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HeymSR20
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Reged: 23/11/11
Posts: 145
Loc: Scotland
Rook Rifles - some further questions
      #314632 - 29/03/18 06:06 AM

I have managed to find an Alex Martin rook rifle, itís now a 410, but intend to line it to a 22 Hornet.

Itís very like this Westley Richards in the Recent Holts Auction

http://auctions.holtsauctioneers.com/asp...117&image=3

Who built these originally?

There is now obvious take down latch on the Fore end. Is it a snap off one - mine has been sleeping for a long while so probably gummed if it is. Or is it a question unscrewing the Acton pin?

And finally what would appropriate scope mounts. I have a little Nockel Marburg straight Tube scope that will be ideal.

Many thanks


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TH44
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HeymSR20]
      #314643 - 29/03/18 09:55 AM

The lightweight single hammerless guns and rifles could have been made by Alex Martin but given his multiple addresses in Birmingham for 60 ish years it is more likely it was partly or wholly made in the Trade

All the small side lever rifles and guns were trade made and marketed by H&H, Purdey et. al. downwards

I had one similar to yours years ago by Churchill (Cased) but had it sleeved to .410 before we could hold obsolete calibres off ticket
That fore end was snap off

Period mounts would look best IMHO

Good luck

TH44


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HuviusModerator
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: TH44]
      #314646 - 29/03/18 12:47 PM

The only Rook rifle I have with that action is a John Wilkes 300.
Even Wal Winfer and Tom Rowe, in Vol. 8 of their British Single Shot Rifles book series, admit that they don't know the origins of these actions but mention that they could have been from Wilkes.
The barrel on mine is from Adams & Tate.

If there is no obvious method of detaching the forend, it is very likely a simple snap on version.
I know some of them take an inordinate amount of ooomph to get off and it is a bit disconcerting to put that much force on them.
Mine has a push button on the tip of the forend fortunately.

Here's my example:



--------------------
He who lives in the past is doomed to enjoy it.


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HistoricBore
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: Huvius]
      #314670 - 29/03/18 08:52 PM

If you cannot see a latch then it will undoubtedly be just a straight pull-off. Once you have pulled it off then life can get interesting! You may find some rust under the fore-end due to rain whilst out in the field, but that will just be cosmetic. The 'A&T' marking may well be found, as Adams and Tait made an awful lot of barrels for rook rifles. Also Birmingham proof marks will be there, I guess.

If it is now a .410 shotgun then there will be proof marks from the 1920s period, probably for the 2.5" cartridge. I have one and it shoots quite well as a shotgun.

Once you have found a gunsmith able to re-line the barrel then keep us informed with some photographs of the work. Mount your scope as low as possible! A straight tube of 3/4" diameter would be in keeping with that era of rifle.

HB


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HeymSR20
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HistoricBore]
      #314672 - 29/03/18 11:07 PM

Thanks Gents for all your comments. Will definately keep things posted, albeit one day I will work how to post pictures.

Huvius - do you by any chance have a picture of the breech end that has been lined - I would like to see how much barrel wall thickness there is. My thinking is to go as thick as possible in the liner barrel for four or five inches and to then step down down to .410 - much easier than trying to bore out the whole barrel. My 7x65r rifle barrel tapers down to .415 inch within three or four inches of the the chamber and that is working to much higher pressures.


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HeymSR20
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HeymSR20]
      #314682 - 30/03/18 02:17 AM

And if I cannot get the forend off, will it come apart by removing bing the hinge pin?

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Wayne59
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HeymSR20]
      #314684 - 30/03/18 03:17 AM

You don't want to remove the hing pin. See if you can email a couple of good clear pics of the forearm from the side and the bottom to one of the members so they can post them. I would do it but just like you I havn't figured out how to post since photo bucket shafted everybody.

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greenshoots
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: Wayne59]
      #314738 - 30/03/18 05:52 PM

i have good photo of mine which was relined to 44 mag if that is of any use send me your email address via pm

greenshoots


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HeymSR20
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: greenshoots]
      #314748 - 30/03/18 09:56 PM

Thanks Greenshoots - you have a pm

I was doing some research last night. Here is a Tolley that was in Holts Auction

http://auctions.holtsauctioneers.com/asp...891&image=3

Mine also has the sliding trigger blocking safety.

And one lined to 5.6x50r

http://www.gavingardiner.com/bidcat/detail.asp?SaleRef=0021&LotRef=82

Now that has me thinking. 22 Hornet - readily available and cheap to run so good for lots of practice on running boar /rabbits etc.

But 5.6x50r is legal for use on Roe in Scotland and muntjac south of the Border. But have to import cases and reload myself - not that big an issue. I was concerned that pressures might be a bit high. But itís been done here on an identical rifle by the looks of it.


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HistoricBore
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HeymSR20]
      #314764 - 31/03/18 12:34 AM

I remember these converted rook rifles being sold some years back; there were a few of them around. From memory they were converted in Denmark. A pal had a good look at them and they were already showing signs of stress from the pressure!

I should stick with .22 Hornet, or my favourite .32-20.

HB


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93x64mm
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HeymSR20]
      #314782 - 31/03/18 09:23 AM

Quote:

Thanks Greenshoots - you have a pm

I was doing some research last night. Here is a Tolley that was in Holts Auction

http://auctions.holtsauctioneers.com/asp...891&image=3

Mine also has the sliding trigger blocking safety.

And one lined to 5.6x50r

http://www.gavingardiner.com/bidcat/detail.asp?SaleRef=0021&LotRef=82

Now that has me thinking. 22 Hornet - readily available and cheap to run so good for lots of practice on running boar /rabbits etc.

But 5.6x50r is legal for use on Roe in Scotland and muntjac south of the Border. But have to import cases and reload myself - not that big an issue. I was concerned that pressures might be a bit high. But itís been done here on an identical rifle by the looks of it.




Both very nice pieces of kit aren't they!

The hornet certainly is a great old cartridge, not sure on the single shot's strength as to how hard you want to push your little rook!

Is the 5.6x50R the minimum legal cartridge for the game you hunt, or is there other cartridges that can do so as well?

But if you reload you could get the best from both (mild loads), or by using an adapter cartridge?
If any doubts best to go small & pass on to the next generation!


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HeymSR20
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: 93x64mm]
      #314806 - 01/04/18 04:13 AM

Here in Scotland we have a legal min of 50grain bullet weight, min muzzle velocity of 2,450 FPS and min muzzle energy of 1,000 ft lbs of energy.

The Hornet is not quite there on both bullet weight and energy, although the K Hornet might just get there with max load. Realistically the .222 is the min.

I have other deer legal rifles. This will be vermin shooting and practice. Also 5.6x50r is not readily available in the uk.


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Sarg
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HeymSR20]
      #314807 - 01/04/18 04:49 AM

Cool old rifles these, I'm amazed at the price of them now days !

Wouldn't 222Rimmed or even one of the 218Bee based cartridges be safer & small Deer/Fox capable ?

--------------------
No poor bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making other bastards die for their country.

- General George S. Patton


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HeymSR20
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: Sarg]
      #314956 - 04/04/18 07:16 PM

Quote:

Cool old rifles these, I'm amazed at the price of them now days !

Wouldn't 222Rimmed or even one of the 218Bee based cartridges be safer & small Deer/Fox capable ?




The 222 Rimmed would be ideal, but it is not seen over here in the UK or in Europe - it was an Australian innovation. Heaven knows how I would get brass etc. The 218 Bee, doesn't have much more than the 22 Hornet and doesn't push a 50gn bullet fast enough to meet the 1,000 ft/lbs of muzzle energy requirement.

The 5.6x50R is another step up in terms of power and pressure from the .222.

I suppose you could always make in .222, and then figure out having some sort of spring loaded extractor for a rimless cartridge.


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Waidmannsheil
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HeymSR20]
      #314957 - 04/04/18 07:23 PM

222 Rimmed brass is available from Bertram.

Waidmannsheil.

--------------------
There is nothing wrong with vegetarian food, so long as there is meat with it.


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Ahmed577
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #314958 - 05/04/18 12:01 AM

Not everyoneís cup of tea. For 45 years I have had a fascination with London best rook rifles. Have ended up keeping to old guns, both Hollandís. Both 297/250, one a double barrel back action sidelock ejector and one a single shot rifle. They are fine guns. Have pursued more modern cartridge rook rifles and failed. I know of a few and they are not for sale. (70 years plus in age). In the end PURDEY have built a new single shot hornet and Boss a 5.6x50r double to fulfill my need. Hopefully in 50 years some Prick will own the hornet and 5.6 for less than they cost and if they get the pleasure I have I will be happy.

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Daryl_S
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: Ahmed577]
      #314966 - 05/04/18 04:38 AM

Question -
:What was the original pressure this rifle was made for?
:What is the maximum permissible pressure this action will bear without loosening up to a worthless piece of junk?

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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93x64mm
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: Ahmed577]
      #314967 - 05/04/18 07:18 AM

Quote:

Not everyoneís cup of tea. For 45 years I have had a fascination with London best rook rifles. Have ended up keeping to old guns, both Hollandís. Both 297/250, one a double barrel back action sidelock ejector and one a single shot rifle. They are fine guns. Have pursued more modern cartridge rook rifles and failed. I know of a few and they are not for sale. (70 years plus in age). In the end PURDEY have built a new single shot hornet and Boss a 5.6x50r double to fulfill my need. Hopefully in 50 years some Prick will own the hornet and 5.6 for less than they cost and if they get the pleasure I have I will be happy.




I sincerely hope Ahmed577 your collection stays in the family, at least there is a good chance that they will appreciate them more if they get to tag along shooting with you!


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HeymSR20
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: 93x64mm]
      #315145 - 10/04/18 07:42 AM

So gents any suggestions at how to get a snap on forend off. A simple firm grip is not doing it. I am not sure I want to use an oil as don't want to soak the wood.

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Dogfish858
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HeymSR20]
      #315172 - 10/04/18 11:59 PM

If it's press fit and not coming off there's a decent chance the latch is siezed. You might want to thread some breaking fluid in, if you can. Or take a padded hammer and tap it very carefully and just kind of work it lose. Maybe a hair drier to heat it up a bit (not a heat gun). My guess would be that it's a collection of that brown dust/rust/oil crud endemic to old guns.

--------------------
But what about you? he asked. Who do you say I am?


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #315175 - 11/04/18 01:30 AM

Quote:

222 Rimmed brass is available from Bertram.

Waidmannsheil.




Must get some more brass.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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HeymSR20
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: NitroX]
      #315205 - 12/04/18 08:07 PM

Well I have the 410 in my hot little hands. Further very close look:

1) The Barrel is engraved - "Converted by Alex Martin" - I assume this was when it was take from Rook Rifle to 410 Shotgun. No proof marks other than provisional proof. And no marks for the 410 proof.

2) There is an A&T mark.

3) I got the forend off. Ran some thin oil down inside, left it for an hour. Then with a piece of leather gently held the forend in the vice and applied a bit of pressure to the barrel. It popped off. Taking the forend apart - it was gunged and rusty so took it apart and have given it a good clean up. There does seem a lot of tension on the latch spring - reassembling it with the plunger the way it was means it will it not go on. Turning it over it does snap on.

4) General condition is a knocked about - there is small piece of wood missing from the comb and there are several dents. There is a layer of hard greesy wax like gunk all over including on the outside of the barrel. Bore is good. Action is tight. I don't think it has done a lot of work. Just been abandoned in a pile of guns and other junk. Inside an elephant foot along with walking sticks, old cricket bats etc in a Scottish Country House perhaps.

It needs a gentle deep clean - any suggestions please. The oil finish is still there, but it has a gumminess on the surface.

5) The bluing is quite worn. There is and has been light rust, but fortunately little in the way of pitting. A re-blue may be in order. Would these have been rust blued or a Nitre Blue?

6) The stock wood is still proud of the action. The action looks just like the Wilkes above, except the safety is behind the trigger guard. There are the obvious pins and screws to remove from the floor plate and through the hand. Does the trigger guard unscrew as well, and is acting as another fixing for the action.

7) The action is cocked by the top lever.

8) When my permission to acquire a 22 Hornet comes through, will order a 22 Hornet blank barrel. I can get one made with 12mm outside diameter. Should be easy enough to ream out the 410 chamber to 12mm bore. The question is then do I try and ream / drill the rest of the barrel to 12mm, (410 is about 10.5mm) or do I simply then draw file the outside of the blank down to the 410 bore dimensions. Good reasons for either approach.

Thanks again for your thoughts. I am enjoying this little project.


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Daryl_S
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: HeymSR20]
      #315209 - 13/04/18 03:09 AM

The simplest way would be to open the tube up to 12mm, then epoxy the liner in.

I would suggest only light cast or light jacketed bullet loads, running 1,500fps to perhaps 1,800fps.

You will likely have to build up the extractor to work on the small Hornet rim.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII

Edited by Daryl_S (13/04/18 03:10 AM)


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Wayne59
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: Daryl_S]
      #315214 - 13/04/18 05:51 AM

Keep in mind that the chamber area of the 410 will be larger than the bore diameter. You also have to take into account the rim diameter. Lots to look at. Don't get in a hurry.

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HeymSR20
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Re: Rook Rifles - some further questions [Re: Wayne59]
      #315532 - 22/04/18 07:53 AM

Well just to update you all.

Pull it all apart and gave it a good clean. One thing I was concerned is that itís gape was larger than it should all the locking bolts to go back meaning that you have hold top lever across to close it again.

Once I had cleaned the grime the front of the action it was a piece at the income had broken and been bent down by constantLy over opening. Took a very good gunsmith - a friend of a friend - for his views. Cracked action - do not pass proof. Possibly could Tig or laser weld it - he has given it a try, but the metal is not having it, so itís just a wall hanger.

Itís sad that this canít be given a new lease of life - but thatís life I am afraid.


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