Sabatti doubles worked by Ken Owen

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by matt85, Apr 1, 2014.

  1. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    i see a number of Sabatti doubles on gunsinternational that are listed as regulated by Ken Owen. they look like nice rifles and are available in both the caliber i want (450/400) and at a price i can "afford". having said that, ive been burned by "good deals" before. ive heard some nasty stories about Sabatti double rifles and they have a real 50/50 reputation online. i would love a nicer rifle but i simply cannot swing the money any time soon. perhaps in the future (5-10 years) i will be able to spend $15,000+ on a nice double that will outlast me.

    so, what are your thoughts on these specific rifles? any one know Ken Owen?

    i dont wanna buy a rifle only to find out its a $6000 paper weight. ive contacted the seller and he gave me Mr. Owen's number so i will be giving him a call as soon as i get the chance.

    thank you
    -Matt
  2. bphillips

    bphillips AH Member

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    Very interested to see if anyone has any knowledge about these as well
  3. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    i called Mr. Owen this morning and had a lengthy conversation about double rifles, reloading, and hunting in Africa. he was very friendly and came across as very knowledgeable in all three fields. he said he put a decent amount of work into these sabatti doubles which included reregulating, a trigger job, wood working (adjusting the stock dimensions), mercury recoil reducer (dont remember if he said he did this for the 450/400), and a new butt pad.

    if no one chimes in here by the end of the week with any decent reason not to buy one of these, i think ill buy one.

    -matt
  4. Royal27

    Royal27 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    This will be interesting to follow.... It looks like all of the Ken Owen guns are 450/400 at least right now. I'm assuming he does other calipers as well? I might take a shot at something like this as well if I could improve the 50/50 odds... I could swing this in the next couple of years and I'm dying for a double...
  5. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    there was a 470 NE available a few days ago but i think someone bought it.

    -matt
  6. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    Matt, Mr Owens has a sterling reputation with double rifles. If he's redone these then they are good to go. He's built many doubles up to 4 bores and all have been great rifles with happy owners.

    If he says they're good to go then they are.
  7. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    Does anyone have the contact information for ken Owen?
  8. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    PM on the way.

    edit: Rastaman, your PM box is full so it wont let me PM you.

    -matt
  9. GOB

    GOB New Member

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    Hello,

    Where have you hunted in SA and for what have you hunted? Lots of good people there but sadly there are too many animals from the farm to the animal auction and to the hay bale where it is shot especially the lions and buffalo.
    SA is great for a visit and some fantastic animals but if you ever get a chance head north into the real hunting areas. That is a totally different world. Buffalo in South Africa have more health shots and steroids injected than pro athletes do in this Country.

    What sort of rifle do you shoot?

    Welcome aboard.

    Cheers,

    Glenn
  10. Rastaman

    Rastaman AH Veteran

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    I have cleared my pm box. Matt. Thanks.

    I have a sabatti 450/400 with ground muzzles. It shoots great and I have about 10 boxes through it. I want to get an opinion on whether the matter should be corrected. Given the reputation I'm sure I would have a hard time selling it with the obvious conditon even if I represent that it shoots accurately.
  11. AZDAVE

    AZDAVE AH Senior Member

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    Ken is a honarable gent that did some work on an James Woodward 500 BPE double for me, can highly reccommend him.
  12. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    i went ahead an bought one.

    i will update this thread when it shows up.

    -matt
  13. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Welcome to the wild and wooley world of doubles !

    The level of satisfaction and pride that eminates from taking a stroll on a hot buffalo trail with a nicely balanced double rifle is tangible.
    That's the up side.

    The loading/regulating part can be both frustrating and confusing, but it's all worth it in the end.

    Have fun with it, good hunting,

    Paul.
  14. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    ordered the book: Shooting the British Double Rifle: A Modern Guide for Load Development and Use

    im hoping it will help with loading. I do enjoy reloading and look forward to working with the 450/400 3" cartridge. although I have already ran into a challenge and the gun hasn't even shown up yet. I cant seem to find any brass for the cartridge! bullets are easy enough to find though, since both Woodleigh and Swift make them. I bought 3 boxes of bullets, one box 400gr Woodleigh SP, one box of 400gr Swift SP, and one box of Swift 350gr SP. the gun is regulated for Hornady factory ammo but I would have to be 100% positive absolutely nothing else will work before I use a Hornady DGX bullet for dangerous game.

    if I can get the swift 350gr bullet pushed to a slightly faster speed and get close to the POA with the sight in either barrel then I may take the rifle deer hunting with me this year. I wont need the bullet to regulate in both barrels, just be close in one barrel. I figure it would get me used to carrying the gun around and the ranges I hunt at are inside 100yrds so the irons will work fine. plus it will make for interesting conversation around the camp fire. ;)

    -matt
  15. Uintaelkhunter

    Uintaelkhunter AH Veteran

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    Congratulations on getting a double and a smart choice to get Graeme wrights book it should help you in your quest. I like to load and shoot 500 gr woodleigh softs and hornady solids. In my 470 nitro. And for a reduced load. The hawk custom bullet company makes a 350gr that regulates to the same POI as my full load does. I'm hoping my new double will do the same when it arrives.
  16. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    When you talked on phone with Ken Owen, about his re-regulating Sabatti rifles, I wonder if you asked if he re-regulate any of them that had one or more of their muzzles rifling filed or ground, by first cutting back barrels beyond the muzzle grinding prior to re-regulating them? Aaron Little, who works with Bailey Bradshaw, does this barrel cutting back and re-regulating, as well as normal re-regulating on barrels with none of the muzzle grinding issue, by Sabatti or by any other maker too, as far as that goes.
    Yes, once you, and anyone else too, gets one of these Ken Owen re-regulated Sabatti doules, let us all know how they shoot, and your overall impressions of the Sabatti. If you know little about the Sabatti, rest assured that they are good rifles well made with good materials, and only SOME, a small percentage of the overall number imported, have the muzzle grinding issue. I happen to own four of them, all with no muzzle grinding, all well regulated (if they were not, I would have personally re-regulated them, as I did two of them for very close friends). I did quite a bit of custom work on all four of mine; I really like them a lot. Two of my four shoot as well, are regulated as well, as my outstandingly well regulated Westley Richards, so what more could one ask for? Trust me, I have a large collection of double rifles, modern and classic, mostly British and German, so I have been around the block once or twice, when it comes to double rifles.
  17. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    i did ask about grinding at the muzzle and he said only a few he's seen have been ground. i believe none of the rifles they are currently selling ever had there muzzles ground on.

    -matt
  18. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    I made the mistake of buying a Sabatti in 500 NE. First of all the front sight had to be changed to a higher and smaller diameter tru-glo globe style sight. A decent Pachmayer decelerator pad fitted, mercury reducer and the cast off in the butt straightened a little as it walloped me in the jaw every time.
    Front trigger was then ground a bit on the back edge as it kept slicing my trigger finger open when firing the left barrel.

    It too was supposed to be regulated with Hornady factory DGX ammo. The test target from factory has them impacting on the same level 1" apart at 50m. I have never been able to get anything even close to this with mine. I have tried Woodleigh and now just recently have been able to obtain Hornady 570gn DGX bullets and played with various powder and weights to get anything from 1800-2000 fps. I don't know if they Hornady are bumping up the balistics of their factory ammo but 2000fps is as fast as I dare go. That equates to 108gn of ADI2209. Extraction is a bit sticky and primers starting to flattern. Still it shoots alot further apart than the factory test target.

    The "nitro for black" load, straight out of Graeme's book (72gn of ADI2208 with 440gn Woodleigh) shoots that well at 50m you can get each barrel to cut holes together they land that close.

    I have now fired several hundred rounds out of it experimenting with different loads to try and regulate that now every time you fire the first barrel( doesn't matter which one but I fire the front trigger or right barrel first) the bloody safety catch engages. This is not something you want to happen in the bush!
    I need to find someone in Australia who is knowledgeable in Double rifles and start re-regulate it and fix the safety. Instead of telling me to flog it off and buy a "real" double- which I can't afford.
    Goes to show the old saying is true- buy cheap, buy twice...
  19. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    drew416, the Sabatti 500 NE is well known as a problem gun, ive read a handful of threads talking about the same exact issue your having. from what ive read they use the same materials and designs for each of there rifles regardless of caliber. the means the rifle may be fine in 450/400, 450, and maybe the 470. it isn't built strong enough for the punishing recoil of the 500 NE. your safety detent has probably worn down against the heavy recoil and needs to be replaced.

    I will trust Mr. Owen and hope I don't have similar troubles with the 450/400

    -matt
  20. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    I would like to respond, by commenting within your posted message:

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