura LR came as a package with a Konus Pro 275 3-10x44mm scope, designed specifically for muzzleloaders. Features include a fast focus eyepiece, illuminated center dot, finger tip adjustments and it comes with a Limited Lifetime Factory Warranty. The eye relief is only three inches, which is insufficient for hard kicking rifles.
This scope comes with a glass etched ballistic reticle that has hash marks on the lateral bar, permitting compensation for crosswinds. As would be expected, the scope has fully multi-coated lenses and is shockproof, waterproof and fog proof. The internal elevation/windage adjustment range of 57 MOA is more than adequate for muzzleloaders and the 1/4 MOA click adjustments were solid.
However, we had difficulty clearly seeing the reticle at 200 yards with 10x magnification. The horizontal and vertical bars were just too thin and the hash marks were almost invisible. Jim allowed a fellow shooter to use the Accura at 200 yards and he encountered the same problem. The saving feature was the illuminated center dot for the 200 yard shooting. However, the crosshair engraving needs some work.
Konus Pro 275 Specifications
The Konus Pro 275 was satisfactory, but left something to be desired for shooting at 200 yards. It has an MSRP of $249.99, but can be found discounted on the internet for as little as $134.99.
You can order an Accura TH-LR package from CVA for $750.40. This includes the rifle, Konus Pro 275 scope and a heavy duty carrying case. (Note photo at top of article.)
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