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Apr 29th, 2024
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Purdie Offline OP
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Hi everyone, I have just joined the group and would like to ask some questions about an old double rifle
I have a chance to buy.
The rifle is a rigby double rifle, with hammers and a jones under-leaver, it’s priced to me cheap as there is an issue with the underleaver and loose forend but that’s all I know from a brief look.
The bores looked good and the gun locked up tight when closed.
The seller has told me it’s .45 caliber, but is there any way of telling what cartridge the gun takes?
I’m assuming it’s a .45 bp express 3 1/4” But what if it’s one of the many other case types? (450 400) (.500 450)
The other question is,I have found available brass and dies for a few nitro express calibers, would loading for the black powder equivalent be right useing the nitro brass and dies?,If I had dies for a .450 3 1/4 nitro express would this be same as 450 black powder 3 1/4”?
I’m very tempted to buy this old gun as I find double rifles fascinating, and as he’s asking £900 I think it’s worth seeing if I can fix it up.
What would you do? Much appreciated. Cheers luke

Last edited by Purdie; 03/30/24 05:37 PM. Reason: Spelling
1 member likes this: Parabola
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If it locks up tight - thats good.. you’ll have to find out the issue with the underlever.. Loose forend will depend on patent type - may just be a cross key.
450BPE was most popular - if it’s bottlenecked you should see that visually in the chamber.
Yes 450-3.25” NE dies will work - Once fire formed you may never need to use the dies again - check case OAL prior to each reload.
Go buy - have fun and enjoy as life is short.

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Purdie Offline OP
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Thanks for your reply, very helpful cheers

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Sidelock
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Welcome to the Forum.

If you need it vetted by a double rifle expert before using it Paul Roberts of J. Roberts and Son of West Chiltington in West Sussex is not that far from you.

Last edited by Parabola; 03/31/24 06:52 AM.
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Purdie Offline OP
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Thanks I’ll remember that, as far as repairs like the jones underleaver or forend would a traditional side by side shotgun
Gunsmith be able to fix these, as the actions are the same?
There is also a small section of rib on the underneath missing close to the chambers left side of the hook that worries me, or could this be fixed without heat or taking the ribs off, I don’t want to get into to much trouble but then again I don’t want to pass up the chance of getting to own one of these things, cheers.

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Only way to make sure of the caliber/cartridge is to make a chamber cast. I wouldn't buy any reloading supplies until I knew for sure. Expensive to buy the wrong ones.

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Purdie Offline OP
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I have a James tolley 12 bore and when looking at the barrel flats I can see 3” stamped.
I assume this is cartridge length or chambers? The barrels are also 32”
Think the date is 1910 ish,
On the subject of the double rifle I’m looking at, would the caliber and cartridge info be on the barrel flats on the rifle
Like it is on my old shotgun?
Thanks.

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sometimes on flats usually on the barrels but with the age most likely not marked at all. I have 4 double rifles from the same era, 1 German 3 English, only one of the English rifles have the caliber marked. It's a Westley Richards in 577-500 #2

Last edited by Mike Harrell; 04/03/24 11:06 AM.
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Purdie Offline OP
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I see, as you say the only way to tell would be to do a chamber cast,
How have you found reloading for them? Wesley richards made some lovley guns
Cheers


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