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Wildcatting the .577 NE

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Pigoutultra, Feb 20, 2011.

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  1. Pigoutultra

    Pigoutultra Member

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    So here's my idea, the goal is to get a powerful cartridge suitable for African game into a lever-action with a tube magazine. I would start off with a .577 NE cartridge case, I would proceed to trim it to 2.3" and neck it down to .458 caliber. The receiver would have to be larger to accommodate the wider cartridge. I'm think that the end product would produce at least 5500 f/lbs pushing a 400 grain bullet at around 2500 fps. Any thoughts or suggestions?
     
  2. jgiehl

    jgiehl Member

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    That would sure be a lot of powder behind a 400 grain bullet.
    Personally I think that would be an awesome kick. But I like big lever actions.
     
  3. Pigoutultra

    Pigoutultra Member

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    I'm thinking that a 500 grain bullet would be better for elephants, though. It would definitely be a short range gun.
     
  4. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I think the ballistics are possible.
    How's your budget for a scratch built safari caliber lever action?
    I figure something about the price of a new Buick, IF you can get somebody willing to fool with it at all.
     
  5. Pigoutultra

    Pigoutultra Member

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    As of this moment the budget is zero dollars and zero cents. This would be an endeavor that is years down the road.
     
  6. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    The 450 Alaskan easily approaches .458 Win in ballistics in the Winchester 71. If you feel the need for bigger the 500 Alaskan works well also. Biggest problem with a lever is OAL of the cartridge and getting it to work through the action. The 45/90 is about the longest I have seen work though a lever gun. The 71 was about the largest action made, as well as being extremely strong.

    my 450...

    4502-1.jpg
     
  7. Pigoutultra

    Pigoutultra Member

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    That is precisely why I would trim to 2.3" .1" shorter than .45-90
     
  8. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    Should fit in a 1886 action, would require some pretty drastic reworking of the action and magazine tube tho. Hardest part will be finding an old school smith willing to take on the project...lol. My smith died not too long after completing my 375/338 Browning BAR, we were discussing building another in 458 Win. Seems like many don't want to mess with the old fashioned rifles these days.
     
  9. mshootnit

    mshootnit Member

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    they do make a 458 Win. Mag in a lever action, but it doesn't have a tube magazine.
     
  10. Gordon

    Gordon Contributing Member

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    The 577 case does not come close to fitting any lever action tube, nor is any lever action long enought to feed a 3" case with an inch of bullet.The Winchester 86 can be made to fire the .348 based 50 Alaskan which is pretty strong enough to cull elephants with the right bullet. You can buy a new .405 Winchester model 1895 and load high pressure rounds that can get 400 grain bullets to a little over 2000 fps which ought to nail anything that walks.:banghead:
     
  11. Pigoutultra

    Pigoutultra Member

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    Did you read that I would trim the .577 to 2.3" to fit in a lever action? This is a cartridge that would require a whole new firearm design.
     
  12. 451 Detonics

    451 Detonics Member

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    As the OP said he would be cutting the case back to workable length.

    Wildcatting is a disease, often the gains made are very small (tho sometimes quite large) but the idea of having a unique cartridge giving you bragging rights (this is my cartridge, there are other like it but this one is mine...) is a draw many find hard to resist. I currently load and shoot 4 wildcats myself, it is always fun when someone asks " where can I get one" and you tell them they can't buy it, they have to make it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2011
  13. Pigoutultra

    Pigoutultra Member

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    Anybody know of any actions that are wide enough to handle a cartridge like that?
     
  14. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Winchester had the concept of a .70 WCF. Pretty much just a brass 12 gauge shell necked down a bit. They planned to put it on the 1887 lever action shotgun with rifled barrel. There may never have been a completed gun, just a dummy round on the Winchester cartridge board one year. Of course that is a shotgun action and while you can get new Chinese copies of the '87 presumably made out of Chinese railroad track that is stronger than the old black powder Winchesters, you could not make a nitro express out of one. But that is the only lever action I know of big enough to even make up a testbed on.
     
  15. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    hmm...how bout a 458 Lott in a Browning 71? Or is the Lott too long? I don't have the specs in front of me...
     
  16. Pigoutultra

    Pigoutultra Member

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    The .458 Lott is what I'm trying to replicate in a lever-action compatible cartridge. The .458 Lott is waaaay too long for a lever-action.
     
  17. redactor

    redactor Member

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    The inventor of the 450 Bushmaster claims that he can exceed 458 WM energy with special loads in AR-15 format. Note that is AR-15, not AR-10. Bullet weights are limited to about 325-350 grain range I believe.

    Since the 450 Bushmaster COL is the same COL as the .233 Rem, it should be possible to build a lever gun in that cartridge. The limiting factor for the cartridge in the AR-15 platform is apparently bolt thrust force, not pressure. The AR-15/.223 operates at 60k psi, I believe, and the 450 B is rated at 38k. The reason behind that is bolt thrust. In a lever action rifle, you wouldn't be as limited.
     
  18. Pigoutultra

    Pigoutultra Member

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    Well the problem again with that cartridge is the weight limitations, it can only got to 350 grains, not nearly enough for a safari. I want my cartridge to push a 400 grain bullet at 2500 fps or a 500 grain bullet at 2200 fps.
     
  19. Motega

    Motega Member

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    Hemingway killed everything in Africa with a .30-06. Papa don't need no big bores!
    If you are in it for fun then why not?!! and OF COURSE!!! If you are in it to pioneer the next great caliber I'd say you are reinventing the wheel.
     
  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Teddy R. liked the .405 Winchester model 1895 lever action awfully well.
    Called it his "lion medicine."
     
  21. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    :confused::confused:

    Pigoutultra,

    I think you might be confused please read your two separate posts from above and explain exactly what you are trying to accomplish.

    I don't think so, take a look this should be a very helpful for your quest.

    .577 NE double gun
    http://www.searcyent.com/new1_577b.htm

    .577 Bolt gun
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RO0VL-f1Omk

    .577 Falling block (Ruger #1)
    http://www.sskindustries.com/rifle.htm

    .45-90 on a Marlin
    http://www.marlinowners.com/forums/index.php?topic=66885.0

    The major problem with your concept is going to be sectional density a proper .577 bullet used for DG is 750 grains giving it a sectional density that enables it to penetrate reliably. Your 400 or even 500 gr bullet is going to have seriously poor and unreliable penetration issues. Heck the .600 NE with a 900 gr bullet was shunned due to it's lack of reliable penetration on elephant.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2011
  22. Pigoutultra

    Pigoutultra Member

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    I do mean to trim .577 NE to 2.3" and neck down to .458 caliber. That's all I would do. Isn't 500 grains in .458 caliber high enough for a good sectional density?
     
  23. redactor

    redactor Member

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    H&H, this *is* the guy who was asking earlier this week if it was a good idea to shoot fruit out of trees. :)

    Pig, the 45 Professional guy claims that even in those "light" weights, the 45 Pro/450B will shoot length-wise through an elephant. I don't know how much of that to believe, but it is the claim.
     
  24. Robert

    Robert Administrator Staff Member

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    Wait, do you mean the 577/450 Martini Henry?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.577/450_Martini-Henry

    I am sure that will come in handy if the Zulus get out of hand again... :rolleyes:
     
  25. H&Hhunter

    H&Hhunter Moderator Staff Member

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    redactor,

    Got it, thanks for the heads up.

    Pig,

    The nicest way I can say this is that you are in search of an answer for question that doesn't need to be asked. Your whole DG lever thing has been done. There is also a guy who will convert your BLR to .458 WM. The whole point is that the lever platform simply doesn't offer enough of an advantage from a weight, ease of handling or speed aspect to be worth the trouble when there are so many good DG options already available in other proven platforms.

    So the next straw man argument that always comes up is the cost savings of a lever gun over your average DG rifle which is also BS as you can buy a perfectly capable and ready to go DG bolt gun for under 1K. And oh here's the other part of that equation if your having trouble popping over 1K for a DG rifle how are you going to float the other 15K minimum for your DG hunt?

    If you are going to build a lever gun that is fat enough in the receiver to handle a .577 you might as well just save yourself some money and go get a nice double because that is probably pretty close to what you are going to have to spend to have one built. I'm also guessing that it would have to come in at something over 10 LBS so what are you gaining?
     
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