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?