Light Doubles

Kevin Peacocke

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Doubles are very special rifles, that carry a lot of clout as well as history to back that up. Rudy Mola wrote an article some time ago on the Dawning Of The Light Double. Which of you is into this space, and particularly 375's for DG?
 

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My favourite rifle is my 9.3x74 Chapuis RGEX, fits me perfect and is a joy to shoot. My eland and sable fell to my 9.3 double. If it is what I had in my hand on a plains game safari and africa provided a target of opportunity buffalo I wouldn't hesitate to use it. Would also use it on the cats. It is at the very bottom end of the DG spectrum (Mine load that gives the best 4 shot soft/solid combo is a 300gr A-frame and 286gr Swift break away solid at 2385fps)
The most important thing with the light end of the DG rifles is the shot placement. THAT FIRST SHOT HAS TO BE in the vitals. or your day and the PH/Trackers is about to be ugly.

If you are going to hunt DG with the light double (9.3 and 375) you must be a very competent rifleman/riflewoman that is very calm under pressure and also have your PH's concurrence on your rifle choice so they the PH is prepared in case you screw up the first shot.

If it was a Buffalo or bigger specfic DG hunt I would bring a bigger double 450/400 or bigger.
 

chashardy

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My double is a Chapuis Brousse chambered in 375 H&H magnum with a Trijicon RMR red dot sight. It's a sweet shooting rifle I have used in Africa on two safaris. Took a cape buffalo and a nyala with it, as well as a warthog.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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Hi Chashardy, have you got a photo to post of the rifle?
 

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The one I have used in Africa for both Buffalo and plains game was my Blaser S2 with either .375 or 30-06 barrels in place. Perhaps a little less exotic than some, but awfully dependable and effective.






 

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@Red Leg - Don't you have a set of 500/416NE barrels for the S2?
How much does that weigh?
 

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@Red Leg - Don't you have a set of 500/416NE barrels for the S2?
How much does that weigh?
About the same as the .375 which is 11.1 lbs all kitted out with scope and a sling. The weight is enough that I do not use the Blaser kickstop with either caliber. As a .375, it is frankly more than I care to carry walking down a buffalo and one of the reasons I moved on to the R8 with a standard barrel. It is about right for the 500/416.
 

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Doubles are very special rifles, that carry a lot of clout as well as history to back that up. Rudy Mola wrote an article some time ago on the Dawning Of The Light Double. Which of you is into this space, and particularly 375's for DG?

With the restrictions in place for elephant and rhino, there is less interest in large doubles. For those reasons, 450-400 doubles and their manageable 38-41lbs of felt recoil are the hottest caliber at present. The smallbore doubles in 35 Winchester, 280 Ross, 7x57R, 30-40 krag, 22 hornet, 303 British have never been popular with Americans or Africans, although fairly popular with Germans and other Central Europeans. To a lesser extent, the Brits too. But these guns were really built for running boar and night hunting.

The 375 flanged is probably the least sought of the lot because it’s a neutered 375hh that is insufficient for big dangerous game and needlessly large for medium game.

I think they’re all fantastic but my opinion is a minority opinion.
 

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I would be all over a .375 flanged if I found one priced right. Norma runs a 300 gr bullet at 2400 fps - the H&H typically runs the same bullet at 2500. The flanged is technically down around 3800 foot lbs, but it is at least as adequate as any 9.3x64 load and superior to the 9.3x74R. The .375 2 1/2" flanged is indeed a pretty awful choice for much of anything beyond a 100 yards.
 

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Small doubles are great - I have a 318 Westley Richards and 280 Ross. They are as effective today as when new. View attachment 358308
Wonderful! I am bitter with envy over either of those. Who built the them? The one in the photo looks classic Birmingham.
 

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I would be all over a .375 flanged if I found one priced right. Norma runs a 300 gr bullet at 2400 fps - the H&H typically runs the same bullet at 2500. The flanged is technically down around 3800 foot lbs, but it is at least as adequate as any 9.3x64 load and superior to the 9.3x74R. The .375 2 1/2" flanged is indeed a pretty awful choice for much of anything beyond a 100 yards.

@Red Leg you’re correct on the specs. My concern is one of neutering to get regulation in a vintage gun. (Do they make modern 375 nitro flanged magnums?) Some of those guns like to operate on kynoch (woodleigh) softs at fairly tepid speeds, especially in the 24”-25” barrels they often have while the always exaggerated kynoch original data was using 28” barrels. Add to that, many were regulated for 235gr and 270gr bullets. I just get unease taking the universally accepted minimum caliber of 375hh and diminishing it, then putting it in real world barrels, and potentially diminishing it more for regulation. (E.g. not uncommon to get doubles regulating at 100-150fps less than the original specs say should regulate the gun.

original 1926 specs from 28” barrels which you cited correctly:
http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/375 flanged.html

I’d rather have your 9.3x64 brenneke magazine rifle scenario you mentioned because you’re not contending with down-loading to achieve regulation, you’re maxing it using best modern components out of a single barrel.

Certainly feel free to disagree, just giving the thoughts that went into my opinion.
 

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Red Leg

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@Red Leg you’re correct on the specs. My concern is one of neutering to get regulation in a vintage gun. (Do they make modern 375 nitro flanged magnums?) Some of those guns like to operate on kynoch (woodleigh) softs at fairly tepid speeds, especially in the 24”-25” barrels they often have while the always exaggerated kynoch original data was using 28” barrels. Add to that, many were regulated for 235gr and 270gr bullets. I just get unease taking the universally accepted minimum caliber of 375hh and diminishing it, then putting it in real world barrels, and potentially diminishing it more for regulation. (E.g. not uncommon to get doubles regulating at 100-150fps less than the original specs say should regulate the gun.

original 1926 specs from 28” barrels which you cited correctly:
http://www.kynochammunition.co.uk/375 flanged.html

I’d rather have your 9.3x64 brenneke magazine rifle scenario you mentioned because you’re not contending with down-loading to achieve regulation, you’re maxing it using best modern components out of a single barrel.

Certainly feel free to disagree, just giving the thoughts that went into my opinion.
Pretty simple. If I couldn’t get Close to 2400, I wouldn’t use it on a buffalo. But whatever I managed would be no worse than a 74R. I have been looking for the right one for a decade plus.
 

rookhawk

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Pretty simple. If I couldn’t get Close to 2400, I wouldn’t use it on a buffalo. But whatever I managed would be no worse than a 74R. I have been looking for the right one for a decade plus.

you’re right. Your posts always get me looking at data and rethinking my views.

Assuming 2425fps out of a 28” barrel, subtracting 75fps for a 25” barrel, it’s doing exactly the velocity of a 9.3x74r, only its doing it at 300gr rather than 286gr, it’s doing it at .375” rather than .366”. So if it’s good enough for a 9.3x74r, it’s slightly better with a 375 magnum flanged.
 

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.375 H&H Flanged is the smallest standard calibre for the Krieghoff Classic Big Five rifle. Probably a few other manufacturers out there who also do a standard chambering in this calibre. I'm not sure that the original Kynoch loads are of much relevance with modern powders and actions. I for one would appreciate any actual chronograph data for modern rifles/ammo/powders.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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My 375 Flanged Verney Carron was factory regulated on Norma PH 3oo grain running at 2400fps. These being Woodleigh 300's. I have tried it at 2435fps with woodleigh300's and it is still good regulation, about 75mm at 50m. The 375FL has taken many buffalo and in the wisdom of Kevin Robinson it cures the only criticism he had of the 375 H&H he had, ie it ran a tad fast. I am yet to blood mine, sable soon, buff at year end hopefully.
 

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.375 H&H Flanged is the smallest standard calibre for the Krieghoff Classic Big Five rifle. Probably a few other manufacturers out there who also do a standard chambering in this calibre. I'm not sure that the original Kynoch loads are of much relevance with modern powders and actions. I for one would appreciate any actual chronograph data for modern rifles/ammo/powders.
My 375 Flanged Verney Carron was factory regulated on Norma PH 3oo grain running at 2400fps. These being Woodleigh 300's. I have tried it at 2435fps with woodleigh300's and it is still good regulation, about 75mm at 50m. The 375FL has taken many buffalo and in the wisdom of Kevin Robinson it cures the only criticism he had of the 375 H&H he had, ie it ran a tad fast. I am yet to blood mine, sable soon, buff at year end hopefully.
Would be curious what the K-Gun and VC weigh. A colleague has a Birmingham made pre-war flanged that has perfectly proportioned barrels for a .375. It was built as a 26” rifle with elegance and point ability of a heavy bird gun. Curious if VC and Krieghoff use proportioned barrels or simply drill a smaller hole in a standard blank.
 

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That’s surprisingly light. 9lbs is a more typical weight for medium bore doubles that I’ve owned. I doubt it could be made so light using large bore barrels. Perhaps they are just filing away less from small bore barrels? (E.g 300win)

Shocked that VC and Krieghoff are both making flanged guns today, I have never seen a modern double so configured. (Seen plenty of 375 belted doubles of course)
 

Kevin Peacocke

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It is becoming more and more popular, reason being it is 375 and therefore legal for DG in all African countries. The 9.3 x 74R, is a fine round too, but it just isn't 375 and some official may pick that up and ruin your hunt. i wish I could upload a video on here, would show you how mild the recoil is for 2nd shot take up.
 

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