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Thread: Caliber for Remington Hepburn

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Caliber for Remington Hepburn

    This is just a rambling post. I have a Remington Hepburn I need to do something with. I bought it about a year ago. It's a pretty nice gun but the bore is large with some pitting. I don't want to breech seat for this rifle.

    This thread is just for kicking around some ideas. I have a CPA Schuetzen on order so it will need to be paid before I tackle this project. The gun is currently chambered in 32/40.

    I have a lot of single shots and this gun will fill be a offhand range rifle so the big cartridges are out. In not wanting to hotrod the old girl. I'm looking for some low pressure lead bullet loads. I may choose a cartridge and never load full power loads.

    45LC - I thought of this because I'm always loading down my 45/70 Hepburn. Pros are Case capacity,ease of progressive loading. Cons are Lead consumption and low BC bullets for 200yd. Still would be fun

    38-55. I have a 38-55 C.Sharps Highwall and love the caliber. If I chose this it could be simply re-bored. I would like a little faster twist around 18 for light bullets in the 235gr range. Not as easy to reload as the 45LC but better 200yd performance.

    35/30-30 - I'm really liking this option. It would be an easy rebore. 200yd performance would be very good.

    32/40 or 30/30 - these two would be very close. If I chose a 30-30 It would be a custom reamer throated for 311299 bullet.

    Part of me just wants something easy in a pistol caliber that's easy to reload. Not sure which I would choose 32S&W long to 45LC.
    Last edited by GARD72977; 04-05-2020 at 09:10 PM.
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    The wood is pretty nice. Color Case on reciever is weak and barrel blueing is pretty good. It's a shooter grade gun. If I rebarrelled it I want to hang on the the original so it stays with the gun. I have several guns with Soule sights and Unertl/Lyman scopes. I thought it may be neat to use barrel sights in this one. Maybe a Marbles apature sight. I just need a plan for finished rifle that I like.
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I really like the 38-55.O have a high wall and received a DZ Hepburn about a year ago in it both with 1-14 twist for 360 grn bullets. I dont find the 38-55 hard to load for, and with that bullet around 1200 fps rams are no problem at 500 yds. I also really like the 40-65 win.

    Another couple 38s to consider are the 38-56 and 38-50. Both are fine cartridges but you will have to make brass for them 38-56 is 45-70 parent case and 38-50 is 303 british or 30-40 craig.

    As to the pistol cartridges in a heavy rifle it will be a lot of fun. I believe the 45 colt would be good. For a 40 cal variation maybe 41 mag brass and a 210 grn bullet. With paper patched bullets you can gain some capacity since they are only seated 1/8" into the case. A 32 h&r mag would give powder capacity but be light on bullet and wind.

    You might sit down with a cartridges of the world or the one on reforming cartridges and look thru them Ballard had a lot of nice low pressure mild cartridges back in the day

  4. #4
    Boolit Bub stevenjay1's Avatar
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    How about the 40/50 SBN or 40/50 straight. The brass is easy to make for either. Cut down 45/70 for the 40/50 SBN AND 30/40 Krag or 303 British for the 40/50 straight. I have an original Remington RB target rifle in 40/50 SBN and it is a tack driver at 200 yards. It’s also a easy on the shoulder for extended range time. Steve
    Just another homesick Texan that shouldn't of left in the first place!
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have an almost romantic connection to the 40-50ss. I'm a cartridge nerd at heart. I'm planning to do a really nice DZ Hepburn in 40-50 in the next year or so. I have blew through my gun money for the rest of the year on several single shots. I'm going to slow down a little and add 1 or 2 very nice rifles per year.

    The Hepburn I'm needing to rebarrel needs something that makes me want to take it to the range. My local range has a nice 50yd range with covered deck. It's rarely crowded. Then we have a 100-200 yd range. I'm fine with this gun set up for either one. Easy to load ammo is a plus but not a necessity. The 38-55 is easy but not as easy as 41mag....

    I guess I don't care about resale value and I don't want it the same as other guns I own.
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

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    If I had to guess as to the 41 mags old time designation it would be around 41 - 40

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub stevenjay1's Avatar
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    Well then, keeping in the sprite of the Hepburn Rifle and the shorter range of 50 to 200 yard, How about the 38-40 Rmington-Hepburn, 38-40 WCF or 44-40 WCF. All fun rounds. I do like the classic rounds, my favorite is the 44-77. BTW, that is a nice looking Hepburn Steve
    Just another homesick Texan that shouldn't of left in the first place!
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  8. #8
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    I think .357 Max. might have all the attributes you are looking for except nostalgia. Straight wall pistol case for ease of progressive loading. Manageable recoil, flat trajectory for a pistol cartridge. Brass is not as plentiful as 45 Colt but it will not use lead as fast. Could always use .38 special or .357 mag ammo if need be. Maybe call it .38 Straight and pretend it is an old time cartridge. Or, maybe .38-44, there have been a couple of those in the past.

    Tim
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have a Hepburn in 25 Krag Ackley Improved and shoot it off hand but it is not a cast bullet gun. 200 yards, short range.

    Tim
    Words are weapons sharper than knives - INXS

    The pen is mightier than the sword - Edward Bulwer-Lytton

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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    The wood on that rifle is unusually light colored. I can't really tell in the picture but from where I sit, it looks good.
    You say you want something you don't now load for and useful as a 200yd rifle.

    You might consider having it lined back to be a 32-40 Ballard again. Then the barrel markings would still be correct and also, you would have a very well known 200 yard offhand chambering, much used in the Schuetzen world. It would be a classic in that caliber.
    Easy on lead and powder. Easy on your shoulder.


    I love Hepburns.
    Nice rifle.
    Last edited by Chill Wills; 04-06-2020 at 01:28 AM.
    Chill Wills

  11. #11
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    These are the Pics I downloaded when I bought the rifle. The wood is light. It is numbered with the gun.
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  12. #12
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    In the 1980’s a good friend had a Remington Hepburn in 32-30 Remington.. At the time a group of us shot on a Private Rifle Range in Cooper Landing,Alaska. I recall John the Hepburn owner had brought the 32-30 out one fine afternoon. We had a 14” square gong at 330 yards. Conditions were dead calm. Several of us proceeded to shoot some very impressive groups on the steel plate. We then moved to a 500 yard Ram Silhouette and managed to get a sight setting and proceeded to score some additional hits on the Ram. Spent a lot of days at rifle ranges in my lifetime . But shooting that 32-30 that afternoon ranks way up there! This cartridge would make an outstanding offhand rifle.
    Rick

    PS Cases were formed from 357 Maximum

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    My smith says that modern liners are very good and usually offer excellent accuracy.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    "Some pitting"?

    Meaning what exactly? A couple of freckles, or totally cancered out?

    I bird-dogged my Dad into a more recent production High Wall in .32-40 a couple of years ago. It SHOOTS! REALLY SHOOTS! If I had a serviceable Hepburn chambered for that round, I would be disinclined to mess with it.
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    WWJMBD?

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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Well here is my 2 cents worth, I will narrow it down to 3 choices. #1, would be to reline it in 32/40, what a great old round, accurate, low recoiling, easy to load for. #2 38/55 gets the nod for me, I have 2 of them, and they gobble anything I put in them and are scary accurate. One is Win. Hi wall, just like the one pictured above, the other is a JES Rebore on a Marlin 336. #3 would be the tried and true 30/30, shoots great with jacketed or lead, easy to load for, brass everywhere, and is just an all around very accurate. One of these three rounds would be my got to choice.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    If you want a pistol cartridge, 38/40 would use a little less lead and powder then 45 Colt, and might feel a little more appropriate to the feel of the gun. No rimmed cartridge would be totally inappropriate for this action.
    Spell check doesn't work in Chrome, so if something is spelled wrong, it's just a typo that I missed.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I'm kind of leaning 45LC now. This thread is making me more nostalgic.....
    " If you cant do it with a 308 , you dont need to do it!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigslug View Post
    "Some pitting"?

    Meaning what exactly? A couple of freckles, or totally cancered out?

    I bird-dogged my Dad into a more recent production High Wall in .32-40 a couple of years ago. It SHOOTS! REALLY SHOOTS! If I had a serviceable Hepburn chambered for that round, I would be disinclined to mess with it.
    That's a beauty! Is it a Browning/Miroku?

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



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    OK, my two cents, 357 Magnum, you select the barrel twist
    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  20. #20
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    38-55 or reline/ re barrel to 32-40 . I would want a much lighter rifle to go to a pistol caliber . Have you actually shot it as a 32-40 ?
    Grumpy Old Man With A Gun....... Do Not Touch !!

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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