Efforts Taken To Re-Regulate Double Rifles

Panther Shooter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
274
Reaction score
699
Media
29
Articles
6
Member of
Bangladesh Shooting Federation
Hunted
Bangladesh, India
Hello Everyone ,

I have had my eyes on this marvelous Double Rifle for quite some time . Since I have a second NPB ( Non Prohibited Bore ) rifle license ( which is currently vacant ) , I do have plans to purchase a large bore Double Rifle some time down the line . I am partial to the works of Auguste Francotte . I really admire their rifles . Belgian vintage craftsmanship at it’s finest .
44240134-2684-4C62-B267-82A7ADE938C3.png


A complication arises however , in that this Double Rifle is regulated for vintage Winchester Super X 500 grain cartridges ( which are no longer being manufactured ) .

I consider my own experience with Double Rifles to be modest . I have used only one Double Rifle in my life ( a .375 Holland & Holland Magnum , built by John Rigby & Co . It was regulated for 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft nose cartridges and 300 grain Winchester full metal jacket cartridges ) , and thus my knowledge about re-regulating the barrels of Double Rifles is quite basic .

I was wondering how much effort it would take to have the barrels of a Double Rifle , such as this one , re-regulated to use 480 grain Hornady DGS ( Dangerous Game Solid ) cartridges . I understand that 480 grain bullets in a .458 Winchester Magnum allows for an useful increase in cartridge case capacity .

If such a venture is impractical / impossible , then I suppose that it is not worth pursuing . However , I have always longed for an Auguste Francotte Double Rifle . It would make for a perfect companion , to my bolt action rifle ( a 7 millimeter Remington Magnum ) .


Any insight from the more experienced gentlemen on these forums would be greatly appreciated . However , it is nothing urgent . So please , do not burden yourselves .

With very best wishes,

Panther Shooter
 

Tanks

AH elite
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
2,286
Media
44
Do you reload? If you can then the answer is working up a load that will regulate to your satisfaction.
 

Panther Shooter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
274
Reaction score
699
Media
29
Articles
6
Member of
Bangladesh Shooting Federation
Hunted
Bangladesh, India
Do you reload? If you can then the answer is working up a load that will regulate to your satisfaction.
Tanks
Yes . Indeed , I do reload . I hand load 175 grain Barnes TSX soft nose bullets into cartridges quite often , for my 7 millimeter Remington Magnum . I have had good success with them against Bengal Bush Boars , Chital Deer and the odd Crocodile .
 

Tanks

AH elite
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
2,286
Media
44
There you go. Now, here is something to ponder. Have you thought about having the .458 magnum to be rechambered to .450 NE? ;)

I think a lot of people have done that.
 

One Day...

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
1,260
Reaction score
3,303
Website
www.huntershillsafaris.co.za
Media
381
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
PHASA
Hunted
Europe, America, Canada, Africa
I agree with Tanks that you very likely can get the rifle to regulate perfectly with handloads fairly easily.

However, I would also think that there are enough .458 Win good factory loads on the market that you may be lucky that one or several of them will actually regulate in the rifle. I would first buy a box of each and try. Keep in mind that you are looking for a 2" group at 75 yards, so minute of angle groups are not truly relevant here.

One thought would be that you fully realize, I assume, that double rifles typically prefer rimmed cartridges over rimless (even if belted) cartridges. The debate has long been raging over the use of rimless cartridges with double rifles extractors/ejectors. I will not add to it, but it is worth mentioning...

In this specific case, Francotte was/is indeed a top notch maker, so if any double rifle extractors/ejectors are going to work on .458 Win cases, I would expect the Francotte's to work.

Finally, beware of mono-metal bullets in some double rifles. I do not know how heavy this Francotte is, but I know for a fact that hard mono-metal slugs can damage even fairly substantial barrels. It happened to me with a Jules Burry pre-WWII .450 #2 double, shooting early A Square Monolithic Solid ammo... Most mono-metal slugs are now "banded" bore riders, so I expect that the issue is thereby solved, and obviously the .458 Win was introduced in 1956, so the rifle is fairly recent, but depending on how light it was built, i.e. how thick the barrels are, a quick call or email to Francotte with the serial number in hand could be wise...
 
Last edited:

Panther Shooter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
274
Reaction score
699
Media
29
Articles
6
Member of
Bangladesh Shooting Federation
Hunted
Bangladesh, India
There you go. Now, here is something to ponder. Have you thought about having the .458 magnum to be rechambered to .450 NE? ;)

I think a lot of people have done that.
Tanks
I am an old soul . I grew up learning how to shoot , in the 1960s . During that time ( I used to live in West Bengal , India ; back then ) , I frequently used to see American client Shikaris visit India with .458 Winchester Magnums . It used to be touted as the most powerful caliber on earth , back in those days . And I suppose that it made me a little intrigued about the caliber . My compatriot , close friend and former commanding officer , @Major Khan Sir has an extremely negative view of the .458 Winchester Magnum , however . And the Major used to be a professional Shikari ( and a highly competent one , at that ) . So I have no doubt that this caliber has been a little problematic . However , I have recently seen a post made by @Badboymelvin , which details the use of 480 grain bullets in the .458 Winchester Magnum . Basic hand loading knowledge tells me that this would improve cartridge case capacity .

I will obviously listen to the more experienced gentlemen on these forums , and if you encourage an alternative choice in caliber , then I would definitely take your advice and opt for something else ( like a .470 Nitro Express , perhaps ) .
 

Tanks

AH elite
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
1,406
Reaction score
2,286
Media
44
...

I will obviously listen to the more experienced gentlemen on these forums , and if you encourage an alternative choice in caliber , then I would definitely take your advice and opt for something else ( like a .470 Nitro Express , perhaps ) .
...
I am partial to the works of Auguste Francotte . I really admire their rifles . Belgian vintage craftsmanship at it’s finest .

I would NOT consider myself experienced enough to suggest changing the rifle itself. .458 Magnum and .450 NE have the same bore diameter hence why people have done the rechambering. ,470 NE is a different animal entirely. Not to mention ballistically all are practically the same.

Plus, as you said above you like the gunmaker, go for it. :D
 

Red Leg

Lifetime bronze benefactor
AH ambassador
Joined
May 19, 2009
Messages
6,245
Reaction score
17,382
Location
Texas Hill Country
Media
271
Articles
5
Hunting reports
Africa
2
USA/Canada
4
Mex/S.Amer
1
Europe
3
Member of
SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
Hunted
Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
The only issue - if it is one - is that the .458 is not a rimmed caliber, and therefore, the extraction on this double will be with a couple of tiny spring-loaded tabs. That sort of thing drives the typical CRF advocate insane, were they one of those who know anything about double rifles. I have taken a lot of game with my Blaser S2 double in .375. It is also, obviously, a non-rimmed chambering. It has never failed me, and I am confident a Francotte will also be completely dependable.

And don't even consider changing the chambering. Francotte knew how to build a rifle, and it left Liege doing exactly what it was supposed to do. You will simply change a great rifle into a money-pit of dubious value.
 

Panther Shooter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
274
Reaction score
699
Media
29
Articles
6
Member of
Bangladesh Shooting Federation
Hunted
Bangladesh, India
I agree with Tanks that you very likely can get the rifle to regulate perfectly with handloads fairly easily.

However, I would also think that there are enough .458 Win good factory loads on the market that you may be lucky that one or several of them will actually regulate in the rifle. I would first buy a box of each and try. Keep in mind that you are looking for a 2" group at 75 yards, so minute of angle groups are not truly relevant here.

One final thought would be that you fully realize, I assume, that double rifles typically prefer rimmed cartridges over rimless (even if belted) cartridges. The debate has long been raging over the use of rimless cartridges with double rifles extractors/ejectors. I will not add to it, but it is worth mentioning...

In this specific case, Francotte was/is indeed a top notch maker, so if any double rifle extractors/ejectors are going to work on .458 Win cases, I would expect the Francotte's to work.
One Day

Thank you very much . I understand that Auguste Francotte is no longer involved in the gun trade . I do intend to use the Double Rifle in Africa for Cape Buffalo and / or Elephant , two or three years down the line .

My research tells me that monolithic / homogeneous brass bullets are best avoided in a Double Rifle ( especially a Double Rifle of this vintage . It was made in 1967 ) . I believe that ( among factory loaded cartridges ) the Hornady DGS ( Dangerous Game Solids ) or the Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw / Sledge Hammer Solid cartridges might be a good place to start ?

If there is a risk of the ejectors failing to eject the spent .458 Winchester Magnum cartridge casings , then I suppose that all this trouble is simply not worth it .
@Major Khan Sir has reported countless incidents to me ( from the time of his life , when he used to be a professional Shikari ) about the ejectors Of Double Rifles failing to eject spent .458 Winchester Magnum cartridge cases . Thus , it is something that zi would definitely need to be wary of .
 

Panther Shooter

AH enthusiast
Joined
Mar 26, 2020
Messages
274
Reaction score
699
Media
29
Articles
6
Member of
Bangladesh Shooting Federation
Hunted
Bangladesh, India
The only issue - if it is one - is that the .458 is not a rimmed caliber, and therefore, the extraction on this double will be with a couple of tiny spring-loaded tabs. That sort of thing drives the typical CRF advocate insane, were they one of those who know anything about double rifles. I have taken a lot of game with my Blaser S2 double in .375. It is also, obviously, a non-rimmed chambering. It has never failed me, and I am confident a Francotte will also be completely dependable.

And don't even consider changing the chambering. Francotte knew how to build a rifle, and it left Liege doing exactly what it was supposed to do. You will simply change a great rifle into a money-pit of dubious value.
Sir
Thank you very much for the encouraging advice . For at least 30 years , I have always dreamt of purchasing an Auguste Francotte Double Rifle . It finally looks as if I might have my dream come true . Major Khan Sir owns a beautiful double barrel side by side shotgun , which was built by Auguste Francotte . And that shotgun has been functioning flawlessly since 1960 .

The John Rigby & Co. side by side Double Rifle which I used in the past , was also chambered in a rimless caliber ( .375 Holland & Holland Magnum ) . It was regulated for 300 grain Winchester cartridges ( Silvertip & full metal jacket ) . It always gave me flawless ejection . Therefore , I am optimistic .
 

One Day...

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
1,260
Reaction score
3,303
Website
www.huntershillsafaris.co.za
Media
381
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
PHASA
Hunted
Europe, America, Canada, Africa
... don't even consider changing the chambering. Francotte knew how to build a rifle, and it left Liege doing exactly what it was supposed to do. You will simply change a great rifle into a money-pit of dubious value.
Amen!

The old and tired .458 Win saga has been resolved 50 years ago. The early compressed loads using newly developed Olin ball powder apparently did produce some hang fires and/or partial combustion of agglomerated propellant after compressed loads cooked in the African sun.

This issue was already solved by the 1970's and modern .458 Win ammo will kill reliably anything that walk this earth, and they will fire as reliably than any other caliber. Do not worry about the .458 Win unless you intend to shoot ammo manufactured in 1960 :)
 
Last edited:

One Day...

Gold supporter
AH elite
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
1,260
Reaction score
3,303
Website
www.huntershillsafaris.co.za
Media
381
Articles
1
Hunting reports
Africa
3
Member of
PHASA
Hunted
Europe, America, Canada, Africa
If there is a risk of the ejectors failing to eject the spent .458 Winchester Magnum cartridge casings , then I suppose that all this trouble is simply not worth it.
I agree with Red Leg on this one. As I stated earlier, Francotte knew how to put a double rifle together.

I guess that from a theoretical perspective a rimmed cartridge is about as close to impossible to fail to extract as one can get, while a rimless cartridge involves a more complex extractor/ejector mechanism with spring loaded small bites engaging inside the cartridge head groove. Therefore, factually, there are more small parts and tiny springs involved, therefore, mathematically, the opportunities for part breakage, spring fatigue, or grease hardening increase. That is a fact, and it is also a fact that failures to extract have happened, and continue to occasionally happen, but I am not personally aware of such failures happening on British, German or Belgian "Best" rifles.

I would trust a .458 Win double Francotte, Blaser, Rigby, Krieghoff, Heym, Holland, etc. but I would verify often that the extractors/ejectors are clean and intact. I would also be careful not to shoot loads that may over pressure in the rifle and cause the cases to stick to the chambers. The bottom line is that there is nothing more foolproof than mechanical extractors cammed by the rifle opening, pushing against massive rims.

I would NOT trust such a delicate small parts adjusting on a cheap double rifle, but it is a moot point because I would not trust a cheap double rifle at all to begin with...
 
Last edited:

Pondoro

AH fanatic
Joined
Dec 3, 2014
Messages
892
Reaction score
1,145
Media
88
Articles
1
Hunted
Norway, Sweden, Namibia and Botswana
As said you have two options...find a load that regulate in the rifle and use as is or rechamber to .450NE..the latter has been done succesfully with quite a few 60´s and 70´s vintage .458 doubles.

If it was mine I would have taken the plunge and rechambered it to .45o Nitro Express...thus the .458 ejector issue will be eliminated and you will have at least the same performance with a lot less pressure.. Low pressure is a big plus in a double and Hornady currently make .450 ammunition..

Francotte´s are very high class rifles..probly as good as several of the top British makers and much more affordable..
 

Opposite Pole

AH elite
Joined
Jun 6, 2017
Messages
1,110
Reaction score
1,482
Location
Warsaw & Sydney
Media
95
Member of
SSAA; PZŁ, KŁ Sęp
Hunted
Australia, Poland
There is one other option. Instead of finding a load that regulates, be it factory or hand load, or having the barrels re-regulated you can keep the rifle as is and have a second set of barrels made in your calibre of choice regulated to whatever load you wish. That way you keep the rifle in its original condition without loosing collectors value and have a perfectly usable rifle in calibre/calibers of your choice, including shotgun chambering. I don’t know how that would be treated according to your firearms laws nor do I know if there are gunsmiths in your area capable of doing this kind of a job. However, Poland is a small country and one of the most unarmed nations in the world and without scratching my head I can give you contact details of two gunsmiths that could do it, and do it well, so perhaps it is not a very hard job. Having extra barrel sets made opens up a world of opportunities, you can have a medium bore set such as 30R Blaser or 9.3x74R and a large bore set in any calibre that tickles your fancy/suits your needs. You get to use your rifle much more and save money ;-) as you can practice with smaller/cheaper rounds. Again, not sure if it is legal in your jurisdiction but it may well be worth looking into.
 

Forum statistics

Threads
36,741
Messages
696,624
Members
64,656
Latest member
GioUno
 

 

 

Latest posts

Latest profile posts

Rifle57 wrote on Rimshot's profile.
I bought some bullets from Rimshot and he is good to trade with!
Greetings all! I've been a hunter for 50 years, but only now planning a trip to Africa. I was fortunate and successfully bid on a couple hunts for plains game in SA later this year and next. Also a rare Native Texas (5th generation) and USMC Vet. Hunt safe y'all!
uujm wrote on trg's profile.
I am looking for a Safari Express. Was yours made in New Haven or South Carolina? Any other details you can give me? I am very motivated to buy.
pimes wrote on flatwater bill's profile.
Hello Bill - can you tell me that landowner/ranch/outfitter - Thank you!
Pete0905 wrote on damundsen87's profile.
Hello
Is the Khales 1-6 still for sale?
Thanks
Josh
 
Top