Monday, August 11, 2014

Greetings from Alaska, 8-11-14

Good day, all:

Summer is drawing to a close as the fireweed are blossoming to the top of the flower. I've been shooting several times a week but nothing new to report. In 10 days I depart for the high arctic and a caribou hunt with two mates. I hope to report back some success. In 5 weeks I should depart for the central part of the state and a moose hunt with a friend from the local school. Both hunts should see my .450-400 in action AND on the caribou hunt it will be grizzly season and I have a tag for a bear. I've seen grizzly each year I've been there but it has been prior to the opening of grizz season.

The best news, however, is my next book on double rifles, The Double Rifle Primer--how to know and do everything in the world of double rifles, is at the printer and I hope to  have copies ready to sell in two months. On my next update I will give the chapters, contents, photos, etc., as well as price and ordering information.

Cheers, all, and enjoy your summer.

A pair of Verney Carron doubles

Verney Carron of France sure makes a fine double rifle! Google them and check out their website--the workmanship, or should I write craftsmanship, is outstanding. Here is a pair of their doubles, .450 NE and .577 NE. For a large caliber double the price and quality is an excellent buy. VC also makes deer sized doubles and a friend in Kansas ordered one in 7x65 rimmed for deer hunting.

Ken Bush's Verney Carron .450 takes an elephant

Ken, who is the US importer for Verney Carron rifles and shotguns, took this fine elephant on the second hour of the first day of his safari. The rifle was a VC .450 nitro express double. I guess that leaves a lot of safari time for fishing and sightseeing!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Alex Henry 8-bore

Up for sale is my harpoon gun by Alex Henry. Made in 1874 it is the only one Henry made in this configuration. Built on a 4-bore frame with an extremely heavy barrel it shoots an exploding "bomb". Bore diameter is .880", barrel is 22 inches long and the octagon breech is 2" thick and the round muzzle is 1.6" diameter. Smooth bore. Falling block action. The safety catch on the under lever locks both the hammer and keeps the lever from opening. Original rear sight. With the gun are two brass shells and a deactivated original "bomb". The projectile works thusly: upon ignition (110 grains of black powder) a small lead weight in the nose is released and hits a percussion cap which ignites a fuse. The fuse burns as the projectile is imbedded in the whale's back. The body of the bomb carries two ounces of black powder or 880 grains. This explosion is enough to kill the whale. The guns also shoots 3 1/2" 8-bore ammunition. Unique and one of a kind. Options are to 1) leave it as is and shoot it, 2) lengthen the chamber to 4-4 1/2 inches to have the world's most powerful 8-bore, 3) rechamber and rebore to 4-bore), 4) leave as is and have a new barrel made in .600, .700, 8 or 4-bore. Price is $17,500, and I will consider trades on a small English double rifle in .500 bpe, .577 bpe, .303, .300 flanged, .350 Rigby, .360 no2, or .400-360 and maybe a .333. Best ballistics are with a 1350-grain Paradox bullet with 330 grains of FFg GOEX = 1486 fps and 6600 fpe! Others are a 1000-grain ball and 390 grains FFg and 1620-grain conical and 275 grains FFg. It is great fun. Call or email and we'll talk! Many more photos can be emailed, including the bomb, upon request.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 5, 2014 update

Good day, all. Not a lot of news here except doing a bit of shooting and using nitro for black loads in my .500 NE Watson is proving to be a successful experiment. We have a shoot on July 19 at the Mat Su Range at mile 95 of the Parks Highway. The double rifle men are guests of the local shooters' open house day and family day. Some nice rifle pics have been posted on the double rifles page for you to enjoy and the best news is my new book, The Double Rifle Primer--how to know and do everything in the world of double rifles is just completing the layout and it should be off to the printers in a week or two. The book contains everything double rifle--how to buy, sell, reload, shoot, care for, hunt with, current makers, past makers, ammunition, ballistics, and 40+ pages of definitions of the terms we use. I will keep you posted here and on the Accurate Reloading forums when delivery is close at hand. Please do not send any money prior to the books being here at my home. Many have offered to buy in advance but I prefer not to take any payment prior to delivery. Please send in your double rifle pics and hunting trophies (taken with a double, of course). Cal

July 4th on the Denali Highway

A vacation in Alaska that comes too rarely: 75-80 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Here are some pics of the scenery. The moose pic with the brown grass is the same area but last May. The moose and calf and the mountain reflected in the lake are my favorites. Welcome to my world!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Lang 10-bore

Joe Butterworth sent in this pic of his 2 7/8" chambered Joseph Lang 10-bore double. These  beautiful bore rifles have a special place in the world. Note the engraving and fine Damascus pattern on the barrels. I understand she shoot well with GOEX black at 5 or 6 drams.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

2014 Alaska Double Rifle Shoot

The 2014 AK double shoot was fun but could have been better. many could not make it, it rained and only one brought a camera. But, it is better than staying home watching Opra reruns.
From the top:
1. my .600
2. my 4-bore
3. Todd Kilby's .375 2 1/2" Holland belonging to the Maharaja of Patiala
4. Rob's guns
5. Some of my guns with Scott Marx' .500 Gibbs to the right.

Alex Henry 8-bore harpoon gun

Forgive me for posting a single barrel gun here but its uniqueness begs inclusion. Made in 1874 it is the only one Henry made in this configuration. Built on a true 4-bore falling block frame she shoots and exploding bomb (I have one sample which is deactivated). The 15" missile self ingrates a fuse upon ignition of the powder charge to propel it out of the 22-inch barrel. When in the whale it explodes the main charge of powder--880 grains--to, hopefully, kill the whale. She weighs 22 pounds and is smooth bore. The best thing of all is I fire 3 1/2" 8-bore ammo from it. 330 grains of FFg propels a 1350-grain Paradox bullet at 1486 fps for 6600+ ft lbs of energy. I will experiment with 390 grains and a 1000-grain ball and 275 grains and a 1620-grain conical. While a fun toy, it is not a double so expect to see this one of a kind gun on the for sale page of my site this summer or fall. If you are interested, contact me.

W&C Scott .475 no2 sidelock ejector

Here is the latest addition to my gun safe. A Scott .475 no2 sle with 26-inch barrels, weight of 11 pounds, and all internal parts are gold plated. Rifle was made in 1935 and was unfired by its prior owners. I shot it12 times into targets and it is super accurate. © Copyright (date) Cal Pappas | Design by krobar