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#551970 - 08/02/19 07:25 PM Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets
mbatten Offline
Boxlock

Registered: 05/03/16
Posts: 29
Hello:

I have just become the lucky owner of an Alexander Henry double hammer gun in 450 BPE. I've made a cast of the throat and muzzle and note a definite taper to the bore from .458 to .455. Being new to the mysteries of Henry rifling, would anyone have suggestions on a bullet to start working up some loads? Paper patched? Any advice is welcome, thanks.

Also, this rifle has a folding peep sight on the tang, adjustable for elevation only, and looks to be part of the original manufacture, not added later. Has anyone seen this on other Henrys?

Cheers!

mbatten

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#551973 - 08/02/19 09:00 PM Re: Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets [Re: mbatten]
Mike Rowe Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 136
Loc: Arkansas.
I would use a 270 to 310 grain traditionally shaped paper wrapped bullet of .450" diameter. 16 lb paper usually works well.
A charge of 110 to 120 grains of Olde Eynsford 1 1/2F with a 3/16" lube cookie will get you close, if not right on the money.

A slight adjustment to the charge or bullet weight will bring the barrels together, if they don't do it right off.

There's no mystery to Henry rifling, shoot papered bullets and you'll do fine.

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#552258 - 08/06/19 11:36 PM Re: Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets [Re: Mike Rowe]
mbatten Offline
Boxlock

Registered: 05/03/16
Posts: 29
Thanks for the advice, Mike!
mbatten

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#552259 - 08/07/19 12:16 AM Re: Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets [Re: mbatten]
Huvius Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 126
Congratulations on your purchase!
Mike's advice makes sense to me.
If paper patching or finding a proper bullet is a problem, don't shy away from trying grease groove bullets.
Henry rifling has proven to be quite forgiving for me in single shots, especially in 450 bore.
Also, I vaguely recall seeing an A. Henry with a sight as you describe. A good feature to have on a 450bpe rifle IMO.

Now, let's see it!!

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#552516 - 08/09/19 09:45 PM Re: Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets [Re: Huvius]
mbatten Offline
Boxlock

Registered: 05/03/16
Posts: 29
Thanks Huvius!

If I use a grease-groove bullet rather than paper-patched, I presume it should be .458 diameter to match the bore at the throat, correct?

I will try to post a few pictures next week.

mbatten

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#552611 - 08/11/19 10:26 AM Re: Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets [Re: mbatten]
Huvius Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 126
A .458" bullet will be the easiest to source of course and if it chambers you should be fine with that.
A Henry falling block I have right here in hand has a bore of .449"
and the lands come right to the case mouth from the looks of it.
I doubt this one would chamber a .458" bullet so Mike's advice would be worth heeding for this rifle. Your's may differ.
You mention a "bore" of .458" tapering to .455 but I'm sure you mean the groove measurement, right?
When using black powder, I only focus on the bore diameter and think the groove depth is rather moot.
Are you planning on using real black powder or smokeless?

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#552639 - 08/11/19 08:15 PM Re: Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets [Re: mbatten]
Mike Rowe Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 02/04/04
Posts: 136
Loc: Arkansas.
I don't bother measuring the bores any more. If I know it's a 450, the .450 papered bullet with black powder will shoot.
Smokeless is a whole nuther can of worms, but I will not use it in a rifle originally made for black.

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#552665 - 08/12/19 11:35 AM Re: Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets [Re: mbatten]
Richard B Offline
Sidelock

Registered: 11/27/12
Posts: 90
_________________________
Alexander Henry Rifle Maker - Donald Dallas

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#552695 - 08/13/19 01:28 AM Re: Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets [Re: Richard B]
mbatten Offline
Boxlock

Registered: 05/03/16
Posts: 29
Richard:

It's #2311, remains in very good condition, and is under my good care in BC, Canada.

Cheers!

mbatten

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#552696 - 08/13/19 01:39 AM Re: Alex Henry 450 BPE double bullets [Re: Huvius]
mbatten Offline
Boxlock

Registered: 05/03/16
Posts: 29
I measured the Cerrosafe bore castings from flat to the top of the opposing groove, since the Henry bore has odd-numbered flats and grooves. Does this give an accurate measurement or is there a better method?

Mike - I'm curious to know why you wouldn't use smokeless in such a rifle? I understand a 40% Nitro for Black charge is common practice in these old firearms.

Thanks for any comments or advice.

mbatten

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