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Hello xausa,

Thanks for the reply,

That's interesting. My 32-40 Hi-wall Schuetzen rifle does have the self-cocking feature. It was built-up by O.A. Niedner.


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The highwall can be made to do either by simply changing the fly.

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My 1896 highwall .38-40 also is a self-cocking action; you have to let the hammer down onto the half-cock once it's loaded if you need a "safety."

My impression was that the automatic half-cock actions were a later development and that the original Browning rifles and most of the 19th century Win 1885s cocked automatically. That was a great advantage for anybody using the rifle for anything but target shooting--am I wrong about that?

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Sorry to drift off topic, but the Bullard single shot from around the same era has a silky smooth self cocking action. Pretty good trigger pull too.

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Hello All,

Well, after several trips to the range, here's what I came up with. Although I was able to get higher velocities with paper-patch lead bullets, I settled on the 350g Speer FP for their superior accuracy.

Not bad for a 133 year old rifle - and more than adequate for Wisconsin Whitetail deer this fall.



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Hello Buckstix,
That's a very nice find indeed. I would certainly recommend you stick to PP lead bullets and never fire jacketed bullets in it at all. Rifle barrels of this vintage were made of soft steel that wears out fast with jacketed bullets. At the velocities your firing a jacketed bullet is hardly likely to expand, whereas a PP lead bullet certainly will at those velocities. A pity about those ivory inserts. Roy Weatherby has a lot to answer for when it comes to inlays on a rifle stock. I know he wasn't the first to do it by any means, but 'space age' additions do not look right on a late 19th Century rifle.

Harry


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Hello Harry Eales,

Thanks for your reply.

I don't doubt that these early rifles had barrels of softer steel than used today, but of the over 50 vintage rifles in my collection, I have shot jacketed bullets in all of them, and have yet to "shoot-out" the rifling in any one of them.

I had read many times about NOT shooting jacketed bullets in vintage guns, but never had a "first-hand" account from someone that had a problem.

So, I did an experiment once with an 1870's Springfield trapdoor. I did a cerosafe casting of the throat area and the muzzle, and then I shot it 300 times with various jacketed bullets. When I repeated the cerosafe casting, I found absolutely no indication of wear in the throat or at the muzzle.

Maybe the person who originally wrote about wear with jacketed bullets, was using old steel jacketed military bullets, and fired thousands of rounds.

Anyway, I don't seem to have a problem, but each to his own.

I too thought the ivory inserts looked pretty miserable at first, but I'm starting to get used to them.

I recently had occasion to remove the stock to take a good look around inside, and found no evidence of cracks or repair to justify using the ivory inserts as cover-ups. That means that someone actually put them there on purpose, thinking they were making the rifle look more beautiful.

So who am I to judge.


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I think some of us have seen shot out barrels, so it's probably possible to do. I'd never say never, but I'd only shoot lead in an antique or older unreplaceable rifled barrel, mostly because I'd like plenty left for the next generations.

Mostly, I hope you don't mind if I add, verticle stringing could be all sorts of things on the target of your hunting load, but maybe recheck that one when temps cool off to make sure you don't open the groups up more than you thought.

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Hello craigd,

Thanks for the reply.

Most of the "shot-out" barrels that I have seen, have been those that were not properly and thoroughly "cleaned" after black powder use, and left to corrode. And then sometime later, "scrubbed" to death after the damage was done.

I think the vertical stringing of my group is from my failure to use a "V" notch rear sight effectively. I always have difficulty with any rear "open" sight. I do much better with an apeature rear sight, or best of course with a scope. Neither of which I will be adding to this rifle.

Its also worth mentioning that the rings on the target shown are 3/4" spacing. The target was a Schuetzen target. I'm very happy with 1" be it vertical or not.


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Hello Buckstix,

When I refer to old rifles I mean those made and chambered for Black Powder rounds. Steel jacketed bullets were introduced until after Smokeless powder came into being so it's unlikely I submit that the old rifles were worn out by shooting steel jacketed bullets as they weren't many made in BP calibres. Any old BP rifle will suffer from throat and barrel erosion if the user fires smokeless powder loads in them and I believe that is the cause of most barrel damage. Barrels made of Chrome/Moly steel weren't around in BP days.

Harry.


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