Tuesday, December 13, 2016

December 13, 2016 update

Good day, all.
-20 for the past few weeks so my powder coating experimentation is on hold until a low pressure front moves in and brings the temps up. When I get the load data as well as cohronograph data I will post here and also on Accurate Reloading forums.

Also, I just purchased a .577 Hollis bpe double (3-inch) and will take pics soon and post here. Our double shoot is set in stone for May 6 at te Birchwood range. Many from the flatlands of the Lower 48 are joining us. Remember all are invited. Shooting begins at 10, lunch is at noon, and more shooting after the meal.

Trying to decide on 2017 Africa hunts. A Zim hunt was cancelled so I will be looking to Zim again and maybe a plains game hunt in South Africa to try out my .350 no2 Rigby.

Not much to write in the dead of a cold dark winter here but after some shooting I will be here again soon. Please send in your double rifle pics and thanks all for looking.


A unique .45-120 double

Eric L. as finally received his treasured double rifle in the powerhouse .45-120. You mauy recall a few years ago Eric began his double quest with a gunsmith in Maine who did him a huge disservice. You can see the story in an earlier post here. It's finally done right now, and this double will be tested in the game fields of the world, I'm sure--at least on wild hogs in Texas to begin. Thanks for the pics, Eric!
PS. And, it's a side lock.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Rigby 12-bore

Peter C. from a far off land sends these two photos of his Rigby 12-bore double, in its original case with mould and accessories. It is a pre 1870 double but with rebounding hammers--perhaps the earliest rebounding double I've seen. I don't know the specifications but she sure is a beauty. Not many nicer, that's for sure.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Double tools and moulds

A friend has numerous reloading items (some rifle, some shotgun) for sale overseas. Not all are priced yet, but if you see anything you like email me and I will put you in contact.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Holland and Holland 8-bore

What an honor to post two pics of this fine Holland 8. Chip B. picked it up at the Julia auction and it is a  masterpiece. 24" barrels, original case, excellent condition, fantastic wood, proper weight of 17+ pounds, super bores with good rifling. I will asset Chip with reloading when the components he ordered arrive. First a chamber and bore cast, then a look at the rifling twist to determine if a ball or conical 8-bore, then she is ready to be shot!! Thanks, Chip, and congratulations for a super rifle.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Update October 24, 2016

Good day, all.
The May shoot is in the planning stages now and will be the first or second weekend in May, 2017. I will post on the forums and here when the date is decided. The shoot will be at the Birchwood range at 10am. Lunch will be served. Expect 30-40 to show up (including 10-15 regulars) and 40-60 double rifles there for all to shoot.

Also in the planning stages is my next trip to Zimbabwe. I will take a .350 no2 by Rigby and Jack Lott's .500 NE (both doubles, of course). I'm too old to lug around the .600!

After a good caribou hunt this past August I went on an elk hunt in Idaho with Selkirk Outfitters. The good things about the hunt were nice conservative folks, food to die for, and wonderful accommodations. That is where it ends. The hunt was the lamest hunt one can imagine. Nothing but road hunting close to the lodge with a couple of long drives to the east side of Priest Lake. However, most of the driving and short walks on Forest Service roads was within a mile or two from the lodge. Hunters everywhere, campers, motor homes, atvs, trailers, etc. With all the road hunters, there was absolutely zero elk to shoot. A few cows were seen feeding on the neighbor's lawns, and when we were about to walk to get a closer look at a young bull at the last light a fella pulled up in a pickup and yelled, "Is that an elk? Is that an elk?" and fired behind us and to our side (he missed). No male whitetail, no male mule deer, no bear, no cats, no coyotes. Absolutely nothing. The booking agent, Mark Young, introduced me to Selkirk (I didn't book with him as his contract was 11 pages of legal nonsense) emailed that I could expect a 6x6 or larger as lots of elk were in the area. That was blowing sunshine up my backside, that is for sure. Didn't see anything, didn't hear any bugling. An absolute waste of money. A young guide there told me 10 hunters preceded me in the bow and muzzle loading season and only one got a bull--a 5x5. So, with me, it is 1 elk and 11 hunters, or about 8%. If you are looking for an elk, I would suggest you look elsewhere.

This winter will see me developing loads for a 10-bore double and also a .577 bpe which I just purchased. A friend is selling a few doubles as he is moving out of the country and I will keep you posted on that situation.
Cheers, all, and thanks for looking at my site.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Paradox 1--Caribou 0

Todd Kilby, MD, walks the walk. Todd is an encyclopedia of knowledge on Paradox guns the took this excellent caribou bull with his Holland 12-bore. The bullet passed through shoulder bones and exited! No ptarmigan or grouse on this trip and no grizzly, either, but an excellent experience with a vintage double. As Todd has shown, doubles are not just for Africa anymore.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Army and Navy .577-450 bpe

A friend sent pics of an fantastic A&N double in a fairly rare caliber (for a double) .577-450. I don't have any specifications, but here are a few photos.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

2016 caribou with H&H .450-400 and a .350 Remington Magnum (yes a single barrel)

Double Rifle Caribou, August 29, 2017
Cal Pappas

KC Kaltenborn, MD (my endocrinologist), and I were dropped of to hunt caribou about a half-hour flight from Talkeetna on the 28th of August. A big bull was at the shore when our float plane touched down on a cloudless and warm fall day in Alaska. We didn't see any animals on the flight out and after this bull ran off we didn't see any for several hours due to the heat of the day. About half-four to five pm the caribou started appearing on the hills to the east and south and west of camp. A few average bulls and females, nothing really spectacular but our hopes were high for tomorrow (the first legal day to hunt).

Before sun up, at first light we were out of our tents and glassing. The hills to the east were in shadows but we could see four bulls feeding between 1/4 and 1/2 mile away. Three were average and one was outstanding. I mean high, wide, and lots of long points. KC is a meat hunter with no interest in trophies and says younger animals and females fast better. With that I mentioned I was off for the big fella. I was carrying my Harrison and Hussey double rifle, box lock ejector, made in 1920. It was owned by Douglas Jardine (google him). He was the captain of the English cricket team in the 1930s, and was responsible for defeating the Australian championship team with an unethical (but then not illegal) body line tactic. Jardine was the most hated man in Australia at the time. The rifle sports a Swarovski 1.25-4x scope, and is cased in oak and leather.

Before sun rise, the big bull.

As I was gathering my rifle and other items the big bull moved to my left behind some alders and out of sight. I moved into a draw to my left hoping to ambush him on the other side of the alders some way off. I made it to the area I expected to see the bull, was quiet, the wind was in my favor, and I waited a bit. Moving on the bull appeared and saw me as soon as I saw him. He turned to run and I fired the left barrel and took him just behind the shoulder with a lung shot. The 400-grain Woodleigh soft nose entered his left side at 80 yards about a 20+ degree uphill shot, and exited his right side just under the spine. He ran 20 yards and fell. Upon approaching him I realized in my haste to shoot he was one of the average bulls and not the big bull I was after. As I was finished cleaning the caribou and taking the last load of meat to camp with KC I noticed the big bull high on a rocky hill to the south feeding peacefully. After a short while he moved over the horizon and was out of sight. Damn!

In haste to shoot, I took a smaller bull with the .450-400.

In camp for six hours and no caribou movement with the hot and sunny day. Unusual for Alaska in August. At 4:40 KC called me from my tent that he saw a bull on the hill to the south. I glassed and it was the same big bull. I took my pack with some water, knives, sharpening stone, and bone saw. KC took his pack with meat sacks, food, water, and his rifle. The question was how to maneuver for  a shot as it was uphill, lots of alders in a valley between us and the bull but it was now or never and we were off. I'm 61 old and slow and KC is 62 and a trim marathon runner. He was using an extra rifle I have: a Remington model 600 from 1967 with an 18-inch barrel and chambered for the .350 magnum cartridge. Not a long range rifle by any stretch of the imagination. It was a rapid uphill hike for 20 minutes to get into position.

We moved up to a valley on the left and the caribou was above us on the right, about 300 yards off, maybe more. We used the alders to our advantage to keep out of sight. KC had to shoot now as to go down into the valley that was choked with thick alders and up the far side the caribou would be completely out of sight and could possibly be aware of our approach. KC settled in for a long shot with his bipod down. First shot was a hit but not fatal. The bull did not move as he did not know where the danger was coming from. Second shot was a miss and the bull actually walked 50 yards in our direction. Third shot dropped the bull. It took 10-15 minutes to make our way to the bull. A long shot with a .300 Weatherby but a near impossible shot with the short .350 RM. Scope was a Leopold 1.5-5x.

KC (a great doc and friend) with his bug bull and the .350 Model 600.

KC shot from the alders on the knoll to the left and the bull was on the hill under the top rocks to the right.

A magnificent animal, blue sky, wind so no bugs, and McKinley as clear as could be. We took down one load of meat that evening and the second the next am, called for a flight out, and were home that afternoon. Doesn't get any better! KC is still not a trophy hunter so I will hang his antlers in my home after a European mount is complete. Most of the velvet was naturally gone. If I was not able to get the big bull, I'm pleased KC did.

McKinley was out with 100% blue sky.

A last note on our pilot. Dave Hicks is an excellent pilot--safe, honest, and ethical. KC and I met up with Dave for the flight in an unusual way. The flight service we planned to use stopped flying hunters earlier this year but was still taking (non refundable) deposits, keeping the money, and farming their hunts out to other pilots: in our case, it was Dave. Not the best way to do business in my opinion. Dave's company is N2Alaska. His contacts are: 907-616-1010 (phone), fly@n2alaska.com (email), and wwwn2alaska.com (web site). Dave can fly you hunting, fishing, flight seeing, and drop you off at his remote cabin for a wilderness experience. His wife, Peggy, is a retired teacher (as am I) and substitutes at the Talkeetna school (as do I) and their two great kids are in the local high school. KC and I will fly with Dave next year and he comes to you gents with our highest recommendation.

David Hicks' Cessna 185 with the antlers.

Thanks for reading this.

PS. You can read a few pages back on my experience with a flight service in the arctic and that is the reason I now hunt closer to home. ANWR hunts in the arctic are getting expensive--$3000 per person and the flight may be as short as 15 minutes. Closer to home is now the way to go for me. The area KC and I hunted in is open only to Alaska residents but for you out-of-staters you can contact myself or Dave Hicks and get information on hunting moose, caribou, black bear, and wolf in close by areas open to all. Cheers.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Turner double rifle

Thomas Turner made some fine doubles although I have seen only a few in 25 years. A gent from overseas sent these two pics of his Turner in .577-500 magnum 3 1/8". This rifle shoots 6 drams and a 440-grain bullet and is cased with its original mould.

Joseph Lang 10-bore

A second double rifle has just arrived: a Joseph Lang 10-bore from 1863. She rests in her original case (inside has been refurbished). Specs are 10-bore of .775"., 28-inch barrels, sights a 50-100-150 yards, all three sight leaves folding as she is a ball and shot gun--a smooth bore. The bores are excellent plus, steel butt plate, checkering is worn from 150 years of use, wedge for end fastener, non rebounding hammers.

Baker 12-bore

This fine Baker 12-bore double rifle has entered my gun safe just prior to my Zimbabwe trip. Specs are 26-inch barrels, rebounding hammers, case colored, steel butt plate, excellent bores, three leaf rear sight, excellent condition in and out, cheekpiece, and VERY accurate.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Waterbuck 0, .600 Wilkes 1

A wonderful Zimbabwe waterbuck taken outside of Gwanda in Zimbabwe. Cal's rifle is a 1914 John Wilkes .600 nitro express, firing a 900-grain bullet at 1900 fps. Range was 65 yards. One shot kill (if course).

Update August 1, 2016

A good summer to all of you.
Just returned two days ago from Zimbabwe. First off, let me say the country is safe and peaceful. No problems anywhere and food and fuel are plentiful. Police road blocks are passed through quickly and politely.

I visited with Ant Williams of the African Hunter magazine. It is the best there is and I would encourage all to subscribe. The AH has gone through a major makeover--double the previous size as to page count and all glossy paper.  Also visited with the Whitehead family in Chiredzi. Greatest people on earth, Gerry and Rose, but such a shame they lost their ranch in the land takeover 15 years ago.  Then four wonderful days on a tobacco farm east of Harare with Peiter and Christelle Pasques. Lifelong friends with a great family of two beautiful daughters.

However, I was there to hunt elephant with my .600 with PH Wayne van der Berghe. Great guy and PH. The elephant had moved out of the area so we spent some time looking for plains game. My best trophy was the waterbuck pictured below. A vintage .600 is not a plains game rifle by any standard but it is great fun to shoot and take game but not much fun any longer to carry it!

August 13 is the next Alaska double rifle shoot and all are welcome. 10am at the Birchwood range.

Forgot to mention, I saw two wonderful doubles whilst in Zim--a .450-400 double rifle and a 12-bore shotgun by Westley Richards. Both are well-worn from decades of use in the Zim bush but I will work to obtain them as they have a wonderful history of Zim written in each scratch and point of wear.

Off for caribou the end of August and for elk in Idaho the second week of October.
Cheers, all.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tim's bear

A mate from the lower 48, Tim F. was hunting in Manitoba with a .470 double rifle. The owner of a lodge asked him to rid the camp of a bear that was breaking into cabins. Tim agreed and the bear dropped quickly to a 320 grain bullet propelled by 103 grains of 4831. Tim is finding, as am I, that this one load regulation has been a bit over stated throughout the decades. While not every load will shoot well in a double, certainly more that one will shoot accurately. Tim's bear was taken at 22 paces but his rifle shoot well beyond that.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Krieghoff double

A follower of my site sent in this pic of his unique Krieghoff double rifle. Three barrel set: .470, .375, .30-06 and scopes for the .375 and '06 barrels. A very well done set and one is capable of worldwide hunting with this set. One or two sets of 20 bore shotgun barrels would be a fine addition to use the action for some wing shooting. Thanks for the submission!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Westley Richards .500 NE double for sale

A mate from Accurate Reloading has notified me he has a .500 Nitro Express by the famous Westley Richards for sale. It is priced very well for a nitro rifle as it has the exposed hammers and under lever action. Many feel the hammers and under levers were out of vogue when hammerless designs came into being. Well, that's not really so. Hammerless designs were developed in the 1880s and hammer rifles and shotguns were popular for the next 20+ years. Why? Folks liked the old style and the hammer rifles are 100% silent to reload. The ledgers of the London and Birmingham makers show many orders for hammer rifles and shotguns well into the hammerless era. Anyway, this rifle has been refurbished, shoots very well, and comes with dies and brass. For 14,000$, one can't go wrong with a vintage double, from a famous maker, and in a full nitro express cartridge. The .500 nitro is perhaps the most sought after double today for big game hunting but many shy away from one due to the excessive price. Now, I have no stake in this sale but can recommend this rifle long before you shell out the same money for a modern European double, or 1/3 this amount on a Sabatti, or 1/10th this amount on a Baikal in .45-70. If you want more info, email me and I will put you in contact with the owner as well as email you more photos. This would make a fine piece for your next African hunt or, if you are a PH, a classy vintage double from WR in an excellent caliber.