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Thread: Double rifles.. Whaddya got?

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Al View Post
    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.
    Found it, I think, on Google Books. Any help I gave is amply rewarded by being directed to "Now the Gatling gun has no nerves to disturb, and is not influenced by the character of those whom it is directed to kill." It ranks along with Hilaire Belloc's:

    "Whatever happens, we have got,
    The Maxim gun, and they have not."

  2. #42
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ballistics in Scotland View Post
    Found it, I think, on Google Books. Any help I gave is amply rewarded by being directed to "Now the Gatling gun has no nerves to disturb, and is not influenced by the character of those whom it is directed to kill." It ranks along with Hilaire Belloc's:

    "Whatever happens, we have got,
    The Maxim gun, and they have not."
    Here is one of his military records that I found in an earlier search. He's listed under the 3rd West India Regiment.

    http://www.jamaicanfamilysearch.com/Members/al61mil.htm
    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  3. #43
    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.
    My friend has not got back to me with his load but I just got off the phone with Accurate Powders and the tech guy quoted the load immediately. He said to use 49grs of 5744 with a 400 gr cast boolit for 1750-1800 fps. His max was 66 grs for 2150-2200 fps but when I get into that range I use H4831. I use Fed 215 primers in all of the 470 loads with no problems. However, after talking with the folks at CCI, their primer is the hottest one on the market as of a couple yrs ago,FYI. Not force but flame temp. I don't know about the FED 216, but no matter, the unwashed masses cannot get those anyway. The powders we are talking about are not that hard to lite anyway. Hope this helps and let us know your results.
    IT AINT what ya shoot--its how ya shoot it

  4. #44
    Boolit Man GEOMETRIC's Avatar
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    There was a African guide that made a video on how to properly handle a double rifle. He specializes in Cape buffalo & Hippo safaris. He says the double rifle is the only thing he would hunt with. I hope he keeps his life insurance policy current. He waits until a BUFF, in a stopping situation, gets within 10 yds. or so before he shoots. He says that is because you can't afford to miss. The video is pretty easy to find. I believe he is shooting a .450 NE or something similar with DTs, of course. Truck loads of DG has been killed with bolt guns but give me a double when things are up close & personal. I haven't been fortunate enough to hunt African DG but I have killed a number of large boars that were quite capable of doing great bodily harm. I have a .45-70 Pedersoli Kodiak & a Pedersoli Kodiak in .58 cal.. I read an article by a guy that did a lot of big game hunting in Africa with a .45-70 with .500 gr. solids. He said it worked great & he never felt under gunned. He didn't say what the load was but I think it was on the "high end" side.
    I can't speak from personal experience but based on what those that can have said, I would go with a .416 unless you are going to be hunting primarily the really big & dangerous stuff & I wouldn't go heavier unless you can handle the recoil. I believe traditional wisdom has it, "shoot the biggest gun you can shoot well"!
    I was born with the affliction of being left handed. Pop called me his poor little left handed son. God bless my Dad, he was awfully good to me. Back when I was a pup, left handed repeaters were pretty scarce. I learned to shoot a DT, SXS. They work great for me. I have always heard, "don't change horses in mid stream". I have a safe full of SXS, DT doubles & have no desire to shoot anything else in a shotgun. I also have a LH M 77 Ruger in .300 Win. that I shoot very effectively. .35 Whelen? that seems to be a very useful caliber & is said to be a jam up cast bullet rifle. BTW, the Pedersolis don't shoot minute of angle groups but I was pleasantly surprised at how well regulated they are. Both are regulated & group plenty good enough for hunting at up to 100 yds. with everything I have stuffed in them to date. Note that these are not squirrel rifles. I haven't shot any of the really heavy African thumpers yet but I haven't reached my recoil limit either. 2,200 FPS loads in a light Ruger No. 1 in .45-70 & a 450 grain bullet are getting close! Ditto for 3 oz. loads in my 10 ga. 3.5" guns. I haven't shot any of them since the lead ban for waterfowl. Much lighter loads of tungsten work as well & are much easier on me.

  5. #45
    Boolit Master
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    That's pretty much what I'm thinking. If any of my 45-70s were doubles I'd load them with 500gr and and be on my way. But they're not and I found a little bit of empty space in one of my gun safes...
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  6. #46
    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Al View Post
    Here is one of his military records that I found in an earlier search. He's listed under the 3rd West India Regiment.

    http://www.jamaicanfamilysearch.com/Members/al61mil.htm
    Ah yes, with the all but excessively interesting Dr. Barry as assistant surgeon in the Royal Military Hospital. Actually I very much doubt if Dr. Barry's transvestism was recreational. Young doctors without financial backing could easily fail in private practice in those days, as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, although highly qualified, did. It was very natural for an adventurous young doctor, with more interest in emergency surgery than minor ailments, to become a naval or army surgeon, as did Sherlock Holmes's Dr. Watson before they met.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_..._personal_life

    On the superior reliability of the double rifle, I think it is a very close thing. You get a second shot without doing a thing except a totally instinctive finger movement, when the first is fired, misfired or prevented by mechanical malfunction, and in a well made double rifle malfunction was exceedingly rare. But a small piece of twig or reed between the barrels and the table of the action can stop you closing a double for shot number three. It is about the easiest of jams to clear, but you could get quite seriously killed in the few seconds it takes. I reflect on the story of the journalist who is reputed to have asked "Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you enjoy the play?" I take that not as an example of journalistic callousness, but of how judgment goes out the window under stress.

    The point has been well made about familiarity with your rifle. The only firearm made in my lifetime that I ever want to use again is my Brno Model 2 rimfire, aka CZ nowadays, which I bought for thirty pounds, ten shillings and sixpence in 1970. I haven't stripped the bolt in twenty years. (As a student I dieted to buy that rifle, and I would as soon get my mother wet or dirty.) But I could still do it in two seconds with the end of a pencil.

    It has a vertical-axis cocking-piece safety, rather like the Winchester Model 70 (as is the trigger), which is one of the best on any firearm. But it goes forward to safe, back to fire - the opposite of most others. It could easily be rectified by an after-market replacement, if anybody in that line of business is reading this. That is a source of error I would want to be sure of eliminating, by practice if not hardware, before using a similar rifle on anything that could get me flustered, let alone squashed flat.

    As to single triggers, we mustn't forget that especially in their early days, they were a frequent source of trouble you can only afford with small game. At least rifle use would let you out of one undesirable complication, the need to make them selective. Even with shotguns this need, which began in the days of driven-game shoots, can be exaggerated. A small proportion of shooters are better off with more choke in the first barrel, slightly more with more in the second. In the unlikely event that I was ever having a shotgun made to my specification, I think I would go for half choke in both.

    You can certainly get good big-game performance from the smokeless loaded .45-70, in a suitable rifle. How much brass gets left in the chamber doesn't alter that. Bear in mind, though, that powder, pressure and velocity don't much alter the regulation of the double's barrels. If a load gives more recoil, the bullet exits after a smaller proportion of it. It is bullet weight that adjusts or maladjusts regulation.
    Last edited by Ballistics in Scotland; 01-27-2018 at 08:33 AM.

  7. #47
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    I own and shoot two DR's, both old hammer guns. One in 11.15 X 60R and the other in 500 BPE. I've also had the privilege of working with a couple fairly new hammerless doubles owned by a good friend, one in 450 NE and the other in 9.3 X 74R. Both of which he has used extensively and successfully in Africa and on dangerous game. As others have stated a lot depends on what you're used to. For me I wouldn't consider a double rifle with a single trigger but I've been using double trigger, SXS guns and rifle for decades. The same can be said for bolt rifles and were I headed to Africa, for dangerous game the bolt rifles would stay in camp. Neither is inadequate and to say one is better than the other indicates to me a lack of experience with both. The one you're most comfortable with and confident in is the one you should carry.
    "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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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSnover View Post
    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.
    We of course demand pics and updates!
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  9. #49
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    With luck the 9.3x74 will be subject to load development and training this spring, I'll know soon enough if it's the right tool or if it needs to replaced.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  10. #50
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    At a local shoot last weekend, an old guy brought a double along to shoot up his loaded ammo, as he was selling the rifle. He said he has 16 more he is selling! Wish I had a collection like that!
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    We of course demand pics and updates!
    Whatever happens, there will be pics!
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post
    At a local shoot last weekend, an old guy brought a double along to shoot up his loaded ammo, as he was selling the rifle. He said he has 16 more he is selling! Wish I had a collection like that!
    Seems like I'm NEVER in the right place at the right time...
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  13. #53
    Boolit Man GEOMETRIC's Avatar
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    Some interesting thoughts here. On double triggers one quote comes to mind, "the single selective trigger is an example of technology defeating common sense". If only sense was common. Another advantage of the double is it can give you an instant choice of loads. I instinctively pull the trigger for the barrel that has the load I want to shoot without the need to fiddle around with selectors when time is of the essence.

  14. #54
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    Single vs. double triggers... I'm on the fence as to which I'd prefer but in this case the decision was based on rifles that were affordable and available.
    I sure do appreciate the the replies, though. Lots of food for thought.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSnover View Post
    Single vs. double triggers... I'm on the fence as to which I'd prefer but in this case the decision was based on rifles that were affordable and available.
    I sure do appreciate the the replies, though. Lots of food for thought.
    Of course, NOW we can get into the less-discussed philosophy of over/under double rifle deployment:

    Do you set up for the top barrel to fire first because it's closer to your line of sight and will likely hit closer to your point of aim at horn & claw range?

    . . .or. . .

    Do you set up to fire the bottom barrel first because recoil from its lower bore axis will result in less muzzle rise and let you get back on the sights quicker for the second shot?

    If the ejectors are selective, which barrel is easier to reload if you only fire one and need to top off before looking for more trouble?

    Hmmmmmmm. . . .
    WWJMBD?

    "I'M MELLLLLLLLLLTING!" - Elphaba

  16. #56
    Selective ejectors now! in bird-shooting or even on the range, that can save you from losing a cartridge - and with the ultimate in double rifles it might be one that costs close to the price of a boy's basic .22. But after paying all an African safari costs you? You don't open the rifle and decide whether to take out one cartridge or two. You have two all ready, and you can't fire the rifle while it is open with one loaded cartridge in it.

  17. #57
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    I figured I'd operate it as it was designed (the ejectors are not selective) and get to know where each shot will land before I start packing for the trip.
    Two spare cartridges (all four of the same type to keep things simple) between the fingers of the firing hand and a PH with a reputation for not letting his clients get eaten.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  18. #58
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    The best solution with your stack barrel is put two triggers on it. Personally, I wouldn't own a double gun that didn't have two triggers. From my view point, a single trigger of any variety has nothing to offer on a double gun.

  19. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSnover View Post
    I figured I'd operate it as it was designed (the ejectors are not selective) and get to know where each shot will land before I start packing for the trip.
    Two spare cartridges (all four of the same type to keep things simple) between the fingers of the firing hand and a PH with a reputation for not letting his clients get eaten.
    This ^^

    LOL

  20. #60
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    I am no expert on African hunting but was planning a safari until fate intervened but still have the Ruger Magnum Rifle in 416 Rigby (I couldn't afford a double). The reason I selected this caliber was due to having read African Rifles and Cartridges By John Pondoro Taylor a profesional ivory hunter and poacher not to mention double gun fan. He covers all of the points raised in this thread and while written in 1948 makes fascinating reading for anyone interested in these topics.

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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