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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    just got back from another range trip with the Sabatti.

    1. I need more practice shooting this puppy off a tri-pod. my own failings in this department irritate me to no end.

    2. the gun appears to shoot very well with a Swift 400gr A-frame over 75gr of W760. I was able to keep a 4 shot group under 3" at 50 yards. if fact the shots land so close together that I cant tell if they are crossing or not. I will make more cartridges with this load and try 25 and 75 yard shots to see how it does. I also tried 74grs and 76grs of w760 will poor results, 74grs crossed and 76grs hit wide with poor accuracy. I suspect my end load will be 74.5-75.5 grains of W760.

    3. it was raining again so no chronograph (I hate WA state sometimes)

    4. I tried the loads Mr. Owen sent me which provided less then great results. he sent me 8 cartridges loaded with 400gr Woodleigh's (which is not what the gun was regulated for but he was out of DGX bullets). 4 cartridges contained 70grs of RL-15 and the other 4 contained 62grs of IMR 3031. neither of these loads worked very well but I suspect that's because ive found Woodleigh bullets just don't seem to regulate in this rifle. the Woodleigh and the DGX may both be 400gr round nose bullets but that's where the similarities end. the bearing surface on the Woodleigh is much shorter then the DGX and the Woodleigh has its weight more evenly distributed where the DGX is tail heavy. (note: the DGX and the A-frame have about the same length bearing surface)

    5. I also tried 65grs of H4895 under the A-frame with positive results. this seems to put two holes about 1.5" apart at 50 yards. I only have 4 rounds so I cant confirm or reject this load yet but it shows promise.

    thanks for reading
    -matt
  2. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Interesting read, I love the Swift A Frame so if they work for you great. What are you going to try as your solid...Hornady?
  3. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I love the A-frame but I admit im a little worried about using them in the 450/400 NE. my concern is that the cartridge wont generate enough velocity for the A-Frame to properly expand. I contacted Swift and asked them about it and they don't seem concerned but I still think some tests are in order.

    its funny you mention solids... I was just trying to figure out what I wanted to use for a solid. my thoughts are either the Hornady DGS or the CEB solid. the Hornady DGS is cheaper and unlike its counterpart it has a good reputation for performing well on animals. getting the DGS to regulate should be a fair bit easier as well. if I can get a good load going for the DGS it will become my practice bullet, which by default may end up making it my choice for a solid when the time comes.

    -matt
  4. Earth and Ocean Safaris

    Earth and Ocean Safaris New Member

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    Hey Matt, well done, I think you got your load! A grouping of under 3" @ 50 is perfect, remember don't expect accuracy from your double, like you would get from your bolt actions, Doubles are not traditionally accurate guns, they are designed to shoot at big targets very close-by another friend of mine, also a PH, shoots a Krieghoff 470 NE, and prints 2.75 at 50 meters, another PH in our area, shoots a Westley Richards 470NE and groups 2.83"@50 meters, all happy! As the guns are doing what they were intended to do, in fact my Sabatti, "Big Five" 500 NE groups better then both there rifles. The best I got was 2.1"@ 50 meters, with 106gr of S365(South African Powder) behind Peregrine's VRG3 Bushmaster bullets, sitting tight on a bench over sand bags, 4 shots later I was seeing double vision!!!!o_O So even the so called"Expensive doubles", groups more or less the same! And I see on many sites, guys bad mouthing Sabatti's, I have had mine for a year and a half now, and what a magnificent rifle!! Granted they had their problems in the beginning, but their latest guns have been superb! Mine is a working gun, I dont need an investment double, just a good strong gun that shoot straight and will take the dust and bumps in my Landcruiser and that will stop an angry buff, trying to kill my client. The Sabatti certainly does that for me, many PH's in Africa have been using them lately, so good luck and you might even get that grouping tighter! Thanks for the up-date!!
  5. Earth and Ocean Safaris

    Earth and Ocean Safaris New Member

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    Sorry guys, 2 corrections to my previous post, that load was 106,5 grains of S365 (this load works in my gun, use this info at your own risk) then I have had my gun for 2 years now, just checked the date I got it, I guess time fly!!
  6. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I don't expect great accuracy, in fact im very happy with 3 inches. in my mind that's plenty to hit the vitals of any DG which is what I bought it for. I admit I haven't tried it off the bench yet due to the heavy recoil. ill suck it up and try off the bench next range trip just to see what the rifle can really do without me goofen up the shots.

    the rifle does have its flaws such as thin nickel plating in a few spots and there is something small that rattles around between the barrels. im guessing the thing rattling around is a left over bit of solder from being reregulated. if you tilt the gun up and down you can hear it rolling around but its not very obvious when the gun is assembled. neither of these issues effect the performance of the rifle and I seriously doubt the little piece of scrap is going to make enough noise to effect a hunt.

    -matt
  7. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    If you pay particularly close attention to those "bad mouthing" Sabatti, the majority of them are from chaps who DON'T own Sabatti doubles, yet they are "experts" about them. Most of the people who do not bad mouth Sabatti DO own them, and like them. Early on, some Sabatti doubles had one or more muzzle rifling filed or ground down, in a vain attempt to "steer" the bullets into finer regulation. I saw a video interview, I think it was done in Germany, with Mr. Sabatti, who was asked about that, and he clearly admitted that it was done, and a horrible error, that hurt reputation and future sales, but that it would never be done again. later, I saw a letter from Sabatti, saying that the company was so stressed from the huge number of orders, especially from the U.S.A. (obviously from the importer for Cabelas), that they had to hire additional help; one or more of that help included regulators. At least one or more of that new help, new regulators, were trying to rush things, so they resorted to the abomination of filing or grinding the muzzle rifling on some rifles. Ken Owen, who did the re-regulation on a number of the Sabatti doubles, Matt's .450/.400 being one of them, said that he thought that it was a very small percentage of Sabatti doubles that had the muzzle rifling grinding issue, based on those he had seen. Yet, in looking at forums online, one is led to believe that the vast majority of Sabatti doubles had such issues, or much worse horrible issues, which led to numerous others claiming that Sabatti was regulating all their double rifles in the same way that shotguns are regulated; not regulated the way double rifles need to be regulated, some claiming that the steel in the actions was soft, made in Turkey, etc., etc. All this idle trash talk led many people to firmly believe that Sabatti belonged in the junk pile. I have five Sabatti doubles, from the .450/.400 to .500; have done a lot of custom work on all of them. I have re-regulated two Sabatti rifles for close friends, so a small percentage of them obviously didn't have the finest regulation from factory, but none I have seen were so bad that one could think it was caused by the factory regulating them the way shotguns are normally regulated, but some "experts" on forums are sure they were (but those "experts" don't own a single Sabatti, and never did). Sabatti doubles are well made from finest materials, though I refuse to waste my time trying to convince anyone, since so many guys already have their minds made up that they are trash, and don't want t0 be confused with facts. If only two double rifles left the Sabatti factory with good acceptable regulation, that alone should prove that they were not regulated like shotguns.
  8. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    How can you get 4 shots under 3" at 50 yards; at same time get them so close together that you can't tell if they are crossing or not? Glad to see good results from the 4895 charge I suggested to you. The late Elmer Keith was the first to tell tell me about that load he used; it works just as well for me today. If you are getting 1.5" spread at 50 yds, what more can you want?
    I have never used W760, so please tell me about it, whatever you can; what IMR powder is it closest to?
  9. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    bad news for me, i switched from hornady dies to CH4D dies and now my loads dont regulate any more! i will be returning the dies asap as it appears CH4D tried some kind of new crimping style which does not work. instead of a normal roll crimp the crimping feature is similer to a sizing die. even after "crimping" the bullets can easily be pushed into the cases with onley minor pressure. i suspect this "crimping" system is actually sizing down my bullets along with the neck which is why my load no longer regulates.

    as for my shots being 3" but not being able to tell if they crossed. its simple, the impacts are likely about an inch apart and with these poor sights and my unsteady hands im not able to aim at the exact same point each time. so the shots are landing near each other but not with any consistancy as to where they hit in relation to each other. i need to play with this load more but with the new dies i have its no longer working so it will have to wait till i get another set of dies.

    im not exactly sure what else compares to W760, its a medium burning ball powder that works very well with heavy bullets.

    -matt
  10. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    Matt, Thanks for clearing up the issue regarding bullet impacting points, etc., when you said
    "as for my shots being 3" but not being able to tell if they crossed. its simple, the impacts are likely about an inch apart and with these poor sights and my unsteady hands im not able to aim at the exact same point each time. so the shots are landing near each other but not with any consistancy as to where they hit in relation to each other."

    Matt, regarding "the (Sabatti) rifle does have its flaws such as thin nickel plating in a few spots and there is something small that rattles around between the barrels. im guessing the thing rattling around is a left over bit of solder from being re-regulated. if you tilt the gun up and down you can hear it rolling around but its not very obvious when the gun is assembled," since you are troubled by "thin nickel plating," I would suggest you coat and protect it, in the same way many guys protect colors on color case hardening, by brushing on a coat of high grade clear lacquer, using a high quality brush, making only horizontal strokes when brushing the lacquer on. Colors on color case hardened receivers get faded out; eventually lost, mostly due to friction, rubbing against everything, including the hands, and from bright rays of sun. Nickel, or other plating, is lost from same, so they can be protected well by using clear lacquer. If you ever need to remove the lacquer coat for some reason, such as to re-coat, simply soak the action in lacquer thinner, and re-coat.
    I am quite sure that the rattling you have between barrels is, indeed, one or more pieces of solder, no doubt due to the re-regulation process. I have seen it before; some guys drill a small hole in rib, under the forend, to shake the solder pieces out; re-solder hole with iron; not too much heat, that could loosen rib joint.
  11. Doubleriflejack

    Doubleriflejack AH Senior Member

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    I don"t see how to edit a prior post I made, so let me do it this way:
    On last line of my last post, I said "re-solder hole with iron........" To make it more clear, I should have said "re-solder hole with soldering iron--not with torch; not too much heat that could loosen rib joint."
  12. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    i will ikely ignore the loose piece of solder since its only really noticeable when the rifle is field stripped. when the gun is together its a very faint sound that you wouldnt notice unless your listening for it. i seriously doubt it would give my pressence away to an animal in the field.

    -matt
  13. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    time for another update:

    looks like im most likely sending the gun back to Steve Barnett. :(
    i still haven't gotten the gun to regulate but i got close with one of my hand loads (75gr of W760, 2gr filler, 400gr A-frame). however, that is not the reason im returning the rifle. unfortunately the gun is suffering from a strange problem where it doesn't want to open after being fire. if you dry fire the gun with nothing in the chambers it will open and the ejectors will fire off as they are supposed to. but if you put live cartridges in or even just used brass it will get about half way open (to just about where the ejectors engage) and not want to open any further. in order to open the gun i actually have to put the pivot point of the rifle on my hip or on my knee and pull with both hands. when it finally opens the ejectors seem to work fine but getting it open is a bear!

    thanks for reading
    -matt
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Are you returning it or getting it fixed?
  15. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I will return it for either another rifle or my money back. im kicken around the idea of just taken the major financial hit and buying a nicer double in the $10k price range. ive found some nice NIB Chapuis and Merkel doubles in 450-400 NE 3" for around $10k. I also found a used Searcy double in 500-416 NE which is a cartridge that ive been very interested in. I really shouldn't spend more then $5k on a gun though... I wanna buy a house.

    -matt

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