The Mother of all Double Rifles

cal pappas

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Hi Bruce:
I depart for Africa next week and will be away a month. Then is Alaska hunting but I will try to do more shooting with different black powders and Blue Dot. To answer your questions:
1. balls were soft lead. I will powder coat upon my return
2. no patching as the balls are cut to bore size
3. I do have conical mounds and will try them, although rifling is 1:100 so it was made for a round ball
My new Lab Radar chronograph won't pick up round balls so I can't get velocity.
Come to the Alaska double shoot in May and take a few shots!
Cal
 

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vette447

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Cal, she really is a dandy. I am glad you got her because I would have tried to if you had not told me you were after it as per our conversation. It looks even better in your pics and I bet even better than that in person. Hopefully I can come up to AK and visit sometime so I can shoot it. I am now on the hunt for a Rodda 4 bore like it as well. Take care. Drew
 

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Samuel Baker’s Holland & Holland 4-bore, which he named “Baby” was fired by his reckoning 20 times leaving him with nose bleeds and a permanent flinch (though his load was heavier than Cal’s). And Frederick Courtney Selous had either an overload or doubling experience with his that he claimed was “upsetting” for his nerve. Probably why so many of these brutes show relatively little sign of much use when they appear for sale.

The big spherical balls had relatively low penetration. They would stun an elephant with a frontal brain shot, but were not very good at reaching it. On body shots, however, they were devastating.

I am sure Cal has a collection of stories surrounding these cannons.
I've seen Baker's actual rifle in some online pictures. It's Holland and Holland rifle number 1526. The H&H ledger describes it as a 3 bore. Baker actually owned three of these rifles . One was used by him in the book " Nile Tributaries " . It had some design flaws. It fired a 10 drachm load and weighed 20 pounds. Even though 10 drachms was on the lighter side for a 4 bore , the gun recoiled viciously due to its light ( for the caliber ) weight . Baker got the other two rifles made for him in 1869 which he described in " Ismailia " as " A pair of muzzle loading Holland Half pounder elephant rifles weighing 22 pounds , each firing twelve drachms of fine grain powder and firing a Half pound shell filled with half an ounce of fine grain powder ". The updated guns , with their larger charge and beefed up weight , seemed to be more liked by Baker.
Me , personally ... I don't think l can handle above a .460 Weatherby Maximum . Though l do wanna shoot a 4 gauge someday
 

cal pappas

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Any and all are welcome to shoot my 4-bore (and my others as well) at the Alaska double shoot the first Saturday every May.
Because Baker's rifle fired a half pound bullet, everyone thinks it was a 2-bore. It was an elongated 4-bore bullet made for the explosive charge.
Cal
 

Hoss Delgado

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Any and all are welcome to shoot my 4-bore (and my others as well) at the Alaska double shoot the first Saturday every May.
Because Baker's rifle fired a half pound bullet, everyone thinks it was a 2-bore. It was an elongated 4-bore bullet made for the explosive charge.
Cal
You know , l just might take you up on your offer ! :) I'm new to double rifles myself
 

cal pappas

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Well, I have three books out on doubles,, one, The Double Rifle Primer, is just the ticket for those new to doubles. I'm at McDonald's right now for a bite to eat on my way to the airport. I'm spending a month in South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe with a .450-400. Contact me on my return (August 20) if you'd be interested in my book. Either way, do join us for the double shoot. Usually 40-50 doubles are there, all are welcome to shoot any and all, and we don't charge for ammo. We also provide lunch for all. I usually have 12-10-8-4 bore doubles, 450-500-577 express doubles and 350-400-450-500-600 nitro doubles. And, my .577 howdah pistol. However, many are up for sale and some have been sold already. What I have I will bring and all are welcome. Cal
 

Hoss Delgado

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Well, I have three books out on doubles,, one, The Double Rifle Primer, is just the ticket for those new to doubles. I'm at McDonald's right now for a bite to eat on my way to the airport. I'm spending a month in South Africa, Botswana, and Zimbabwe with a .450-400. Contact me on my return (August 20) if you'd be interested in my book. Either way, do join us for the double shoot. Usually 40-50 doubles are there, all are welcome to shoot any and all, and we don't charge for ammo. We also provide lunch for all. I usually have 12-10-8-4 bore doubles, 450-500-577 express doubles and 350-400-450-500-600 nitro doubles. And, my .577 howdah pistol. However, many are up for sale and some have been sold already. What I have I will bring and all are welcome. Cal
Nice. I will bring my .350 Rigby Magnum :)
 

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Cal you are currently on your safari and I wish you the best safari you have ever been on.

Today I finally was able to make time to drive up to phoenix and stop into William Larkin and Moore show room. All I can say is the doubles they currently have are a collection the likes of with I doubt I will ever see again in one place. They had everything from a 300 rook little petite double through a 4 Bore single shot with several 8 Bore doubles. Every one of the double I looked at had super bores, most of which looked like they were cut yesterday. So for anyone looking for a high end double I would encourage you to give them a call. If you live in AZ or are going to be visiting do yourself a favour and go visit.
 

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Cal you are currently on your safari and I wish you the best safari you have ever been on.

Today I finally was able to make time to drive up to phoenix and stop into William Larkin and Moore show room. All I can say is the doubles they currently have are a collection the likes of with I doubt I will ever see again in one place. They had everything from a 300 rook little petite double through a 4 Bore single shot with several 8 Bore doubles. Every one of the double I looked at had super bores, most of which looked like they were cut yesterday. So for anyone looking for a high end double I would encourage you to give them a call. If you live in AZ or are going to be visiting do yourself a favour and go visit.

William Larkin Moore is currently selling a collection of doubles of the likes I have never seen before. I wish I was close enough to go in person, as you did, because there are some truly amazing rifles being sold by them right now. The crazy thing is that they have already sold dozens of unbelievable rifles out of that same collection. Cal's 4 Bore was one of them and I got a WJ Jeffery 600 NE from them that I am just super excited about as well.
 

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@vette447 You are correct, I went up because I don't ever expect to see a collection of this quality in one place ever again. Amazing that it all came out of one estate. The other two single shots that were the stable mates of your 600 are also over the top nice. If money were no object i would have walked out of there with one of the 8bore doubles, the unique Greener 12 bore O/U and the little 300 Rook doubles. I had to settle for a Pre 64 model 70 that was chambered in 375 weatherby. My toy fund just wasn't in the buy a double range. Congratz on your 600 NE single.
 

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Dear God, I just watched this to the end and that is forty minutes of my life I’ll never get back. The PH is no doubt was saying the same thing about the previous ten days or so. The scope ring on his eye as a souvenir at the end is priceless. All I can say is thank God for the 300 grain .375!

A cursory search of the Net reveals the dinosaur gun is for sale for the low price of $98,500. It’s been offered for sale a few times. Ken Owen made six of them, only this one was brought to Africa.
 

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I wish one of those videos actually had good videography so that we could see the 4-bore impact on a large animal
 

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I wish one of those videos actually had good videography so that we could see the 4-bore impact on a large animal

The load was 115gr blue dot with a 2000gr bullet at 1480fps out of a 25lb rifle. 133lbs of recoil. I’d wager a 600NE or 700NE would be much more powerful not in joules but damage, at least doubling the penetration. Perhaps someone more informed could define its efficacy versus its novelty?
 

cal pappas

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Gents:
With a 4-bore that I no longer own, my top load was 120 grains of Blue Dot and a 1400-grain ball (a true 5 bore) for 1750 fps and 9300 ft lbs energy. The Rodda I now own will match that. Please note a Rodda 4 is for sale at Rock Island Auctions. Nice piece and the estimate is 90-140,000 USD. It is stated it is regulated for 16 drams but I don't see any documentation of this except the owner's word. He states he shoots 16 1/2 drams of Fg and it is accurate. However, most 4s were made for 14 drams and 14 drams of FFg will do the same velocity and accuracy as 16 drams of single F.
I return from Africa on the 20th and will post more shooting data, hopefully, before I depart for caribou and grizzly hunting on the 31st.
Cheers,
Cal
 

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Gents:
With a 4-bore that I no longer own, my top load was 120 grains of Blue Dot and a 1400-grain ball (a true 5 bore) for 1750 fps and 9300 ft lbs energy. The Rodda I now own will match that. Please note a Rodda 4 is for sale at Rock Island Auctions. Nice piece and the estimate is 90-140,000 USD. It is stated it is regulated for 16 drams but I don't see any documentation of this except the owner's word. He states he shoots 16 1/2 drams of Fg and it is accurate. However, most 4s were made for 14 drams and 14 drams of FFg will do the same velocity and accuracy as 16 drams of single F.
I return from Africa on the 20th and will post more shooting data, hopefully, before I depart for caribou and grizzly hunting on the 31st.
Cheers,
Cal


William Larkin Moore have a 4-bore EM Reilly on sale as well.
 

Hoss Delgado

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Gents:
With a 4-bore that I no longer own, my top load was 120 grains of Blue Dot and a 1400-grain ball (a true 5 bore) for 1750 fps and 9300 ft lbs energy. The Rodda I now own will match that. Please note a Rodda 4 is for sale at Rock Island Auctions. Nice piece and the estimate is 90-140,000 USD. It is stated it is regulated for 16 drams but I don't see any documentation of this except the owner's word. He states he shoots 16 1/2 drams of Fg and it is accurate. However, most 4s were made for 14 drams and 14 drams of FFg will do the same velocity and accuracy as 16 drams of single F.
I return from Africa on the 20th and will post more shooting data, hopefully, before I depart for caribou and grizzly hunting on the 31st.
Cheers,
Cal
Hi ,Cal . Sounds impressive . In W W Greener's book " The gun and it's development , " He mentions a WW Greener 4 bore Double barrel smoothbore owned by George P Sanderson which was regulated for 16 drams of Curtis and Harvey's powder . A four bore seems like a bazooka compared to my tiny .375 HH Magnum :(
 

cal pappas

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Fellas:
I'm sorry I have not posted on additional shooting with the 4-bore. When I was at the Harare airport I received an email of a forest fire near my home in Alaska. I called and asked a friend to take some of my doubles out and he did. After 44 hours of transit I landed in Anchorage and drove out the next day. The woods are ash (a life time of firewood is out there) and the house is intact. The fire burned up to the lawn and fire break I cut on all four sides of the house. But I'm without power, phone, water for two weeks now and perhaps another 1-2 more. Mom is in her 90s and I should be here so I didn't go caribou and grizzly hunting this week.

Next year I'm looking at Argentina with my .450-400 and perhaps another buffalo in South Africa with the Rodda 4. It will probably be spring before I do some serious shooting with the 4.
Cheers and thanks for all the positive comments.
Cal
 

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Wow, not the message you want to receive when you’re heading home! As if the travel isn’t bad enough already, that must have been a high anxiety trip back. Glad to hear your home survived, but very sorry to hear about the rest.
 

Hoss Delgado

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Fellas:
I'm sorry I have not posted on additional shooting with the 4-bore. When I was at the Harare airport I received an email of a forest fire near my home in Alaska. I called and asked a friend to take some of my doubles out and he did. After 44 hours of transit I landed in Anchorage and drove out the next day. The woods are ash (a life time of firewood is out there) and the house is intact. The fire burned up to the lawn and fire break I cut on all four sides of the house. But I'm without power, phone, water for two weeks now and perhaps another 1-2 more. Mom is in her 90s and I should be here so I didn't go caribou and grizzly hunting this week.

Next year I'm looking at Argentina with my .450-400 and perhaps another buffalo in South Africa with the Rodda 4. It will probably be spring before I do some serious shooting with the 4.
Cheers and thanks for all the positive comments.
Cal
Take care of yourself , your mom and family , Cal. God bless.
Hoss
 

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