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Thread: Poor man's Rook rifle

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



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    Poor man's Rook rifle

    The single shot thread renewed my long standing desire for a Rook Rifle....of course I am retired, disabled and broke so the real thing is out of my league...my choices are limited but I have been thinking about a Handi in .357 (loaded using .38 Specials) with nice walnut (Buffalo Carbine walnut ?) and some good sights.....any ideas on a less expensive choice ??

    rick

    ps 5 grains of Unique and cast SWC

  2. #2
    Boolit Master tacklebury's Avatar
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    .357 Handi's rock. Mine is a cut down to 16.25" long barrel with a 4x32 Mil dot scope on it. Handles well and will put 3 in 1/2" at 50 yards. I do some real slow ones with 148gr. HBWC and 3 gr. Unique. I put a youth stock on it so the wife can shoot it more comfortably too. With 180 gr. Hornady XTP's and a minimum dose of H110 it's a nice little defensive/hunting gun too.


  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I have seen a tutorial on converting an old single barrel shotgun to .38 Special specifically for use as a Rook Rifle.

    You could look for an otherwise good single barrel break action .410 with rusted bore and cutting the barrel off just ahead of the lump bore out the barrel stub and thread it for a .38/.357 barrel.
    This would be a sort of MonoBloc, a method used by some shotgun manufacturers.

    Depending on the diameter at the breech, some .410s being built on a 20 or 12 gauge frame, there might be enough meat at the barrel stub to file it to match an octagon barrel.
    If a replacement barrel is available for that model you could then have a quick change rifle/shotgun.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Can't go wrong with a Handi.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    How about one of the rolling blocks? Look similar to the rook rifles and the .32 rimfire ones are pretty cheap. I dug my hand me down roller out of the back of the safe after reading an article on how to reload for rimfires with an offset .22 blank.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    I will second the suggestion of the Handi. Nothing fancy, but very functional and it does the job very well. I have one in .44 and always on the lookout for a .357 barrel to do the same thing you're thinking.
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I have always like the concept of a rook rifle, too. I have one now that fits the bill. It is an H&R Topper with a straight-grip stock and 20" slim-profile barrel in .22 Hornet. The 1:16" twist makes it very cast bullet friendly too, and it will even shoot my 55 grain 225415 accurately as long as I keep the muzzle velocity above 1800 or so.
    I would like to build an even smaller rook rifle, though. Maybe on a baby rolling block action, if I can find one. Ultra-slim 16" barrel in .32/20, .25/20, or maybe .32 H&R.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Wink Chamber/ barrel insert?

    What about getting a Handi Rifle (or similar) in .20 gauge and a barrel blank (as often available from Numerich arms). Have a machinist turn the barrel blank down to fit into the .20g tube and either thread a tapered endcap at muzzle to center/ tension the insert in the shotgun barrel, or cut a groove for the correct sized O-ring(s). This could be simillar to the "Four-ten-er" inserts of old days, but allow 20g or .38spl use in the same frame...

    Cost effectiveness would depend on initial outlay for the 20g break-action and the reasonableness of the machinist.

    Extraction could be manual (fingernail) if a slight scallop was cut just clearing rim... I've seen old-time "shotgunner's rings" that assisted extracting sticky shotshells (ring with little flat tab to catch rim edge)...

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    The T/C contender is a choice, but it tends to involve you into a sickness of needing more barrels.
    Best,
    Mike

    NRA Life Member
    Remember Ira Hayes

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    Rook

    Appreciate the input. I am hitting the pawn shops for a used walnut stocked Topper..........if I find a good .357 I'll start with that. If a good 20 gauge shows up (much cheaper in my area than a CF) then I am gonna look at an insert in .38 Special......shorten the barrel and work up the sights......or a nice .410 with a .22 Hornet insert with shortened barrel etc.....I'll let y'all know. For now I am working on my Classic Carbine in .45 Colt......

    rick

  11. #11
    Boolit Master 303Guy's Avatar
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    That's given me an idea - talking about an insert for a 12 ga. I've just figured how to do it. Not that I will.
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master The Double D's Avatar
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    Rook rifles are small light rifles in small light calibers. The Handi and TC are kind of big for rook rifles. .38 is also big for a rook cartridge.

    What are guys are discussing are some neat little small game rifles that bear no resemblance to a rook rifle.
    Douglas, Ret.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    Douglas I agree that a TC or Handi are awful large framed for a Rook but unless I can find a Rook for an affordable price then the poor man's option is my only option...course I am kinda dreaming anyway....

    rick

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    You guys are reminding how much I've wanted to have a rifle chambered for the 8mm French pistol cartridge. It's quick and easy to turn 32-20's into the ".33 Special", a nice round for the kinds of things you find living in your deer stand. Once upon a time I put the brain pan coup de gras on a six point buck with it but it's really a small game cartridge.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by The Double D View Post
    Rook rifles are small light rifles in small light calibers. The Handi and TC are kind of big for rook rifles. .38 is also big for a rook cartridge.

    What are guys are discussing are some neat little small game rifles that bear no resemblance to a rook rifle.
    The T/C Encore is a bit large, The Contender is just right.
    Here is a picture of an original rook rifle, a Tranter Little Monarch.
    [IMG]'http://castboolits.gunloads.com/vbimghost.php?do=displayimg&imgid=6133'][/url][/IMG]

    Look familar?
    Best,
    Mike

    NRA Life Member
    Remember Ira Hayes

  16. #16
    Boolit Master




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    Man that is a nice looking rifle.

    Bob
    GUNFIRE! The sound of Freedom!

  17. #17
    Longwood
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    I knew a friend that made one with a shortened barreled, break open 410 by threading in a much shorter, home-made barrel, of a smaller caliber. The rifle ended up with a nice sight plane but a much shorter inner barrel.
    He removed a lot of wood from the fore-end and stock and also milled some metal from the barrel and action by slicing the action then welding it back together.
    If I recall correctly, it was an old, obsolete caliber from a pistol that he had junked, but I am not positive.
    I saw the gun and admired his craftsmanship but I never got a chance to shoot it.
    He said that, off hand, he could shoot better with it than with his Thompson Contender pistols.
    I saw him get 27 of forty, offhand, at a IHMSA match, so that would be good enough for me. I think my highest ever off-hand score was around 15.

  18. #18
    Longwood
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    Quote Originally Posted by Good Cheer View Post
    You guys are reminding how much I've wanted to have a rifle chambered for the 8mm French pistol cartridge. It's quick and easy to turn 32-20's into the ".33 Special", a nice round for the kinds of things you find living in your deer stand. Once upon a time I put the brain pan coup de gras on a six point buck with it but it's really a small game cartridge.
    I like your Avatar!
    What plane is that, and is it under water?
    My guess would be a ME 262 flown by the Japanese.
    Last edited by Longwood; 08-04-2012 at 04:30 PM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longwood View Post
    I like your Avatar!
    What plane is that, and is it under water?
    My guess would be a ME 262 flown by the Japanese.
    It was a fun project from a few years ago, thinking about what the Japanese might have needed to interdict B-29 raids.
    Stand off weaponry to reach into the B-29 turrets' envelope of defensive fire.
    Relatively low wing loading.
    Ventrally mounted RATO.
    Wing drop tanks (not shown).
    The model is basically a modified Kawasaki KI-64.


  20. #20
    Boolit Man WinMike's Avatar
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    I always liked the idea of a rook rifle, even though I haven't shot a crow in 50 years. There's something about shooting a bird with a rifle up into a tree. I guess the Brits didn't care if they winged a peasant (the person, not the bird) if they missed a crow.

    So about 10-15 years ago, when Browning introduced their traditional low wall in .357, I had to have one. While many rook rifles were in .31-33 caliber, I've seen also seen .35 caliber and even .38 references.

    Of course, the low-wall doesn't fit your low-price criteria, but I do like the idea of converting a .410 single-barrel shotgun to an appropriate caliber. Besides .357 & 32-20, one could consider .327 Fed Magnum, which would allow shooting a whole plethora of .32 caliber handgun cartridges.

    Alas, suddenly in the last 10 years .410 shotguns are the hot item. This is especially puzzling to those of us who've owned one or more for many years and have always kind of wondered why we did so...... But I do see that Rossi has a .410 single-barrel shotgun with a $155 list...which means it actually sells for ???$$ less?

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
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