Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Daniel Fraser 450/400 3 /14

Dear Cal:

We met at a gun show last year, and I figured you are a walking Lexicon on Double rifles or as close to it as can be in Alaska.

I shoot a Daniel Fraser 450/400 3 /14" and have had some (limited) luck finding bullets for this rifle.  I have shot some Woodleighs through it and it shoots wonderfully.  I had purchased some bullets by a company named Hawk Bullets and a friend of mine who has been in the double game for a long time says they are too soft.  They do claim they have a thin copper jacket and soft lead to really make a wound channel.  That is all good and well, but my friend tells me that as soft as they are they increase pressure in the bore.  Okay, some things I believe and others you have to show me..  I am an empirical guy and believe a lot of what I can see, hold or measure.  I checked the diameter of the Woodleighs and they are ".4095".  The Hawk bullets are ".411".  I received several loaded rounds with the rifle and the bullet diameter was .4095.  Here is my question and I think I know the answer to it:  Will the softer Hawk bullets be okay running at normal velocities or will they deform? Should I just stay away from them and slug the barrel?  If the Hawk bullets are too big, who do I contact to swage them just a bit smaller in diameter?  I assume it will not be cheap to buy a set up to change the diameter.

As I said, I am an empirical guy, and I am leaning towards measuring the bore.

Thanks in advance, Cal.
Matt M. Anchorage


Good to hear from you. I've never heard of soft bullets causing a rise in pressure-- it is the hard ones. Think of it. If it was due to the softness then lead would cause the highest pressure. But rather lead is the low pressure alternative.

As to diameter, 1 to 1 1/2 thousandth I do not believe will cause pressure problems. All of the old rifles had variations in bore diameter. However, pressue will rise with the harndess of the bullet. Barnes has solved this problem with their banded solids that are .002” undersize.

For your nitro rifle, you're using 400-grain bullets you should be fine for .001” oversize. Use copper and not steel jackets as I now am a believer in OSR. CH Tool can possibly give you some information in reducing the diameter of jacketed bullets.

We have a shoot planned at my place Sunday. You're invited.
Good shooting,