What is muzzleloader accuracy; accuracy is the condition or quality of being true, correct, or exact. Precision is the duplication of accuracy. Muzzleloader accuracy can be defined or classed as to how well the muzzleloader can achieve one hole shot groups on target down-range.
The muzzleloader can be classified as accurate if it can place say 3 shots down range in a tight group without anything done other than reload it. Its level of precision can be identified as to just how many shots it will make before acceptable accuracy falls off or is diminished.
To determine muzzleloader accuracy you absolutely have to load your muzzleloader with utmost precision, eliminating any possibility that your accuracy issue is simply bad muzzleloader loading technique.
Fire one shot, completely clean the muzzleloaders bore and ignition system, make sure there is no plastic or lead fouling left in the barrel, then you can start to determine accuracy, reload, fire a second shot, it should shoot to the exact same place on target downrange, if not try various loads, powder, primer, bullet until it does, many accuracy issues arise from improper bullet weight for twist rate.
If you can not find a load combination that will duplicate same point of impact on target downrange from a cold clean barrel then your muzzleloader has a problem.
1. Check to make sure all sighting devices are of good sound quality and are tightened properly on the muzzleloader, its amazing as to how many muzzleloader accuracy problems arise from just one loose screw.
2. Check the barrel for bore size, there are many muzzleloaders out there that are of good quality but their manufactured accuracy is not up to par as they may have bores over-sized or under-sized.
a. Under-sized bores will for the most part only foul out quicker giving less shots per cleaning session.
b. Over-sized bores do create accuracy issues, however this can be compensated by loading different bullet selections, patch thicknesses, or sabots of different manufacture, which will compensate the extra windage in the barrel.
3. Check the barrel for straightness, again this falls to manufactured accuracy, many muzzleloader barrels will go through a complete barrel making process without the bar stock ever being straightened, this is a manufacturer defect send to the manufacturer for barrel replacement.
To determine the level of accuracy your muzzleloader may have, once you have found a load that will shoot to the same point of impact you simply precisely load your muzzleloader and without cleaning it continue to load and shoot till accuracy is diminshed beyond your satisfaction. For most this will be three shots. If your muzzleloader gives you three shots without much deviation between shots then your load and muzzleloader can be considered accurate.
Barrel fouling is the main issue for accuracy deteroriation. Bore smoothness determines the fouling rate for the most part, however very dirty propellant powder is another, triple seven powder burns cleaner than most, blackhorn 209 burns cleaner than all powders currently manufactured.
Usually by switching to Blackhorn 209 powder in modern muzzleloaders, muzzleloader barrel fouling will be reduced and your fouling problem is solved, however if it persists to foul, bore roughness is most likely the issue.
1. Barrel lapping for increased accuracy. Usually a good gunsmith can make a slug and polish the muzzleloader bore for you which increases accuracy.
2. Barrel burnishing and plastic fouling removal for increased accuracy. The fastest way to remove plastic fouling from inside the muzzleloader bore is to use 0000 steel wool wound onto a cleaning bore brush of correct bore diameter, making several passes down the bore.
It will remove plastic fouling quickly and at the same time it will slowly burnish the bore which makes it smoother and will foul less than before, thereby increasing the accuracy of the muzzleloader itself. Use 0000 steel wool only.
CVA Muzzleloader Accuracy:
Many people are starting to realize just how accurate the CVA Accura and Apex models are, their accuracy secret lies with precision, accurate muzzleloader barrel making. How CVA's accurate muzzleloader barrels are made.
The first step is they begin with a straight bar of cylindrical steel, manufactured and straightened to a deviation of less than (or .004”) of an inch.
The second step, the bar moves on to the deep hole drilling machine where a four spindle machine precisely drills the correct diameter hole.
The third very important step, the barrels pass through three separate honing spindles that polish the barrel’s interior surface to a mirror-like finish with a groove diameter deviation of less than (or .009MM) of a millimeter.
The final step is the button rifling process. A carbide rifling button is drawn through the barrel to produce the rifling grooves at the appropriate twist rate for each caliber.
The result of this four-step process is a precision barrel that is very accurate.