Disappointing Day at Range

MS 9x56

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As some of you read I recently got a lightly used VC Azur 500 NE. All has been going perfect with it for upcoming trip in 6 weeks. I have limited days to get in range session so took the opportunity to do one this morning.

Fired a right then left barrel about 4 min apart. Both spot on at 50 yards. Fired another set right and left with about same time span. Still spot on, right where needs to be.

Waited about 20 min talking to some other guys and went fire another set.
Left is spot on right 7 inches high as 5 left. Maybe it was me so try another set. Left is close but not perfect. Right no where close. Way high and right

Started inspecting red dot then gun.
Find crack in solder. Right barrel is coming loose.

I know there is no way to have repaired and regulated in time. So when I get back from this trip it will be off to JJ in Oklahoma.

Broke out the CZ 458 Lott now for this trip.
That just sucks but better to discover at range than shooting an animal. Good luck with your hunt and that rifle.
 

Hogpatrol

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Echo chamber here, better now than in the field. Not possible for some but this is why I shoot mine a day or two before departure.
 

CJW

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This should maybe give everyone pause to think about whether to have two big bores on hand just in case, though that may go without saying with this crowd. If you're planning a DG hunt maybe a backup rifle should be budgeted in just in case. DG probably isn't a good time to hunt with someone else's gun that you aren't familiar with.

It's your choice of course but I would contact VC about it. It would be very informative for others to see how they handle it. Their customer service has justifiably been called into question here recently.
 

Ridgewalker

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Sorry to hear of the VC issue, but glad to see you have the backup plan and taking it so cool!
I can hardly wait to read your report!
 

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Mark, to turn this into a "Learning Moment" maybe we should all get separate 4457(s) for a main as well as a back-up rifle. As bad as you feel about the situation it is better that it happened here on a range and not in Africa while on a hunt.
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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Mark, to turn this into a "Learning Moment" maybe we should all get separate 4457(s) for a main as well as a back-up rifle. As bad as you feel about the situation it is better that it happened here on a range and not in Africa while on a hunt.

Like all have said. Better here than over there!
That is why I put my rifles thru a lot of rounds and range time to find out if there is a flaw.
I am used to thinks like this so no big deal. I was taking a CZ 375HH AHR upgraded anyways for PG and backup. Now the CZ 458 Lott will be primary DG gun. 375 still going also.

I will contact VC when I get back. I am 6 weeks out from departure and just don’t want to deal with it right now. I need to concentrate on finishing up some work and getting paper work in order and packing.

I look at it like this. If it’s man and machine made it can break. The gun has been flawless up to now. I have exactly put 93 rounds down it. Previous owner had put 66 down it.
Things happen for a reason so we will see how it goes.

After my first trip in 2018 I got hooked on Africa. I have always said have backups as things can happen. When Covid hit I stock piled enough big bore ammo for all my guns that I will need for awhile.

Thanks for all the replies.
 

IvW

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I have lost all confidence in VC rifles....if ever I could afford a new double it would have to be a Heym 89B
Chamber issues 2 I know of and one coming apart after 150 shots.....
 

Skinnersblade

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I have lost all confidence in VC rifles....if ever I could afford a new double it would have to be a Heym 89B
Chamber issues 2 I know of and one coming apart after 150 shots.....
I assume one of the chamber issues was @Kevin Peacocke over under .375 flanged ?
 

Ike85123

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As some of you read I recently got a lightly used VC Azur 500 NE. All has been going perfect with it for upcoming trip in 6 weeks. I have limited days to get in range session so took the opportunity to do one this morning.

Fired a right then left barrel about 4 min apart. Both spot on at 50 yards. Fired another set right and left with about same time span. Still spot on, right where needs to be.

Waited about 20 min talking to some other guys and went fire another set.
Left is spot on right 7 inches high as 5 left. Maybe it was me so try another set. Left is close but not perfect. Right no where close. Way high and right

Started inspecting red dot then gun.
Find crack in solder. Right barrel is coming loose.

I know there is no way to have repaired and regulated in time. So when I get back from this trip it will be off to JJ in Oklahoma.

Broke out the CZ 458 Lott now for this trip.
Just look on the bright side. You have done well enough in life to have a dr and a rifle collection and be able to see africa.
Dont let it bring you down too far brother. The hunt will be just as special with one of your back ups. Good luck with the dr repair. Good luck on your up coming hunt !
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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As some of you read I recently got a lightly used VC Azur 500 NE. All has been going perfect with it for upcoming trip in 6 weeks. I have limited days to get in range session so took the opportunity to do one this morning.

Fired a right then left barrel about 4 min apart. Both spot on at 50 yards. Fired another set right and left with about same time span. Still spot on, right where needs to be.

Waited about 20 min talking to some other guys and went fire another set.
Left is spot on right 7 inches high as 5 left. Maybe it was me so try another set. Left is close but not perfect. Right no where close. Way high and right

Started inspecting red dot then gun.
Find crack in solder. Right barrel is coming loose.

I know there is no way to have repaired and regulated in time. So when I get back from this trip it will be off to JJ in Oklahoma.

Broke out the CZ 458 Lott now for this trip.

Oh that sucks, but better at the range than when something big and angry is closing in on you.
 
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You are correct! Not letting it get me down and thats why you have a safe full of rifles. Always have backups and backups for the backup!! And plenty of ammo on hand d for all them!
@mike Biggerstaff
I like your thinking.
A good gunsmith should be able to resolder the barrel without loss of regulation in a few hours.
As others have said lucky now not on your trip.
Your stating to sound like @Toby 458 and his in house ammo supply and manufacturing supply.
Bob
 

One Day...

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Hello Mark;

Not much to add to what everyone already said: sorry for you; better here than there; yet another proof that one needs a backup rifle - here and there; etc. etc.

Allow me please to comment on your attitude. I really like it. No whining and no blaming. You are taking it like a man. Thumbs up.

One question: do you happen to know what bullets these previous-owner 66 rounds pushed through the barrels? What bullets did your 93 rounds shoot?

I am still on the fence re. monometal slugs in doubles - especially the lighter ones which by necessity of weight reduction have fairly thin barrels - after only half a dozen early ASquare Monolithic Solids pushed the rifling to the outside of my pre-WWII Jules Burry .450#2 barrels in the 1990's. I know that much ink has been spilled about this and that much has been written to explain that monos are now safe in doubles, but I still have a nagging doubt. Heck, if there never ever was any issue, as some claim, then why is it that alloys changed from naval bronze to much softer compounds? solid shanks changed to multiple pressure-reducing, metal-flowing grooves? groove diameter solids changed to bore ridders? etc. etc. Sure, steel-jacketed solids include steel, and steel is tougher than copper, but steel jacketed lead is still infinitely more compressible than a solid .50 copper/bronze alloy rod... Etc.

So... could your VC be a recent victim of monos?

No axe to grind on my end against this or that bullet, I am just really curious as I still shy away, to this day, from shooting monos in my K Gun .470...

Thanks in advance for the data.
 
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Mark Biggerstaff

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@one day

His rounds where a mix of Factory Norma (that it is regulated with) and some Barnes Factory Solids
Mine have been Norma factory Softs and solids and most recently I was shooting factory Federal Swift Aframes. It was grouping excellent with the Aframe load and that is what I was concentrating on zeroing with. As I wanted a soft for this hunt and Norma was to hard to locate.
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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I might add that I can see the separation starting. It is not real drastic at this point. I can see a crack developing in the last couple inches of barrel solder. I stopped shooting within 4 rounds of realizing the accuracy was erratic and started inspecting the rifle for why it was happening. I will have it looked at after this trip, like I said. The trip is more important than the rifle repair. I don’t have a huge gun collection. I buy, shoot and sell a lot. But I will always have at least 3-4 big bores in different calibers just in case something like this happens again just before a hunt.
Thanks guys for all the positive comments. That is what makes this site the best there is.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Hello Mark;

Not much to add to what everyone already said: sorry for you; better here than there; yet another proof that one needs a backup rifle - here and there; etc. etc.

Allow me please to comment on your attitude. I really like it. No whining and no blaming. You are taking it like a man. Thumbs up.

One question: do you happen to know what bullets these previous-owner 66 rounds pushed through the barrels? What bullets did your 93 rounds shoot?

I am still on the fence re. monometal slugs in doubles - especially the lighter ones which by necessity of weight reduction have fairly thin barrels - after only half a dozen early ASquare Monolithic Solids pushed the rifling to the outside of my pre-WWII Jules Burry .450#2 barrels in the 1990's. I know that much ink has been spilled about this and that much has been written to explain that monos are now safe in doubles, but I still have a nagging doubt. Heck, if there never ever was any issue, as some claim, then why is it that alloys changed from naval bronze to much softer compounds? solid shanks changed to multiple pressure-reducing, metal-flowing grooves? groove diameter solids changed to bore ridders? etc. etc. Sure, steel-jacketed solids include steel, and steel is tougher than copper, but steel jacketed lead is still infinitely more compressible than a solid .50 copper/bronze alloy rod... Etc.

So... could your VC be a recent victim of monos?

No axe to grind on my end against this or that bullet, I am just really curious as I still shy away, to this day, from shooting monos in my K Gun .470...

Thanks in advance for the data.
Very interesting.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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I have lost all confidence in VC rifles....if ever I could afford a new double it would have to be a Heym 89B
Chamber issues 2 I know of and one coming apart after 150 shots.....
Actually three cases now.
 

IvW

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Yip I would steer clear, beautiful on the outside but the issues seem to be on the inside.....
 

Mark Biggerstaff

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Just an update. I went ahead and called JJ Perodeau. It leaves out tomorrow for him to inspect and make any repairs needed. He was very helpful and said to send it on to him at his shop.

On a side note. After it is repaired and all is good with it. I will probably sell or trade it in for a Heym! Champlain has several that interest me. Thinking I really don’t need the 500 and May drop to 470 or 450/400.
 
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One Day...

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While the .500, .470 and .450 are mostly indistinguishable in field performance, dropping to a .450/.400 is akin to dropping from a .458 Lott to a .416. There is a significant difference in performance. To be specific, the .450 .470 .500 are true stoppers, the .450/.400 is not.

Whether as a client you need a stopper, or not, can be endlessly debated, but I for one believe that the rationale for a double looses a lot of strength if the rifle is not a stopper. After all, the entire logic is to have available an instant second shot in case things turn nasty. If that second shot (and the first one for that matter) is/are not stopper, then the urgency of that second shot availability is certainly a lot lower.

If anyone doubts the above logic, a chat with Buzz Charlton, as well as taking a look at his videos, will vividly illustrate the shortcomings of the .416 (Rigby in his case) as a stopper... Size matters, and when it comes to stopping a charge, a bigger hammer is better. Period. Full stop.

This being said, there is no doubt that a .450/.400 is a lot more comfortable to shoot than a .450 .470 .500, and can be made 1 to 2 lbs. lighter, both arguments being irrelevant to me because I want my double to be a stopper, otherwise a quality scoped .375 H&H is all that anyone would ever need... :)

Take a long hard look at the Krieghoff too Mark, the K Gun decocker is a lot safer than the sliding safety of any other double (except the Blaser S2, but theirs need to be recocked after each reload, a design flaw in my view), and the K Guns have pretty thick barrels... ;)
 
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