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buckstix
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Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 913
Loc: Whitetail Country
Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber
      #368420 - 17/08/22 09:42 PM

Brevex #12 joins the family - a Fred Wells Custom - "one-of-a-kind" - unknown caliber

I've posted this on several Forums hoping to get some answers.

Hello All,

I finally found another Brevex Mauser rifle. This makes an even dozen in my Brevex Collection.

I listed it as an "?" caliber .. I should have said "un-heard-of" caliber. Its a Fred Wells Custom Brevex Mauser in a caliber I never heard of, nor can I find any info about it. .. anywhere!

Here are the rifle's specs:

Maker = Fred Wells Custom
Action = Brevex Magnum Mauser
Caliber = 411 Wells Exp
Weight = 12-1/4 lbs (loaded)
Barrel = 25-1/8" A&M Barrel w/ barrel mounted Sling swivel (no sights)
LOP = 15"
Stock = Custom "uncheckered" w/ forward recoil lug (unknown wood) w/ checkered metal grip cap
Scope = 6x42 KAHLES Helia Super 6S2 in Wells Custom Mounts w/ Low Profile Safety
Trigger = Mauser 2-Stage Trigger
Recoil Pad = Pachmayr Solid w/ Black and White Line spacer

Fortunately the rifle came with dies, and brass, and bullets. Bullets are Woodleigh .411 dia 400g Soft Points and Barnes .411 dia 300g Soft Points. Brass is 378 Weatherby Mag resized. Dies are RCBS labeled 405-378.

I've seen rifles chambered in 350 Wells Exp (basically a 378 Weatherby Mag necked down to .350 caliber) This one is 378 Weatherby Mag necked "up" to .411 caliber.

Searching high and low in all my wildcat books (I have many) I cannot find any such caliber. Its basically a forerunner of the 416 Weatherby Mag, except using a slightly .005" smaller diameter bullet, with standard neck and shoulder profile.

In addition, I know nothing about wood, so the stock is also a mystery to me. Its a very dense "reddish" color with distinctive darker stripes of grain. (pictures don't show the reddish color very well because the camera flash washes out the true color) The wood color appears to be almost a rose wood, but its much denser and harder. This density likely accounts for the overall heavy weight of the rifle. (much appreciated when shooting) The stock has been left "uncheckered", perhaps to show-off the stripes in the grain.

Overall craftsmanship is what you would expect from an early Fred Wells rifle. Wood to metal fit is absolutely amazing. Not a sliver of space between them. All the screws are indexed "in-line". Even the screw in the checkered metal grip cap is indexed in-line, and its also tastefully engraved.

(a range report will follow)

Any insight on this rare bird would be appreciated. Here are the pictures: As always all your comments are most welcome.



Here are the family dozen ....



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


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lancaster
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Reged: 06/05/08
Posts: 7611
Loc: There's a lighthouse in the mi...
Re: Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber [Re: buckstix]
      #368424 - 18/08/22 03:39 AM

do you want to have any brevex mauser rifle in the world?

btw, new gun -. new fun so congratulation

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


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buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 913
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber [Re: lancaster]
      #368973 - 04/09/22 10:28 PM

Hello lancaster,
Thanks for the reply,

I have been able to contact the original owner of the rifle. He said he intended to go to Africa to hunt with the rifle, but political conflicts in Rhodesia at the time prevented his going. He told me the rifle was custom built for him / by him. He said he was actually an employee of Fred Wells at the time and did the stock work himself while so employed. The stock wood was special ordered "Red Cocobolo". He also said there was a 400 Wells Express caliber at the time and that it used .411 bullets. He liked the caliber but said he used "411" in the caliber name on his rifle so as to be sure it was identified as a 411 caliber, and not confused as .400 caliber. He also said he sent a fire-formed case to RCBS to have dies custom made, and that RCBS marked the dies 405-378 ... because the 405 Winchester cartridge used a .411 dia bullet. So I guess, this is in fact a "one of a kind cartridge". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.405_Winchester

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


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lancaster
.470 member


Reged: 06/05/08
Posts: 7611
Loc: There's a lighthouse in the mi...
Re: Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber [Re: buckstix]
      #368977 - 05/09/22 01:44 AM

this are big game rifles of a now also bygone time after kynoch stop making the old britisch big game cartridges. people than were a little bit confused what to do now and start wildcating the brass that was still available in the typical american spirit( excuse me) to made a new world record rifle.I suspect the 378 weatherby basic case loaded to its full potential will kick you like a mule!

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


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mckinney
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Reged: 29/01/09
Posts: 1120
Loc: usa
Re: Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber [Re: lancaster]
      #368980 - 05/09/22 05:18 AM

Nice rifles. The Mews short barrel .378 Weatherby must be brutal to shoot!

I have one Brevex, a G&H in .416 Rigby built in 1982. I can shoot five rounds in a sitting with long pauses in between but thatís about it!


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93x64mm
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Reged: 07/12/11
Posts: 3297
Loc: Nth QLD Australia
Re: Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber [Re: mckinney]
      #368981 - 05/09/22 05:51 AM

Amazing find Buck Stix!
Certainly developed well before its time!
I guess when Woodleigh get up & running again then you would be able to get .411" projectiles from them.
Number 40HD on their lists is for the 400H&H which uses the same calibre as well!


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buckstix
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Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 913
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber [Re: 93x64mm]
      #368987 - 05/09/22 02:24 PM

Quote:

.... I suspect the 378 weatherby basic case loaded to its full potential will kick you like a mule! ...


Hello lancaster,
Thanks for the reply.

Yes, the 378 WBY MAG cartridge is a real Azz kicker. You better have a firm grip when shooting it.

Quote:

Nice rifles. The Mews short barrel .378 Weatherby must be brutal to shoot!

I have one Brevex, a G&H in .416 Rigby built in 1982. I can shoot five rounds in a sitting with long pauses in between but thatís about it!


Hello mckinney,
Thanks for the reply.

When you get ready to give that rifle a new home, please let me know. 416 Rigby is my favorite caliber. (I have 5 of them - see below) I'd love to make your G&H 416 Rigby the "lucky 13" in my Brevex collection.

As for the Mews 378, it not much different than the longer barreled Winslow.

Quote:

Amazing find Buck Stix!
Certainly developed well before its time!
I guess when Woodleigh get up & running again then you would be able to get .411" projectiles from them. Number 40HD on their lists is for the 400H&H which uses the same calibre as well!


Hello 93x64mm,
Thanks for the reply.

Fortunately I have over 600 bullets in 411 caliber. I have some Hornady, Barnes, Woodleigh and Hawk.

My 416 Rigby Rifles


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grandveneur
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Reged: 21/09/08
Posts: 867
Loc: France /Germany
Re: Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber [Re: buckstix]
      #368989 - 05/09/22 04:42 PM

As the owner of an Brevex Rifle caliber 460 WBY-Magnum, I can understand your joy.

A nice rifle in an interesting caliber, although very unusual.

As a European and big game hunter I miss the open sights and the removable scope, but not really a problem.

A nice rifle, have fun with it.


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buckstix
.375 member


Reged: 07/11/12
Posts: 913
Loc: Whitetail Country
Re: Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber [Re: grandveneur]
      #368994 - 05/09/22 09:40 PM

Quote:

As the owner of an Brevex Rifle caliber 460 WBY-Magnum, I can understand your joy.
A nice rifle in an interesting caliber, although very unusual.
As a European and big game hunter I miss the open sights and the removable scope, but not really a problem.
A nice rifle, have fun with it.


Hello grandveneur,
Thanks for the reply.

I understand. The Mews 378, the Weatherby 460, and the 505 Gibbs, all have quick removable scopes so that iron sights may be used for "close-in" hunting.

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


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degoins
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Reged: 28/02/06
Posts: 299
Loc: SC, USA
Re: Brevex #12 joins the family - Fred Wells Custom - ? caliber [Re: buckstix]
      #369464 - 22/09/22 10:14 PM

Very nice collection!!!
Dismal River Armory has one for sale right now if you want to add to your collection. I am in no way a sales rep for them, just saw it on their site and thought of you.


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