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Single shot rifles


JMJ
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Anyone else into single shot rifles? My home state of Louisiana and neighboring Mississippi changed their muzzleloader regs to include hammer fired single shots chambered in cartridges .44” and larger so I got this H&R handirifle in 45/70, a year later they amended it to .35” and larger and the popularity of 35 Whelen exploded here. I’m using a Vortex Strikefire on it cause I’m not a huge fan of the “chin weld” I get with a traditional scope mounted to clear the hammer. I think I’ll eventually try a scout scope on it to mount low fwd of the hammer.F09AC446-7F51-4EBE-8BAA-C0CCB5013273.thumb.jpeg.3e62e3a9293b4bb92b0d271bbebf5dbd.jpeg

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  • 3 weeks later...

My state has no regs mandating single shots but I like and use them anyway. Or I did for hunting when I was hunting. I have them in TC Encore, a .45/70, and a .17 Rem. . In Contender I have a .223 that I use for subsonic 35s. The latter is hellyweird quiet.

Why did I get "into" them? I used to hunt with a bolt action but realized that all I ever needed was one shot for the close range jump shooting I used to do. So why carry around extra length and weight? 

FWIW, I got to playing with .45/70 loads and since the Encore has modern metals and is a modern action it will handle pressures the rifles of the period could never think of handling. It almost reaches .458 Win velocity if ones shoulder can handle it. Of course it'll also do much slower and easier on the shoulder velocity as well. The .17 Rem? The bullet "gets there" before the hammer falls or so it seems. I pushed 25 grain "needles" to well over 4000 fps (4200?) but had to back it down because the bullets were coming apart in flight. Today I keep the velocity down to 4020 fps. Hit a 'chuck with that and it sort of explodes but holds together. There's no recoil, so the 'chuck can be seen to get really big, then back to normal size. The innards turn to mush and if the entrance hole is found it just weeps juice. Hit a squirrel and the back side comes flying forward so fast that the squirrel jumps forward. It's a neat cartridge but not for meat.

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I've been kicking around the idea of my next TC barrel being chambered in 300 BLK for truly quiet subsonic loads. But 2+ years ago I priced one out and if memory serves it was $500+ I have no idea what it would be today. I've got to be caught up on my mandatory upgrades before I buy the barrel which really would be more in the toy category (want vs need).

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6 hours ago, BrianK said:

I've been kicking around the idea of my next TC barrel being chambered in 300 BLK for truly quiet subsonic loads. But 2+ years ago I priced one out and if memory serves it was $500+ I have no idea what it would be today. I've got to be caught up on my mandatory upgrades before I buy the barrel which really would be more in the toy category (want vs need).

That would be a fun one for sure! I remember wanting a Contender as a teenager when I read a Guns & Ammo that had one chambered in 300 Whisper. 

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9 hours ago, shooterrex said:

Only single shot I have is an old Stevens Favorite in 22. Barrel was shot out and my Grandpa put a Winchester barrel on it. I've had this rifle almost 60 years. Still shoot squirrels with it.

IMG_20210428_030508.jpg

That looks awesome! I’ve got a single shot Remington target master bolt action 22lr I left at my folks house cause my dad uses it to shoot nutria in their backyard at night, their backyard has one of the larger bayous in town running through it so those big ass rats come out and eat it he grass down to the dirt at night. I think I’m gonna have to go reclaim I in the next year or so cause my little girl is wanting to learn how to shoot.

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50 minutes ago, BrianK said:

JMJ, are Nutria good for anything?

They were originally brought here to farm for fur and they escaped from the Tabasco folks during a hurricane and became a huge nuisance. Trapping has fallen off in a big way here except for collecting tail bounties. The meat is good similar to rabbit, I think there’s just a stigma against eating a giant rat. I’ve had it fixed as sausage and it was pretty great. They’re not as numerous as when I was a kid, our state imposed a bounty of $5/tail and that along with the coyote’s range expansion and our alligator population recovering we’re seeing less and less nutria in wild areas and they’re holding out along waterways in towns. What’s been really interesting is that in all the areas nutria populations are decreasing we’re seeing our native muskrat populations returning where they were out competed and driven off. 

Edited by JMJ
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23 hours ago, JMJ said:

<snip> The meat is good similar to rabbit, I think there’s just a stigma against eating a giant rat. I’ve had it fixed as sausage and it was pretty great. <snip>

And I thought Cajuns ate pretty much anything! 😊

I had SSK make a .308 Win barrel for my Encore, and after getting it in realized that I could have added another 1.25" and had a barrel that could also be used as a rifle just by putting the shoulder stock on the action. I didn't make that mistake with the next barrel, the .375/06 JDJ chambered barrel (Handcannon) that I had SSK make for me. The designation should tell you that the parent cartridge is a .30/06, the cartridge itself is a wildcat. Here it is as a handgun, but the barrel and expansion chamber/brake make it long enough for use as a non-NFA rifle should I ever want to use it that way. Due to the Encore having virtually no action length the 16 1/4" barrel is doable as a handgun. My wrist has had enough for one day after firing 20ish rounds of full powered ammo. It pushes a 300 grain bullet to 2300 fps with very little muzzle flip due to the brake, the recoil all comes straight back. Of course it can be downloaded to make it more tolerable. It's powerful enough for elephant and accurate enough for squirrel. It was designed to put a solid in one side of an elephant skull, pass through 4' of bone and the brain, and come out the other side. In testing it went straight through 36" of solid fresh cut beech across the growth rings. Penetration in beech  is much less with an expanding bullet, 7". It's the first cartridge I had where I felt confident enough that if a deer was standing not too far behind a not too large tree, that I could shoot through the tree and bag the deer. It's an easy 300 yard handgun.

Here it is as a handgun with a 1911 and a .45ACP as a comparison. In the out of focus cartridge pic' the cartridge is holding a solid bullet. If one looks closely the expansion chamber can be seen as a graceful belling at the muzzle.

375-06-JDJ.jpg

375-06-JDJ-cartridge-cropped.jpg

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16 minutes ago, BrianK said:

And I thought Cajuns ate pretty much anything! 😊

I had SSK make a .308 Win barrel for my Encore, and after getting it in realized that I could have added another 1.25" and had a barrel that could also be used as a rifle just by putting the shoulder stock on the action. I didn't make that mistake with the next barrel, the .375/06 JDJ chambered barrel (Handcannon) that I had SSK make for me. The designation should tell you that the parent cartridge is a .30/06, the cartridge itself is a wildcat. Here it is as a handgun, but the barrel and expansion chamber/brake make it long enough for use as a non-NFA rifle should I ever want to use it that way. Due to the Encore having virtually no action length the 16 1/4" barrel is doable as a handgun. My wrist has had enough for one day after firing 20ish rounds of full powered ammo. It pushes a 300 grain bullet to 2300 fps with very little muzzle flip due to the brake, the recoil all comes straight back. Of course it can be downloaded to make it more tolerable. It's powerful enough for elephant and accurate enough for squirrel. It was designed to put a solid in one side of an elephant skull, pass through 4' of bone and the brain, and come out the other side. In testing it went straight through 36" of solid fresh cut beech across the growth rings. Penetration in beech  is much less with an expanding bullet, 7". It's the first cartridge I had where I felt confident enough that if a deer was standing not too far behind a not too large tree, that I could shoot through the tree and bag the deer. It's an easy 300 yard handgun.

Here it is as a handgun with a 1911 and a .45ACP as a comparison. In the out of focus cartridge pic' the cartridge is holding a solid bullet. If one looks closely the expansion chamber can be seen as a graceful belling at the muzzle.

375-06-JDJ.jpg

375-06-JDJ-cartridge-cropped.jpg

Lol we definitely tend to, I’m a little more adventurous than most. Been fascinated with trying some things shown on Meateater’s Pardon My Plate series of vids. 
 

That’s so cool! I haven’t messed with any wildcat cartridges yet, but once I’m up and running to handload I’m considering something in the .458x2” American made from my used 7mmRM brass and sharing projos with my 45/70govt. 

Edited by JMJ
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This thread got me to thinkin' and doing something I'd been meaning to do for years. I contacted SSK and inquired how many barrels they chambered in .375/06 JDJ. The answer was 14-16 and they added that even fewer were chambered in .376 Steyr.

FWIW, I have never put a shoulder stock on it and don't even have sights of any sort that would lend itself to rifle use. But the barrel itself is capable of it.

Edited by BrianK
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On 10/11/2022 at 6:57 AM, JMJ said:

<snip> I’m using a Vortex Strikefire on it cause I’m not a huge fan of the “chin weld” I get with a traditional scope mounted to clear the hammer. <snip>

I got to thinkin' about that chin weld. Sure that's exactly what you would get if you elevated any sight due to the stock drop at the heel. Straight recoil stocks, that is, no drop at the heel, require high mounted sights. All of my straight recoil stocks have high mounted sights and the folks who see them question it until they shoulder the gun(s). Then understanding happens. But they aren't accustomed to seeing sights mounted high. It can only happen with straight stocks, or not using the shoulder pocket and floating the buttstock in the air like I see some folks most commonly do with the M16/M4/AR15 family.

In the end, your rifle needs to fit you and make you and no one else happy.

Edited by BrianK
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I completely agree, I may look at some sort of stock riser for it. That or get the rail swapped out so it can take a scout/IER type scope. The straight stock situation is one of the biggest things that got me hooked on hunting with AR type rifles, I’ve got a big ole Cro-Magnon head so a straight stock with high rings points really well for me. 
 

I resisted getting the single shot to use during our “primitive” deer season regulation changes cause I such a fan of my .50 Hawken, but after getting the 45/70 it became my favorite favorite public land hunting rifle even into modern gun season cause it was so light weight and short. I used to mountain bike several miles into a national forests with my climber on my back and it was a perfect fit to that type of hunting. Only reason I stopped using it as much is because we got hit with the “hog bomb” in the areas I hunt.  

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Just remember to watch out for any action funkiness with your H&R.  I had one of the H&R Buffalo Classic (45/70) rifles that I used for competition (60-90 rounds at least once a month)....it lasted about 1.5 seasons, and then started to incur lock up problems.  Those action locking problems transferred into trigger/hammer set problems.  Not a fun thing.  I was shooting nothing but trapdoor pressure loads through it, so that should not have been the issue.  Many of the people I shot with, and I, were thinking along the lines of the rifle wasn't designed to take the round count that I put through it.

 

I liked the gun, just wasn't happy with my outcome with that rifle.

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7 hours ago, bubbas4570 said:

Just remember to watch out for any action funkiness with your H&R.  I had one of the H&R Buffalo Classic (45/70) rifles that I used for competition (60-90 rounds at least once a month)....it lasted about 1.5 seasons, and then started to incur lock up problems.  Those action locking problems transferred into trigger/hammer set problems.  Not a fun thing.  I was shooting nothing but trapdoor pressure loads through it, so that should not have been the issue.  Many of the people I shot with, and I, were thinking along the lines of the rifle wasn't designed to take the round count that I put through it.

 

I liked the gun, just wasn't happy with my outcome with that rifle.

Thanks for that information, I’ll keep an eye on that. It’s been a pretty low round count shooter so far, I may have 40-60 rounds through it. It’s been more or less enough to zero when I’ve tried different optics then hunted with.  I love the 45/70 cartridge and hope to get a lever action in it at some point. The H&R was mainly picked up to meet the newer regulations that changed our muzzleloader season to a  “primitive” cartridge rifle season and to meet requirements for certain WMA’s and federal refuges in Louisiana and Mississippi. 
 

Those buffalo classics were good looking rifles, that’s what I wanted originally but had a hard time finding one so I went with the handigrip thumb hole model. 

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