Cal's Alaska Photos
Cal's Logbook
Double Rifles
Double Rifle Appraisal Service
Double Rifles and Hunting Trophies
Cal Answers Emails
Magazine Articles by Cal
Magazine Articles from the Past
.600 Nitro Express, a new book by Cal
Double Rifles for Sale
Photo Gallery
African Hunter Magazine

March 12 update:

My apologies in my delay in posting here. Since the end of October I have been working on transferring the website to a blog. The work has taken far longer than I expected and I put off posting here as I thought the blog was going to be done within the next few weeks. I was slacking and am sorry. The blog is nearly done and it is now at <calpappas.blogspot.com> whilst it is begin completed. When it is done,  I will have the URL code of <calpappas.com> transferred over so the site you have been calling up will then be the blog. All of the information has been added to the blog with the same navigation bar. I have added some new photos. Transferring over the magazine Articles From the Past has taken time as it is a one page at a time transfer. Also, this site has codes added to each post I make here. While it transferred over to the blog when this site is erased all transferred pages will be erased, too, unless the code is removed. This has taken time, too. But the blame for me not posting here rests with me. In addition I was down with my forth surgery of the year  with a torn rotator cuff on December 6 and I was unable to type for several weeks. I did go to the Dallas convention and it was great. And, last week I picked up a new toy--an Alex Henry single barrel harpoon gun in 8-bore that will shoot standard 8-bore cartridges. The same week my .500 Watson Brothers double was a returned from Griffin and Howe after being away for a few months for a makeover. It was Jack Lott's rifle and saw some wear.

Anyway, again my apologies and soon all will be at the blog site with this URL code.

October 24 update:

Good day, all, it's been awhile. I have been putting off posting here as I (or my computer) has lost the ability to post photos. Instead of keeping on I am in the process of moving this site to a blog site. After the transition is complete I change the URL of the blog to the name of this site so viewing can continue. 

Since the caribou hunt I have shot a bit with my doubles but now am recovering from minor elbow surgery on the ulna nerve.  I just bought a nice .500 bpe with amazing history and when I can post photos I will share them with you.

I hope to see many of you again in Dallas.

August 31 update:

Good day, all. 
Snow, a cloudless day, high wind, rain, fog, 60 degrees, 10 degrees, are all a week in ANWR in northeast Alaska on a caribou hunt. Few caribou. Only saw 31 caribou in 7 days as they had moved out of the area I was in which was the head waters of the Juniper River. They moved north to the arctic plains into a herd that was 20 miles wide and 70 miles long--so stated the pilot. Of the 31 all were cows and calves except one bull and he was a good one. He now is resting in my freezer compliments of my Harrison and Hussey .450-400 ble. Highlights of the hunt were seeing a grizzly walk 100 yards behind camp, smell me, and take off at a full run. (I guess a week without a shower will do that to a big grizz!). Also, seeing a wolverine sneak up to a ground squirrel, kill it and eat it. Lots of birdlife, with several ptarmigan in camp. Should you like a hunt like this, I would strongly recommend Mike and Bob at 70 North Air.

In the double rifle world I may be getting a .300 flanged Holland and a very old Greener .360 bpe soon. Please keep you pics coming and you can see some of the finest double rifles on the DR page of this site. Thanks for your book orders, which have been gaining in the last few months.
Cheers and see you in Dallas.

July 31 update.

Good day and I trust your summer is a good as I am experiencing. Daily temps in Alaska are upper 70s to 80s and even a few in the 90s!! Sunny every day, few mosquitos now but they were thick in June. Two weeks in Africa and then a week in Australia at the Big Game Rifle Club shoot in Darwin. Please look at the double rifles page for some fine rifles seen there. I'm still waiting for some photos of Africa and in a bit over two weeks I depart for the north east corner of the state for caribou hunting with my .450-400 Harrison and Hussey boxlock ejector. I will post some pics when they come in.
Thanks for looking at the site and your comments on my books. Please keep the photos coming in.

June 26 update:

Good day, all. South Africa and Zim were wonderful as always. The buffalo hunt in SA was a joke. On a small ranch, surrounded by highways and railroad tracks, I was told not to shoot the buff with ear tags! I did not pull the trigger. In Zim it was a great vacation and hunt. Two wildebeest, a buff cow, and a pair of hippo fell to the .600. Great time with good friends. Young Andries Kotze was my PH and he knows his job well and comes with my highest recommendation. If you are looking for a PH, you can email Andries at <andries_kotze@yahoo.com>.

Visited the African Hunter magazine and had a nice talk with both Ant and Ira. Two fine gents who produce the finest African hunting magazine on the stands today. Barry Styles of Buffalo Range is a new acquaintance who runs a first class operation but the land resettlement is pushing into his hunting areas. A gent from Mass. (the People's Republic thereof) took a 14-foot croc, leopard, and a 40-inch buff. Also, I visited with old friends, Gerry and Rose Whitehead who lost their oasis of a ranch in 2002 to the "war vets".

I didn't bring a camera on the trip but a friend did and I will post a few photos when I receive them. Off to Dawson City in the Yukon Territory for a few days and then to Darwin, Australia on the 13th of July for the Big Game Rifle Club shoot and maybe a bit of hunting.

Thanks for looking and send in your double rifle and hunting photos for posting. It's been five years since I hunted Africa and I have the fever again. I'm planning next year's trip!

May 25th Update:

A short note to let you fine folks know of a double rifle and big bore (big game) shoot in Melbourne, Australia on 9-6-2014. I will be in Darwin for the shoot this July 20th. There is a large double rifle group and big bore group down under. If any of you gents want to travel to Melbourne in 2014 the contacts and info are on the double rifles page of my site. Perhaps we can get a group together from the States and fly over?
Also, some great pics of doubles have been added to the double rifles page. It is amazing how many fine rifles are out there.

May 15. Update.
Good day all. It's been awhile but I wanted to wait until the May 4th shoot. Then my computer died and was in the repair shop for several days. All files are retrieved so I trust all is well. Below is a pic of my rifles I brought to the shoot and you can see more on the double rifles page as well as additional doubles from contributions to the site. 

I'm off to South Africa and Zimbabwe for plains game, two buffalo, and a hippo on June 8 and hope to post great pics upon my return at the end of the month. To prepare I'm shooting the .600 daily in my front yard's shooting range and gradually moving up in powder charges to adjust to the recoil after seven months of not shooting during the cold and dark winter. Cheers all and please continue to send in your photos of double rifles, game taken with them, and any questions you have.
Talk to you upon my return.
PS. Below, from left: .450-400, .500 bpe, .450 no2, .600, 8-bore, 4-bore, .470.


April 2 update:

Good day all. The knee is on the mend, snow is melting, and shooting is just around the corner. A few additions to the double rifles page may interest you and also the for sale page. And, if you're interested, on May 4 the Alaska double rifle gents are holding a shoot at the Birchwood range all day. A 50 yard range is reserved just for double rifle shooters! We will have a grill, food, soft drinks, etc., and (of course) a bunch of doubles to shoot. I will bring my .450-400, .450 no2, maybe my .600, an 8-bore, and maybe a 4-bore as well as a pair I have for sale: a .500 bpe and a .470 nitro. Other gents will bring their rifles and it should be a jolly good show. At least one gent, and maybe two, from the lower 48 will fly up and join us and I will make arrangements to pick them up Friday pm or Sat. am. I will post photos soon after. We decided to hold it at the Birchwood range as the range in my front yard is too small, parking very limited, and it is 100 miles from the rest of the men. Cheers all and please send in your pics and for reference take a look at magazine articles from the past. Great stuff here.

Feb. 22 update:
Good day all. Not much news. The British Bore rifle is selling well--thanks for all of your orders and kind words. In early March I am set for a knee replacement so will be out of commission for a few weeks. As to the site, on the trophies page is a great 90 pound elephant and on the for sale page I have offered a .500 bpe and a .470 nitro. Also a .600 Jeffery single shot and a complete set of the Double Gun Journals. All three rifles are quality pieces! The double rifle men in Alaska will be ready for our monthly shoot beginning in May and currently I am working on a trip to both Zim and Australia. Will keep you posted, thanks for looking at the site, and please send in your photos. Cheers, Cal

Feb. 2 Update:

Good day all. Waiting for the warm weather to arrive so I can dust off my doubles and resume shooting. Thanks all for your positive comments and orders for my Bore Rifle book and for seeing so many of you at Dallas. Check out the trophies and double rifles pages as lots of nice pics have been added. The only negative item is as of Feb. 1 the US post had huge increases in the mailing costs of international priority boxes: 15$ per box! Cheers, everyone, and continue to send in your pics for posting.

December 27th update.
Good day all. Of course there is no shooting here in AK due to the cold and dark. Please check out the double rifles and the trophies pages as lots of new photos have been added. Thank you all for your interest and fine comments on the new bore rifle book. Sales have been well and in a week I depart for Dallas for the convention. I will have some of my books with me and will spend most of my time at the African Hunter magazine booth. Please stop by for a chat.
Cheers and a great new year to all.

November 5th update. The sales are good and the reviews and feedback are outstanding. Thank you all for your kind words! Cal

October 21st. update:

THE BRITISH BORE RIFLE IS HERE!!! Details are below. Also I've added a nice Rielly .500 black powder express to the double rifles page (and my gun safe). Below are the details of the new book.

October 15th update:
Good day, all. If all goes to plan The British Bore Rifle book will arrive on Thursday the 18th. I will post shortly the detail of the book's contents as well as ordering information. And, I am set up now for credit cards! Here are the contents and the cover and ordering information is below. I will offer the .600 Nitro Express at 1/2 price for each bore rifle book ordered.

Chapter 1. 36 pages of history--users of the bore rifles in the vintage years.

Chapter 2. 21 pages of muzzle loading bore rifles, 14 rifles photographed.

Chapter 3. 37 pages of vintage ammunition, ballistics, reloading tools and moulds.

Chapter 4. 41 pages of 4-bores, 14 4-bores photographed.

Chapter 5. 61 pages of 8-bores, 27 8-bores photographed.

Chapter 6. 22 pages of 10-bores, 10 10-bores photographed.

Chapter 7. 39 pages of 12-bores, 12 12-bores photographed.

Chapter 8. 25 pages of 13-28 bores, 11 rifles photographed.

Chapter 9. 73 pages of the Bore Rifle Today: modern ballistics (11 pages), reloading (13 pages), shooting (10 pages), hunting (14 pages), where can I get...(17 pages), modern history (9 pages).

Chapter 10. 34 pages of modern and non-UK bore rifles, 22 rifles photographed.

The book is 416 pages (nearly 5 pounds!), heavy stock glossy paper, offset printing, full color (except vintage photos and drawings), dust jacket.

Ordering information:

The British Bore Rifle.........................$90

The .600 Nitro Express......................$35 when ordered with the BBR (full price is $70)


Shipping (pick one)

1) to US addresses:

(note:I would prefer to drop media mail as a) complaints of 2-3 weeks delivery and b) damaged corners from a long time shuffling around in various post offices which the USPS insurance won't pay for. They only pay for lost, destroyed, or severely damaged books).

one or two books priority mail.........$16

three or four books priority mail......$22

2) international addresses:

one or two books priority mail.........$65

three or four books priority mail......$83


ore or two books priority mail...........$46

two or three books priority mail........$59


call Cal at 907-495-4505 evenings Alaska time

email    pappas@mtaonline.net

post      Cal Pappas, HC 89 Box 397, Willow AK 99688 USA

Payment: check, money order, wire transfer (call for details) 

                  or credit card: VISA, Disc, AmEx, MC

Please note: It is an honor to sign either my name or a personal message to my books. Let me know how and to whom you would like your books signed. The best part of writing is meeting like-minded gents who love double rifles. Many of you have become friends and have visited my home in Alaska and joined my mates and myself in double rifle shoots. I will sign your book(s) any way you wish.


September 10th update.
Good day, everyone. 19 degrees (F) this morning and winter is coming fast! The caribou hunt was cancelled two weeks ago due to snow in Atigun pass, snow,rain, and fog delaying the flights several days, and the Haul Road was closed for a day for major construction at mile 286. The three problems caused us to move our deposit to next year. We did spend two days in Wiseman hiking in a valley on the road to Nolan in the Gates of the Arctic park.
Several fine doubles have been added to the double rifles page.
Below are two additional targets from the 4-bore. Notice how the conical bullet groups well with Blue Dot but the added 200 grains and the shape of the Paradox bullet opened the group quite a bit. Also, here is a copy of a page from the December 1959 issue of the American Rifleman. My Hughes is at the top of the page!
Received many favorable comments on the site from viewers the world over. It is a pleasure to hear from you and please send in your double rifle pics and photos of your DR and game taken.
Last of all is great news. An advance copy of the British Bore Rifle came today and it looks wonderful. I emailed the go ahead to print the bulk and they are scheduled to arrive in October (if all goes smoothly with customs in California).
See you in Dallas in January.




August 19 update:
Good day, all.

Good News!! Remember Eric Leeton and the horrible double rifle job he commissioned J. White "gunsmith" to do (scroll down)? Well, Eric got his refund check a few days ago and the matter is closed. Good and right always prevail.  

Take a look at the trophies page for some nice pics from Steve Newman of TN and his hunt in Namibia. Two of the critters Steve took with the Lyon & Lyon ball and shot gun he bought from me. It was nice to see this fine piece taken back to Africa. A few targets to share with you below from the 8- and 4-bore. It is interesting how the bullets pattern showing changes in powder charge or bullet weight or bullet style. Three 8-bore targets from my Walter Locke large 8 (.875" diameter). The rifle was rifled for a ball at about 1:100 inch twist. The ball target is excellent, the Paradox (1350 grains) target opens up quiet wide, and the conical (1620 grains) target's group is huge. Distance was 40 yards over a seated rest. The 4-bore target is also interesting. The 4-bore Hughes (.970 bore diameter) was rifled for a conical bullet at 1:50 inch twist but shoots a ball very accurately with FFg (330 grains) or Blue Dot (100 grains). I have shot up to 440 grains of FFg and 120 grains of Blue Dot but the groups open up quite a bit. In shooting the other day with a heavy conical of 1950 grains the groups were unacceptably large with up to 70 grains of Blue Dot. The groups tightened up very nice with 75 grains. I will experiment more with FFg but the recoil level with a heavy conical is very stiff. The only problem is the rifle shoots about 6-7 inches high at 40 yards with this charge.

In less than a week I depart to the northeast corner of the state for a caribou hunt with my endocrinologist. While I am gone a mate from Australia I met on the buffalo trip in June is coming here for a bear hunt. I will meet up with him on his return from the bush as he will be in town for a few days before his flight home. Mick will bring some Woodeligh bullets for the .600 and .450-400 for me as Huntington's was out when I placed an order last May.

The bore rifle book is at the printers and nearing completion. I should have an advance copy for final approval in early September and then the run will be printed. After that, it is just transit time via boat and customs clearing in CA, and up to AK. When the book is in hand I will have price and shipping information as well as a special introductory offer.

Thanks for looking at the site and please send my your double rifle photos. 


4-bore target above. Top two shots is where I aimed at the center of the bull and the large group I aimed at the bottom of the target. Below are the three 8-bore targets. Ball group is fine, Paradox group opens a bit, and the conical group is huge. All shots from 40 yards, seated rest, wheel weight alloy, bore butter used for lube. I think it would be boring to buy a new rifle and have it shoot well right out of the box. Working with antique doubles if great fun and a satisfying hobby. The next step is to try to lower the 4-bore group by increasing the powder charge to get the bullet out of the bore more quickly.




July 30 Update:
Good day all. Not much news here. A little shooting of doubles a few days a week, a few friends over, and a few unsuccessful walks looking for bears. The best walk with with Ron Williams. I took  my .600 and Ron his Army and Navy .577. No bears but some fresh tracks in the river bank mud and some piles of scat. I bet we were the only blokes to hunt in AK with two such rifles! There are two additions to the for sale page--the 10-bore shotgun on the 8-bore frame is still here. The sale on the east coast didn't materialize and I was slow in putting it back on the site. Also, I have a special Winchester for sale: a extra light weight Model 1886, full deluxe, and in the coveted .45-70. It is priced to sell--you won't find this style of rifle for anywhere near what I am asking. In addition, I sent my 8-bore Henry to Champlin Arms and George Caswell did his usual great job of description and photographs. The price has been reduced! The bore rifle book is at the printers and it is just a matter of time until it is in hand and tomorrow I will be off again to the river looking for the elusive brown bear. That's all, folks. Cal

July 2 update.
Good day, all. 
Returned from a great hunt down under. See the trophies page for pics of the hunters and their buffalo. A good hunt, good people, good staff, good buffalo, good climate, and GREAT rifles! I will post a detailed article as soon as I get some info from the outfitter at Conway's Station, George Stewart. The only cockups was the paperwork and confusion of bringing rifles both in AND out of Australia and on QANTAS airlines. The customs in Sydney (going in) and Darwin (going out) were polite and very helpful but didn't know a damn thing of their own laws. They had to discuss matters amongst themselves, look in the regulation book(s), and note cards. Even out outfitter didn't know all of what was required! I will post everything here soon so prospective hunters will know the details. 

Here what you need if you are hunting in the Northern Territory with your own firearm:
form B709A which will be arranged by your outfitter
US customs form 4457
Australia VISA--applied for three months prior to departure
two exit forms for Australia customs (complete and drop off at customs in Darwin      upon arrival so they will be set to go when you depart).
If flying QANTAS:
declare restricted items (firearm and ammo) on the initial ticket purchase
QANTAS permission letter to carry ammo as checked baggage

The details of my buffalo are as follows. A few weeks earlier my guide, known as Yogi, (from Sweden) shot a bull from a herd of cows and saw the bull below coming into the herd a few days later to take over. He was a good bull so Yogi snapped the picture. We went back to look for him and found the herd in the same general area. (They didn't move as food and water was good). We spotted him and began the stalk in. They saw us and began moving away with the bull in the lead but, when some cows turned to me out of curiosity, the bull turned and came in between the cows and myself. The buff don't run here as they do in Africa as they are not hunted much and don't have lions to prey on them. I wanted a frontal brain shot but the bull had his nose in the air getting my scent (I showered the evening prior). At 30-40 yards I shot at this chest with the .600 and the 900-grain Woodleigh soft (I don't think solids are needed for buffalo) entered to his left of center and lung blood came from his nose and his left leg was not working. He turned but stumbled and I reloaded the left barrel and moved to the side for a shoulder shot. The bull turned to face me each time I moved left. He was able to stand but was hurting. When his head went down I took the brain shot and hit a bit left of center on his forehead. He went down as if hit by lightning with the bullet taking out his brain pan, the rear of his skull, and most of his upper spine. The first shot was well mushroomed and the head shot pretty much distorted the bullet but it passed through a lot of bone and was lodged in the upper spine.

I spent the next four days looking for a bigger bull (mine was SCI 98) but saw many twins but none bigger. A good time and I plan to return in 2014 with some mates for another go at a bigger bull or two. I hope to see George at Dallas and make arrangements. Photos below are:
top: my bull taken by Yogi two weeks prior
second: my bull, myself, and the .600
third: frontal brain shot
Four: three bullets from left: brain shot, body shot, Steve's body shot .500.
Five: a posed shot overlooking a scenic valley
bottom: trophies, hunters, and staff (named below)







Above: The Australia group, from left: Alan Stewart (owner), Mike Brooks (AK), Greg Hoversten, MD (personal physician-lol- and videographer), Scott Kendrix (AZ), Cal and .600, Casey Hoversten, Steve Ahrenberg (Arizona or Mexico--I forget which-lol), Rob Seymour (Rob took the above photos and is from AK), Yogi (guide from Sweden), George Stewart (outfitter), Tiffany (Canada and the excellent cook), Alex (Yogi's girlfriend from Sweden).

June 5th Update:
Good day, all. In two weeks I depart for Australia with a few mates for water buffalo and I was going to post upon my return. However a situation has come to my attention that must be shared with you. Now, my website is "the best in double rifles and African hunting" but the reality is the vast majority of you nice folks view my site for the double rifle information and nearly all of your emails are about double rifles. There is just too much stuff out there that covers Africa. With that in mind here is some information you can use that was sent my a gent in Texas. Eric Leeton dreams of double rifles (as do us all) but is on a budget that prevents him from buying a vintage English double. The logical step for Eric was to seek out a competent gunsmith and commission him to construct a set of .450 3 1/4" barrels and for them to be fitted to a CZ double 12-bore shotgun. After several years, $3000, and little to no communication with the gunsmith the barrels arrived at Eric's home a bit over a week ago. He sent me photos of the work and I want to share them with you viewers in case you want to travel the same route. The gunsmith is Jim White of Guilford, Maine, at 306 Wharff Road and his website is   <jwhitegunsmithing.com>  and his number is 207-564-7308. After you see the photos you can email Eric at   <mauser416@yahoo.com>   if you want any information on how you, too, can get a similar set of barrels for hunting the big 5. The photos are no joke and the barrels are actually what Eric received. Where there are two sets of barrels in the photo, one is the 12-bore set and the other is the .450 barrels. You can also see Eric's post on Accurate Reloading under Double Rifles. In closing, it is nice to know London-quality gunsmithing is available "down east" in Maine. Enjoy the photos and send me your comments if you wish. Talk to you after Australia. Cal

For a good laugh, here is the gunsmith's reply to Eric's complaint. No issues of quality or safety--only in the time to get the job done. (A 9th grader in metal shop 1 could do a better job!)

In response to this complaint from Mr. L, J. White Gunsmithing has always maintained a 100% satisfaction policy and has never intended to stray from this. Mr. L chose to slander with his response through several internet forums and brought a number of malicious attacks on my company via email and other electronic media, my website and facebook pages were swamped with derogatory comments, and other family members have been getting phone calls, most of these attacks were from people who have never done business with my company. 

I have been a gunsmith since 1990 and have never experienced such protests, especially within 12 hours of the customer receiving the product, and without opportunity to communicate prior to the public attacks  on my business and on my personal life. Due to this I have refrained from making any comments to any of the attacks. Mr. L. has valid complaints about the time that the project took  but I disagree with any accusation of there being a safety issue with the product.  I am offering him not only the $3000 he spent on the project but an additional $1000 for the base shotgun that was purchased for the project  and I am covering all shipping expenses. 








May 27 update:

Good day all. Had a nice 4-day float on the Chulitna River looking for bears but with 90% of the moose dying in the severe winter there were no moose calves to attract brown bears to the low country. Only a few moose tracks and NONE with calf tracks. The salmon were not running this early so it was just an enjoyable ride in a raft with the beloved .600. In three weeks I depart to Australia, also with the .600, and will report back to you. Below are a few photos that may be of interest: myself with the .600 on a side stream of the Chulitna and a railroad tie plate hit at 40 yards with the .600 and 900-grain soft nose Woodleigh bullets. The impact is interesting. 

Also, a gent named Thomas Powers is setting up a business clearing trophies from Africa. He has some good ideas and I suggest you look at his site: www.wix.com/powersexpediters/powersexpediters
Cheers, all, and thanks for looking and your comments.



May 14 update.

Good day, all. Shooting weather has arrived. fourteen feet of snow is nearly gone except in some shaded areas and eight gents made their way to my log home for a shoot Saturday. In attendance were: Steve (who flew up from TN), Brett, Jim, Bob, Nathan, Paul, Dennis, Rob, and myself. Rifles were a double and single 4-bore, three 8-bore doubles, a .450 bpe, 12-bore ball and shot gun, .450 3 1/4 NE,  .450 no2, .450-400, and a pair of .600s (a double and a single). Also were two non-English single shots (allowed under affirmative action regulations)--a .416 and an original 1927 Thompson machine gun! Great fun for all with shooting beginning after burgers from the grill and soft drinks.

Other news is the bore rifle book is nearly done at the layout company and shortly off to the printers. I’m still hoping to have it in hand by the end of August.  The Australia buffalo hunt is a month away and I’m astounded at the paperwork required: US 4457, Australia VISA, firearms permit and license for the Northern Territory, Australia customs number, Australia export permit, written permission from QANTAS to bring ammunition on board as checked baggage, and possibly a permit for my rifle as it is over 50 caliber (a weapon of war). I’m bringing my .600, Rob a 4-bore (flying with brass and bullets and will reload in Darwin), a .400, .500 and .450. Should be fun!

Below are some doubles brought out to shoot. From top:

Walter Locke 8-bore

Jeffery single shot .600

Graham .450 bpe

Lyon and Lyon 12-bore oval bore ball and shot gun

Hughes 4-bore

Lang .450 no2

Wilkes .600

Harrison and Hussey .450-400

Henry 8-bore--this rifle is for sale.

There are more photos on the bore rifle page.

Thanks, all for looking at the sight. Note that a few pics have been added to the doubles page and the trophies page, and my 12-bore Lyon and Lyon has been sold. It has gone to a good home with a fine black powder express double. I welcome all contributions. Cheers, all, 



April 5th update:

Good day, all. I'm back in Alaska after the winter in the lower 48. Nice to be home but lots of snow this year in south central Alaska. Blackie loves to ride but now he runs on the snow machine trails and I follow on snow shoes. The buffalo hunt in Australia is set to go with 5 other gents--all with double rifles. I will have by .600, Rob S. will bring a 4-bore or an 8-bore, a couple of .450s and maybe a .500. Greg will come along  with his video camera AND a small tricopter to get arial shots of the buffalo and the adventure!. Also, another caribou hunt is booked for the arctic at the end of August and maybe a spring float trip on the Talkeetna River for brown bear. Shooting will begin soon but now my driveway is a small lake due to melting snow. On the double rifles page is a new toy--a .450 black powder express double that turns out to be an excellent shooter! The bore rifle book has been turned over to the layout and design company and is now out of my hands. If all goes to schedule I hope to send it to the printers in May and then another 3 months until they are in hand. Over 100 bore rifles, lots of history, modern hunt stories, all the reloading data you will need, where to get everything in the world of bore rifles, new manufactured bore rifles, and a GREAT last page! Flintlock, percussion, 4s, 8s, 10s, 12s, and 13-28-bores are featured as well a few European rifles in chapter 10. Thanks for looking at my site and please send your double rifle photos and double rifle with game trophies--Africa or anywhere.

March 10th update.

Good day, all. My site was down for a few weeks and I was unable to add information. The problem is solved but not much to write about. Two photos have been added to the trophies page and I am making the slow drive back to Alaska. It was a pleasure meeting many of you at Dallas and the antique arms show in Vegas. You are the reason I keep this site up and running. Within a month shooting and chronographing will begin at home in Willow. I want to concentrate on the new .600 single shot I have (new to me--the rifle is Jeffery from 1916) and both black and smokeless loads in the 4-bore with a conical bullet. The bore rifle book is done!! In Alaska I will hand it over to the layout and design company and printing is still on schedule for early summer. I will post book updates on the site and thank you to many who have pre-ordered the book but, remember, don't send any money until the book is in hand ready to ship.
Cheers all and thanks for looking at the site.

January 14th update:
Good day all. I've returned to the east coast. Had a super hunt in Texas for whitetail deer--it was a 100% day: the weather was cool, cloudless, and just the right amount of wind. Lester rattled up a nice buck after walking a couple of miles. Not a big deer by Texas standards but he was called in fair, shot offhand with a vintage double, and we played his game and won. After using a pair of shed antlers to rattle in some smaller bucks we spotted this buck about 1/4 mile away walking away from us. A bit of rattling and he turned and waked to us but, with the wind blowing from he to us, he moved off into the tick brush to circle us to get down wind. We, in turn, moved into the bush to head him off and it worked. After several minutes he came into view about 60 yards away to look. I shouldered the .450-400 and one shot killed him instantly. He didn't hear the shot that killed him and he was dead before he hit the ground. While my buck was only an 8 pointer (4x4) but his horns were perfectly balanced and shaped and it was much nicer than assassinating a deer over a feed station from a blind. Next year I've been invited back to try for a bigger rack--in the same fair chase method, of course. See the trophy page for a pic of my buck.

Also, I want to blow some sunshine to the Dallas Safari Club. Not only was the show first class and the Texas hospitality very nice, but the folks at the show must be the nicest people on the face of God's green earth. Like minded gents who it is a true pleasure to see each year or to meet for the first time: David Cruz of Holland and Holland, Paul Chapman of Griffin and Howe, George Caswell of Champlin Arms, Anthony Alborough-Tregear of Westley Richards, Pat Willoughby-McCabe, John Puglisi, David Powell of Guns International, and many more.  See you all next year.

January 10th update.

Good day, all. If you have not already been, you must attend the Dallas Safari Club convention. This is my second time in three years and it is absolutely the best in its class. The Texas folks are the most polite and helpful and the attitude in the air is friendly and inviting--not the "make as much money as possible and keep it impersonal" as other shows and conventions I have been to. After the show on Saturday I drove to McAllen to hunt of a friend's ranch and had a great time. Two photos are posted on the double rifles and trophies page. Also, I made lots of contacts for my upcoming book on the bore rifles and should see it complete in a couple of weeks. Then, off to the layout company and then to the printers. By the next update I hope to give a rundown on the book's contents and (maybe) a few sample photos. I'm still in Texas and there may be a chance for a white tail hunt.
Thanks all for looking and your kind comments on the site and my articles in the African Hunter magazine and the .600 book.

December 6th update:

Good day, all. It has been five or more weeks since my last update as there has been little to write. No luck at turkey hunting in the socialist republic of Massachusetts. I saw lots of females but wanted a bull (!) so I passed on the girls and didn't see a tom. I have confirmed a whitetail hunt in Texas in January and will drive there to catch the last day or two of the Dallas Safari Club convention and on the ranch in south Texas near McAllen and Edinburgh. I'll bring my .450-400 and a 12-bore ball and shot gun. If anyone is interested in meeting and visiting at the convention contact me via email. I will also have some copies of my .600 book with me but (good news) supplies are getting low. In February I will fly to Greece for something to do and final plans are being made for a doubles-only buffalo hunt in Australia for the last week of June. Deposits are paid and we are putting the details on the flights now. I'll have my .600, and there is a .450-400 3 1/4, a .500, a .500-450, and a "big" 8-bore (.875"). Should make for great fun and memories.
The update on the bore rifle book is nothing but good news. All of the rifles are in--about 100--and I will spend Dec. and Jan. putting my touches on the book and filling in the blanks. After that it is off to the final layout and then printing by May or June. Thanks for looking at the site! Cal

October 24th update:
Good day all. This is basically an update on the bore rifle book and its progression. Nothing but good news--all is to schedule with lots of bore rifle photos and data coming in. The book should have 100+ bore rifles and, to date I have detailed photos of 8 muzzle loading rifles, 12 4-bores, 18 8-bores, 6 10-bores, 10 12-bores, 8 14- to 28-bores, and over a dozen modern bore rifles. Up to 18 will come in from James Julia auctions and over 20 from another major auction company, Griffin and Howe, and many more private shooters/collectors. Expect approximately 400 pages of the same quality as the .600 book. Final layout should take place from the new year to spring and then to the printers. Many advance orders have come in but I do not take any money until the books are in hand.

Other news is I'm looking forward to turkey hunting in the People's Socialist Republic of Massachusetts (where I am spending the winter helping out my 84-year old mother with her horse [she still rides every day], firewood, etc.). And, I just picked up a new toy--not a double but a classy rifle just the same: a Jeffery .600 single shot from the 1920s. Should be shooting it within a week or so. See the photo below.

Cheers, all. Thanks for looking at the site and please send in any double rifle photos and double rifle hunting photos. I've added a few items to both of these pages.


October 2 update:
Good day and what a day it is (was).
I spent Saturday afternoon at the Triple U Buffalo Ranch in South Dakota looking the place over and returned Sunday (today) for the hunt. What a great time and I recommend it to all. In fact, I will try to get some of my Alaska double rifle friends to accompany me next year for a double rifle or bore rifle hunt. At 60,000 acres it as fair chase as a bison hunt can get today.

Greg Hoversten, MD, drove up from Sioux City, Iowa, to film the day. A few friends and viewers of this site have mentioned a couple of points about the hunt not being a challenge and also of not using a traditional rifle. Allow me to answer them here. First off, bison hunting was never much of a challenge even back in the 1860s and '70s. Hunters shot dozens from a stand--I seem to recall the record being 209 from one position. The bison just went along feeding as their pals fell. So, this hunt was as much of a "challenge' as it was 150 years ago. We drove out to the bison as the ranch is 18 miles long and up to 10 miles wide--a big chunk of real estate. We looked over many herds and Don (the guide and "hired hand" on the ranch) and I agreed on a shootable bull. Second is the traditional factor. Some have said to use black powder as it is more traditional but, in all honesty, a double 4-bore on the plains of South Dakota is not much of a tradition. So, what I did for the complete experience is to do this: I shot first with the left barrel loaded with my most accurate load which is a 1400-grain spherical ball and 100 grains of Blue Dot smokeless shot gun powder for a muzzle velocity of a bit over 1600 fps. If I needed a second shot for the quietus I had a black powder load in my right barrel (I always fire the left barrel first--just a habit by now.)

Back to the story. Don was also to take two young bulls for meat animals as an order came in just for meat for a big banquet. He was nice enough to allow me to shoot them. The first I shot was with his .25-06 and I shot too high and the little bullet went through the hair on his neck and did not hurt him at all. Don killed it and showed me what to do for a neck shot--aim 6 inches back and 4 inches down from the base of the horn on a side-on shot. This will break the bison's neck. I should mention here neck shots are all that is allowed as the ranch sells the meat from the trophy bulls. That is why the price is $2750 and not $4500-5000. A shoulder shot is charged an extra $400 for ruined meat and $800 if the bullet goes through both shoulders.

The second meat animal I used a tripod and a seated position and the neck shot went well with the bison falling immediately. As I went for a closer look he began to get up as his spine was not hit--or at least not hit completely. I gave him a second shot with the black powder load. 440 grains of FFg gave me a heck of a kick and ended the young bull's life. Greg has it all on video including the ball hitting the bull in slow motion. Great stuff!

I should mention here an interesting fact. When a bison falls, other bison come in to kick and hook him with their horns. A wounded bison will be attacked by others. Notice in my pic the back ground. We had to chase them away as they were coming in too close--several times. Note in the photo--the bison around the young bull to the right.

For the trophy bull, a big animal moved slowly towards us and I set up the tripod for a shot if he stood still. He did and I shot. The bull went down. Again the spine was not completely hit but probably nicked a little as he went down so quick. Unfortunately Greg was not ready with his camera as I took the shot (I feared thebull would move again if I did not take the shot when I did) and missed my initial shot. I walked over to the big bull with the camera rolling. The bison lifted his head and  began to rise. He was mad and was going to come for me but as he began to get on his feet and I shouldered the rifle for a frontal shot his front legs gave way and he began to push towards me with his back legs. He went to his right and I fired through his neck with a huge cloud of smoke and he was done. It all happened in a second or two with the second shot on video.

Until the video is edited and we decide what to post, here is a still of the trophy bull. Google the ranch--Triple U-- and see what they have to offer. Mention my name and the site if you would be so kind. I plan to return again, hopefully with some friends.
Thanks, all for looking and your kind comments.


September 29th update.
Good day, all. I'm in Montana on my way to the socialist east coast with a few fine doubles to shoot and hunt with. On the 2nd. I hope to shoot a bison in South Dakota and will post pics if successful. My Hughes 4-bore will be with me on that hunt. Most likely I will shoot a 1400-grain spherical ball backed by 100 grains of Blue Dot shot gun powder for a muzzle velocity of a bit over 1600 fps. It is my most accurate load but I also have some FFg GOEX loaded cartridges with 330 grains (12 drams) and 440 grains (16 drams) if I can get close enough (with the same round ball). On a secondary note is that my offer was accepted on a second .600 rifle. I mailed the check yesterday and I hope to post it here with photos when I reach New England. Thanks for looking at the site. Cal
PS. I just added new photos to the doubles and the trophies page. Take a look.

August 24th update:

Good day all. I got in a few days ago from the caribou hunt in north east Alaska in ANWR. Greg Hoversten and I drove the Dalton Highway (Ice road Truckers) to mile 335 and flew in with 70 North Air about 50+ miles east. I want to give a good plug as 70 North is the best flight service I have used in nearly 30 years in Alaska. Owned by Mike McCrary (bush flying since '76) and Bob Gill (bush flying since '88), we flew out in a Helio Currier which has a payload to bring in two hunters and a light camp in one flight. (The other two members of our party, K.C. Kaltenborn and Ron Williams drove up the next day but were held up by fog and missed a few days of the hunt. They arrived but with only two days to hunt and K.C. got his caribou.) After the hunt I used the shower and bunk house and had a good meal courtesy of Mike and Bob. It was a great trip!

You can reach Mike at  operations@seventynorth.com  or 907-659-2544

Greg brought his camera to film the hunt and it was great. The first day I missed several bulls as I could not get close enough with my .450-400. After lunch I glassed a few bulls moving from the tundra into the Juniper River (more of a stream, really), into the brush and small trees, and were out of sight. When they didn't appear we walked to find them. Greg was behind me with the camera. A bull showed himself in a clearing and gravel bar up stream a bit less than 150 yards and I dropped to prone to get a rifle rest on some brush and dirt that was left behind by the spring runoff. I slid the safety off as I was moving and I put my finger on the rear trigger--I always fire the left barrel first. The scope was on 1 1/4x and I lined up on the bull's shoulder and fired. He fell instantly--the Ken Stewart (of South Africa) 400-grain soft nose bullet went through both shoulders and the heart and lungs. The best thing is Greg captured all on film--both myself and the 'boo falling. Because we plan to publish the video I can't put it here but enjoy the still. 

Two days later (after we ran out of battery power for the camera) I shot two more bulls with an old Remington Model 600 in .350 magnum. I have wanted one of these rifles since I was a kid (even thought the plastic vent rib is quite ugly) as they are light in weight and short and bought one from a friend in NH last winter. I brought it as a second rifle and it was fun to use--even though it has only one barrel!

In four weeks I drive out of AK for a winter vacation and have booked a bison hunt in South Dakota with Cabelas. I will use the 4-bore and hope to have a good post here afterwards. Also, a Thomas Bland .500 bpe has been added to the double rifles page.

Thanks for looking at the site.


July 27 update:
Good day, all. Summer is well in Alaska and lots of time at the shooting range in my front yard. The best development here is an accurate load for my 4-bore Hughes. While made for a heavy conical slug of 1882 grains (my conical mould is 1950 grains) I have been getting great targets with Blue Dot powder (100 grains, although I have shot up to 120 grains) and a 1400-grain spherical ball. Note the 40-yard target here. It looks as if I will take this 4 to South Dakota for bison if I can book the hunt the first few days of October as that is when I will be driving through the area. Below the 4-bore target is my best target from my beloved .450 no2 Lang. Also, on August 12th, three friends and I depart for the Brooks Range in northern Alaska for caribou. I will take my .450-400 Harrison and Hussey box lock ejector and Ron Williams a .577 light nitro double. I will keep you posted. The bore rifle book is coming along very well with most of the history and ballistic text done and over 40 rifles photographed. My goal is to have 100 rifles in the book and the page count will be between 300-400--full color, glossy, and heavy stock paper. Thanks for looking at the site and I appreciate your emails, questions, and comments. Cal 



June 8th update:

Good day all. Shooting at times here in the midnight sun is great fun. The doubles are great link to a past that we will never see again. Today, my shoulder is a bit sore from dozens of rounds in the .450-400, .450 no2, and the "big" 8-bore (.875" diameter). The weekend will see more with the 8 as well as the 4 and the .600. Please check out the double rifles page and the trophies page. Several viewers have contributed photos including John Hipwell of Canada. John took a buffalo, elephant, and hippo with an 8-bore and I will feature his rifles and story in my upcoming book on the bore rifles. Expect publication in less than a year (if all goes to plan). Many of you know John via his posts in the forums of Accurate Reloading. Thanks, all, for looking at the site. Cal

May 9 update:

Good day, all. Had a good shoot at my cabin on May 1 and three photos of a selection of the rifle we shot are on the double rifles page of the site. Enjoy and send in any photos you have. Summer is here and shooting has began and more photos will be posted throughout the warm weather with some ballistics. I'm looking for a hunt in South Africa or Zimbabwe for December and have booked an Australian buffalo hunt for July of 2012 with a pair of Alaska mates and two from the Arizona desert. A double rifle only hunt--it should be fun. Greg Hoversten, MD, will fly to Alaska in August to film a caribou hunt approximately 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Ron Williams will be with us with one of his doubles and my endocrinologist, KC Kaltenborn, will also hunt and take my .270 WCF--a Weatherby rifle from the early 1950s. (Yes, I do own a single-barrel rifle!) Enjoy the site and thanks for looking. Cal 

April 11th update:

Good day, all. Spring has sprung--only 2 1/2 to 3 feet of snow remains on the ground and shooting is underway. As summer gets closer many of the Alaska double rifle men will be shooting here and I hope to have some good photos and ballistics printed. The only news I have is I have decided to part with my Lyon and Lyon 12-bore ball and shot gun. I will post details soon on the for sale page of the site. Here is a photo to stimulate your interest. I do have some accessories for the case. Cheers, Cal


March 21st update:

Good day all. I've returned to Alaska after the 5000+ miles of driving from the east coast. Great winter scenery in BC, Yukon, and Alaska. Spring is here even though the snow has another four weeks to melt. Shooting will begin soon with several double rifle men at my cabin and I'll post results as well as some photos. A few new photos have been added to the double rifles and hunting trophies pages for you to enjoy. Send what you have and I'd be please to add your rifles or trophies to the site! Work on my next  book on bore rifles is coming along fine: all the text is done as is the ballistic work. All I need are photos of bore rifles and many should show up soon. A few hunting trips with my doubles are planned--caribou in the arctic, bison in SD, and a few others. Soon I will make a deposit on an Australian buffalo hunt and am working on another trip to Africa (not sure which country at this time). Thank you all for looking at the site and making such positive comments. Trust me, it's a labor of love. Cheers, all. Cal

January 21, 2011 update.

Thank you all for your book orders and to those of you that look at the site. I had hoped to add more but contributions of double rifles and hunting photos are very slow in coming in. My boar hunt and possible bison hunt were cancelled so nothing to add from there. The good news is that a few of my doubles have sold and I will use some of the money for upgrades and also another hunting trip(s) to South Africa and/or Zimbabwe at the year's end. Before that is spring grizzly in Alaska, August caribou, and September moose, bear, other game. When I depart the state this year for a vacation I will try to hunt bison in South Dakota and maybe a Russian boar in Michigan. A friend will video many of these hunts and produce good quality documentaries of them! Summer will see additional shooting and load development for my doubles as well as those of friends. Last of all, a good friend in Alaska is setting up a photo stage so rifles can be photographed in excellent detail and I will obtain some photos of some fine double rifle collections in Alaska as well as from the other state. My desire to complete my book on bore rifles may come true in a year or so, as well as a second volume to my .600 book. (I have found an additional 38 vintage double .600s but can't get photos from the owners for inclusion in a vol. 2).
Again, my thanks to all of you for checking out this site and a great new year to all! Cal
PS. If any of you know of a South Africa lion hunt that is a good on-foot walking fair chase hunt, let me know!

December 11th update.

Good day. No deer photos as I passed on deer hunting in Mass. with my Lyon and Lyon ball and shot gun. I saw twice as many hunters than I did deer and with so little land I passed. Also, plans were cancelled for my trip to the Dallas Safari Club. My good friend from the African Hunter magazine can't make it over from Zim (His magazine will be represented, however, and a booth will be there) and a hog hunt outside of Austin was also cancelled. It's not worth the time for a three-day drive from New England with so little to do so I'll pass this year. Soon I I will add some contributed photos to the site on double rifles and also on the hunting trophies pages.I will also post three doubles I have for sale--time for an upgrade or two. Speaking of upgrades, I missed the Jeffery double .600 at the RIA auction. I understand it went for 110K hammer price and add 15% to that! Even though it was for perhaps the only 120-grain regulated Jeffery, the price was very high for a border engraved rifle that was refinished. But, it would have been fun.....

November 20th update:

Good day, all. Not much news but a few double rifle photos have been added to the double rifles page. I am still planning to be at the Dallas Safari Club in January at the African Hunter booth and will have my .600 Wilkes with me as well as some copies of my .600 book and a reprint of my book on James Watts. The week before the convention I will be hunting hogs in Texas with two friends and hope to try out a Verney-Caron .600 double. I have seen these rifles in hand and enjoy them very much. Have a warm winter and thanks for viewing my site!

October 30th update.

Good day all. I made the 5320-mile drive to the People's Republic of Massachusetts with my black lab. I have my .600 with me as well as my 12-bore Lyon and Lyon ball and shot gun. Both will go to Texas in January for a bit of hunting before and after the Dallas Safari Club convention. Driving through Canada was no problem with the paperwork filled out correctly but staying in Mass. is a pain if one if from another state and has long guns. Forget handguns--permits for those out of state ain't gonna happen! To avoid the permit process (space and time prohibits giving the details of the permit here) I bought a hunting license. If one has a hunting license one can have a rifle and/or shotgun. However, only while hunting and the guns can only be transported in a vehicle while hunting. Another kicker is from the time one crosses the state line until the license in purchased one is in violation of Mass. gun laws. I'm glad I don't live here!!

In other news, Stefan Bader of Germany send some pics of his elephant and buffalo hunt in Tanzania. Three of his photos with a friend are on the double rifles and hunting trophies page. Both men used .500 Heym doubles. And, today is the last day or turkey hunting here and I spent the morning with my 12-bore L&L chasing six big gobblers around the corn field. Maybe this afternoon luck will be with me. But, it was great fun.

September 20th update.

Good day,all. I've added a few photos to the photo gallery section of two hunts taken by two friends this year in South Africa. Chad Demro and Rob and Joann Pfisterer hunted in South Africa and had the time of their lives. Joann enjoyed the trip with her husband, Rob, and will tour SA on their next trip when Rob goes after cape buffalo.
Also, due to numerous requests, my book on James Watts, inventor of the .450 Watts cartridge is back on the market! The first printing(s) of 1000 copies sold out a few months ago and I had a reprint of 100 done to keep an inventory. The price is 25$ each and that includes media post to any US address. I will put up a more detailed review of the book when I get to the states.
And, speaking of the states, I leave on the 26th for several months in the lower 48 states with my black lab. I will be on email but the first four days of camping in the Yukon and British Columbia I will be on email blackout. If any of you want to email with questions about double rifles or Africa I will respond when I am settled. Also, email for any book orders and I will send you the address I will be at.
Cheers all,

August 30th update.

Good day all. Fall is here in Alaska with the leaves turning yellow and falling to the ground. There are too many things to do so I will pass on any hunting this year but each day my black lab, Blackie, and I go to the woods with a 12-gauge double and look for grouse. It is both interesting and fun to see him pick up the skills to flush the birds. That, and shooting my double rifles several times each week take up all of my free time. On September 27 I will depart to the states (outside) for several months in warmer climates. For all of you who have contacted me in the past week or two about my .600 book please give the post time to get your order to me in time before I depart. I will have books with me on the trip and will visit Dallas for their Safari convention in January. If you plan to place a book order after September 10th please email first, and I will give you an address where I may be reached. I will be bringing with me my .600, 8-bore Henry, and two shotguns to deliver to a buyer on the east coast: a 4-bore and 8-bore. This summer several friends I have made via this website have visited me and took a few shots with my rifles. What a pleasure!
Cheers, all

August 8th update:
A good day of shooting at my home with Brett Barringer. Photos are from top:
Cal shooting my 4-bore double with the regulated load of 14 drams of FFg and a 1943-grain conical (closest I can come to the original 1882-grain bullet.) A bit of a kick!
Brett shooting the same.
Two reduced load targets. Who said a double will only work with the regulated load? Rules for doubles are not carved in stone. Brett's .500-450 Hollis and my .450 no2 made excellent targets with bullets of 350 and 400 grains respectively. Perfect for smaller game and much easier for target practice as well as less cost.
Next photo is shooting my 4-bore single shot shotgun. This gun has been sold to a friend on the east coast and I will deliver it to him in early October. It is a true 4-bore with a one inch diameter bore and choked .120"! I still have the 8-bore single if any of you are looking for a big shotgun to have fun with.
Bottom photo is a print of a frequent visitor to my home. This 9-foot brown bear has been in my trash several times (after it was burned) and I have seen him when walking my black lab (named Black Dog). Blackie and I were walking along the railroad tracks and Mr. Brownie was walking on the other side. He walked up small incline and stood on the tracks, then stood up to get a better look at us, and went the other day (thankfully). Blackie was after grouse in the woods a few yards to the right and missed the excitement.
Cheers and thanks for looking.







August 6th upadate:

The Accurate Reloading forums are all afire after Mark Sullivan posted today. His detractors are all eating a good portion of crow. A continued "thank you" for those who bought my .600 book and I am sold out of Graeme Wright's book. I may do a reprint of my book on James Watts as the 1000 copies I printed are sold out. Still shooting my doubles on the few non-raining days here at my cabin but nothing to brag about. Below is a photo of 55-pound elephant taken by a Gary Hopkin's client.
Cheers all


July 10th update.
Good day all. Shooting every few days but summer is half over and that is sad. Look on the "for sale" page to see two single shot shotguns I just listed--an 8-bore and a 4-bore. Very rare! Prices will follow shortly after a bit of research. The two are below. Enjoy! The 4 is sold, the 8 is waiting for a new owner. Cal


June 24th update.
Good day, all. The For Sale page has been added as have some double rifles to that page. This weekend will see some shooting at my cabin and I hope will produce some good photos or video footage. The summers are short here so the shooting is often. This weekend I hope to see at my cabin for some action are the following: my .450, .475, .600, 7-bore, 4-bore, Rob's 4-8-10 bores, Brett's .500-450, and Ron's 8-bore, .475, and .577. Should be fun.

June 18th update.

Good day, all. Lots of shooting in the 24-hour daylight of the far north. All of my doubles have been having a good workout (as well as my right shoulder) and, of course, lots of time cleaning the rifles. All of my doubles shoot well and developing an accurate load for them is the fun of it all! Here are two targets from my 4-bore Hughes I shot today. The close group is a 1400-grain ball and 80 grains of Blue Dot. The apart group was the same charge of powder but with a 1943-grain conical. The split of the group was due to the lower velocity. Bore rifles are much more forgiving as to regulation as their smaller nitro-charged cousins. Distance was 40 yards over a rest and the projectiles were sized to .970".

A few more game and double rifle photos have been added to those respective pages and I don't have a good grizzly story to tell you--no bears and lots of rain on the Denali Highway. But, it was nice hiking remote Alaska with my black lab and a.600 double rifle. Of other news, I may return a "For Sale" page to the site soon as I still have a few items to divest of and a few friends may, also. Enjoy the site and please send in a hunt story, hunt photo, or double rifle photo. Cheers, all. Cal



May 22. A few more photos have come in to the trophy page. Some viewers have asked for larger photos of higher resolution. While this is possible many computers may take too long for the pics to come up and I wanted the photos to come up quickly. I do not want a viewer to exit the site as the photos take several minutes to appear. If anyone wants detailed photos of the doubles or trophies I can email separate higher quality photos. Also, I just put a new article on the log entitled, "Where Have All the Hunters Gone?" It is an opinionated piece about all the gadgets and attitudes that have developed over the years to kill more while hunting less. I hope you enjoy it.

May 9 Home Page Commentary.
Good day all. Shooting several times a week here at my cabin has left my shoulder a bit tender as there was no shooting at all in the cold seven months of winter. A few new items have been added to the site: three rifles to the double rifles page (.500-450 Hollis, .450-400 Fraser, and my new purchase of a Wilkes .475 no2) and on the trophies page are four photos of game taken with my .475 no2--three of which were on a 1955 safari. Also, several questions from readers I have replied to on my log. These will also be published in the African Hunter magazine. I would ask all viewers (again) if you have any photos of your double rifles or game taken with a double, please contribute it to the site. The more double rifle and Africa (or other hunting photos) the better as it is your site. Sunny day today so I'm off to the front yard to shoot the .600 Wilkes and the 7-bore Locke for my daily exercise. The first week of June I will spend a few days on the Denali Highway looking for grizzly with my .600. I'll publish any success I have. Last of all, good news. Sports Afield will publish an article I just wrote: "The .600 Nitro Express--Setting the Record Straight" It will list many of the myths that have been published over the years and the correct data I have found and also debunk the myths of the .600 breaking shoulders and knocking elephant off their feet! 
Cheers all and thanks for looking! Also, two good hunting photos on the trophy page--elephant and buffalo.



Good news. The African Hunter magazine ran an excellent review of my .600 book. Here it is. The books have still been selling ok but have slowed down a bit. I am still planning to be at the Dallas and Reno shows in January of 2011 with my .600. I will probably leave the heavy 4-bore home. It was an absolute pleasure meeting so many wonderful folks at the shows a few months ago. Thank you all for looking at the site, log, and buying my book. Cheers, Cal


See Cal's new video...


April 8. Good day, all. A few more photos have been added to the double rifle page and the hunting trophies page but it would be nice to have lots more from you viewers. Show us your stuff! Shooting season is well under way in Alaska with an early and warm spring. My Alex Henry will be returned soon from Morris Hallowell and I will do some shooting with FFg GOEX to see if that improves the targets a bit. I never shot this 8-bore much as the condition is too good, and what shooting I did do was with Fg and Blue Dot smokeless--both about 1300fps. With 2F about 200 fps will be added and I will see if the 50-yard group cam be brought down a bit. I'll shoot the 7-and 4-bores on Sunday at my home and the .600 at the shoot at the Birchwood range on Saturday. Also, a few guys have expressed interest in a hunt with Mark Sullivan and this may pan out in the next month or two. I'm talking 2011 if anyone is interested. Cheers, all, and please send your photos. Cal

Home page commentary....

March 23.
Good day, all. Check out the additional double rifle photos on the double rifle pages and also the new section of double rifles and hunting trophies. I hope readers/viewers will contribute to both of these section as I would like to have 1000 photos in each area. These rifles and what we do with them are too cool to keep them a secret. We will have another double rifle shoot in Alaska the first or second weekend in April and I will post some photos. On the double rifles page, check out the sequence photos of shooting the 4-bore Bland single shot.

January 30. The only troubling thing at the Dallas and SCI conventions were the abundance of negative comments about PH Mark Sullivan. All came from PHs in Tanzania as well as South Africa, Zimbabwe, and elsewhere. They all had one thing in common--both the PHs I spoke with in person and what people write on the forums such as Accurate Reloading or Nitro Express--unethical, gut shooting of animals to induce a charge, etc... It is interesting that NONE of the accusers have hunted with Mark nor have they personally seen such practices. It is ALL third person, what they heard, but they spoke as if all were facts. I asked many I spoke to how they knew of this and they said, "so-and-so told me" "everyone knows this" etc... On the other hand and without exception is what I was told by those (over a dozen) who have hunted with Mark. They said it was the best hunt they ever were on, how Mark works to make the experience as best as possible, he is an ethical man who does not spotlight his animals or shoot from a vehicle. I mean it was 100% positive for those that personally hunted with Mark.

Why does all negativity happen. In one word: jealousy. Mark has carved out special part of the hunting world and has become very successful in it. If anyone else does what Mark originated they will be accused of copying what he does. And, most do not have the guts to do it anyway. The only course of action is to point a finger and down grade. It seems to be the same bent as it is with down-grading President Bush. It is the stylish thing to do in today's PC world and is done, both to Mark and the former President, without facts, to be part of the crowd.

In any highly competitive field one must set themselves apart from the rest to have a better chance of success. Mark has done this and done this well. Others have, too. Why do you think John Sharp is photographed so often without a shirt? Remember the Rolling Stones were called "Beatles clones"--so they became more "raw" to set themselves apart.

As to the unethical hunting practices folks condemn Mark for doing such as walking up to the animal and inducing a charge I would state this: does the animal suffer more this way or by waiting 30-45 minutes for the animal to "stiffen up" before following the spoor? Mark not only dispatches the critter sooner but allows it a nobel death. I have NEVER heard of any instance where the wounded animal is allowed to escape or gut shot intentionally--first hand experience, that is.

In closing, I should mention I have not hunted with Mark Sullivan nor are we close friends. I met him at the Sea Cliff hotel in Tanzania in 2006 and we chatted for about 1/2 an hour. Then at SCI in 2009 when I asked permission to include some of his hunting experiences in my book on the .600 nitro express rifles. I only state this to let you know I am not writing an emotional appeal for a close friend. Rather, I am trying to logically sort out what I feel is a very unfair attack on one of the premier personalities in the hunting world.

I'm very sorry Mark was expelled from SCI this year and his donation returned. It was "ethics," I was told, and the fear that the antis would take what Mark does and generate negative publicity for hunting in general and SCI. Let me say something about ethics. I have personally been offered all four North American sheep in a two day hunt (for the right price), a 400+ point elk on an afternoon hunt on a 10.5 acre ranch, pre-measured rhino and whitetail deer to assure my trophy places high in the book, seen ranch-raised plains game turned out at waterholes to be shot, lions separated in paddocks by their mane color, and the list goes on. Where is the ethics and honor in this? And, the above are all accepted practices in the hunting world as is spotlighting animals and shooting from vehicles. A good friend in Zimbabwe drives his clients all day looking for game to shoot. Over 50% of a friend's bow hunters in South Africa shoot with a rifle and pose with their bow.

How does the above compare with what Mark does? Personally, I'd trade one good fair chase hunt with Mark for a dozen record book ranch-raised animals. There are too many antis that have lots of money for us to be divided. As a school teacher I ran into many--parents who asked my hunting photos be taken down so as not to traumatize their kids. When these folks know about guaranteed hunts and publicize them, we are in for a fight. We should all stick together in this arena.

One last thing. In the late 1990s a well-known PH was bad-mouthing Mark for his hunting methods and showed me a video on "how it is really done." His client had wounded a buffalo and the crew jumped in the back of the hunting vehicle that was surrounded with a 1 1/4" steel cage up to their shoulders. The driver tracked the buff through the grass and brush until he was seen and then he was shot from the cage by the client. It didn't do much for me.

All of the hunting organization together can't measure up to what SCI has done for hunting. I applaud them and am proud to be a member of SCI and the Alaska chapter. I hope everyone in this industry can come together for the good of all and make a united stand against those that hate or fear what we do. I also applaud Mark for what he does and I do hope to hunt with him someday.
Thanks for reading and viewing my site.

January 23. OSR UPDATE. I stand corrected. The last day of the SCI show Graeme Wright came to the Zimbabwe Professional Hunter's Association's table and asked if I had a few minutes. I walked with him to meet a fellow who showed me his Hollis .450-400 3" double rifle--most likely a pre-WWI rifle. Graeme said this was an example of over stressed rifling and asked me to look at the outside of the right barrel by holding it up to the light and seeing the light reflecting down the length of the exterior. I saw an uninterrupted line of light from muzzle to breech. Next I held the rifle to the light and down the left barrel. Sure enough the line of reflected light was cut by shadows not quite perpendicular to the light but at an angle. This was not visible to the eye when held any other way and could not be felt by the fingers and I doubt it could be measured. Graeme mentioned this was a mild case of OSR and he has seen far worse. I was amazed. I looked over and over again, comparing both barrels, and there was no doubt about it--it was there.

Now, the main question (and one I can't answer) was WHY it was there. The owner of the rifle said it was due to a Barnes solid bullet of the old style with the solid shank--no grooves or bands. He was very upset and I asked him to come to Barnes with me to discuss the matter. He was too angry to do this even though this happened to his rifle approximately 20 years ago. So, back to the question of why. I have no information as to the bullet, the velocity it was shot at, the powder charge, pressure, diameter, etc...

Graeme had an interesting theory. In Australia, where they have lots of doubles, they have Woodleigh bullets and the soft nose, lead-cored, bullets work just fine. In the states, however, Woodleighs were not available in any great quantity years ago and American shooters shot Barnes and other monolithic bullets such as A-Square. So, we may have more problems of this nature here in the states. 

That being said, I will be honest with the readers of this site. I have shot Barnes banded solids 100 times in my Wilkes with no problem and upon my return to Alaska I will examine the barrels as I did in Reno today. Even though I am witness to this in the one rifle I saw I will still stand by my former statements that with the banded solids that are .002" undersize and with the bands to lessen pressure and allow for displaced metal to flow they are fine to shoot. At least in my rifle, anyway. Graeme stated this may be the answer--a bit undersize and with bands--but the older solids were a hard metal and the solid shank did cause higher pressure.

I don't know if pressure is the culprit or the fluidity of the metal. I'm not a metallurgist. Older steels are softer than modern steel. Double rifle barrel walls are thinner than many modern rifles. My .600 barrel walls are much thicker than the .450-400's walls I saw today. That's all I can tell you and that is what I saw. I will post this to the forums upon my return home. Cal

Below are three photos from my friend, PH Gary Hopkins, and examples of 2009's trophies. Also is the cover of my book on the .600s and the African Hunter magazine. The AH and myself will team up more for additional articles about the old Africa and double rifles as well as the Doubles Column,






Old Magazine Articles for your interest.
The first batch of old magazine articles are on the site and should make good reading for you all. These articles are from the 1940s through the 1970s. Many, if not most, have been lost to time. They now are here for your study--37 articles on double rifles (9 bore rifles, 11 by Elmer Keith, 3 on black powder express, and 14 on nitro express rifles) and 72 on African hunting (15 lion hunts, 19 elephant hunts, 5 leopard hunts, 10 cape buffalo hunts, 6 rhino hunts, 4 croc hunts, 4 by Elmer Keith, and 9 miscellaneous stories). This Africa is no more and never will be again. Enjoy them!

The sales of the .600 book are going fine and my thanks to all of you who purchased the book and emailed or called with comments. What a few wrote about the .600 Nitro Express book:

"You do good work."............................... Dennis
"It's awesome."...................................... Joe
"Sexy...a great book."............................ Don
"It's beautiful."....................................... my mom
"Great photos."..................................... John
"The pics are fantastic!"......................... Lester
"This should have been long ago.".......... Joe
"Fantastic...high quality pictures."........... Dave
"Surpassed all of my expectations. Wow!"..Chip
"I love your books!".................................Matt
"Very impressive book on the .600.".........Mark

Thank you all for your kind words.

Click on the navigation bar and see the book's covers and some of the rifles photographed. Also, ordering information is there.

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John Wilkes best quality double rifle, 1914
.600 Nitro Express, 26 inch barrels, 15 1/2 pounds, extractor



Welcome to my new web site! It details the two passions in my life--double rifles and hunting in Africa. The site will not be the gospel according to Cal--my ego is not that big. Rather, it will be a source of information on the two areas that excite me, and hopefully you, too. Soon I will be posting dozens of articles from the 1950s and 1960s. Many are unknown to today’s hunters and shooters of double rifles. (I believe the copyright has expired but, since I’m not selling anything here, I hope any transgressions can be forgiven). As time goes by, I will post reloading data, photos of my doubles and well as from many friends within my circle. Photos of my hunts as well as some of the PHs I have hunted with. And, most importantly, contributions are welcomed. Send me as much stuff as you can! The only items I have but will not post now are those involving the .600 nitro express and extensive reloading data for the bore rifles (10 to 4 bore) as I am working on books for both of these topics.

To introduce myself, I graduated high school in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts in 1973, went to college in Mass. (Greenfield, Fitchburg and UMass-Amherst), taught school for four years in Mass and Vermont and moved to Alaska in 1984. By the late eighties I developed in interest in double rifles and Africa. Interestingly, my first experience in African hunting literature was through my mother’s books (Bell and Hunter for two). She was an artist and the only books she could find with African animals was in the hunting books. And, during my junior year in high school, mom bought me the 1972 Guns and Ammo Annual. If you can find a copy, read a dozen articles on Africa and the big bore double rifles. At $ 3.95  It changed my life!  I still have the issue today. It is bound in clear tape to hold it together and I still glance at it now as I did 36 years earlier.

Then, in the mid-1980s, I dated an art teacher at the high school I was working at. She had a copy of Safari: A Chronicle of Adventure by B. Bull. No doubt, one of the best books I have ever read that gives a chronology of African hunting from the early 1800s to the 1980s. From there I was on a mission to sell my Winchester collection and acquire double rifles. I was bitten and had the fever!

So, that is where it all began for me. I have articles published in the Double Gun Journal, The Winchester Collector, and The African Hunter. I currently write The Doubles Column for the AH and would encourage all of you to subscribe to this, the finest of the African hunting magazines. I currently shoot and hunt only with double rifles and own or have owned a .450-400 3”, .450 no2, .600, .450 bpe, .500 bpe, 20-.577 light nitro, 8 bore, 7 bore, and am currently looking for a 4 bore double. I have hunted Africa 12 times and August of 2008 will see yet another.

(UPDATE 7-21-09. I just purchased a 4-bore double rifle by Robert Hughes, circa late 1880s. Weight is 22 pounds, 28-inch barrels, Jones under lever, exposed hammer. Expect photos soon and reloading data with Fg, FFg, and Blue Dot).

Enjoy the site. Read, have fun, send me your double rifle and African stuff, hunting and shooting experiences, reloading data, questions (I will try to answer or direct you to one who can), and general comments. And, one request. If you write something to put on the site, please use language your mother or pastor will approve of. We can express ourselves without using language that will make another blush! Thanks!


- Cal Pappas


   Shooting vintage or modern rifles, hand loading ammunition, and hunting is potentially dangerous. The owner of this site and any and all contributers do not accept any liability for the information contained herein.
   Consult a licensed gunsmith and have him examine your rifle before shooting. Have your ammunition loaded by a professional to the pressures your rifle was designed for. 
   Carry a comprehensive insurance policy for your flight, hunt, and medical care before embarking on a hunting trip. The owner and contributers do not have any control over international political situations. Use caution when traveling to any foreign country and consult the US State Department for suggestions and /or restrictions for international travel.



Top: At my cabin in south central Alaska on July 22, 2009, with my new Hughes 4-bore and the .600 Wilkes. Taken after an afternoon of shooting and chronographing.
Above: In full recoil with the 4.
Below. The .600 looks small when next to the mighty 4-bore. Initial shooting has been with a 1743-grain hollow-base conical bullet with 90 grains of Blue Dot. MV = 1213. ME = 5696. John Taylor's Knock Out Value = 294.5! And this is only the beginning. I have bullets of 1400, 1650, 1743, 1900, and 2160 grains to experiment with. 

A few more photos of the 4 can be seen on the double rifles page.


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Knight's Taxidermy