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#114671 09/27/08 10:15 PM
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New acquisition. Grateful for wisdom on loading/shooting the .303 British double. This one is a Grade C H&H made in the late 1890s and proofed for rifleite.

Regards


Tim Carney #114688 09/28/08 02:28 AM
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Tim-

First things first, Congratulations on finding such a nice .303

Next, I'm going to send you over to NitroExpress.com for your loading questions.
I haven't owned a .303 double rifle, although I have owned and run an 8x60R double rifle (nitro, boxlock ejector...) and my first notes to you are going to be to photograph and publish the full course of proof marks and engraving on that rifle -- everywhere you find it.
It's likely that period Kynoch ammunition would regulate in the rifle, but I'd want to see the proofs and other marks first.

Also, you need to cast the chambers and slug the bores.
It's very, very important to know for double damn sure EXACTLY what you have there from breechface to muzzle.
Publish that information as well.


Till then, enjoy the rifle in your hands!!


--Tinker

Tim Carney #114714 09/28/08 11:43 AM
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Here's a piece on the .303 double rifle from G.T.Teasdale ca1900...


"...In the Westley Richards make
the .256 is rifled to right and the .303 bore is rifled to left,
their .303 bore rifle is made on the Enh'eld five-groove system,
and the depth of the grooves is .004. It has about one turn
in ten inches to the left, and with the cartridge and load they
recommend for sporting purposes gives a muzzle velocity of
about 2,000 feet per second [37 grains Rifleite or Cordite,
2 1 5 grains bullet]. The sporting bullet they supply is of the
same weight — a great point in our opinion, and although one
is hollow in front and the other is not, there is no trajectory
difference in practice, whatever the experts may say..."


This might give you something to think about in regard to period loads for Brit double rifles built and regulated for the available .303 Rifelite sporting ammunition.


Again, enjoy the rifle!



--Tinker

Tim Carney #114715 09/28/08 12:40 PM
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Lovely rifle, Tim. Looks like a find.

Yes, .303s from this period were proved with Rifleite, an early smokeless rifle propellant from the Smokeless Powder Company, because that's what the rules of proof of that time specified for the .303 (the proof load was 46.3 grains Rifleite and a 287 grain lead plug wrapped in greased paper). That doesn't mean that it was regulated with it. Unless otherwise engraved elsewhere on the gun (as opposed to stamped by the proof house), it was almost certainly regulated with standard 215 grain ammunition loaded with Cordite and a nickel jacketed RN bullet.

Keep in mind that the "standard" 215 grain loading of the .303 was increased shortly after the turn of the century - after this rifle was made, if you're right about the date. The original nitro loading of the .303 was a 215 grain bullet at 1,970 fps from a 25" barrel. The new "standard" was increased to produce 2,050 fps in a 25" barrel. Your rifle was probably regulated with the original standard load. You're a double rifle shooter, so you understand the difference that velocity can make in regulation.

Current handloading data for the 215 grain bullet isn't hard to find, but even most listed starting loads are faster than the standard velocity that this gun was regulated at, so you'll need to reduce further. For example, ADI lists a starting load of 36 grains Varget at 2,130 fps, or 42 grains H4350 at 2,045 fps, both from 24" barrels. Start lower, and work up shooting over a chronograph. If the barrels aren't together by the time you reach 2,000 fps, I'd try another powder. I haven't used it, but I would think RL 15 would also work well. Maybe a starting load of 32 grains and max around 36 or 37.

Nice rifle. Best of luck with it.


"Serious rifles have two barrels, everything else just burns gunpowder."
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Thank you all for comments. Have emailed Holland&Holland to see if the gun is, in fact, an antique, completed in 1898 or before. Will follow up to buy a letter on it from them.

Expect that getting a 215 grain bullet to regulate at 2,000 fps will be the priority goal to be able to use the iron sights on gemsbok up to 125 or so yards. Believe I'll start with IMR4895 and be prepared to switch to IMR4350 (I've got both in the cabinet). Expect the case does not have the volume for IMR4831?? Yes, good idea, 400NE, will definitely start lower than posted minimums.

Norma .303 brass tempts me, but Remington also sells it and I found R-P .375 cases to be of sufficient quality.

Will order some RCBS X dies as I gather they actually work. Don't imagine that the double is as hard on brass as the military rifles are, to judge by a raft of chatroom postings. Will order a neck size die as well. Neck sizing worked well for the .350 Rigby No. 2. Is a Lee factory crimp die a sensible idea, or will it work the entire length of the case as it does in pistol brass, according to youtube "how to" postings? Never crimped the .350 No. 2 and never had any problems not doing so.

Woodleigh bullets work generally well, although I'm tempted by the .035-jacket .311 Hawk in 215 gr. NOTE: All of the bullets except Woodleigh (215 and 174 grain) are .311 instead of .312. Expect 174-180 gr. can be brought to regulate with the right powder. Also, using the 2/3 rule, 150 grain bullets should regulate with the same charge as the 215 bullet, but print a bit high. Can only find Hornady in that weight and not sure those would be good enough for deer/smaller antelope. Any views? Must say that with a 375 H&H double I generally used the 300 gr bullet for everything, but did take half a dozen gemsbok (meat hunting for the game farm) with a European 235 grain head that regulated very well.

Regards, Tim

Tim Carney #117003 10/15/08 01:57 PM
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Got the gun history in the form of H&H gunbook notes. Rifle was shot and regulated with 30 grains cordite, HP nickel bullet and Kynoch case on 30 December 1897. It was "fitted with patent telescope," of which no trace remains.

An intriguing additional Memo of 11 May 1901 simply states "shot tested & readjusted." May mean regulated for the higher velocity cordite round? The barrels are 28" and that should wring all possible velocity out of whatever powder I use.

Dies, brass and Woodleigh 215 grain bullets are on their way, and this weekend may give the chance to see what's what on regulation. Believe I'll start with 39 grs of IMR-4831 a grain below the tried formula of 1-1/3 times the cordite loading, assuming it fits in the case without compression...

Got some Behlens lacquer (brush) and reviewed the thread that describes applying it to protect case colors. Expect I'll mask the wood and brush it on to keep the colors fresh. Gun has been refinished as the barrel flats are black and the wood just looks too good, although the barrels truly do not look much used.

As of interest, I see that the upcoming Christies auction has a .303 H&H double just a few numbers earlier than mine listed. It's also a Grade 2, but at some point has had much engraving added and claw mounts, as well.

Regards

Last edited by Tim Carney; 10/15/08 02:00 PM.
Tim Carney #125324 12/10/08 02:10 PM
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Tim,
I have a Rigby .303 double that is marked '38 gr RIFLITE'. I been battling for years to get the rifle to group with 215 gr until someone recently told me that the rifle was regulated for 150gr. I have since tried ordinary factory 150gr ammo with great results. It is apparently only Rigby that regulated some of their rifles for 150gr however with doubles there always seems to be exceptions.
Regards,
Charls

#129521 01/09/09 01:31 AM
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Charls,

Rigby sounds a nice rifle. Surely the proof marks had the weight of bullet it regulated or, perhaps, the Rigby records can help?

Couldn't regulate my H&H with either IMR4895 or IMR4350 and the 215 gr. bullet. Couldn't get better than 3+ inches composite group at 50 yards, totally unacceptable with a .303, so it's now with JJ Perodeau at Champlin arms for regulation and a few other touches including extra strikers, foresight and a few other matters. Hopefully it will be ready to go to South AFrica and Namibia with me in mid-July.

Best for the New Year, Tim

Tim Carney #130151 01/12/09 03:54 AM
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Hi Tim,
Best the New Year to you to.
Being from South Africa, I can confirm that the .303 will be the perfect bush rifle. In fact, the perfect battery can possibly be the .303 and a .375 (scoped), as long as you have a PH with something bigger for the dangerous moments. In the Eastern and Northern Cape and Namibia the flatter shooting cartridges (300Win Mag)are necessary. I don't know whether you've been in SA before but I am sure you are going to find it very good: hospital people, good food and great hunting!
Enjoy!
Charls

#130215 01/12/09 02:13 PM
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Charls,

Yes, learned to shoot a rifle and hunt plains and dangerous game whilst in South Africa from 1983-86 and am back every year to hunt in Namibia (no shots much more than 125m in the 30,000 ha game farm) and near Hluhluwe at Dr. Mark Sutherland's place.

I've used my LH bolt action .375 scoped in southern Africa, but much prefer the iron-sighted doubles that require more care and more hunting to get into position for a shot.

Do I recall that you are the moonlight bushpig hunter? Or is that another Charls who is together with Frederik "Infinito?"

Regards, Tim

Tim Carney #130577 01/14/09 05:08 AM
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Tim,
No, I am not the moonlight bushpig hunter- though I have hunted bushpigs. I am a keen hunter and smalltime collector of double rifles and shotguns. I am also left handed and that is how I got interested in doubles originally.
Regards,
Charls

#138100 02/28/09 01:43 PM
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Could not get the .303 double to regulate a 215 gr bullet with any sensible charge of either IMR4350 or IMR4895. Used my chrono and started in the 1800 fps range and ended somewhat above 2100 fps. Fifty yard targets were 3-1/2 inches apart and a desultory effort at 100 yards produced a composite group of six inches or so. NOTE: barrels are 28 inches.

Sent the rifle and 60 cartridges made up of woodleigh 215 gr bullets, RP brass, CCI 200 primer and my chosen load of IMR4350 (somewhat more than manuals recommend) to JJ Perodeau at Champlins to regulate and to add a top lever peep site (see Clair Kofoed and Dave Webster thread below). JJ called me a few days ago, has done the regulation, added a Purdey-style peep, as opposed to the Geo. Hoenig depicted in the below thread, and is sending the rifle back for me to try and ensure a successful effort.

I'll post here and on accuratereloading.com with pictures if results merit.

Regards, Tim

Tim Carney #142416 03/31/09 01:37 PM
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Another source of 215 grain round nose bullets is Hawk Precision in Salem, NJ.

Story #142426 03/31/09 02:14 PM
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Tim how much did the regulation cost you? I buy a few double rifles and might need the service. Please post a photo of the peep. I'm going to need one with my eyes. Thanks

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Originally Posted By: Mike Harrell
Tim how much did the regulation cost you? I buy a few double rifles and might need the service. Please post a photo of the peep. I'm going to need one with my eyes. Thanks


Mike,

You regulate an old double rifle by experimentation with bullet weight and powder charge. Markings on the rifle or data from the manufacturers records (if they exist) are a starting point.

It's highly unlikely that modern ammo will match the ballistics of the ammunition used to regulate an old double rifle 50, 100 or even 125 years old.

There are perhaps a dozen men in the world who are skilled enough to take your rifle barrels, remove the ribs and re-regulate the barrels by the adjustments used during original manufacture. The cost would be astronomical as well, certainly you would be looking at a four figure sum, and not a small four figure sum at that.

Experimentation to try and duplicate the original ammunition can be fun, if somewhat frustrating. (Been there, done that, etc.

Harry


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Harry I know that. I owned a .577 that would not regulate no matter the load, bullet or any combination thereof. I ended up selling it. I would have liked to have had it reregulated if it wouldn't cost me too much.

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Originally Posted By: Harry Eales
Originally Posted By: Mike Harrell
Tim how much did the regulation cost you? I buy a few double rifles and might need the service. Please post a photo of the peep. I'm going to need one with my eyes. Thanks


Mike,

You regulate an old double rifle by experimentation with bullet weight and powder charge. Markings on the rifle or data from the manufacturers records (if they exist) are a starting point.

It's highly unlikely that modern ammo will match the ballistics of the ammunition used to regulate an old double rifle 50, 100 or even 125 years old.

There are perhaps a dozen men in the world who are skilled enough to take your rifle barrels, remove the ribs and re-regulate the barrels by the adjustments used during original manufacture. The cost would be astronomical as well, certainly you would be looking at a four figure sum, and not a small four figure sum at that.

Experimentation to try and duplicate the original ammunition can be fun, if somewhat frustrating. (Been there, done that, etc.

Harry


Not to be contrarian, but this just isn't true.

Sure, you start out with a load that duplicates the original, and that usually works. However, it's a fact of life that some double rifles get out of regulation over time.

Regulation, or re-regulation, is conducted with fully finished barrels. Indeed, any loose ribs must be stripped off and relaid before regulation can proceed. That's the only reason to remove a rib before re-regulation and is, of course, not the norm. The only difference between regulation at the factory and re-regulation later is that is that the former is done before the barrels are blacked, and the latter can require reblacking, but only if something goes wrong. I can't imagine why someone would think that ribs need to be removed in order to re-regulate a double rifle.

Re-regulation isn't a big deal. J. J. quotes $600 for re-regulation, and you supply the ammo. If he supplies it, he charges for it, of course. He warns that the need for re-blacking runs 50-50, but I think he's just being cautious there. Of the 6-8 he's done for me and friends of mine, none have required re-blacking and there's no cosmetic evidence of the work at all. All have shot great. I recommend J. J.'s re-regulation work highly.




"Serious rifles have two barrels, everything else just burns gunpowder."
Tim Carney #142467 03/31/09 06:48 PM
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Tim:

Have you shot the .303 yet?


"Serious rifles have two barrels, everything else just burns gunpowder."
Tim Carney #144188 04/14/09 11:11 PM
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I am curious how much it cost to have the gun shipped if it was shipped overseas.It look like one I was looking at at an aution site.Might have been Holts or Gardners.I have seen several shotguns I would like to have had but when I figure the 20 % pluss shipping I seems like it is getting exspensive.

Monty McGee
I post as jeweler my E is montgom@tecinfo.com


monty
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Gents,

SEnt it to Champlins with 60 rounds of Woodleigh 215 gr .312 bullets and my load of IMR 4350. Got it back, shot it and found it is regulated but prints to high and (not a problem) too far right. JJ at Champlins has it now to make a slightly larger (60 thou) and higher foresight. He'll also tap the backsight so the POI moves to the left.

Here is a look at my last five shots, done with the peep at 100 yards:



Here's a pic of the Purdey-style top lever peep, somewhat flimsier than the Hoenig (?) style illustrated here on the board but it works: the front bead, small as it is, down in the vee was in focus!



Separate problem is that the primers on the right barrel are slightly backing out -- confused me at first as I thought the brass was grossly stretching. Possibly the bushing is somewhat loose. JJ is checking into it.

More when I get it back.

Sorry lads, seem to have forgotten how to post photos from photobucket Just click on the link you may have to enlarge the photos for best viewing.... Ah, that might have done it, forget the forward slash

Regards, Tim

Last edited by Tim Carney; 04/15/09 06:08 PM.
Tim Carney #144276 04/15/09 09:52 PM
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Tim:

Do I read the last comment correctly when I understand it to say that you are looking through the peep to use the V rear sight?

Thanks.

Rem

Tim Carney #144302 04/16/09 02:26 AM
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Wow! Two inches with a double rifle at 100 with irons is superb. Sure beats 6 inches before re-regulation. From the photo, doesn't look like he had to reblack the barrels. How many rounds did he fire to get it? I sent 60 rounds with mine, and got 42 back. That rifle now shoots as good as it looks.


"Serious rifles have two barrels, everything else just burns gunpowder."
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Rem and 400NE,

Yes, you look through the peep and sight just as you would ordinarily with irons: bead all the way down to the bottom of the vee of the backsight. Key is that the peep ensures that only the most central rays of light strike your lens, and those are the rays that your old eyes focus best. Try the test by scrunching your hand down to leave a small aperture and look through it at some text -- you'll find the text becomes clear enough to read.

On earlier shipping point, I bought the rifle here in the states, trade for my Gibbs-made .350 Rigby No. 2 and cash. Saw two such .303 Brit doubles in recent British auctions. Don't know what they sold for. I've imported from the UK and did not find the shipping costs extravagant, but unless they are 1898 or before, you must have an FFL to import using ATF Form 6. I used Glenn Baker at Woodcock Hill.

JJ used 30 rounds to regulate, but only because I asked him to try a half dozen at 100 yards as part of my puzzlement over why the brass seemed to be stretching. I'll look forward to his figuring out why the right barrel primers back out a tad (15 thou or so with my RP unfired brass). No, he did not need to reblack the barrels.

Doubles are a joy and, while I've had to delay a trip back to Namibia from August to the beginning of hot weather in October, I plan to wring this double out and even to figure out which of the South African powders works best with it (I'll take my Lee Loader or maybe a set or dies for the game farmer owner's RCBS press).

Regards, Tim

Tim Carney #144350 04/16/09 12:11 PM
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Tim-

Congrats on the rifle performance.
I can imagine your delight!

On the peep sight -- with a peep that close to the shooter's eye, it's acting in the same function as the aperture in a camera's lens.
You're effectively 'stopping down' the exposure, which deepens the depth of field (things close and far away will be in focus at the same time, to a greater extent with smaller apertures) but has the side-effect of lowering the amount of light that gets to the eye.
The discussion of how this works is somewhat complicated, but the benefit is the same any way you look at it.

Again, congratulations on the great performance of your nice little .303



Cheers
Tinker

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Tim:

Can you tell me who did that peep sight for you? I have a little .250-3000 double I can't hunt with anymore because I can no longer use the leaf sights consistently. This would likely allow me to put the rifle back into service. I've thought of sending it out to JJ for installation of claw mounts, which would certainly solve the sighting issue, but at the price of making the rifle a pound heavier and probably of requiring it be regulated anew.

Thanks.

Rem

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Remington40X,

JJ. Perodeau added the peep sight when he did the barrel regulation. He calls it a Purdey-style top lever peep.

Regards,
Tim

Last edited by Tim Carney; 04/16/09 09:50 PM.
Tim Carney #144434 04/16/09 09:57 PM
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Thanks.

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Where is the photo of the Hoenig peep? Puzzled, can't find it.

mkbenenson #144814 04/20/09 11:17 AM
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MK,

You'll find it illustrated as part of the thread, "Peep Sights" on page 2 of this forum.

http://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/ubbt...ge=2#Post109037

Regards,
Tim

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Thanks Tim. Read Koefeld's instructions .... way past my skill set. Will have to write JJP to see if he will make one and what he would charge, ouch. Rifle is a double 9.3x74R over 20, stays under 3" for 8 shots at 100 from both barrels, from rest with the sights smoked and using a Merit disc on my shooting glasses, factory 286 grains. Well worth peeping. On a rifle with substantial recoil a toplever peep is preferable to one on the tang.

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MK,

Sounds a nice drilling. You'll find JJP's top lever peep is very affordable. Sure don't see any need to regulate those barrels, least of all if you are using factory ammo.

He'll make a new screw with the peep attached. Be sure to save the original screw should you eventually sell the arm.

Regards, Tim

Tim Carney #145402 04/25/09 12:14 AM
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Tim, does your JJP/Purdey style peep fold down? Does it adjust for windage or elevation?

mkbenenson #145545 04/26/09 02:10 PM
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MK,

Yes, the peep folds down to keep it out of the way when in a vehicle, or even when carrying it in the field.

Unlike the Hoenig version, it does not adjust for either windage or elevation. I wondered about that and concluded that it is set for the height of the backsight and the windage of the backsight at which the regulated barrels print accurately, so no need to move the peep...

Regards, Tim

Tim Carney #146934 05/08/09 02:19 PM
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Tim, when you get a chance, could you possibly post a close-up photo of the peep blade? Maybe from several angles? Im curious as to how JJ will "tap" the blade to adjust windage. George's sight adjusts for windage with two tiny screws but depends upon filing down a replacement front blade for elevation.

Have a great hunt,

C.

C. Kofoed #148192 05/18/09 03:43 PM
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C

Regret that I've been in Afghanistan for about a week on what looks to be four or five months more. Am able to visit the Board irregularly.

In any case, am far from the .303. The double is still back with JJ to raise and make a slightly larger front sight and adjust the back sight for windage.

I'm guessing (!) that the backsight will need so little adjustment to get two inches left at 100 that the peep will not need to be moved. Expect JJ will let me know at some point.

No winter hunt in RSA/Namibia this year. I'll be lucky to get there in October...

Regards, Tim

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Stay safe, Tim, we apprciate your work.

Give me a call when you get back sometime.

Best,

c.

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C.

Some down time here on Friday, the Muslim weekend. To my delight found I still had some double rifle photos on my digital camera. Here are two close ups of the top lever peep. The second photo is the peep folded flat.

Regards, Tim




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Sidelock
***

Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 631
Thanks so much, Tim. That's better detail, looks like a very nice compact sight.

Im still working on the sidelock drilling you found. Made a new forend, wood, and extractor and now need to re-blue the barrels and finish- up the whole thing. It's a nito-proofed 9.3x72R and I'm very interested in seeing how well it will do vs. my black powder version.

Perhaps you'll be able to try for an Ibex with an M-14 in a few months? ;>) I'd be looking for chukar and sand grouse come fall.

Again, stay safe,

C.

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