First impression of my new CVA Cascade 450BM UPDATE

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First impression of my new CVA Cascade 450BM UPDATE

Postby RBDMTJager » Sun Sep 04, 2022 6:49 pm

Felt I should add an update now that I have completed load development for my New CVA Cascade.
I am absolutely and completely 100% satisfied in every way with this rifle. All but one of my reloads produced SUB-MOA accuracy (and that one was a BARELY over MOA at 1.1) and in all this rifle and my reloads produced seven SUB-MAO 100 yard groups, two were SUB .5" MOA and all 3-shot 100 yard group were under .7" MOA. This rifle lived up to it's manufactures claims of a MOA rifle, admittedly I was shooting reloads but regardless this rifle produced IMO for a 100% factory mass manufactured bolt rifle excellent accuracy.

For right handed shooters looking for an excellent bolt action rifle in 450 Bushmaster I can not recommend it strongly enough.

Picked up my new CVA Cascade Friday from my LGS who ordered it only five days ago for me.
This cascade is the one that is featured in Flat Dark Earth Cerakote and the stock is the Veil Wideland camo pattern. I looked long far and wide for the cheaper blued finish and black synthetic stock, but but the few I found in stock were so close in price (+/- $100) to the model I bought I figured the weather resistant finish was worth the extra few bucks.

I wanted a rifle caliber that was legal to use on public land in IN, IL,OH, MI, and WI. I already have fully rifled 12ga slug rifles but sabot ammo went up from $10-$12 last time I bought it to $22-$25 currently. And I have shot 95% of all 12ga sabot ammo ever produced and I can tell you accuracy can and DOES vary greatly ammo type to ammo type and also within each makers sabot ammo from lot# to lot#. What one does is buy a few boxes of sabot ammo, confirm it has the accuracy standards you want then ASAP, same day if possible go buy all of that particular lot# as the LGS has or you can afford. Actually a lot like 22lr match ammo selection process. I distinctly recall how costly finding an optimal performing sabot ammo at 100 yards for my favorite two of my three slug guns then once that was accomplished confirming accuracy and performance to 200-250 yards was to financially painful for me to even consider remembering.

I had amassed enough money in Cabela's points and Discover card points to cover the cost of all the dies, bullets', brass, powder, as well as 90% of the rifle cost. I already had a VariX-II and several sets of 1" med Warne horizontal split rings available, so I was able to make all the needed purchases with only having to spend less than $100 out actual of pocket cash.

When I began looking for a rifle in 450BM I had to choose between a bolt gun or single shot. The worst experience I have ever had while hunting occurred some 23 years ago due to a single shot slug gun made me swear off all single shot rifles save for my muzzleloaders FOREVER. So awful was this experience it still pains me to this day when ever I recall it. So I decided despite the significant cost savings of a single shot I would opt instead for a bolt gun.

My options for bolt guns in my price range that were easy to find and currently in stock and available were:
Ruger American Rifle
Mossberg Patriot
Savage 110 Apex Hunter
Savage Engauge Hunter XP
CVA Cascade
All others were either out of my price range or just weren't available for purchase at this time.

I had an opportunity to handle and evaluate all of the above rifles at different LGS's but only the Ruger was both in 450 BM and available FS OTC the rest were models in calibers other than 450BM and If I wanted one of the others in 450BM, I would have to order it. My issue was I found the CVA Cascade just to be an overall better rifle than the others in every way important TO ME in terms of fit and finish and found the stocks of the other three lacked the rock like rigidity and flexed significantly more than the CVA's and to make the choice even easier this particular LGS could get me the CVA at a price within $100-$125 of the others and I wouldn't have to pay shipping or a FFL XFR fee, only tax. If I could have gotten a Savage in 450BM with a Accustock within my price range, without doubt I would have bought it because I have a Savage FP-10 in 308 and absolutely love the Accustock. I discounted the Mossberg patriot as after watching a mind numbing amount of reviews it was my opinion based on MANY both video and print reviews if you buy a Mossberg patriot you either get a great gun or a tomato stake and considering I would have to order one on line, dealing with a problem rifle would've been quite difficult to say the least.

The stocks on the RARR, Apex and Engauge flex an unacceptable amount similar to my factory synthetic stocked M700 that was a literal tack driver UNLESS you stressed the stock while using the sling to steady the rifle and your POI would shift noticeably, and using my rifle sling to steady my shooting is of major importance to my style of shooting form. Solving that issue cost me a fair sum of money buying an HS-Precision AM stock for the M700. I didn't want to have to go through the with the 450BM.
I wanted to buy a rifle, scope it and do my load development and do no aftermarket modifications to it to make it acceptable to me.

So I ordered a Cascade. Unfortunately my LGS couldn't locate a blued steel plane black synthetic stock (neither could I) in stock which would've got the cost down so close to the savage the difference in cost would've been insignificant.

First I would like to commend CVA on including a very good owners manual that give detailed easy to read instructions on how to clean and maintain the rifle, brake in the barrel, disassemble/re-assemble the bolt and if as like me you wish to remove the barreled action from the stock to inspect when new or other reasons, they include the inch-pounds to torque the action screws to once you place the barreled action back into the stock. I would also like to commend CVA for using a well made sturdy box to house and ship their rifle in. It gave very good padded protection and the rifle, bolt, and owners manual all came in their own separate plastic bags.

I did remove the barreled action and gave the entire surface of the barrel and receiver a very close going over. I found no imperfections or left over tooling marks anywhere. Found no areas of unneeded lubrication or foreign substances anywhere. The Cerakote finish is also very well done and was blemish free. I removed the knurled protective end cap of the threaded muzzle and found the threads well done and in perfect condition. I suspect the end cap is why the rifle has not a recessed crowned muzzle. There is a red collared indicator to let you know safety is off. The safety is easily accessible and has a positive feel, but its click when pushed to off is a little louder than I'd like. Also really wish when the gun was on safe it also locked the bolt in place like on my Savage and Tikka's.

The stock is very rigid had no perceivable flex to it and I found no issues or imperfections with it either on the outside or in the channel where the action attaches and the area beneath thr free floated barrel. The gap on either side of the barrel from free floating of same was IMO just the correct amount and the gap maintained evenness its entire length from the forearm tip to where it met the receiver. Using a dollar bill confirmed the barrel is completely free floated for it's entire length to where it screws into the receiver. Very much liked the over all feel of the stock and it fit me quite well, recoil pad seams like it should help to mitigate felt recoil, but recoil is a non-factor for me. The camo finish is quite well done has no imperfections and I found it to be much more appealing to my eye than I thought it would be. The checkering on the pistol grip and forearm is about right and lends itself well to gripping the firearm. The studs in the stock for attaching a sling and bipod are well anchored and seam very sturdy, didn't move when I applied moderate rotational force to them and I have no worries of them pulling out. I then replaced the barreled action back into the stock set the action screws to the inch-pounds per owners manual recommendations.

The near 100% polymer detachable magazine seams well made and go's in and out smoothly with little effort and no binding. The button for releasing the mag is recessed far enough into the stock that there is very little or risk of ever accidentally hitting it and causing the mag to drop out unexpectedly.

The trigger is adjustable for weight of pull and the owners manual claims it comes set at 3lbs from the factory. I dry fired it multiple times and I would agree it seamed very light indeed and decided to leave it as is. One of two criticisms of the trigger in it does have a perceivable amount of trigger creep all be it small before it fires the gun but not enough to be an issue also a larger negative IMO, you per the owners manual have to remove the barreled action from the stock to adjust the trigger, where as my Tikka's, Savages and even my 12ga A-Bolt you do not.

The scope bases that come with it are very functional and I chose to use them, can't really beat free. I did remove them, clean both the bases the screws and holes, applied thread locking gel to the screws when I re-installed the basses torqued them to 30 inch-pounds. I highly recommend doing this with all bases and screws as yes both the bases, screws and holes in the receiver showed they were indeed dirty and in need of a proper cleaning to insure the screws never came loose once locking gel was applied and screws torqued in place.

Now I decided to clean the barrel. Started by first saturating the bore with Sharp Shoot-R Accelerator then filled the barrel with Wipe-Out foaming bore cleaner and let sit for 1.75 hours. the few patches I pushed through showed both considerable copper and carbon fouling. Did a repeat with the Accelerator and Wipe-Out and let soak for 8 hours. Pushed six patches through and although the sixth one was pretty clean I did a third soaking lest sit two hours and the sixth patch came out over 95% clean so I called the barrel good. Finished by cleaning the receiver and chamber till patches were white. Piece of advise its always a much better idea to FIRST clean the chamber and receiver BEFORE you clean the barrel.

Now I mounted a scope on it. Used the only suitable one I had available. A Leupold VariX-II 4-12x40mm. Would have preferred a scope with a less powerful low end magnification like 2x but I used what I had. Used medium Warne horizontal split ring I already had on hand. Did first clean and de-grease all ring screws and holes.
Once scope was installed max eye relief was set at 12x and reticle plumb to the receiver tightened all ring screws to 20 inch-pounds.

I then set about creating 40 reloaded cartridges for it. I took every one loaded them into the magazine and cycled the action to load the eject the rounds. Did it with both a full magazine of three rounds and a single round. All rounds feed and ejected without issue's. I always test feed and eject all my rifle reloads. I can not yet speak to how well it ejects fired cases, that I will find out tomorrow at the range.

That concludes my evaluation of my new CVA Cascade rifle.

Over all my opinion for the CVA Cascade is I am very satisfied with my purchase. I will give it 4.5 of 5 stars as because of the slight trigger creep, loud click when you engage or disengage the safety, the bolt doesn't lock in place on safe, and you have to remove the barreled action to adjust the trigger. But the overall fit finish and thus far function was very good and even though IMO it was slightly over priced I still felt it was a bargain given current conditions and the popularity of the 450BM at (rounded up) $649.00 OTD.

Now I fervently hope tomorrow it shoots as good as it looks.
Will report back with what it does at the range tomorrow.
Last edited by RBDMTJager on Tue Oct 04, 2022 8:44 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: First impression of my new CVA Cascade 450BM

Postby Al in Mi » Mon Sep 05, 2022 6:08 am

Very independent review, thanks!

Good to see some people clean barrels on new guns. Can't tell you how many times I've seen a gut buy a new rifle and shoot it before cleaning that factory gunk out.
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Re: First impression of my new CVA Cascade 450BM

Postby Hoot » Mon Sep 05, 2022 8:28 am

Excellent, thorough review. Well Done! Image

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Re: First impression of my new CVA Cascade 450BM

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Mon Sep 05, 2022 9:47 am

Sounds like a keeper to me. Would enjoy a picture of the rifle.
I don’t know if Howa makes a 450Bushmaster but I love my Howa1500 in 6.5CM.
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Re: First impression of my new CVA Cascade 450BM

Postby RBDMTJager » Thu Sep 22, 2022 9:53 am

Al in Mi wrote:Very independent review, thanks!

Good to see some people clean barrels on new guns. Can't tell you how many times I've seen a gut buy a new rifle and shoot it before cleaning that factory gunk out.
I have never fired a firearm without first giving it a compete cleaning.
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Re: First impression of my new CVA Cascade 450BM UPDATE

Postby Flgrizzy97 » Sun Jan 22, 2023 8:13 pm

I know this is an older post but,..... THANK YOU for a FANTASTICALLY honest and unbiased review !!!
I JUST picked up my CVA Cascade in 450BM. (01-19-23). After scouring the internet reviews of many manufacturers and models, I got to handle the Ruger and CVA at my LGS.... the CVA "just felt right" . I'm setting it up with a one piece from Talley, Vortex Pro rings and a Vortex Diamondback HP 3-12x42. (higher power than I "need" but, the lower power is about right and the side focus / parallax adj. along with price was too good to pass up. If anyone is looking for extra magazines (tough to find and or at a price that's "reasonable", CVA (BPI Outdoors) Has them IN STOCK right now for 25.00 + shipping.
Leaving my AR platform 450BM was tough because it shoots Sub MOA but, I'm tired of not being able to use it in AR Restricted States !!! (Sale coming up :D ) ... Anyway, I can't wait to go shoot this great feeling rifle !!!!!!
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Re: First impression of my new CVA Cascade 450BM UPDATE

Postby Smithjdsr » Sun Jan 29, 2023 8:23 pm

Great review. Very well done.

I got one for my daughter. I haven’t actually tried driving tacks with it (not sure you’d ever find a piece of the tack after a Thumper bullet hit it square on the head) but I’m sure you could…. She loves it. For her, the option for a shorter pull was a must. She filled her first two deer tags ever with it this year- within about 45 minutes of each other. If I didn’t love my Ruger American w/GoWild so much…

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Re: First impression of my new CVA Cascade 450BM UPDATE

Postby Flgrizzy97 » Tue Jan 31, 2023 4:58 am

Congrats to her !!! That is AWESOME !
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