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Thread: Poor man's Rook rifle

  1. #81
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajjohns View Post
    We have a 50's? era Stevens single shot 410. It also had a 30-30 barrel for it and then Dad had a 22 Jet barrel for it. The 410 barrel and 30-30 barrel are still around but the Jet barrel is mia. My brother may have it or something but Dad said the Jet barrel was really fun to play with for small game around the woods. And really economical to load for.
    Sounds like a Savage 219. Stevens never made anything like that. That's not to say someone didn't cobble 219 barrels onto a Stevens receiver. I suppose that's possible. .22Jet? perhaps someone re-chambered a 219 .22 Hornet barrel. The Jet was never offered in that series.

  2. #82
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    I have been struck by the large size of the English rook rifle rounds and it leads me to believe that they were black powder cartridges. Big slow moving rounds are the specialty of the black powder discipline and it would appear to me that something on the order of a .32 in round ball on a straight wall cartridge case with a small charge of black powder would be perfect for this application. It could be a real tack driver with very limted range. I would think a load of about 5-6 grns of bp would work.

    After a bit if Googling it appears that it might be able to also shoot 8MM airsoft ammo.

    I shoot .457 round ball in my BC with as little as 10-15 grns black and it is silent but will go 100 yards with good accuracy. Those who have shot it swear that it is a misfire, it is that quiet.

    I highly recommend round ball. Every rifle made will shoot it well, slow to fast.
    Last edited by Texantothecore; 06-12-2013 at 11:40 AM.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnoahhh View Post
    Sounds like a Savage 219. Stevens never made anything like that. That's not to say someone didn't cobble 219 barrels onto a Stevens receiver. I suppose that's possible. .22Jet? perhaps someone re-chambered a 219 .22 Hornet barrel. The Jet was never offered in that series.
    Boy you're probably right, I think it was Savage now that you say it. Been awhile since the guns been in my hands. Dad still uses it in 410 to get rid of his pests. Though it's been even longer since I've saw the Jet barrel all I remember was seeing the chambering name on the barrel and that's about it. When I started handloading, I remember seeing all the "stuff" for reloading the Jet. I always thought it was a cute looking little round. But Dad went back to just using his old 22lr and quit doing anything at all with the Jet.

  4. #84
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    I know the .38 S&W is larger diameter than .38 Special. It is just right for .360 RB with a 9mm/.357 bore as the slightly oversize ball easily swages down to a tighter fit. I can use those balls in a .38 Special or .357 case but their capacity is much too large for my purpose. I seat the balls deep in the case for a compressed load of Red Dot but there isn't an easy way to keep them from shifting forward during handling. I guess I could run the loaded cartridge into a die that swaged the neck forward of the ball down small enough to hold the ball in place but it seems a lot of trouble..

    The 38 S&W case is just the right capacity for both light subsonic RB loads and higher velocity loads up to about 1800 fps all at approximately 100% load density and with the ball held in place by a crimp just forward of the equator.

  5. #85
    Boolit Master Good Cheer's Avatar
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    Reading this thread reeeally makes me want a fast twist .36 caliber flintlock.

  6. #86
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAGTIC View Post
    I know the .38 S&W ....]much too large[/B] for my purpose. I seat the balls deep in l
    The 38 S&W case is just the right capacity for both light subsonic RB loads and higher velocity loads.
    My. 360 No. 5 has a .366 groove diameter. I use .38 S&W brass with Remington 148-grain HBWC bullet seated out to 1.20" overall, with 3 grains of Bullseye. Shoots to original sights and 2-inch groups with iron sights at 50 yards.

  7. #87
    There is a baby snider that would fit the bill to a tee

  8. #88
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    As FYI for the group, John Taylor now has a .38 S&W reamer with 3 degrees Basic forcing cone angle from .363" major diameter with no cylindrical ball seat. Plan is to use Green Mountain 1:10" twist 9mm Parabellum "Gunsmith Special" blank, fit, chamber and taper to fit original fore-end wood of pre-WW1 .44/.410 small frame H&R. Looking at finished barrel length of 20" and weight 4-1/2 pounds with muzzle diameter 0.70" so will hang well in standing position.

    Should be quite mild with factory 146-grain LRN .38 S&W and Colt New Police, but plan is that the fast twist barrel will stabilize Accurate 36-190T flatnosed bullet at lowest velociy which exits barrel, figuring a 600 fps revolver load will be no more than 800 fps in a rifle, but hit hard with low noise, not requiring a "can".

    Gun is in John's work que...
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  9. #89
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    This is a great thread to be revived. I'm still a fan of the various versions of American rook rifles, and the only hunting I've done in the last year or so has been for small game, using just such guns. I'm planning to revisit some of my dusty projects in the next few months if I can as well.
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  10. #90
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    I plan on picking up a Yildiz folding 410 this month when I am in OK as there is a Academy store there and converting it to a smaller bore light rifle.
    Right now I have a 1885 win high wall in 45-70 that I shoot pests in my yard with shooting what I call jelly beans. I have hundreds of .490 round balls from muzzleloading and I made a push thru die with a length of 7/8 X 14 all thread drilled thru and reamed with a large taper pin reamer.
    After pushing a .490 RB thru they come out about .460 and slightly egg shaped.
    Loaded in a unsized fired 45-70 case on top of 3 -4 grs. of pistol powder the "jelly bean " slug slides down in to the case about half way and wedges in so they don't fall out when handling.
    Those loads will group into 3/4" at 30 yards and you can shoot them with no ear protection as they are not loud at all and thump the heck out of anything I have shot with them up to coon size.
    Sort of a big bore rook rifle until I make a smaller one.

    Jedman

  11. #91
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    I bought a Jeffrey Champion rook rifle, good externals with a sewer pipe of a bore. Sometime in its distant past some dolt had re-chambered it to 25-20 WCF from its original 255 Jeffrey. Given the condition of the bore I suppose that didn't hurt much because if it was to be fired with any degree of accuracy something was going to have to be done. Lining the barrel and re-chambering back to the original 255 Jeffrey was cost prohibitive for me by the time a correct .251 liner was made and reamers ground then the work done so I had it lined with a .257 liner and chambered back to 25-20 WCF. Loading it to 255 Jeffrey ballistics gives the same performance as the original cartridge and it is at least a real Rook & Rabbit rifle. Given the bulkiness of the Handi-rifles and old H&R Toppers I don't see how they could be considered remotely close to a Rook rifle. Small bore, centerfire rifles, you betcha, accurate and a lot of fun but, definitely not in the same league as Rook rifles.
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  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Outpost75 View Post
    As FYI for the group, John Taylor now has a .38 S&W reamer with 3 degrees Basic forcing cone angle from .363" major diameter with no cylindrical ball seat. Plan is to use Green Mountain 1:10" twist 9mm Parabellum "Gunsmith Special" blank, fit, chamber and taper to fit original fore-end wood of pre-WW1 .44/.410 small frame H&R. Looking at finished barrel length of 20" and weight 4-1/2 pounds with muzzle diameter 0.70" so will hang well in standing position.

    Should be quite mild with factory 146-grain LRN .38 S&W and Colt New Police, but plan is that the fast twist barrel will stabilize Accurate 36-190T flatnosed bullet at lowest velociy which exits barrel, figuring a 600 fps revolver load will be no more than 800 fps in a rifle, but hit hard with low noise, not requiring a "can".

    Gun is in John's work que...
    Barrel is heading out tomorrow for blue.

  13. #93
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    That is an interesting project Outpost. I wound up with a 32 H&R Mag Contender barrel because of all these thoughts running around here. Still working on it and loads.

    Please keep us up to date. Cheers
    Last edited by Zim; 01-05-2018 at 02:48 PM. Reason: brainfart

  14. #94
    Quote Originally Posted by sharps4590 View Post
    I bought a Jeffrey Champion rook rifle, good externals with a sewer pipe of a bore. Sometime in its distant past some dolt had re-chambered it to 25-20 WCF from its original 255 Jeffrey. Given the condition of the bore I suppose that didn't hurt much because if it was to be fired with any degree of accuracy something was going to have to be done. Lining the barrel and re-chambering back to the original 255 Jeffrey was cost prohibitive for me by the time a correct .251 liner was made and reamers ground then the work done so I had it lined with a .257 liner and chambered back to 25-20 WCF. Loading it to 255 Jeffrey ballistics gives the same performance as the original cartridge and it is at least a real Rook & Rabbit rifle. Given the bulkiness of the Handi-rifles and old H&R Toppers I don't see how they could be considered remotely close to a Rook rifle. Small bore, centerfire rifles, you betcha, accurate and a lot of fun but, definitely not in the same league as Rook rifles.
    Ah yes, I've got mine, as Jeff Cooper used to say before he got Steyr to market his Scout Rifle concept. Mine is the Army and Navy Cooperative Society hammerless, 8 or 10 according to engraving in the 1907 catalogue, when you could buy a best grade 12ga sidelock for around five times that. The gap would probably have widened if anybody was demented enough to test the market nowadays.

    Mine spent many years bored out to .410, and I lined it as a .255. It is easier round to work with today than most of the traditional rook cartridges. You simply need to use a .25-20 reamer about .18in. short, and grind a similar amount off the bottom of inexpensive, no-waiting .25-20 dies. You can make a good bullet sizing die with a cheap 6.5mm. engineer's reamer (cheap at least in the UK, where we have taken to measuring in those foreign things). In my case, with a .257 groove liner, you could polish it out by about .002in.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Most of the rook rifle cartridges did originate with black powder, and although some had smokeless loads, that was more a matter of convenience than performance. But there was another reason for most of them to use rather short, slow large-diameter bullets. Rooks are a sociable relative of the crows, and the classic time to shoot them often in organised shoots, was when the young were fledged, in the branches around the nests, but not quite able to fly. It was often done on fairly densely populated and stocked farmland, and the idea was to have the bullet return to earth close enough to know it was safe. In that situation the .255, although a better cartridge for horizontal small game shooting, was far from a typical rook rifle.
    Last edited by Ballistics in Scotland; 01-05-2018 at 03:26 PM.

  15. #95
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    Barrel is heading out tomorrow for blue.
    Thx. John, This is great news!

    Too cold to cast today with temp 11 degs. and wind chill -20 on the screened porch where the lead pot is. But I have lots of vintage .38 S&W factory loads to zero, check groups and measure velocities to compare with my S&W Victory Model Lend-Lease.
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  16. #96
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    Ballistics, that's interesting and something I absolutely did not think of. I don't know if my 'smith would have been willing to cut a short chamber. Not that he isn't capable, just that he wouldn't have and, I'm certainly not capable of the work.

    I have Colin Greenwood's book "Rook & Rabbit Rifles" and he covers a bit of their history. I remember him saying that the young Rooks were called "limbers" as they had yet to fledge. I've not taken any crows with mine but there's been a couple squirrels fall to it. To me it seemed he covered the rifles quite well but when you knew nothing anything seems a wealth of knowledge. I thought it a very interesting book on an equally interesting rifle. I don't recall him mentioning what you said about shooting up in the air at the Rooks and the bullets not travelling far but it makes a heck of a lot of sense. The 255 or the 25-20, even when loaded down, certainly wouldn't fall in that situation.

    .258 bullet sizing dies are available here in the US and that's what I size mine to. I can't argue with the results. Interesting rifles and a heck of a lot of fun. I'm still a bit in awe of the outside condition of mine, given its age but, man, that bore was absolutely awful.
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  17. #97
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    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

  18. #98
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    Do the one that appeals to you most. I don't believe either could be wrong. My personal preference would be for the 32 but that's all it is, my personal preference.
    "In general, the art of government is to take as much money as possible from one class of citizens and give it to another class of citizens" Voltaire'

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  19. #99
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I have several revolvers in .38 S&W and wanted a rifle which has small powder capacity and large enough bore for a 150-200 grain bullet subsonic without lots of free airspace in the case. I'm figuring probably no more than 2 grains of Bullseye with Accurate 36-190T and 2.5 grains with Accurate 36-159H shown below:

    Attachment 211317Attachment 211318
    Last edited by Outpost75; 01-07-2018 at 07:10 PM.
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  20. #100
    Boolit Master
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    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?

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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