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buckstix
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Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 627
Loc: Whitetail Country
600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story
      #305805 - 29/09/17 07:30 AM

600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story

You may recall my post about my custom 700NE build from a while back. That post has about 2,000 hits to date.

http://forums.nitroexpress.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=280803&an=0&page=3#Post280803

Along the same lines, I've always wanted a BIG BORE "Sidelock" Double Rifle. So, shortly after the 700NE build was completed, I contacted Aaron Little about building me another Custom Double Rifle, but this one in 600NE on a sidelock. I sent him my 10ga Bernardelli Venus Royal Best Gun to evaluate. The Bernardelli was from 1972, during a time when Bernardelli was building some of their Finest High-Grade shotguns for the U.S. market. Here's the original listing, and some "before" photos.





















Aaron carefully examined the Bernardelli and gave his blessing for the build, deeming the Bernardelli would be suitable for the project. I discussed my desires for the build;

- 26" barrels
- 14 pounds 12 ounce weight
- 14-3/8" LOP
- Red Silvers style recoil pad
- "Flip-Over" Moon Bead Front Sight

Aaron indicated that all this was doable. I gave the go-ahead, and then ..... the waiting started for Aaron to perform his majic.

I was a pest for progress pictures, and over the following many months, Aaron sent a few. Most of the build steps for this project were the same as with the 700NE build.

























After receiving the photos of the work in progress, I knew it was going to be a long wait for the rifle to be finished. I knew that craftsmanship took time. I tried not to pester Aaron too much while he patiently worked.

I took this time to prepare the 600NE ammo that Aaron would require for regulating the rifle. Once again, much like I did for the 700NE project, I prepared 75% loads. The load was a Barnes 900g FMJ, at 1450 fps, with 75 grains of IMR 4198 powder, with a 1" long piece of 5/8" dia. backing rod foam. I had developed this load for my 600NE VC, and it shot to the same point of aim as the full-house load of 1950 fps. I sent 30 rounds to Aaron.

In the mean time, I also acquired a custom hard case, and waited for it to be filled.



It wasn't too long after that Aaron sent me a photo of the "final regulation" target. It only took him 24 of the 30 rounds to regulate the rifle. And the results were - - - TOTALLY ACCEPTABLE ! !

Any further improvement (as if one was needed) would come from "tweaking" the load.



.
.

And, once again, I waited for the project to be finished. ....

.
.

...... And then, finally, one day last week, there came a wooden crate to my door.






The waiting was over, and the empty case was finally filled.

.



Here are some detail photos of the finished rifle. A Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle in 600 Nitro Express caliber.















With the project complete, I evaluated how it turned out. Well, in the end, we missed on 2 of the desired features; - No Red Recoil Pad, because apparently no one makes a "Red" Recoil Pad wide enough for the existing stock which was a full 2" wide. Not wanting to alter the existing stock, we had to go with a "Brown" Recoil Pad which was available in the 2" width. - And, after final polishing and clean-up the finished weight was 3 ounces light at 14 pounds 9 ounces. However, this was no big deal as the 3 ounces were more than made up by loading the rifle, which brought the weight to exactly 15 pounds. "PERFECT" - "PERFECT" - "PERFECT"

And how did it balance? Also "PERFECT" - "PERFECT" - "PERFECT"



So the final test would be - how does it shoot? Well, you be the judge. Here is my first target. Also "PERFECT" - "PERFECT" - "PERFECT"



Am I happy? YOU BET ! - I've got a High-Quality 600NE "Sidelock" Double Rifle - for only a fraction of the cost of one from a contemporary maker.





--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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bwanabobftw
.300 member


Reged: 29/12/04
Posts: 224
Loc: Texas
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: buckstix]
      #305809 - 29/09/17 08:31 AM

Nice looking rifle. I hope you get to use on some game this fall !!!!!!
Robert


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lancaster
.450 member


Reged: 06/05/08
Posts: 5086
Loc: There's a lighthouse in the mi...
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: bwanabobftw]
      #305812 - 29/09/17 01:50 PM

wonder if the original pistol grip without a reenforcement will stand the enormous recoil in the long run

but dont get me wrong, high quality work

--------------------
Norwegian hunter misses moose, shoots man on toilet
.
bringing civilisation to the barbarians


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Huvius
.416 member


Reged: 04/11/07
Posts: 2781
Loc: Colorado
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: bwanabobftw]
      #305813 - 29/09/17 01:51 PM

Super cool project!
Just goes to show that if one pines for a well balanced good looking and great shooting big bore double rifle you don't necessarily need a big bore budget.
Smart choices at the start of a project can make for a very classically styled and proper rifle that checks all the right boxes that really matter. Now, you can take the 600 and 700 against anything on Earth and actually afford to go after anything on Earth!

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


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buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 627
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: Huvius]
      #305816 - 29/09/17 09:54 PM

Quote:

wonder if the original pistol grip without a reenforcement will stand the enormous recoil in the long run



Hello lancaster,

Thanks for the reply.

I'm not too concerned. Afterall, this double started life as a 10ga Magnum - with an original weight of 11 pounds 12 ounces. Recoil energy of a Magnum shotgun load at that weight, would be about 55 - 60 pounds. With the weight now at nearly 15 pounds, recoil energy will be the same when shooting my 75% loads. Allthough recoil energy of "full loads" will be higher, I won't be doing a lot of shooting at that level. But, time will tell.


Quote:

Super cool project!
Just goes to show that if one pines for a well balanced good looking and great shooting big bore double rifle you don't necessarily need a big bore budget.
Smart choices at the start of a project can make for a very classically styled and proper rifle that checks all the right boxes that really matter. Now, you can take the 600 and 700 against anything on Earth and actually afford to go after anything on Earth!



Hello Huvius,

Thanks for the reply.

I plan on hunting this fall with "1300NE" - that's taking both the 600NE "and" the 700NE. That way I can cover both "short range" and "very short range" shots.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Ahmed577
.300 member


Reged: 13/06/13
Posts: 166
Loc: Western Australia
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: buckstix]
      #305817 - 29/09/17 10:18 PM

I can't work out how to start a new topic. These things are not friendly to beginners. My question to members Who do you consider the top 3 London Best gunmakers.

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Waidmannsheil
.400 member


Reged: 19/04/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: lancaster]
      #305835 - 30/09/17 07:16 AM

One can always drill a hole length-ways through the pistol grip and insert a piece of stainless steel all-thread and glue it in with araldite. That technique is used by quite a few gunmakers to strengthen the pistol grip.

Waidmannsheil.

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


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93x64mm
.400 member


Reged: 07/12/11
Posts: 1300
Loc: Nth QLD Australia
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #305838 - 30/09/17 07:58 AM

Aaron certainly did a wonderful job for you Buckstix!
The regulation is more than good enough for a 'stopper'
Glad you didn't regulate it with full loads.......would be at least 130+ ft-lbs recoil!
Certainly be too much for me!


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buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 627
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: 93x64mm]
      #305839 - 30/09/17 08:07 AM

Quote:

One can always drill a hole length-ways through the pistol grip and insert a piece of stainless steel all-thread and glue it in with araldite. That technique is used by quite a few gunmakers to strengthen the pistol grip.
Waidmannsheil.



Hello Waidmannsheil,

Thanks for the reply.

That's something I'll certainly consider, if I find the need to shoot a lot of full-hoise loads.


Quote:

Aaron certainly did a wonderful job for you Buckstix!
The regulation is more than good enough for a 'stopper'
Glad you didn't regulate it with full loads.......would be at least 130+ ft-lbs recoil!
Certainly be too much for me!



Hello 93x64mm,

Thanks for the reply.

It actually works out to be only 116.27 pounds of recoil energy.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Daryl_S
.577 member


Reged: 10/08/05
Posts: 17991
Loc: Beautiful British Columbia, Ca...
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: buckstix]
      #305840 - 30/09/17 08:31 AM

buckstix - it is SPLENDID!!!!!!!!!!

What a beast!
Didn't even notice the brown pad until you mentioned it in the text.

Not much 900gr. at 1,450fps will not 'take out'.

It is certainly as good as, if not better than the 650gr. .577 at about 1,550fps, that so many sportsmen fell in love with, back around 1890 or so.

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


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


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Aaron_Little
.275 member


Reged: 25/09/13
Posts: 73
Loc: Newark, TX
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #305847 - 30/09/17 11:43 AM

Quote:

One can always drill a hole length-ways through the pistol grip and insert a piece of stainless steel all-thread and glue it in with araldite. That technique is used by quite a few gunmakers to strengthen the pistol grip.

Waidmannsheil.




In my opinion most breaks at the wrist on guns is due to being dropped or from weight being applied on the wrist whilst the gun is laying down. Very few break from recoil, and if they do it's from cracks formed in the inletting due to poor inletting or from fixtures meant to alleviate recoil.

Some people share the thought that reinforcing the wrist of a stock with steel can actually lead to issues. Flex in the wrist during firing is a real thing, now if you reinforce the wrist where does the force go? To localized places just in front and behind the insert; in the head of the stock.

Extended tangs are a different matter.

--------------------
A.M. Little Bespoke Gunmakers LLC.
Michael08TDK@yahoo.com
682-554-0044

Edited by Aaron_Little (30/09/17 11:46 AM)


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Rifle57
.224 member


Reged: 07/05/17
Posts: 26
Loc: Colo,USA
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: Aaron_Little]
      #305849 - 30/09/17 12:44 PM

Very nice rifle buckstix it is a great looking double gun!!
Also very nice work Aaron.

Edited by Rifle57 (30/09/17 12:47 PM)


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Waidmannsheil
.400 member


Reged: 19/04/13
Posts: 1382
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: Aaron_Little]
      #305854 - 30/09/17 08:04 PM

Aaron,makes sense what you are saying. Wood is an incredible product that combines many characteristics not found together at the same time in any other material. The flexing through the wrist makes sense as well. Maybe if the size of the all-thread was not to big in diameter it would still allow flexing but provide strength to prevent fatigue cracks.

By the way, exceptionally nice work, really well done.


Buckstix, really nice gun, looks very British and somehow looks quite compact and agile for a 600, really nice gun.


Waidmannsheil.

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


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buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 627
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: Waidmannsheil]
      #305875 - 01/10/17 04:31 PM

Quote:

Buckstix, really nice gun, looks very British and somehow looks quite compact and agile for a 600, really nice gun.
Waidmannsheil.



Hello Waidmannsheil,

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, it has wonderful balance, - it handles and swings nicely. It really doesn't feel like a 15 pound rifle.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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Bidgee
.375 member


Reged: 08/04/15
Posts: 709
Loc: Slightly west of Dubvegas, NSW
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: buckstix]
      #305904 - 02/10/17 07:16 AM

What a beastie! It certainly came up a treat! Fabulous workmanship.

With that in your hand you won't have to fear being undergunned!!

Very nice.


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buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 627
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: 600NE Bernardelli Sidelock Double Rifle project - long story [Re: Bidgee]
      #316358 - 14/05/18 12:30 PM

Hello Bidgee,

Thanks for the reply.

This one has become my favorite Big Caliber Double Rifle.

--------------------
"You never pay too much for something, you only buy it too early."


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