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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
Yes I did, they were some of the first big bore barrels I'd made after coming to work for Joe. I followed that build too, it was interesting seeing someone build a rifle like that from scratch.
That's awesome man! The craftsmanship of Stolzer is pretty incredible. It still blows my mind of how much of it was done with simple hand tools like a file. I talked to him recently about my 4 bore build to ask a few questions. Super friendly guy. I really look up to these rifle builders. They are keeping the embers burning of an almost dying art. I really aspire to be half the craftsman that they are.
 

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He had a series of videos on a ten bore Purdy style percussion double rifle, I enjoyed watching that series as well. He is a very talented craftsman.
 
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Discussion Starter · #63 ·
So I got a head start on writing an article for this build. I plan on sending it to a few publications to try and get it featured. Will definitely submit it here once it's finished. In the meantime, does this read alright to you guys? I haven't wrote anything like this since high school, so I'm rusty.

"Something is intoxicating about single-shot firearms – the light weight, the simplistic beauty, the feelings of nostalgia, and the thrill of knowing you have one shot and had better make it count. Millions of people have cut their teeth hunting with single-shots, and frequently the firearm has been in the family for generations, being passed down at the magical time when a child is ready for their first hunt. In fact, this writer’s first hunting experience was with a break action .410, and to this day it is still my favorite method of dispatching squirrels. I suspect that many readers will have “pappy’s old single” that still dawns its down-at-heel finish from many years of loving use in the outdoors; each scratch, blemish, and ding, a memory preserved in steel and wood.

For many years, the single-shot of various makes and designs, have been my favorite type of firearm to own and to shoot. However, my passion didn’t fully ignite into flames until I found my love of big bore rifles. I quickly became entranced with recoil, muzzle energy, big holes, and the thunderous report that commands attention. I was chasing the proverbial dragon, as some would say. It didn’t take me long to figure out that big bores and single-shots were a combination as good as peanut butter and chocolate. True, the light weight of these singles makes the recoil more pronounced and sometimes downright brutal, but that just attracted me more. My first taste of genuinely magnificent amounts of recoil was when I started loading for the relatively unknown cartridge dubbed “12 Gauge from Hell”. This is a cartridge created by Dr. Rob Garnick and fleshed out and expanded upon by Ed Hubel, that is essentially, a modern smokeless 12 bore rifle cartridge that is capable of incredible amounts of energy and recoil.

The host for my 12gaFH, is an H&R Ultra Slug Hunter, as it’s one of the firearms Mr. Hubel tested the cartridge in with varying powders and pressures. The H&R proved to be a safe and reliable platform due to it sharing the same receiver as the H&R rifles and its ridiculously thick heavy barrel. But, because of its design, the H&R can only handle milder loads to prevent the breech from coming off face due to the massive amount of bolt thrust at higher pressures. Yet, with mild loads, the cartridge still manages to outperform .458 Lott in terms of power… and recoil. A “light” load of 210 grains of Alliant Reloder 17 drives a 726 grain solid to a touch past 2,000 fps. That’s over 6,400 lb-ft of muzzle energy compared to the Lott’s respectable 5,900 lb-ft.

Everyone should be familiar with Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion, “every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. In this case, that “equal and opposite reaction”, is a staggering 153 lb-ft of free recoil energy in my 13-pound firearm. To put this into some better context, firing six 1-ounce slugs simultaneously in an 8-pound shotgun is equivalent. I don’t care who you are – that will grab your attention! This oftentimes leads people to believe I have a shoulder made of steel and superhuman levels of recoil tolerance. However, the truth is, big recoil can be tolerated pretty well if you know what you’re doing and have the firearm set up correctly. For me, that’s a properly fitted and balanced stock, a good shooting stance, and an aftermarket recoil pad that significantly slows and cushions the recoil. This makes the felt recoil minimal and translates the impulse into a huge push instead of a sharp smack. Trust me, shooting an old 6-pound single barrel 12 gauge with a plastic butt plate is not what I would consider “pleasant”.

Alas, even the monstrous 12 Gauge from Hell couldn’t quell my thirst for the extreme. While the 12gaFH will always hold a very special place in my heart, I desired something more… gratuitous. It has been many years since I first learned about the mighty 4 bore, and it has been many years since I wanted one. The moment I laid eyes on the cartridge, I was filled with a deep, primal desire to own one. I saw the 4 bore as the pinnacle of practical ludicrousness. Even when using “light” loads of a measly 12 drams of black powder, the magnitude and scale are hilariously excessive in the very best of ways.

The 4 bore at the time of its popularity, was the king of dangerous game. However, when the nitro cartridges came into came along, you could get more power, less recoil, and most importantly – more penetration, which caused these ancient titans to fall from grace and into obscurity while the new kids on the block ascended. If it weren’t for crazy, borderline masochistic, like-minded folks such as myself, the 4 bore would likely be a long-lost forgotten relic from a time when maps were still being drawn. There is no reason to own a 4 bore today. There are far better hunting cartridges out there with more energy, much better sectional densities, have far less recoil, and are more economical to load and shoot. So why own one today? The short answer, because it’s freaking cool! Who can say no to an actual shoulder cannon that slings pain at both ends a quarter pound at a time? I certainly cannot, which is why I started the quest of owning one of these mystical beasts.

At the start, it’s a very daunting task trying to piece together all the information needed to begin such a project. Researching 4 bores is very tricky, and finding one for sale is trickier still. You have two options with something like this; buy one at auction or commission a build. I knew that finding a 4 bore that was able to fire safely was going to be hard, finding one that can be shot without ruining its value, even harder. That left me with the option of having one built, so I began dreaming up my idea of the perfect 4 bore. I instantly knew it was going to be a single-shot being that they are some of my favorite firearms, and because there was no possible way I could afford a double. There are many examples of single-shot 4 bores out there, mostly muzzleloaders and Jones Underlever break actions. I wanted something truly unique, something that is outside of the box, even among the small group of 4 bore owners. I wanted a falling block action.

The falling block rifle action is by far my favorite of the singles, and many would agree given the popularity of the Ruger No. 1’s. They have an elegance and timeless beauty that can rival the hand crafted double rifles put out by the English bespoke rifle makers. Apart from their looks, they also have the advantage of being shorter and stronger than most other actions, in fact, it’s one of the strongest actions ever created. Many falling blocks are chambered for big bore cartridges as is, the 4 bore just makes sense. In my research on 4 bore falling block rifles, I have only found two examples- one carried by Sir Henry Morton Stanley in 1871 on his quest to find Dr. Livingston, the other a fowling gun made by James MaCnaughton in the late 1800’s. This fact made the proposition even more enticing, given the rarity of such a firearm.

Now that I know what action I desired, the question then turned to whom would make it. Dakota Arms would be most falling block fans first thought, I’m sure. However, in my search for the perfect custom falling block maker, one name kept popping up, Bailey Bradshaw. Mr. Bradshaw started as a master bladesmith making absolutely gorgeous knives that could rightly be sold at an art gallery. However, he eventually turned his eyes to rifle making and quickly made a name for himself. His work ranges from beautiful to mind-boggling levels of craftsmanship that could only be described as heavenly. One thing is very apparent with his work, Mr. Bradshaw doesn’t just craft a firearm out of steel and wood, he also infuses it with a piece of his soul. The man, simply put, is talented beyond words. The moment I looked at his gallery of work, I knew I had found my builder.

And this is where my dream came face to face with reality, I am by no means a wealthy man. How could a young man who lives paycheck to paycheck ever afford something like this? With my tail between my legs and ego in shambles, I shelved my dream. Like many things in life, this fantasy has been relegated to the “bucket list”, and how often does that list receive a checkmark? Years went on, and all the while this rifle was in the back of my mind just begging to see the light of day. When the pandemic hit, like the rest of the world, I had a lot of time to ponder things. I wasn’t getting any younger, and I was ready for something to snap me out of my covid blues. I had decided, at 26 years old, that I was going to do the craziest thing in my life and go full steam ahead to fulfill a dream."
 

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It's a good read so far, the only issue I have as a "proof reader' is this line.
when the nitro cartridges came into came along, you could get
It would read better "as came into being" or perhaps just simply "came along". Other than that it looks good to me so far, but then I'm I'm an old grumpy barrel maker, not an English lit professor. :)
 
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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
It's a good read so far, the only issue I have as a "proof reader' is this line.

It would read better "as came into being" or perhaps just simply "came along". Other than that it looks good to me so far, but then I'm I'm an old grumpy barrel maker, not an English lit professor. :)
Awesome, I agree thanks grizz!
 

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@sharps4590 has had a few articles published, perhaps he will stop in and give it a read.
 
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that still dawns its down-at-heel finish
The word is "don's" and means "to put on." "Wears" would be better

Dawn is my sister's middle name....and when the sun comes up. That line had me wondering what you were talking about....until it dawned on me... :giggle:

And Griz is right.

Doesn't matter...an editor is going to have his/her way with it. Pretty interesting article.
 

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Doesn't matter...an editor is going to have his/her way with it. Pretty interesting article.
Corrrect on both counts Vic, I'll be waiting to read "The Rest of The Story" as an old radio host used to say. :) Vic and I remember Paul Harvey, but at 26 it might be before That Guy's time.
 
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I'll have a look through it when I get a chance.
 
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Thanks gents, didn't realize I had so many errors. I can't believe I missed the "don's" vs "dawns" and the line on nitro cartridges. Thanks for the glance and corrections!

Eh...no matter. I can type a 12 word reply on here and have 13 mistakes.... :giggle:
 

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Like Sharps, I can type 20 mistakes a minute.

At risk of being pedantic, and sounding nit-pcking, here are some things I noticed. Take them for what they are worth.

For many years, the single-shot of various makes and designs, have been my favorite type of firearm to own and to shoot.
Might sound better this way:
For many years, the single-shot in various makes and designs has been my favorite

The 4 bore at the time of its popularity, was the king of dangerous game. However, when the nitro cartridges came into came along,
Already noted by Grizzly1. Possibly change it to
when the nitro cartridges came along,

Now that I know what action I desired, the question then turned to whom would make it.
Might read more smoothly
Once I decided on the action I wanted

"Who" is the correct form to use here. "Who" is the actor, the subject. "Whom" is the direct object.

Dakota Arms would be most falling block fans first thought,
Add an apostrophe to "fans".
Dakota Arms would be most falling block fans' first thought,


For many years, the single-shot of various makes and designs, have
Smoother reading to say
For many years, the single-shot in various makes and designs has

Mr. Hubel tested the cartridge in with varying powders
Mr. Hubel tested the cartridge using various powders

“pappy’s old single” that still dawns its down-at-heel finish from many years of loving use in the outdoors;
Already noted by Sharps4590...

I agree; suggest "wears" instead of "dons"

This is a great start on what we hope will be a great article. Thanks for giving us a preview. Again, as Sharps4590 says, the editor and copy editor will have the final say in what goes into the magazine. Hope you get it published.

Let us know how it goes.
 
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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
Mr. Bradshaw sent me the initial drawing. I'm guessing this is CAM for his wire EDM machine. Here's his direct quote from the pic


received_788128095397063.jpeg


Action will be 3.07” tall and will be 2.25 to 2.5 wide. I’ll machine one out of scrap wood to get a feel for the dimensions in hand

I’ll draw up the underlever and increase the trigger bow area. The underlever will form the trigger guard.

I’ll also add extended tangs. Will help add a little more weight and looks classy.

Also discussed dies and the possibility of his friend having some for sale as the wait time for CH4D is likely to be in the year range. Brass will be ordered next week and shipped directly to him to cross check his reamer compatibility. Hopefully it will work and we won't have to buy a reamer. 50 pieces of 4.5" brass... close to $700 after shipping and tax. A far cry better than the $45 a piece from the place I got my 12gaFH brass.

Next step will be getting a bullet design finalized and having a mold made. Will likely have 2 moulds made eventually, one a 2000 gr solid, the other a 1200 grain hollow point because why not. Will also get into contact with Jason at Badlands Precision to see what a 2000 grain brass mono will run me. He normally messes with copper, but with copper prices being what they are, I don't think I want to spend $7 a bullet... The mono is still up in the air, but it's definitely an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
Found another example of a 4 bore falling block. This one sold at auction for $17250. Bore size is close to mine.


20210515_223635.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
Plan changed for the sights. We are now doing a full length rib with a banded front sight so we can sneak in some weight. Got my reference book out to look at some old bore rifles and the full rib looks great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
255084


Quote for brass... Grizz, do you know of anyone else that makes brass? I like the folks at RMC, but this is kinda absurd. RCC brass will not to respond to my emails. They are $37 cheaper, but if they don't care enough to talk to their customers I'd gladly pay 4× the price
 

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Ouch! No I don't, 4 bore rifles are kind of a rare breed not much call for them and I think they might think someone who can afford a 4 bore can afford their brass?

You might contact Colin Stolzer, he may know a better source.

Edit- I think I may have found the problem with that pesky 4 bore rifling head, it's too bad I couldn't have found the problem sooner and been able to make the barrel for this monster. You could have named it the 1000 nitro express. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Ouch! No I don't, 4 bore rifles are kind of a rare breed not much call for them and I think they might think someone who can afford a 4 bore can afford their brass?

You might contact Colin Stolzer, he may know a better source.

Edit- I think I may have found the problem with that pesky 4 bore rifling head, it's too bad I couldn't have found the problem sooner and been able to make the barrel for this monster. You could have named it the 1000 nitro express. :)
Lol I can afford the brass, but if someone else is doing it for $37 cheaper, I'd like to see if there is more options. I'm betting the markup is mostly for their material cost and setup time.

And great, when I get to the 2 bore I'm calling you lol
 
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