Sabatti doubles worked by Ken Owen

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

  1. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    You bring a lot of knowledge Doubleriflejack, I enjoy your posts.
     
  2. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    ___________________________
    Thanks. I have been playing with double rifles since the 1960s; let us hope that I learned something during that time. I am still learning, though, and maintaining a serious passion for all double rirfles sxs, over-under, vintage British, German, modern; have a nice collection to show for it.
     
  3. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    a very good read doubleriflejack, thanks for posting! I'm jealous of your 500/416, i would love a double rifle chambered in that cartridge.

    in defense of drew416 though, the Sabatti 500 NE rifle does have a bit of a online reputation of wearing out the safety detent. I have not seen this personally but have read a few threads on other forums where people had a similar issue. you mention also mention cutting the automatic safety link but I don't believe the Sabatti rifles have automatic safeties. not trying to argue with ya just bringing up some information ive come across while researching.

    -matt
     
  4. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    _____________________________
    Yes, I love the .500/.416 too, developed by Krieghoff of Germany for getting the same performance as the great .416 Rigby cartridge, but using a rimmed case, rather than original .416 Rigby case, which is designed more for bolt rifles, (more appropriate for double rifles so extractor/ejector can get more grip on case), but with much larger .500 case size to lower breech pressure, even more appropriate for double rifles.

    "in defense of drew416 though, the Sabatti 500 NE rifle does have a bit of a online reputation of wearing out the safety detent. I have not seen this personally but have read a few threads on other forums where people had a similar issue."
    _________________________
    That may be, but if so, it is news to me. All of the big bore Sabatti rifles have the same design and material makeup for the safety; they don't really have a true detent as such, but have a spring loaded affair that seems most strong and well designed to me; I seriously doubt if they would wear out any time soon. Until I actually see one doing as stated, I remain skeptical as to why it may be doing what is suggested.

    " you also mention cutting the automatic safety link but I don't believe the Sabatti rifles have automatic safeties. not trying to argue with ya just bringing up some information ive come across while researching."
    ____________________________
    Oh, yes thy do. I have had several of these Sabatti doubles stripped completely, some internal parts fine tuned; all internal parts gold plated for more eternal corrosion protection, including the ejectors, so I know what they look like internally, and how they are put together. I may have misspoke, if I said that I cut the automatic safety link, because I have done exactly that on a good many double rifles of various makes. However, in thinking about it more, in regards to the Sabatti, I DID NOT CUT THE LINKS, I simply removed it in each of my Sabatti rifles, as it isn't needed for any purpose other than the automatic safety, and with it out, one has none automatic safety, easily converted back to automatic, by installing the link again. Especially when it comes to Sabatti doubles, one needs to be very careful what one reads, for a lot of the so called authorities are often wrong or confused. I fully trust what I have personally seen or experienced with the Sabatti, and with everything else in life. If someone chooses to not believe me, it is a simple matter that they take a Sabatti apart, to see for themselves.
     
  5. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    my information on the automatic safety comes from Ken Owen. perhaps he misspoke, but he told me these guns did not come with automatic safeties. perhaps he ment he removed the link... i dont know. but, an automatic safety has no business on a DG rifle.


    -matt
     
  6. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    Wow! Thanks for the tips and advice. A hell of alot of work to do to a rifle just to "get it right". But needs to be done if taking it on a DG hunt.
    Nothing in Australia is cheap. Although the Sabatti is the bottom end of the double gun market, it was still not cheap to buy here. If I can find some one here who can perform all the necessary modifications you have outlined, the cost of it all added up, I would have spent as much as purchasing a new Merkel.

    I changed my front sight as it was shooting 10" high to point of impact with the factory front sight. Luckily they are a standard NECG post and easily obtainable and smaller diameter Globe. The factory front sight was like looking at a telephone line pole.

    I too thought that my wrist was contacting the safety with recoil. I deliberately changed my grip and it still happens. I then remembered that it did not do this when it was a new rifle. It even does it now with the lighter"nitro for black" load, which is a 440gn bullet @ 1800fps approx. Which regulates well.
     
  7. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    Interesting. All I can say is that the four Sabatti that I own originally had a stamped steel link that automatically put safety on whenever the top lever was pulled to the right to open gun, so, as I said, I removed those links. Also, every one I have seen at Cabelas, and ones owned by people I know, all had the auto. safety. Perhaps, at some point, Sabatti stopped putting in the links due to customer demand, or whatever. Yes, I agree, an auto. safety doesn't belong on such a rifle; that is very reason I took out the links on my Sabatti, and cut out the link on all other doubles I have in my collection.
     
  8. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    I changed my front sight as it was shooting 10" high to point of impact with the factory front sight. Luckily they are a drew416: "standard NECG post and easily obtainable and smaller diameter Globe. The factory front sight was like looking at a telephone line pole."
    ________________________
    Only one other guy I know, who owns Sabatti, had this same problem you describe, and he dealt with it in the same manner as you are. He has a body build, and much fuller face, considerably different from mine; different from other Sabatti owners I know, which, I am sure, accounts for this problem.

    "I too thought that my wrist was contacting the safety with recoil. I deliberately changed my grip and it still happens. I then remembered that it did not do this when it was a new rifle. It even does it now with the lighter"nitro for black" load, which is a 440gn bullet @ 1800fps approx. Which regulates well."
    _______________________________
    Odd; I haven't seen this problem, including from a guy who owns and regularly shoots a Sabatti .500. I looked at the safety mechanism again this morning, with action removed from stock. The safety has a small diameter coil spring over post piece, with a very small cotter pin pushed through a hold in the post piece, to retain the spring, etc. in place. I would encourage you to look at yours too. If you find all related parts sound, not broken, and I suspect that you will find them sound, I would think that you could find another spring, same diameter as original, but either a bit longer and/or a bit heavier, stronger; install that (a simple job); problem would be solved. When I looked at mine again this morning, I found them all to have quite firm security, so I still find it hard to believe that yours is not functioning correctly---maybe the recoil broke the spring or some other small related part?
     
  9. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    Thanks Doubleriflejack, advice taken and butt removed and locks stripped down. Safety detent spring was broken and retaining pin very bent. At a point whether to reinforce or do away with the safety altogether?

    NO auto safety on the Australian Imported doubles. Well in my case it is an auto safety only cause of mechanical malfunction.
     
  10. drew416

    drew416 AH Senior Member

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    On the unrelated topic of auto saftey's,... I own a Baikal u/o double in 308win.
    This double is built like the proverbial " brick outhouse". Very "agricultural but nearly indestructible, should start a new thread about it, however on topic, it did have an auto safety that came on every time the action was opened.

    Quick fix was to cut the link on it that "recocked" the mechanism. This was the easiest and quickest way of eliminating the drama associated with trying to shoot again after a quick reload in the heat of battle, rather than stripping down the entire lock mechanism to remove it surgically.
     
  11. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    time for an update:

    I picked the Sabatti rifle up today from my FFL and drove strait to the range. after going over the rifle a little and giving the bores an initial clean I put some rounds down range with mixed results.

    first, I will discuss the guns general looks and basic function. as far as appearance goes the rifle is outstanding! the wood, while not premium grade is still pleasing to the eye. the receiver is covered in very detailed engraving and is nickel plated. on a funny note, when I told the lady at my FFL that I was going to shoot the gun she looked shocked saying "that rifle belongs on display, not at the range". if you buy one of these you will not be disappointed in the appearance. as far as general function, the rifle is a little stiff to open and the trigger pull is a bit heavy for my liking (around 5 pounds). the ejectors on the rifle seem to be reliable but I haven't put many rounds threw it. the front sight does leave something to be desired but I suppose I could have that replaced with a fiber optic sight.

    performance: I didn't do enough shooting to get a feel for the accuracy of the gun. todays, shooting was mainly to test regulation and get my self used to the triggers and recoil. the ammo I brought along is as follows.

    12 rounds Hornady DGX factory loads
    4 rounds Swift A-frame hand loads over 77.5gr of IMR 4350 (modified load from "Shooting the British double rifle")
    4 rounds Woodleigh RNSP hand loads over 77.5gr of IMR 4350 (load taken strait from "Shooting the British double rifle")

    the two hand loads did not even come close to regulating in the rifle which was a real bummer. I will have to play with them some more and see if I can get them to perform. I really wish I had some 4831 powder to work with but I cant find any.

    the factory loads were close which was a problem, the gun is supposed to be regulated to the factory ammo by Ken Owen. however, they shot about 1 inch too high and 4 inches apart. being an inch high isn't really an issue but 4 inches apart is too much.

    I will try some more hand loads tomorrow using the factory velocity and see if I cant make something work. if im unable to get that 4 inches closed up to about 1-2 inches then I will have to return the rifle.

    -matt
     
  12. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Matt, what distance is the rifle regulated for, and were you shooting at that distance? You say ejectors. Do you mean extractors?
     
  13. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    never heard of a gun being regulated for a set distance. from my understanding a properly regulated gun should shoot roughly 1 inch apart at any distance with a given load. but to answer your question, I was shooting at 50 yards.

    this rifle does indeed have ejectors.

    -matt
     
  14. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    Doubles (new/modern) are not so much regulated FOR a certain distance as they are more regulated AT a certain distance.

    Most modern manufacturers regulate the .40+ cals at 50yds.

    The regulation target provided with each new rifle contains the brand name of the factory ammo the rifle was regulated with, the date the regulation target was shot, who regulated it, the distance as well as the results of a two, or in some cases four, shot group.
    That is the regulation for your particular gun.

    Expecting all doubles to be able to shoot 1" groups at 50yds is perhaps being a little optimistic in my opinion.

    Not wanting to come across as critical, but I don't think you've gone close to firing the number of rounds to really find out what this gun is capable of.
    Some of them can take a little time, shooting, familiarity and experimenting with loads to find out what they will do.
    That's the wonderful world of doubles.

    When grouping shots are you shooting off sticks ?, off a bench ?, free hand ?

    I'm not surprised that your hand-loads didn't group, it usually takes quite a bit of experimenting to get hand-loads to match regulation unless you have a previously proven load, but the factory loads should have printed as the regulation target, or close to, if that is what it was regulated with.

    Have you confirmed that this particular gun was regulated with Hornady factory's ?

    If so the variation you are getting in your groups can be a myriad of things, including grip and cant, amongst many others..

    I've seen some doubles shoot a perfect group at 50m for one shooter and a completely different group for another simply due to the differences in holding characteristics.

    I know it's not an inexpensive journey but perhaps more shooting, different loads, confirm factory regulation ammunition and try it again, shooting steadily from shooting sticks ?

    If this is one of the Ken Owen re-regulated Sabatti then Ken himself will have the very load your gun is regulated for.

    Next time you are shooting groups try shoot the left barrel on a separate target to the left and shoot the right barrel on a separate target to the right.
    Shoot two to four shots per target, left then right.
    The super-impose the two targets.

    Let us know how you get on, don't give up on it too soon.
     
  15. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    A SXS rifle is regulated to ideally have its respective barrels send their bullets to a certain distance to which the bullets paths cross. They cannot continue to intersect those paths beyond a set distance. It is not possible for the bullets to be close at just any distance. That is why they are regulated, that's what it means. I would try the rifle at other distances. It used to be that a big double was set for around 75 yds, if memory serves, I could be wrong. Point is, Paul is right of course, you must experiment with your loads and your shooting distance. Doubles can be a pain.

    Having ejectors is a big plus.
     
  16. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    Not quite right Sestoppelman.
    The barrels should be set to shoot parallel at any distance. If they cross at 50 or 100 they aren't set right or you need to speed up the load until they don't cross. But if they shoot wide they need to be slowed down some.

    Many get the terms regulated at and regulated for mixed up. The 'regulated for' is simply the load used. 'Regulated at' is the distance that they were shot at during the regulation. There are videos at youtube that show this being done with Sabatti's so take a look and "guesstimate" the distance.

    Greame Wright has covered this in his books quite well.

    Matt85,
    Did you use any filler in the 4350 loads? I'm not at home now and exactly half a world away (Ukraine) from my loading bench so I can't see how much airspace would be in the cartridges with 4350. Consider 1/2" backer rod or Dacron to fill it up to the base of the seated bullet with just a bit of compression when it full. I use a pencil to pack the Dacron into the cases. Backer rod is easier to use. Just cut to length and insert.
     
  17. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    pault, you misunderstood me. I don't mean that I expect 1" groups, I mean the two separate groups should be roughly 1" apart. to answer you other questions:

    1. im shooting off a trigger stick tripod.
    2. both the seller and Mr. Owen told me it was regulated with Hornady factory ammo.

    Sestoppelman, from my understanding if the two shots cross at any point then something is wrong. the barrels should be regulated parallel to each up as AkMike says.

    AkMike, I did not use any filler in the IMR 4350 loads but there was not a great deal of free space.

    my next loads will be using all three brands of bullets over 82gr of IMR 7828. this should produce velocities very similar to the factory ammo.

    my Woodleigh bullets over 77.5gr of IMR 4350 where crossing big time at 50 yards. id say the right barrel was hitting 7 inches left of the bull and the left barrel was hitting 7 inches right. the swift A-frames performed strangely over 77.5gr of IMR 4350. the right barrel was about 8 inches left of the bull while the left barrel was about 1 inch right of the bull. however as pointed out, I have a great deal more experimenting with loads but sadly very little time to do it in. I need to find at least one load that regulates for the gun while I still have the option to return the rifle (7 days). having said that, the seller didn't seem to concerned about the 7 day period so maybe I don't need to worry as much either.

    -matt
     
  18. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    It's time to break out the chronograph and see what speeds you're getting with your loads. You simply may need to add a bit more powder and drift the sight to center the rounds.
    As long as the different groups are on the same horizontal plane then you should be able to get it working much better.
     
  19. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    wanted to bring out the chrono today but its been a bit wet here, will try tomorrow.

    im afraid to increase the 4350 load by too much since its already well over the Hornady load manuals max (books max is 71gr). the reason I trusted the load is that its recommended in "shooting the British double rifle" by Graeme Wright. the 82gr load of 7828 is the max load for the powder according to the Hornady manual. however, based on loads given by many other reliable sources im beginning to think the Hornady book is seriously low balling the powder loads for this cartridge.

    edit: the 400gr Woodleigh over 77.5gr of 4350 should have yielded around 2100fps according to the book and showed no pressure signs in my rifle.

    -matt
     
  20. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    With a double by the time you see pressure signs you're already over the top.

    And I suspect that with so many lawyers and so much at stake all the loading manuals are running light. Just look at some of the books from years gone by and see the differences. BUT also note that the powders could have changed yet kept the same names.

    The amount of the crimp could also have a bearing on these loads. It pays to experiment!
     

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