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January 09, 2007

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Electrifying Muzzleloaders: CVA's New Electronic Ignition System


Here’s one to weigh in on: Three years ago, Remington came out with an electronic ignition system for centerfire cartridges that replaced the conventional one with a trigger that closed a circuit and zapped a current into an electronic primer, which ignited the powder charge. The Etronx system worked very well, but did not succeed commercially for reasons known only beyond my pay grade.

Now, CVA has come up with some very similar to Etronix system in a black-powder rifle. The .50 muzzle-loader, called Electra, dispenses with the beloved 209 shotgun primer, and relies instead upon electronic circuitry (see photo) that sends them volts right into the powder charge. So what you get is a no-movement trigger, lightning-fast ignition, more uniform powder burning, and less mess to clean up.

Electra is powered by a 9-volt lithium battery that is good for 500 shots. That noise you hear is Jim Bridger whirling in his grave.

Now there are two ways to view this:
Electra is an amazing step forward in black powder shooting, and deserves to be a monstrous success.

Electra runs counter to the whole idea of using a muzzleloader, where you’re supposed to be using a primitive weapon. Why not have done with it and develop cartridges for the thing?

Which side are you on?


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The muzzleloading deer seasons in most states came to be because of the efforts of buckskinners and traditional muzzleloading rifle shooters. They spent their time and money to lobby the lawmakers to give them a season away from MODERN guns and MODERN hunters.
If you like modern guns then feel free to use them in the modern gun season and stay out of the woods during muzzleloading season.

Mike Diehl

I agree. A narrow special interest group stole a chunk of the season from the general population of hunters by creating an arbitrary restriction on methods of take. And now that others are taking up the same hobby with MLs (albeit in-lines), they're gnashing their teeth because privileged access is being eroded. Cry me a river, babies.


As a deer hunter in Indiana where the rifle is not an option due to laws, I welcome anything that makes the muzzle loader a better hunting tool.


Idaho just outlawed in line ML during the primitive season. What will make or break the CVA is the how many states will call the electronic ignition primitive and allow them. I have mixed emotions about in lines as a primitive, but use one because it will allow me to harvest a deer with less chance of wounding. I do feel that using a single shot make me safer and I use more caution because I have only the one shot.


People using the analogy of traditional bows vs compounds is flawed.
Though a compound bow is easier to learn and shoot, at the end of the day it has the about same effective range as a traditional bow.
Inlines have a much longer effective range than traditional guns.
Basicaly the "traditional" aspect of the season was lost when inlines were allowed. This gun is just one more step in the evolution of todays muzzloading guns. Don't like it, but looks like muzzloading technology will
continue to"improve". (Remember, companies want to sell more rifles than then their competitors)


it is easy to understand why some people feel this weapon does not belong in the primitive season, but its harder to understand how the ver same people can gladly accepts mossy oak polymer stocks, inline designs, shotgun primers, sabots, high power scopes and non-blackpowder preshaped pellets for propellant. either the primitive season should be primitive and we'd all be hunting with kentucky rifles and bp that we created using nitrates collected from our own urine, or lets just call it muzzleloader season and let anything that is loaded from the muzzle pass.

the bottom of the line is that this is a technology breakthrough as huge as the transition from flint to percussion and the sad thing is many hunters do not seem to realise this. it will hardly allow you to bag bigger bucks, but it will create a rifle that goes bang no matter what weather, that will take a fraction of the time to clean, and with a trigger-pull so crisp that it would have costed $500 by itself with conventional technology.

the principle is correct. if cva has engineered it right, this is the beginning of the end for percussion primes. amen.


As a techno guy I don't have any problem with it. I'm not into traditionalism for its own sake. I just want to hunt some game. Looks like it improves load times and ballistics. OK, so where can I get one? Every dealer is sold out!


The folks that say that there is no place for a gun like this I feel aren't thinking things through. I mean, if my Native fore fathers had the compound bow with muzzy broadheads and carbon arrows I know they would have used them. Just like when they were first introduced to the firearm. They stepped up to using them. People that say that improving the muzzleloader by adding an electronic device is rediculous, they are just wrong in my book. People said the same thing about the in lines that use 209 caps, but now they are okay to most and the ones that own them love them. How many people that think this is silly have cell phones? Advancing is a way of life. I feel everyone should take the time to go to the CVA site and watch the video about the Electra. This looks like an awesome gun. I am also considering the game in a way.... With this electric ignition you get a full powder burn which is going to give you a harder hitting bullet which will usually result in a faster kill. It will also help with accuracy because there isn't a delay when you pull the trigger so this in turn will make the shooter more accurate. There are a lot of good things about this rifle and I for one have mine on order!

Kirk of GA.

I think I'll try an Electra. Sounds like a great gun.


What next? Laser beams?

Big John T

I own and hunt with the Electra and it's no more modern than any other inline except you don't have to carry dangerous primers around in your pocket while you hunt. It's a breeze to clean and sweet to shoot. I've done work for ammo manufacturers and know how dangerous a primer is loose in your pocket it can make you a steer...

CVA has a winner here...


Dave in St Pete

Can't use them in Florida during muzzle loader season.


In Ohio we can't use center fire rifles.Shotgun slugs are a poor substitute. I have used my inline muzzleloader during gun season and muzzleloading season. This gun is the next step in the evolution of the muzzleloader. If tradition is so important why not press for a special spear and club season?


What kind of gun did Daniel Boone use when he whet hunting


I like Shot guns and Hand guns!!!!!!!!!!!

Clay Cooper

Electrifying Muzzleloaders: CVA's New Electronic Ignition System?

Not legal in Arkansas, GAME OVER!

I do not trust electronic switches! Electronic switches on a muzzle loader, give me a break! I wonder where those howler monkeys that are hell bent to keep crossbows out of the woods on this one.

Clay Cooper

Big John T
Carrying a primer in the pocket is how dangerous and explain to me how Sir

Clay Cooper

If using a shotgun the next step in the evolution of the muzzleloader, you haven’t checked out the newest line of sabot slugs for shotguns!
Two weekends ago I test fire my new Remington Model 11-87™ Sportsman® ShurShot™ Synthetic Turkey. I dropped a modified choke in and it shot slugs like a rifle. 75 yards and stacked them! Check it out David, time to retool, like I did


I suppose I'm a steer Clay, I've made many a mile with Rem No. 11 percussion cap in my pockets! LMAO!!!
Electronic Muzzleloaders!?
Wonder how Jeremiah (John) Johnson would have fared with an electronic muzzleloader!?
Would I shoot one? At a range, yes, just for the kicks and giggles of saying I had shot one!
Would I hunt with one? I don't think so Scooter! I still carry a "possibles bag"! I don't carry speed loaders, I carry a powder horn, powder measure and fffG black powder!
If it must be loaded with powder and projectile "through" the muzzle, it's a muzzle loader. Muzzle loader has nothing to do with ignition system!

P.S. Clay, come on - "howler monkeys"? LOL!!
BTW - I'll be x-bow hunting this fall!


Hey Bubba that's great news! While I don't bowhunt, I do want more deer killed. There are a lot of folks in our age group who cannot bowhunt in a traditional manner. If this gets more of them in the woods, more power to them.
P.S. I can't think of any handicap that electric muzzleloaders would help.



Hunting in rainy weather is hard with a real front stuffer, bordering on impossible! Keeping everything dry enough to ignite is the ultimate "exercise in futility"!
Used to load my rifle in the house, cap the nipple, and wrap rifle with Saran Wrap, lower hammer gingerly, and go hunting!
Boy, Clay will love this blog, running around with a half-cocked, capped muzzle loader!
If you fired a shot, reloading was tough! One drop of water in the wrong place was/is a disaster!


Dr. Ralph

A friend and I hunted Prentice Cooper Wildlife Management Area for about eight hours one day in the 80's with side lock muzzle loaders in the pouring rain. We drove 120 miles we were going to hunt! Never been there and we were young and dumb so we stalked and walked almost continuously and at the end of the day my friend looked at me and said we were wasting our time these guns won't fire. I had loaded them both since he was a virgin with his gun and we unloaded them BANG BANG just like that. It even surprised me! We kept the hammer down on the cap all day which is a no no but RWS percussion caps and Goex black powder work rain or shine. Pointing your muzzle down at all times helps but to us that is an instinct..


I guess I learned something. I have a traditional TC New Englander. It never occurred to me that I could hunt in a rainstorm. Really not much of a problem. Up here, ML season is in the first half of December and usually we have around one foot of snow.

Clay Cooper

Jeremiah (John) Johnson? One of my favorite movies! One thing about electronic switches, it’s not a question if it fails, it is when it fails! I’ve been around some of the most advanced avionics, military equipment and to include research and development that makes this stuff so primeval and its all hoopla! Electronic ignition? #209 primer works fantastic for me!
Hell, batteries not needed! What happens if you get moisture in it! LMOA!

Clay Cooper

By the way
I’ll be still shooting my Encore 50 cal Magnum 209, while you’re standing there looking stupid and all wet, GAME OVER!

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