Made A Side Plate For CVA A Muzzleloader

gun build 1 side plateOne of the other things I was missing from my CVA kit was a side plate. So I made one!

To start off with I went through my Track Of The Wolf catalog until I found a side plate I liked. Handily, their parts have life sized pictures.  Then I traced over the side plate and used carbon paper to transfer its outline to a piece of paper.

After I had a good outline that seemed to fit well on the stock I cut it out of a piece of steel then started grinding to a closer fit. In the picture here the plate is still a bit too big. After I drilled the holes in the plate I further trimmed it some to make it fit nicely.

I choose to use steel over the traditional brass for one main reason. I didn’t have any sheets of brass laying around, but I did have steel laying around. Some guns were actually build using steel hardware so its actually not fully incorrect historically. Most importantly, it was good practice for me in building a plate that is the proper size.

Screw Driver for Gun Screws

Chapman_screw_driverMany times I have worked on one of my guns and had a tight screw… Often times that goes bad and I end up messing up a the screw and have an ugly head to look at there after. Other times I get my impact driver out which sometimes works, but once I broke a bit doing that.

Well, my problem is that my screwdrivers have slanted edges, but the screw’s head is a straight slot. After doing some looking around online I found the Chapman 9600 Gunsmith Screwdriver kit. It has bits in it that have straight edges instead of the slanted edges found on most screw drivers.


Another nice feature in this Chapman set is their midget wrench which supposedly allows you to apply up to 200 lbs of torque. According to the instructions those 200 lbs is enough force to break some of the bits in the set. They also included a nice chart of showing each bit and at what torque each bit breaks.

All in all I was very impressed with the kit and how much thought the Chapman company seemed to put into their product. I tried it on one of my screws on my Siler lock and it seemed to work well.

Will A Small Siler Lock Replace A CVA Lock?

20150303_182733Recently, I picked up an old project. Building an old kit gun from CVA! The kit was only partially complete–one of the missing pieces was the lock.

While researching more custom gun kits I have come across the Siler lock. I really wanted to put that lock on this gun, but its fit was doubtful given that the stock was pre-inlet for a CVA lock.

Well, despite the questions of fit I decided to give it try. Turns out the lock is a bit longer, but its not as wide. This leaves a little gap both above and below the lock. Not good…however, the lesson learned is the Siler lock that comes with a rectangle lock plate would have worked¬† with some cutting of the plate. On the other hand if I am able to patch in some wood in the gap area and make it look decent I think it might be nice having a standard Small Siler lock in place.