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HE117

LE
Dreyse Ammo update..

Just finished making the tools for making Dreyse ammo. As some of you will be aware, the Dreyse was the first practical military breechloader. It had a long thin firing pin that penetrated the paper cartridge and hit a percussion cap that was fitted to a paper sabot which also held the bullet, hence the term "Prussian Needle Gun".

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The hardest bit to make (apart from the bullet mould!) is the sabot. This was made from a tapered strip of thick card, which is then wrapped around a split pin held in a hand drill, having been gummed with Pritt Stick..

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The resultant coil is then compressed in a die which creates the bullet cavity and a cavity for the primer in the base:
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The sabot also needs four slits to be made in the front end to ensure the bullet separates on firing. This is the M55 version of the Dreyse ammunition which is a true sabot round.. the bullet never touches the barrel and all the spin is delivered by the sabot. The slits are formed in another die by the use of a junior hacksaw..

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The body of the cartridge is made from a simple paper tube made on a former with an end cup made in a die as demonstrated by "The Chap" on Bloke on the Range..

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The last item is the primer! Originally this was done by filling cap composition directly into the sabot. Making cap composition at home is not to be recommended! Guy and Leonard A-R West suggest a way of making a suitable substitute by modifying commercial "top hat" percussion caps in a lathe. I was a bit wary of this, however I made a suitable jig and cutter and it seems to work.. I do however wear TIG gloves and a grinding mask just in case. People have suggested using Berdan primers, however these are apparently too thick and damage the needle. I have also had good reports from folk using plastic toy caps, but again these contain chlorate and are very corrosive!

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Putting everything together is fairly simple. The charge is 75gn of 3F gunpowder which is dropped into the case, followed by the sabot fitted with the primer facing rearwards. The Bullet is then added and the end of the paper tube drawn together and tied with thread. Finally the cartridge is dipped in lube to cover the bullet and the top of the sabot. I use a mix of Olive Oil and Beeswax..

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Be aware as these cartridges are self contained and have a means of ignition, they are classed as Section I and you need to be authorised to possess them on a firearms certificate or be an RFD!
 
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Ruger scout?
yes a very good rifle.I had a 3-9x40 on it and when it came to using it in the bush the scope at times became useless so I used the open sights which are good but were as good as an aimpoint………fantastic!! well worth the money.
 

HE117

LE
yes a very good rifle.I had a 3-9x40 on it and when it came to using it in the bush the scope at times became useless so I used the open sights which are good but were as good as an aimpoint………fantastic!! well worth the money.
What sort of range are you using it at?
 
One on the left is new today. One on the right I've had for a while

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Verdict of the right-hand one (modern CSA one; left one is an original blocked at semi auto) at over subgun range is that you wouldn't want to stand there at 100m.
 

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ugly

LE
Moderator
I’ve been asked to sell this custom 308 Mauser by a client, I need to research the maker but it’s built in Gloucestershire and is a nicely stocked rifle fitted with a qd mounted 4x33 Zeiss.
Built in the 1970’s I think it would make a nice roe rifle
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Not sure what’s the value of it yet but I suggested a guide price to him and he wasn’t impressed
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
The rifle was made by a man named Watson. He was an apprentice at and then worked for Boss, the famous LONDON gun maker, and became a qualified gun smith. He continued with his gun smithery from his Glos home, repairing and altering guns and making a few to order. The original owner chose a.308 because at the time it was the standard NATO round and that would ensure that the ammunition would be made for a long time to come and be ready available. Also versatile for different types of game depending on what weight bullet used. It took about a year to be made. Nice Zyss sight never the less. The medallion on the stock is a silver 6d. The engraving done in the Jewelry 1/4 of Birmingham.
 
I’ve been asked to sell this custom 308 Mauser by a client, I need to research the maker but it’s built in Gloucestershire and is a nicely stocked rifle fitted with a qd mounted 4x33 Zeiss.
Built in the 1970’s I think it would make a nice roe rifle
View attachment 474300View attachment 474301View attachment 474302View attachment 474303View attachment 474304View attachment 474305View attachment 474306
Not sure what’s the value of it yet but I suggested a guide price to him and he wasn’t impressed
Presuming it's a mil conversion (can't see the relevant bit of the receiver), and since it's not done by a big name like Rigby, I imagine the guide price was indeed disappointing for him, independently of how nice it is.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
There don’t appear to be any factory stamps or marks, it may have been a contract receiver made for the trade
 
There don’t appear to be any factory stamps or marks, it may have been a contract receiver made for the trade
Or well-scrubbed neatly.
 

ugly

LE
Moderator
Or well-scrubbed neatly.
Yet pre WW1 Rigby builds didn’t remove the factory name!
The checkering is still crisp and detailed, the wood to metal fit is superb yet it is at least mid 1970’s build with an old but excellent scope.
More a collector’s rifle I fear
ETA, it has been in storage for at least half of its life
 

Chicken

Old-Salt
Finnish rework of a very early Russian Maxim.
Issued to the Imperial Russian Army,over taken by the Soviets and finally Captured by the Finns.
My daughter just adores it
 

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Chicken

Old-Salt
I always admired the machining of the DWM Maxims,this is on the same level.Tula had it together in 1910,comparing the Finnish of this to a wartime M1910 is like comparing chalk and Cheese.
 

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Yet pre WW1 Rigby builds didn’t remove the factory name!
The checkering is still crisp and detailed, the wood to metal fit is superb yet it is at least mid 1970’s build with an old but excellent scope.
More a collector’s rifle I fear
ETA, it has been in storage for at least half of its life
Ugs, being the mong I am I am missing something here. Why do you fear it is more a collector's rifle?
 

Mick9abf

War Hero
I’ve been asked to sell this custom 308 Mauser by a client, I need to research the maker but it’s built in Gloucestershire and is a nicely stocked rifle fitted with a qd mounted 4x33 Zeiss.
Built in the 1970’s I think it would make a nice roe rifle
View attachment 474300View attachment 474301View attachment 474302View attachment 474303View attachment 474304View attachment 474305View attachment 474306
Not sure what’s the value of it yet but I suggested a guide price to him and he wasn’t impressed
It certainly looks a nice walk in the woodland on a Sunday evening rifle but unfortunately Mauser actions aren’t flavour of the month and are unlikely to be ever again even if big London names use them and slap big London prices on them.

When he had it built I’m sure it was pricey for the time as there wasn’t the ‘choice’ of actions nowadays but he’s maybe needing a to set his expectations lower as it’s usually Dangerous Game rifles that hold better value from my research anyway.

I imagine he’s been looking at Rigby’s or Holland and Holland regulated Mauser’s/Sako’s and thinking that money when in reality I reckon about £650 (Unless built by the likes of Ronald Wharton) with the scope is more realistic and someone really has to ‘want’ it above a similar actioned Parker Hale/BSA etc which you can get a nice clean example of for £175-250.

I looked at a really nice Musgrave in .308 priced at £450 a few years ago and I offered £350 for it, the boy was wanting £375 by the end so I walked away as it wasn’t worth it to me. I think a dealer who specialises in Mauser’s that I sought advice from bought it in the end to build something for a client as it had a sought after model of Mauser action apparently.

Out of interest what did you say to him price wise and who built it, PM if you prefer as I could want to scratch that itch again.
 

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