Handi-Rifle ?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by edge, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    A little background. I make muzzleloaders that shoot smokeless powder. Most use Savage actions and premium barrels. I want to test some experimental breechplugs and don't want to scrap an expensive barrel so I am looking for a cheap substitute.

    I can pick up a NEF Handi-Rifle in 45-70 or 50 S&W for about 200 dollars complete....can't get much cheaper than that /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif

    I really want a cheap 45 to play with since this is only to experiment with, and accuracy is secondary.

    The Handi Rifle comes in 500 S&W ( 50,000 psi )and 45-70 too, but the 45-70 is generally a low pressure cartridge since its origins are in BP.

    Two considerations need to be taken into account as to load pressures:

    1) The Barrel. If the 500 S&W Magnum is a 50,000 psi cartridge, AND the 45-70 and the 500 S&W utilise the same barrel contour then I think that the barrel is up to the task in the 45 version too;

    2) The Action. Bolt and Falling Block actions are known for their strength. Break open actions and lever guns are not. Clearly the action needs to be able to take the full pressure should you experience a case head separation. The 500 S&W Case is 0.526 in diameter under the head which would translate to a case separation pressure of 10,865 and the 45-70 Government is only .505, which translates to just 10,000 assuming a 50,000 psi load.

    My question is does anyone have any knowledge about the Handi rifle that would make you not use full power loads in a 45 barrel ( 50,000 psi)?

    I would prefer an open discussion, but if someone would prefer to PM or email me their thoughts, they would be very welcome too

    edge.
     
  2. James Jones

    James Jones Well-Known Member

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    I've got one in 45-70 now that they are legal to use here during primitive weapon season. I shoot some pretty hot loads out of mine that are well above book loads and have not had any trouble. I can't remember exactly the barrel diameter at the action but I know that with the Encore you want at least 50% case diameter for barrel wall thickness , like if your barrel diameter of 1" your max case diameter should be .500". This is a very subjective issue as their are several custom barrel makers for the Encore that will chamber them in the WSM and Ultra mag cases which is over .500" and have plenty of happy customers.

    With the N&E if I remember correctly the barrel is bigger than 1" . I'm sure that if your running any sane loads in it you should have no troubles.
    What exactly is it that your wanting the gun to handle?
     

  3. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    Most of my loads are in the upper 40 - low 50 ksi range since I normally use barrels for a 458 Win Mag or 505 Gibbs.

    I could just experiment with the 500 S&W barrel since it is a 50 ksi cartridge...but I would think that since the 45 would have a slightly thicker barrel that it would be at least as strong and that I should be on the safe side.

    I just want to make sure that I was not missing something major.

    edge.
     
  4. tomme_boy

    tomme_boy Active Member

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    Edge, go over here and talk with these guys. Some of them know the Handi inside and out. They should be able to help you. web page
     
  5. edge

    edge Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I will check it out.

    edge.