The Sabatti Double Rifle

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by Glenn, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. Glenn

    Glenn New Member

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    It is with great interest that we have read about the Sabatti Double rifles in large caliber. We have had three of these come into our Shop all in .470 Nitro. The guns as the come are seriously good value for money, when fired with the Hornady DGS series ammo which was the ammo used to test the guns each produced 1 inch groups easily at 25 meters. The rifles we found with the scalloped actions were not well fitted at the head of the stock. I obtained mine first and after 8 shots there was a 2 inch long by ï½¾ inch sliver of wood that went flying off the top right side flat of the barrel. After an hour search the piece was located with a clean break some 10 yards to the rear of the shooting bench. Rather than bother the Importers we simply epoxied the piece on and as it followed a grain line the job is 100% invisible. This did cause us to note that none of the guns which we were sorting for clients were fitted too well at the head. It was a fairly simple matter to sort out the heading job. None of the stocks have displayed any problems since the re-heading of the stock. The stocks themselves are all of good quality wood and if anything a bit too well figured at the head and wrist especially for a scalloped action.

    We found also that the guns are not fit properly for anyone in particular, the balance is not really great and the furnished recoil pad is next to useless. The screw in cheap and nasty sling swivel on the stock is not what one would normally find on a quality double rifle. Being firmly of the belief that a properly balanced and fitted gun is of paramount importance there obviously was some work which needed done. The first thing was to head the stocks up properly; next the proper length of pull was determined for each person. We each opted for a Kick-Eez Recoil Pad, a mercury recoil reducer was fitted to each stock and lead weight added to achieve the balance desired. Each gun was fitted with a Dakota double screw inletted rear sling mount. One of the three guns was for a very large NFL Offensive Lineman who is left handed. This entailed removing the cheek piece which is not a problem at all. Each gun also required a bit of cast on or off which was no problem.

    None of us were really happy with the finish from the factory so each of us elected to have a hand rubbed oil finish applied, an ebony pistol grip cap and a silver oval inletted in the stock.

    The Factory fitted front bead is brass and I find that difficult to see in dim light. I then obtained a mastodon front bead, turned it down and fitted it to replace the front brass bead. This makes it much easier to achieve a quick sight picture.
    The last things we did were to open up the rear sight slightly which made it much easier to sight the gun quickly. There has been some complaint that the scope mount furnished is fitted with pins which do not hold well. We did not find that with our guns if torqued down properly. We did however find that the height of the mount was a bit problematical so we had the center slot machined down about 1/8 inch to the top of the mounting pins. This eliminated the problem we found with the mount being slightly in the way.

    With all of the above unless the guns fall apart mechanically the Sabatti appears to be one of the biggest bargains in the family budget. We are off to Africa to give it a try with Kevin Thomas Safaris in Zimbabwe on elephant and buffalo where they shall be tested on the real thing. There shall be plenty of practice before we head over giving plenty of time for any other problems to surface
     
  2. bebo

    bebo AH Veteran

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    Hello,
    Your opinion please : buy it or not ?:confused:
    Is it reliable ?:(
    It has a good look :)... but if the buyer must invest in a lot of alterations ... maybe it 's not a good bargain,
    in spite of the price ...:confused:
     
  3. bebo

    bebo AH Veteran

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    Re hello,
    I am watching it ... .450 NE 3"1/4 (Hornady) ... I'm very interested in your opinion:D
     
  4. Alaskaman11

    Alaskaman11 New Member

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    It depends on the rifle in question. From what I have read, the story goes that Cabela's ordered these rifles in from Sabatti with a real tight window for order completion. To cut corners, Sabatti did not regulate the barrels properly. They even took a drimel to the muzzle of some. It was a mitigated disaster! A quality control and PR blackeye that Sabatti is still trying to recover from. That being said, I have now met several people who have them and swear by them, I have also me people who have been bit by them. Make sure the one your looking at is a "new one" within the purchasing cycle. Mr Sabatti have come out and said they made a mistake. He is standine behind his product. But Buyer Beware!

    I have enclosed a sample of a Sabatti barrel from the start of the import.
    photo_zps41bf6a43.jpg

    Note the oval shape of the barrels....please inspect the ends so you dont get one like this!
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2013
  5. bebo

    bebo AH Veteran

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    Ok, Thanks for your help.
    This is quite helpful.:)
    I'll look at used Verney-Carron or Chapuis or Krieghoff, because I'm european.
    except if it's possible to find in Europa american or other brands.
    Do you know .450 NE Hornady ammo ? This caliber looks like very interesting, quiet vs .470 NE but efficient ?
    nb : the link of your attachment is broken ..
     
  6. Alaskaman11

    Alaskaman11 New Member

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    No Problem, I have been studying the looks of Doubles I have started to noticed there lines and where they come from, The English and French are very elegant in their construction, the Merkel and K-guns are very very German. Not that its a bad thing but well, they look like tanks! I love all Double Rifles, no matter where they are built! I have a special place in my heart (this week) for the Ste.Chapuis, they are well build and beautiful for the money.

    The 450 NM is a bit big for my blood. Personally, if I had to pick two rounds to take over and to hunt anything with four legs on this planet, I would choose 9.3x74R/375 Holland and the 450x400 NM 3 inch. But this is my own personal opinion.
     
  7. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Alaskaman11 Welcome to AH!
     
  8. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    The 450 and the 470 are basicly twins with little given up to the 470 from it's older sibling. The Hornady ammo is very good quality and easily reloaded. I prefer the 450 because of the wide range of components available for the .458.

    If you want a Sabatti go for it just look atthe muzzle for the dremmel grinding and make sure that you're allowed to shoot it prior to purchase!
     
  9. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I've remained quiet on the double rifle front for several months, mainly out of embarrassment over the poor choices I have made. I've owned only 3 doubles, and only one out of three has been reliable. I've owned a B. Searcy in 470 NE, a Sabatti in 450-400 NE and a Chapuis in 9.3 x 74R. The first two let me down completely, especially the first one listed. Only the Chapuis, with thin-walled barrels that don't instill a lot of confidence, proved to be reliable and repeatable. I've since shed the first two, back to the manufacturer or importer, and ordered my 4th - a Chapuis in 450-400. Champlin Firearms warranty the Chapuis for life if ordered thru them, and the only other one they warranty like this is a Heym, which is excellent company to be in.

    Since this thread concerns the Sabatti, I'll focus on that nightmare. I knew vaguely about the early reports of grinding out the rifling to regulate the barrels, but I knew little more about them. While visiting a Cabelas, I saw one in 450-400 that had a pachmayer decelerator pad and the regulating wedge extended beyond the muzzles. I studied the muzzles for evidence of the rifling being removed, but saw none. I quizzed the sales rep about why the regulating wedge extended beyond the muzzles (common in some makes, but not Sabatti) and the pachmayer decelerator pad, neither of which matched any other Sabatti in the store. He explained the bad rap Sabatti had obtained for grinding out rifling, and that now they are properly regulating the rifles and that this must be one that was properly regulated. I asked very specifically if this was a new rifle. He replied "yes". I then asked for the final tuning target. It showed less than 2" separation at 50 meters.

    I purchased the rifle that evening, and I sincerely hoped it would perform. Even though I shoot left-handed, this right-handed rifle fit fine and for me, the stock dimensions felt perfect and the barrel thickness was impressive. The ejectors launched empties with authority, and the recoil was a non-event.

    The performance, however, was unacceptable. I never shot more than 3 rounds in each barrel before allowing the gun to cool back down to ambient temperature. To get the best feel for performance, I eventually would shoot each barrel one time, then allow the rifle to cool to ambient temp. After 4 sessions of 10 rounds (5 thru each barrel, allowing the rifle to cool to ambient after shooting 1 round thru each barrel), the best 10 round composite group was slightly less than 8 inches at 50 yards, and this happened only once. The other 3 10-round groups sprayed well beyond 8 inches, and no 2-round group ever came close to the "final tuning target". All tests were done with Hornady factory loaded 400 grain ammo - the same ammo the gun was reportedly regulated with. During all tests, the gun only touched my shoulder and my hand on the forearm. The hand supporting the forearm rested in a tripod to ensure stability. I even tried cleaning, but this had the effect of making it worse until several fouling rounds were fired. The gun would then be somewhat repeatable for a few rounds (individual barrel repeatability, composite group still unacceptable), then it would become unrepeatable again.

    It wasn't until one of these cleaning sessions that I noticed the rifling didn't extend to the end of barrel on a portion of the barrel circumference (both barrels). When completely clean of copper fouling, it was hard to see; but copper fouling made it obvious. It then became obvious why the regulating wedge extended beyond the muzzle - the muzzles had been cut back to remove obvious grinding marks, leaving little evidence until copper fouling showed what had been done.

    Based on what I experienced, a full refund issued immediately

    Whether Sabatti had anything to do with this pathetic attempt to hide a poor practice or not, I do not know.

    If you do choose to go the Sabatti route, I would spend a considerable amount of time making sure the actual gun you buy has been regulated properly. As to how this should be accomplished, I don't know. I thought I could see no evidence of grinding, but it became obvious after some copper fouling. At least in my case, sales reps are not the answer, either. I have yet to see a new Sabatti with a pachmayer decelerator pad ....

    Maybe it is like the old saying ... if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
     
  10. blazeone

    blazeone New Member

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    Shakey - you should have known that gun was not new just as you had thought. I'm in Houston and have a new 470NE I purchased two weeks ago from Cabelas in Buda. No grinding marks and in the factory new configuration.

    I only shot four rounds through mine standing offhand at 50 yrds and they all hit in an 8" circle. Which is about all I can do anyway. I did not bench the rifle as no benchs were available at the time. I have no doubt my rifle will shoot an acceptable group so I have it at Brileys getting the stock cut for my LOP and a pad and 8 oz. mercury recoil reducer installed just for kicks "pun intended". Once it's back I'd be happy to do some shooting together in town.
     
  11. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Ok Guys here's my question as I have never owned a double rifle before; I keep reading about these 6 & 8 inch groups at 50 yards is this the norm? if so I guess I really have no use for a rifle hat can't shoot tighter then that. Clue me in as I really don't know. Bob :confused:
     
  12. Alaskaman11

    Alaskaman11 New Member

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    It is normal, Minute of Grapefruit. But remember what these rifles are made for, they are sniper rifles, they are attended for a 50 to 75 yard shot. Thats it. Of corse the new ones with scopes can hunt further but originally they were 50 yard killing machine.
     
  13. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Wow! Thanks, well I guess unless someone gives me one I'll stay in the single shot or bolt action category I like those 1/2 inch groups or less at 50 yards. Heck as a kid I was told that an Elephant had a very small brain, Grapefruit aren't small.
     
  14. Shakey

    Shakey GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    First - Welcome to the forum Blazeone. I hope your purchase works out for you. In my case I knew very little about Sabatti before I made the purchase. Should I have known more - yeah, but I didn't and I took a sales rep's word. Live and learn.

    As for shooting, I have 8 boxes of 470 NE Hornady 500 Grain DGS ammo - factory new - purchased in 2011 and 2012 - that I no longer need. PM me if you're interested. I'll beat Midway's price by a considerable margin ....

    As for the subsequent replies, at 50 yards the GUN should be better than 6-8 inches, period. Many manufactures claim 2" composite group or better at 50 yards. I'm not capable of consistent 8" groups free-hand with a 470 NE at 50 yards, but off sticks - that's a different story. The GUN should be better than 6"-8" groups, period. Many others have much more experience than I, but in my opinion, the GUN should deliver 2"-3" composite groups at 50 yards.
     
  15. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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  16. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    Funny I seem to get 2-3" off the bench with my doubles ranging from some 500's down to the 300.
    A 6-8" rifle isn't normal.

    From what I've heard the new Sabatti's with an "X" at the front of the serial number on the water table are the ones properly regulated w/o grinding.
     
  17. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    agree with you there on the 2-3" mike, and a 6-8" shooting double hasnt been regulated very well at all.
     
  18. AkMike

    AkMike AH Fanatic

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    Thanks. I don't know what kinds or calibers of rifles the AkMan's shot to come up with numbers like that.

    The muzzle photo that he's shown is a rifle that I've personally seen and it's pretty sad looking indeed! That one might get 6-8" groups at 50yds or less. But I've also shot a 45-70 Sabatti and it's not ground out for regulation and it shoots 2-3" groups at 50 yds. with factory ammo easily. I suspect that with handloads that'll tighten up much more.
     
  19. blazeone

    blazeone New Member

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    Guys,

    The only reason I shot in an eight inch group "if you can call that a group. LOL!" is because I was shooting off hand standing up and quite frankly was not trying to shoot holes inside of holes. My shots were acurate enough for my hunting purposes. This was also my first time to shoot a double large bore rifle. I also have not shot a rifle in approx. 10 years. I have been shooting skeet and sporting clays lately. So that should sum up my range outing. The test target that came with my rifle has two holes touching each other. I would bet that it could do that that with no wind and either shot by a pro or fixed properly to a test bench.

    Tom
     
  20. bebo

    bebo AH Veteran

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    Not at all : 2 " at 50 yds !!!! Chapuis and Verney-Carron (french DB) regulate their rifles 2" at 55 yds, possible 77 yds, if you wish
    . Few years ago I owned a Chapuis cal 8x57 JRS, perfect but this cal. is too" light", smooth caliber, I prefer "African caliber".
    I own a Winch Mod 70 Safari Express .375 H&H perfect , I keep it .... but I'm in love with Double so , except for the price !!!! That's the reason why I was looking at Sabatti.
    But now, reading your comments :thumb:..... I think it's better to look for a "used" Chapuis or Merkel or Krieghoff or "Verney-Carron" ....:thumb:
     

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