Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Q&A for the log--August 2010

Good day:
Here are a few Q&A that may be of interest to you.

Dear Cal:
I have a William Douglass double in .470NE and like it a lot but I am after a trade label. Do you know where I could get one? Thanks.
Steve M.

Good day. Galazan (Connecticut Shotgun) has a good supply of labels as does Mike Messina who does gun case work for Griffin and Howe. Either of these should find you the label you need.
Good shooting,

Dear Cal:
I am in discussions with Butch Searcy about acquiring one of his Classic DRs.
His web site says price is $18K.
My questions:
#1 If I get his Classic, what is the best caliber if I expect to sell the rifle within 5 years.
#2 If I keep the rifle in as new condition, what should I expect to see as a reasonable price if I sell it within 5 years?
Bob N.

Good to hear from you.
Butch makes an excellent double rifle and has a loyal following the world over. While my interests lie in vintage English doubles, I would purchase on of Butch's rifles in a New York minute for any time of hunting should I want a modern rifle. To answer your questions:
1. The bigger the caliber the more desirable it will be for resale. Nothing smaller than .450-400. That and the .450, .470, and .500 have commercial ammunition readily available and that is a plus. The .577 and .600 are there, too, but most folks would rather stay away from the added recoil and cost.
2. For a new rifle you will be doing good to recoup your cost. I doubt it will appreciate in value and, depending on what is being made when you are ready to sell, you could see a small loss.

For additional thought is this. If you have 18K to spend, why not look for a vintage English double? You should find one in a mid-sized caliber and it will have history, lines and balance that any modern rifle can't match, and should climb in value as the years pass.

Good luck in your choice and good shooting.

Dear Cal:
 I live in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and have done a fair amount of hunting myself. Spent my boyhood years in the south-east, in Chiredzi where I did a lot of plains game hunting. As the years marched on, I looked for bigger challenges, namely buffalo and elephant, using a friend's .416 Rigby.

Many years ago, about 1998, I shot a rifle which gave me quite the boot. I think that it was a .450 Ackley; is there such a weapon of this calibre? If so, could you provide me with some information on it, plus something on it's ballistics?
Andy B.

Good to hear from a fella in my favorite country!
The .450 Ackley is the original .450 Watts case with the taper removed and the smallest of shoulder. In the world of cartridge oneupmanship is was supposed to add a grain or two of powder but I doubt any big game animal felt the difference. Ballistics are the same as the Watts round or the .458 Lott what followed the Watts 22 years later. I will mail you a scan of the cartridge and its ballistics for your information.
Good shooting,

Dear Cal:
I am so glad I found your site!  I, too, love double rifles!  I have a question...I need an 8-bore and a 4-bore cartridge for my collection.  Could you please shed some light as to where I can find one?  Inert will be OK!  Any help would certainly be appreciated!
Bill B.

4s and 8s are found via cartridge collecting organizations and they can be Googles as I don't have any personal experience with any of them. If you will accept new brass then Google Rocky Mountain Cartirdge and talk to the owner, Dave Casey. I doubt he will run one case but when he makes a run for a bore rifle owner perhaps he can make an additional one or two for you.

Cheers and good shooting,

Dear Cal:
I am still looking for a double.
Do you have any experience with Rigby`s "B" class? (Their "A" class and "Best" rifles are way beyond my reach.) They seem to be very nice rifles, at a reasonable price.
Will English "B" class rifles usually be of the same quality as their more expensive relatives? I will use the rifle for practical hunting in the African bush.

Best regards
Anders M.

It has been awhile. Nice to hear from you!
The English grading of best quality and A-B-C grades are for embellishment only. The quality of materials is the same as is the construction and craftsmanship. You can't go wrong with ANY double made in the UK. I do not have any personal experience with Rigby's B grade. However, if it is a London Rigby, it has to be good!

Good shooting,

Dear Cal:
I purchased a Holland double in .450 BPE. It's on Monte Whitley's website if you care to look. It is breathtaking! I will follow with Larry at Superior on the ammo.

I looked at Keith's Patstone in .577. Monte Whitley also had a Rigby in what he calls .577/500 magnum. Are those the same cartridges. I assume that is a serious stopping rifle for buff and elephant? I like the Rigby name but it's about twice the price of the Patstone and it too is in excellent condition. Thoughts? Do you think Superior would also be a source for ammo for the .577?
Stewart McD.

Good to hear from you. I looked at both of the rifles, the .450 and .577-500. Very nice!
The two cartridges are quite different.
Keith's is the .577 3" which was most likely made for 6 drams and a bullet between 570 and 650 grains.
The .577-500 magnum is a case 3 1/8" long and a .577 necked to .500. The .577-500 no2 is the same configuration but with a case about 2 3/4" long. The magnum is much preferred but more rare.

The Rigby would be my choice as it is a Rigby. I've not heard of Pastone before.

Superior can make the ammo no problem--and so can you. Just get .577 cases, trim them to length, and run them through a sizing die and you should have it. See Cartridges of the World for info on the calibers.

If you are interested in big bore shotguns, I have a 4 and 8 bore single shots on my site.

Contact me if I can be of any service and good shooing,