I saw an auction for a 500 BPE and was wondering if anybody still hunted with them. Although the idea is appealing from a historical perspective, Im concerned about many issues; not the least of which is unknown load data.
Id absolutely love to have a 8 or better yet 4 BORE again just for the coolness factor. I saw a 6 BORE shotgun (Muzzle loader) at a shot this week end. I might have bought it if it was a rifle.
Theres a repro 2 BORE percussion gun on GUNBROKER. If youre a lefty its a deal. Theres something about putting a half pound of lead on target.
The 500 BPE was created as a medium bore rifle. In Europe it was used for red stag and boar. In india and Africa it was used for sambar and plains game. It could be used for lion or tiger, but the dangerous game rifles of the period began with the 8 bore. As I mentioned in a previous post, the 500 can also be really challenging to regulate. If you try to use black powder, you'll find nothing today quite matches the old very fine rifle powders, and the nitro for black loads are usually very frustrating. That said, find a load it likes, and you would have a fun and effective 100m deer rifle.
The price was $11000.00 which was a bit more than I wanted to spend for a "project", that would probably take more time then I have to dedicate just to get it where I want "on paper". I have to admit it was tempting. I think if it was a 4BORE, Id be living at the range, until I got it right.
Are there any issues traveling (FLYING, IMPORTING, etc) with BP shells? I know guys hunt in Alaska and Afrika with muzzle loaders; but Ive never heard any stories how they got to where they were gonna hunt.
Flying with BP is a very big NO-NO. Even in loaded shells. You can pick up BP here in Ak with no problems (other than the price). I've heard of other having their PH get the BP there or have it sent in on a special order to a gun shop.
I shoot my 500 BPE with light loads of smokeless(NFB-nitro for black) with good sucess. It's even a damascus barreled rifle!
Pick up a copy of Graeme Wright's book, 'Shooting the British Double rifle' to learn about loading NFB or full nitro loads.