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Author Topic: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...  (Read 604 times)

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Offline Racing

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Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« on: August 05, 2020, 03:33:55 PM »


Alright. So good friend is currently working on Svalbard way up north. Fellow club member too,and he like me picks the occasional gun up at auctions mainland Europe.
So. Roger asks me to pick this double up made in ZA back in the day. What some call a cape gun (no..not a mix gun,it´s a TRUE double).

Right off the bat.
This is THE most "manly" rifle i´ve EVAR handled! No runner up..this is IT. DAAAAUUUUUYYYYM!  {:( {:(
Approx 10lbs of it.





Yes. It carries quite a few blemishes,WGAFF? This..just blows my sox off!  (?^



Thing is... It´s like a gun that got fed steroids from day one. Mark the height of the stock by the butt plate. Note the height right there?`
It holds water cause the entire rifle is like..it "grew" a bit vs the regular SBS scatter guns and what not we handle.



Should i really comment that pic? Why should i in such a case? Nuff said.
At the business end of that..i´d say you´re shit outta luck really.. (?^ (?^



Uhu. That MASSIVE front sight is of course adjustable for windage.
Mark the dovetail.



Yeah. N then some...  (k-



Uhu. Patchbox,sry to say,lacks its latch. Is what it is tho...



Remarkable thing is that although the rifle is sort of 1,2:1 scale the proportions are kept. Looks like any other SBS at a quick glance.







So. You need to clean jurassic park up,well..there´s a tool for that see...  {_K (?^ Mark that each barrel carries only two grooves. Rather deep at that,and of an approx 1:20 twist.
Barrels are ca 740mm long (30") and the rifling makes about one and a half turn in that distance. NOT to take to the bank,but as such i wouldn´t take poison on if 20 or 22 inches buuuuut..that vincinity at least.
Thus this should be a rather hard hitting (DOH!) rifle as the boolits measure 12,74/14,35mm respectively. In other words it should use 1/2" boolits (diameter) while at the same time being rather long and heavy slugs seeing the twist.
It shows as far as sights too.. This is NO doubt intended to punch holes at VERY long distances need be.



Note that even the "overpressure plug" (platinum) is engraved. Hayton..yes Sir.



Indeed from eastern Cape in ZA. Although Grahamstown has changed name it´s still there. Wonderful.



Range finder. The entire barrel is so marked.



...here in turn the "add on" rear sight. For when shit gets real  {L* (?^ (?^

I´m going to hand this piece the TLC needed to make it safe to shoot again. In essence i guess you COULD call it a 577 double,albeit it is really not.
Was advertised as a 525,which it is certainly not. 57 caliber if anything in such a case..

Be that as it may,wanted to share this very very very odd and scarce piece with you guys. Rare sight,and even more so firing the thing and experience how it handles and shoots.
Rest assured..i´ll make my best to let you enjoy the entire trip.
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Offline Grumpy gumpy

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2020, 05:19:33 PM »
That is a really nice piece, keep the pics coming
Gumpy

Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2020, 10:12:27 AM »
Isn't that a bit large for elephants?
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Offline Racing

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2020, 02:40:19 PM »
 )L$ )L$

You´ve sure got a point....

Spent the day taking care of the locks. Both hammers were a bit on the loose side too,handled that as well.

Need to adress that the one tail screw is a bit on the loose side as well. I guess a punch will make short order out of that.
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Offline Miguel Loco

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2020, 05:01:47 PM »
That is simply awesome!
-Mick
"a dios rogando y con el mazo dando"

Offline Racing

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2020, 06:53:24 PM »




Uhu. The two locks had certainly seen better days. Left that the carding wheel went into double time...n presto.
Now we´ve got two locks that are CLEAN,setup correctly and have all their moving parts in order and in place.
Hammers were a bit loose on both tumblers as noted so took a punch to drifting the metal around where the axles protrude and then dressed with a needle file..made them insanely snug fit pieces of kit.

As you can see these locks sport them small "flies" that renders it impossible for the sear to engage the safety catch on its way down as you drop the hammer.
Brings that you can "tune" the triggers to a level otherwise way harder to achieve. Interestingly enough the two locks differ quite a bit in their trigger resistance before their hammers fall.
Dunno if i´m to adress that but..that´s the way it is.



Before.

I´m currently trying to figure out what boolits this elephant gun is intended to use. From what it seems easier said than done but..we´ll get there. Seeing the caliber,the twist and intended use tho a very qualified guess is a rather long and heavy boolit. Wouldn´t be surprised if that thing comes in the other end of 600 grains.

What puzzles us a bit is the very very deep rifling,and it being only twin grooves. Be that as it may though there´s plenty examples OF THE TIME where rifling indeed is pointlessly deep.
Most of the Chassepot rifles for instance...where inner dia normally hoovers around the 11.00mm(0.433") mark and the grooves in turn are like approx 11,7mm(0.46") in diameter. 4 grooves in turn. Left hand at that.
True.
This double sports even deeper rifling,but to be honest ..to what avail? That´s what has me a it beat with all this. At least as of current.

See. There just a tad earlier in history was a very very famous double rifle out of England with the approx same proportions and..caliber along the same lines at least and that was the Swinburne "Jacobs rifle" - used mainly by the Brits in India.
This double tho strays a bit as it sports an even faster rifling twist.
See,the Jacobs used boolits with "wings". Ie;a boolit that fit the barrel mechanically. Could that be what this rifle is intended for too?
Hard to know,hard to tell.. I´ve asked the Q on the Brit mil forum as well as amongst ZA BP shooting friends. Will see what this boils down to then..

At the end of the road please keep in mind that we´ve got a multi axis rather modern NC machine at our disposal and one of its current intents is to cut casting molds for old guns....
So we´ll get there friends,rest assured. Just need to ask the folk in the know what is a plausible excuse for a boolit for starters..
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Offline Grumpy gumpy

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2020, 09:37:51 PM »
I did think winged bullet when you said it had deep rifling, and only two grooves but some BP firearms had deep rifling to counter fouling, usually more groove though like you said....interesting. Can’t wait to see how it works  (T^
Gumpy

Offline Racing

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2020, 02:33:04 PM »
Spent a wee bit of time looking into this and what i found out basically blew my mind.





Well,that escalated quickly as the saying goes!!!  {:( {:(

Winged bullets alright. Let´s dwell on that for a moment shall we?



Disregarding the Brunswick and its belted ball one of the more famous rifles to use winged bullets is the Swinburne produced so called Jacobs rifles.
These were the spawn of a British officer stationed in India at the time. Fact is,to my knowledge at least,the Jacobs rifles were the first ever to use exploding ammunition.
Nose part of the bullets was drilled out and then handed small "cartridges" filled with fulminate. There´s a number of stories on the matter,just google.
The Jacobs rifles were reported to be lethal to at least 800 yards.

Now. Read what the two first pics up there tells. Greener and Purdy were obviously faster on the ball then Sir Joseph Whitworth. It says so in ink,right there.
That Purdy produced these Express rifles is beyond reason too i guess,and the spawn of those in turn...we arrive at this Hayton made Cape rifle.
Hm.

In short this means that Whitworth was NOT first on using the 1:20 twist and in turn NOT first at using polygonal rifling and NOT first at using bullets that mechanically fit the bore of the gun!!!  {:( {:(
Well! That´s a first ain´t it!  {:(

But.
Mark that the text says alloy lead and patch. Patched winged bullets..and that´s somehow to survive? Well call me....

I´ve got a REAL hard time taking to heart that a twin winged patched bullet would have the patch survive the path down a bore that sports two grooves at approx 90 degrees vs the bullet... In my book that ain´t happening,and i suppose i´m not the only one on let alone here that have come to patch WRONG on occasion...and thus have any and all accuracy walk out the door due effect.

Hm.

Facts are facts tho and we had a sit to brainstorm a bit.
Facts are;
This is an Express rifle. Made to kill game at "South African" distances.
That brings a rather heavy bullet,as we´re still talking blackpowder,and rather stiff loads.
Fact is that we´ve got two rather deep grooves to take into account.

Hm.
We these days KNOW that heavier bullets out of pure lead WILL expand at firing and thus a 600 grain bullet out of pure lead WILL take to the rifling.
Point being that it by no means have to expand to 100% fill the two grooves,that ain´t called for. Enough grip to make the bullet spin does it.
Such a soft lead 600 grainer to be backed by an appropriate sized greased wad and we´ve got a gas seal too.





Day was spent milling. Friend Daniel his CNC and me the manual Beaver mill making slides out of steel..check the Monkey tail thread.

Going to be a hoot to check this out.

The "other" molds there are for bullets for a Smith carbine...and that one´s to be continued. One for me and one for a friend.
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2020, 07:06:36 PM »
Well, so much for your issue with cape buffalo overgrazing your back yard. This should fix THAT issue, pronto.
Aside from that, I found the references and your conclusions extremely interesting. Whitworth not a trailblazer in his field...who'da thunk it?
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Offline Racing

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2020, 06:43:29 AM »
Ditto Cpt.
This about blew my sox off.

Come to think a tad tho..it´s within reason that they ones involved spoke to each other. History is full of events where discoverys have been made in more than one place at the same time.

What puzzles me a bit though is the empiric experiments done by the Whitworth trio (Whitworth/Brunell/Richards) as i presume them to be the basis of their new thesis?
That Purdy et al would have reached the same consensus at approx the same time SANS the same empiric development strikes at least me as very very unlikely.

Might it have been that the Purdy gang were to use the finding on Express rifles only?

We DO know that the Whitworth was considered the first true marksman gun at the time and we DO know that strapped down Whitworth was used by Queen Vic to set the British NRA off at Wimbledon.
We DO know that that event made the "follow ups" a´la Henry,Metford,Gibbs,Turner et al come to be of reality.

It´s both mindblowing and puzzling at the same time,to me at least. Makes one ponder what´s right and what´s wrong here..
If so it COULD have been the result of them talking to each other within the industry.

The later Greener in turn was the one that put forth the to rifles downright imperative Greener formula. Google...
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2020, 09:40:36 AM »
As I said, very interesting. Especially considering Col. Colt's behavior toward patent infringement at that time...of which he pursued violators very aggressively. He was definitely not one to play nice & share. I have a hard time wrapping my head around other competitors sharing information and details. Perhaps those entities didn't have the legal representation or clout that Col. Colt did...IDK?
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Offline Racing

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2020, 05:41:41 PM »
On that note Cpt it´s kind of in haze why Whitworth never seeked a patent for his/their findings.
At least as far as I know he didn´t.
Joseph Whitworth known then,according to history,to be rather excentric.... Hm.

At the same time..... some of the Monkey tails produced by Westley Richards were marked "Whitworth rifling" while there´s others,according to legend,marked "Whitworth patents",as sort of a homage.
That´s kind of odd as... as far as i know no patents were ever granted as far as the fabled rifle.
Also be aware that Whitworth was nowhere NEAR the capacity to build/produce the rifles carrying his name. Westley Richards on the other hand was..as were several other gunsmiths around.
Yes. The fabled Whitworth rifles were produced at several locations. Also mark the difference between the first 5500 produced that are of a WAY WAY higher quality than the "lesser" Enfield Whitworths produced later in the 1860´s - which like the Monkey tails for instance used cast barrels and what not.

There´s a lore telling that they stuffed one of them first 5500 rifles full of powder and shoved a number of bullets down its throat and then clamped the thing shut and fired.
What happened was a decompression through the nipple...that´s it. So yes,there´s a rather profound difference between them first 5500 "real" Whitworths and the following made by Enfield. They´re NOT the same animal. (Mine is one of them first 5500. Serial C832,putting it right in that window of those shipped for the US civil war)

Information has surfaced though that kind of tilts the entire debate to be honest. I was taught,and have always been of the notion of,that Sir Whitworth indeed was the pioneer as far as "modern" day n era accuracy.
Thing is,that team might very well still BE,which is kind of my entire point here.

All that takes is that the "industry" had honest talks amongst each other. Remember that the incitament here were the British army and navy,NOT Whitworth himself.
He was asked to figure out a rifle with better accuracy than the then in reign common Enfield rifles. Which..the team did.

Whitworth,Brunell and Richards. These gents sure put their minds to it,to a degree where an "indoor" range was dug in at Whitworths domains (the lawn according to legend). To the letter. Due that paper could be set up every 25 yards for 500 yards and thus the trajectory could be figured as well - from an empiric point of view. In turn there´s WAY more to tell...but let it suffice at that.

I guess most are aware of Joseph Whitworth and that he made his fortune fabricating lathes. Inventor of the micrometer,machinist blue and what not.NOT to forget the worlds first classification system for nuts,bolts and fasteners.
In essence,during the industrial revolution,he was the one that made man able to measure to the thousands - which we were nowhere near close to before that.

Westley Richards in turn i guess most of us that shoot have at least heard of. Albeit that WR lives to this day it´s long since the family was involved.
Be that as it may it was since 1815,if memory serves,that the Richards family was involved in making guns. So..someone like Westley Richards aboard the team makes sense too.

Islamabad Brunell then.
I guess many have never heard of the man. Fact of the matter is that he had a rep of being a really brilliant construction/building engineer and there´s thus bridges as well as tunnels within the former British empire carrying his name to this day. In short a very valid engineer..which maybe makes it a little more clear as far as his presence...

Purdy..a very very well known gunmaker. Greener to the same degree..
Sure. Them gents knew guns but that´s NOT the same as that they were aware what it takes to push forward.

Pondering the whole situation Cpt..i´m beginning to be willing to bet on that these gents indeed were talking to each other.
After all,the Queens army and navy were involved. Who put the order down.
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Offline Hawg

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2020, 09:35:20 PM »
A little side note on Whitworth rifles. The ones shipped to the south were 2nd quality and so marked. A few of them were shipped with 4X Davidson scopes mounted to the left side of the rifle.
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2020, 09:50:01 AM »
After pondering on your post, Racing...I think you are correct. Collaboration for the common good, so to speak. I wonder if any written communication between the above parties exists today? Perhaps in family archives or a trunk in someone's attic?
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Offline Racing

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Re: Alright guys,a REAL treat. A double...
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2020, 07:37:28 PM »
@ Hawg.
All to aware. The ownership of my Whitworth made me a member of the intl Whitworth registry.
Sry to say what are like mine,"best quality" rifles,are known to have been counterfeited to mimic "2nd quality" rifles as these..with the correct serial collects preimium. To say the least.
I believe one of them,honest ones that is, fetched inxs of 180 ooo$ at an auction about a year + ago.
Insane.

@Cpt.
Uhu. The more involved i get with the guns of the empire the more confused i basically get. Ie;learning the TRUE history of them..not the easiest of tasks.

I´d say,yeah. Most likely. Q then is such a case would be where?

On a whole tho it just strikes me as unlikely that this would be figured out sans engineers and their schooling. Don´t get me wrong,s-it indeed happens but.. That´s a LOT of "if-s" in that case.

Compare the light bulb and Edison. How the consortium behind Edison made Maxim "disappear".... That Maxim in turn,as he was relocated to London and went for a trip to Paris and ended up chatting with an old friend that made Maxim come up with the modern belt fed machine gun..is another story.
Point,to us,is that there were advancements made at more than one point,geographically.

Compare "our" (Sweden) own Alfred Nobel. How he about wandered Europe to make someone catch and hook up on his invention-s. Truth is that there were more people that had pushed that envelope than him...at the same time.

The French and "Poudre B"..that led to a revolution within the firearms industry as the 8mm Lebel rifle was released. Pushed from paper to ready product in a mere 5 months back in 1886!  {:(

Whitworth.
The real caveat to me is that the findings were never patended. Why?
"Whitworth rifling" this..and "Whitworth rifling" that... Hell,even the Hughes volunteer rifle carried that text,and what not that one aside!
At the time the evolution of things was at a rate so rapid up until approx year 1900 that we´ve never seen the likes since. But the FACTS remains..
45 caliber. 1:20 twist. Keeping the 58cal bullet weight...and polygonal rifling (hexa in this case).

To add insult to injury the head over heels volunteer rifles to follow used that same 1:20 and instead expanded on the rifling per se.
Like Thomas Turner who spent loads of time looking into progressive rifling. Not gain TWIST but actual progressive rifling. This to counter bore fouling.
Metford,Henry,Turner,Gibbs and what have you not,they were ALL in on it at one time or another. Henry in turn left his mark with the just slightly later Martini-Henry.
Yes. The same Scott at work..again.

..and so the story goes. (:@
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