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Thread: Poor man's Rook rifle

  1. #101
    Boolit Master
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    I am going with a long barrel and plan to use a heavy bullet and the smallest powder charge to keep the noise level as low as I can. Would the 38S&W with the larger bore be the better choice for low noise loads?

  2. #102
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIMPINGJ View Post
    I am going with a long barrel and plan to use a heavy bullet and the smallest powder charge to keep the noise level as low as I can. Would the 38S&W with the larger bore be the better choice for low noise loads?
    I think with a 24" or longer barrel shooting the Accurate 36-190T bullet with 2 grains of Bullseye or Titegroup you will get about 800-850 fps and have a noise level like shooting Eley Tenex from a .22 boltgun of the same length. With mine I went with a 1:10" twist barrel to stabilize the heavy bullet at low velocity. Factory 146-grain LRN should be mild and accurate too.

    I base the above on having fired factory .38 Special wadcutters in several rifles: a 24" Marlin Cowboy II, a BSA-Martini Cadet and an H&R which John Taylor fitted with Green Mountain 1:20" twist barrel. The .38 wadcutter has similar bullet weight to .38 S&W, slightly heavier powder charge and higher velocity, about 900 fps in a rifle. The .38 S&W will use 30% less powder and be about 100 fps slower, so should be noticeably quieter than .38 Special wadcutter from a rifle, which you can shoot comfortably without ear protection.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 01-07-2018 at 07:23 PM.
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  3. #103
    Boolit Master


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    Sounds like a sweet rifle Outpost. Let us know how it does.


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  4. #104
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    A rook is the pommie term for a crow or a raven ,rook rifles were intended for shooting rook or crows nests and destroying the nest and any eggs therewithin .
    Any =thing over .300 is not considered a rook caliber .

  5. #105
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigEyeBob View Post
    A rook is the pommie term for a crow or a raven ,rook rifles were intended for shooting rook or crows nests and destroying the nest and any eggs therewithin .
    Any =thing over .300 is not considered a rook caliber .
    Then my .360 No. 5 was called a "Rook Rifle" by its maker only as a ruse to disguise the fact that gentlemen were buying them in this calibre for the purpose of poaching the King's deer?
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by LIMPINGJ View Post
    I am going with a long barrel and plan to use a heavy bullet and the smallest powder charge to keep the noise level as low as I can. Would the 38S&W with the larger bore be the better choice for low noise loads?
    Could you not just short chamber a 38 Special and cut the rim recess separately if necessary depending on your rifle of choice? This would allow an unlimited readily available supply of brass.
    A light loaded 38 Special would do the same thing anyway without the need to shorten the brass casings.

  7. #107
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    I just won a miniature action Comblain rook rifle on gunbroker on Friday.
    The seller claims the bore size is close to 38 cal. but didn't know the exact caliber.
    When I get it I will do a chamber cast and go from there but glad it is a larger bore size.

    Jedman

  8. #108
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue2 View Post
    Could you not just short chamber a 38 Special and cut the rim recess separately if necessary depending on your rifle of choice? This would allow an unlimited readily available supply of brass.
    A light loaded 38 Special would do the same thing anyway without the need to shorten the brass casings.
    I have found based on shooting .38 Special in rifles that powder positioning does cause changes in elevation and vertical stringing at 100 yards unless you have a bulky powder, like Red Dot or Trail Boss which fills the case better.

    Modern R-P and W-W .38 S&W brass will fit and seat fully into "some" .38/.357 chambers, such as in my .357 Mag. Ruger Speed Six and Vaquero, but Fiocchi, Starline, older WRA, Peters, Kynoch and FN do not and stop about 1/8" short due to their larger diameter ahead of the rim.
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  9. #109
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedman View Post
    I just won a miniature action Comblain rook rifle on gunbroker on Friday.
    The seller claims the bore size is close to 38 cal. but didn't know the exact caliber.
    When I get it I will do a chamber cast and go from there but glad it is a larger bore size.

    Jedman
    Probably either a .380 Rook (outside lubricated) or a .360 No.5 (inside lubricated), dimensionally similar to the .38 Long Colt

    Attachment 211304

    9.8 x 24R : ; .380 Long Revolver CF & .380 Rook Rifle
    Reference: White, H P & Munhall, B D & Bearse, R : 1967 : Centerfire Pistol and Revolver Cartridges : Thomas Yoseloff Ltd : Vol II : pp 68-69: Description: introduced c. 1870 as a small game cartridge, this rook and rabbit round was probably also intended for shooting park deer. It soon became popular also as a civilian pocket revolver cartridge, and may have inspired the development of the .38 Long Colt, which uses a case of the same head dimensions, but slightly longer. As an outside lubricated cartridge, it gradually lost favour in the face of more modern inside lubricated pistol rounds such as the .38 Smith & Wesson.

    The 360 No.5 Rook, also called .360-18-125 Revolver was introduced in 1875 and was produced until the mid 1940s. It was used in the Webley "Express" revolver and the Charlies Lancaster Single-Shot Rifle.

    Attachment 211302
    Last edited by Outpost75; 01-07-2018 at 07:24 PM.
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  10. #110
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    I have, and have had, a number of .32 and .38 caliber 'rook type' rifles, and I can't say either one has any advantage over the other in usage, and it comes down to personal preference unless you're planning to do something beyond the scope of what most folks employ rook rifles for. One of my most effective uses a .32 S&W case and a round ball over charges that don't generally exceed one grain of powder. I think my next project will be chambered for the .38 short colt.

    I look forward to hearing more about that 'miniature' comblain rifle.
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  11. #111
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buckshot Bill View Post
    a good .38 is hard to beat for a modern rook rifle cartridge. I like it better than a .32. I bet a little .38 S&W would be a nice little thumper and would opt for it over a .32 personally.


    Outpost have you considered shortening .38 spec brass to achieve your goal in a standard .38 spec or .357 chamber?

    I've shot .38 Special extensively in a Martini Cadet and also in a small-frame H&R which John Taylor fitted a Green Mountain barrel to. Using the SAAMI-dimensioned .38 Special chamber with 15 degrees Basic mouth shoulder, jumping bullets from shorter cases past the free length of the .379" diameter .38 Special chamber is not conducive to anything resembling normal accuracy. To get acceptable target accuracy from short cases jumping bullets in the .38 Special, I would use the ".38 AMU" chamber, which has a very gradual 1 degree, 45 minutes Basic transition from the .379" case mouth diameter into the origin of rifling, with no shoulder or ball seat. A Ruger No. 1 California Highway Patrol Commemorative rifle in .357 Magnum, throated with such a reamer, shot 2-inch, 50-yard groups with good .38 Special wadcutters.

    Attachment 211320

    With very light, slow loads the excess free airspace of the .38 Special case precludes shooting small groups in the 2" range at 100 yards unless the powder is positioned. Also the slow twist of .38 Special barrels, typically 1:18-3/4" or 1:20" does not adequately stabilize heavier bullets over 180-grains at low subsonic velocities unless the bullet is quite short and blunt for its weight. Best results in my BSA-Martini Cadet in .38 Special with 6X Unertl scope is just over 2" average for a series of 5-shot groups with Hunter's Supply 190-grain FN similar to the Accurate 36-185E, using 4.2 grains of Bullseye for 1040 fps.

    Attachment 211319

    Powder must be positioned or vertical dispersion doubles. Holes in target paper do show slight yaw.



    That is my reasoning for the 1:10" twist 9mm barrel and .38 S&W case.
    Last edited by Outpost75; 01-07-2018 at 07:35 PM.
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  12. #112
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    My Rossi shoots inside 2" @ 100 yards but I am basically using .38 spec loads in .357 mag cases to avoid any jump. One of them I even seated the bullets out to 1.692" OAL. It increased accuracy slightly but not really enough to justify having a rifle specific load that wouldn't fit in other guns. The factory barrel is a 1:30. The rebarreled one I have not stretched out that far yet has a 1:16"
    Last edited by Buckshot Bill; 01-07-2018 at 08:52 PM.

  13. #113
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    If you can get hold of Colin Greenwoods book on rook and rabbit rifles ,he states what I wrote . I have a Small frame Martin by the maker T Andrews in 380Rook ,which by all measurements on thebore is actually a 360#2.Also a belgian made Martini in 300Sherwood wit a 312 groove diameter. Nothing is guaranteed.
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  14. #114
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    NoZombies, There was a bidder on that miniature Comblain rook rifle I won with the same name
    "NoZombies" I thought it might be you as being the same screen name ?
    I have been in the market for a Comblain rifle or carbine for at least 5 years now. I have missed out on the military rifles many times on online auction sites by just a few dollars, also there was one here in OH on Armslist that I seen a day late .
    I have never had a Comblain in my hands but the sheer " cool factor " of the action just has been something that has made me lose sleep over.
    This miniature action really has me excited as to what it will look like in my hands !
    I have been collecting unique single shot rifles and especially antique falling blocks for years and this Comblain has got to be the most wanted ( In my mind ) of any I have seen yet.
    Problem is the timing is terrible with getting it shipped to me and my previous plans to be out of town for the next couple weeks. I will have to wait weeks before I can see it !!!
    **** !

    Jedman

  15. #115
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jedman View Post
    NoZombies, There was a bidder on that miniature Comblain rook rifle I won with the same name
    "NoZombies" I thought it might be you as being the same screen name ?
    I have been in the market for a Comblain rifle or carbine for at least 5 years now. I have missed out on the military rifles many times on online auction sites by just a few dollars, also there was one here in OH on Armslist that I seen a day late .
    I have never had a Comblain in my hands but the sheer " cool factor " of the action just has been something that has made me lose sleep over.
    This miniature action really has me excited as to what it will look like in my hands !
    I have been collecting unique single shot rifles and especially antique falling blocks for years and this Comblain has got to be the most wanted ( In my mind ) of any I have seen yet.
    Problem is the timing is terrible with getting it shipped to me and my previous plans to be out of town for the next couple weeks. I will have to wait weeks before I can see it !!!
    **** !

    Jedman
    That was me bidding in the auction, I wanted the rifle, but timing for me cash-flow wise meant that I couldn't hang till the end. I was high bidder for quite a while and I was hoping it would fly under the radar and I'd snag it for a price I could justify, but in the last couple of days the view count and bidding started taking off as expected. I think you still got a great deal on the rifle and I hope you enjoy it!
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  16. #116
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
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    Thanks for being a good sport ! I am really in the mood to thin the herd so to speak as I have so many rifles I can't remember them all but my current love affair with single shots wount let me not buy them if I can get them at a reasonable price.
    As far as a rook rifle , I guess I have plenty that could loosely be considered a candidate.
    I have several BSA Martini cadets in 310 a Greener TD Martini in 32 cal. wildcat, a old Stevens tip up I rebarreled in 38 SPL. and a truck load of handi rifles.
    Here in OH , ANY centerfire .357 or larger in a straight walled case is deer season legal.
    If the Comblain turns out to be a shooter I will try for a deer with it.

    Jedman

  17. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by jumbeaux View Post
    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
    5g. Of Unique in a .38 Spl. Is over the current listed max. load by 0.3g. Should clock over 1000 FPS in a 20” barrel.


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  18. #118
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    I got the rook rifle covered I have double rifle in 300 sherwood and I have a Brno 222 being rebarreled to 300 sherwood that I have a 1 1/2 Unertel for.

  19. #119
    Quote Originally Posted by LIMPINGJ View Post
    Just when I think I have decided what to tell John to convert my Yildiz 410 to y’all have to bring up another chambering. I was going with 32S&W Long but y’all have me interested in the 38S&W now. I don’t have a revolver in either chambering so will only be using in the converted Yildiz for low noise plinking and small to medium game. I think it was Nobade and Outpost75 that have mentioned use of the 32S&W Long in conversions they have done but what about the 38S&W? Brass from Starline is about the same price for both and I’ll need to get dies and a mold so does anyone see an advantage for either chambering or just a personal preference thing?
    Thanks
    The question is why the .38&W rather than .38 Special? It ought to have a larger diameter bullet, and barrel liners or blanks are hard to get. I don't know if the standard brass and dies would grip a .357 bullet, and you never know what the situation on supply of brass is going to be in future years. Those are heavy disadvantages to stack against the larger airspace of the .38 Special.

    The 9mm. Federal would be a good alternative if you are able and willing to lay in a large supply of brass, because that one is undoubtedly dead or dying. It is basically a rimmed 9mm. Parabellum, with dire warnings against firing it in a .38S&W revolver, as you so easily could. So I expect the brass is more durable.

    Whatever you use, it would make sense to have a bullet with a rather elongated round nose, as was often used in revolvers, including the British service version of the .38S&W, before Elmer Keith changed the fashion. In a rifle all these cartridges are likely to be rather quieter than in a revolver.

    In the UK it is important to remember the difference between rooks and crows. Rooks are pretty harmless, but crows will prey on anything small and edible, and are about as clever as birds get. I have a friend who holds or used to hold a British varmint-class benchrest record, a ten-shot group of about four inches at a thousand yards. On his farm the crows will fly when your car window goes down at 400. On a neighbouring farm they will only do it at shotgun range, and at 100 they would thumb their noses at you if they had thumbs. On the castle green in town they will walk up to a few yards and look hypnotically at your sandwich, and they are probably the same crows. So there has barely even been such a thing as a crow rifle.

  20. #120
    Boolit Master
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    When assembling very light .38 Special loads for my revolvers, as light as 1 gr of Bullseye behind a round ball, I always took a piece of cigarette paper and pushed it into the case over the charge using a dowel rod. I kept the loaded rounds base down in a portioned box till ready to shoot. The paper held the light charge close to the flash hole for best ignition. Never saw any sign of the paper after firing, but when ever any over the charge insert is used one must be sure nothing is left smoldering in dry grass.

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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
GC Gas Check