Anyone have experience with a Sabatti BIG 5 EDL

Discussion in 'Double Rifles' started by rinehart0050, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. CLICKBANGBANG

    CLICKBANGBANG AH Veteran

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    I made the mistake of acquiring a few dangerous game caliber cartridges for my son and I's small Cartridge collection... Shortly thereafter holding a .450 NE, I find myself on Guns International clicking links that say, "Merkel", and "Heym". Also running searches on Gun broker with similar titles. Unfortunately I can't seem to currently justify the price for many of these fine doubles. But at the price of a Sabatti, I may put change coins in a jar labeled Double. The Purdey are a hair north of what I'd have for a budget. I'd also like to know how the Sabatti are doing.

    I'm wondering what difference between the actions and barrels there are between the Sabatti Classic, vs the new EDL. Not a lot of information out there this.

    It looks like Wholesale hunter is identifying the guns they are selling as new production and not "Cabelas" guns. Sad to see a sub standard production run attempting a budget double drag the name of the company through the mud so bad that retailers years later are still disassociating their stock from the problem child. I do hope as the classic double seems to be regaining popularity, that these newly released guns are funtioning and shooting up to standard.
     
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  2. Lbarr265

    Lbarr265 AH Veteran

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    Not sure if it is true but I heard a rumor all ‘new’ production sabattis had an x in the serial number to help clients avoid the old stock with the problems. Can anyone confirm that for those of us who salivate for a double on a budget?
     

  3. norfolk shooter

    norfolk shooter AH Fanatic

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    I'll let you know when I get mine. Mind you it's in the UK so might not have the X The importer has sent me photos of the muzzle and it all looks ship shape to me and there in house smith
     
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  4. norfolk shooter

    norfolk shooter AH Fanatic

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    IMG_0682.JPG
    That's what I mean
     
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  5. Tokoloshe Safaris

    Tokoloshe Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Enthusiast

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    If you have a sabatti that does not shoot conact ken owens in Moscow Tennessee. He is a top gunsmith. He bought all of Cabellas sabattis, corrected what was wrong with each one and resold all of them.
     
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  6. tomahawker

    tomahawker AH Member

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    I got a used first run in 470 for $3500. Put 40 rounds down her. Shoots great
     

  7. matt85

    matt85 AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I still have a bad taste in my mouth from my Sabatti, however it was an older rifle. that gun was junk and had numerous issues including a complete failure of its action.

    you get what you pay for.

    -matt
     

  8. BigBore

    BigBore AH Senior Member

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    The EDL is the upgraded version with engraved side lock plates and ungraded wood. Craig Boddington owns a Left Handed version in 450 NE and loves it. I own 3 Sabtti's 2 are the standard Big Five, one in .500 NE one in 450/400 3"NE and a O/U in 9.3X74R with a spare barrel set in 20 ga. I just got back from Safari in Mozambique with Craig Boddington where I shot 2 buffalo, one with the Sabatti 450/400 and Craig borrowed it to shoot his 100th buffalo. The standard Big Five will no longer be imported except on special order and the existing ones sell around $5,000 or so. the Newer EDL models sell between $7,000 and $8,000. Mike Scoby when he was still the editor of Petersen's Hunting also owns a Sabatti Big Five in 500 NE which he used to shoot an elephant in Namibia earlier this year but the show did not air because elephant hunting is no longer political correct.
     

  9. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Stay with rimmed double gun cartridges. Less complicated mechanics and much better resale. I absolutely love the 416 Rigby cartridge, but leave the bolt gun cartriges to the bolt guns.
     

  10. cbvanb

    cbvanb AH Senior Member

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    I just took delivery on my Sabatti EDL today, in 500 Nitro. There is no X in the serial number. Cosmetically the rifle is a solid 10, and the regulation target shows two shots one inch apart. Stand by for a range report tomorrow.
     
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  11. cbvanb

    cbvanb AH Senior Member

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    So,
    I made it out to the range today for a very limited firing session. Unpacking and assembling the rifle reveals that it is very tight. The action locks up like the proverbial bank vault, and fitting the forend requires a bit of effort to get the latch to lock. I expect this will loosen up given enough time, although I don't intend to keep the rifle broken down all that much.
    As I mentioned, the enclosed regulation target shows a very tight group, and I attached a picture to show the standard that I hope to meet when shooting the rifle. Per the target, it was regulated with Hornady DGX, which I don't currently have in my inventory. I do have, however, Federal Premium loaded with 570 gr. A Frame soft points, and Federal premium loaded with the Barnes banded solid, which is a monolithic that looks similar to the Trophy Bonded Sledgehammer. Doubles can be very finicky about ammunition but I didn't want to wait for my Hornady order to arrive.
    I found an empty range at the rifle club and stepped off 50 paces, which I thought would be 50 yards. After shooting I measured the distance and it turned out to be 60 yards. Shooting off a Bog Pod I sent two Barnes solids downrange, and the results were disappointing. Next were two A Frame softs, which landed right next to each other. The A Frame bullet is very close in profile to the Hornady DGX, and that may account for the tighter accuracy. The brass bead front sight covered the black bull's-eye of the target, and the two soft points landed right at the top of the bead, so if the accuracy continues to hold up I only need to remember to use a 6 o'clock hold with the soft points. I don't think I'll use the Barnes solids for serious work, but they 'll do for practice. Ejection was solid and consistent, with all 4 empties landing next to each other about 6 feet behind me.
    As an aside, I'm no stranger to heavy stopping rifles, but this .500 is a real thumper. It has a beautiful balance, but may be a pound or two light for the caliber. As I will carry it a whole lot more than I'll shoot it, I intend to leave the rifle as is.
    My overall impression is favorable, which is to say, this is one hell of a rifle. It looks good, balances well and I believe it will shoot very well within the limits of my 62 year old eyes. Sabatti includes a rib mount for a scope or red dot if one is so inclined, and I badly want to put a red dot sight on this gun, but I can't bring myself to spoil the classic lines of this double rifle. Instead I'll limit myself to shots within my capabilities with iron sights, and that will be just fine.
    Sabatti has put the double rifle within reach of almost anyone who wants one, and they did it with a quality rifle that should last for generations.

    IMG_0788.jpg IMG_0792.jpg IMG_0793.jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2017
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  12. BigBore

    BigBore AH Senior Member

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    The original Cabalas guns had serial numbers that started with CAB. However when IFG took them over, Sabatti already several receives bodies made with serial numbers starting with CAB. They finished those gun for IFG under their production standards and did not have any of the issues of the old Cabalas guns. There are still a few new IFG guns with CAB serial numbers available at discount prices an are great buys. IFG has stopped importing the standard Big Five in favor of the fancier EDL version which has engraved Flux side lock plates and a higher quality walnut stock with finer checkering.
     

  13. BigBore

    BigBore AH Senior Member

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    The sabatti rifles were regulated with Hornady ammunition. Unfortunately during powder shortages, Hornady changed the load which effected how the guns regulates. Once Hornady became aware of the issue they stopped product of double rifle ammo until they can acquire the original power that was used in the regulation loads. If you have an issue with the ammo you currently have, it can be corrected by hand loading or wait for the new production run of ammo. Any ammo made in 2018 forward will be the original load. It is a normal practice for ammunition makers to substitute powder and primers and adjust the load to get the original factory velocity as does the military. But that simply doesn't work for double rifle ammunition. I discoved the problem first hand where I had a box of the old load and a box of the new load. The old load shot 2.5" at 50 yds, the new load shot about 10". I pulled the ammo apart and found different powder grain and weight in the 2 lots. I talked with Hornady about the problem and they had me send the 2 boxes I had to them. They tested the ammo and came to the same conclusion. Hornady told me they stopped production and would replace the 2 boxes I sent the as soon as production resumed wit original load. It was an honest mistake and they are fixing it. But it's a problem for the guns regulated with that ammo. This also effected all the manufacturer they used Hornady to regulate their rifles.
     
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  14. cbvanb

    cbvanb AH Senior Member

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    Actually, Hornady ammo will be my last choice for this rifle. I have 5 loads/brands to test, and so far the A Frame softs are my choice for softpoints. I was hoping the Federal Sledgehammer was going to work, and maybe the first two shots were my fault, time will tell. I also have Woodleigh solids to test yet, and as you suggest, handloading is also an option.
     

  15. BigBore

    BigBore AH Senior Member

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    For my Sabatti 450/400 NE 3" I have loaded it with different bullets but Hornady new Bonded DGX regulate well and had good performance on several buffalo. I know there are better bullets out there and I am a big fan of Swift and Barnes, but in the 450/400 the Bonded DGX is really all you need. The price is right too so it makes practice inexpensive. I use a Lee Factory Crimp die on this case and it works extremely well. WholesaleHunter has a good supply and priced well too.
     

  16. Tokoloshe Safaris

    Tokoloshe Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Enthusiast

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    Very informative my wife shoots a 88 Heym 450/400 with Hornady ammo. I will be sure uses only newly made (2018) ammo. How can you tell that it is 2018 production.
     

  17. BigBore

    BigBore AH Senior Member

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    My information about the Hornady ammo is first hand. I'm not repeating anything I read. You can call Hornady and ask for the dates their productions lots, but don't expect them to admit the powder problem, It's bad PR. The problem boxes where there was the original powder and other boxes that had the new powder looked exactly alike. But Hornady made a packing change some time after they started shipping the new DGX Bonded bullets. The new boxes say bonded on the box and the design is different. Some older box styles started to have bonded bullets too, but the boxes were not labeled. You can tell the old DGX bullets from the new Bonded DGX bullets by the color of the bullet. The original bullets has sort of a brasses color to them, the bonded bullets have a pure copper look to them. I put one of these 400gr DGX bonded bullets through the thick leg bone and through the heart of a buffalo at 70 yards with my 450/400 3" and he limped a short distance maybe 50 yards and fell over. Two other hunters used my double on that trip and we took 5 buffalo with that gun and DGX bullets. Only one buffalo took a second shot while still on his feet. But that was the fault of shot placement and not the bullet. So the DGX in my opinion is fine for double guns. In bolt actions, I rather a Barnes or Swift. But I would not have any problem using DGX again. As far as DGS bullets, they have always worked perfect for me and the price is right. Took 2 elephants in Zimbabwe a few years back with them and always used them as the follow ups when the PH allows the use of solids. My advise is to test any box of Hornady double rifle ammo that may have been made in late 2016 or in 2017 before you go hunting. I personally only saw the problem with 450 NE. but indication is it could be all the double rifle calibers. There's also a problem if your rifle was regulated with the new ammo and then Hornady is back at the old load. It may not have effected ever guns regulation but it certainly did to many that I have knowledge of.
     
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  18. Fred Gunner

    Fred Gunner AH Enthusiast

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    Is there a problem with Sabatti doubles handling the 416 Rigby cartridge? Or doubles in general?
    I ask because I was thinking that my double rifle would be in 416 Rigby?
    Thank you
     

  19. Doug375

    Doug375 AH Senior Member

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    Fred Gunner, most doubles have been chambered for rimmed cartridges. This allows more positive extraction/ejection than would be the case with a rimless cartridge, like .416 Rigby. That said, many doubles have been designed and chambered in rimless calibers, and from what I hear, they work fine. I do think it takes a bit more engineering and production work to get rimless cartridges to extract/eject reliably. I hate to think what could happen if the extractor/ejector blade of a double rifle slipped over a rimless round. I don't want to have to dig a round out of the chamber while being glared at by something big and mean that I didn't shoot quite well enough.
     
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  20. stug

    stug AH Fanatic

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