Tested True: CVA Accura LR-X

The long-barreled CVA Accura LR-X muzzleloader is capable of higher velocities and a flatter trajectory, ideal for reaching out when the opportunity calls for it.

by Darron McDougal

My e-mail inbox confirmed that I’d drawn an Iowa late-muzzleloader deer tag. It had been three seasons since my last Hawkeye State hunt, during which I bow-killed a solid buck after encountering a few other solid bucks, including one monster. 

I bought a scoped T/C Triumph right when I started my writing career in 2008, but I itched to try something new.

I also have an open-sighted CVA Paramount Pro Colorado .50 caliber muzzleloader, which I used in 2021 to anchor an excellent Colorado whitetail. But Chad Schearer of BPI Outdoors (CVA’s parent company) insisted that rather than mount a scope on that gun for the Iowa hunt, I should give the Accura LR-X a whirl. I concurred. 

This western buck was the first deer McDougal ever took with a CVA muzzleloader, and the performance was nothing shy of perfect when the buck offered a nice quartering-away shot opportunity. (Photo by Becca McDougal)

The Accura LR-X is available in .45 and .50 caliber — mine came in .50 caliber. You can also choose from three variations. One has a Picatinny rail, so you can mount your scope of choice. Another one has a Williams Peep Sight for states that prohibit scopes. A third option includes a pre-mounted Konus Pro 3-10x44mm scope. I went with the Picatinny rail and mounted my scope.

In Iowa, ridiculously warm-for-January temperatures and a full moon unfortunately hampered deer movement. Still, I was able to spend a little bit of time shooting the Accura-LR-X in preparation for the hunt. Following are several takeaways from my testing that should help you decide if the LR-X should be your next muzzleloader.

First Impressions

 My first observation as I unboxed and handled the Accura LR-X is that it’s pretty heavy, resulting from its stout 30-inch barrel — the extra length enhances long-range accuracy. The weight is a blessing when shooting at longer ranges, given the augmented stability, and also because the recoil is less punishing. I added a hefty scope, which further weighted down the gun, which I didn’t mind because I guarded food sources in Iowa with the LR-X propped on a Primos TriggerStick. If you’re still-hunting the timber and expecting average shot distances, I’d suggest the lighter Accura MR-X, which has a 26-inch barrel.

The 30-inch premium Nitride-treated Bergara barrel is threaded to accept a muzzle brake. The barrel’s exterior features an attractive yet rugged Cerakote finish. (Photo by Darron McDougal)

Also notable is the LR-X’s sleek SoftTouch stock and fore-grip coating, which provides comfort and grippy traction to help you control the firearm. I’ve owned other products with SoftTouch layers and have always been a fan. My LR-X featured Realtree Hillside Camo, which I found attractive, but a Veil Camo option is also available. Besides that, textured rubber inlays on the main grip and the foregrip further enhance shooter control. It comes with a Quake Claw sling, which is comfortable and has excellent traction to reduce slippage while hiking. 

Before mounting the scope, I worked the break-barrel action, shouldered the firearm to acquire a target and tested the trigger by dry-firing (barrel unloaded, breach plug clear, and muzzle pointed safely). Everything is nice and smooth. Out of the box, the trigger is nice and crisp with no travel, but it’s also adjustable should you desire it to be lighter or heavier. I’ll probably adjust mine lighter before my next muzzleloader hunt.

 Dependable and Accurate

CVA outfits the Accura LR-X with a premium Nitride-treated (designed to protect the interior of the barrel) stainless-steel 30-inch Bergara barrel. It’s designed to handle magnum powder charges, thereby increasing velocity and flattening trajectory, which puts long-range accuracy within reach. 

The fluted Bergara barrel is decorated in Cerakote’s Patriot Brown coating. In case you’re unfamiliar, Cerakote is a polymer-ceramic composite coating with superior strength and abrasion resistance — perfect for all the weather and bumps a dedicated muzzleloader hunter will subject it to. The moment you put your hands on it, you know, without a doubt, that the LR-X won’t let you down. 

I topped the LR-X with Bushnell’s Elite 4500 4-16x50mm scope with a Multi-X reticle. It doesn’t have holdover references, but since the drop from 100 to 200 yards is relatively minimal, it suited my needs. I stoked the barrel with four Triple Seven FireStar pellets to propel the PowerBelt Aerotip ELR 270-grain bullet. CVA suggests Blackhorn 209 muzzleloading powder for accuracy and ease of cleaning. Still, I could not obtain any before my hunt due to availability issues, so I went with the FireStar pelletized powder.

I’m not into measuring my groups. While practicing, I determine at what range I can hit a heart-sized bull’s-eye with the firearm I’m shooting, and then that becomes my maximum hunting range if I have a good solid rest and ideal conditions. That approach has served me very well over my hunting career. I can’t tell you that I shot 2-inch groups at 200 yards because I didn’t. I was shooting in cold conditions as I prepared for Iowa and wasn’t shooting from a sled. What I can tell you, though, is that the LR-X in skilled hands will have no trouble putting down a deer at 200 yards and beyond with the right load. 

Final Touches

 One of the LR-X’s aspects I appreciate most is how easy it is to clean. Swabbing the barrel can be done simply by unthreading the Quick Release Breech Plug — no tools required — thereby opening the barrel for a rod to pass through. And breaking the gun down into three pieces for a thorough post-range cleaning can be accomplished in seconds. Pull the lever on the bottom of the foregrip to release and remove the foregrip. Then, engage the lever on the underside of the trigger guard to release the stock from the barrel. Done!

CVA’s Quick Release Breech Plug simplifies cleaning duties; no tools are needed to remove it. (Photo by Becca McDougal)

Comfort and a positive cheek weld are essential details for shooting consistency. CVA outfits the LR-X with a fully adjustable comb. It adjusts in seconds with a simple hex key. Finding that sweet spot that works for you has never been simpler.  

The fully adjustable comb lets every individual user achieve a positive cheek weld. (Photo by Darron McDougal)

 I have just a few more features to point out. First is the threaded barrel. It accepts a muzzle brake to reduce recoil. Another plus is the collapsible ramrod. While having the ramrod beneath the barrel is convenient, CVA found it could milk out more accuracy by keeping the ramrod separate from the barrel. It conveniently collapses and stores in an included pouch. The ramrod also has a comfortable palm cushion, a welcome attribute while seating bullets. 

Finally, the Accura LR-X is compatible with 209 primers and CVA’s VariFlame primer adapter, allowing the shooter to use large rifle primers for improved ignition of magnum powder charges and achieve higher velocities. 

Finish Line

No, I didn’t get a crack at a huge Iowa whitetail as I hoped I would. But, I was confident that if one stepped out, I would’ve followed a short blood trail. Pair that confidence with all the other purposeful details that CVA wrapped into this beauty, and I believe you’ll be happy to make the Accura LR-X your next muzzleloader.

 

 

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