Founded in 1971, CVA started out as a traditional black powder rifle company offering do-it-yourself kits and factory assembled side-lock style muzzleloaders. The product lineup evolved into modern in-line muzzleloader platforms including the .50-cal. premium Accura, mid-priced Optima and entry-level Wolf models. The sturdy design of the modern CVA muzzleloader frame, stock and barrel provide plenty of strength and accuracy for today's center-fire rifle and revolver cartridges. This led to the development of the company's break-action single-shot rifles including the caliber-convertible Apex and the budget-friendly Scout models.
A few years ago, CVA entered the handgun hunting market with the release of the muzzleloading .50-cal. Optima pistol. With a powder capacity of up to 100 grains, the Optima sold so well the company decided to offer center-fire models based on the Scout rifles. This review takes a closer look at one of the latest Scout V2 chamber options, the .223 Rem.
The Scout V2 is a rifle-action single-shot pistol with a hinged barrel that swings open to expose the breech for loading and unloading. Based on a long gun chambered to fire big-bore rounds like the .460 S&W and .45-70 Gov't., this pistol is the definition of properly overbuilt for the .223 Rem. Like other CVA firearms, the Scout is manufactured by Dikar in Bergara, Spain.
The Scout's 416 stainless steel fluted bull barrel is 14" long with a recessed target crown. The barrel is topped with a removable 4.75" long DuraSight Z2 scope rail which accepts Weaver type scope rings.
The pistol's receiver and trigger guard are machined from 416 stainless steel castings. The fore-end and finger-grooved pistol grip are made of black, glass-filled nylon with molded-in diamond checkering. The pistol arrives with a pair of sling swivel studs. One of these studs is designed to take the place of the fore-end screw and will support a Harris-style bipod. The other stud can be twisted into a pre-drilled hole in the base of the grip to allow the Scout to be fitted with a carry strap when both studs are installed.
The styling of the Scout's grip and controls are fully ambidextrous, making this pistol a good choice for both left- and right-handed shooters. The original Scout's action opened via a breeching lever located in front of the trigger guard, like the current Hunter models. The V2 model incorporates the breeching lever into the trigger guard making it easier to operate. Using the lever to open the breech reveals a barrel mounted extractor that presses spent shell casings out just far enough to be removed manually.
The exposed rebounding hammer is single action, meaning, it must be manually cocked for each shot fired. Pulling the smooth-faced, steel bow trigger causes the cocked hammer to fall all the way forward to strike the firing pin. After striking the pin, the hammer automatically bounces back into a half-cock position that prevents the hammer from striking the firing pin if the pistol is accidentally bumped or dropped.
In order to meet the standard of U.S. importation regulations, the Scout V2 has a secondary safety in the form of a small lever mounted to the frame just below the hammer (this is not required for the rifle version of the platform). Rotating this lever to point at the red dot allows the gun to be cocked and fired. Switching the lever to the white dot (Safe) blocks the hammer from cycling but the action can still be opened to remove or load ammunition into the chamber. Although the safety operates as intended and does not interfere with the operation of the gun, it's definitely a superfluous feature for a single shot like this one.
Although the scope rail will support a variety of magnified and unmagnified handgun optics, I chose to use the same Konus SightPro Atomic 2.0 Pro Dot sight offered as part of some CVA packages. Thanks to its compact size, its light 3.8 oz. weight and tough aluminum housing, the 20mm SightPro is a good fit for a variety of platforms. The 4 MOA dot is powered by one CR2032 battery and can be illuminated in red or green at five different levels of brightness. The integral mounting clamp fits comfortably on standard Weaver style bases and this one kept the optic zeroed throughout the testing process.
I spent an enjoyable afternoon working with the Scout at the shooting range. Thanks to the gun's 5 lbs. 6 oz. weight, the recoil was comfortably low and manageable. Although some time was dedicated to firing this heavy barreled single-shot from a two-handed standing position, it spent most of its time comfortably tucked into a Hyskore adjustable #30207 Rapid Fire shooting rest.
The overall fit and finish of the pistol was very good with the polymer and metallic components slotted together properly. The action snapped shut tightly and would swing open easily when the breeching lever trigger guard was pressed. When the pistol was held out of the bench rest the barrel would drop fully open without any assistance. The single-action trigger exhibited a short, crisp break with only 2 lbs. 15 oz. of trigger pull.
The barrel is stamped .223 Rem., so I avoided firing any 5.56 NATO ammunition. All of the test ammunition, from bulk-box practice loads up to and including premium hunting rounds, fed, fired, and extracted without any malfunctions or problems. Because this is a hunting handgun, it seemed appropriate to conduct the five-shot group accuracy testing with loads designed specifically for that purpose.
With the targets set at 25 yards, Federal's new American Eagle Varmint & Predator 50-gr. hollow points turned in a best single group of 0.81" with a five group average of 0.84". Federal Premium 43-gr. Speer TNT Green polymer tip rounds produced a best group of 0.65" with an average of 0.72". The Winchester Ballistic Silvertip 55-gr. fragmenting polymer tip load yielded a best single group of 0.79" with an average of 0.88".
CVA has spent the last four and a half decades working its way up to become one of the top muzzleloader brands in the United States. Their commitment to quality at fair prices has rubbed off on their single-shot cartridge guns as well. For those who would like to get into handgun hunting or benchrest target shooting without spending a fortune to do so, the Scout V2 is well worth considering. If the .223 Rem. cartridge is not what you have in mind, the Scout V2 pistol is also available chambered in .357 Mag., .44 Mag., .243 Win. and 300 BLK. Like other CVA offerings, this gun is sold with a limited lifetime warranty.