Single Shot Rifle Actions

375rifleman

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Has anyone read, has experience with or built a single shot rifle based on Walter B. Mueller 'Building a Single-shot, Falling-block Rifle Action' book or Frank and Mark de Haas 'Mr. Single Shot's Book of Rifle Plans' book. Thanks in advance for any thoughts, opinions, or answers.

Regards
 

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shortgrass

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If a guy only had the time! Both are interesting. I actually bought material for DeHass VaultLock, but again, the time involved. Set-up time for some of the ops would suggest that it might be just as "easy" to make 2 or 3. Lots of hand work involved for many of the pieces.
 

375rifleman

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Thanks shortgrass, although slightly disappointing. I would definitely be willing to put in the time especially if I could get 300 magnum performance out of it. I like the 300 H&H as well as thinking that with its lower pressures than 300 Winchester that it might actually be possible.

Regards
 

shortgrass

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DeHass recommends 4140HT for the receiver body and block. Good materials, they're used regularly to make rifle receivers today. It is the design that limits the Vaultlock to lower pressured cartridges. The Vaultlock uses a round breech block, because it is easier to make a round hole in a home shop than it is to make a square or rectangular hole for the breech block. The Vaultlock was designed for the advanced hobbyist to make in his home shop. There are no pre-inletted stocks for the Vaultlock, so the stock and forearm would need to be designed and made by hand from a blank. In my eyes, the Vaultlock would be a prime candidate for a rimmed cartridge, say a .45-70, a .444 Marlin or a .405 Winchester. I got as far as drilling then reaming the breech block hole, making a breech block for 1 action using a Neidner style fining pin that goes in the block from the front so it can't blow out towards the shooter, and drilling and threading the barrel tenon hole. DeHass uses a 1" barrel thread. I found the 1" thread interferes alot with the breech block on the first one, so I switched to a 15/16" barrel thread on the other 3 that I machined. My plan never envisioned "high pressure" cartridges so I feel confident in the 15/16" barrel thread, that will leave plenty of thickness in the chamber walls. That's as far as I got. I just got so busy earning a living I guess. All my started parts are greased-up and stored so they don't rust. I hope I have time after I retire to finish at least 1 and make a complete rifle out of it. I have a couple of feet of 4142HT (that's 4140 in other shapes than round) bar. I'd sell a chunk if you decide you want to make one. It took me a lot of searching to find suitable materials. Speedy Metals or On-Line Metals has ground and polished 4140HT that'll make breech blocks. That's all I know, which ain't much!!! The round breech block is the weak point and the thru hole. IF a square breech block hole could be made, and the receiver made without the thru hole where the breech block had support at the top, it would be much stronger.
 
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HARPERC

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Read awhile back.

Thanks for a good thread guys.

Shortgrass as informative as usual. What I'd read there is out of my skill set, and I see a little better where it was all leading to.
 

375rifleman

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I appreciate it shortgrass. I actually just got some reading done on Walter Mueller's book he too used SAE 4140 Steel and although these plans are for a 225 Winchester looking at SAAMI Specs the top of the 225 Winchester maximum specifications is much closer to SAAMI minimum specifications for the 300 H&H than I would have thought. Unless I read something incorrectly which is unfortunately is a strong possibility. Once I find something that might work I fail to see ways in which it doesn't actually work, becomes impractical, or unrealistic. Might be a stronger action?

Regards
 
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375rifleman

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I'm not an engineer, however would increasing the thickness/dimensions of these action plans allow for magnum chamberings? Since if I were to build one of these rifles it would be primarily used as a target rifle and secondarily used as a hunting rifle. So weight is less of a concern.

Regards
 

shortgrass

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I'm not an engineer, however would increasing the thickness/dimensions of these action plans allow for magnum chamberings? Since if I were to build one of these rifles it would be primarily used as a target rifle and secondarily used as a hunting rifle. So weight is less of a concern.

Regards
I just don't know!
 

ntsqd

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Really depends on the geometry of the parts. Sometimes adding more metal just adds more mass without affecting much else. Other times adding metal, in the right place, radically changes the design's stress limits.

I have one of the books, don't recall which one, that I skimmed years ago. Maybe I can give it a more thorough looking over next week. I do recall thinking that it would be a big project to build all of those pieces when I could just buy a Ruger #1, 1885, or a Stevens Favorite, but I totally get that some would like to make their own action.

Another vendor for heat-treated 4140/42 is McMaster.com They are rarely the least expensive option, but they usually have it and can get it to you pronto! Sometimes they are the best price because they'll sell you a blank size that closely fits what you need where what you have to buy from others is much larger and more expensive because of that.
 

Canhunter35

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I knew a guy who built one, it was a 22hornet I believe. He passed away a few years ago. I think my neighbor has the rifle actually
 

ntsqd

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It is Mueller's book that I have. He goes thru all of the math from what I can see. For me the simplest way to analyze the design would be to model it in SolidWorks and then subject it to FEA and see what subtle changes in the geometry of the various parts do to their stresses. Not sure what my possibly anti 2A employers would think about that!

Really, really rough guess as to places to address would be to make the action walls thicker, make the block longer in such a way that the "bolt face" becomes thicker, and possibly look into changing the thrust angle of the block. Though there are immediate trade-offs to doing this that are probably undesirable. Mr. Mueller spent considerable time in selecting the angle that he chose and showing why he chose it, so I'm doubting there is much to be found there.
 

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