Tools Of The Trade: Rifles & Reliability

Major Khan

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The problem with monolithic solids is that they are incredibly hard, and they are incredibly light for their volume. Thus, mono-solids are very large for their weight. Bullets don't like to be bent by double rifle barrels and as such, a mono-solid stands a good chance of "straigtening" your double rifle barrels for you. (translation: a mono-solid being significantly longer than a FMJ lead core bullet, they will break the ribs loose on a double, especially a vintage double)
Thank you so much for educating me on this subject , Rookhawk . If I understand things correctly , then only the French brand , Verney Carron offers a warranty for their double barreled rifles to be used with monolithic solid bullets . I admittedly know very little about monolithic solid bullets , because the very 1st monolithic solid bullets ( as manufactured by A Square ) were introduced in 1986 , at least 15 years after I had already retired from professional hunting.
 

Major Khan

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Just to add to BN post. The quicker following shots are fired the hotter the barrel remains and so the hotter it becomes on the following shot. The amount of wear on throat and barrel increases. One reason machine gun barrels wear out quicker than the same calibre rifle barrel
This is extremely true , Rule 303 . During the Bangladesh Liberation War , I noticed that our .50 calibre Browning M2 HMG ( Heavy Machine Gun ) Ordinance ( which was captured from West Pakistani units ) would have their barrels over heat , if we fired continuously long bursts . In fact , we exploited this knowledge once in order to overrun a West Pakistani HMG post .
 

Major Khan

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Another great series! And a great read!
My two cents worth after reading: (1) Probably goes without much doubt that most any bolt rifle, if not properly cared for, can malfunction. In my limited experience (three African safaris) it's most important to properly and aggressively cycle the bolt to minimize extraction issues or jamming. That is why I am also a fan of Winchester Model 70's. The new ones in 375 H&H have two cross bolts to minimize stock splitting, and I've never had an issue with extraction or jamming. The Mauser 98 Magnum actions have a noticeably longer bolt, so I'm practicing cycling the bolt on my Rigby at the range to get ready for a hunt in SA next year.
(2) Yes a double rifle can also malfunction, but I'd wager that the probability of a malfunctioning double rifle is pretty small and most likely in the instances described by Major Khan where the rifle was damaged. If I'm following a wounded buffalo, or any other dangerous game, I will carry my double rifle every time.
As for sights/scopes, at age 70 my eyes can't use iron sights anymore, so a Trijicon RMR sight on my double and a scope on my bolt rifles are a necessity.

Again thanks to Major Khan for another very informative and thought provoking series.
Your logic is extremely sound and well thought out , Chashardy . May I ask what calibre is your John Rigby & Co. rifle ? And yes . With the exception of follow up work ... it is imperative that a good quality telescopic sight ALWAYS be used for hunting of ANY form . This applies even more so , in modern times .... because game are nowadays shot at somewhat longer ranges than they originally were , during the time of my career .
 

Major Khan

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Major Khan,
Another fine analysis of rifle problems. I check this forum every day to see what you are going to come up with next.

I think one of the reasons for lever guns jamming was from rimmed cartridges being loaded improperly. If the rim of a round gets behind the rim of a round below it in the box mag it can hang up and result in a double feed. Did your Grandfather's jams result from shortstroking the lever thereby causing a stovepipe jam?
The feelings are mutual , Newboomer . I always consider it a massive privilege to have a 1st rate gentleman such as yourself reading my articles . Much like yourself , I also do subscribe the reason for my grand father’s Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle jamming , to be the rimmed design of the .405 Winchester cartridge.
I can vouch with 100 % certainty that my grand father would never short stroke the lever rifle , at all. In fact , when I was 1st learning how to fire that rifle as a child ... he was the 1 who specifically warned me NEVER to short stroke the lever of that rifle , under any circumstances whatsoever.
By the way , I have been meaning to ask you. Did you purchase your .404 Jeffery calibre bolt rifle from Montana Rifle Company yet ?
 

Major Khan

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Poton, thanks for writing another very fine article. It confirms one of the basic tenants of the Hunter Education Class taught in the United States. That being "that a rifle is a mechanical thing, all mechanical things can fail." However it is the "safety" that this statement is applied to most often.
I am really glad that you have enjoyed this article , Shootist43 . By the way , I purchased 4 new boxes of Lyavale Express 12 Bore 2.75 inch AAA cartridges this morning. I am extremely excited , because I shall try them out tomorrow .
 

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The feelings are mutual , Newboomer . I always consider it a massive privilege to have a 1st rate gentleman such as yourself reading my articles . Much like yourself , I also do subscribe the reason for my grand father’s Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle jamming , to be the rimmed design of the .405 Winchester cartridge.
I can vouch with 100 % certainty that my grand father would never short stroke the lever rifle , at all. In fact , when I was 1st learning how to fire that rifle as a child ... he was the 1 who specifically warned me NEVER to short stroke the lever of that rifle , under any circumstances whatsoever.
By the way , I have been meaning to ask you. Did you purchase your .404 Jeffery calibre bolt rifle from Montana Rifle Company yet ?

No, I didn't. I was going to talk to them at the SCI show in Reno but couldn't find their booth. I called and was told they had closed down for "restructuring" and would not be producing any more rifles. I cancelled my order.
 

chashardy

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Your logic is extremely sound and well thought out , Chashardy . May I ask what calibre is your John Rigby & Co. rifle ? And yes . With the exception of follow up work ... it is imperative that a good quality telescopic sight ALWAYS be used for hunting of ANY form . This applies even more so , in modern times .... because game are nowadays shot at somewhat longer ranges than they originally were , during the time of my career .
My Rigby is chambered in 416 Rigby. Recently acquired and I've been practicing on the range with it for a hunt in SA next year, hoping to take my second Cape Buffalo along with a golden wildebeest and maybe a Roan. I can say that the workmanship on a newly made Rigby is superb and the Mauser M98 Magnum action is everything you would expect. Smooth, precise and reliable. I have it fitted with a Leupold 1-6X24 scope with the CDS (custom dial system) calibrated to Federal Trophy Bonded Bear Claw 400gr. ammo. So far it is very accurate and I'm getting used to the recoil which is a bit more than my 375 H&H.
 

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I am privileged to have so many fine young hunters like yourself reading all of my articles, Master Smith. Perhaps , I am not so useless after all.

Major,
Very much the opposite, Sir. You are a most valuable source of unbiased analysis of firearms and their workings plus a fabulous storyteller. I think I can say that we all look forward to your posts on any subject.
 

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Thank you so much for educating me on this subject , Rookhawk . If I understand things correctly , then only the French brand , Verney Carron offers a warranty for their double barreled rifles to be used with monolithic solid bullets . I admittedly know very little about monolithic solid bullets , because the very 1st monolithic solid bullets ( as manufactured by A Square ) were introduced in 1986 , at least 15 years after I had already retired from professional hunting.

Major and Roohawk. Woodleigh Hydrostatic bullets are bore riders. That is the shank is the bore diameter and the ribs are raised similar to driving bands on artillery shells. They are not grove diameter with groves machined into them. This lessens the pressure put on barrels and allows them to be used in Double rifles, so I am informed. I believe their are other monolithic solids that are bore riders.
 

Major Khan

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Major and Roohawk. Woodleigh Hydrostatic bullets are bore riders. That is the shank is the bore diameter and the ribs are raised similar to driving bands on artillery shells. They are not grove diameter with groves machined into them. This lessens the pressure put on barrels and allows them to be used in Double rifles, so I am informed. I believe their are other monolithic solids that are bore riders.
Thank you so much for educating me on this matter , Rule 303 . Monolithic solid bullets have always piqued my curiosity , because during my career ... it was only " cup & core " style solid metal covered bullets .
 

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It is correct that a lot has improved regarding the solid bullets.

The first ones that were delivered had no ribs which was not ideal for the barrels , especially the older one with the danger that the caliber did not always match perfectly. I have never been a big fan of this kind of bullet and have trusted rather the classic FMJ bullets , but the Hydrostatic bullets from Woodleigh awakened my interests for hunting DG.
 

Major Khan

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Major,
Very much the opposite, Sir. You are a most valuable source of unbiased analysis of firearms and their workings plus a fabulous storyteller. I think I can say that we all look forward to your posts on any subject.
Why thank you so much, New Boomer . When writing articles ( or in fact , making any decision in life ) , I always attempt to approach any subject with a very open mind. My late grand father always taught me , ‘’Different people have different experiences which leads them to form different conclusions in life, with 1 person’s conclusions often contradicting another’s. However , all must be respected as true . “

I try to always adhere to this advice as much as possible. For instance , even if I do not think too highly of the .458 Winchester magnum calibre or the .460 Weatherby magnum calibre double barreled weapons with single selective triggers ... I always try to be fair to them whenever I involve any of them in my writings .
 

Major Khan

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It is correct that a lot has improved regarding the solid bullets.

The first ones that were delivered had no ribs which was not ideal for the barrels , especially the older one with the danger that the caliber did not always match perfectly. I have never been a big fan of this kind of bullet and have trusted rather the classic FMJ bullets , but the Hydrostatic bullets from Woodleigh awakened my interests for hunting DG.
Well , in all honesty the traditional solid metal covered bullet HAS successfully been dispatching even the largest of dangerous game for more than 100 years , Kurpfalzjager.
 

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Very much enjoyed your article Major! IMHO,the perfect solution to the problem of the magazine floorplate opening and dumping the contents on M98 Mausers with inside triggerguard latches is use the military release. Keep it pure M98 system and you have what is as perfect as humans can approach. After all, almost every bolt action is compaired to the M98. Yeah, I'm a fan!;)
 

Major Khan

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Very much enjoyed your article Major! IMHO,the perfect solution to the problem of the magazine floorplate opening and dumping the contents on M98 Mausers with inside triggerguard latches is use the military release. Keep it pure M98 system and you have what is as perfect as humans can approach. After all, almost every bolt action is compaired to the M98. Yeah, I'm a fan!;)
I am extremely glad that you enjoyed this article , Joe . Indeed , a man would be a fool to ever criticize the venerable Mauser 98 action . It approaches almost near perfection with it's design features.
Apparently , there is a new Mauser 98 action being manufactured by a company named " Granite Mountain Arms " these days.
 

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