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Thread: Double rifles.. Whaddya got?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    Last thing to consider - other than the cool factor - is a double REALLY what you want for hunting stuff that can kill you back? Having been programmed to run a bolt action since basically birth, there is NO WAY IN HELL I would consider taking a double into harm's way. If, on the other hand, the primary occupation of your youth was busting upland birds with the ancestral twin-trigger side-by-side, a double rifle may be just the thing for you.
    I don't disagree and I love bolt-action rifles but there has to be a reason the African hunters favor doubles. Maybe too many close calls on close-up wounded animals. A simple pull of the second trigger would be the fastest way to make the followup shot.
    The majority of them don't seem to care much for bolt guns against dangerous game but had no problem using them for lesser animals.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master map55b's Avatar
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    How about a 45-70 built on a hammered 10g. A work in progress. Still need to finish regulating the barrels. I can not take credit for the build, that goes to my mentor. However, it will be my project to finish.

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  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by map55b View Post
    How about a 45-70 built on a hammered 10g. A work in progress. Still need to finish regulating the barrels. I can not take credit for the build, that goes to my mentor. However, it will be my project to finish.
    That would do it! Please post pics when it's finished.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSnover View Post
    I don't disagree and I love bolt-action rifles but there has to be a reason the African hunters favor doubles. Maybe too many close calls on close-up wounded animals. A simple pull of the second trigger would be the fastest way to make the followup shot.
    The majority of them don't seem to care much for bolt guns against dangerous game but had no problem using them for lesser animals.
    That's the argument that ain't gonna end soon.

    Historically, more than a few of your classic era African hunters were "landed gentry", IOW rich folk, who cut their teeth with fowling pieces on estate hunts. The quick reach to a second trigger, and the rapid breaking open to load two more was what they were programmed to do. It's a legit methodology, make no mistake. How well that methodology translates to the American hunter raised on bolts, levers, and pumps with only one trigger is going to depend on the individual.

    My argument for the bolt gun - a .470 Nitro Express (or other serious dangerous game round) is not a one ounce dove load. It's going to rock you back a bit. A practiced hand with a magazine rifle will be working the action while bringing the gun back down out of that recoil, and therefore won't necessarily be significantly slower getting back on target. He'll also have a much less mechanically complex, possibly military-grade (designed for hunting MEN) launch platform with a lot less off-center-axis ballistic voodoo going on. There will be more than two chances on tap to settle the hash of whatever he's about to piss off, AND he won't have to give up the 7-Series BMW to buy it.

    If he thinks long about the whole thing, he'll stick with one of those old, not-terribly-fashionable-these-days tapered-body cartridges like a .375 H&H or .404 Jeffrey that feeds like greased eel boogers and runs at a low pressure so as not to hang up on a hot day.

    If he thinks even longer he might be looking at P14/M1917 Enfields that cock on close, separating the operations of primary extraction and compressing the striker spring, saving the latter until he's built up a good bit of forward momentum.

    (Pondered these things a bit, I have)

    But my biggest fear with a double. . . it would be REALLY embarrassing to have your gun bearer get mixed up on an elephant stalk and pass you your SxS 20 gauge guinea fowl gun full of #6's by mistake.
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  5. #25
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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ID:	212231 Here is my hunting partners Merkel 470 Nitro Express. It will do the trick on buff or elephant if you can shoot it well enough. 400 gr cast boolits make great practice loads and shoot to regulation at around 1800 fps. A lot cheaper than practicing with Hornady Dangerous Game solids! Get ready to buy a LARGE press and brass is not cheap either. But hey, it is a 470 after all and they don't sell ammo or components at Wally World for sure!
    Now after all that is said, if I was going to Africa tomorrow, I would buy a Ruger 77 Mk II in 375 Ruger and put a long tube 3x Leupold on it and call it good to go. You can darned near buy 11 Rugers for what the Merkel cost. Spend the 9k$ savings on trophy fees and airline tickets.
    Last edited by murf205; 01-19-2018 at 11:42 PM.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  6. #26
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murf205 View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	212231 Here is my hunting partners Merkel 470 Nitro Express. It will do the trick on buff or elephant if you can shoot it well enough. 400 gr cast boolits make great practice loads and shoot to regulation at around 1800 fps. A lot cheaper than practicing with Hornady Dangerous Game solids! Get ready to buy a LARGE press and brass is not cheap either. But hey, it is a 470 after all and they don't sell ammo or components at Wally World for sure!
    Now after all that is said, if I was going to Africa tomorrow, I would buy a Ruger 77 Mk II in 375 Ruger and put a long tube 3x Leupold on it and call it good to go. You can darned near buy 11 Rugers for what the Merkel cost. Spend the 9k$ savings on trophy fees and airline tickets.
    What is your cast boolit load, I've got the Noe 375 grain mold and always looking for load data that has worked for other people.

  7. #27
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    375 H&H

    All I can tell you is what I shoot listed in an OLD Lyman reloading manual.

    Case full of old 4831 (60 grains), in reality I tend to use the largest Lee dipper for these loads
    375449 with Hornady gas check, lube is Javelina, seated out to touch rifling.

    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004

  8. #28
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    Well I suppose the shotgun could be left in the truck or back at camp, that would solve that problem.
    I actually didn't come here to settle the bolt vs. double argument. I made my choice (after pondering for quite a while and considering numerous factors) and asked for opinions from people who have used doubles and/or hunted in Africa.
    Lesser men with less experience than I than I have done both and have lived to tell about it.

    Gorgeous rifle, murf205!
    My press has a large enough throat to handle either of those cartridges but I'm mulling over some 'reasonably priced' rifles for the time being.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  9. #29
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    FWIW, if I had the funds and desire I'd do the same. Nothing says African Safari to me like a Nitro double. Westley Richards, Holland & Holland, etc.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    At the moment I'm considering a Valmet 412 in 9.3x74R though I might upgrade the barrels. Doesn't have the mystique of the "classic" rifles but it's sufficient and affordable.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  11. #31
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    Gunbroker's presently got a Sabatti in .375 Flanged Magnum. Pretty reasonable, as these things are measured. https://www.gunbroker.com/item/733541033

    It would be worth a study of caliber restrictions in the various African nations for what you intend to do. The 9.3's probably have enough adherents you should be OK, but then, one hears ".375 minimum" a lot. . .
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  12. #32
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    Google Sabatti and check them out first. There were issues with some of them

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Al View Post
    Well, another one of my "project guns" that is on the back burner is a Thomas Clayton percussion SxS double rifle built on the Jacobs pattern in about .52 calibre. The patchbox is engraved in old Latin and roughly translates to "Presented to Lt. E. Rogers by the grateful men of his African Legion 1858". Lt. Eberneezer Rogers was active in Africa and was mentioned in dispatches at least twice. He eventually returned to Britain and retired as a military recruiter in Ireland. He published several military journals and was a huge proponent of the Gatling gun for the defence of military fortifications. (So much in fact that his two houses were named "Gatling House" and "Gatling Lodge".)

    It shows signs of honest use, but good care and maintenance considering it's use in tropical Africa and the bores are good. If only it could talk ...

    I need to do a couple of cerrosafe castings of both muzzles to get the correct dimensions so that Red River Rick can make me a mould for it. It is based on the Jacobs pattern and uses a cast bullet of about .52 calibre with integral bands to fit the grooves of the rifling.
    Got him! It is plain ungenerous to be picky about spellin unless there is some functional reason for it, but in this case "Ebenezer" would find him in searches:

    http://www.victorianresearch.org/atc...or.php?aid=686

    His brush with transvestism sounds interesting, and his novel is still available on www.bookfinder.com .

    My only double rifle is a muzzle-loader by Kehlner Neveu (i.e. nephew of the better-known Kehlner) of Prague. I hink it was made there, but with Belgian damascus tubes, just like almost all American Damascus shotguns. It came to me as a 14ga shotgun - or ore likely ball gun, due to its rather good sights and round patch-box, a useful weapon in central European forests. It has a gold "R" monogram with the seven-pearled coronet of a baron. But as all the children of an Austrian or German baron were barons, rather than just the first-born son, the country was filling up with them, and way over a twenty-sixth of them would have begun with "R".

    The screw-on knob for the ramrod made me suspect an ex-rifle, but the clincher was when I found a single set trigger in the right barrel alone (two being a potential embarrassment), which had probably lurked unsuspected for over a century. So I lined it with .510-groove liners made for the .50 Government. I've shot it only experimentally, but it seems pretty well regulated. I made a bullet starter block, with two holes just the right distance apart, and in one a pin to fit in one bore while pressing the bullet into the other with a plunger. It can swivel around the pin, and in theory it shouldn't be as good as one that gives perfect alignment, as in the scheutzen muzzle-loaders. But it works pretty well with the .50 Government bullet.

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    Gravitating stops were notorious for jamming, and the main reason to remove them was that the gun could be less safe than you think, while you were pointing it at your eyebrow to reload. But staying engaged with dangerous game is another. It wouldn't be too hard for the amateur, who traditionally doesn't cost up his time, to make replacements. I don't see anything to suggest that your gun has had its hammers replaced, but most of that job would be within the capabilities of any small gunsmith, but maching for the gravitating stop mightn't be. So that might cause removal too.

    Not many people shoot elephant nowadays, and for probably the majority visiting Africa, the power of the .35 Whelen would do nicely - subject to legal restrictions permitting. I don't know about it being the best, though. Often the country is open, and flatter shooting might be an advantage. But if Cape buffalo is on the list, the requirement, probably even more than for elephant, is probably for the most flattening rifle from which you can count on a very quick second aimed shot.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Al View Post
    Well, another one of my "project guns" that is on the back burner is a Thomas Clayton percussion SxS double rifle built on the Jacobs pattern in about .52 calibre. The patchbox is engraved in old Latin and roughly translates to "Presented to Lt. E. Rogers by the grateful men of his African Legion 1858". Lt. Eberneezer Rogers was active in Africa and was mentioned in dispatches at least twice. He eventually returned to Britain and retired as a military recruiter in Ireland. He published several military journals and was a huge proponent of the Gatling gun for the defence of military fortifications. (So much in fact that his two houses were named "Gatling House" and "Gatling Lodge".)

    It shows signs of honest use, but good care and maintenance considering it's use in tropical Africa and the bores are good. If only it could talk ...

    I need to do a couple of cerrosafe castings of both muzzles to get the correct dimensions so that Red River Rick can make me a mould for it. It is based on the Jacobs pattern and uses a cast bullet of about .52 calibre with integral bands to fit the grooves of the rifling.
    Got him! It is plain ungenerous to be picky about spelling, unless there is some functional reason for it, but in this case "Ebenezer" would find him in searches:

    http://www.victorianresearch.org/atc...or.php?aid=686

    His brush with transvestism sounds interesting, and his "Campaigning in Western Africa and the Ashantee invasion" and his one novel are still available on my life support system, www.bookfinder.com . One entry there identifies him with Ebenezer Platt Rogers, an American pastor, but that is incorrect.

    My only double rifle is a muzzle-loader by Kehlner Neveu (i.e. nephew of the better-known Kehlner) of Prague. I hink it was made there, but with Belgian damascus tubes, just like almost all American Damascus shotguns. It came to me as a 14ga shotgun - or ore likely ball gun, due to its rather good sights and round patch-box, a useful weapon in central European forests. It has a gold "R" monogram with the seven-pearled coronet of a baron. But as all the children of an Austrian or German baron were barons, rather than just the first-born son, the country was filling up with them, and way over a twenty-sixth of them would have begun with "R".

    Then I found a single set trigger in the right barrel alone (two being a potential embarrassment), so I lined it with .510 groove liners made for the .50 Government. I've shot it only experimentally, but it seems pretty well regulated. I made a bullet starter block, with two holes just the right distance apart, and in one a pin to fit in one bore while pressing the bullet into the other with a plunger. It can swivel around the pin, and in theory it shouldn't be as good as one that gives perfect alignment, as in the scheutzen muzzle-loaders. But it works pretty well with the .50 Government bullet.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Not many people shoot elephant nowadays, and for probably the majority visiting Africa, the power of the .35 Whelen would do nicely - subject to legal restrictions permitting. I don't know about it being the best, though. Often the country is open, and flatter shooting might be an advantage.

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks!
    As I understand it the 9.3 is only legal in two countries for dangerous game, .375 being the minimum bore elsewhere.
    So I got a reasonable deal on the Valmet with plenty of room in my budget for another set of barrels or to get it 'smithed up to .375JDJ or H&H.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistics in Scotland View Post
    Got him! It is plain ungenerous to be picky about spelling, unless there is some functional reason for it, but in this case "Ebenezer" would find him in searches:

    http://www.victorianresearch.org/atc...or.php?aid=686

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	212692
    Many thanks for another piece of the "Lt. Rogers" puzzle! I've found a digital copy of his book about the Ashantee Invasion online plus some of his military records, but I hadn't found the literary link you posted in any of my searches.
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  17. #37
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 15meter View Post
    What is your cast boolit load, I've got the Noe 375 grain mold and always looking for load data that has worked for other people.
    As soon as he gets back home from a trip I'll get his data for the 400 gr load.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  18. #38
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murf205 View Post
    As soon as he gets back home from a trip I'll get his data for the 400 gr load.
    Thanks, tough to find cast data for some of these African safari boomers. I load cast for a number of them, compiling as much data as I can get my hands on.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master murf205's Avatar
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    I sympathize with you. Hard to find reduced bazooka loads these days. I have never used 5744 but I see a lot of people loving it with cast boolits in big cases. Gotta' be a 5744 load somewhere for a 470 nitro and a "little" 400 gr boolit. I have also read a lot of loads with Re 15 and the results supposedly are stellar, but that powder seems a bit fast when you see most handloads with H4831-a lot slower that Re15 for sure. ReLoader 19-maybe but it's not my rifle to be experimenting with and, after all, it was $11,000 with the fitted case!
    Last edited by murf205; 01-25-2018 at 11:23 PM.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  20. #40
    Boolit Master 15meter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by murf205 View Post
    I sympathize with you. Hard to find reduced bazooka loads these days. I have never used 5744 but I see a lot of people loving it with cast boolits in big cases. Gotta' be a 5744 load somewhere for a 470 nitro and a "little" 400 gr boolit. I have also read a lot of loads with Re 15 and the results supposedly are stellar, but that powder seems a bit fast when you see most handloads with H4831-a lot slower that Re15 for sure. ReLoader 19-maybe but it's not my rifle to be experimenting with and, after all, it was $11,000 with the fitted case!
    I'll have to dig but I think there is a cordite to Reloder 15 conversion formula. Most of the original English doubles had a cordite/bullet load that they were regulated with stamped on the rifle. Multiple x by y and in theory you have a duplicate load. Unfortunately that is supposed to work with jacketed, with cast, the Voodoo factor shows up because so little work has been done with them. It's a shame, reduced loads in them make them a hoot to shoot.

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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