Double rifle build - which action?

Posted by: B. Graham

Double rifle build - which action? - 10/03/19 10:45 AM

I've gotten the idea from somewhere, that if I was to undertake a project to build a double rifle off of a shotgun action, a Fox 16ga is a good choice. Is that true, or misguided? What other actions make good candidates for doing this.

Thank you.
Posted by: bushveld

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/03/19 01:55 PM

The Fox is one of the worse for this task, it is an excellent shotgun action design however.

One of the the best is the BRNO ZP 49 SLE built in the late 1950's or early 1960'S. These action are hardened modern high quality steel, with coil spring side locks, striker discs, hidden third fastners, and chopper lump barrels. Numerous people have used them for this task. Search for Ron Vella of Canada posts on building double rifles with these actions as he has built 2 or 3 using them.

Striker discs are a must and using the BRNO actions I make new striker discs from O-1 alloy steel, drill them for the small rifle size strikers (firing pins) then harden and temper.

Using shotgun size strikers is asking for trouble and gas blowback into your face and the butt stock.

Do not be tempted to bore the face of the action and install striker discs on a shotgun action that was not originally built with them. This is an unsafe practice, no matter who has written that they do it---it weakens the action.

Several of the German shotguns are also suitable, but they are hard to find with striker discs. Also one can find some very good Spanish made shotgun actions with striker discs and Greener cross bolts.
Posted by: B. Graham

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/03/19 01:58 PM

Understood. Thank you. What gauge/action size is best to use?
Posted by: WBLDon

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/03/19 02:09 PM

PM Sent
Posted by: bushveld

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/03/19 02:19 PM

I favor the 12 guage BRNO while others favor the 16 for balance. Here is one of Ron Vella's posts:

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat....true#Post246412

You should keep in mind that shotgun actions are not ideal for building double rifles, even though many craftsman do this. Even a few are being made in UK. As a general rule the standing breech of a shotgun action is woefully to thin for building a double rifle, not the mention not reinforced enough in the standing breech to action body junctions--you need bolsters here.

Aaron Little in Texas in probably THE best authority on building double rifles from shotgun actions. See his website. Call him and talk to him, see his posts on this and other websites. Look at what Aaron has to say on the Accurate Reloading double rifle section website.

Start with making a DR in .45-70 and keep your pressure low. Use a virtual ballistic software such as QuickLoad to develop a proof test load and proof test it somewhat higher pressure than the English and European proof house--two times per barrel. If you want to keep from getting sued in a court of law, build only for yourself.
Posted by: bushveld

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/03/19 02:23 PM

See some of Aaron's recent work:

http://forums.accuratereloading.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/760101804/m/5211062052
Posted by: bushveld

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/03/19 02:43 PM

Ron Vella's BRNO action DR's (scroll up to top of post)


http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat....true#Post228438
Posted by: keith

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/03/19 10:39 PM

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=317136&page=0&fpart=1&vc=1


Posted by: BrentD

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/04/19 12:56 PM

What caliber are you planning to build? There is a book on this subject that I bought when I was hot on this idea. But I ended up not going that route because a double is really one barrel too many for my rifle needs.
Posted by: B. Graham

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/05/19 05:01 PM

I have that book as well.

No preference on caliber. Something potent, but I have nothing to prove by trying to go big. I have two custom rifle builds to accomplish to complete school. One will be using a small ring Mauser I have on hand, and because itís a small ring they only permit smaller caliber builds. Fine with me, so we decided on .300 Blackout. Next will be a large ring Mauser, when I find one that I can afford.

The motivators for the double rifle are: because I want to, I think theyíre fantastic, I wonít likely be able to afford one otherwise, and party because school isnít keen on the idea. I would be very happy with a mid-range caliber, but since Iím not well versed in rifle calibers, I donít know what that would be yet. Iíd like it to be on the safe side for this kind of thing, and available over the counter. I reload shotshells for my old beater doubles, but donít have rifle equipment.

Anyway, it sounds fun, and incredibly difficult, so why not. I did see what looked like a good German action for this project, but Iíll miss it. Need to sell off other projects first.
Posted by: WBLDon

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/05/19 08:05 PM

How about the following:
38-55
32-40
45-70

I am partial to the 38-55 but don't have one in that caliber yet...
WBLDon
Posted by: Der Ami

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/06/19 12:40 PM

I vote for 8x57IRS or 9.3x74R, Both are great calibers and are available in US now. Also both fit very well in 16 ga action. There is nothing wrong with WBLDon's choices( except maybe 45-70 needs 12 ga action), these are just mine. Note they are all rimmed and to quote my late brother in law" a double barrel rifle belongs to be chambered for a rimmed cartridge".
Mike
Posted by: craigd

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/06/19 01:04 PM

Another consideration could be one of the 40 cal. lead bullet cartridges. Between barrel length and bore size, the smith might be able to balance the rifle by helping chose a chambering that would end up with a pleasing profile appearance and have the right handling feel. If the action ends up being an unchangeable constant, the project could still be scaled to the cartridge.
Posted by: bushveld

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/06/19 04:37 PM

Originally Posted By: Der Ami
I vote for 8x57IRS or 9.3x74R, Both are great calibers and are available in US now. Also both fit very well in 16 ga action. There is nothing wrong with WBLDon's choices( except maybe 45-70 needs 12 ga action), these are just mine. Note they are all rimmed and to quote my late brother in law" a double barrel rifle belongs to be chambered for a rimmed cartridge".
Mike


Both of these are excellent cartridges for a double rifle, as well as the list of American rimed cartridges before your post. Click on the link below to watch a video of a German lady hunter make a one shot kill with a 8x57irs during deer stalking in Scotland. This is an excellent professional produced hunting video seldom seen today.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttMKUzReVKU
Posted by: bushveld

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/06/19 05:02 PM

Originally Posted By: WBLDon
How about the following:
38-55
32-40
45-70

I am partial to the 38-55 but don't have one in that caliber yet...
WBLDon


If you are partial to the .38-55 then you may be interested in the .38-55 McPherson "Express" (1975fps and 2000 flbs energy w/ 255gr flat nose projectile and around 40,000 psi service pressure) double rifle I built and engraved a couple of years back. I made a set of shoe lump barrels for it from scratch and I photographed the process and posted it to one of the hand engraving websites that I attend. I also added it later to the double rifle website NitroExpress.com here: http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat....true#Post297838
Posted by: Der Ami

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/07/19 10:21 AM

bushveld,
Thanks for both links. I am curious about the 38-55 McPherson cases you bought from Starline. What is the length of the case? I use original length( 2.125-2.130") to make 6.5x58R S&S cases and while the resulting cases are satisfactory, I would like to have longer cases to start with( finish to 2.245-2.250"). Such cases would also be useful for 8x58R S&S, 9x58 1/2R S&S, and 8x57R/360. Since 38-55 is smaller in head diameter, they are easier to convert than 30-40 Krag or 303 Brit., both of which require swaging the heads. Great work on the double BTW.
Mike
Posted by: bushveld

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/07/19 11:14 AM

They are 2.125 inches
Posted by: Der Ami

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/07/19 05:06 PM

Too bad, I was hoping.
Mike
Posted by: bushveld

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/07/19 06:05 PM

At one time I was going to build a DR using the original Holland & Holland .375 2 1/2" Flanged Nitro Express cartridge. There are some of those brass cases floating around as I sold all that I had as well as the chamber reamer. This is a wonderful old cartridge and is still well regarded. The rim diameter is around .523" and I think the base is considerable smaller around .456" or so. That rim and base size might work for you.
Posted by: Der Ami

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/07/19 07:08 PM

No, that is about like 303/30-40 only longer. I have plenty of 9.3x72R, I just hate to shorten hard to find cases that much. I appreciate the suggestion though.
Mike
Posted by: bushveld

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/07/19 10:24 PM

I hope that you find some more cases easier to use "just around the next bend in the road".
Posted by: Der Ami

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 10/08/19 08:58 AM

bushveld,
Thanks a lot for your consideration. I have enough for my own use, I was really looking for a "basic" donor case that will work with the cartridges I listed above, that is not too short. From time to time, I help people ID the caliber of their gun and help with acquiring ammo for them. Most people are hesitant to use short cases, 9.3x72R requires a press that is very heavy to form 6.5x58 and case failure can be pretty high, on the other hand custom ammo can be very expensive.
Mike
Posted by: crs

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 11/17/19 09:16 AM

Mr Graham,
Much of the above is very good information and I second the credentials of Aaron Little.
Here is a link to the W Ellis Brown book on this subject.
http://www.bundukipublishing.com/doublerifle.htm

The book will answer most of your questions including which calibers Ellis has found to be satisfactory for conversion to double rifles.
This is also one of the best prices for the book. You should find the book enjoyable read and very informative.
Enjoy.


Posted by: Vol423

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 11/24/19 09:18 PM

i have had a 450/400 and 375 Flanged magnum barrels built on Valmet 412 actions. They are built for rifles. Find a gun with a set of ejector double shotgun barrels, cut off the monoblock and install rifle barrels. Or just buy a set of double rifle barrels. Valmet made ejector barrels in 9.3X74R and .375 Win for US sale. Probably 8X57IRS for Euro sale.
Posted by: skeettx

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 11/25/19 12:44 PM

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/845352512
Posted by: keith

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 11/25/19 04:09 PM

I looked at that Valmet 412, and I threw up my lunch. That sucker could win an ugly gun contest.
Posted by: skeettx

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 11/26/19 01:22 PM

OK, OK, what double rifle do you use?
Posted by: keith

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 11/26/19 03:17 PM

Originally Posted By: skeettx
OK, OK, what double rifle do you use?


Just this one. It isn't a Holland and Holland Best, but it doesn't frighten dogs and small children either. Working on acquiring another double rifle in .500 BPE, but it sure ain't one of those butt-ugly Valmet's:

https://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=483612#Post483612
Posted by: crs

Re: Double rifle build - which action? - 11/27/19 06:14 PM

I also second the suggestion of building a .45-70 on a 12 ga action as was done with my Beretta pictured below:

Note gas escape channels on the action face.
It is also nicely finished externally and is very effective with low power/pressure ammo. Also little recoil:


Or another American cartridge, the .405 WCF, another proven killer of big game than uses Hornady 300 grain ammo or hand loads from 210 to 400 grains.:

This made on a Simson Co Suhl 12 gauge action with wood by B Dudley.

I do not make guns, I just like them and hunt with them.